When We are Home…

Posted on October 1, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Travel continues to be the norm. Last month a two-week, 3,000 mile road trip to the Carolinas was followed by a train trip to Chicago. With only a day and a half in between it was a rush to wash clothes, catch up on mail and business, repack for a cooler climate and leave again. So, what do we do when we are home? We have enjoyed a week down home in Mississippi before hitting the road again to South Carolina for a CIU board meeting this week and then flying to a weekend mission conference in Peoria, Illinois.

Probably the greatest blessing is the fellowship at our home church and hearing good biblical preaching. On Sunday night the congregation of MHBC had a picnic and evening service at the reservoir, including the baptism of six new believers.  We seldom have an opportunity to attend the monthly covered dish luncheon with the senior citizens of our church, but our week at home coincided with this scheduled event, giving us the opportunity to get better acquainted with many of these dear saints as well as enjoy a variety of good home-cooking. This followed a morning meeting of Clinton-area pastors and laymen with representatives of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to plan a crusade event in Clinton sometime in the next 18 months.

The priority upon arriving home from travel is to water Bobbye’s house plants, mow an overgrown lawn and tidy the yard with needed weeding and pruning; if we have had any wind or rain the yard is usually filled with leaf clusters and twigs from the ancient oaks that surround our yard. The major task last week was turning the compost pile–a 15’x7’ pit–to prepare for the influx of leaves this fall. This entailed a lot of digging and raking to get what was on the bottom on top and what was on top on the bottom, separating the older compost ready for spring planting and mulching from the still rotting summer grass.

The calendar tends to fill up with local commitments when we are home, which included speaking to a Christian Studies class at Mississippi College on the missionary call. It is always a blessing to share out of our experiences and to dialogue with this generation of students. Following the class, and a scheduled meeting with the director of Inter-Varsity Fellowship on campus, we attended the fall banquet of international students.

Bobbye readily bonded with two ladies from Russia, Zhanna and Natalie, and is also pictured with three incoming freshmen students from China–”Bruce, Dwayne and Kyle” (Go figure!) from Guangxaou, Bejing and Shanghai. These were among the almost 300 internationals now at Mississippi College, mostly from China, but we also got acquainted with others from Pakistan, India, Nepal and even Saudi Arabia.

Bobbye attended a monthly meeting with an ad hoc group of ladies who identify themselves as “Friends with a Purpose” on Thursday night. The week closed with a visit to the hospital to see John Smith, a former missionary colleague in Indonesia, and on to the Friday night football game at Jackson Prep to see our great-nephew, Richard, play wide receiver in a winning game.

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