12. Numbers ‘r us.
In a previous chapter I wrote about God being interested in football scores. In late September 03 I was to find out that HE is also interested in soccer. (Football in Australia is a combination of both kicking the ball and passing it by hand). A brand new Club had been born a few weeks earlier. ‘Adelaide United’ was a winner right from the start.
Support was overwhelming, not only from the business community, but there was ground floor enthusiasm via a well run supporter’s Club. The main sponsor was a Home Building Company with a name I could play a nice little game with, if I wanted to. The club’s name (United) or its street name (Manton) are also names that tease my “outside the square’ brain. Even some of the player’s names fall in that category. (In time I may reveal details).
On Sunday September 28th my friend Geoff rang me to invite me to a trial match to watch the new team. Despite being late for the season’s kick-off it gained a place in the National Soccer League. I had nothing planned that Sunday and went to watch “our” new team win against Campbelltown 3:2. As soon as I got there (10 minutes or so late) I noticed a strange decision by the referee. He awarded a penalty to Campbelltown. Years ago I had taken a course and qualified as soccer referee. That’s why I was surprised to see this unfair penalty. I found it also odd that the large crowd did not protest.
At half-time my friend Geoff suggested I could take a walk around, he’d keep our places. So I did. Strolling through the crowd I spotted a bald-headed man. I recognized him as the coach of my son’s previous soccer team. I asked for his name. It was Nick, his son Tim played in the soccer team two year earlier.
A strong feeling came over me that I was meant to walk straight over to Nick. The letters n, i, c had lots of meaning in my story. The name Nick came up time and again. Only yesterday I was led to at Welfare Store in George Street and got talking to the attendant. His name was Nick, a sufferer of bi-polar illness.
It had only been days since I bought the Reader’s Digest record “He’s got the whole world in His hand” at another welfare store under incredible circumstances. Perhaps I was being “tested”, if indeed I had some “psychic power” and could find Nick in the large crowd of soccer fans? (This is a bizarre thought, I know, but because it is the truth [that I thought like this] I am including it here).
October 17th was the day Soccer history was made in Adelaide. The inaugural game for Adelaide United against the top team of the NSL was played in Hindmarsh Stadium in Manton Street.
A peculiar incident is worth reporting. The day before, as I queued for tickets outside the booking office on Henley Beach road, one “supporter” said how great it was to see this new team formed. But he did not give them any chance to win against the Brisbane Strikers. They’d be lucky to get a draw.
In my usual optimistic manner I called out to him as he was leaving: “Don’t be so pessimistic, they’ll win 3:2”. I don’t know where the figure came from, but later I wondered, if they really would win by 3 goals to 2. (The figures 3/2 came out possibly because it was the score at the practice match almost 3 weeks earlier against Campbelltown).
It was a warm, perfect evening. Friday night 17/10/03 saw the largest crowd at any soccer match in South Australia since the Olympic Games in 2000. The stadium only holds 15 000; another 3000 were turned away that evening. Jon and I sat with the supporter’s club. It was noisy, the drums and rattles (shaped like hands) creating an atmosphere I had not experienced since my youth when I attended the Bundesliga games of VFB Stuttgart. I can’t remember, if we knew what a “Mexican wave” was back then, but that October evening in Adelaide, a Mexican wave lasted 4 or 5 rounds.
A special act stood out that evening and I was pleased that it had not been overlooked. A well known clergyman, Father John Fleming prayed and blessed the team right there amongst the noise of a cheering crowd. Can a game of soccer be a spiritual experience? Why not? For me the whole evening certainly was.
It was a very close match. My slogan on my website – the power of one - again worked magic. Our team beat the top team, the Brisbane Strikers by one goal to nil. (On December 10th United would win its fifth home match also 1:0). The fans went crazy when the final whistle blew. My prediction that we will win came true, but not by 3 to 2. Should I have kept my mouth shut at the ticket office the day before? It felt a bit silly, having opened my big mouth to predict a score and being wrong.
But the real miracle came a week later. The team played their second match in Newcastle, 2 hours by car north of Sydney. According to reports our team trailed behind by two goals for most of the match. Soccer is a low-scoring game. To be two nil down well into the second half and still win, would take a miracle to turn around. How they did it no one knows, but the boys from Adelaide scored three goals in ten minutes – winning the match 3 to 2.
When I heard the result back in Adelaide I was astounded and wondered what God would want to surprise us with next. Almost daily I became aware of data or facts and I played with it. For example, many words in the English language finish with er. It was simple (le MP & Is) to re-shape many words into alternatives. Another good example is the word sinister in the sentence a few lines back: re: Sin, Is & cross.
There was a constant battle going on in my mind as to what to do with these messages, which formed in seconds in my brain. A further example: A (spam) email arrived, photo and all, about a lady answering a question on the German version of “Who wants to be a millionaire”. The question was as dumb as the answer the lady chose: “What is the Christian name of the American President George W. Bush”. Her answer, even after using the 50/50 option, was “Edmund”.
