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  • My Visit to Mother’s Hometown, U.S.S.R. Plain Truth August 1989 July 13, 2017 My Visit to Mother's Hometown, U.S.S.R. Plain Truth August 1989
  • A Poem From and Story About Artur Aleksandrov in Estonia July 7, 2017

    Artur Aleksandrov lives in Tallinn, Estonia.  Bev and I first visited him in January 2009.  I write about this on my TravelArk blog at http://v2.travelark.org/travel-blog-entry/victorkubik/8/1233377700.  He is Russian and speaks excellent English.  He has a heart to help and serve. 

    I also told his story in our Eastern European newsletter http://kubik.org/ucgee/June%2030,%202009/june%2030-09.htm

                                   PDF Version of Poem

    Putting faith in God first — Artur Aleksandrov’s courageous story

    In June 2009 he graduated from high school. But, it was not easy.  He had important exams to take, some of which had to be taken on the Sabbath Day. If not taken, he would not be able to graduate, and worse, be denied admission to further education and look at a bleak future. This did not dissuade Artur.  He put God ...

  • Colombia United Youth Camp 2017 July 3, 2017

    For the third year, the 2017 Colombian United Youth Summer Camp was held at the Hotel San Gil del Campo just outside of the city of San Gil, Santander, Colombia from June 22-27, 2017. This was our fifth consecutive year for camp in Colombia, with a total of 16 campers, 6 staff from Colombia, and 4 staff from the United States–two of which were the Colombian pastor and his wife.  We experienced delightful cooperation, comradery, and unity among the campers and staff.

    This centrally located city makes travel to camp easier and less expensive for all who attended. Hotel San Gil del Campo is a former monastery and affords an absolutely peaceful and tranquil location with vistas of mountains and valleys covered with a variety of green vegetation. The temperature was also very comfortable day and night…no air conditioning was needed or available.

    Parable of the Unjust Steward June 29, 2017

    Intro: Do you have a scripture, or several verses, that are hard to understand?

    Read Luke 16:1-8

    SPS: How are we to understand these verses?

    Background: Book of Luke has passages throughout on money, greed, the poor (Luke 12…beware of covetousness, rich man who built bigger barns, Luke 14….when you have a dinner invite those who can’t repay you…Luke 15 prodigal son)

    Luke 16: 14 The Pharisees were lovers of money

    :1 There was a certain rich man….

    :8 The master commended the servant for being shrewd…meaning wisely, acting prudently, or figuring out a solution -implication is that he also valued this trait, he was not a son of light
    What is Jesus’ comment?
    Jesus does not commend or praise the steward…He does not advocate this type of shrewdness and self-gain but rather our “shrewdness” is shown in faithfulness and the proper use of money.
    The steward resorted to shrewdness because he lacked faithfulness.
    He acted to save himself at the expense of others…you get the sense this was how the Pharisees conducted themselves

    Praising the steward would be in conflict with so many other sayings of Jesus about wealth
    Story is to show the contrast of a bad steward vs. a good steward (Proverbs)
    Good steward – based on faithfulness not on man’s skill or shrewdness
    Showed that shrewdness is the way that the sons of this world operate…does not indicate spirituality but a secular nature
    Pharisees probably liked the start of the story, but not the end.

    :9-:13

    :9 We too are stewards and we are to be good stewards. We are to be faithful in how we use our resources.

    He does not speak against money, but the emphasis ...

  • Vic and Bev Kubik’s Spring 2017 Flowers June 24, 2017

    These are some of the flowers that we have enjoyed the spring of 2017 at our home and at the Cincinnati Nature Center. Batavia and Cincinnati Ohio 

    Click or tap on photos for slideshow

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  • Myanmar 2017 Pentecost in Taungoo Report June 24, 2017
  • Prophetic Times June 24, 2017 June 23, 2017

    Close Fighter Jet encounters in Baltic, Venezuela, Iran, of course, and more…

  • Update from the President June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017

    Report on Emily Gerhardt in Australia and my comments about daily miracles that should not be overlooked.

  • Update from the President June 15, 2017 June 23, 2017

    Rotary convention in Atlanta and National Geographic’s June 2017 article about Why We Lie

  • Pringle NW Zambia January 2017 Trip June 22, 2017

    January 2017  Zambia North West Trip

    Hello Vic,

    This is a short belated report on a visit Cherry and I took up to Solwezi – Mufumbwe – Manyinga in January 2017.

    We spent the Sabbath at Solwezi. I gave them paint for the inside of the church hall and a sign to be fixed to an outside wall.

    The next day, Sunday we went to Mufumbwe where we had a meeting to discuss various issues. They had no trouble with Army Worm but had a plague of Stalk Borer. I had previously sent them K5,000  ($500) to purchase Knapsack sprayers and insecticide. This they had used to good effect and the scourge had mostly been eradicated. We also inspected the church plot where the foundations were in. I had also previously given them a plan and picture of what type of hall we needed.   I noticed power lines some 200m from our plot. I was told that if we paid K750 ($75) to the electricity department they would bring the line right up to the church building. Fortunately Cherry had grocery money to that amount in her bag which I pirated off her so we could have this done.

    Then I got all sorts of ambitious ideas  I had planned to put an extra room on the back of the church completely fitted out for us to stay for when ...

