Monday, May 25, 2009

Brag Book

Okay, I haven't bragged about my incredibly wonderful grandson for a while, and that just won't do.

Cole is a very bright 3-year-old now who continues to keep us entertained.

Jimmie introduced him to fishing recently and Cole loved it.

He was especially fascinated by the worms


But the picnic afterwards wasn't bad either.

- Linda

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 2009 Report

Dear Christian Friend,

Someone once said, “Spring is a heart full of hope and a shoe full of rain.” What a wonderful description! Well, we have certainly had enough rain to fill several shoes, and hope is needed every day. So is there anything hopeful at Truth for the World this month? Yes! Things like:

• The campaign to Iceland. William & Katrece Howard and Jimmie & Linda Hill just spent two weeks in April edifying the brethren on this island at the top of the world. They taught on such topics as the authority of Christ, evangelism, the responsibility of the congregation, and the role of women in the home and the church. We hope that this young congregation can become strong in the faith so that future efforts can spread the Gospel to this nation of more than 300,000.
• The Gospel meeting with the Baldwin Church of Christ in Milledgeville, Georgia. The Truth for the World staff will be preaching a series on What Is Truth? for this five day meeting May 17 – 21, 2009. If you are in the area we hope you can come.
• The campaign to Malaysia and Singapore. John Grubb leaves on May 29th for almost 2 weeks of work with our Chinese brethren. He will be speaking on the Chinese Asian Bible Lectureship at Johor Bahru, preaching at several congregations around Malaysia, and attending the Four Seasons College Lectureship in Singapore. We hope he has a safe and productive trip.
• Getting letters like this one from a teacher in Nigeria –

Praise God, I caught a big fish. A Muslim leader and scholar and his wife obeyed the gospel after reading one of your tracts “Jesus or Mohammed”. He was baptized with his wife on January 11, 2009. His name is El-Marout Owolabi, he has 18 followers who has also shown wiliness for baptism. I have started a home Bible study in his house, in two weeks time we will start church in his house. Please pray for this efforts.

Our days are looking very hopeful. This must be Spring.

Staff of Truth for the World

Iceland Recap

Dear brethren,

William and Katrece Howard, Linda and I had a very productive trip to Iceland. I am glad that Linda and I both had the opportunity to go and take part in this good work. The main purpose of this effort was the edification of the brethren there in the Word of God and to encourage them by letting them know that being the only Christians in Iceland did not isolate them from the body of Christ.

In our periods of worship and in our daily Bible classes we emphasized some of the basic facts of the Gospel. William and I taught the New Testament pattern of the work and worship of the local congregation. We taught the authority of Christ and how His New Testament superceded the Old Testament in law and authority and how that was done via the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the apostles, and other divinely inspired writers. Linda and Katrece taught the sisters there concerning the women’s role in the work and worship of the Lord’s church and God’s ideal woman and the Christian family. The Icelandic brethren were both amazed and pleased that the Word of God was so complete in instruction and that, for the most part, it was not difficult to understand. We also had Question and Answer sessions and received some deep and difficult questions. These questions proved to be profitable, however, in that they provided even more subjects for study and discussion.

The next trip to Iceland is still in the planning stages and will probably take place in the fall of this year. Please pray for the brethren there that their zeal for the Lord would continue to grow and that they will have the conviction to do whatever the Lord demands.

This trip to Iceland was also a personal test for me. Not to dwell on the subject but, the medicine I am taking is to aggressively fight the cancer in my body. However, it has one huge side effect - it makes me extremely tired. This trip to Iceland was the first mission trip I have taken since the surgery last year and was a test to see how far I could push myself and accomplish something good for the Lord’s work. The way I reasoned was this: if I am going to be tired whether I do anything or not, then, I may as well do all that I can do regardless, within reason.

With that said, please know that I will not be going to Malawi in October this year as originally planned. Driving to and from the classes through the bush and teaching for four hours each day is too strenuous at this point it time. Brother Yaw Boateng and I will not be going to Ghana or England this year as we hoped. Our contacts there did not work out and so we are looking at 2010.

I am going to Zambia this year. Brother Ron Gilbert has asked me to go with him to teach in the Bible School there and also to hold some meetings while we are there. The travel will not be difficult and the flights over will not be as long (a twenty-two hour flight is a long flight). The trip will not be as strenuous and tiring as the trip to Malawi. We will be leaving August 03 and returning August 29. I will need approximately $4,000.00 for this effort. If you can help defray the expenses of this effort please send them to Truth for the World, Post Office Box 5048, Duluth, Georgia 30096-0065 and mark them Hill Missions – Zambia.

Thank you for your continued support and may our kind, loving, and merciful God continue His richest blessings upon you as you do His good will.

In Christ Who Saves,
Jimmie B. Hill

Greetings from Georgia!

I kept a daily journal of our trip on our blog and have been posting pictures since our return, so I hope you have been able to see it. Iceland was incredibly cold when the wind blew, spectacularly beautiful when the skies were clear, and fascinating all the time. The brethren were very sweet, but there is still a tremendous amount they need to learn to be settled and grounded in the faith. I believe our trip served a good purpose for the Lord’s kingdom.

In Christian Love,
Linda Hill

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Iceland - Travel Day #3

The day after our Gospel workshop ended we had our last travel day. William knew immediately where we should go - the Snæfelsnes Peninsula north of Reykajvik. On a very clear day you could see the mountain range across the water from Keflavik. But when we started out that morning it was definitely not a clear day.

