Monday, June 9, 2008

June Newsletter

Dear brethren:

Greetings to you from dry and hot, hot and dry (did I mention dry? hot?), Duluth, Georgia. The work of Truth for the World (an evangelistic work of the Duluth Church Christ) continues to go well and is growing more and more each day. We are certainly thankful for your support.

Brethren, sadly, I will not be going to Malawi, Central Africa this year. I have had several medical problems since January of 2008 and going to Africa to teach in the Mobile Bible School and holding Gospel meetings would not be the wise thing to do. Without sounding too melodramatic, the doctors have found a lesion on the cerebellum portion of my brain and three nodes in my thyroid. These (one or both combined) have caused extreme dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and hoarseness of the throat.

The brain lesion could be an infection, an infarction, or a silent stroke. Or, it could be a tumor. I will be having a high density MRI on June 16th and if there has been no growth since the earlier MRI, we will know it is not a tumor but more likely a stroke. If it is a tumor then surgery will be scheduled to have it removed and a biopsy then will be done.

I am having a biopsy on my thyroid on July 3rd and it will then be determined if it is cancerous or not. I may have to have the thyroid removed and then have to take medicine to control its functions after that.

No one has mentioned the “C” word as an inevitable possibility as of yet but the possibility, of course, is there. Just waiting for the procedures to be done and anticipating the news, whether good or bad, is enough to keep one on edge. Friends and brethren do make a difference. The folks at New Hope Road, Duluth, and others have kept us in their prayers for which I am most appreciative.

Brethren, I also need your continuous prayers for my family and for the medical conditions that I am experiencing. And of course, our God, Who knows what is best for us and knows everything we need, is in control and we pray that His will be done.

Thank you to those who have contributed for the new bicycle for our brother Jeffita K. Nkhoma. I will be sending the funds over to brother Ed Crookshank and asking him to procure the new bike for brother Nkhoma.

My wife, Linda, and I took a few days off during the Memorial Day holiday and drove down to Columbus, Georgia. The long weekend gave us some much needed rest and relaxation. One of the things we enjoyed was worshipping with the Torch Hill Church of Christ and meeting these fine brethren for the first time.

We had a good meeting with the brethren of the East Main Street Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The congregation there has long supported Truth for the World via the Postage Fund. We were glad to go and give them an update on the work. It was also good to see many of our Bible correspondence teachers and to be with brother and sister Wayne and Rita Lankford once again. Remember, if you would like us to come and explain and/or update the work of Truth for the World for the congregation where you attend, please let us know. It will be our great pleasure to do so.

Again, thank you for your financial and prayerful support. May our God bless you all.

- Jimmie

Greetings from Georgia!

Is it really only June? This year has been so crowded with events that it feels like eons rather than just over two months since I have written.

Of course, the major event has been Jimmie’s health. To go from dealing with a sinus infection to a possible brain tumor in the blink of an eye was a shock. A week later when we were finally able to see a neurologist she softened the stunned feeling by saying that the first MRI was not conclusive. What it tagged as a possible tumor could also be a lesion caused by a stroke. Once she confirmed that Jimmie’s arteries were clear so he was not in imminent danger of another stroke, that became my preferred diagnosis. But she outlined two courses to determine which possibility was correct – immediate surgery to remove a tumor (an unnecessary risk if it turned out to be a stroke lesion), or wait and see if the lesion changes. Waiting is never easy but that was the choice Jimmie made. We still have another week to go before the next MRI will be taken. We hope to have a final verdict and treatment plan soon after that.

In the meantime the doctors have been really running Jimmie through the mill. Blood work indicated a problem with his thyroid so we had more trips to the hospital for an ultrasound and nuclear scan. Now we have a new date on July 3rd for a biopsy of one of the nodules located in this gland. Having a second problem to deal with was startling on one hand, but a relief on the other. Low thyroid would actually explain some of the symptoms Jimmie has been experiencing that a lesion in his cerebellum does not, and thyroid problems are not usually life threatening. Unfortunately, dizziness can also be associated with this problem so we do not know which one is causing Jimmie’s current bouts of vertigo.

