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Monday, February 22, 2010

God Works in Ways We Can't Comprehend

Wow was I frustrated.  My other laptop had a nervous breakdown on my 20/30 trip.  Now I arrive in Lithuania and heading for Russia and MP when suddenly I am out of space as my "New Used" laptop locks up.

I head to the local PC store:
Kumputoriai Maziausiamis Kainomis off St M Dobazinskio g. and Gedimino g.  It is right across from the Hotel Revai Neris where the Casono Olympia  sits atop the Ginger bar.
These are all along Gedimino gvate  the main  [street] in down town Kaunas.  Many of the colleges are located in center city just off the famous Leisiliem Esplanade.  In fact, Kauno Technologijos Universitetas has one building a block north of the Komputoriai Shop at Doneacicio and Gedimino and the other is two blocks south at the corner of Gedimino and N. Mickeviciawa g.

It is a very convenient city and a perfect college town.  The large Molas - Akropolis opened in 2007[photo at right] is only a short walk from most of the downtown [right and above is the Berneliu Smukle Crafted in the old country style of a Lithuanian Village.  One can get around the entire city on foot or to the outlying  districts of Jaucakiai; Sitkonai; Maksva and Kvesai on one of the many Taxsi-Microbus for 2.5 liters or $1 USA. These pack in 12 or more passengers and will stop to pick up or let off passengers almost anywhere.

Now back to God's work and fixing my PC.  as I enter the store speaking bad Lithuanian the young man [Gedis pictured here wearing a ball cap we gave him] sits behind the counter and responds to  me in perfect English.  Well, half my problem solved because all the way to the shop I am rehearsing what to say in Lithuanian or Russian, and it all sounds bad because I know only two computer words in these languages.  Gedis is my computer angel.
He is a student at the Kauno Technologijos Universitetas just down the street.  Since this is a college town and all students today use Komputoriai I am under grace.  Along with that, Technical colleges and Medical colleges require their students to be proficient in English, and there are two Techinical and four medical schools in kaunas. In addition, Gedis says that he will have to off load a lot of data from my PC to free up space to get it going again.  This will take a long time, like 2 hours and will cost a lot like 10 liters [ under 5 bucks].  All good things and all for  a reason.  Gedis and I are alone in the shop except for the occasional student customer coming and going.
"We need to copy your hard drive to a disk and free enough space to defrag the disk." Gedis tells me,
He puts a disk in and it wont copy.
"OK.  I will dump some of the files to my flash drive." he hands me a 15 gig thumb drive and I insert it to the USB.  This works.
I have another captive listener.  The down load says 60 + minutes.  So we can chat about God while the data an photos jump to the flash drive.
We begin just casual conversation about computers. Here we have plenty common points of interest. I am listening about his  life in the village and how difficult it has been for "old people" like 45 +and such since Lt has tried to get into the EU.  Young people like Gedis rarely speak of the Soviets.  That is because nearly 25% of the population here was born after the Soviet departure.  It seems there was a great "Baby Boom" in 1993-94.  And older -you know those 45+ year old folks- they don't want to talk about it.  They want to forget and move on. I am attentive to Gedis and his feelings about the economy and his country.  He is worried about Lithuania rushing into the EU without first building an economy that can compete with other strong members like Germany.
This is causing many Lithuanians and others in the Baltic region to move to other countries to work.  The Balts are a source of low cost labor for Ireland, Germany ,France  and Spain.  They even go north to Scandinavia.  This is not a good feeling for them.  Lithuanians like their land and they are a proud people.  Gedis is intelligent and has his finger on the pulse of his people.

I ask how he would rate his life on a scale of 1-10.  As a student it is an 8 because he studies computer systems down the street and he is lucky to have a job where he can use his skills first hand with dummies like me who get into trouble by not planning better or having invested in better equipment.