Edmund my brain made into ‘educational mund’ = mouth, in German. I was hoping and praying that many people would read my website and be educated through what I had experienced and turned into lessons about life. The vibes I was receiving was just that – people were searching for life and many were finding it – the real thing. What magic, if this was truly the case!
The day after I had uploaded a number of chapters on my website I spotted a car registration plate – DON (plus a good number). I could hardly ignore it, and took it as a cookie of encouragement. The three letters ‘Don’ I read backwards as ‘getting the nod’. Had this driver read my chapters and liked them?
One elderly client booked for refresher lessons. It all seemed a little mysterious, because the client had reasonable skills for his age and lived on a lonely property in a bush setting. Only after a number of lessons did his name ‘Giles’ click. Reading backwards the word means ‘saved’ in German. His first name was also suited to match, that of a biblical New Testament giant. What weird and wonderful thinking I had gotten myself into!?
My new book, the one you are reading, had been launched at the end of August. People must have realized that I was serious about completing the mission I had embarked on. During the following months I perceived again messages, in coded fashion, which made me think once again about my safety and that of my family. Who was behind this orchestrated effort to communicate with me on a hidden level?
Were friends or members of previous churches reading my story? Did they also believe that my life was not safe in Adelaide because of my whistle blowing? Did they try to warn me? How else would I digest the following observation? One Sunday evening I was led to visit a previous church I had attended for many years. As I was chatting at the end, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a woman I knew fairly well. She was carrying a skateboard through the church. I felt some vibes just as she passed by me. (I had received many “skate” and “scoot” messages before and since).
My strangely wired brain became aware that the 45+ lady’s surname consisted of nothing but d & n, if I take the vowel’s away. Her blue car’s registration number was …501. Was I going high again, was God teasing and, at the same time, tormenting me to have fun with me? Or were there indeed people reading and believing in what I had reported and acted out the mystery? It was all so unreal, yet crystal clear in my mind forming a complete, beautiful picture.
In the first week in October 2003 my faith was tested to the limit, because I acted out some of my thinking. I had fervently prayed for guidance and clarity in what I was supposed to do. I was desperate to find God’s will for my immediate and long term future and that of my family. Was it in Australia or elsewhere? If not in Australia, where was I supposed to go and how could I make my family see, let alone agree to trust me and follow my lead? They believed as firmly as ever that I ought to take a small dose of tablets to alter my strange thinking. Their resolve was not negotiable.
The naked truth that I had exposed serious matters relating to possible criminal activity was irreversible. On that score the horse had bolted. Because of the nature of my story, it would have been impossible to document facts, events and co-incidences without revealing our identity and locality. Therefore an act of retaliation was possible, if what I had written was true. Otherwise would I not just have been ignored as mentally disturbed or told by some concerned authority, to not report such nonsense?
It was a good thing that I did not know who exactly my enemy was or how much power they had. One thing I knew, if the living God is on my side and I trust HIM, the size of the enemy is of little consequence. According to Isobel there was no enemy. How I wished! Why did the Lord teach us to pray: …and deliver us from evil, when there is no evil? Isobel had as yet not read or understood my story, or should I say our story, in detail. In her case ignorance was truly bliss.
I had embarked on this journey, almost by accident, by asking God questions and trusting HIM in a childlike manner for answers. Now was the time when HE needed to validate my naïve attitude towards HIM, the father in whose embrace I felt secure. Would this unseen being, who I had never heard or seen physically, pass the litmus test? Would HE show HIS true colours?
Thursday October 2nd was the start of another faith test, which I thought may lead to another walk into the unknown. It was 6 months, almost exactly, to the day of my previous excursion to Melbourne and beyond.
I had heard a person promote the Agricultural Show for the York Peninsula, a large wheat-growing area west of St. Vincent’s Gulf. Something about the way the lady announced the event on TV made me take notice, apart from her surname Vincent (C N-Vin [on the] cross). It was a huge community event, where farm machine manufacturers, primary producers and many other businesses put their latest products and services on display.
In the back of my mind I thought: This is an opportunity to again slip away, if God wanted me “safe” somewhere. Circumstances would be ideal for “disappearing’ amongst the crowds, without leaving a trail. (David in the bible, the hero who had defeated Goliath, did just that). The scriptures keep repeating that he (David) behaved wisely, even in temporary retreat. My aim was to do God’s will, which would always be acts of wisdom.
I had asked a casual friend, Dave, from church to come with me, partly for company and partly to perhaps drive my vehicle back to Adelaide, if I was not returning for a while. He was unemployed and would appreciate the outing as well as the company. During the trip I discovered I could easily remodel Dave’s surname to read: Get legs. I also became aware that I was visiting the York Peninsula or Y.P. (Why P).
Isobel never held me back from going on outings like this. Of course, I was not telling her that I was carrying a bag with my passport, diaries and one spare pair of undies, just in case. (She probably would not have protested about the undies, the passport is another matter). I had written an “explanatory” letter to Isobel and left it at a certain place in my office. Should I be away for a while, I would call her and tell her where to find it.