  • My “New” Blog – various thoughts about various things…. June 22, 2017 My "New" Blog - various thoughts about various things....
  • Vic’s TravelArk (formerly TravelPod) trips June 16, 2017

    http://v2.travelark.org/traveller/victorkubik

  • Prophetic Times – June 17, 2014 June 16, 2017 Prophetic Times - June 17, 2014
  • Personal from the President June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017

    President, Victor Kubik, gives updates on the most recent Holy Day: Pentecost. He talks about his time in Indianapolis for this day and gives a brief update of LifeNets help in the Philippines with scholarships. Later on, Mr. Kubik, goes into detail on when our children are confronted with death and how we need to be the positive influence for our children to talk to in these difficult times. 

  • Prophetic Times June 3, 2017 June 5, 2017

    Isis, Philippines, Trump alienating Europe, North Korea and more.

    Terrorists are operating from the United Kingdom because there is more “freedom.” In this weekly issue of Prophetic Times :Terrorism and the Philippines, North Korea, Trump and Germany.

    http://kubik.org/pt/2017/PT060317.pdf

  • Letter from the President June 2, 2017 June 5, 2017

    I am moved to write a short note to all our congregations to ask your prayers for God’s healing, His grace and His comfort upon many in our midst who are suffering and are dealing with the impact of unexpected, fiery trials.

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/letter-from-the-president-june-2-2017

  • Death of Mark O. Rorem June 1, 2017

    June 1, 2017

    It is with much sadness that we must announce that United Church of God elder Mark Ohmer Rorem, 69, died early on Wednesday morning, May 31, after battling a previously dormant condition which eroded the lining of his lungs and caused his death.

    He leaves behind his loving wife, Linda, a son, Greg, and two daughters, Jessica and Stephanie, and two grandchildren. All of his children are baptized members of the United Church of God. Jessica is married to James Goss and they have two children. They attend the San Jose, California congregation. Stephanie attends in Oakland, CA, and Greg is presently living and working in China.

    Mark graduated in 1973 from Ambassador University and taught at the college as well. Prior to coming to Ambassador Mark received a BA in economics from Tulane University. After leaving Ambassador he received an MBA from the Southern Methodist University, and he later received a JD degree from University of California, Hastings College.

    He practiced civil litigation and had an office in San Francisco. He was ordained as an elder in the United Church of God September 30, 2000 and served in the San Francisco area.

    He was deeply dedicated to his calling and his ministry and greatly affected the lives ...

  • Personal from the President May 25, 2017 May 26, 2017

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/update-from-the-president-may-25-2017

    ABC Graduation, Ministerial Education, Pastoral Development Program, ABC Continuing Education and my blog about my parents gratitude to their sponsor for bringing them to the United States from post-WWII Germany.

  • Prophetic Times May 26, 2017

    High points of last week’s world events to watch.  Including Iran, N. Korea and now the Philippines.  Jim Tuck gives this quick summary of items to be aware of.

    Jim Tuck has been producing a weekly newsletter highlighting world events of significance in light of Bible prophecy.  He is United Church of God pastor in Phoenix, Arizona.  

    I’m glad to feature his newsletter on my site at 

    http://kubik.org/pt

    Jim Tuck

    ljt5v053@sbcglobal.net

  • Kubik’s come to America 1949 May 21, 2017

    May 21, 2017

    I have just recently come across a letter that my father Igor wrote on July 18, 1949 to his Minnesota sponsor in the United States. This was the day before he, my mother Nina and I left Germany for the United States. The letter is preserved in the family archives of University of Minnesota professor Dr. Alexander Granovsky. He was the sponsor for our family to leave refugee camp Lyssenko in Hannover and start a new life in the United States.   The role of the sponsor was to invite and guarantee work for the immigrant. After arriving at Ellis Island in New York, my parents took the train to Faribault, Minnesota where my Dad Igor was given a job working at an apple orchard.   The three of us ultimately became naturalized US citizens.   

    When I read this discovered letter, I was deeply moved.  In this brief missive to his sponsor, my father briefly encapsulated hope, gratitude, anxiety and relief from demeaning suffering during seven years of life in Germany from 1942 to 1949.  My parents survived work camps, concentration camps and refugee camps in Magdeburg and Hannover, Germany.  They left Germany forever on July 19, 1949.  I was not yet two years old.

    My father Igor Davidovich Kubik

    Personal from the President May 18, 2017 May 19, 2017

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/update-from-the-president-may-18-2017

    Ambassador Bible College – Graduation this Sunday.  Teaching the Truth.  New Zealand update. More…

  • Prophetic Times May 13, 2017


    Jim Tuck has been producing a weekly newsletter highlighting world events of significance in light of Bible prophecy.  He is United Church of God pastor in Phoenix, Arizona.

    I’m glad to feature his newsletter on my site at

    http://kubik.org/pt

    Jim Tuck

    ljt5v053@sbcglobal.net

  • Personal from the President May 11, 2017 May 12, 2017

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/update-from-the-president-may-11-2017

    Summary of the new General Conference of Elders and a preview of the promotions we are doing to our readers about the new ANGELS booklet.

  • Personal from the President May 4, 2017 May 5, 2017

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/update-from-the-president-may-4-2017

    Today I show the new artwork display at the home office in Cincinnati.
    I discuss the kind of person I would hire right away: Timothy!

