in malaysia 2005

I have lunch with a South African man and Yogi again at a vegetarian restaurant.  The conversation is interesting, and what i’ve heard about car-jacking and things in general going to pot in S.A. and Zimbabwe is verified:(  So sad as that part of the world used to be the shining star of Africa, altho they did have discrimination based on skin color, which is evil.  But now they have reverse discrimination, and the people’s standard of living has dropped dramatically.

The poster to promote the original Great Controversy in the Philippines is finished now.  Yogi helped me scan in a few book covers that i used in it.  I know i scanned them in while still in Japan, but can’t find them now.  To see or use as you wish:
Looks pretty nice if i say so myself!

I was asked to go caroling with the church Christmas carolers on the 14th, so arrive at 7pm only to find the pastor quite cold.  His first words to me are: “You should learn Malay”.  I smile weakly.  He knows that i plan to only be here 2 or 3 more weeks at the most, so why does he, and one or two others, insist on this?  What is even stranger, about 1 minute later he is talking to someone else in English!?$%&!  He finally says something like: “Why don’t you come back tomorrow?”  I pretty much brush it off, and look out the door for the friends that invited me.  They come pretty soon, and after explaining everything, all is well.  We go to a hair salon, then a home, then a home by a church.  At each place we sing around 4 Christmas songs.  Then the pastor has a prayer, and then they have cakes and drinks which i don’t partake of, to the disappointment of some.  Next day i go to the hair salon place again, and get my hair cut for 5myr (150jpy).  Not a bad deal, even if it is with electric clippers that make me dig cut hairs out of my ears for 2 days – ha!  The owner is not SDA, but is studying the Bible with a church member, so i share the GC anime and have prayer with her.  She seems so happy.

The durian that Yogi bot is delicious!  Nothing can match the king of fruits – yummmmmmmy!  Stinnnnnnnnnnky!  And quite expensive.  I’m used to fruit being cheap here, but the king is quite expensive – 50myr for 2 fruits (1,500jpy).  One is no good, and he gets is exchanged out.  There is actually very little fruit in the thing, just a little greenish-yellow bit around a big seed, while most of the inside of it is inedible hard white stuff.  The skin of the durian is so spiky and hard!  It can draw blood just to eat the thing!

Thinking to call some friends overseas, i went to the local Malaysia Telekom office and bot a 20myr card that i was told could be used at certain pay phones.  I go to the nearby Milimewa supermarket where there is such a phone, and insert the card.  No go.  After a few days i go down to the big city of Kota Kinabalu, and try to use the card there after asking a few people where to go to do that.  No go.  Everyone tells me to go to a handy-phone shop (cell-phone), and buy a different company’s card for 30myr.  I really don’t need 30 ringgit worth, and besides, i already have a card that is supposed to work.  I take it back to where i bot it, and after around 30 minutes of negotiation, and involving the supervisor, they finally agree to give me a 12ringgit international card and refund the remainder on my current card.  Whew!  What a hassle.  Take it home and enter the password etc., only to not be connected…..

Two of the nurses in the clinic are still taking Bible studies with me, and we go over Genesis 3.  Then i show them the Great Controversy anime.  Both are quite interested, asking questions 🙂  Yogi comes later, and i become Japanese teacher for a nite – very enjoyable over mushroom and pineapple pizza.

On the 16th i go down to KK by early bus.  The doctor’s wife and ‘servant’ have made me breakfast – thank you!  It is great to have something warm on the air-con frozen bus.  I make use of the time on the bus to get my pics sorted out.  Mirajin Printing has done a quite good job on the layout of the book, but it is a good thing i go down personally to review the work, as several small errors of font size have been introduced, and the copyright page is a bit difficult.  This shows me the whole attitude towards work here in Malaysia tho, even of those who like to work, it is not top quality.  But the Chinese do work pretty fast!