It would have been an ideal time to go ‘walking’. My son Ben was home on holiday from Sydney. Isobel would have two adult sons at home. She probably would enjoy a break from her active husband. On the way I told Dave how I was thinking, about my fears and the need to perhaps get way for a while. It was the first time I had spoken about personal matters to him. He had problems of his own. Dave reacted less shocked than expected. He indicated that he was prepared to drive my vehicle back to Adelaide, if this became necessary.
Arriving around 10.30 a.m. after a 125 km drive, we prayed in the car park of the showgrounds, that God’s will be done. As we strolled amongst the crowd of visitors my mind seemed bombarded with signs, details, data that I found impossible to ignore: A person wearing a hat “San Diego”, says to me: SA N – die go! Six months earlier I would perhaps have acted upon this clue, but I had progressed to a different level.
I am not saying, what I had done was wrong; only that it did not apply this time. God likes variety. He has no need to warm up yesterday’s blessings and dish them up again today. His provisions are new every morning. Through his Holy Spirit He would make it plain where, when or what was to come next.
Dave and I stayed less than two hours at the show. I knew a well-known family in nearby Kadina, the business centre of the Northern York Peninsula. They were running a specialty shop in the town; where exactly I didn’t know. I parked right outside a Christian Bookstore to ask for directions. I happened to have stopped right next door to where I was looking for.
During the casual, brief conversation with the storekeeper, the parent of a friend back in Adelaide, I listened carefully to any clues that may signal an offer for “assistance”. I was still quietly praying for guidance as to where the next step in my journey would lead to. I was not clear to me, if my news, my message, had reached to this corner of Australia. The internet’s huge distribution would make this quite possible. I felt similar to the time of my search for a listening ear and a helping hand in the USA.
By now it was midday and I was still at a loss what to do. We drove another 20 minutes or so to Moonta Bay and parked at the car park by the jetty. Exhausted I tilted the seat back and tried to sleep for a few minutes. Dave’s patience started to wear a little thin. To make things worse, he had forgotten his medication for diabetes, which was due at noon.
One way or another I’d have to decide, if we both were to turn back to Adelaide or Dave on his own. For a moment the thought came to me, to ask Dave to just drop me back at the show grounds. Much like a mother eagle would toss her baby out of the nest to force it to fly solo. I knew God would provide, if this was HIS will. But Dave felt very low by now. He indicated that he wasn’t in a position to drive home on his own. He also was a little worried how to confront and explain the situation to Isobel.
The mining town of Moonta, three minutes away, was quite. I purposely parked a short distance from the shops to take a stroll. Dave wanted to start our homeward trip, but agreed for a stroll along the main street. Stopping outside a pharmacy I remembered that Peter, the church member we had bought our Mitsubishi from 5 years earlier, had taken on a position as pharmacist in the Northern York Peninsula. I was unsure, if it was at Kadina, Moonta or Wallaroo, the three towns that form the Copper Triangle.
I stepped inside the pharmacy to enquire, if anybody knew Peter, when I spotted him standing right at the back engaged on the telephone. These seemingly insignificant incidences gave me courage to keep going. Peter seemed pleased to see me and we chatted just a few moments. I assured him we still had the Mitsubishi and it was running and looking just as it was when he sold it to us.
Peter’s wife P. was well known as a woman who enjoyed talking to people, people with problems like me. Peter indicated that his wife would be working at her school back in Kadina, despite all the students being on holidays. She would welcome me for a talk. I had the feeling he meant it.
If anyone knew about my history of mental illness, even without having read it all online, this lady, aged in her mid fifties, would know and understand. I believed it was a miracle that they had advertised their Mitsubishi (for the first time) right on the Wednesday when we were searching the paper to buy the same model vehicle. We were meant to buy the car with the registration VHO 301; of this I was certain. (See Chapter 19 More in number).
Talking to P. had a calming effect on me. Not that I was in distress; but I had to make a decision to either lay low for a time or return to Adelaide, if this was safe. P. assured me, if anyone was to harm me, it would already have been done. Talking to P. I felt that she knew more about my story than she let on. Why did everybody maintain such a level of secrecy? Was my writing, my thinking absurd to the degree that nobody wanted to discuss it openly? But why?
After half an hour talking and listening to P, I decided to simply return home and leave the rest up to God. Faith for God’s protection and guidance would be as valid at home as it was travelling. Dave had fallen asleep while waiting in the car. I think he was relieved (just as I was) that we were returning home.
The days following this excursion I asked the same questions as I did after returning from the USA in April. What was that all about, Lord? Did I achieve anything by simply taking a day trip into the country? What would Dave think of his strange mate from church? “Why-questions” were again circulating my mind constantly. There are only two reasons to explain this unusual excursion. Either my mind was fooling me to embark on such journey or God was testing my willingness to obey HIS voice.
In the back of my mind was the assurance of a rock solid force behind me. HE was in charge. I had been obedient. All would work out in the end, as long as I kept HIM my number ONE.