Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 10, No. 12 Straight and Narrow December 2001
Report on Australian Visit
During most of the month of October and the first week of November, Brother David Clayton of Restoration Ministries and I had the chance to visit the country of Australia. This trip had been planned for several months with a great deal of time and effort being expended to insure for a successful trip. We had many goals we hoped to see realized. Some of these goals included:
David and I prayed earnestly that our going to Australia would not be just to have a good time or see the sights, but that we might make a difference in the lives of people. We want to praise God that we believe He greatly answered our prayers abundantly above all that we asked or thought. (See Ephesians 3:20.) During my nineteen years as a minister, I have never been to meetings where the preaching was so consistently inspiring and the presence of the Spirit felt so strongly as during the meetings in Australia.
David left Jamaica September 30th for America. We had originally planned to leave together from Charleston, WV, on October 3rd. However, due to my son Hans’ recent surgery (see “An Update on Hans”) my departure would be delayed six days and David would have to leave without me. On October 9th I was able to leave for the land “down under.”
The following report consists of edited portions from a diary kept by Brother David Clayton. We have left some of the personal experiences in the article to help give the reader a sense of what our experiences were like. We wanted to include so much, but time and space allows for only a condensed edition. I hope that we have the names spelled correctly, if not, please accept our apology.
(The photographs publish in the hard copy of Old Paths on grouped together at the end of this article. Click here to go to photographs.)
In some ways, the trip to Australia was one of the most exhausting that I have ever undertaken. I left the home of Glen and Ann Ford at 5:30 A.M. on Wednesday morning, the 3rd of October. I did not set foot in a home again until Friday, October 5, at 2.00 p.m. During this time more than forty hours had elapsed.
First there was the two-hour drive from Glen and Ann’s home in Turkey Wallow Hollow up to the airport at Charleston. This part of the journey was okay. Glen, Ann and I chatted a little, but it was still dark all the way and I mostly slept. At the airport things went smoothly. Because I was so early, they offered to put me on a flight that left two hours earlier than I was scheduled to leave. I accepted the offer, so I arrived in Pittsburgh with a little more than three hours to spare before my flight to Los Angeles. I spent the time walking around a bit and working on my laptop.
The flight to Los Angeles was nearly four hours long and I calculated that we would arrive sometime between four and five p.m. I would have a wait of close to eight hours before my flight to Australia left at midnight. However, I had not calculated for the time difference between West Virginia and Los Angeles. We landed in LA at approximately 1 p.m. and I realized that I actually had close to twelve hours before my flight to Australia. During those twelve hours I became increasingly regretful that I had neglected to take a supply of tracts with me. Boxes of literature had been sent ahead of us, but in the frenzy of getting ready to leave, I forgot to take some in my carry-on luggage.
Los Angeles airport is an international hub from which flights were constantly leaving for China, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Europe and all sorts of exotic places. There were all kinds of people there but, without any tracts, I found it difficult to start a conversation and spent much of my time looking at people and feeling lonely, or else working on my laptop as best as I could with all the distractions around. One bright spot was when I called home and heard Jen’s voice. At that moment I wished with all my heart that she could have been with me.
By the time the Boeing 747-400 took off at midnight I was feeling dirty, not sure if it was time to sleep or wake up, and my bottom was sore from sitting so long. I rightly guessed that the 14-hour trip was going to seem much longer than it really was. Somewhere in the middle of the flight I realized that my time clock was thoroughly confused. They gave us supper shortly after we got on the plane at 12 midnight. While this was midnight Los Angeles time, it was 3 a.m. in West Virginia from where I had left that morning (my body was still operating on that time). At the same time, it was 6 p.m. in Australia which was the time my body would have to become accustomed to. Having left at midnight, I expected, of course, to begin to see daylight in about 6 hours. However, the plane flew with the night all the way, as we caught up with Australian time, and arrived in Australia with the dawn at approximately 7 a.m. However, this was also another major adjustment because although I had left West Virginia the day before, on Wednesday the 3rd of October, I arrived in Sydney, Australia on the morning of Friday, the 5th of October. Somewhere along the way we lost one whole day! I passed the week without seeing Thursday because we crossed the international date line during the journey.
My first sight of Australia was hard to describe. As the buildings of Sydney came into view from the window of the plane I was thrilled to realize that I was truly at last in the land of kangaroos and kookaburras. Sydney is a city which seemed to me from the air to be full of water, at least in the waterfront section. The sea seems to be interlaced with the land and there is almost as much water flowing around the little fingers of land as there is solid ground. There were, of course, many bridges all over the place. Everywhere I looked there were dozens and dozens of boats sitting in the water all over the city. I also caught a glimpse of the famous Sydney opera house as the plane came in over the city.
The customs officials in Sydney were the friendliest I have ever encountered. (In fact, overall, both Allen and I found the people of Australia to be the friendliest, most polite people we had ever met.) Some of them were very young people, but all very friendly and warm. One woman smiled as she told me that one of her dreams in life was to someday visit Jamaica.
The Sydney airport was huge. To get to the next terminal to catch my flight to Brisbane, I had to get on a bus that took nearly half an hour to weave its way through traffic and get to the domestic terminal where I checked in for Brisbane. By the time I got there the flight was already boarding.
The flight to Brisbane took just over an hour and I watched from the window, fascinated at the landscape. It seemed to me to be very orderly near the seacoast where everybody seemed to live, but I could see vast spaces of wild, seemingly uninhabited areas stretching away into the interior.
The people we met in Australia all seemed to be wonderful people; so warm and hospitable that I can hardly single out any one person who was most impressive in this respect. Of course we got to know our various hosts and hostesses better than we did the other folk, since we spent time in their homes, and these people will always hold a special place in our hearts. From Queensland to South Australia they opened their homes and their hearts to us and truly made us a part of their families.
In Brisbane, Blair Andrew, a quiet, soft-spoken man who had organized the Brisbane leg of my journey, met me. As we drove to Blair’s home, up in the mountains an hour and a half from Brisbane, he told me about himself and the work he was doing in that part of Australia. Blair was in some ways responsible for the beginning of the spread of the truth about the Godhead, for when he had first learned it he had called together 30 of the most open-minded people he knew and had presented it to them. 28 of these people accepted the message, and from that beginning the message had taken roots and had spread to all corners of Australia.
Upon arriving I met Blair’s equally quiet wife, Caroline, their two sons, Nathan and Benjamin, 8 and 6 years old respectively, and sister Lee-Ngoh, a young nurse from Singapore who is their landlady, but lives with them as a part of the family. I was greeted with a lovely vegetarian meal which was quite tasty. This was a wonderful change from the airline food which I had been surviving on for so many hours. After I got a very welcomed bath, I began to feel a little bit like myself again.