  • Personal from the President April 27, 2017 May 2, 2017

    Discussion of three traits of a Disciple.

    https://www.ucg.org/members/news/update-from-the-president-april-27-2017

  • Sing-a-long at Darris/Debbie McNeely’s home May 1, 2017

    Saturday night April 29, the McNeely’s had much of the ABC class over for a social. One of the things we did was have a sing-a-long.

  • 24 Days in Africa March 29 – April 21, 2017 April 20, 2017

    We are leaving South Africa, Malawi, Zambia on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Will be visiting lots of friends, pastors, congregations along the way. Join us on TravelPod and bookmark us

    http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/victorkubik/20/tpod.html

    http://v2.travelark.org/travel-blog/victorkubik/20

    http://v2.travelark.org/traveller/victorkubik

     

  • LifeNets Business Center March 27, 2017

    We have built a business center facing a main street in Lilongwe, Malawi.  It contains an Internet cafe, copy center, and grocery store.  It is also the location of the LifeNets office for the northern part of Malawi.  

    Take a look at the latest tri-fold brochure.  Financing for this operation was done by LifeNets and will provide employment for about four people.    LifeNets Business Center

  • From a sermon I gave in Los Angeles in spring 1992…. March 25, 2017

    From a sermon I gave in Los Angeles in spring 1992….

    In 1992 I was guest speaker in the Los Angeles congregation. My friend with whom we traveled together from Pasadena took notes, but as his habit was, he took them in the form of spontaneously generated poetry. Just found this among my sermon notes from years gone by and thought you might enjoy this.

    Vic Looks at Passover

  • Featured Links from Vic March 20, 2017

    Two couples are serving in Malawi through in 2017 for a year.  Lewis and Lena VanAusdle  arrived the first part of the year and Brennan and Michala Hilgen in February.  Lewis VanAusdle is pastor of the Lilongwe, Malawi congregation.  Brennan and Michala are volunteer workers helping out with the congregation and with LifeNets projects.


    Lewis


    Lena


    Brennan and Michala

  • Finally Home October 20, 2006

    Finally Home
    Indianapolis, IN

    Indianapolis, IN


  • Home October 20, 2006

    Home
    Washington, DistrictofColumbia

    Washington, DistrictofColumbia


  • Final Day in Africa – Final Thoughts October 19, 2006

    Final Day in Africa – Final Thoughts
    Durban, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa


    In the morning I did a video of Andre van Belkum talking about LifeNets. We want to make a promotional video about our African projects. We had a long breakfast then got our things together to go to the airport and fly back to the United States. It’s been a wonderful trip We feel that we have contributed positively to the Feast of Tabernacles in both Malawi and Zambia and deepened our relationships with so many people in both those countries. I spoke a total of 13 times starting with the Sabbath before the Day of Atonement. It was interesting to perform a wedding in Lilongwe and take part in a funeral in Mumbwa. Visiting our LifeNets projects was essential to ensure their continued success and continuation of the programs. Both Bev and I are ecstatic about this particular trip to Africa that will help us serve the people even better here. After flying back from Johannesburg, we met up with Bill and Cheryl Jahns and Bruce and Phyllis Anderson from Minnesota as well as Herb Teitgen from North Dakota. The Anderson’s and Herb T. are also flying back to the United States, but they are on a flight to New York while we go to Washington D.C. Well, that’s it for this trip. Thanks for following our journey..


  • Final Day and the flight home October 19, 2006

    Final Day and the flight home
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, South Africa


  • With the van Belkum's in Durban October 18, 2006

    With the van Belkum's in Durban
    Durban, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa


    Today is our last full day in Africa on this trip and we just drove around. I tried to get my email downloaded and some sent from where Neville Smith works, but my laptop just couldn’t get connected to the wireless or the ADSL line. We then drove around Durban and just spent time at their home in afternoon. We had lunch at a garden supply store. Open restaurants in Garden shops are typical here. In the evening the van Belkum’s took us out to dinner at an Italian restaurant.


  • To the van Belkum's October 17, 2006

    To the van Belkum's
    Durban, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa


  • Back to South Africa October 17, 2006

    Back to South Africa
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, South Africa


  • Last Day in Zambia October 17, 2006

    Last Day in Zambia
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    Kambani and Shirley Banda arrived at 5:45 am to take us to the Lusaka airport for our flight to Johannesburg and continuing down to Durban where Andre and Elize van Belkum live. We have gotten very close to the Banda’s and admire their service to the Church people as their minister and his exceptional skill as administrator of the LifeNets projects. He is tough and disciplined, but that is the what it takes to get RESULTS in this part of the world. He doesn’t take excuses and demands that people do their part and holds their feet to the fire. Now after doing this for five years in Mumbwa, we can see outcomes that are quantitative leaps economically from where they had been. In the process they are taught to be more disciplined and to work hard and see the correlation between hard work, good management and prosperity. I thought we were getting to the airport a bit too early, but it took all that time to first pay the airport departure tax of $25 a person, then stand in line for the first security check. Then you check in. Then you go through immigration which took more than half an hour. Then another security check before being put on a bus to go out to the waiting South African Airways Airbus to Joburg and then to Durban where the van Belkum’s live.. It was great to see Andre and Elize again. He has been a special friend of ours the past 15 years – to me if there is any human for being ...

