Memories – Nostalgia
Does September also bring you a mysterious feeling of nostalgia? Many of you will probably remember the hauntingly beautiful lines and tones of Andy Williams’ popular song “Memories – memories etched upon the tablet of my mind.”
What really sparked the nostalgic flow of memories for me was walking around Warm Lake Bible Camp on Saturday, September 6th. (Randy went with me to the Eagle Christian Church Men’s Retreat at Horse Thief Reservoir, and we went to Warm Lake during recreation time.) The camp was deserted because summer camps were over, but the nostalgia flowed as I remembered bringing Della to that camp in August, 1962, just four months before our wedding, and listening to Delbert White plainly, purposefully and passionately preaching the gospel and calling all of us to commitment – unreserved commitment to Christ. I remember Galen Farnsworth striking the cords of my heart along with the chords of his guitar as he sang the words to “I Won’t Have to Cross Jordan Alone.” I remember Kenny Beckman probing deeper into those cords of my heart as we sat on logs around the huge campfire. (Delbert had finished preaching – now Kenny had gone to meddling – but the call to commitment couldn’t have been clearer.) Souls were stirred and lives were transformed around that campfire. I remember baptisms in the cold water of that mountain lake. (Warm Lake only has a few warm spots from warm springs.)
I remember my first trip to Ukraine when I preached “Why I Believe in God” for Simferopol Christian Church. Following the church service, Shaire came to me with her face beaming to introduce me to her granddaughter and to tell me this: “God sent you here to share this message for my granddaughter. She is an atheist – and this is just what she needed to hear!” (Do you think that didn’t motivate me to return to Crimea again and again?) I learned that Shaire was one of very few Christians among the Crimean Tatars – an Islamic unreached people group. Now Pioneer Bible Translators has the entire Bible available in the Tatar language – and there are a few more converts. Shaire was a bold witness for Jesus in spite of suffering indescribable hardships. She has since gone Home to the loving arms of our Savior. May He continue to use her testimony to reach more souls for Jesus! (Another of Shaire’s granddaughters, Ira, was a committed Christian – and served as my interpreter for a few meetings. Later she went to a Christian college in Florida.)
September 11, 2001
My first trip to Ukraine for the “Man and the Christian Worldview Symposium” was in May 2001, and Vlad Devakov was my first interpreter. His father had drowned in the Black Sea during a terrible storm when Vlad was 16 years old, and the fact that my heart goes out to orphans, coupled with Vlad’s warm personality and quick wit bonded us so that I emotionally adopted him like another son. I want to share with you a note I sent to him on September 11, 2014.
“Dear Vlad, Since today is the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there are memorial programs across the nation. This morning as I was listening to a 5:30 a.m. radio broadcast replaying recordings from that fateful day, I was reminded of you as well. Why? Because I clearly remember the heartfelt email you sent us as your heart was aching and your tears were falling on the keyboard as you typed. I had already come to deeply appreciate you on my first trip, but my heart bonded with you even more when we received that email. Is it any wonder that I requested for you to be my interpreter again in October 2011 for the conference, and emotionally adopted you to be like another son? Now your nation is under attack – and the conditions are even worse. My heart aches for you, Tanya, your kids and all your many friends and co-workers in Ukraine. I’m thinking of the song, “We are one in the bond of love.”
Yours & His, Rick”
Memories – Man and the Christian Worldview Symposiums
I remember after my presentation of “Catastrophic Consequences of Darwinism” at a symposium in Yalta that Stephan Bruev, a retired M.D., stood up and said approximately this: “I grew up in the Soviet Marxist system, and I have been thoroughly indoctrinated with Darwinism since my childhood, but after hearing this presentation, I don’t believe it anymore!!!” Do you think that didn’t motivate me to keep going back to Crimea?” (By the way, Sergei Golovin published “Catastrophic Consequences of Darwinism” in Russian as a booklet, and it is now Chapter 3 of “READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER” in both the English and Russian versions.)
I remember meeting Valeriy Pavlov on the hotel patio (which had a grand view of the Black Sea), while we were seated at the same table listening to a concert on the first evening of a symposium. He had come to the symposium for the first time at the invitation of a Christian teacher at Crimean American College (now Commonwealth International University). Our initial meeting and greeting was cordial, but superficial; however, during our times together in ongoing symposiums and conferences, we bonded and became friends – in spite of opposite and opposing worldviews. Valeriy is a philosophy professor from Kiev and had come to the symposium to convince us of his atheistic Marxist views. Repeated exposure to Biblical truth and creation science evidence, coupled with strong doses of genuine love from Christian presenters and interpreters, brought about a dramatic turn-around in Valeriy’s attitude and manner. Sergei Golovin said, “We could hardly recognize him as the same man!” I’m glad professors love to read. Early in our friendship I gave Valeriy a Russian copy of “IN THE MINDS OF MEN”
by Ian Taylor (which documents historically why Darwinism was accepted and promoted – and it was not because of scientific evidence. In fact, early on, Darwin’s strongest opponents were scientists.) Later I gave Valeriy “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. At the next meeting I asked him, “How do you like the book?” He replied, “I love it! I’ve highlighted favorite passages and share them with my students!” Do you think that didn’t motivate me to keep coming back to Crimea for the symposiums?