'OK  Plan B .  Flash drive is too slow to copy 9 gig to a DVD.  Gedis suggests we use the external HD and get all the data there and then make  a DVD.
We set up to copy to external HD
This will be 45 minutes
"So Gedis," I ask " you say you don't think much about God but it makes sense that he does exist."
"Yes, but he is ignoring us.  Look at all the bad things that happen."
"True bad things do happen all the time.  Do you think God is doing this?"
"Don't know but He is not stopping it.  I am doing what I need to do and I don't do bad things to people."
"Good.  But have you ever asked yourself ,'if i stood before God today and He asked why should I let you into heaven.  What would you tell Him?"
"Well, that I am a good person and i did not hurt others- smoked some pot but I went to confession too,"
"Ok you are good. I believe you.  Do you feel you know God as well as you know your own father?"
"This thing is running too slow.,"  Gedis said looking at my screen."Must have a lot of junk on it."
"I take a lot of photos and video for my work." I said.
"Well what about your feelings for God? I asked again.
"I feel God when I am in the village especially." Gedis replied.
"So do you talk to him.?"
"I say my prayers and sometimes go to church and confession and the priest talks to God." He replied.
" I know, but you are a child of God and He is your Father. He sent Jesus to free us and forgive us.
I demonstrated with my the DVD how sin can be all th data on the disk and that it is separating us from a personal love relationship with god,  Then I showed how Jesus erased and removed the disk so nothing could stand between us and our Father God.
"Confession is just you opening your heart to Jesus and asking for his love and forgiveness."  Soprente?
"Taip, and I do but I have never talked directly to God it sounds like too much for me."
Gedis was now thinking if he could actually speak directly to God and have Jesus enter into his life.
I heard the drive spin out and click,
"OK now I will hook it to my PC and load the DVD from y laptop.  But it will take more than one disk and I am running a program that will sew it together I just put in the first DVD and copy then the program splits the files and asks us to enter another DVD when this is full."  He knew his stuff.

"How much will these hold?" I asked
"6.7 Gig." He said.
"Ok I'll take 2." I replied.
"Nooo.  If you buy two at 4.5 Litas each, and the 5 pack is 6.95 It is better to take a whole pack"
"Ok break it open and let's copy." I said.
W talked on for another 45 minutes of copy time.  Gedis' girl friend came by to bring  him food.  I spoke with her a bit too.  She was nice but did not speak English as well as Gedis.  I gave Gedis a hat and asked for his photo.   I also gave him a hat for his girlfriend on the condition that he relay to her what I had just told him.  he smiled and let me take his photo wearing the hat. 

The Akroplois and Laisales Aieja [see statue of Vytatus along Laisales] are the most popular shopping areas downtown.  The large Akropolis is as modern or more than any US mall.  Yes, Connie, Gail and Alice that is a WAWA store in the Akropolis, but not a Jersey variety.  Here it is a Batas [shoe store] Akropolis is a typical indoor mall where as Laisales Aieja is an outdoor Esplanade Mall  to be enjoyed in the Spring and Summer. Akropolis contains many large restaurants and the center piece is a full size glass enclosed skating rink on the second floor.  On the third floor is a large Casino.  Across from the Akropolis they are building a very large sports Arena on the banks of the frozen Nemunas river  this is to house the national basketball team.

It is the first and largest Arena in Europe dedicated to Basketball,  [see insert of #13  Note the many very tall Lithuanians.  They just love basketball and they are good at it.  They came close to beating the US in the 2008 Olympics and are the European Champions. In the Akropolis you see Semis Jasaitis # 13  at 6'6"  showcased on a large 2 story brick wall.

"ok, all done." Gedis announces as he removes the DVD and hands it to me.
"well, " I respond," I think you are just about to start."  I am only a few blocks away , so it is convenient for me to stop by if I get into any more trouble."
Gedis smiled, and told me he was there every day after school and weekends.  I shook his hand and I knew we would be speaking again.  Yes the lord works in ways we can never hope to comprehend.
I came in groaning about my PC and left with a heart of gladness and a new soul closer to God.  Life is good Amen

