Down Home in Mississippi

Bali Vacation

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Our return to places of ministry in East Java with our daughter, Lori, and her family concluded with a few days of vacation on Bali, a popular tourist attraction and exotic island to the east. With Jember, our place of assignment, only two hours from the eastern tip of Java, our children remember two or three times a year getting away for a few days of family vacation in Bali.

We would load our jeep on the ferry and soon be driving through lush green rice fields to the sprawling beaches of Kuta or Sanur. Thirty years ago there was only one major hotel, but we would stay at simple beachside cottages for as little as $12 a night, enjoying …

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East Java Mountains

Posted on March 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Our daughter reminded us that one our outings when we lived in East Java was accompanying visitors to a scenic volcano lake on nearby Mount Idjen. At the time she was too small to make the strenuous trek up the mountainside and would be left with helpers at a guesthouse on the coffee plantation on the Idjen Plateau. Having seen pictures, her lifelong desire and personal agenda was for her family to make this excursion while on our pilgrimage back to East Java.

We left our hotel at 5:00 am for the three-hour drive to the base of the volcano, a winding mountainous drive through rice fields, teakwood forests and a coffee and cocoa plantation. At the beginning the two-hour …

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Back Home in Jember

Posted on February 25, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

(Although we are back home in Mississippi, reports and photos from our family trip to Indonesia will continue for a few more posts.)

Lori could not wait to hit the streets once we arrived in Jember, East Java. Although modern shopping malls now dot the town, our hotel was just a block from the unchanged massive “pasar” where we went to the market. The dingy, smelly cavernous building selling everything imaginable was the same as always. Most of the meat, fish, fruit and vegetable stalls had overflowed to the surrounding streets. We were quite an entourage making our way through the curious crowds while ignoring the familiar derogatory taunts still being directed toward foreigners.

Tears were shed when Berli, Lori’s …

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The Journey Begins in Surabaya

Posted on February 18, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Our service in Indonesia years ago ended with a two-year assignment in Surabaya before we left for a regional leadership role and served out our overseas tenure in Bangkok and Singapore. But our reminiscing with Lori and her family began as they arrived here from Central Asia. After negotiating a perplexing array of new thoroughfares and unbelievably congested traffic, we located our former house. Thirty years ago in was the Darmo Permai housing development, well outside the city, but it has now been swallowed by urban growth. The small international school she attended in the 7th and 8th grades is still just around the corner.

One of our delightful experiences was a visit from Jenny (pictured with Bobbye). She was …

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Language Immersion

Posted on February 11, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Knowing we were returning for a visit to Indonesia, friends still serving here persuaded me to agree to leading a 4-day seminar for students at the Baptist seminary in Semarang on spiritual warfare. After having study guides and a power point presentation translated into Indonesian, I was able to study and review the presentation but approached this opportunity with a great deal of anxiety since it had been 30 years since using the language.

After a couple of days with personnel serving with Antioch Ministries International in Malang we flew to Central Java and, unexpectedly, was asked to preach in a village church on Sunday morning then in a rally of several house church congregations gathered in the evening. It …

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Returning to our Roots

Posted on February 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Okay, so our roots are firmly embedded back home in Mississippi, but the roots of our missionary life will always be in Indonesia where we spent the first 14 years of fulfilling a calling that continues after more than 40 years. Flying in for a three-week visit back to places of ministry and connecting with a new generation of workers reminded us of our arrival in 1970 when we flew in over a massive sea of red-tile roof houses in Jakarta.

Our first impression was the darkness as we wound through dimly-lit, pot-holed streets to our guest house. It was a sleepless night due to the jet lag of a 12-hour time change from the U.S., excitement in anticipation of …

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Heading to the Tropics

Posted on January 21, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We shared in our last post of how we were surviving the cold days of winter and actually enjoying the leisure of getting things done in doors. However, with the recent snowfall (pictured in our backyard) it is time to head for the tropics. The snow was beautiful, and lasted only a few hours, but we are looking forward to returning this week to Indonesia and visiting places where we lived more than 30 years ago.

The primary purpose of our trip is to accompany our daughter’s family back to where she lived as a child. Though we have made numerous trips over the years, Lori has not been back since we left during her high school years. She was …

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Enjoying the Winter Season

Posted on January 7, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

I have always equivocated on what is my favorite season of the year. It’s usually a toss-up between spring and autumn depending on which season I’m in. The budding trees and flowering shrubs responding to warming temperatures after a gray, dismal winter stimulates a renewal of life. But the colorful leaves of fall and nippy air after months of stifling heat is invigorating. I would sometimes choose summer as my favorite time of the year until temperatures soar to intolerable levels, but never would I say winter had any merits of enjoyment.

However, I am finding winter has something going for it! Mississippi seldom gets much snow, but we discovered in Virginia that the beauty of a snowfall is short-lived …

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Christmas Greetings

Posted on December 19, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Colorful decorations and the music of the season fill the days with a joyful spirit; Christmas pageants and special programs remind us that we celebrate God becoming man to redeem us from sin and give us an eternal hope–don’t miss the current “Rankin Connecting” on “Emmanuel: God with Us!” But one of our greatest blessings is re-connecting annually with friends from all over the world through greetings and family updates that come with the mountain of Christmas cards and letters.

While we didn’t send personalized cards and greetings this year, we trust our far-flung family and friends will access this site to receive our heart-felt wishes for a blessed Christmas and a God-glorifying new year. We

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Fall Enhancements

Posted on December 3, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

My Mississippi buddies raise their eyebrows when I mention that my hobby is yard work. They are incredulous when I explain that I don’t fish, hunt or play golf; my recreation and enjoyment comes from spending time in the yard and seeing the vision of landscaping materialize. I am finding at my age I dare not put in a full day lest the cost be exacted in an aftermath of aches and pain. However, personal satisfaction is seldom excelled by anything than surveying flowering shrubs and a well-manicured lawn in the fading twilight of the day.

After three years of sodding grass, tilling and mulching flower beds, digging holes and planting trees, I find myself anticipating reaching the point of …

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