Tag Archives: Journal

Moldova Journal # 2

On Saturday there were two ladies from Kishinev Bible Church who were baptized by the Pastor, Eugene Sologubenco. Due to the increasing difficulty of finding a place that will allow them to baptize, they were able to hold the ceremony in a local Baptist church.

Eugene is leaving for the US next week and asked if anyone wanted to be baptized before he left. He will be gone for two months so these two ladies expressed their desire to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. For some goofy reason the audio on my camera was not turned on so there is no sound. It is all in Russian anyway so you wouldn’t be able to understand it… unless you know Russian, that is. Just imagine the excitement and jubilation of the second lady as she came out of the water. It was a very touching moment.

Well… CRUD! I tried to upload the video and it wouldn’t work. I’m going to try something else and see if I can get it posted. For now, here is a picture of Eugene and the two ladies.

Moldova 2007- Journal One

Whew! I left on Thursday and it is already Saturday. Time is flying and I haven’t even started teaching my class yet. As many of you know, I’ve taught a course on Cults and world Religions at Moldova Bible Seminary ever since the year 2000. It has been a couple of years since I have been here and a lot has changed.

Before I get into excerpts from my journal (I haven’t written it yet), I wanted to post this funny picture. This scene was in the Frankfurt airport. I have no idea where these folks were from, where they were going or what in the world they were doing there, but they sure did attract a lot of attention.

The little dude there on the end with the instrument kept playing it and drawing more people’s interest every minute. They enjoyed the attention and just smiled at every one. Lots of people stopped to take their picture.

They are sitting right below an escalator and once when I was riding on it (hey, there isn’t much to do with five hour lay-overs), I looked down and saw some guy with a violin sitting with them and he was tuning it to sound similar to this other instrument. I regret not getting a picture of it because it sure would have made a nice shot. Two guys from two completely different cultures with two kinds of instruments making the same music together. I thought that was cool.

Be sure to check back when I will tell the story of how I managed to attract the attention of the guys with guns at the Frankfurt airport.

Manti Journal-6 2007

Tuesday, June 19th 2007

We had an interesting thing happen tonight. Becky was handing out tracts and saw a group of people walking towards her. She offered them a tract and it turns out that the group was from a Lutheran church in Denton Texas. The youth pastor, Ron Dupree, had heard me speak at a Lutheran workers conference at Concordia Lutheran Church some time last year. He was interested in Manti and e-mailed back and forth with Becky a couple of times about the possibility of them bringing a team up to Manti and having us do some training. Becky was freaked out when Ron greeted her by name, “Hello Becky.”

Totally unbeknownst to us, they had decided to come. There were a total of 10 people in their team. I thought it was funny that the first person they encountered on the street was Becky.

The beginning of my night was spent speaking with one of the local cops, Mark. I noticed that he had skateboard tape on the handle of his gun. Some times shooters will do that to help with their grip on the gun. Mark and I spoke about a lot of things, but not little of anything of a religious nature.

The only other conversation of note was with a guy named CJ. He was on the fringe of a small group of Mormons who were talking to a Christian from Salt Lake named Robert. The dude is a walking library. CJ was trying to jump into the conversation to break it up. I stood next to him and asked if he had a question for the guy speaking (Robert). He said that he really didn’t, he just wanted to make comments. I told him that I would like to hear his comments.

CJ was angry with Robert’s sign, Josephlied.com. He was telling me that we didn’t have an invitation to be there and that what we were doing was rude because we always started out with bad news. Mormons are always saying that we should just talk about what is positive in our religion without saying anything negative about theirs.

I pointed out that since this was a public event, we didn’t need an invitation to be there and then asked what if he served a mission. When he said he did, I asked him what the first lesson was about. He wasn’t sure what I was getting at so I reminded him about the apostasy. He then admitted that Mormonism would make no sense without the apostasy, i.e., the idea that all of Christendom was fallen. I asked him what the difference was in us starting out talking about the problems of Mormonism when they start out talking about the problems of Christianity. I think that was a new thought for him.

Later on in the conversation he said that he knows lots of Christians and that they always accuse Mormons of focusing on works and not grace. He tried to tall me that they believe in grace also. He then said, “We believe in grace too. Yes, we believe that you have to be baptized… and yes, we need to do temple works… and then there is performing the ordinances and keeping the commandments.” I interjected, “And all those other works.” He repeated, “And all those other works, but we really believe in grace!”

I thought it was very telling that he didn’t even see the problem with his last statement.

Manti Journal-5 2007

Saturday, June 16th 2007

Part 2
The days are already running together. I passed out a lot of tracts again and got into some short conversations, but nothing very memorable. Since I don’t remember much from Saturday, I thought I would just post some pictures of Becky, James and Rosanne from some of their conversations. I think their evenings went better than mine conversation-wise.
Pictures from left to right. Rosanne talking with a group of Mormons. Becky praising God. Rosanne’s conversation from another angle.

James helping Pastor Rodney with his internet connection at home. Rosanne cutting hair. James going through the Impossible Gospel with a group of LDS kids.

Manti Journal-4 2007

Extra

Before I get to Saturday part-2, I wanted to mention something that happened on Thursday night. Aaron Shafovaloff lives here in Utah and often street preaches. He will walk around with a sign and talk about how Joseph Smith had 30 something wives, how some of them were as young as 14 and others were already married to other Mormon men.

It usually doesn’t take long before a Mormon will challenge him on what he is saying and then he will direct the conversation onto more important subjects. He also carries a little folding step stool so that once a crowd gathers, he unfolds the stool and stands in the middle of the crowd and preaches. Some times Mormons will ask him questions and he will ask them to speak up so that everyone can hear them. He handles the crowd very well.

Early Thursday night the crowd was very small so Aaron started to preach. It wasn’t long before he had a small gathering around him and was going at it pretty good. There were four Christians on the street who were new to the Manti experience and they were obviously uncomfortable with the situation. Before Aaron started preaching, they had asked him about his “style” of preaching and he politely and Biblically defended it. Once Aaron started preaching, they asked Bill McKeever what he thought about Aaron’s preaching. Bill said, “Oh, Aaron? He’s with us at MRM.” The guys were surprised because Bill doesn’t preach like that himself and is one of the more respected ministry leaders.

After the evening was over, Aaron went into Miller’s Bakery (a popular after-pageant hangout) and ordered some food. As he was in line, the four guys came over to him and told him, “You were right, man. You were right.” These four guys basically apologized and expressed their appreciation for his ministry. They had the opportunity to watch him during the evening and see how he draws a crowd that gives other Christians an opportunity to peel people off of the crowd and talk in smaller groups. Aaron doesn’t yell for the sake of yelling, doesn’t insult the people and his compassion is obvious to see.