In my presentation, “The Power of Perspective,” I used the strategy of Solomon in Ecclesiastics – to show that every humanistic philosophy seeking to find fulfillment is a dead end road. Vanity of vanities – all is vanity – chasing after the wind. Three ladies were very upset with me about it and strongly voiced their objections during the comment/question time. Two of them were Russian speakers, professors of philosophy and culture. They said to me, “What you are saying is that what we are doing is worthless!” I didn’t argue with them about that. At least I could be pleased that they got the message! The third woman who objected was the wife of a Christian psychologist, and her objection was that I was too strong and blunt in my presentation. (In other words, she didn’t disagree with what I said, but thought I should have been softer in my presentation.)
Ironically, I really didn’t need to make much of a defense of my presentation because two other philosophy professors defended me – Yuri Mezensev and Valeriy Pavlov. They told the ladies they should calm down and really listen to what I was saying – all the way to the end. I had ended the presentation on the positive note of accepting God’s wisdom instead of man’s wisdom.
That evening I asked Sergei Golovin, Do you think I was too blunt?” He replied something like this: “Normally we take a more cautious and indirect route to expose the errors of our opponents. However, sometimes someone has to take the sledgehammer of truth and smash the false philosophies. You did it today!” Do you think that didn’t motivate me to keep coming back to Crimea? (“The Power of Perspective” is now Chapter 5 in “READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER”.)
I remember Sergei Korniyenko saying, “One thing we can count on with Rick – we never have to wonder what he is trying to say!” (Clarity is a virtue – isn’t it?)
Another time I remember a comment from Sergei Korniyenko was during a long afternoon when we were drowsy from a good lunch, the warm sunshine, and a discussion that was dragging on and on about how to synthesize music with philosophy and science. I decided to try to liven up the session, so I mentioned that two ancient Greek philosophers were debating their conflicting philosophies. One claimed, “To do is to be!” Another claimed, “To be is to do!” They never resolved their conflict – but finally, over two thousand years later, Frank Sinatra brought the synthesis with music when he sang “Strangers in the Night” with the phrase “do – be – do – be – do.” The English speaking presenters and the interpreters all burst out laughing. Sergei Korniyenko said, “Rick, this will go down in the history of our symposiums!” (Maybe I need to remind Georges Carillet, because so far I haven’t seen it in any history books.) It did liven up our drowsy afternoon. Do you think…?
I believe it was my fourth trip to Crimea – (I was coming both for the symposium in the spring and the conference in the fall) – when I thought of the mule story for my introduction. On the first evening of the symposium, each presenter was called to the front to introduce himself and give his credentials. Almost all of them had far more academic degrees that I do, so when my turn came, I told them about a farmer in Kentucky who entered his mule in the Kentucky Derby. When his friends asked why he did such a foolish thing, since his mule had no chance to win against those thoroughbreds and the entry fee was expensive, he replied, “I know that – but I believe the association will do him good!” I told them, “I feel like the mule at the Kentucky Derby, but I believe the association will do me good.” Then I expressed my thanks to Georges and Sergei for allowing me to be there. My interpreter, Lena Osipchuk said, “Oh, Mr. Deighton, you have a story for everything!” I wish that were actually true, because Jesus taught primarily through stories and probing questions.
I remember when a nuclear scientist, Vladislav Olkhovsky, stood up during a discussion time to thank Georges Carillet and Sergei Golovin for putting on the “Man and the Christian Worldview” symposiums and conferences. He told them how powerfully these meetings had influenced his life, and then said, “My science is still very important to me – but no longer is it the most important thing in my life. Now sharing God’s truth is the most important! I’m writing a book on apologetics!”
A few years later at a Biblical worldview conference in Kursk, Russia, I heard him give a tremendous presentation on the Christian worldview as the convergence of Biblical and scientific evidence. Praise God!
For the conclusion of my small book, “Is the Bible Without Any Errors?” I included this special memory from one of the symposiums:
“Euphoria in the Presence of our Awesome God!
