great controversy book work

high times

Last Thursday i departed Pune for Bangalore by bus. A sleeper-coach, it was supposed to complete its 850something km journey in around 17 hours, but instead, took nearly 23. Indian buses have improved much since i first took one with a huge hole in the re-rubberized tread in 1998, and this one even had nice sleeper compartments where people could lay down. I did not pay the extra 200Rs for that, choosing to sit for 600Rs instead. A man kept me pleasant company for a few hours, then someone else came to sit next to me, then someone else, and yes, it was a bit of a merry-go-round. No, it wasn’t that people were getting on and off, just that sometimes people sat here, then sometimes there, and sometimes everywhere. I’m pretty used to that on the train, but this was the first time to experience that on a long-journey bus.

The countryside was quite interesting, with pockets of extreme filth, but the countryside is generally green without the pungent smells associated with the cities. There were many rock-granite hills and mountains, and two long climbs up the mountain providing beautiful vistas and twisting mountain roads. Fortunately both lanes were for hill-climbers, so we didn’t have to meet any on-coming traffic. I can imagine many fiery accidents in the past tho, as Indian drivers are not necessarily known for their polite manners.

The bus stops around 3:30pm for lunch, then around 10:15pm for supper. Fortunately i’m prepared, and have a chapati (and nothing else) lunch while waiting in the travel office, and then nothing for supper as the ups and downs of life have made my stomach a little jolty.

The green jacket with hood is quite handy for keeping any potential blood-suckers off me (i think from past experience while drawing my hands up in my sleeves), and don’t pay too much attention when i feel a couple of bites on my hands in the early nite hours. I get a bit concerned then when the other hand gets some bites too, and start looking carefully for the nasty, winged, long-probiscosed blood suckers, but don’t see even one. Hmmm, that’s odd i think as i draw my hands up, and wrap the jacket tighter around me. Wish now that i’d been thinking along different lines. Realizing that things were getting worse instead of better, i made a thorough examination of my white seat cover and skin, but finding nothing, resigned myself to a nite of itching and scratching. What i didn’t know, was that the whole Red Cross brigade had come out, and was intent on taking all of my blood! I never did find what caused the 150+ bites that nite, but seeing the pattern of how they clustered around where my clothes became tight, i imagine it was either bedbugs or some kind of mite, like what we called when i was little – “chiggers”. Scratch scratch scratch,,,, scratch, scratch, scratch.,,scratch scratch all the way…………..

moving from pune

By God’s grace, i’ve survived 4 1/2 months in Pune, India. The incredible noise, electrical outages, unhygiene, lack of logical reasoning, cheating, and general disregard for laws are very difficult obstacles to overcome when attempting to get anything accomplished. Yet, for all this, i would have been happy to stay here IF there would have been a few young people who would like to dedicate themselves wholly to the Lord’s service in giving their time and talents and energy into making a 3D animation of the 1858 Great Controversy book. But they were not to be found. No doubt they are there somewhere, as this is a vast country, but i was not led to them.

But i had a wonderful experience in homeschooling 2 young children of the family i stayed with. To see them grow in stature and wisdom, and in favor with God and man – that is so wonderful to see. And to think i had a little part in guiding them on that narrow way, it fills me with a sense of wonder, and fearfulness at the awesome responsibility of raising up children to serve the Lord. There were some precious times of worship together, especially with the father of the household, that makes me glad to have come to India. He even started a web page to try and spread the good news of Three Angels’ Messages at:

Lord willing, i’ll be on a bus to Bangalore tomorrow, stay with a pastor’s family a few days, then go down to Erode and be Brother Bill Dull’s orphanage/seminary called Springs of Joy i think, and then back up to Bangalore for the Southern Asia Youth for Jesus meetings, then off to Bangkok on the 29th.

Dear Jesus, please bless this family, may they always want to follow and serve you. May the mother give up all her bondages and serve you with all her heart, mind, and soul. May the children always remember and do the 2 things you have to do to go to heaven:
1. Believe in Jesus as the Son of God
2. Do what he says
May the father be comforted by you, may he be able to spread the truth about you thru the printed page and thru direct evangelism. Lord, please raise up some kind of monetary means to support him, so he can work full-time for you. Please may we all meet in heaven is my prayer – Amen.