  • Fascinating trip to Mumbwa in the heart of Zambia October 16, 2006

    Fascinating trip to Mumbwa in the heart of Zambia
    Mumbwa, Zambia

    Mumbwa, Zambia


    About 7:00 am Kambani Banda came by to pick us for our trip to Mumbwa. Apren Moomba did not return until 10 pm from taking the first load of about 60 people to their homes in Mumbwa. The trailer carrying the luggage had a flat tire and ruined rim that had to be replaced. He barely made it back to Paray’s Game Park where the Feast of Tabernacles was held. The remaining second group of 60 people had to pitch tents again. Food had to be purchased for feeding them. The Paray’s Game Park is on the way to Mumwa and we stopped to see what’s going on. When we came out there they were all waiting to get on the road for home. It’s now two days after the Feast, but no one is disappointed or deterred. They take things in stride. Apren Moomba has left with the big “van” to Luska with the disassembled meeting building, the tabernacle, that is being stored at Kambani Banda’s home. He will return pick up the people. We load up our pickup trip with as many of their belonging as we can pack up. The van will then have to take all the people and belongings back without the benefit of the trailer. So Kambani Banda, Beverly, Jerrison Shachoongo and I continue on to Mumbwa. We are told that there is a better road that has been graded. It’s a total of about a 100 miles with only 40 miles on dirt road. But when we come to the dirt road, ...

  • Take down and transport after the Feast October 15, 2006

    Take down and transport after the Feast
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    At 6:00 am we started working on takedown in dismantling the shelter where we met during the Feast of Tabernacles. The men spent three days putting it up and the takedown was to take a good part of the day. I helped out with taking nails out of the wall supports. Every nail I took out was saved…it will be straightened and used next year as the shelter is set up again. Nails are expensive. We rolled up the home-made bamboo mats there were used for flooring and for the walls. The crew moved quickly and aptly under the direction of Haben Moonga, a hard-working, competent farmer and builder. He has put in charge of building the three UCG church buildings in the Mumbwa area. A ride for the Copper Belt people was arranged by running out to the main highway and getting a bus to drive into the game park and picking up the 18 people heading to Northeast Zambia. The Copper Belt people assumed that we were going to give them a ride to Lusaka, but that was not the case. Kambani Banda is a great planner and had all the logistics thought through with getting equipment back first to Lusaka and then taking two loads of people of over 60 at a time on the truck for the three hour trip to the Mumbwa area from Paray’s Game Park. Kambani Banda is a man of great patience who was able to handle the misunderstanding and arrange adroitly for everyone and everything to be accommodated. We then loaded the ...

  • Last Great Day October 14, 2006

    Last Great Day
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    Today is the Last Day of the Fall Festivals. I speak three times with two sermons and a blessing of the children sermonette. Evertything that is said is translated consecutively and it is a challenge to keep the tempo going. I find that short quick sentences are best keep the sermon moving along better. Early in the morning I heard a beautiful harmony from a group of young singers about 100 feet from where we stayed. It was the youth choir practicing for their special music in the morning. The harmony and rhythm were perfect. At 9:30 am we had two baptisms. One was Emily who is the mother of three children in the Church. The daughters are Often and Nice. The son’s name is Mostly. We had arranged with the owner of the game park to use the pool for baptism. He was OK with that. But, when all of us got to the pool for the baptism the caretaker and lady manager put up a fuss and told us all to go to the lake some distance away. About 30-40 members showed up for the baptism and it was so demeaning. Kambani Banda was visibly upset and so was I. So many things are so hard to arrange and I felt that these people simply detested our people. I walked over to older lady and simply told her that we were going to go ahead with the baptism in the pool as we were given permission and asked her to respect what we were doing. Just then the owner came along and all ...

  • October 13, 2006 October 13, 2006

    October 13, 2006
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    What I had not realized until today here at the game park where everyone is camping is just how much work was put in by the United Church of God members to prepare this location for the Feast site. The last two years the only economically viable location for the Feast here in Lusaka has been this game park. The cost is $200 a day for everyone. It is somewhat a broken-down place as the owner does not keep it up and makes most of his money from hunting and selling game meat. Our men came here weeks before to cut down the tall grass and build the building where we are holding services. I thought it was permanent structure, but it will be taken taken down after the Feast. There is quite a large sheet metal roof on top. There is no other place to meet that would not be five to six times the cost that would take as many children as we have. The owner here has a pool but will not allow the children to swim in it. This festival site could use an infusion of some serious financial help to bring it up to better standards. There are more than 150 people here and with the new people coming from the Worldwide Church of God, there will be quite a large group. This site is a step up from Mumbwa, however. People live in new tents which they really like instead of the quickly constructed grass huts. The hall has comfortable chairs that Kambani Banda was able to borrow from ...