After meeting with the printer i go to the bus stop where the CheerahII restaurant owner comes and sits next to me.  I stopped by her restaurant last week and bot some fried bananas, and took a pic of a cat there.  Now she is happily telling me about her life.  She is Muslim, yet very smiley and friendly:)  The rain doesn’t let up, and no bus or bas mini comes, so i put her under my umbrella and we walk across the busy 4lane highway to her shop.  She treats me to 2 cans of soya milk, and wants to feed me, but i’m not hungry.  Like many acts that are unaccountable to my sensibilities, she spends all the time while i’m in the shop talking on her handy phone to her son.  Here’s a lady who spent 15 minutes with me at a bus stop talking and watching the rain, yet when i get to her shop she ignores me.  Whatever, i’m not hurt or anything, just mystified why she would act that way.  But more inexplicable things have happened on this trip….

Finally after waiting over 1:30, i find a bus for Tamparuli in the now steaming heat, and buy lunch for 2.5myr at the same stall i bot from the time before.  This lady is really nice.  A large helping of rice, big serving of green veggies on the side, and one egg with suspicious red stuff all over it (but turns out to be not too hot).  After waiting at the hair salon a while, MB comes and picks me up and takes me to his home.

It is in a rural location, but what is that racket???  Turns out to be located just below (!) a rock quarry.  Each morning when you wake up, you have to dust off the layer that has settled on your things.  This is the first time i ever drank out of a Johnny Walker bottle, as they have a large decanter on a swinger rocker, and that is the drinking water dispenser – ha!  In the evening we go to Bawang church where MB has been giving a seminar to 7 members about how to give a sermon.  He lets me talk for 10 minutes too, and i talk about the 1st Angel’s Message.  Make it clear what you will talk about before starting, and involve your audience.  These are two things i got from the lesson, that reinforced what i already try to practice.  Around 10 people were present.

The 17th is Sabbath, and each seminar member is allotted 7 minutes.  But some are long-winded, taking 13 minutes.  I hold up my watch when they go over around 9 minutes, but they pay no attention.  I don’t understand the concept of stealing time from others, but hopefully this was a good experience for them.  One of them is quite good actually.  No lunch has been prepared, so i eat my apple, bread, and half-rotten donut that i had mostly forgotten about, then take a nap in the 31.6C room (with no fan!).  In the afternoon i give a talk and the show the anime.  First time i held a mike to the computer speaker – nice!   Around 15 people attend.  In the evening the Christmas carolers go caroling at Malangang church.  There are lots of SDAs around!  While a group of high-school age boys are eating, we talk about what to do with their lives, and becoming missionaries etc., then show them the GC anime.  I hope they will think about this, and want to become a missionary some day!

After a good nite’s rest, i wake up and put the Whitespeed SOP material on D’s computer.  Then go for a 30 minute walk with everyone.  Have decided to stay an extra day.  There are around 12 people staying here, with more scheduled to come tonite, so say i must go, but am assured several times that there is plenty of room – OK.  It is nice here to be surrounded by those worshipping and praising God.  Put the Whitespeed SOP on B’s computer, and she is very, very thankful.  Am able to talk a bit in the evening about the SOP books being edited, and the answer is quite typical; “Ellen White approved all the changes”.  OK.  All i ask is that you read the original books thru several times.  Then compare 🙂

19th: Morning family worship involves around 20 members.  It is really cool to sing Bible verses, and i’m amazed at all the different songs there are.  This is an excellent way to fix the Bible in your mind.  Two young people in the group are using the Clear Word.  Ouch.  This book laid out in Bible format is a large black blot on Seventh-day Adventists everywhere.  I’m given good info about how to get to Mission College in Thailand – From Bangkok airport take a taxi to Victoria Monument, from there take a mini bus to “Micchon”.  Should cost 130baht.  I’d been told before that in Bangkok i should see the Chinese SDA church, as they are strongest and most active, but that was from a Chinese-descent person, so thot perhaps it was biased, but these people say the same thing, so now i’m confident this is the best thing to do when i get to Bangkok.  Praise God i get several contacts, and find more info on the web.  In Bangkok i should go to Pantip, ITCT, or ITMall for computer supplies. 