Jesus for mumbai meeting’s report

The “Jesus for Mumbai” meetings last week ended on Sunday. The people living there were quite discouraged by the low turnout (around 70-100 per nite), but i told them that even if there was just one who received benefit from it, then it was worthwhile. One pastor said it even better when he said: “We just do the work we are told to do – to spread your bread on all the waters, and then we trust in God that he will do his part by sending his Holy Spirit to work on hearts.” That was encouraging! Myself tho, i had several excellent experiences, and praise God that i had an opportunity to serve him in that capacity for a few days.

I was told to have the health talks, so each meeting i gave around a 10-minute talk which was translated into Tamil, and then into Hindi. I talked about eating fresh fruits, drinking lots of water (especially on awaking), whole grains (the bread of life), increasing your immunity, and regularity in all our actions. God gave me good freedom to speak, and i pray the people were blessed.

It was great to see that the producers of the meetings had all the food prepared before the Sabbath. They also happily saw to it that all the bottled water was delivered before the Sabbath. On Friday evening, while practicing singing with two Brothers, it hit me that the music man and video man were being paid to work for us on the Sabbath hours. In talking with the music man, i found out that while he was getting money, it wasn’t a “money” gig, he was basically doing it as a favor for the meetings. The video man however was asked to stop, which he did on the holy time on Saturday, but not on Friday nite.

On Friday morning there was a nice meeting for all the students taking tuition from one of the SDA families there. 97 children came, and it was nice to see them singing Christian songs and listening to a Christian message, something which is not usual for them. It brought back memories of my students in Japan, and made me wish that i had brought all of them together at least once to have a Christian witness meeting for them….. Lord, please forgive me for not doing much for my students in Japan, to lead them to eternal life. Yes, they all knew i was Christian, and i did have Bible studies with several of them, but i wasn’t near as strong about it as i should have been. I don’t want to see any of them going to the fire………..

The main speaker was Pastor John Willmott. A hall had been rented in a Christian school, and of the 5 nites, 2 of the nites saw wedding parties on the same grounds with the attendant noise. Our meetings got quite noisy too, and i counseled the music people twice to have more melodious music, but after one or two songs they went back to the heavy almost rap-like beat. After 45 minutes, your stomach tends to turn upside down, and the relish for spiritual food is mostly gone. Fortunately, many of those who sponsored the meetings agreed that the music should be better next time 🙂

On Sabbath i was able to have a deep Bible study with 3 young people, one of whom is not yet Christian. We studied the last part of Matthew 5, and then several verses in Matthew 24 about how Jesus will return. I also had an interesting experience giving away Steps to Christ and 1858 Great Controversy books to those Christian groups who were having worship services in other rooms of the school complex. I only sold 3 1858gc books, but was happy to see that everyone was happy to receive a laminated printing of a beautiful drawing of Jesus’ Second Coming.

There were some things which could, and should be done better next time, but all in all, i believe it was a great start to evangelizing the Tamil-speaking population in Mumbai, and am very thankful to having been asked to pay a small part in this great work. Courage Brothers and Sisters!

best laid plans of mice and daniel

In laying plans to make this Great Controversy movie, i had decided quite long ago that India would be the best place to do it. There are friends in India who would be willing to have me stay with them. There are lots of animation schools, and many young SDA people who not only already have been trained in this area, but they would be happy to work for a decent salary to use their skills for the glory of God. I thot. The reality is, while the first parts of the equation worked out well enough, the last item did not. I just can’t find anyone willing to work for a “decent” salary. The young people i’ve met all want to work for a big company, making wages that far exceed what their parents make.

Along with the difficulties of living in this place, police killing innocent people to get promoted, people getting run over by motorbikes or cars very often, people throwing trash just everywhere, the general attitude of doing the exact opposite of “do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”, the lack of coherent thinking, the cheating, the noise, the filth, the ridiculousness of what is said and done and believed — it is all very hard to take. But if for Jesus, of course we take it. This whole world is a crazy place compared to what he made it like, and i’m sure it was difficult for him to live in this hell-hole of a planet.

Just this week, the man who lives in this house said he went to vote, but when he got there, they told him he had already voted. He protested, but they showed him the book with his name already marked off. Finally 5 drunk policemen carried him out of the polling place. There is no democracy here it seems. Oh yes, it seems that votes are costing about 4usd each, and even our SDA brethren are congratulating themselves at making “easy” money. Have they not learned anything from the Bible?