Later, to my surprise and delight, I met Sister Daphne Burson, an Australian lady who lives in Montana in the United States. We had been corresponding for a few years and now we met, of all places, in Australia! Sister Daphne is suffering from a serious illness but you would never guess it to talk to her. She is full of high spirits and courage. It was a blessing to meet her and to catch her enthusiasm. She says that she never slept a wink for 27 hours, all the way from her home in Montana, during the various legs of the journey, until she got to Australia! She was all over the plane talking to people.
Brother Alan Walker had come up to Tamborine from Walcha, especially to take me around and be my guide for the next few days. He was a quiet and sincere man whom I found myself liking immediately. His seven-year-old daughter Emily was with him, a cheerful and sweet little girl. Later, I stayed in his home and met his lovely wife, Donna, and his other two children, Katelyn and Hanna who are 5 and 1 year old respectively. I also met Natasha, a teenager, who was visiting with them and also Bob and Judith Higgs who run a Bible school ministry.
Among the special people whom we met in Australia, I must make particular mention Alan Walker and Judith Higgs. Alan gave up several days of his work, and sacrificed time away from his wife and family, to take me, and then Allen when he joined us, from one place to the next. He missed his family terribly and he was often on the phone with his wife Donna. But he made this sacrifice for us and for the Lord, and we learned to love him a great deal. We were truly kindred spirits. Judith was a surprise. She sacrificed over two weeks away from her beloved Bob (whom she talked about all the time) to travel with us, listen to the messages, and to try to help out in whatever way she could. And what a blessing it was having her! I don’t know how I would have managed without the hot water bottle she provided for me every night. In every way she proved to have the spirit of the Biblical Dorcas who had done so much for the saints; fixing lunch for us as we traveled and making sure that we always looked clean and neatly dressed. I asked Allen Stump what would happen to us after Judith left for home and he said, “we will suffer!”
In Lismore we stayed with Rob and Kerali Wilmoth. This is a nice young couple that has two lively young children. They made us feel very much at home and gave me more food than I could manage, though it was very good vegetarian food. On the first night I was there I regretfully had to leave nearly half of my supper (or “tea,” as they call the evening meal in Australia).
In Cooranbong, we stayed for two days at the home of Esther Walker, the mother of Alan Walker. Here I joined up with Allen Stump at last and what a joy it was to see him. It was great to be able to chat with a close friend and it felt like seeing one of my own family. It was cool here as well, but I was warm and cozy with the electric blanket provided for me by Sister Esther.
Here in Cooranbong, both Allen and I were happy to personally meet Sister Julia Joy Russell. We had both been corresponding with her for years and had really looked forward to the meeting. It was a joy to meet her face to face and encourage one another.
After leaving Cooranbong we stopped near Canberra, which is the Australian capital. Our hosts were Gary and Glenys Walkom, with their children, Jonathan and Jessica, who live at Bannister. (Glenys is Alan Walker’s sister.) We had a little meeting in their home that was attended by a few friends. One of them was a young man whose name was Zane Gray. I found his name interesting, as I had read books by an author named Zane Grey when I was a boy. We also met Brett and Charlene Murray. Charlene gave a beautiful testimony of how God had worked in her life and then she and Brett treated us with a special announcement: She was expecting their first child! Our prayers are with Charlene that the child will be healthful and always desire to serve the Lord.
The next morning we were taken to see some sheep shearing a couple of miles away, and this was very interesting. The poor sheep are treated very roughly during this process, but it is fascinating to see how quickly they remove the wool, sometimes inflicting cuts on the animal in the process, but on the whole doing an efficient job and removing the entire fleece almost in one piece. It was a very graphic reminder of Isaiah 53:7: “… as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” As the shearer was cutting the fleece from the animal, it was submissive and made no noise at all.
In Brogo, near Bega, New South Wales, we spent a couple of happy days in the country home of Leon and Adriana Pittard. Leon and Adriana have two daughters, Michaela and Anika, who are about 12 and 11 years old. Leon, Adriana and the girls did everything they could to make us know that we were at home and we really appreciated their efforts to make us comfortable. One highlight of this visit was when Leon played his didgeridoo (an aboriginal instrument like a long wooden tube). We all found out that one of their dogs was musically inclined, for he gave a rousing accompaniment to Leon by howling lustily while Leon played.
At the town of Lakes Entrance we met up with Graham Templar and his wife Edith, and Andrew Douglas. Here, these brethren had thoughtfully provided the opportunity for us to spend a quiet evening in a cabin in a trailer park in the woods so we could recuperate somewhat from the rigors of our journey in a quiet setting. This was a nice place some distance away from the nearest town. Here we met Julie, a friend of Andrew. We also found her to be a very nice person, sincerely interested in serving the Lord and anxious to hear what we had to share. Later we all sat down and had a beautiful discussion about the love of God and the nature and identity of the holy spirit, and why it was so important for us to correctly understand the issue. We really enjoyed being with them.
The next place we stayed was at Michael Lawrence’s home in Ballarat. There we met him, his wife Joanna, his mother Nelma, and his children Sheree and Jessica who, to say loves horses, would be an understatement. We also met Mary Beth, a young girl who is living with them at the moment. Nelma spoke to us of the wonderful blessing God had given in taking them all the way from New Zealand to Australia to learn the truth about God. Nelma took good care of us while we stayed there. She mothered us, encouraged us, and made sure we were well-fed.
After Ballarat, our traveling companions changed. One of the most difficult moments for us was when we had to say good-bye to Alan and Judith who had been our companions for such a long part of the journey. They now had to return to their families: Judith to Bob, and Alan to Donna and the children. Now we would be continuing our journey with Michael Lawrence and Graham Tierney who would be taking us the rest of the journey to Adelaide and Mildura in South Australia. We discovered, however, that our new caretakers were as good company as Alan and Judith had been. Traveling with them was equally pleasant.
In Echunga, near Adelaide, we stayed in the home of Glen and Suzanne Coopman. Glen and Suzanne impressed me as being two very gentle people, kind and thoughtful, though Glen is full of gentle wit and humor. He always kept us on our toes with his witty remarks.
After leaving Echunga, we headed for the town of Mildura. On the way to Mildura we stopped by the home of Dr. Robert Burness and his wife, Yiannoulla, who were friends of Michael. There we enjoyed a lovely meal and refreshed ourselves, before moving on to Mildura.
In Mildura, our hosts were Don and Edith Wilson. Don is quite a character. In the morning, before we left he took us on a tour of his junkyard and showed us ancient vehicles and old artifacts, some of them dating back to the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth. Upon our departure they gave us a couple of bottles of homemade grape juice and a couple of bottles of honey.
