Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 2011 Report

Dear Brethren,              
            On August 1st the IBTM Africa Campaign team prepared to depart.  But the plane bound for Johannesburg, South Africa, sat on the tarmac with all the passengers and crew on board.  It was ready to go - all except for the storm overheard.  After a two hour delay, the flight took to the skies and on to its destination – only not to its original destination.  The flight now was bound for Paris, France.  On arrival in Paris, there were flights available that evening – but not to Johannesburg.  That connecting flight would not be available until the next morning and so there was an overnight stay in Paris. The campaign group finally made it to Johannesburg and then the final connections were made to Livingstone, Zambia.  Everyone one was happy – except some of the team didn’t have their luggage. With the luggage recovered and day and a half lost in weather delays, the team made it and began their work in Zambia.
            Many missions trip begin or are interrupted with events such as this.  This is an aspect of every mission trip that one must look forward to as a missionary.  It happens!  Fortunately, it does not happen all the time.  But this time, I missed all of this excitement. I was not able to leave for Zambia on this mission trip August 1.
            After returning from a mission trip to Australia, New Zealand, and American Samoa earlier this year, I felt terrible and went to see my family doctor. It was determined that I had thyrotoxicosis. It seems that my thyroid doctor gave me an extremely high dosage of synthroid and it went toxic in my system. After having my liver, heart, kidneys, and seemingly ever other part of my body checked out, I was found to be in good shape – except the thyrotoxicosis gave me anemia and my hemoglobin dropped considerably.  My family doctor got my thyroid medicine under control and I am now taking prescription iron for the anemia, which I understand takes a few months to get over.  I am now feeling better. (How do doctors determine whether you are getting well?  They weigh your wallet.) 
            So the reason I did not make the trip to Zambia this year was precautionary.  My family doctor reasoned that if I needed a blood transfusion due to the anemia that I would not want to have one in Africa.  He was right. And due to the fatigue, lack of vitality, rapid heart rate, etc., I truly have not felt like producing a newsletter for a few months.  I beg your forgiveness please.
            But now that I am feeling better, I am gearing up for Africa next year.  I am raising funds for books for students of the International College of the Bible, Bibles for the peoples of Africa, good, used suits for the students of schools of preaching, postage to get these materials overseas, and personal support (I am down about 35% from last year). 
            Brethren, I sincerely ask your continued prayers for these good works.  I also
thank those of you that continue to support this work.  The needs are there and prayer does change things.  Consider letting me come and present this work to you.
            May our God be with each of you.

In Christ Who Saves,
Jimmie B.Hill

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Greetings from Georgia!

I always liked math . . . until I took college statistics ages ago.  For the first time I found numbers boring.  Charts and graphs of business revenues or people surveyed were mind-numbing.  I mention this tidbit of trivia because one of the things I do for IBTM is keep the statistics on our work - and suddenly those numbers are not boring at all!  In fact, I find them fascinating.  I quickly realized what made the difference – my statistics each have a soul attached.

Take our websites, for instance.  When I say that they have gotten 32,500 visits this year, there’s a person reading the Gospel on their computer screen every time.   Of the 195 nations who have sent visitors, USA is #1 which no surprise. 

But I was surprised that of the 775 US cities who sent visitors, none sent as many as Accra (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lahore (Pakistan), Manila (Philippines) or New Delhi (India) did.  Yet China really surprised me.  In many nations our visitors are limited to just the capital, or a handful of the larger cities.  But our visitors from China have been from 224 cities scattered all over that country.  In all so far this year our visitors have come from at least 2,081 different cities around the
world.  And the traffic to the website just keeps increasing.

Our correspondence students do, too.  We now have over 900 online students from 96 nations enrolled.  That just blows me away because our online program really didn’t get into full swing until February.  But it has been keeping me and our great team of teachers busy ever since.

The Internet is truly an amazing thing.  How else could I or someone else like me be at home in Georgia, or vacationing in another state, or traveling to another country and still teach someone the Gospel of Christ on the other side of the world?  It’s a teaching tool that we really need to use more for the Lord.

Speaking of home, this summer has been difficult since Jimmie’s recovery from first the thyrotoxicosis and now anemia has been so slow.  He isn’t quite there yet, but he is definitely better.  Please continue to keep both him and our work in your prayers.

In Christian love,
Linda Hill

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