The Sabah Mission Ministerial Director, EC, is his usual, super-friendly self.  We try to find a book store run by a SDA in Tamparuli, but it is closed.  I make the Ilocano GC back cover on the bus back home.

The 20th is a computer day, getting all my pics on all looking nice, with dates attached.  The Georgian GC cover preliminary artwork is finished today too.

I try to buy a ticket from KK – KL.  At the travel agent, i’m told 252myr.  That seems a bit higher than on the internet, so when going back home at nite, i check, and with tax, it is 229.  I looked feverishly for the credit card my brother sent me just a few days before leaving Japan, just for this purpose, but could not find it last nite.  I prayed about it, asking God to help me find it, and thinking about what to do, when i peeked one more time in my wallet, and saw it stuck to the back of a Christian bookstore card in Osaka.  Thank you Lord!!  I still have my doubts that it will work without calling and a big hassle, but the first time i enter – boom – “your booking number is hkl—, bring this to the check-in counter…”  Wow!  Thank you Air Asia for allowing me this way to go so cheaply.  I could have paid 30myr more and taken a later flight, and realize later that would have been probably the better thing to do, but am glad to be able to save money entrusted to me.  Now i get the wild idea to go by rail from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, but that goes thru southern Thailand….I must pray about it.

In the evening two groups of SDA carolers come to the house.  All the sandwiches i made are eaten up.  Bread, margarine, peanut butter, and coconut cream with an egg base – yummmmy.  I found out that someone i admire a lot has doubts concerning Ellen White – that’s really a shame.

The 22nd has me at the doctor’s clinic around 9:30.  Some patients are waiting, and one man lying down seems to be in great pain.  Within minutes the diagnosis is in – malaria.  Poor guy.  Hope and pray the Lord will relieve his pain.  I send my last Christmas cards, knowing there is no way they will arrive before Christmas.  Oh well, maybe before New Years?  I have Bible study of Luke 1 with the two nurses, and then meet S, the South African man and his wife for vegetarian lunch.  He takes me after lunch to some really nice ponds where there is noone to disturb us for over an hour – very peaceful and relaxing.  In the evening i’m invited to Yogi’s house for a huge, huge vegetarian feast.  This is gigantic, and all for just the 6 of us.  Wow!  I learn something new.  He questions why being a vegetarian, that i eat onion and garlic.  Didn’t know that was meat, but no, his question involves the idea that because you don’t eat meat, you don’t have the bacteria in the intestines to break down garlic and onion.  Never heard that one before, but for all in know, it may be true, as i cannot eat raw garlic with getting violently ill.  It is quite a challenge on this trip to keep away from garlic as much as possible, but so far, no big problems.

23rd finds me on a bas mini to KK for the first time.  The big bus is 14.3myr, and the mini is 12.  Plus it is not near as comfortable, altho you don’t freeze to death.  Perhaps that explains why most of the riders are not Chinese, but Filipinos and Indonesians.  Yogi is very nice to come and take me to the bus terminal in Keningau.  He even pays my fare!!!!  Why is he so much nicer to me than even 99% of all my “fellow-believers”?  I don’t know, but sure wish to see him in heaven.

I exchange 80,000jpy again, this time getting 72 more ringgit than before (.032).  But Mirajin has not gotten even one book printed up yet:(  I tell them i can wait until 5pm, when i wish to take 50 copies with me.  Actually they have printed up the books, but have not put covers on any of them yet.  Some woman who is not the regular operator moves like molasses around the machine, and after a 20 minute blackout, i realize that they aren’t going to be done at all today.  The manager finally makes a nice suggestion, that they will make 2 copies for a sample.  That’s better than nothing, and they do so.  The quality is not bad, but not perfect.  The printing is light in spots and normal in others, the binding is a bit off in places etc.  The trimming and color cover are the only things that seem to be 100%.  The book is a bit thicker than i had imagined.