Thankfully, Jimmie’s dizziness level most days is mild so he can preach, teach, and do his office work. But then there are other days that are totally miserable for him. But even on the days that Jimmie was so dizzy and nauseous that he could not ride to the office he still handled the Internet students from home. So the work continues.

Please keep Jimmie in your prayers.
- Linda

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why I Keep Going Back

To the best of my knowledge, I have been to Africa on twelve campaigns. And, in spite of some of the rough going in the early days (coups, machine gun fire, stonings, famines, droughts, threats from the denominations, etc.), I have always enjoyed Africa. The work of our Lord has always been great.

Have there been disappointments? Yes! I remember Linda and I studying with a Catholic couple and seeing their eyes light up as they understood the Truth concerning the church of the Bible and that Catholicism was filled with false doctrines and practices. But, during their talk with their local priest, they were told that we were the agents of Satan and that they should no longer study with us. And, they would not. That is very disappointing.

Have there been encouragements? Yes! After studying the New Testament church for over two hours in the village of Ashaiman with a Presbyterian and a Muslim, they both understood the Truth concerning the One Church and the Authority of Christ but would not agree to be baptized that day. After urging them and reminding them of the uncertainty of time that each of has, they said they would be baptized tomorrow. When I asked them, one more time, if they were not ready to go to the water now, a voice from behind a tree some ten feet away, stated, “Well, I am ready to go right now!” A young man named Romeo has been listening and, without uttering a word for two hours, understood that he was lost and was baptized into Christ after just a few more minutes of Bible study. Now, that is encouraging! (The other two men did come back the next afternoon and both were baptized into Christ.)

This is why I continue to go back and work for the Lord in Africa and other places around the world. And, it is not me, it is the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory!

- Jimmie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Youngest on our Team

Cole may not be an official member of the Truth for the World staff, but he is certainly a well-known addition to the office. Since our daughter, Julie, is a part-time secretary working with both the BCC program and the broadcasting department we get to see our grandson everyday. Gran and Grandad won't complain about that! And it works out pretty well. When Julie is busy in the studio inserting the closed-captioning into the television programs Cole can choose where he hangs out.

Cole really knows his way around the office. He is diligent in pointing out the red line on the floor in the workroom that marks the "no kids" zone in front of the booklet maker - just so everyone will know that he was NOT planning to cross it. He loves showing everyone where the push carts are stored - just in case anyone wants to give him a ride. He has discovered all the best hiding places under the big tables in the mailroom and what wonderful fun bubblewrap sheets can be. And he knows exactly where the other secretary, Ellen, has the candy stashed in her office. Of course, if he ever does get bored with this adult world there are always his toys and books to fall back on.

Cole's ready smile and infectious enthusiasm for all he is learning have brightened even some of our most difficult days. He does keep life interesting!

- Linda
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2008 Monthly Report

One of my many duties at Truth for the World is to write a monthly report to our contributors.
- Linda

June 2008

Dear Christian Friend,

We were very happy to welcome a new radio station in May - WCYC LP 105.1 FM in London, Ohio. This 30-minute broadcast is sponsored by the East High Street of Christ in Springfield, Ohio, and will be heard each Sunday morning at 9:00 am.

We were very unhappy to have mechanical problems in May as well. Our big printing press continues to be plagued with breakdowns and is currently waiting again for a visit from the repairman. This vital piece of equipment was "used" when we got it, so a tremendous amount of paper and ink have passed through it. But we really hope to pass a little more before an expensive replacement has to be bought.

We also seem to have lost one of our air conditioning units at our facility. That may not seem like a tremendous problem, but the termperatures in some of our upstairs offices are already staying in the high 80s all day - and it isn't even summer yet! That is a situation that will have to be corrected soon.

John Grubb is leaving for a campaign to Taiwan on June 10th. He will be preaching in Gospel meetings and working at tract distribution in three cities of this island nation. His daughter, Libby, will also be going and helping to pass out Gospel tracts. Libby was born in Taiwan but this is her first trip back since 1992. Please keep them both in your prayers as they travel and work in Taiwan, then return to the States on June 24th.