So around three weeks ago i started getting serious about finding a new venue to carry forward this animation work. My friend in Tbilisi gave me a good idea of working in his English language school, then i could have plenty of free time for this project, and perhaps he could find some people interested in helping. But there were two sticking points, and they were not satisfied. I MUST be able to walk in harmony with anyone i link up with. I cannot, and will not, spend my time trying to give glory to God, while working with someone who is not following God.

After sending out feelers to friends in 5 countries, i got back positive responses from all of them, especially from Sabah Malaysia, and northern Thailand. Praise God, he has moved on hearts, and there are already 4 young people, and 2 adults in Thailand willing to work on this project basically for food and a place to stay. The response from the person there really thrilled my heart when she wrote “those youngsters dont think first about money, but their own spiritual thing”! My heart was really uplifted by that statement! These kind of young people are very rare.

Then the Sister in Sabah, (strangely enough, with the same first name as the Sister in Thailand!) wrote saying that i could teach English sometimes, help in the oil palm orchards sometimes, and would have plenty of time to work on the animation, and with the Brother there who runs a computer-training school. She even said she would make me fat – ha! Good luck on that 🙂 Really tho, my heart was/is very touched.

But the greatest opportunity to give glory to God looks to be in Thailand. In conjunction with this animation work, we plan to work towards starting a little “homeschool”, based on the counsels from the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Bible. Along with the 4 young people, that Sister and her husband are saying that they will work for no remuneration at all. I don’t know how long they can last on that, but that heart, that attitude, is very, very encouraging.

So the plan now is to leave India after the SAYJ camp around the end of December. I’m hoping against hope that i can meet someone who will have a booth at the General Conference session in Atlanta next May, that will let me have some space. So i’m praying that the Lord will move on someone’s heart.

Please keep this in your prayers.

myanmar 1858 great controversy printed!

I received word yesterday that the Brother in Myanmar has finally gotten the 1858 Great Controversy book by Ellen White printed in the Burmese language – Praise God!! There were some printing mistakes, so they are pasting in pages in the back of each book, which may take a while to finish. 3,000 copies were printed 🙂 Now we need to pray that the Holy Spirit and angels will go with each copy, and that the people will be able to understand, and prepare for the soon-coming Time of Trouble so they can all go up to heaven when Jesus comes.

This has been about the longest of any of my projects from beginning to printing – 3 years and 7 months. The only ones longer are the Chinese and Spanish translations, which have both been done, but not properly, so cannot be used. One Sister right now is supposed to be translating it into Spanish, but i haven’t had any contact with her for months. Can anyone out there translate into Chinese?

happy news from vietnam!

The following is a email received:
I have a great news to share with you.
A friend of mine just sent me money to reprint 3,000 copies of the Great Controversy.
In fact, we are out of stock for sometimes already and thinking to reprint it, but don’t know where can we find the money.
We just prayed!
And out of the blue, this friend of mine wrote me an email …

Usually it will take a month to finish the printing.
However, this coming Oct. 22 will be our 80th anniversary of the Advent message came to h tVietnam. I will talk with the publisher tomorrow morning, hoping we can beat the time and make the book come out at that special occasion.

Please pray for us.

Just share with you a great news.

india after 2 weeks

Here i am, right in Pune city which had the first death from swine flu in India, and with schools closing and people thronging hospitals and other states quarantining Maharashtra, there is a mini-panic going on. But praise God, other than a bout of vomiting yesterday, i’ve been feeling mostly fine. By God’s grace i’m in a place that is not too heavily traveled, so the honking noises are not too severe, and there is no visible huge trash pile within 50m, so there are not that many crows or stray dogs or cows, and being of a higher elevation than many Indian cities, it is very pleasant temperature wise – 27/23C (81/74F).

I found out that we still have around 5,000 English 1858gc, 3,000 Tamil, and 3,500 Punjabi books left. I went to the Oriental Watchman Publishing House yesterday and met several people. The place is run-down terribly. Electricity was off, as it usually is for most of the day on Thursdays, so the people were sent home. I’m not sure what the managers are thinking, but i did find out that several workers there have not done any work for several months. Actually, it looks like the Divison is trying to shut it down, as things have been deteriorating for a long time. If only the missionaries who sacrificed to put this plant in order could see it now! So basically no progress was made on distribution of these books. Surely there are some faithful Literature Evangelists (or former) who would be happy to have inspired material to sell to others. It looks like i will have to work church by church tho…

The plan was to make a 3D animated movie of the 1858 Great Controversy book when coming, but, while continuing a few more tutorials in Bryce, and reading a bit more on the internet, and talking to 2 people who are both slightly interested, i haven’t made any progress in that direction. May God please lead the right people to me.

