News Update 15/06/03

          See k ing is believing.

You may have noticed that some photos in More in number ... are not live. This is partly due to my lack of technical knowledge. After trying for a number of hours to find the mistake, however, something seemed to say - maybe the pictures are not meant to be seen, yet. (Would people believe in Jesus, if original footage of him walking on water or raising a cripple from his sickbed was shown?)

One photo in chapter 77 of More in number ... shows (or will show) the bus stop I arrived at outside the RTA Bus Company in Riverside, California on April 8th, 2003. Another photo taken a few days earlier shows the intersection of Mitchell Ave/Redhill Ave in Tustin, California. My Ben Mitchell backpack is in the foreground, the ampm Service Station in the back. The small bus with the letters "OCTA" just happened to drive into the picture. With a little imagination could you view the name Calvary as Red hill - the hill where blood was shed?

The photo outside the Days Inn in Riverside was taken by bystander. I had no idea, that the letters SINN would show on their own. In German it means sense or mind. Yes, it all makes sense, if we just open our "Sinn" and believe without wanting to see first. If your are seeking HIM, you are a 'Learner' believer. Keep seeking and you will find P's.

To see the king keep seeking.

I will have another try at making the photos come alive. Otherwise, come and visit me in Adelaide and I'll show the doubting Thomas' the originals. On second thoughts, it may be more convenient to put them on the internet. But then, sometimes they don't come to life... 

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Possible Video?

Saturday 31/5/03 turned out a remarkable day in more ways than one. Through special circumstances I was led to buy a second hand video camera at a garage sale; on impulse some would call it. Without giving the full story, getting there involved coloured balloons, signs and the chance meeting of an old friend and his partner. He happened to just view the video camera as I got to the garage sale. Their car registration plate told me I had arrived at the right place.

While chatting I suddenly had the thought that I could produce my story as a video. It would put my public speaking training to the test and perhaps come across more credible than the written word only. The camera works. I already did a test run with a friend from church. Who knows, if there is a story, a video about it may be the way to go?

The person selling the camera was a Christian. He runs a wonderful program for cancer victims. His website tells his own incredible story. The funds raised at the garage sale was for his charity - granting last wishes to terminally ill children. 

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Five die in three crashes

Sadly, I attended another funeral this week. Two hours after uploading my first news-update on 31/5 a young man lost control of his vehicle, left the road and smashed into a pole, right outside the Campbelltown Library in the Adelaide suburb of Newton. His name was Johnny, the son of Greek parents. Our prayers are with his mother Christine, his father Nick, his brother George and girlfriend Leanne.

The 25-year-old's death was the fifth fatality from three crashes on our state's roads on that tragic day. Three young men died early that morning on a main road north of Adelaide called Port Wakefield Road. (Our annual toll is approx. 150 or 1 every 2 days).

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Eight dead in plane crash

Please let no one think I am obsessed by transport fatalities. I just could not help myself from noticing these two tragedies and reporting them here. Last week I mentioned a plane crash where eight people had died. I uploaded the 31/5 News-update exactly (within minutes) on the third anniversary of this tragedy.

On Friday June 6th 03, (7.15 pm local time) a chartered plane with ten people aboard disappeared from the radar screens of the nearby airport. Thick fog made conditions very hazardous. Eight people died, two were seriously injured. What drew my attention was the fact that my daughter Michelle landed at that very same airport a few hours later. She was on her first trip outside Australia since she was a baby.

The name of her friend she travelled with starts with 'D' and ends in 'N'. The airport is Christchurch, New Zealand. I could indulge in a little spiel with names and letters to draw attention to certain facts, but I let the reader do that, if they wish.

It is hard for me to see names and just ignore them. My whole spiritual journey consists of seeing and linking events and data and asking "Why God". Last week in my first news-update I mentioned one country - Greece. I had no idea that I was to attend a Greek Orthodox funeral on June 5th, five days later, at No. 50 Oxford Tce. 

One day later 8 people died in that plane crash. Was the time chosen by (fill in the blank) .... co-incidental? Should I have ignored that my daughter was to land at that very same airport at that very same evening? Do I have a right to question - why this timing? God is sovereign. HIS will will be done.

Oh, that I would not see these things and link them! It torments my mind. But then, perhaps many people would not be reading about GOD's ways, GOD's love and man's utter dependents on HIM alone. HE is the great comforter to those grieving, a specialist in creating beauty out of broken pieces. Trust HIM if you are in sorrow. The sun will shine again.

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Sobczak anniversary

May 26th was the first anniversary of Bob Sobczak's death (Chapter 36). I took a drive through the Adelaide Hills to the crash site. It took a few attempts asking for direction to locate the crash site. This time I had some flowers to lay in respect.

Two days later I contacted Mrs. Sobczak by telephone. I told her who I was and the reason for my "strange" thinking. She was very kind towards me, despite still grieving for her husband. I sent copies of two chapters from "More in number... ." She had not heard about it, but wondered why the police had been acting a little strange in certain matters. Perhaps bringing it all into the open helps her overcome?

Many people, including my wife, can not get over the "Sobczak" factor. Why would I claim that God let someone die in my place? Last Sunday morning a very clear reason emerged in my thinking. If my mental state of mind was prone towards a "Messiah Complex", the belief that somebody died in my place would steer me away from "self-destruction".

My story has many supernatural aspects to it. It would be easy for a mentally unstable person to identify with Christ's suffering to the point of physical death. The Sobczak factor has removed that possibility until further notice. His vision for me does not involve dying before the dream is fulfilled. Death is certain for everyone, but in HIS time.