  • Visiting interesting group in Mumbwa October 12, 2006

    Visiting interesting group in Mumbwa
    Mumbwa Town, Zambia

    Mumbwa Town, Zambia


    We live in a little cottage. We are glad that we got the mosquito net not so much for the mosquitoes, but because of all the other creepie crawlies. We chased off the five inch spider, but he as back today! So, we’re just going to live with him. Bev has even befriended him calling him “Goliath.” He is just over the night stand and we have to be aware not to bump our head into him. Kambani Banda told us that he has never seen such a spider and that he “hopes it’s not poisonous.” We had not planned on this, but an interesting development has taken place in that the what remained of the Worldwide Church of God in Zambia. WCG members in Zambia were told that the church was going to Sunday worship and that the Festival Days, that we had been observing for years, were no longer to be kept. These church members were kept in the dark about where the church was really going all these years. Beacause of loyalty to the church, they hung on as long as they felt they could keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, but earlier in the year they were notified by their leaders that observing the God-ordained Sabbath and Holy Days was no longer to be done. The leader, Wilson Nkhoma and many of the brethren could no longer accept this and withdrew from the Worldwide Church of God. Just before the Feast of Tabernacles they notified the United Church of God that they wanted contact. Our Zambian pastor, ...

  • In Zambia! October 11, 2006

    In Zambia!
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    It was interesting stay overnight at the home of Mark Katsonga Phiri. He is quite a national leader. He has also been a long-time member of the Blantyre Chamber of CommerceHe was President of it for four years. Servants prepared a tasty breakfast for us before we packed up in the same vehicle we traveled in yesterday and Peter drove us to the Blantyre Airport. On to Lusaka! The flight first went to the capital Lilongwe and then the one hour 40 minute leg to Lusaka. Shirley and Kambani Banda were there to greet us. How good to see them again!! Kambani Banda has been an excellent minister in Zambia, an excellent manager and one who has made our LifeNets projects intending to change people’s lives for the better a phenomenal success. I have a great deal of trust in their capacity to make things happen…simply because they HAVE made things happen. Always, the strength of LifeNets has been our competent delivery at the beneficiary’s end. Other organizations such service clubs and churches have noted this about LifeNets. I tell them that we use our ministers and old-time acquaintances to deliver our programs. We are strict regarding accountability and if we make mistakes we correct them and determine not to make them again. We stopped at Manda Hill mall to change money. The Zambia Kwacha is 3850 to one US dollar. We got about two million Zambian Kwachas for $500. Bev was commenting to Kambani Banda who is a certified public accountant that you need an accounting degree in this country just to manage the money ...

  • Tuesday, October 10 — leaving Mangochi October 10, 2006

    Tuesday, October 10 — leaving Mangochi
    Blantyre, Malawi

    Blantyre, Malawi


    This is our last day at the Feast here in Malawi and saddens grips me. We love the Malawian people, they truly have the warm heart of Africa as the travel advertisements go. Bev and I have gotten into the personal lives of so many of the Malawi brethren and feel satisfaction in being providers of hope not only spiritually, but vocationally as well. We have taken at least ten application for livelihood development projects to consider and to fund before the beginning of the year. Most projects to this point, both in scholarships and livelihood development have been successful. We try to tell them about the LifeNets mission of providing practical aid that makes people self-sustaining and then helps them help others. Bill Jahns and I both gave sermons, Bill about the Resurrection and I spoke about marriage. Since we enjoyed the children’s choir so much earlier, I made a special request for them to sing again. They did. Then the church choir sang as well. It was beautiful. After the service was complete, Beverly addressed everyone about LifeNets and gave some important pointers about our programs Then the lunch. Today we invited everyone over to the Nkopola Lodge for a lunch. All 140 people came and enjoyed a delicious lunch, provided by brethren in Boston, Houston South and Central Illinois. Time to go. Our driver is “Peter” from the Customs and Excise Office of Malawi. He works for my Rotarian friend Agnes Katsonga Phiri who is the head of that division. Rotarians help one another and this was a BIG ...

  • Monday, October 9, 2006 October 9, 2006

    Monday, October 9, 2006
    Mangochi, Malawi

    Mangochi, Malawi


    Today I borrowed a bicycle from one of the staff at the hotel to go some exercise. It’s not just a bike ride, it’s an eyeful of local Malawi life. The area is predominantly Muslim. I pass mosque and mosque and madressa. The people are very peaceful and gentle Muslims and very friendly. The Catholic Church and the Muslims compete for the hearts of the people in this region. I biked about 20 miles and enjoyed seeing the sights of fields being worked up to be planted in anticipation of the rainy season. Women carried incredible loads on their heads of water, wood and everything else. Trucks hauled a dozen or more men in the back to who knows where. It was just plain interesting to see all this activity. Children continually wave in friendly innocence. When coming back to the Nkopola Lodge, I saw officers in military dress and a prominent-looking woman with a dress saying “Fight Corruption.” We found out from brethren that she was Speaker of the Parliament who is often seen on television. Mililtary personnel in full colors were also present. We found out later that they were there for funeral of a Malawian official who was from this area of the country. On to Church services. Bill Jahns gave a good sermon about the education and how that knowledge is powerful and how it benefits our lives. After services we took group photos of extended families. The Salawilla family was the biggest with almost 20. The Chimbuzo family was probably second. They had about 15 of their family at ...