In Tasmania we stayed with Brother Paul Borg and his family. Everybody had told us that we would like Paul, and we found this to be true from the start. He and his wife, Helen were very warm, hospitable and very glad to see us. His daughterTiani, and his small son Shannon, also made us very welcome. At their home up in the rainforest area of Tasmania, we were able to take some pictures of the potteroos, which are like miniature, fat, kangaroos that live all over the place. They came out to eat carrots that were thrown to them by Helen.
Our itinerary in Australia began in Brisbane, Queensland. I arrived alone because Allen had to stay at home a week longer to be with his son Hans during the first week of his recovery from a major and very delicate operation. I would meet him a week later in Cooranbong. This stop in Brisbane was the first leg of a journey which would take me (and later Allen) over two thousand miles through the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and during which we would visit places such as Tamborine, Lismore, Walcha, Cooranbong, Golburn, Bega, Canberra, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Ballarat, Melbourne, Adelaide, Echunga, Mildura, and Wynyard among other places.
We had many meetings, some in private homes, some in public auditoriums, schoolrooms and even one in a Seventh-day Adventist Church. These meetings varied in the number of people who attended. At the camp meeting in Ballarat we had more than a hundred people. At the meeting in Melbourne there were approximately 70. In Cooranbong there were about 50. In Brisbane between 40 and 50. At other places there were as many as 35 (Wynyard in Tasmania), in several places there were between 15 and 20. In one or two places we ministered to just two or three persons in private homes.
Some of the folks who came to these meetings traveled a long way, some of them hundreds of miles and several days, to listen to what we had to say. While the people in Australia are generally serious about their faith and are good students of the Word, they were eager to hear what new insights we had to share with them, and for the most part were happy for these meetings which helped to strengthen their faith and encourage them to commit themselves more fully to the task of spreading the message to all parts of the world.
In a town called Kingston, near Brisbane, the meetings were held in an auditorium owned by a strange set of Christians. These people were made up of converted people from motorcycle gangs. There were ex-drug addicts, ex-alcoholics, etc. They all had big bikes, dressed up like motorcycle gang people, and rode around witnessing to bikers and drug addicts. They called themselves the “House of Judah.”
Our presentations focused mainly on the subjects, “The God of The Bible,” “The Son of God,” “The Spirit of God,” “The Death of Christ,” and “ “The Return of the Fourth Angel (1888 and the Godhead message).” Usually Allen dealt with the sonship of Jesus and the issue of His complete death on the cross. I usually dealt with the other topics. Sometimes we preached all day and into the night. On one occasion before Allen arrived, I spoke four times for the day, speaking for more than an hour each time. At the end of the meetings I was happy, but so drained that I could hardly stand. Many of our days were like this, but we also had a few days when we were able to relax and fellowship with the brethren, or to take an outing and see some of the natural sights of Australia.
Australian audiences are different from Jamaican ones. They listen very quietly and are somewhat unresponsive. They do not say amen much, or show any reaction, but after the meeting is over you get some kind of idea of what they are thinking because they will come and talk to you and let you know what they think. One thing that was very encouraging to us was the number of young people who attended the meetings. There were some, at the larger meetings, in their late teens and early twenties. They took a lot of notes and seemed to be very happy with what they heard.
A few people came who asked sincere questions, and a few others came who definitely wanted only to oppose and to present objections. However, the Lord helped us to present the truth so clearly that they were not able to make many objections, and in most cases they never came back after the first meeting, which was perhaps unfortunate.
Australia has in some places quite a diversity of different nationalities. In our meetings at Bega we had people from Austria and Croatia, some from Germany, Greece and of course, some Australians. With Allen and me, we also had an American and a Jamaican as well as some non-Adventists, including a Catholic, at some of the meetings.
One highlight of our visit was the camp meeting at Ballarat, which took place at a campsite called Camp Adekate. It was about half an hour away from where we were staying at Michael’s home. The campsite was lovely, with very clean cabins. Allen and I were taken to a little room, which had three beds and also a heater (the only room on the compound to have one)! This was great from my point of view, because the weather was very cold and most people were shivering. I decided that I wasn’t doing too badly when I saw that most of them were wrapped up in extra warm clothing. The meetings were held in a hall which had two fireplaces, but although they soon had the fires blazing brightly they did very little to warm the room. Fortunately, I got a seat next to the fire.
There was a very interesting painting set up behind the speaker’s podium that depicted several events from the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. This included the coming of Jesus and also had a section depicting the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Brother Michael Rori had done this painting.
It was a real joy to be able to fellowship with these earnest and sincere Christian people, and to be reminded of the truth that all God’s people everywhere are simply one big family. I could not have enjoyed sweeter fellowship if I had been at home. One of the blessings of these meetings was being able to meet people face to face, who before this had only been a name attached to an e-mail; people such as Tony Milekic, Leon and Adriana Pittard, David and Helen Dixon, Lin Herman, Margaretha Tierney, and others. Margaretha has written and published a large volume of gospel materials. The last few years she has written extensively on the truth about God. It was a real blessing to meet her.
When it was time to say good-bye, there were many hugs, handshakes, well wishes, and hopes that we might meet again. It was very difficult to part, for we really had become very good friends in a very short time.
In Adelaide we had the chance to conduct meetings from a schoolroom. The attendance was not as large as in some areas we had been, but those who came seemed to be very interested. One night Allen was preaching on the “Son of God” and a young man came into the room and sat down. After listening for a few moments he arose and left. Allen was concerned that perhaps the man thought he was in the wrong place or was unreceptive. How happy both Allen and I were when he quickly returned with a Bible. This young man, Gary, had traveled several hours that day just to attend this meeting. He had accepted the truth about God and had been working in Burma. Gary was extremely dedicated and sincere. It was a real blessing to meet him and the others in Adelaide.
At the meeting in Mildura we had only the one night and so we tried to cram two messages into one. I, first of all, spoke on “The God of The Bible,” and then Allen spoke on “The Son of God.” It was a marathon session because both sermons were over an hour long. But the people showed good restraint and listened attentively. I was supposed to speak for only about 45 minutes, but as noted, went over an hour. The ever-punctual Allen reminded me that I had gone over my allotted time. However, after our break, he was so inspired by his subject that he spoke even longer than I did!
Tasmania was very encouraging because here we had expected only a small turnout; perhaps a dozen people or so. However, to our surprise we had nearly 40 people, all told who came to the meetings. One of these was Sister Lyndy Edwards, another person with whom both Allen and I had been in contact, and had looked forward to meeting. We also got to see Brother Tony Donald and some of his sweet family. These meetings were open to the public. We dealt with the truth about God and the mark of the beast. Most all the visitors got a copy of The Great Controversy as well as other study materials.