My friend has asked me to homeschool his children, and while on the surface of it, it looks to be a great departure from my goals of coming here, the idea of being with children, training them up on the way of the Lord is very appealing, and i believe will contribute a lot to my sanity. Instead of spending 16 hours a day looking at a computer screen, hopefully this way i can keep it at a healthier 10 hours or so. Also, i want to have a part in training up young minds to serve Christ. Who knows, he may lead others here too! If we do the little things that lie near at hand, i believe God will work out the “great” projects

Just today a young Brother came up from Mumbai by train. I met him 2 weeks ago there, and was very happy to see him again. He is studying to become a doctor, but is troubled about having to prescribe drugs/exams on Sabbath etc. By God’s grace i was able to show him several quotes from the inspired writings where a medical missionary can do tenfold more labor for God’s cause than a minister can. If he stays true to Jesus, he will be much more powerful in reaching hearts than even a pastor. It was touching to see him rejoice in hearing these words, and immediately calling up a friend who had just quit the medical doctor course at college this week, encouraging him to hang on 🙂

turkey to georgia to turkey again

I arrived in Istanbul Otogar bus terminal a bit before 6am July1. I really don’t like taxi drivers, so rolled by them all looking for the Metro (subway). I exchange 10usd for 15ytl at a kiosk, buy a token, catching the first train of the morning, and get off at Aksaray station. Now the info i had from the internet to find Emniyet bus terminal is that it is behind the McDonald’s which is near the station. Not only is there no Mc, no one around knows where it is either. Of course the taxi drivers are like vultures, so i steer clear of them. After wandering around with my heavy stuff, i finally find a policeman who tells me the bus terminal is 50m behind the Avrupa Goz building. That is easily visible, and he is very correct, except the Emniyet bus terminal is around 200m behind that building. Happiness 🙂

It is past 7am now, and i walk into the smallish terminal. Otogar bus terminal must be one of the largest in the world, but this one is quite small. It seems to only service buses going towards Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Walking into the area, 2 groups of men appear. One from each group grabs an arm, and i become a human tug-of-rope. I’m not amused, but my angry-painful reaction seems to amuse them. I look at the info i wrote down from the internet. It says Maghogdomlu and Metro are the two better choices. They were probably correct on “Metro”. But the Metro office is not open, and one arm is taken by this Maghodghomulu or whatever guy, so i buy a 40usd ticket and go out trying to lay flat in on the sidewalk in front of a mosque for an hour, then sightsee a cool, old neighborhood that i remember from 3 years ago, then lie on some more cement by the sea, then back to my bus departure at noon. I’m tired. For some reason, nearly all the companies’ buses leave about the same time.

Some young Azerbaijani man sits next to me for a while and talks mostly interestingly, but i can tell he is not listening to anything i say. Fortunately some lady gets on and takes that seat, relieving me from answering the same question more than 2 or 3 times. This guy is a “Muslim”, but likes to talk dirty, and even says he’ll “kill me” jokingly of course later. I’m not amused, and tell him that God will judge us for every word that comes out of our mouths. He makes new friends and leaves me alone the rest of the ride. The traffic jam out of Istanbul is huge, and we have the longest wait to toilet break i’ve ever had on a long-distance bus – 5 hours. Seeing the “Welcome to Asia” sign after we cross the Bosphorus Bridge makes things interesting for a while tho. I listen to Japanese Revelation on my camera to use the time wisely, but at this stage, i’m mostly droning/dozing/zoning.

The peepee tax in Turkey is the highest i’ve seen anywhere in the world – 1ytl which means around 65cents usd. Usually i wander around the 20 – 30 minutes that comes with every rest stop while everyone else is eating and smoking, and “learn the neighborhood”. I do pay the fee when nature so demands once, and see that there are no gold-plated faucets even at that price (no toilet paper either). Bus stop food is extremely expensive, and i’m glad i’ve stocked up on bread and cucumbers from Romania, and i still i have some 6-month old raisins and crackers from Japan 🙂

The Turkish immigration was so professional, i was hoping that Georgia would have made some progress too in the last 3 years, but it was not to be. We were herded like cows into a little area where the guard opened the gate to let whoever could push thru the hardest, then he shut it again. Of course this instigated several shouting matches. I was to learn that Georgians love to shout and get angry, making me think that the nasty arguing i saw on tv in America was much better, in that it at least was almost never seen out in public – ha! I mean this as no offense to my Georgian friends, but i found out that Georgians are generally among the rudest and crudest people on the face of the earth (that i’ve met anyway). They are very friendly when they are friends, but in general, and it can be seen by the way they drive their cars, they have no concept of “do to others what you want them to do to you”.