Jimmie, our photographer, soon began to complain . . . "you've seen one snow-covered mountain, you've seen them all" . . . but I still disagree. Thankfully, he continued to capture each one I admired.

I think this was the fjord that we drove through a tunnel under the water to get to the other side.

We crossed this bridge to get to Borgarnes where it snowed on us going and coming. At Borgarnes we branched off the Ring Road and started around the south side of the Peninsula.

Within minutes the snow stopped and the skies began to clear. It also turned colder, if that is possible, and the winds soon became a major concern.

Even with icy winds so strong Jimmie and William could scarsely stand in it, they continued to stop for pictures. William hasn't suddenly gained 50 pounds here - that's just the wind ballooning his clothes. Katrece and I wisely chose to stay inside the car.

Then suddenly we rounded a curve, and the wind just disappeared.

The sign by this hole claimed that this was where the Journey to the Center of the Earth began. I don't think so.

The best road signs we found in Iceland!

A sod-covered house.

The sign said this is a monument to the glacier, Snæfelsjokull. Maybe. It was in Icelandic so it was a little hard to be sure.

"Hurry! I'm freezing over here!"

Snæfelsjokull, the glacier made famous by Jules Verne. We chose to stay on the coast for a safer road so we got a more distant view of the glacier . . .

. . . but an incredible view of the lava beach in front of it.

The small white specks on the side of this formation are actually sea birds nesting on the rock.

Some of the lava field between Snæfelsjokull and the beach.

Snæfelsjokull is actually one of the smallest glaciers in Iceland. Only the snowy peak sitting on top of the Snæfels Mountain is the glacier.

Finally, we continued on around the peninsula to other snow-capped mountains.

Back to civilization. Olafsvik is a small fishing village on the north side of the peninsula.

Shortly after this we took the low mountain pass across the peninsula. The temperature promptly dropped to 29 degrees so we drove on icy slush, but made it safely down the other side and headed back to Reykjavik.

We only saw a very small portion of this incredible country. I hope these pictures have helped you to see some of the unique beauty God created at the top of the world.

- Linda

Monday, May 4, 2009

Iceland - Travel Day #2

I almost called this Travel Day # 1 1/2 since it wasn't actually a planned travel day. We were simply headed into Reykjavik to Morgunblaðið (the local newspaper). But about the time everyone knew for sure that we had somehow missed it, William spotted the road to Þingvellir. As he made a quick turn he said that famous phrase, "This won't take long."

Mountains and snow are a major part of the beauty of Iceland, but we had overcast skies this day so the pictures are not as spectacular as what we actually saw. This was part of the chain along the road to Þingvellir.

Trees in Iceland - not typical.

Þingvellir (pronounced Thing-ved-learrrr . . . always roll the r's) is the #1 most important historical site in Iceland. It is the site of the open-air Parliament that set the laws for Iceland, Althingi, first established in 930 and continued until 1798 when it moved indoors.

The area was chosen because it was accessible to everyone in Iceland, if you didn't mind crossing a few glaciers, and there was plenty of space. Plus there were huge rock formations that could be used as a platform by those who wanted to speak.

But the location of Þingvillir has another unique feature. Iceland sits across the joining of 2 of the earths tectonic plates. Frequent earthquakes along these plates happen at Þingvillir, making it an ever changing geological wonder.

Almost the first thing we were asked by Icelanders was "Have you been to Þingvillir yet?" I was very glad that we could answer "Yes!"

As we left Þingvillir William followed a road sign that simply said "Geysir". That was the last direction sign we would see for quite a while. The road turned to dirt and took us to the top of the mountain ridge. Remember the ridge I showed you at the beginning of this post?

We now appeared to be riding along the top spine of that ridge, almost as high as the other mountain ranges in the distance. It was a spectacular view and the road was good so I wasn't too concerned . . . until we came to a little knoll with a sign that we were about to go down the mountain at a 14 degree incline. William started scrambling for the lowest gear possible on that Toyota then we topped the knoll and got a look. The narrow, dirt road took a dive straight down with no guard rail and only those yellow sticky-up things on the rocky mountain side. I wish I could show you a picture! The most startling view of the whole trip, and no one thought about the camera.

After getting back to sea level we found the road to Geysir, the granddaddy of all geysers and where they all got their name.

Geysir shot boiling hot water up to 200 feet into the air for more than 500 years, but has now gotten lazy and stirs only rarely.

Little Geysir is a tiny geyser with spurts only a few inches. But at almost 250 degrees that is still nothing to play with.

Then there is Strokkur. Strokkur erupts every 8-10 minutes spewing hot water 60 to 100 feet in the air

Strokkur was absolutely fascinating, but for an area filled with hot springs the temperature was amazingly cold. After half and hour Jimmie and I went in search of somewhere warm.

And a little farther down the same road there was Gullfoss, something not even mentioned on our map. We pulled over for a look.

It was one of the prettiest falls I have ever seen. William and Katrece took the walk down close to the falls so they got some up close and personal shots.

But the cold was extreme here too. We finally found the highway to Reykjavik and headed back.

And when we got there the very first thing I saw - Morgunblaðið. It was just around the corner from where we got on that road to start with earlier. We should have turned south instead of north.