Friday, February 19, 2010


Traveling by plane always gives me a captive audience and God places people near me for the purpose of reaching out. Warsaw to Vilnius on from one ice covered runway to the next was no exception.
Sitting next to me was a very nice Lithuanian lady named Mihola who now lives in Chicago. We began a casual conversation about ice conditions and flying. She was in great fear until I showed her the de-icers on the leading edge of the Turbo Prop aircraft. LOT was the first "Former Satellite" carrier to ditch the old Soviet SU series planes and begin to bring in Western equipment. This day we were in row 8 of an old Embrarer EJR 170 Turbo Prop i.e. sitting right next to the port prop. I think US Air did away with these a few years back. The high wing prop vibration will cause your dentures to fall out.
In any case we settled in and began to ask the reason for each of us visiting Lithuania. Mihola has family there and she is involved with the government and cultural exchange with UNESCO which the US sponsors via the UN.
My explanation of doing mission work here led to immediate skepticism.
"Are you going to ask for money?"
"You know the people are very poor here."
Then Mihola relayed her experiences with the Jehovah Witnesses who she said kept putting pressure on people for money.
Mihola revealed that she is Catholic, and so I had to be very careful. Catholics here feel you are intruding into their sacred territory, and that Protestants - Baptists- have no respect for Maria-- the Mother of God and Queen of all heaven.
I assured Mihola that I was not asking for money, and she was surprised and skeptical that I would take on a mission and pay for it personally. However, that point was what she focused on, and then wanted to know more about how I would meet people here.
I told her of my plans to engage students at places where they gather [Kaunas is a big college town with nearly 13 colleges, universities and technical schools] and to offer them ball caps as a token of friendship from the US. She thought that was a good idea. I brought up the fact that Lithuania has the highest suicide rate in all Europe and then she began to speak of the moral decline and of young people not attending church as they are supposed to do under penalty of mortal sin.
I did not wish to engage in the obvious negative issues that type of religion of fear has on young people. I focused on the positive aspects of each person having a personal relationship with God. I spoke of the simplicity of the message now and as Jesus preached it 2000 years ago. I emphasized how structure and rule led the Jewish :eaders in Christ's day to read too much "Law" into what he was doing. Thus, to condem Him for preaching to the poor, under privileged and sinners. Mihola was a life long confirmed Catholic, but she was nodding on some of these points.

As we were landing in Vilnius Mihola offered me her e-mail address and asked me for mine. I could feel His Spirit with me on that flight: leaving the icy runway in Warsaw; conversing for an hour like I was attached to a vibrator; and landing safely on the snow covered runway in Vilnius along with snow flurries swirling around us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


16 years ago, thanks in part to Ronald Regan's campaign to defeat the "Evil Empire"  Lithuania was removed from  50 years of bondage to the USSR.  Though it is a cold (-7)  winter's day there is much celebration and joy,
I spoke with a man who lived under Soviet rule here for his whole life.  He likens his freedom to that of the Jews being released from Egypt.  Although he recalls the mass exodus of Russians, leaving Lithuania and creating a vacuum on the way out.
Factories, offices, farms, co-operative food processing plants were abandoned overnight.  Only one Russian Colonel- the commandant of the capital, Vilnuis, seemed to reject the idea of Lithuanian Independence.  This was mostly due to personal animosity between him and the mayor of the city.  In 1991 Lithuanians demonstrated for their independence at Televizijios Bokstas a large landmark TV station in center city [photoabove and rt],  a dozen were killed by Soviet Tanks as troops stormed the building.  You can still see the bullet scarred halls and granet steps leading to the tower.  The Soviets were ordered by the Kremlin to pull back .  Russia had formally given up the Lithuanian satellite, and so today Lithuanins mark 16 years of freedom from Soviet rule.
I find now, there is a people here ready for the freedom of worship they have been denied for over 50 years.  It is unfortunate that there are few missions here to spread the word. 
Here  are Photos of the large Akropolis Mall where I intend to meet with teens who know nothing of God or the salvation of Jesus,  Just like in USA many teens mill about the mall and security keeps them on the move.  There are many opportunities for me here. My flat is only a city block away.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I interviewed my first student on the way here, and gave him a hat. He was shy about photos, and since we were sitting next to each other for 9 hours it was too awkward to get out my camera. He is learning to be a pilot for Lufthansa.
His name is Thorngarrd, He had no faith background but He understood the EE concept when I explained it, and he said he may be interested in having Jesus in his life, but he has no support system. Thorngaard is an intelligent young student. His parents go to Luthern church, but his notion of God is limited to Church with the family on Christmas. He indicated that he believes there is a God, but that at the moment his main concern is his career. Training to be a pilot for Lufthansa is a tough job, and his fear is the high washout rate. Thorngaard wanted to join the German Air Force as a Tactical jet pilot, but he was turned down for being too tall [slightly over 2 meters -6'4"].
So he landed a job as a pilot in training for Lufthansa and is very pleased with his progress. We spent some time talking about pilot training and what he had learned. Mostly he's in Cessna 172's and learning some in Florida. I related my experiences with FACT in St Augustine, Florida where I flew for 12 years. This where 2 of the 911 terrorists trained. The Europeans love to train in the US becasue we have no airport fees. In EU you are charged a fee for each landing and departure; not so in US.
On a scale of 1-10 Thorngaard was feeling at a 9 because like most pilots you tend to feel god-like when soaring above the earth. However after delving into issues of potential danger and safety I could sense some deeper thinking. What happens after life?; what is life all about?; is there something larger than us?
He was thinking and now I had the opportunity to help him fill the void of a Godless life. No there was no instant conversion at 31,000 ft; only questioning of things that had not been in the front of Thorngaard's mind before we talked.
This is a seed planted and I prayed that he would continue to seek.