One other interesting thing that happened at immigration, is that the officer leading everyone into the “waiting pen” checked my passport, and then announced to everyone (i guess) to let me go to the front of the line because i’m American. Most of the people opened a path for me to go, but a few shouts were heard, and i was making my move to go to the side at the end of the line, so that ended that incident, but it made me feel good to see that someone at least respects what the US has done to help their country. While traveling, it was kind of spooky to be seeing place names that were in the war with Russia last year. We crossed one bridge that looked like a temporary affair. You could see a broken-down one next to it. My bus-mates told me that the US had brought in this temp bridge for them. In that same town (Gori), you could see rows of newly-built block houses. They are for the refugees who fled the fighting.

The lady next to me lets me call my friend, and he picks me up at Ortachala bus terminal in T’bilisi, and saves me from some tout who is mad at me because i’m not interested in buying a ticket to Trabzon. He takes me to his flat, marking an end to my 61-hour journey. Whew! Perhaps i dozed 5 or 6 hours during that time. Thank you Jesus for keeping me safe, and mostly sane. And please don’t let the rumours be true that Russia is planning to attack this country again next week!!!

About 80% of the whole reason i came is to see my friend. I’ve been very interested in coming again ever since talking with him on skype last year while in Malaysia, and learning that he is wanting that close walk with God like he had when i was here 3 years ago. Unfortunately, most of the time is not used to talk and pray and study about getting right with God again, and partly i wonder why i came here. We finally do get to have a deep conversation 2 or 3 times while here, and i pray the words i could speak were uplifting, pointing him to Jesus. He treated me well, being over-cautious that i find the SDA mission headquarters etc.

The first Sabbath here is at the Georgian-speaking church, where i see quite a few people i met here 3 years ago. Seems the main mission church has split into Russian-speaking and Georgian-speaking groups, which is better for all i guess. In the afternoon i go up to Kajori with my friend’s family. Kajori is a summer-resort place, only about 30 minutes up the big slope from T’bilisi, but probably about 600m higher, and about 5C cooler 🙂 The quiet and coolness finally puts my alpha waves back in sequence 🙂

My friend works on Sabbath now, and not because he “has” to either. He let me have worship on Saturday evening, and i tell the “Elephant” story i learned in Thailand, which everyone, especially the 4 kids, seem to enjoy. After the closing prayer, his wife and he both are a little red-teary-eyed, and he translates to me that she believes God sent me there to help their family get right with God again. I sure pray so. But as i will repeat many times while here, it takes one step at a time. Rather than wait for some “life-earthquake” to come into your life forcing you to make drastic changes for the better, it is best to make a daily step in the right direction, doing everything you know God wants you to do, one thing at a time. Each day that goes by knowing that you are disobeying God’s will, you are making it that much harder to return to God in the future.

pics from trips

Lots of pics put up in two files over in the left column – one is about my time spent May 6th – June 4th in Germany and Switzerland:
Germany and bucolic Switzerland pics and also the pics from 6 countries – Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia: Eastern Europe – mostly Romania and Georgian pics.

The greenness and farms in ultra-rich Switzerland always impress me, but the stronger Seventh-day Adventists are generally in Eastern Europe.

from georgia to turkey to india

Lord willing, i will get on a bus in a few hours and ride around 28 hours from T’bilisi to Istanbul, stay there one nite, buy a air ticket, and make my way to Mumbai and then finally Pune before Sabbath comes around again. Everyone’s prayers are requested.

near travel end

I bot my ticket to go back to Istanbul for next Monday. That should be around a 30 hour bus ride Then i hope to stay there one day and buy a ticket to Mumbai (not by bus!) and get there on Thursday nite. If things go like planned, my travelling days will be over for quite a while after getting to Pune. ahhhhhhh, relax? NOT!