Thursday morning, May 15th, dawned an incredibly beautiful day on the Black Sea Coast. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the soft breeze was swaying the trees near our hotel balcony as I read from Genesis. I laid my Bible down, leaving it open, while I went back into our room (Sergei Golovin and I were roommates for the symposium), but when I returned to the balcony a few moments later, I was puzzled to find it open to Romans 11. There wasn’t that much breeze! As I stared at the page, I heard a voice nearby quoting, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” It was my friend, Vladimir Komlev, English teacher and pastor of the Evangelical Christian Church in Lugansk, Ukraine, who was also our next door neighbor for the conference. Our balconies were actually connected, with only a small fence between. So, together, Vladimir and I soaked in the beauty of the early morning as we meditated upon the wisdom of God. Vladimir had quoted Romans 11:33, so I continued reading: “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen” – Romans 11:34-36. Yes, friends and prayer partners, there is euphoria in the presence of our Awesome God!”
Insights about the Importance and Impact of Northwest Science Museum
Once again we want to give you the pertinent information so you can come to visit our Vision Center to see powerful evidences for God’s amazing Creation and against Darwin’s destructive delusions. We want to share with you a portion of a letter that a couple wrote to their home congregation concerning NWSM. They are friends of Stan Lutz, our museum curator. “. . . Virginia and I viewed the new website of Northwest Science Museum, and immediately we wanted to share in support of the Museum Project. This is very good, and we ask you to view the presentations and consider the importance of faith in God’s Six Days of Creation! God’s Word presents this as fact in its clear meaning. Then the Word encourages us in the light of the Creation, to believe or do something else. In those instances the writer, by God the Spirit’s influence, is saying that the Creation Story is literally true, and because of His Great and Awesome power to create everything, He is able to save us, protect us, resurrect us, indwell us. He, God is in control of all future events, and we do not need to fear and worry. The literal creation shows God’s magnificent ability in the beauty of design, of the vast universe down to the gorgeous colors and patterns in the feathers on a bird, and the diverse crystallization patterns in a snowflake. His power and design are evident in sustaining the functions of nature and the controlled orbiting of the solar systems of the universe.
The purpose of the museum is to give ALL PEOPLE opportunity to pause to evaluate the observations of earth history in many manifestations, and to evaluate the science to explain how it came to be. Does it fit the Evolution Model or the Six Day Creation Model? Please click on the link http://www.northwestsciencemuseum.com/ to visit the web site. Run your cursor over the Mastodon and click on the video presentation. Stan is in it! Also, click on Resources/Media for another good presentation. Explore the rest of the website. We have chosen to back the development of the museum in the ways that we can, and to pray for its completion. In the mean time, the museum has a temporary location where artifacts can be observed and evaluated. Evolutionists and atheists have already been there and heard some presentations. Ask Stan how they went! Ask Stan about the two college professors of science, that visited the creation science museum where he once worked for a year, how they were challenged to explain the existence of flora and fauna in the digestive system of a large beast dug up in the United States, thought by their evolutionary training to be extinct millions of years ago.
To the praise of His glory and grace,
Dwayne & Virginia De Whitt”
From our Mailbox
“Good Morning Precious Servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I commend you for your faithful seed planting ministries for our King.
Thank you for blessing our lives through Jesus in your recent visit to SHCC (Singing Hills Christian Church). I especially appreciate your materials on Creation…..
May the Lord’s richest blessing be with you in the Greatest work on earth.
Rejoicing with You in Jesus,
Brother Marv (Schrom)
“I am really excited! The ministry restructuring went much faster and more effective then I could imagine! And new projects in Kiev of the School of Christian Apologetics and of Reliable Foundations Club are on the way. Please continue to pray for them, as well as for peace in Ukraine – we highly desire it to come. But even if will not, we will continue to share ultimate PEACE and HOPE in the person of CHRIST! And your prayers are what we need the most!”
Please keep praying for our ministry, for our team, for our families, for God’s guidance and protection in everything we do. You are in our prayers as well.
Yours by the love and grace of Christ Jesus
“Thank-you so much for continuing to serve the Lord. You two are heroes! I am so sorry to hear about your friend Rostislav’s passing but am always inspired at the faith and Godly perspective that you have, which encourages me to continue to grow in Christ and know that our earthly life is not the end! God can truly work through anything! I love you both very much and will keep these prayer requests in my prayers.
Lots of love to the both of you!!
“Thank you, Rick, for your kind and cordial e-mail. The feeling is mutual. I love and respect you for the great work that God is doing through you in Eastern Europe. I join you in prayer for our suffering brothers and sisters in Eastern Ukraine.
Thanks for your kind remarks about our quarterly newsletter. God is using WEI to spread the gospel throughout the world. To him be the glory. Amen?