Our public evangelistic meetings in Ballarat took place at the Wyndouree sports complex which has facilities for soccer, netball and several cricket fields, as well as training nets. Our meetings were held in the trophy room inside a very spacious building. One lady who came to these meetings seemed to have been led there by very unusual circumstances. Two weeks previously, a friend of hers had encouraged her to start studying Daniel and Revelation. The very verses that Allen preached about on the first night were the same verses she had been reading for the past two weeks but not understanding. She was convinced that God had been preparing her for the meetings. The following night when I spoke on the mark of the beast this lady decided that she would be keeping the Sabbath from that time forward. She was very eager, and evidently was having a close relationship with the Lord. The following night she was back again and we had high hopes that she would make a decision to be a part of the Ballarat Bible study group. However, on the final two nights this lady was missing from the meetings for some reason and we had to end the meetings without knowing exactly what had happened. However, I had providentially gotten her address on the second night and the brethren will be making efforts to contact her.
There was also a man who listened intently and showed much interest for the first three nights, but he also did not return on the final two nights. In spite of the fact that this was a bit discouraging, we continued with the meetings and spent the final three nights on the subject of the godhead. We placed a lot of emphasis on the practical implications of believing the truth about God, and those who attended the meetings expressed great appreciation for the messages they had heard. Several claimed that their lives had been changed and their relationship with God transformed by the experiences they had had at the meetings. The final night was an emotional night, for it was the last time we would see some of the friends who had grown dear to our hearts. We said our goodbyes to new friends such as Mark and Deborah Barrachevia, Michael and Therese Rori, Colin Hammond, Dale, Susie, and others.
This last meeting took place on Saturday night, but during the day we went to Melbourne to the Blackburn Primary School where we had a full day of meetings scheduled. This meeting had been planned, almost as an afterthought when the itinerary for our trip had been planned but it was a good thing that we had decided to have this meeting. There were nearly seventy people present at the morning meeting, including several young people. Brothers Tony Milekic and Joe Lesic had really worked hard to advertise the meetings and arrange things. Joe is a teacher at a local academy and several of his students attended, as well as academy staff. Most of those present listened with great attentiveness. Again, we covered the three main topics, “The God of The Bible,” “The Son of God,” and “The Spirit of God.” However, Allen also included a study on the death of Christ for the final meeting. These meetings were, in my opinion, a great success; not only because so many people turned out, but also because God gave us conviction and power in presenting these messages and because many people appeared to have been deeply moved by the presentations.
We finished our last meeting at about 5 o’clock, but only because we had to hurry back to Ballarat, more than two hours away, for our final, night of meetings there. It was a full day and really tiring, but God gave the strength so that I could preach again in the night with energy.
Australia was, on the whole, much colder than I expected. Somehow I had been under the illusion that it was a dry, hot country. However, I was soon set straight. It was just the end of winter when we arrived there, but in most places it was still cold. Some places, even Allen felt it. I did not do too badly, however, because in every place the brethren were very considerate of my intolerance of cold and they either kept the fireplace blazing, or provided a heater. At nights I was usually cozy, burrowed beneath a ton of blankets and cuddling a hot water bottle kindly provided by Sister Judith Higgs.
Ballarat was especially cold. At the camp meeting there I slept under a huge mound of blankets. Through the kindness of the brethren, who were sympathetic to my intolerance for the cold, I ended up with about eight sheets, blankets, and Dounas (comforters). The weight was so heavy that I could hardly turn in the bed. However, I was very warm.
Australia is a beautiful place. This was the thought that kept coming into my mind as we traveled from place to place. It was not at all like what I had expected. Somehow I had an idea in my mind of a barren country without too many trees, but I was delightfully disappointed in my expectations. There were forests, or as they say, “the bush,” grasslands, mountains, and plains. Australia has lots of brooks, streams, rivers, and ponds, as well as a great variety of fruits. Much of it looked like what you would see on a postcard or a painting. I was made to understand that it was different in the interior where it was much more like what I had in mind. However, in our travel of over two thousand miles, it was pretty much like I have described.
Among the places that stand out in my mind is the journey from Tamborine Mountain in Queensland to Lismore in New South Wales. We followed the Tweed River for a good part of the journey. The land was mostly flat and they grew lots of sugar cane along the way. In the background there was range upon range of mountains. We could see mount Warning, the highest point in this part of Australia. Alan told me that this was the first part of Australia that was touched by the sun in the mornings. Along the way we also saw the towers and skyscrapers of the town called Goldcoast, which is like the Hollywood area of Australia. We also saw a lot of different kinds of cultivations: sugarcane, bananas, apples, peaches, and pears. Almost everything is grown in Australia.
Tasmania was also a highlight, being a lush, green island with a fairy-tale landscape. It appeared, even from the plane as we came in to land, to be a place of great beauty. It is full of sloping green hills with ponds and brooks nestling in the hollows. The wonder to me as I traveled in Australia and especially in Tasmania was that the hills were so smooth and clean. Those that were used as pasture for sheep or cattle were generally as smooth as though they had been cut with a barber’s shears and rolled with a roller. They were also generally as green as though they had been painted. The hills are smooth and symmetrically rounded. The scenery, was for the most part, such as you usually see in a painting or a postcard.
While in Tasmania we stayed up in the foothills in the rainforest at the home of Paul Borg and his wife Helen. Here, there were huge ferns growing at the side of the road, some of them perhaps twice my height. Paul’s home is a lovely place nestling in among the trees of the rain forest. Everybody had told me that Tasmania would be the coldest place I had been to so far. However, this proved to be wrong, at least while we were there. It was warmer than many places we had been to, and when I got there I was glad that I had left most of the winter gear behind which well-wishing friends had kindly provided, but which had proven to be too bulky for me to take with me.
After the first five days in Australia, I was very disappointed that up to that point, all I had seen of Australian wildlife were some very beautiful birds and an occasional rabbit. I had seen not a glimpse of the famous kangaroo and was beginning to wonder if there really were any in Australia. On the evening of day five, however, I saw my first kangaroo. He was sitting by a fence as still as a statue as we passed by in the car. When we stopped he hopped off, but I was able to take some video of him. Shortly after that we saw three more. From that time, they seemed to be constantly springing up in all kinds of places and we got to see lots of them. At the Ballarat Wildlife Park we were even able to feed and pet them.