This Sabbath will be my last here in Georgia. I’ve been given time to do a study of the 1858 Great Controversy book at church in the afternoon, so hope i can get a good translator and many people will come. May God receive the glory when his people wake up and desire to follow him with all their hearts, souls, and minds.

departing europe

June 30, 2009 The day basically started around 4:30am when i woke up with a suffocating feeling from having no air in my room, and scratching swarms of mosquito bites on my body. My friend and his father and i all go Alexandria (Romania), and wait for the Maxi Taxi (large minivan), that will take me to Giurgiu. While waiting with an umbrella in his hand, someone approaches the father and gives him some yogurt and pretzels. Seems to be a tradition here to give food to strangers when someone dies, so we are the lucky ones today. Actually, this slightly tangy yogurt is exactly the thing i needed to settle my stomach, and i enjoy a breakfast of picked-one-hour-earlier-apricots, yogurt, bread, and walnuts in the maxi taxi The mostly flat wheat fields, interspersed with grasslands with a flock of sheep every 10km or so, and flocks of geese a little more often, are punctuated by a huge, and i mean huge stork nest. They use the same nest every year, making it larger and larger, until it is hard to see how they stay attached to the cement poles (with a flat top) or chimneys that they balance them on.

The maxi taxi was 25 minutes late, and we arrive in Giurgiu around 8:10. I putter around trying to ask people about a bus across the border into Ruse, but they all tell me that there is no bus, only taxi. OK, i go to a taxi driver, and am taken aback when he writes on paper “150lei” (50usd). Wow, 50usd can buy quite a long distance bus ride. I go back to where the maxi taxi let me out, and the driver talks to his police friend about it who calls one of his friends who can speak a little English. He tells me it cost 9euro each way for tax across the bridge, so he needs 30euro, leaving “only” 12euro for himself. This is a scam if i ever saw it, but am concerned now. I can go all the way back up to Bucharest, and catch a bus from there to Sofia for cheaper than what i’m being told here (36usd). The thot tho of wasting a whole day, and spending a sleepless nite in Sofia doesnt appeal to me at all, so i offer 40usd. He agrees, and takes me to an exchange office, where they really just exchange – 1 General Grant for 2 Jacksons and 1 Hamilton. After handing him the money (i like to pay at the beginning), i get in on the LEFT side of the car. He tells me he worked 2 years in London, and bot this car there and drove it down here. He assures me he is a good driver, so i don’t need my seatbelt, but i buckle up anyway, and am happy i did as he drives in between the orange construction area cones – crazy in more ways than i thot, as i told him he was crazy when he poked my knee several times and said he’d take me all the way to Sofia for “only” 110euro. Definitely not amusing. We cross the Danube into Bulgaria, and the inspection people joke about a Romanian with an American, and soon we are in Ruse. All in all – 20 minutes.

While kicking myself for wasting God’s money like this, i go from bus company office to office looking for a place with a bus to Sofia. I find the one i saw on the internet for 10am, and while looking blankly around, a man comes up to me and speaks a bit of English. He is nice, and invites me to store my suitcase and big plastic bag in a room by the toilet while i go to the exchange office across from the train station. After i get 30usd exchanged into leva (it is interesting that the money is called “leu”, “lei”, “leva”, and “lira” in Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey respectively) i head back to pay my 22leva for the 4:30 ride to Sofia. The man is there, and after i get my ticket we have a wonderful conversation. He is a Christian, single, and just 3 weeks younger than myself, and the toilet tax collector. This is a system that i despise, as it is a big waste of someone’s life to sit all day and collect a peepee tax. And it is humiliating to the person needing to go to the bathroom to have to shell out several coins to go. I don’t think it is just coincidence that all the rich countries in know in the world don’t require this tax, because their people have more productive things to do. I think God knew that i needed a lift after the ripoff taxi ride, and this man served very well to do just that. I even gave him a Great Controversy book, as he said he likes English. Just with seeing the title for the first chapter he turned to me and said how Satan was once so beautiful, but got proud, and he fell to this world. Sounds like he’s read the book already! May we meet in heaven.

land of rising sun and kimchi pics

I know this is overdue, but finally i got the pics i took in Japan and Korea up on this site. Look over on the left side column.

I still like Japan very much, but not sure if i love it like i used to. Perhaps that is all God’s will also, to tear my heart away from something i like personally, but doesn’t use my ablilities for God as much as i could elsewhere.

There are pics of the old Country Life Restaurant in Osaka. I worked there from 1989 until its close in December 1996. There are lots of pics of friends and English students – the kids really have grown in 3 years! (of course). There are a few pics of people i was able to study the 1858 Great Controversy with, and also with the people up in Saitama prefecture with a Spanish-speaking school. There is a picture of a Woody Woodpecker airplane in Okinawa, and then lots of pics of Everlasting Gospel Publishing Association people and offices.