  • Sunday, October 8 October 8, 2006

    Sunday, October 8
    Mangochi, Malawi

    Mangochi, Malawi


    Today we broke another record in Malawi UCG history. Yesterday the attendance was 137. Today it grew to 141. The meeting hall is filled to capacity and the four air conditioners are working at full capacity, but it’s still hard to give a sermon with a suit coat on. I gave the morning sermon entitled “What God Has Begun, He Will Finish.” I feel that the people need encouragement to know that God knows what He’s doing in working in a poor country like Malawi. He has a special plan for everyone He calls. After services as a minister I spent time talking to people about personal matters and LifeNets projects and grants. Overall the people have done wonderfully in the livelihood development area as well as the scholarships that we introduced here only two years ago. Afterwards we took the three principle people in the Maize Mill Project out to lunch to talk about how things were going. We are pleased as to how the maize mill project is working. It is working with a commodity, so there will always be an income generated. Eliphazi Salawilla, Fred Chimbuso and Mr. Chikaza have formed a three-part association. Our aim is to make this maize mill a model of good business practice and customer service. We found that the the daily bus transportation for Fred Chimbuso and Mr. Chakaza were exhorbitant, but a problem that could be resolved if they could get to work by bicycle. We will get them bicycles and cost them $100 each. In the evening we had the variety/fun show which was ...

  • First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles October 7, 2006

    First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles
    Mangochi, Malawi

    Mangochi, Malawi


    Today is the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and we have two services scheduled. We had breakfast at the Nkopola Lodge with Bill and Cheryl Jahns. It’s quite windy on the lake, but absolutely beautiful. It’s about a quarter mile walk from where we stay to the meeting hall and you need to walk right along the lakeshore which is public access. It’s quite an experience seeing all the ladies and children doing their washing and laying the clothing out on the sandy beach. It’s amazing to see how nice the people do look dressed even with such primitive methods of washing and doing normal life chores. It was wonderful seeing everyone at the meeting hall before services. This is our third Feast of Tabernacles in Malawi in four years and we recognize most everyone and know many of the names. Because we work with so many people on livelihood and scholarship projects, we have become quite close to them and feel a bond of genuine friendship. Lewis Salawilla leads songs, elder Gladstone Chonde gives the sermonette and I gave the sermon that was translated into Chewa by Mr. Chierwa. All went well. The afternoon sermon was given by Bill Jahns. We talked a long time after the afternoon service before having dinner back at the lodge. We invited two families to join us. It was unbelievably enjoyable to have this time with them.


  • To the Festival site in Mangochi on the Lake October 6, 2006

    To the Festival site in Mangochi on the Lake
    Mangochi, Malawi

    Mangochi, Malawi


    We leave for the Lake Malawi today. It’s been pleasant staying with the Chilopora’s at their home. We have visited here several times and always enjoy coming here. We feel very comfortable with them. This morning I was able to get Chiku’s computer fixed. We pack up and head to the lake. The Chilopora’s bring all their food with them. They also bring plenty for others. They are very generous people and God has blessed them for it. Because there is so much, Dr. Chilopora asks his nephew to drive some of the items to Mangochi in his pickup truck. It is Friday and as we drive the 100 mile distance we see faithful Muslims walking to their place of worship at the mosque. This area has been Muslim since the Middle Ages when the Arabs invaded this area. It became a primary area for slave trade for several centuries where the inhumane practice of forcing thousands of people into slavery from the villages. Local chiefs were guilty of selling their own people for profit to Arabs who shipped them all over the world, including the United States. We got to Mangochi mid-afternoon and settled in. We are very happy with our accommodations at the Nkopola Lodge. We have a nice round home. We are familiar the setup here and look forward to our stay. We met Bill and Cheryl Jahns who came up the day before and went to dinner with them. We are so blessed to be with these people and in this land. Our plans are ...

  • On to Balaka and the orphans October 5, 2006

    On to Balaka and the orphans
    Balaka, Malawi

    Balaka, Malawi


    This is another WOW day as we see some tremendous progress in our Malawi projects. Bev and I are just so excited to see this first-hand and how people’s lives are changed for the better. Dr. Sam Chilopora drove from Blantyre to Balaka. He was to have a trailer connected to the ambulance so that the Chilopora’s, Bill and Cheryl Jahns and Bev and I could all go together to Lake Malawi for the Feast of Tabernacles. The trailer never got delivered and it was decided that Bill and Cheryl would go directly from Blantyre to the Lake with Henry and Cindy Khembo. Dr. Chilopora is 77 years old, but amazing in his energy level. He still sees 20-30 patients every day at the Chizeni fifth Health Centre along with his nurse wife Esther who is 74. He wanted me to drive the 100 miles back to Balaka which I really enjoyed doing. We passed by one of the biggest open air markets that is open on Friday. Hundreds of vendors were selling EVERYTHING. For fifteen miles past the open air market we saw people walking away from the markets carrying unbelievable loads on their heads. At points past the market they were already reselling the items they had bought at market. We drove directly to the Chizeni Clinic in Balaka where a portion of the 200 orphans of the LifeNets Orphan Care Centre were waiting to greet us. It’s always such an exciting event as they noisily greet us with singing. At first we were greeted by the grandmothers, then by ...

