Monday, June 10, 2013

Stops in Searcy and Paragould, AR

We enjoyed a wonderful time in Searcy, Arkansas.   We arrived at Harding University and took their last motor home parking space.   School is out so there are few on the campus.  We enjoyed a good dinner at Dixie Café with Lolita and Ed Higginbotham.   We went back to their beautiful home for cheesecake and ice cream.  They are a lot of fun to be with and we had such a delightful time.

Lolita has a small cake underneath a glass cake dome that says 50 Years on a little sign that is stuck in the side of the cake.  The cake has red roses and the cake has white icing.  It is very pretty.  She explained that it was actually the top section of their 50th wedding anniversary cake when they had a big party.  I asked her when this was and she said it was in 2011.  It still looks like it’s so fresh you could slice it and eat it.  My eyes grew big and I said, “You mean you’ve kept it like this for two years?”   She nodded her head “yes”.   I said, “I didn’t know you could keep a cake like this.”   Lolita casually said, “I didn’t either, but apparently you can.”   I burst out laughing as I found this very amusing.   There’s no mold on the cake.  Ed says it is a little smaller; he thinks it’s shrunk a little.  Lolita says that sugar is a good preservative and since they are diabetics, they just keep it to look at.   She said the secret was keeping the top on tight…if someone lifts it and air gets inside, it will probably collapse.  It’s as pretty as the ceramic pies you can buy that look good enough to eat.   
Ed taught at Harding until a few years ago.  Lolita may have also taught.  They have been active in the work of the church and taught English in China on several occasions.  They still work with the College church and are actively involved with the Chinese students.  They have many contacts with Chinese friends in China.

One day, we went with them to the Whistle Stop Restaurant for BBQ.  It is a neat restaurant named after the one featured in Fried Green Tomatoes that is actually in Georgia.  They have lots of old stuff on the walls and hanging everywhere.  Pictures of Ed (as a very young man helping at a camp) was posted on the wall.    The BBQ was excellent.  Service was good because the waitresses all know Ed and Lolita.  This restaurant has prepared complete free meals for some of the Harding sports teams.   A couple joined us.  Gordon and Jane Hogan are seasoned missionaries, who spent a long time in Singapore, Pakistan and maybe other countries.  Gordon was Director or President of Four Seas Bible College in Singapore for 17 years.  It was so interesting to meet them.   Enoch Thweatt and his wife came over to the table to see us.  They live in Nashville now but were missionaries to Taiwan for a number of years.  We had not seen them since we left Nashville about 10 years ago. 
Ron spoke at the College Church of Christ on Wednesday night.  I told him I would have been terribly intimidated to speak before this group because there were many former preachers and missionaries present.  Ron was overwhelmed at the many men who came up to talk with him and compliment him on the work we do in China.

The night before, Ed and Lolita had arranged for Chinese students to meet us at a Chinese Buffet at 5 p.m. for a presentation about our work in China and dinner afterwards.  We took one of their small dining rooms and set it up to show the power point on the wall.  One girl, in particular, had worked in a hospital in China and she is very interested.  There were 22 present and they were all polite and thanked us for the presentation and for our work with the Chinese people.
We had a great time in Searcy and look forward to our next visit.  We left on Friday, June 7th for Paragould, AR.   Ron gave a report this past Sunday to Liberty Hill Church of Christ.  They have supported our work for about 12 years.   We didn’t have an appointment Sunday night so we visited the Center Hill congregation in Paragould and made some contacts there.  It’s a very friendly church.  We were invited to eat with one of their care groups after services and enjoyed getting to meet quite a few people. 

We feel at home with Christians everywhere we go.  It’s amazing that we trust and love each other with the bond we share in Christ.  We meet so many wonderful people along the way so it makes our traveling interesting.   We still just tolerate the RV lifestyle and the burden of traveling.  It’s just the necessary part of the work.

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