People in Australia are as wary of kangaroos as we are of cows in Jamaica, and Americans are of deer. They just hop out into the road from nowhere and cause a lot of damage to cars. At one point we came upon a whole herd of kangaroo and a couple of them bounded out right in front of the car. It was a sight as they went bounding up the hillside seeming to be untroubled by steep slopes. People are also afraid of hitting wombats, which are animals about the size of a small pig, looking like an overgrown guinea pig, but which are reputed to be very tough and capable of doing a lot of damage if hit by a car.
In Queensland I went to visit the O’Reilley’s National Park where people are allowed to feed the birds. This was a sight to see. There were dozens of brilliantly colored parrots and other birds such as satin bowerbirds that came out to be fed. The parrots were sitting on the heads and hands of the people and were all over the ground, completely unafraid. You had to walk carefully to avoid stepping on them. The birds are very brilliantly colored in Australia. We saw many different kinds of parrots, cockatoos and lorikeets. One kind of parrot called the rainbow lorikeet has every color of the rainbow on his body.
,We were able, at some time or the other, to see most of the famous Australian animals: echidnas, koala bears, snakes, emus, platypuses etc. However, we never saw the famous Tasmanian devil. We went to the Ballarat Wildlife Park where they do have some, but they kept to their burrows and never showed their faces while we were there.
There are lots of horses, and an abundance of sheep and cows in some places. Some of the sheep are fat and look overstuffed. These are the merino sheep that are raised for their special kind of wool. Others are raised for their meat. I had the chance to examine the sheep’s wool at close range and was surprised to find that although it looked dirty on the outside (as we often see sheep looking), when you parted the surface of the wool, on the inside there was a soft, fine, warm and fluffy mass of microscopic hair. This inside mass in the case of these sheep, that were Merinos, was several inches deep.
In a kaleidoscope of interesting experiences, some stand out more than others, perhaps because they were different or simply because they gave us lighter moments in a journey that was mostly involved with serious matters.
One of these incidents, which I remember and laugh at each time I think about it, was the evening when Sister Lee-Ngoh took me home early before the others were quite ready, so that I could get some rest. This was after I had preached four sermons for the day (before Allen arrived) and I was dead tired. But when we got home we discovered that she had mistakenly left the house key with another brother, so we were stranded outside. I had a good laugh at our predicament, but it was very cold for me and I was beginning to shiver when Lee went next door and asked the neighbors to allow us to stay there for awhile. They were happy to do this and gave us some warm peppermint tea. They were Church of Christ Christians and we had a little talk before the man of the house went with Lee to try to break in through a window. While they were gone I chatted with the lady about cricket and she told me that one of her favorite cricketers had been Vivian Richards (a great West Indian cricketer). The man was evidently a good housebreaker because they got the house opened and I was finally able to get in. I really appreciated the bed again that night.
Another memory, which I cherish, is the time we stopped and saw a couple of friends of Alan Walker whom he wished to give a tape to, and to invite them to the meetings. Their names were Joe and Annie. Unfortunately they were unable to come to the meeting because of previous engagements. However, Annie asked, “can you maybe give us a half hour rehearsal of what the meetings will be like?” We were in a hurry to get to our destination before dark, but we agreed, and I was happy we did. I spoke about the love of God in giving His Son. They sat and listened keenly and never took their eyes off me for a moment. Joe interrupted me at one moment to say, “it is not you who are speaking, it is the spirit of God.” When I finally had to stop, Annie said, “I don’t want you to leave!” This was one of my best moments up to that point in Australia and it was worth the trip just for that single experience.
How could I forget the meeting we had in the home of Nick and Dina Salakianos? Here, my reputation had preceded me and so they poked up the fire really high in the fireplace so that I would not be cold. However, it got so hot that I started to sweat profusely as I was presenting the message, because I was standing directly in front of the stove. Finally I had to tell them that I had gotten more than I had bargained for and I asked them to cool it down a bit. After that I felt more comfortable and was able to continue my study in a more relaxed frame of mind. Up to that point I thought I was doing terribly, (although Allen later said it was good) after which, I felt that I did much better.
At Mildura there was a surprise waiting for us. Our accommodations for that night were in the middle of a huge scrap yard which was owned by Brother Don Wilson and his wife Edith, and which was set on 20 acres of land! In the middle of it there was a little house where we were to sleep for the night. There we four traveling companions (Allen and I, along with Graham Tierney and Michael Lawrence), were left alone to enjoy a quiet night’s rest. That night we had to keep the door shut and not venture outside because there were vicious dogs released on the compound at night. Allen took one look outside, glimpsed one of the dogs looking in our direction, and slammed the door shut for the rest of the night!
We were blessed to visit “Sunnyside,” the home where Sister White lived when she was in Australia for ten years. Here we looked at several things such as furniture and books that she used to own, etc. Next door is a museum which showed artifacts from islands of the South Seas. There were all kinds of boomerangs, images, bows and arrows, etc., which had been used by the natives of the South Sea Islands in the past.
In Adelaide we visited a market that is somewhat along the lines of the Jamaican market, in that there were fruit stalls, meat shops and clothing and souvenir shops all over the place. Of course it was much cleaner and more modern than a Jamaican market but the idea behind it appeared to be similar.
In Australia they seem to eat everything that moves. We passed restaurants where they advertised such gross items on the menu as fish (shark) and chips (a very popular item), kangaroo stew and crocodile with vegetables! You can bet we did not eat in too many restaurants!
I must mention also the quaint Australian term “tea.” This refers to any meal which is taken in the evening. Each time I was asked if I would like to have “tea,” I kept thinking that I was being offered some warm beverage. It took a while before Allen and I got used to the idea that it meant the evening meal.
Stanley & The Nut
In Tasmania, Paul took us, on the final day of our stay there, to the town of Stanley, which lies at the foot of an unusually shaped hill called the Nut. From a distance this hill looks like a rectangle sticking up out of the sea. We took a chairlift at the foot of this hill that took us to the top. It was still very cold but I found the ride exciting. From the top the whole town was spread out below us and we could see the ocean all around for many miles. The view was breathtaking.
Ballarat Wildlife Park
On the last Sunday in Australia we spent most of the day with Graham Tierney who took us to see the Ballarat Wildlife Park. Here we expected to see the elusive Tasmanian devil at last. However, although we saw lots of kangaroos and got to pet and feed them, and saw koala bears and wombats, crocodiles and lots of snakes and birds, the Tasmanian devil remained in his hole and refused to come out, so we had to make up our minds to leave Australia without once seeing this elusive creature which has such a reputation for being fierce. On the way home we stopped for a while at Graham’s home for refreshments and to say our final goodbyes to him. Our parting was somewhat emotional for we had really learned to appreciate Graham and to consider him our true friend.
