Final Road Trip

Posted on November 5, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

We arrived home last week following a 12-day road trip of 2800 miles that entailed engagements in seven states. The temperature was a chilly 35 degrees the next morning, and it was as if the seasons had abruptly changed while we were gone. After watering thirsty house plants, the neglected yard required blowing leaves instead of mowing the grass.

Okay, so it really wasn’t our final road trip of the year, but after constant travel around the country, the rest of the year will consist only of brief weekend excursions. We enjoyed being at First Baptist Church, Laurel, MS yesterday and this week will make a trip to the Dominican Republic to speak at COMIBAM, a gathering of leaders throughout Latin America committed to world evangelization.

Our extended road trip, took us from a mission conference in Panama City and to teaching sessions at the missionary orientation in Richmond, VA. The ultimate destination was Wake Forest, NC where Bobbye was the featured speaker at the state convention’s equipping conference for women’s ministries. She challenged participants to “Walk Worthy of the Call” in two keynote messages and in leading a prayer tea for Muslim women.

As an accompanying spouse I was free to hang out and enjoyed a lunch visit with Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, and meet with a group of friends engaged in church planting for breakfast including Tony Merida, Nathan Akin, Alvin Reid, Dwayne Milioni and others.

After the conference, we enjoyed a weekend of fellowship with Colby and Jennifer Lehman, who are starting a new church plant in the area as a part of the Antioch Community Church network. It was a blessing to lead their World Harvest event in building a heart for reaching the nations into the DNA of this student-oriented movement. They launched the new church in January and already have groups at Duke, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State in Raleigh.

After a detour by Columbia, SC for consultation with CIU staff and planning programs for the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, we arrived home with a bit of margin to catch up on business, writing and preparation for future ministries. The most formidable challenge is attempting to translate my Spiritual Warfare seminar notes into Indonesian for presentation at a seminary lecture series there in January. We dropped in on a session of the Mississippi Baptist Convention during the week, seeing several acquaintances and hearing a powerful message by state executive, Jim Futral.

Then on Saturday we traveled to Brookhaven where Bobbye’s high school graduating class was gathering for their 50th anniversary reunion. There were 22 in the class at the consolidated Enterprise High School in southeast Lincoln County. Bobbye grew up at Fair Oak Springs where her Dad was principal, but the school closed as she entered her junior year requiring the transfer to Enterprise. Only eight of the surviving members of the class of 1962 were able to get together, but the laughter and reminiscing was entertaining to observe. It would have been difficult to match each one with their yearbook picture from years ago, but this photo removes all doubt as to Bobbye being the class beauty!

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