May God be with you, Rick, as you continue to spread the Word where ever he sends you.
With appreciation and brotherly love,
“A few weeks ago I did greet the church for you and afterwards two ladies immediately said thank you and to send our greetings back to you.
Our church has shrunk down to the bare bones. I don’t understand enough Russian to know what is completely going on, but I will ask someone to give me a report that I can pass on to you.
Blessings, Shannon” (Haynie)
“Thank you very much, brother! Believe me – never before I desired Jesus to come right now as much as I do these last months! Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus!
Yours by His grace
“Sometimes I want to say the words from Ps.90:10 “The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” But the Lord comforts me, He says that I have His life in me, His spirit, His strength. He gives moments of heavenly joy in our everyday life.
We had a camp for a week in July, 23 people, mostly believers but also unbelievers. We studied book of Jonah. What a wonderful book, full of God’s grace and spiritual insights! At the end of the camp we had a baptism. Two young girls were baptized. One of them is our daughter Maria. What a gift from the Lord!
One lady has been attending our Bible study group, then she went to the camp, 7 days ago she repented. Now she is preparing to the baptism in September. Jesus comforts through all these circumstances in our country, showing what the most important thing is.
On Sunday we are going to Kiev to a missionary training conference. Please pray for us.
Thank you for your prayers!
In grace and love of Jesus Christ,
Yuri and Alyona (Krocha) with children”
“It was great to hear from you. I remember you well from our time together at OBC. As for Tunas, I preached four years at Louisburg while I was in college and before I went into full-time evangelism. I did read about your work in “Horizons,” and have always taken note when I’ve run across your work in Europe over the years. The Northwest Science Museum sounds like a tremendous project. I would love to have your books but I insist upon paying for them…..
“Although supposedly retired (I completed 36 years at Kingsway CC in Avon, IN), I’m keeping busier than ever, but busy doing what I choose to do rather than what I have to do. God is good, we are blessed, Jan and I are in good health, and we have lots of opportunities to serve, especially in regard to missions. May our Lord continue to bless and prosper you and your work.
“…..I so VERY much appreciate your heart for evangelism! I’ve been wanting to start going door to door and really sharing, as I really do believe the Lord is coming soon!
Special Prayer Request
Yesterday morning (September 14) our NWSM curator, Stan Lutz, had a heart attack. This morning at 10;30 he is to have an angiogram to determine what should be done. I believe this is more than physical – this is spiritual warfare! Please pray for God to miraculously heal Stan! Please pray for peace for him, his wife, Bonnie, and for all of us!
Yours & His, Rick
A Little Child Shall Lead Them
– Written by Della
Our 3-year- old granddaughter, Trinity, is such a delight to us in many ways. She comes to our house five days a week when Sandy comes to work in our home office. She makes us smile and laugh every day in one way or another – and even when she is not here and we think about something she has said or done, we smile or laugh again.
Recently she was running through the house and giggling – just delighting in that simple pleasure. I thought, “Oh, for the ability to enjoy life as this little child does!”
Every once in a while she will dance around with her arms in the air – just as if she is praising the Lord. Maybe she is!
The bedspread on our bed was getting kind of worn looking, and I decided to use it for a different purpose. I was thinking it would be nice to go buy a pretty new quilt to use on the bed, but decided I should not spend the money for that. I had another bedspread with roses on it, which I had packed away in the closet, and which I had used for a long time a few years ago. I got it out and put it on the bed. When Trinity saw it, she exclaimed, “Oh, Grandma, this is so pretty! Maybe when I grow up, I can have one like this!” Somehow, that old bedspread took on a new beauty for me, and now every day when I make the bed, I think about her comment and feel grateful for it. (Thank you, Trinity, for helping me to be content with such things as I have!)
A few days ago, Trinity was following Rick through the screen door and it closed before Rick could catch it. It made a small cut on Trinity’s little toe. Sandy was going to take care of it, but Trinity said, “Grandma is the best doctor in the world!” So, Sandy brought her to me. As I was getting out the Neosporin and the band aids, she said, “Grandma, you will be VERY careful, won’t you?” I assured her that I would be, and then she was so trusting and brave. I wonder, am I that trusting and brave when my Heavenly Father is taking me through a trial???
“A Child’s View of Lightning
A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with lightning.
The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school. She also feared the electrical storm might harm her child. Full of concern, the mother got into her car and quickly drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did, she saw her little girl walking along.
At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up, and smile. More lightning followed quickly and with each, the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called, “What are you doing?”
The child answered, “I am trying to look pretty because God keeps taking my picture.”
May God bless you today and every day as you face the storms that come your way.”