It was a long journey. I left Miami and the sun Wednesday Feb 10th, 2010. All of the NE US airports were closed. They routed me to Dussseldorf, Ger. Helsinki, Vilnius.
Missed connection to Helsinki due to timing. So I was rerouted to Warsaw and then Vilnius. This caused a full day delay. Had to stay night in Warsaw Airport - no rooms.
All in all it is OK. I had a good book to read : Steve Foss "Satan's Dirty Little Secret" and of course the Bible and God Sightings
My friend picked me up in Vilnius and drove me to Kauno. Apartment [flat] is warm and clean, and in center of city near large Mall called the Akropolis. More on this later because here I will meet with youth and provide EE information.
Participants get a ball cap thanks to SELAH.
I will search for TRAC phone chip tomorrow and tonight [5PM here 10 AM FLL] I will log onto FBCFL pod cast with pastor Larry.
God Bless All
You are in my prayers

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thanks To All my Friends and Supporters-SELAH & EAGLES

I so appreciate all you have done for me, and dinner last night was the best.
However, I wanted to say to to all my friends that God selects ordinary people to do things that people who know us would never expect us to do. And the Lord knows that I am a very ordinary sinner saved by His Grace. It is done by and for His holy name. Remember I am just the messenger. The message comes from the king and I am sent to deliver.

It is like when I was in the military and on a work detail. I would catch an officer lurking around and I knew he was looking for volunteers for some other task. So I made myself look very busy at what I was doing. Then, I got that fatal tap on the back "Rodgers, come with me" This is the same with God. I am here in sunny Florida and basking in the sun on the beach, very busy with Church and Bible Study, and God taps me on the back " Rodgers come with me. Go to Russia, I want you there." So it is not like I am going for the tour or that I am a saint or minister. I am a regular guy who just got selected to do His work some other place. So if there is a celebration it should be His celebration; not mine.
But I sincerely thank each of you for last evening. You are all wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all of the body of Christ, and like Paul taught an eye or an ear is no more important than any in the other parts in the Body of Christ. Jesus selects each of us to do something He has made us worthy of, and so each part contributes to the the Head of the body,,, Jesus Christ. One of may serve here and another be called to serve elsewhere. Each one is equally important in doing His work.
Further, I want to thank all the Selah members who provided ball caps for me to take to the students in Mission Possible. Your generosity and quickness to respond was a miracle.


I will attempt to the best of my ability to post a video [one minute ] daily. I hope to interview as many people who are open to speaking about their personal God Experience.

I will plan on writing about 300-500 words a day letting you know of my experience in the field. Some may sound like a travel log, but keep me on track here. I really want to give you feedback on the progress I am making in Spreading the Word. As Pastor Dr Larry Thompson is preaching in his his daring "Flash Forward" message: we are in the end times and it is imperative that
we reach as many as possible NOW!

>>Please click on the box that says "FOLLOW" enter your gmail or yahoo address.
in this way when I post you will receive an email that will take you right to the sight where you can read the daily posting.

below each posting there is a place for posting a comment. These are helpful to me to know if what I am posting is working. Video is usually a problem due the lag in uploading it to your browser. If audio sounds choppy, let the video fully buffer before you view.

Again thanks to each of you for all or support,and pray that this journey is beneficial to those I encounter.