I go to Likas SDA church, eating apples and peanuts and bread in front of the locked gate.  Then for vespers i go in, and a LE is quite happy with the book, and one lady who is very persistent asks me if i have her two books yet.  After the service i show the book to several people, and one person in particular seems to be interested.  He is very friendly, and he shows me to my guest room, and i offer the GC anime etc. and he is very appreciative.  He’s the pastor!

Sabbath rolls around again, and today i go to a home church held by MC.  Around 12 people meet on their veranda, and we have a usual church service, with me giving the main talk about the 3 Angels’ Messages.  Everyone is glued to the computer screen for the GC anime afterwards.  Lunch is quite nice, and then i’m given free run of the living room while everyone else goes upstairs.  I watch a DVD by Doug Batchelor called “Final Events” or something like that.  Most of it is quite good until around part 4.  I wonder if he has read any of the early Ellen White visions or original Great Controversy?

In the evening i am taken back to Likas SDA church, and have a Bible study with Ger.  He is so, so happy.  During prayer, i feel the Holy Spirit’s presence.  But afterwards, before i can speak, he tells me that HE felt the Holy Spirit like a cool presence in his heart while we prayed!  Too amazing for words!

Christmas.  After taking a bas mini with me as the only passenger to Tamparuli, i arrive just in time for the reception for MB’s wedding.  Maybe around 300 people were there for the vegetarian feast.  I was a bit disappointed that there were lots of spices used, but glad to see they kept to the vegetarian principle.  The wife looked like a movie star, with people around me commenting on it.

The bus going home is again like an ice-box, so putting the notebook on my lap really feels good with the heat given off.

I want to wash clothes and do internet on the 26th, but can’t do either.  I go to town to a internet cafe and do email for 2 hours for 3myr.  Many kids around me are playing some kind of carjack game where someone grabs someone out of a car, beats them up, and steals it, and drives off.  One kid really seems to enjoy stamping on one person until there is a big pool of blood.  What is he thinking????

Yogi makes onigiri for me, and i finish off the durian cake leftovers.  He has been sooooo good to me.  I sure will miss you Yogi-san!!!  Let’s meet in Japan or America some day:)  P is full of energy and bubbling over with ideas today on what to do to propel forward the GC book work here in Malaysia.  She even offers an old bank account she has for people to make payments into!  I’m so happy.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  We have a loooong, interesting family worship this evening, and our hearts seem as one.

27th – I leave this wonderful place, washing clothes early and having them partly dried before my bus at 10.  I go to Mirajin Printer, and give Mr. C a magazine about quitting tobacco.  He knows that as a Christian, he needs to quit.  May God give him strength to quit, and to become one of his Sabbath-keeping remnant.  He has the books with covers on them now, but most of them have not been cut yet.  They look nice, so i pay the remaining half (2,300myr) of the purchase price for the 2,000 books.  It is very strange, that when i carry 80,000jpy on me, i’m not too nervous, but the same amount in the local currency makes me antsy.  Wonder why? C-san packs 50 books and me in his car and takes me back to the Likas church in a thunderstorm.  Seuss (Ger) is as friendly as ever, glad to see me.  I promise one lady 50 books, but she is late coming, and another LE is here in front of me asking for books – so what to do???  I wind up giving her 20.  There is a Master Guide Pathfinder function at the church in the evening, and she is amazing, selling 19 copies!!  The other lady is not too happy at not getting her promised 50, but i’ll make it up to her tomorrow.  At the church function, there is lots of chicken, and the noodles are cooked in lard – so much so, that i have to find a retired spot to chuck them over the fence.  Hope the animals in the woods like that stuff.  The evening ends with a wonderful, deep conversation with two LEs, Pa and Ly-san.

