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Bible study sparks mother-daughter trip

ROGERS, Ark. (BP)–For 80-year-old “Miss Johnie” Lynch, age was no deterrent to a 1,000-mile road trip from Alabama to Arkansas with her two daughters to attend a Bible study.

The daughters surprised their mother at Christmas with a gift of a trip from Alabama to Arkansas to attend “Going Beyond,” a Bible study event led by Priscilla Shirer, a Bible teacher and author from Dallas.

Lynch, who hosts a weekly ladies’ Bible study in her home, and her daughter, Dixie Duncan, are members of Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison, Ala.

“We’ve done lots of LifeWay Bible studies — Beth Moore, Angela Thomas, Priscilla Shirer — everyone,” Duncan said. “But last fall when we did ‘He Speaks to Me’ by Priscilla, we all were so touched by the way it taught us to pray so much more intentionally. It’s the best study we’ve ever done.”

Lynch agreed. “I’ve been a Christian a long time and have always prayed, but I learned how to do it even better.”

When Lynch mentioned she would “just love to go hear Priscilla teach someday,” Duncan and her sister, Judy Allen, decided a trip to a Going Beyond event would be the perfect Christmas gift. Allen, a member of Westwood Baptist Church in Maylene, Ala., was familiar with Shirer’s studies as well.

“We try to give Mom something for Christmas that she can use,” Duncan said. “This year, though, we really surprised her.”

Allen added, “We made her a big card out of a map of Alabama and Arkansas. We put a little Matchbox car on it and put little pictures of our heads on the car. Then we drew the route and ended it at Rogers with a little Razorback in a car and a picture of Priscilla.”

It took their mother a few minutes to catch on. “I looked at that card and wondered what in the world that was all about,” Lynch said. “I saw us in the little car and then asked the girls if we were going on a trip. They said yes. Then I recognized Priscilla. It started to dawn on me what they had done. Oh, I was so thrilled!”

So off they headed for the Feb. 22-23 Going Beyond event at The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Ark., sponsored by the LifeWay Women outreach of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Lynch’s daughters both sing, so when they got in the car Duncan and Allen cranked up the praise and worship music and sang all the way to Arkansas. “I know we made Mom about half deaf.”

“But I loved it,” Lynch said. “Their job was to sing and my job [was] to pray for no ice. It was cold and rainy and the temperature kept falling. I prayed that God wouldn’t let it get icy. I want you to know that the lowest the temperature went was 33 degrees. I was so thankful.”

The opportunity to spend the time with her mother and sister was a blessing, Allen said. “We’ve always been close,” she said, “but this was a different experience than any we’ve ever shared.”

All three women agreed the Going Beyond event exceeded all their expectations.

“We knew Going Beyond would be good, because we knew from the video that Priscilla is such a gifted teacher,” Duncan said. “But I don’t think any of us imagined how much we would get out of the entire experience.”

Lynch added, “The praise and worship time [at the event] just added so much to the wonderful teaching time with Priscilla.”

Melissa Wilson, LifeWay’s coordinator for the Going Beyond events, said, “This was just such a blessing to get to meet these ladies…. Seeing a mother and her daughters doing a road trip and praising and worshipping together is an inspiration. I hope more mothers and daughters will take the opportunity to do something like this.”

Lynch told Wilson that the trip was one of the best experiences of her life. Then, to add one more highlight, the three women were surprised when Wilson arranged for them to meet Shirer.

“When I heard about them, I just had to meet them,” Shirer said. “I loved their story and felt so blessed that I could share in part of it.”
Polly House is a corporate communications specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. LifeWay will sponsor four more Going Beyond events in 2008: April 25-26 in Charlotte, N.C.; Aug. 8-9 in Troy, Mich.; Sept. 26-27 in Bossier City, La.; and Oct. 3-4 in Hendersonville, Tenn. For more information, go to www.lifeway.com/women.

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  • Polly House