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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

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