Linda and I, along with Ron and Caroline Gilbert, had a most successful trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Pago Pago, American Samoa. But instead of writing the details of that mission trip here, I would direct you to read of all our efforts on our blog, http://www.hillmission.blogspot.com. We sincerely thank all who made this mission trip possible. May our God continue to bless each of you.
On my next mission trip, in conjunction with my work, International Bible Teaching Ministries, I have the opportunity to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Livingstone, Zambia and Nkoranza, Ghana. During this mission effort, we will be holding Gospel meetings in Masika, Siamafumba, and Livingstone, teach classes in the Zambia School of Biblical Studies and the Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies. We will also teach classes in the International College of the Bible, and do many one-on-one Bible studies. In Nkoranza, Ghana we will also hold Gospels meetings and teach daily classes for the brethren. I will have the pleasure to work with brother Ronald Gilbert, brother Barry Gilreath, and brother and sister Rusty and Laura Stark. Brother Gilbert and I will then be going on to Ghana from Zambia. I will be leaving the States August 01 and returning August 30, 2011.
I need to raise $4,000.00 for airfare, food, and lodging for this effort. If you can help with supplying these funds, please send your contributions to the Hill Mission Fund, NEW HOPE ROAD CHURCH OF CHRIST, Post Office Box 1334, Dacula, Georgia 30019 and make out your checks to Hill Mission Fund – Africa.
In addition to the $4,000.00, I am also trying to raise money for Bibles and bicycles for the work. We can buy and ship a paperback NKJV New Testament for $1.76 and a complete NKJV Bible for $3.50. We can also purchase hardbound Bibles in the native tongues of the people for about $10.00 each. We purchase bicycles for each graduate of the two schools of preaching so that they can reach the lost in the bush areas of their nations. The cost of these bicycles ranges from $100.00 to $120.00. If you wish to send money for bicycles or Bibles, please know that every penny you send will be spent only on those items.
Thank you once again for your continued support and thank you once again, in advance, for helping with this mission effort in Africa. You, indeed, are the backbone of our work together for the Lord. If you have any questions, please contact me via post, email, or by phone. We would be glad to talk with you.
In Christ Who Saves,
Greetings from Georgia!
I can’t believe our campaign ended 3 weeks ago. In many ways it was absolutely wonderful and in others it was excruciatingly difficult. Meeting new brethren and reacquainting with old friends was a joy. Traveling over 25,000 miles in 3 weeks while dealing with sickness, exhaustion and stressful situations was not. And since our return we have continued to be swamped. Two of my duties with IBTM are assigning online BCC students to a teacher when they enroll and assisting teachers when they have problems. I managed to keep those current during the trip, but all of my record-keeping and statistical chores were quietly multiplying in Georgia. It took me a week to catch up and before I finished a new problem had hit.
Four days after our return Jimmie suddenly became very ill - exhausted to the extreme, hurt all over and had trouble breathing. He had fought a chest cold while on campaign so now figured it had turned to infection. I made him an appointment with our family doctor and drove him to it expecting to head home later with antibiotics. But Jimmie didn’t even make it to the examining room before he had the staff in a tizzy. The nurse took his blood pressure, shook her head muttering “that can’t be right”, changed equipment and took it again, then again. She grabbed another nurse to take it who had an identical reaction – then took off down the hall to get the doctor. When he got the same thing, Jimmie said the doctor became visibly upset and sprang into action. I was waiting in the examining room wondering what was going on, so was very surprised when Jimmie arrived with an EKG machine being wheeled in right behind him. When that charted as normal the doctor jumped on the phone with a cardiologist, then ordered us to the hospital for blood work. I’m afraid that Jimmie and I were completely baffled by this point. As our doctor explained, we just did not understand how strange Jimmie’s blood pressure reading was. The two numbers – systolic and diastolic – are supposed to go up or down together but Jimmie’s had split. The top number was a bit high, but the bottom number had dropped extremely low. This is a very rare occurrence that indicates heart problems.
Just minutes after returning home from the hospital lab the doctor called with the results. The thyroid replacement medicine Jimmie takes had become toxic in his blood. The doctor had already talked with Jimmie’s endocrinologist and the dosage was being reduced, but there was still the fear that Jimmie’s heart had been damaged by it. (The endocrinologist had kept Jimmie on a double dose since his thyroid was removed almost 3 years ago to prohibit the growth of new thyroid cells that might be cancerous.) Minutes after that we got word that the cardiologist wanted Jimmie in his office now, as soon as we could get there. So began a slew of tests over the next week. ALL came back GOOD. Not only did the doctor not find damage, he said that Jimmie’s heart is in great shape. For that we thank God and all of you who prayed for him! Jimmie continues to feel better each day as the toxicity decreases.
Back at work, the statistics I keep show tremendous growth in our outreach this year. We’ve had website visits from 185 nations with more than 4,000 souls now coming monthly to read the Gospel materials. 400+ students from 64 nations have enrolled in IBTM’s online Bible correspondence program while 150 brethren from 13 nations are taking college-level courses with ICOTB. These and other stats are very exciting! But doing this mission takes money - money to live and money to work. Support for both of these areas is severely lacking and of great concern. Please pray that we will be able to continue this effort.
In Christian love,