On Monday morning we left Ballarat for the final time, bound for Melbourne where our plane would leave at 12:15 p.m. We said goodbye to Joanne and the children as they left for school, and hugged Nelma tightly in genuine appreciation for the way she had taken care of us, and with a pang of sorrow at the thought that we would not be hearing her cheery voice again, possibly for a long time. Then we were off, packed to the limit but with joyous expectation of soon holding our loved ones in our arms again.
Michael stayed with us to the very end, faithful and committed as always. When we finally had to go, we did not shed tears, but only because we were men. There was a prickling at the corners of Allen’s and my eyes and I suspect it may have been the same for Mike as well. Finally we did take off after one of the most thorough searches by the airport authorities I had ever been through. Through it all the Australians were, as ever, polite and apologetic, and we did not take offence at the thoroughness of their search.
One final point of
interest is that we left Australia on Monday, November 5th at 12:15 p.m. After
flying for fourteen hours we landed in Los Angeles on the same day at about 7.00
a.m., five hours before we had left!
Photographs from Australia
(Click the thumbnail images below for larger views.)
An Update on Hans
As many of our readers know, my son Hans was diagnosed with cancer a little more than two years ago. (See Old Paths, November 1999 and December 2000 for details.) The last several months have seen several ups and downs, but by God’s grace, we have been upheld by His almighty arms.
Today, there is no evidence of cancer in his spinal cord. For this we are continually thankful. However, the effects of the cancer have left Hans with limited ability to walk. In April of this year he started to have more problems with his walking, losing the ability to walk altogether. After therapy, he was again able to have locomotion, but he needed a walker to steady himself.
During the summer, his ability to walk kept decreasing until, by early October, he was unable to walk at all. Pressure on his spinal cord, caused by slipping vertebrae, was the main problem, and it was getting worse day by day.
Earlier in the summer, Hans had been referred to Dr. John Jane, a neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Considered by many to be the leading spinal cord neurosurgeon in the world, his schedule was booked tight. We kept waiting for a call, and Hans was getting worse all the time.
In addition to this, I had been scheduled to visit Australia for five weeks, with Brother David Clayton, in October. This trip had been in the planning for a long time. Meetings had been scheduled; halls had been rented; flyers had been prepared. It seemed like a very bad time for me to be detained.
We had been praying and seeking guidance and direction, yet it was not God’s time to answer, or so it seemed. With Hans getting worse and needing a serious and delicate surgery on his neck, I could not, in good conscience, leave him to go to Australia, even to preach. Once before, David and I had planned to go, but with the discovery of Hans’ cancer two years ago, the matter had to be put on hold. Yet this scheduled, upcoming trip was coming together so well. Brothers and sisters in Australia were working very hard to get things ready for successful campaigns. People were anxious for our coming. If God wanted me to go, He must open the way further. We were scheduled to leave on Wednesday, October the 3rd.
Finally, on Tuesday, September 25th, we heard from Dr. Jane’s office, but the news was not encouraging. The surgery was to be more complex than at first thought. Further, Dr. Jane wanted Dr. Whitehill, head orthopedic surgeon, to examine the films for his opinion. Finally, we were told that we would not hear any word back till Thursday, at the earliest. Even then we might not have a scheduled appointment for the surgery, but if we did, it would not be for several weeks.
Hans was getting worse each day. He was losing his ability to function more and more. How long could things be delayed without him losing all his functions? Would the delay be too long to regain any lost function? Further, the trip date is almost upon us. What should be done?
As we had before, we continued to seek God. At our family worship time the next day, Wednesday morning, I felt impressed to read the story of the unjust judge and the widow as found in Luke 18:1-8.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:1-8)
After reading this, we prayed that God would answer our request for Hans “speedily.” Within a few hours we received a call from Dr. Jane’s office saying that they wanted Hans there that afternoon! We praised God for His quick answer as we packed and drove the five hours to Charlottesville, Virginia.
Upon arriving, Hans was admitted to the Hospital. We then learned that before surgery Hans would have to have a titanium halo bolted onto his head and he would have to be flat on his back in traction for up to four days before the surgery could be performed. This was for two reasons: First, to see if the neck could be straightened some to help make the surgery less complex. Second, as weight was gradually added to the traction, the amount of movement possible without damaging the cord could be determined. Although uncomfortable, Hans endured the traction cheerfully and the surgery was scheduled for Monday morning, the first of October.
Working together as a team, and with the blessing of God, the doctors were able to relieve the pressure on Hans spinal cord. The surgery was scheduled to take up to twelve hours, but just a little after the seventh hour, we got a call from Dr. Whitehill saying that it went well; they were now in the closing stage. Hans would need to wear the halo for around three months while the healing process was going on. It is attached to rods that connect it to a vest he must wear 24/7 to maintain proper placement.
Coming out of surgery, we were told that Hans might need to be in the neuro intensive care unit (NICU) for two to three days. Yet God brought such a rapid recovery that in only about 20 hours he was moved to the regular neuro unit.
By Friday of that week, Hans had recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation hospital nearer home where he would spend the next two weeks.
With the assurance of Dr. Whitehill that Hans was stable and doing well enough for me to be absent, I left for Australia, October the ninth, six days later than first scheduled. By this time Hans was in the rehabilitation hospital, yet it was just eight days after the surgery. To say that I left with mixed emotions would be a great understatement. Yet, as we had been seeking God’s will, we all came to the conclusion that God had opened the way for me to go and I should follow His clear leading. Hans especially felt that I should go. He had a genuine desire for me to keep as much of my schedule as possible and he did not want to be the reason for my staying. (For a report on the visit to Australia, see the lead article, “Report on Australian Visit.”)
Today, Hans is at home able to walk with the aid of a walker and he is doing much better in several areas. There is still a long healing and recovery process ahead, but by God’s grace, progress is being made. The halo-vest is not always easy to deal with, but God has given Hans a very uncomplaining spirit. Though not well herself in all areas, God has given Charmaine strength to help care for Hans as only a mother can.
We would like to thank all of those who have sent cards, gifts, and above all, prayers to our Father for Hans. We ask that you continue to remember Hans in your prayers that God’s perfect will can be done in his life.
Words for the Young
The coming of Christ to our world was a great event, not only to this world, but to all the worlds in the universe of God. He came to take upon him our nature, to be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet to leave before us an example of perfect purity and unblemished character. In that he was tempted in all points like as we are, he knows how to sympathize with us. He knows how to pity and how to aid the children and youth; for he too was a child, and he understands every trial and temptation with which children are beset.