  • WOW!! What a day of happy surprises! October 4, 2006

    WOW!! What a day of happy surprises!
    Blantyre, Malawi

    Blantyre, Malawi


    WOW!!! What a day!! Today was our day to see several of our LifeNets success stories for the Malawi people. We want to give special commendation to Henry Khembo who has driven us around all day long today. It was a hard journey. I had NEVER been on roads as bad as the one we traveled on and we stayed all within Blantyre today. We were in the within the Ndilande and the Chirinda sections of town. Ndilande is densely populated compacted into a neighborhood, some of which has no electricity or running water. We walked through sections of it. We were an hour late getting going, but that is Africa. With all the things that go wrong, it is a miracle sometimes that we get done what we do. At 11:00 Henry and Cindy Khembo with their young son Jordan came to get us in their travel trailer. Off we go to Eliphaz and Celia Salawilla’s home. We were here two years ago and what a pleasant difference with the improvements we have seen. Mr. Salawilla keeps the UCG office in a separate room in his home. Two years ago there were gaping holes in the sheet metal roof. There was only a basic bench where he stuffed envelopes with literature and Good News magazines. Since that time LifeNets helped him with a new sheet metal roof which will keep water out during the rainy season. Also there are various sorting bins for various literature and a nice desk. It really looks great. Mr. Salawilla has such a warm ...

  • With Eliphaz Salawilla and Agnes Katsonga Phiri October 3, 2006

    With Eliphaz Salawilla and Agnes Katsonga Phiri
    Blantyre, Malawi

    Blantyre, Malawi


    Today spent much of the day with United Church of God deacon Eliphaz Salawilla. He is a man of amazing spiritual strength coupled with humility. He has been faithful for years and has set the pace for the church in Blantyre. He lives in a poor township in Blantyre. A number of other UCG families, including his children, live close by. He came by at 11:00 am and we discussed the LifeNets projects in greater detail. He is our manager for the various livelihood projects here. The last one was the drilling of a borehole on the property of James Mapinda who lives about a mile from him. This project was financed by my Rotary District of Central Indiana. The well was drilled on his property and provides fresh water for his family and for those around which is many. We are looking forward to seeing the well tomorrow. We were given photos showing people lined up with buckets drawing water. . Another successful project has been the maize mill LifeNets financed right next to Mr. Salawilla’s home. It provides a decent living for three families and a service to the community. We discussed more details about that operation. We also have scholarships, sewing, knitting, food production and more. One person has a freezer shop. We discussed the various level of success of the other livelihood and scholarship projects. Bev and I have developed a set of policies for the consideration of the various grants and how they will be managed. Overall, we are very pleased for how they are working. ...

  • The Day of Atonement in Blantyre October 2, 2006

    The Day of Atonement in Blantyre
    Blantyre, Malawi

    Blantyre, Malawi


    Today is the Day of Atonement. Mr. Eliphazi Salawilla will be coming for us at noon for a 1:00 pm service at a hall within walking distance. The Chichiri Lodge where we stay is just barely adequate. It is secure, but not exactly five-star. But, $28 a night is not bad either. We enjoy taking in of the sights and sounds of Africa. Mr. Salawilla came about 12:15 pm with his son Bilton, the musician who carries the electric keyboard with him. LifeNets has helped Bilton expand a private music school that has provide a service for people in Blantyre as there is only one other private music school that is pricey. It also provides him with a living. He is a talented musician. He has been able to teach more than 20 students. The latest achievement has been to write new music with students and record it. Some of the new music has been played on the local radio station in Blantyre. Altogether we walked to the meeting hall which is right past the property of the Worldwide Church of God which included the church building and where the pastor lived and perhaps still does. The property is now a school called the “Young Ambassadors” and was quite busy with children entering the gates. The gate into the property has an imposing “Worldwide Church of God” sign. United Church of God members filed into the hall for services. Beverly and I knew almost everyone. It was a warm and wonderful reunion. We had more than 60 in attendance for the Day ...

  • A Malawi Wedding October 1, 2006

    A Malawi Wedding
    Blantyre, Malawi

    Blantyre, Malawi


    We are all set for the wedding in which I’m to officiate from which go on to the airport. I hope that Mr. Chonde has the ceremony book and without a rehearsal I hope that nothing we do in our English weddings is taboo here, but we’ll see. We have appreciated the accommodations at the Baptist Missionary Apartments that amounted to $18 per night. We have tried to stay as economically as possible when traveling and in that way we have more money available to help the people we visit. We were to be picked up at 8:00 for the 8:30 am wedding. Meshech Chonde didn’t come with the ambulance until past 8:30, but things are flexible here and we have lots of time before we have to fly at 1:30 pm for Blantyre. In the meantime we had a wonderful conversation with two young ladies who were doing mission work with orphans. One was Monica from Michigan and the other was Elizabeth from Oahu, Hawaii. Both worked for an organization called Children of the Nations out of Seattle, Washington. They work with orphans and we learned of their work as they helped with feeding and lodging orphans in nearby villages. I was struck by their focus and desire to alleviate suffering. Also, I was impressed by how some organizations are organized and funded to help in this way. We arrived at the Malakia Clinic and at first there were just a few people waiting for the not only for the wedding party, by for the guests as well. I was wondering what this was ...