And please keep Jimmie Hill, our Director of Publications, in your prayers. He has been experiencing some potentially serious health problems for several months but no clear diagnosis has yet been given. He is scheduled to have a second brain MRI on June 16th to determine if the lesion found there was caused by a stroke or is a tumor.

Some months the bad seems to outweigh the good in this report, but we know that God is in control and He will provide. Our job is to spread the Gospel of Christ around the world, and we continue to do just that. Thank you for being a part of this work.

Staff of Truth for the World

Jimmie's Bio

I am the Bible Correspondence Course Coordinator for Truth for the World. I am responsible for the Internet Bible course students and their teachers and for informing all teachers, both overseas and in the States, regarding courses, changes, and other information pertaining to the work. I am also responsible for seeing that all teachers have the supplies required for the work and laying out Bible correspondence courses and making corrections as needed. I also do follow-up both overseas and in the States for all teachers, and travel on behalf of Truth for the World to raise funds for and to promote the Bible correspondence work. I also serve as the editor for Truth for the World and am responsible for editing all publications and writing various pieces of literature as needed for the work.

I received a two-year diploma from the Florida School of Preaching in 1984 and a third-year diploma in 1986. I also received a BA in Bible from Tennessee Bible College in 1993 and an MA in Christian Doctrine and Apologetics in 1997.

My wife, Linda, and I began doing campaign work in January of 1983 and have continued to do campaigns both in the States and overseas. These campaigns have taken place in Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, throughout the South Pacific, Africa and in Europe. I have also preached full-time in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia and currently serve as an elder for the New Hope Road Church of Christ in Dacula, Georgia.

I am thankful to be in my tenth year with Truth for the World and working with the Duluth Church of Christ. I am also thankful for their support and oversight of this work and for all that support this work. It is my prayer that God's richest blessings will be poured upon each. I am looking for continued success in many Gospel endeavors and this to the glory of God.

- Jimmie

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Linda's Bio

I was born an Arizona Desert Rat – Tucson to be precise – but left there when I was three. After a short stop in Dallas, Texas, I grew up in Orlando, Florida. But my family roots spring from eastern Tennessee and that has always felt like home.

As a child I attended the Church of God with my parents, yet I had already begun to have serious doubts about many of their Pentecostal practices before my marriage to Jimmie in 1973. Still, I was slow to listen and did not obey the Gospel until 1981. Six months later Jimmie enrolled in the Florida School of Preaching and our lives were forever changed.

I had worked in the insurance industry since high school as a way to finance college courses at night and in the process had risen to a Multi-line Commercial Underwriter, so I continued working in Orlando as our sole financial support while Jimmie studied in Lakeland. But I was forced to quit my job to travel to Ghana with Jimmie on our first foreign campaign in 1983. That 6-week trip was a worst-case scenario – an attempted coup, closed borders & military checkpoints, curfews & machine gunfire at night, drought, famine, water rationing, no gasoline in the country, even a cholera epidemic. I still think of it as the Campaign to Gehenna! But that campaign also began a lifelong commitment to mission work. When we returned I joined Jimmie at the Florida School of Preaching until we were blessed with our first and only child, Julie, in 1985.

In 1987 the three of us moved to the tiny island of Tutuila in American Samoa to be full-time missionaries. For the next five years Jimmie did most of the traveling but I was able to teach ladies’ classes in American Samoa, Western Samoa and Tonga. I also began another career as homeschool teacher to Julie. We returned to the States so that Jimmie could get additional education, then the Hill family did located work in Florida and Tennessee. Soon, though, Jimmie began to use his vacation time each year to make foreign campaigns. Then Truth for the World called us to Mississippi in 1998. I joined the staff temporarily in 1999 in order to learn enough to train a replacement since the present secretary would not be making the move to Georgia, and I’m still there. I became the office manager in 2005.

I don’t seem to get much time for hobbies, but when possible I do enjoy reading, writing, handcrafts, genealogy, junking, antique auctions, and collecting Coke memorabilia. But for the past 2 years my favorite activity by far has been playing with my adorable grandson, Cole.

- Linda