Children were attracted to Jesus, for his eyes shone with an expression of that love which led him to leave the heavenly courts, and come to earth to die in the sinner’s place. In his countenance was revealed tender love and sympathy for all children. He pitied and loved not only those who sought to be obedient and loving, but those also who were wayward and perverse. Jesus has not changed; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and he still loves and pities the erring, seeking to draw them to himself, that he may give them divine aid. He knows that a demon power is struggling in every soul, striving for the mastery; but Jesus came to break the power of Satan and to set the captives free.
In Christ the character of the Father was revealed. As children looked upon his countenance, they saw purity and goodness shining forth from his eyes. In his countenance gentleness, meekness, love, and conscious power were combined. But though every word, every gesture, every expression of his face, betokened his divine supremacy, humility marked his deportment and bearing. He came but for one purpose; and that was the salvation of the lost.
Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptized in Jordan, just as those who come to him must be baptized. The heavenly angels were looking with intense interest upon the scene of the Saviour’s baptism, and could the eyes of those who were looking on, have been opened, they would have seen the heavenly host surrounding the Son of God as he bowed on the banks of the Jordan. The Lord had promised to give John a sign whereby he might know who was the Messiah, and now as Jesus went up out of the water, the promised sign was given; for he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, hovered over the head of Christ, and a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
We have every reason to believe that the Lord Jehovah and the angels of heaven were looking upon Christ as he began his work of mercy for the lost world. At the beginning of his public labors, the heavenly indorsement was stamped upon his work and mission; but when he was baptized, the heavenly host knew that Jesus had placed his feet in the blood-stained path that led to Calvary. When his mission began, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God encircled the Son of God; but when it ended, he hung upon Calvary’s cross, and even the sun which he had created, refused to shine upon the scene of his agony. Darkness, denser than that of midnight, enshrouded the Son of God.
But what a scene was this on Jordan’s banks! As man's substitute, Jesus presented his petition to Heaven, and was accepted. What hope does it give to man that the Father said to Christ, who represented humanity, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” In the Father’s acceptance of Christ in man’s behalf, guilty man is assured that through the merits of Christ, he may find access to God. He may be accepted in the Beloved. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, has opened the way, so that the most sinful, the most needy, the most oppressed and despised, may find access to the Father,—may have a home in the mansions which Jesus has gone to prepare for those who love him. (Mrs. E. G. White – Youth’s Instructor, June 23, 1892)
Please ... send me two copies of The Foundation of Our Faith and twenty copies of Who is Telling the Truth About God? Pass my greeting to Brother Williams. Please tell him to send us a letter. May God continue to guide and bless you in your work for him. Benny Kayamba , Zambia
After carefully reading your October newsletter, I am responding to the appeal of Evangelist Benny Kayamba for his work in Zambia. Would you kindly forward the enclosed gift for his ministry and needs there. Thank you sincerely and the Lord bless you all. PA
Please send the video, “The Father and the Son.” The last video was excellent and a great blessing. AZ
Thank you for the camp meeting videos. They are good quality. It is like having the spiritual feast of camp meeting all over again. __ said he enjoyed it so much, the best camp meeting he’d been to in years. Am so grateful as I could hardly get him to go, but the timing could not have been more perfect for us. So much enjoyed the tenting grounds, the grass was smooth and ground level. The people were so friendly and of one accord.
At the end, David Clayton apologized for not having “Godhead” type sermons for the camp meeting speakers. Well, we feel all the meetings were just perfect. We’d heard so many Godhead sermons here and there and the written material, that these meetings were really refreshing. We are just now enjoying Gary Richmond’s messages. He is a deep thinker. Was so great to meet you, too. Love, AR
We were blessed by every one of the [2001 West Virginia] camp meeting videos. The quartet was especially good. FL
Just to let you know that we are praying for Hans. May God bless and be with Hans and your whole family. AZ
Our prayers go out for Hans and we know the Lord’s presence is with him and his family. FL
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayers and writing. We are praying for all of you and God’s work. Please send us the cassettes from last camp meeting. We get such a blessing from hearing and sharing them. WA
Thank you so much for praying for ____. He got the report back today and he is cancer free. We are going to St. Louis tomorrow to complete his surgical procedure. All is left is for them to remove the mole and close up the wound. He will get the stitches out from his dermatologist here. God is so wonderful and loving. All of your prayers were heard by our Heavenly Father and HIS Dear Son. We love all of you so much. Prayers by faithful Christians are heard by God, and HE loves us so much and hears our pleas and sees our tears. We cannot thank HIM enough. God bless each of you, and we in return are praying for all of you. God knows what you need, and all we can do is pray that it be HIS WILL. Take care and know we love you. IL
We greatly appreciate the spiritual food that comes by snail mail. Keep up the good work. You are all in our prayers daily. MN
Was there a November issue of Old Paths? Internet
(Due to my son Hans’ recent surgery and the visit to Australia, we have been behind in gettings Old Paths published. Sorry for the delay, but thanks for the interest. Editor)
I enjoyed Lynnford’s article the “Big Picture.” What an undertaking! God bless you all for all your good works and love for erring believers gone astray. I am encouraged, enlightened, strengthened and awed by your studies presented in your blessed publications. Thanks again. TN
By the way “The Big Picture” was the best article I ever read in Old Paths and we liked the leaflet “Which God.?” Very good. God bless you all. The Netherlands
Your work is appreciated so much. Sometimes I feel very alone in my belief of the Godhead, then I feel encouraged to know you are out there. May God bless each of you and the important work you are doing. CO
I would like to subscribe to Old Paths again. By neglect my subscription has expired. Thanks. OR
I just received the August Old Paths. I wanted you to know how truly grateful I am to get Old Paths. I read it over and over, it is the only study I have to uplift me and help me view things as they truly are. I don’t go to church because I don’t believe in the trinity. I realize God has His people everywhere, but I hate to hear a sermon messed up. I haven’t been able to order tapes from you. As soon as I can see my way clear to do so, I will request some. Keep sending me Old Paths. Thank you. NC
(The materials published by Smyrna will be sent out freely as they are available. Jesus said, “freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) If you desire materials today, but do not have funds to help with the expenses, please request the materials anyway. Of course we only have these materials because God has laid it on the hearts of His children to help with the expenses. If you would like to help others receive the materials that you are requesting, you may make a donation to help with the costs of the publications. Editor)
Please put me on your mailing list for Old Paths your monthly newsletter/study paper, and if at all possible, please start with the April issue so that it can be shared with many other godly Christian people who are interested in truth. TN
Please make strong note of my change of address. Thank you for reading this note and for sending me the Old Paths. Please continue. May God bless you and keep you and the ministry and everyone in it in the best physical and mental and spiritual shape as can be. MO
“The Conceptual Basis of Worship” was so timely a message for me since I no longer have church membership nor enjoy their fellowship. The vertical concept focuses on God, His love and presence. Thanks so much for the tapes. Rejoicing in hope. NC
I found your Old Paths magazine, Vol. 10 No. 4, that was shared with me several weeks ago by Brother Bob Habenicht very enlightening. I would appreciate four or five more copies of that issue to share with others.