I pick up 100 books on the 28th.  Seuss-san is really happy when i give him coins from various countries.  Pa-san comes in the evening and takes me to the home meeting where Colin Standish is supposed to give the talk.  He is there, and around 25 people gather.  His talk is very common SDA talk – the history of the papal system.  He gives 7 texts which he says are prophecies of the 538-1798 time frame: Dan 7:25, 12:7, Rev. 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14, 13:5.  One problem – No way that the majority of these texts can refer principally to that time frame.  For example, he quotes Rev. 13:3 showing rightly that the deadly wound was healed in 1929 (altho there may be a more complete future application).  Then how in the world can 2 verses later be going back in time over 1400 years??  Us SDAs better be getting serious about studying the prophecies, and seeing that they have last-day application, not just some dry formula from long ago, that has no power to affect anyone’s heart today.  Why don’t we believe the holy words that there will be 1,260 days of rule by the beast?  What is so hard about understanding that?  I give B-san some macadamia nuts which she is very thankful for, and then talk with Je-san awhile before lying down on a mattress kindly furnished by his wife.

Je-san wakes me at 5:15 in the morning.  Actually, i have not been able to sleep since 4:40, thinking about various things.  A dream is bothering me: I’m a computer programmer, and my boss is telling me i did this and that thing wrong.  God, are you trying to tell me something?  I pray earnestly for guidance, like i haven’t in quite a while.

This is my last day in Sabah.  It has been a very rewarding time.  I make the check-in counter before 6, and put my suitcase on the belt. 24kgs.  I thot around 23, so am pretty close.  Is this close enough to pass?  My jaw drops down and i instinctively say a Japanese word when the AirAsia rep says “15kg limit”.  Whaaaaaaaat?!?!  I get my suitcase open and take out transformers and books and lots of stuff, stuffing it in a plastic bag.  My suitcase is now at 18kg, which he informs me passes, so i go inside the terminal trying to keep my plastic bag contents in the bag.

The plane takes off exactly on time – 6:45.  I’m sleepy, but get the computer out and put in some addresses.  Before i know it, the announcement is saying “prepare for landing”.  I can’t believe it, but my computer clock is telling me that 2 hours have elapsed.  After getting my suitcase which has obviously been left out in the rain (or did the cargo bay have a big hole in it?!) i stuff it with everything in my plastic bag.  It must weigh over 30kg now!  Going thru the doors i go thru the gauntlet of taxi drivers.  One large man says “only 70 ringgit for 72kms to KL.  I tell him that sounds very expensive, and that i wish to take the bus.  He says there is no bus.  I look up, and see the sign that says “bus terminal”. 

Finding my way down the stairs and escalators, i find the bus to Nilai for 2.5myr.  I eat on the bus, and then get off and take a train for 2.3 to Seremban.  From Seremban station to the bus terminal it is around a 400m walk, but make it without too much trouble.  I find the ticket counter for Melaka, and buy a ticket.  A Chinese lady is kind of pushing me, and it makes me a bit upset, so i touch her arm and tell her to be more patient.  She doesn’t hear me, so i go wandering off, looking for what number the bus leaves from.  One minute later, the same lady is standing in front of me, asking if i’m in a hurry to go to Melaka!  Well, my ticket is for 12:30….”My daughter just had a baby, and you got the last 12:30 ticket.  If you don’t mind, could you trade tickets with me?”  I look to see that her 1:30 ticket is indeed to Melaka, and then smilingly exchange tickets.  She wishes to buy me some food, so i ask for a soya drink which she smilingly buys for me.  I also give her a Great Controversy book.  I really believe the Lord arranged this meeting!!