I hope to go back to Japan some day, but only if the people there show more of a zeal to want to know the truth.


Writing this from Sofia bus terminal:
The meeting with the Bulgarian SDA office lasted 15 minutes, and i am quite hopeful that they will approve this project to have the book translated and printed 🙂 The secretary is the main translator it seems, and she also has a theology degree and was teaching hermeneutics of Ellen White last week! I left one English 1858 Great Controversy book, and she will take with the publishing director about translating and printing it. May God work on hearts to his glory.

Now to take another bus over to Istanbul, and then catch another one to T’bilisi…..

romania, moldova, ukraine

After a restful 10 days in Romania, staying in the countryside with the friend i met in Thailand, we got up early last Monday and drove several hours to meet a SDA printer. He was very kind and showed us his recent works, driving away any remaining fears i had that the quality might not be up to par here. It is amazing to see books printed just 10 years ago that look quite primitive, and see the first-world-class quality they are printing now! He even said that the glue binding was guaranteed by a German company for 50 years.

So now the problem is how to get the Romanian 1858 Great Controversy distributed….

We drove a few more hours to another place, and met a well-known SDA pastor. He talked kindly with us, and then let me stay at his home until the evening. He takes me to the Danube, where we look at the huge river flowing lazily by. His wife comments twice that it is rare to see it so calm. They also remind me how cold it gets here, when they say people come here to ice skate in the winter! They feed me lots of food, then take me to the bus which is parked in front of the Sofil hotel and leaves at 10:30pm for Chisanau, Moldova (costs 30ron – 10usd).

It really looks like the Lord planned it out for me to stay there a while with him and his family, so they could get a feel for what kind of work this is, and be comfortable with supporting this. It took him a while to understand that i just travel around trying to get this one book into the people’s hands, but finally he did understand, and now has agreed to be the main distributor/contact person for this book in all of Romania – praise God!

The bus let me out after a bumpy ride at 5am near the Central Market. I didn’t know anything, and just sat around looking at the pig and cow carcasses being lugged around and dripping on the pavement – pretty gross to see dogs lapping up blood before breakfast.

I had the address for the Moldovan SDA headquarters, but didn’t know quite how to get there. Fortunately a man with a pull-cart shop selling magazines and maps helped me. Actually, he could not figure out how to use the map, but let me look for it, and i found it quickly. Trolley bus number 9 took me there in 15 minutes. The building looks brand new, and includes a seminary.

I had not contacted anyone before arriving, as often i find that people do not understand what i am trying to do, and will not set up an appointment, but if i just arrive, they will take 10-15 minutes to talk with me. After praying, and entering, quickly i find a man who can speak English. He gets the publishing director, and they spend a bit over 5 minutes talking with me out in the lobby. The publishing director asks me twice “so what do you want us to do?” and i explain the same both times – that i’m working at getting this book spread around the world, and it will be printed soon in Romanian, and i just wanted to inform you. He finally seems to understand, and then tells me that the Ukrainian SDA has sent him some of the Russian language ones a few years earlier!

I spend a couple of hours in the toilet trying to sleep, as that was mostly impossible on the bus the nite before, and then take number 9 back to the city center where i stumble around looking like a tourist for a while, eat lunch on a park bench along the “high-fashion” road of Stephen the Great, then walk thru the market again, and down to the Gara de Nord bus center where a bus to Kiev costs around 23usd. There is a big man sitting next to me, and just when i think our legs are going to meld together, he gets up and sits in the back of the bus – whew! But now a new problem presents itself – just across the aisle is a lovely girl wearing not enough clothing. And every time the bus jolts, which is about every 5 nanoseconds, it is a trial. Fortunately, about 2 minutes later, she gets up and goes to the back of the bus too, and i thank God for not allowing me to be tempted above what i’m able 🙂

There is an old tank sitting in front of some bridge, and i think that it is something from some old war, but then see soldiers standing on the bridge with guns – ut oh. Then we go thru lots of border check points. I discover that this is the breakaway region of Moldova, called Trans nitzia or something like that. Ut oh, i read on the internet not to go thru this region, and thot that while the train did pass thru, the bus did not. Not correct. I read that they sometimes ask for large sums of money from foreign travellers, but we go thru lots of checkpoints with no problems.