Thanks you for the four tracts that were tucked inside. Brother Habenicht told me to ask for the tract entitled, “The Formulation of the Doctrine of the Trinity.” Enclosed is a small donation to help cover the cost. May God continue to bless you in your work for Him. Sincerely, TN
I visited your web sites today and I was very impressed. I would like to have you send me “Christ Our Righteousness” lessons 1 - 16. If you could send four sets it would be appreciated. Also, please send thirty each of “The Holy Spirit,” one hundred “Bible Facts on the Sabbath Question,” and “The Importance of Knowing the Truth About God.” Please add our name to receive Present Truth. We currently receive Old Paths. Enclosed please find a check for $___ to cover the requested materials and to support your ministry. I am looking forward to reviewing the “Christ Our Righteousness” lessons. Sincerely, MN
I would like to get four copies of your book The Foundation of Our Faith to share with others. Since I don’t know how much shipping will be how shall I order? If you care to ship them and bill me I assure you I will be happy to pay the bill. If not please let me know how to proceed. FL
(An order may be placed via telephone, letter or e-mail. All materials are expedited as quickly as possible. Enclosed with all materials sent out, one will find a letter with a suggested donation that would cover expenses. The postage is on the package. Editor)
Praise God for the faithful work and service your ministry does. Thank you so much for your prompt reply and mailing of materials. Lord willing we will have a larger donation to offer next time. Respectfully. CO
Thank you all for feeding me with the precious bread of life, so that I in turn am able to feed others through His grace. Please pray for me as I talk to people in my block, on the street, on the bus and on the train. I believe with all my heart that very soon we will be looking into the face of our dear Redeemer. By His grace let us be ready. May God bless you all. NY
Thanks for the materials, and again we need more. Please send a big mixed box of literature, The “Love of God” tract we need the most. We need more Spanish literature. “The Omega of Apostasy” we need. Also use $___ for the Africa work, or for a minister of the gospel in Africa this next month. God bless you, FL
I would like to get four copies of your book The Foundation of Our Faith to share with others. FL
My name is ______, [I am] an Adventist Church member in Sabah, Malaysia. As I accessed the Sunday law.com [web site], I came to know about you and your very interesting ministry. I would be very appreciative if you could furnished me with all the latest news related with the matter mentioned above.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon. God bless you & your family, Malaysia
The Trinity Issue
The Scriptures clearly show in many places that there are Three Divine Beings called God who rule the entire universe. They have different positions and duties, but all Three are eternal, all knowing and all powerful.
The only sin that cannot be forgiven is speaking against or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. It will not be forgiven in this world or in the world to come. We pray that you have not done this, for if you have there is not hope of you ever being saved. Internet
I just read your views on the trinity with great interest! Which religious group do you belong to? Norway
(Although our beliefs are similar to old- time Seventh-day Adventists, we belong to no organized group. The only name we are desirous of obtaining is “Christian.” Editor)
I started reading 100 and More Mysteries of the Trinity last night, and continue to be flabbergasted that such an important concept is relegated to “it’s not essential for salvation, so why bother with it?” My own father gave me that line, and I answered him, “Daddy, if we don’t know WHO we’re worshiping, all the rest is garbage!” Of COURSE it matters, and of COURSE it should have everything in the world to do with our salvation. I just wish I could convince my pastor of that fact. However, you folks have a reputation as being an “offshoot,” so he closes his mind to even giving your materials equal time. He gave me a book by a non-Adventist - Max Hatton, called “Understanding the Trinity.” [Actually Max Hatton is an Adventist who has published his book through non-Adventist publishers.] I promised him I’d read it, but haven’t felt the least bit interested. Just as the Ethiopian eunuch, when he became convinced of the truth, made up his mind to be baptized in Christ, and so was I this last Sunday when Richard Stratton baptized me at our little a camp meeting in Crawford, Colorado. Twenty-five years an Adventist, and I never went to a camp meeting! I quit the church and immediately went to camp meeting. “A great time was had by all,” and the blessings were immense and numerous.
Well, I must be going. I pray you enjoy this Sabbath, and receive many blessings as you spend time with our Lord. Your sister in Christ, CO
My name is ____ and I’m a fellow Adventist. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your site, for the articles and your exposé of the falsehood of the trinity doctrine. I’m sharing this truth with all who I’m in contact with in the church.
A friend of mine, who introduced me to your site has recently been asked to leave her church for her anti-trinitarian views. Heartbroken, she called me and we have arranged a meeting this weekend with the pastor, a 26 year old who urged an elder of the church to preach a “trinity sermon” and afterwards ask her to leave the church, so he wouldn’t have to.
I ask for your prayers for my friend ____ and ask that perhaps you could write her a short note of encouragement. It would really lift her heart. Thank you so much again. KS
The last time I spoke to you I was going to Trinidad at the start of 1999. I am now in California near Sacramento. and again I am having to meet this issue. I appreciate your studies that I can share with others. CA
Concerning the Australia Visit
We have been most encourged with your visit to Australia to encourage the brethren over here and I do hope and pray that we get another opportunity to see you both again. We have spent the last two Sabbaths on our own but have enjoyed watching your videos and they are so special to us even more so now after meeting you both and seeing your great love for our heavenly Father. NSW, Australia
I used to receive Old Paths, but I have since moved house and I would like to receive it again, my address is _______
I would just like to pass on my sincere appreciation to our loving Father in heaven for the ministry of David Clayton and Allen Stump and for them coming all the way to Australia. When you are in a church that is fast falling away from the truths of the Bible and openly teaching the trinity doctrine, it was so refreshing to spend last Sabbath with them at Bonnells Bay, near Cooranbong. That was the first time in a long time that I felt totally comfortable and “at home” with fellow believers. Also I was filled to overflowing with good spiritual food that will last a long, long time.
May God our Father richly bless you both in your ministry and be assured that the seeds that you have planted here will spring up and bear an abundant harvest of souls for the kingdom. Through your ministry, God has given us a new lease of life and courage to “meet it” head on, no matter what the consequences to us personally, so that the everlasting gospel may go to all parts of Australia and beyond.
Your brother in Christ Jesus, NSW, Australia
Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump -
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013