I spend the time in a stairwell plugging in my computer.  I hope it doesn’t attract too much attention, and doesn’t seem to, as about the only people coming thru are those working upstairs, and the few who wish to find a quiet place to use their handy phones.  One man tho does come and look at the screen, so i show him a pic of Osaka which makes him happy.  The bus to Melaka is 5.30rm, so the total fare from KLIA to Melaka is 10.10myr, only  1/7th of the fare just from KLIA to KL center by taxi – ha!

LC from Aenon Farms picks me up after i spend an hour in the internet cafe.  I fell down over my suitcase in the cafe, but fortunately, nothing was broken, and my pride was mostly gone beforehand anyway 🙂

I stay with a WK-san, who is the literature evangelist here.  Everything is new and different to me here, and at the same time, very familiar, as it is very similar to other self-supporting places visited elsewhere.  They don’t charge any tuition fees, expecting the students to work in the kitchen, grounds, treatment rooms etc.  In exchange, the students get book training in the mornings – Bible, Spirit of Prophecy, health, etc.  There are around 9 students from various countries, with all instruction being in English.  I’m so happy to see one young lady from Japan here too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

30th is a day to catch up on sleep, and get adjusted to the rhythm of the place.  I help out in the kitchen in the morning, taking black hulls off the bean sprouts for 45 minutes, then cleaning up the place.  Pretty similar to what i did at Country Life Restaurant in Osaka for 7 years.  In the evening we go to the market, and there are lots of interesting things.  There is the biggest banana i’ve ever seen, and i sure rue the fact that i didn’t bring my camera.  The baker at Aenon – M-san, dresses like a muslim, and is quite knowledgeable about the Qur’an etc.  He has also helped in evangelising the muslim people, and helping lead them to the light that is only in Jesus.  He makes me glad to hear that he believes the Qur’an is not from God.

I’m asked to give the talk in the evening with around 10 in attendance.  Some seem very interested, some seem about to sleep.  I talk about my personal testimony, and then the 3 Angels’ Messages.  Many of them know the 3 Angels’ Messages by heart – great!  Hopefully they understand a bit better now what the Messages are in simple terms.  After showing the GC anime, i asked them if anyone caught that Satan repented, but God did not forgive him.  This raised a storm of controversy.  It is interesting how we try to force fit something to fit our preconceived opinions.  The text says regarding Satan’s sin, that “God could not blot it out”, but some wish it to say, “God will forgive you anytime you repent”.  May we learn to study the inspired writings, and take them as they read.

31st is Sabbath day, and we go to Melaka Chinese-English church.  It is just as i rememberd it from 9 years ago – with a little “L” shape.  The pastor is Chinese, and not as strong as i have heard of some Chinese pastors.  Lunch is held in a carport, and i sit next to a man.  He starts telling me about Buddha and everything, and i’m first taken aback, as i had assumed he was Seventh-day Adventist.  We have an interesting discussion, in which i told him that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.  Here they say “take” a meal, not “have”, and it is starting to rub off on me.  I need to get moving before i become Queenglishized – ha!

In the afternoon we visit a couple of sick people in the hospital, and then one lady who is dying of cancer.  The dying lady said she wants to see Jesus!  She is not Christian yet, but has been thru the program at Aenon, and her heart seems to have been changed.

In the evening we go to the sea for a song and worship service saying sayonara to the old year.  The sun comes thru the clouds just before going down, and the huge red ball is lovely, lighting the whole sky with orange and purple.

We then do the thing most normal for a new year, go shopping!  Jusco is a big Japanese dept. store that is here in Melaka too, and i find some wheat germ and junk chips.  You know, it seems like no one here uses salt.  And when they do, it isn’t usually iodized.  Hope i’m getting everying i need in my diet.  We go to a food court where all the waiters look homosexual, and find vegetarian food.  My dish comes last, so it takes a while.  People here pick and eat from many big plates, so if one person is sick, everybody gets it!  Actually, there are some nice things about it, as there is less of the western idea of “This is mine, and that is yours”, but i think the health principles are of more importance than the sharing part.  Whatever.

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