  • Sabbath in Lilongwe, Malawi September 30, 2006

    Sabbath in Lilongwe, Malawi
    Lilongwe, Malawi

    Lilongwe, Malawi


    This morning we had a respite from the extra full days of travel and moving about. It is Sabbath morning and we rested well. I had a chance to do some studying for my sermon today plus do some journal writing. Services are scheduled for 11:00 but we were told that people from the country are sometimes an hour late and services can start as late as noon. It is about fifteen minutes from the Baptist Missionary apartments where we stay to the Malakia Clinic where we hold services. We agreed for our drivers in the ambulance to come and get us at 10:45 am. They were there, but the traffic back to Area 21 of Lilongwe where the clinic is located was fierce and in gridlock. It was almost completely stopped and we had to find an alternate route along a dusty road to get to services. We were a half hour late and most of the people were already in their seats waiting for the services to start. It as wonderful to see everyone again. We recognized most of the people. There were a few new people as well. We definitely have a bond after five trips to this area in six years. Also, from New York City were Henry and Cindy Khembo. Henry used to live in Malawi, but has married Cindy and now works in New York. He travels three to four times a year to Malawi and is an aggressive business person. Edwin Chonde was the song-leader and I accompanied him on the electric keyboard on the table next ...

  • Lilongwe!! September 29, 2006

    Lilongwe!!
    Lilongwe, Malawi

    Lilongwe, Malawi


    On our international travels what I enjoy most is interacting with people of different cultures and races. As a minister of Jesus Christ, I find it nothing short of miraculous that the values or behaviors of Christianity are universal and were intended to work with all people, no matter how diverse they may be. I’m not sure why I even started my thoughts today with these words except to say that our mission wherever we travel is promote, preach a way of life that gives application to the maxim in the last paragraph. As we head for poor Malawi which is so different from my culture, background and citizenship, these thoughts flood my brain. I got up at 3:30 am. … we left at 6:15 am for Johannesburg airport, but before that I wanted to get another entry on my TravelPod blog which I did. Bill Jahns fortunately has DSL and wireless and it was easy to do. It may be a little while before more postings are made, but I’ll keep writing the blog and upload as I’m able. The traffic in the Johannesburg area is like any major city in the world. The Joburg area has over five million people in a society that has extreme wealth coexisting side by side with poverty. We were concerned that our luggage was far too much for the internal traffic within Africa. In fact, we were braced to pay upwards of $200 in additional overweight charges. I silently prayed that we wouldn’t have to. All that overage was in humanitarian items that we brought over. As we walked ...

  • With Bill and Cheryl Jahns in Johannesburg September 29, 2006

    With Bill and Cheryl Jahns in Johannesburg
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, South Africa


    We left Washington D.C. for the long flight over both the North Atlantic and South Atlantic oceans. Halfway across there was a fuel stop in Dakar, Senegal located on the west coast of Africa. After 17 hours of flying including the one hour stop, we landed at noon Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bill Jahns was waiting for us. How wonderful to see him! Bill and Cheryl are special friends in the ministry. Bill, Cheryl and I attended Ambasssador College in Pasadena together in 1966….we’ve been friends 40 years. We have gone through many experiences and adventures in the Church. Who would think that we would meeting in South Africa….and this is the third time in the past few years. Bill and Cheryl took an assignment in South Africa to serve here for five years starting in 2002. They will be returning to the United States to serve in a pastoral position. Morgen and Joleen Kriedemann who are native South Africa will replace Bill and Cheryl Jahns. Bill has done a valiant job here serving not only South Africa, but in Malawi and some in Zambia as well. The Church in Johannesburg has grown from 40 when the Jahns arrived to well over a 100 now. Because of our friendship and the Jahns’ love for the impoverished areas to the north of here, we have been able to get a lot done effectively with the people in both Malawi and Zambia through LifeNets. Morgen and Joleen came over for dinner Thursday evening and we had a great time talking ...

  • Dakar September 29, 2006

    Dakar
    Dakar, Senegal

    Dakar, Senegal


  • In Washington DC September 28, 2006

    In Washington DC
    Washington DC, DistrictofColumbia

    Washington DC, DistrictofColumbia


  • Finally underway!! September 27, 2006

    Finally underway!!
    Washington DC, DistrictofColumbia

    Washington DC, DistrictofColumbia


    Our journey actually started TODAY! In doing a travel blog, I like to write days before leaving and talk about we’re going to be doing on our trip. But, there has been so much preparation and other tasks before leaving that I am just now starting to write. I write this from Dulles Airport in Washington DC between our flight from Indianapolis and almost a six hour layover to our South African Airways flight directly to Johannesburg. This is our sixth trip to Africa. Bev and I have had the opportunity of not only serving as a minister at the Feast of Tabernacles, but also with serving in a humanitarian way in some of the most impoverished countries in the world. According to the United Nations, Malawi is the third poorest country in the world with Zambia the fourth poorest. We have seen the growth of the churches in Malawi rise from one family in 1996 to more than 110 total in regular attendance. We met the first UCG members Gladstone and Alice Chonde of Lilongwe, Malawi in Mutare, Zimbabwe at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1996. They operated a basic “clinic” in Lilongwe. They worked with barely any supplies or equipment. I wrote about my talks with them on my website http://www.lifenets.org/malawi in 1996. I received a positive response from then Salt Lake City pastor Bill Jahns who offered to help send badly-needed medicine. I was then able to find a US Government Aid program that paid for shipping 40 foot twenty ton containers. We sent the first one in 1998. Much ...

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