Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome to Damascus!

Right after the Eurocon we’ll have an outreach to Damascus, Syria.
The program will start on Monday night , March 22 with the opening
of the Art Exhibition called HEAVEN ON EARTH.
It will be hosted by the Mustafa Ali Art Gallery in the Old city of Damascus.
The exhibition and other events will continue till Saturday, March 27.
You can contact me for more details at

As you see from the pictures it’s not hard to believe that Damascus
is one of the oldest cities in the world.
It’s still there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Friends in Damascus!


Damascus by night

Damascus , Paul's Waterloo !

On the way to Damascus via Gaziantep, Turkey

Welcome to Damascus!

Right after the Eurocon we’ll have an outreach to Damascus, Syria.
The program will start on Monday night , March 22 with the opening
of the Art Exhibition called HEAVEN ON EARTH.
It will be hosted by the Mustafa Ali Art Gallery in the Old city of Damascus.
The exhibition and other events will continue till Saturday, March 27.
You can contact me for more details at

As you see from the pictures it’s not hard to believe that Damascus
is one of the oldest cities in the world.
It’s still there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Keep on praying for Samarkand

Our God is so much faithful in giving to us peace and joy no matter what is happening in our lives. Please, continue praying for Toir, Pasha and Pasha's Mom. Toir appealed to the Court, wrote a petition that he disagrees with the decision of the Court, so we will have another session of the regional Court on February 25.Pray also for our teenagers; they never let them alone! KGB people informed regional school department and now that school department makes them write letters with promises that they would never go to church again.
The director of their school is the kind of a person which never stops at what has been accomplished. She went to Pasha's housing and communal service director who is a municipal official at the same time and made Pashas's Mom to write a promise that she would never allow
gathering of the schoolchildren again. The situation is not getting better yet. Almost every day they say bad things about evangelical believers on television. We have no meetings and no Bible lessons. But God took care of us: almost all our believers take Bible lessons by correspondence, by listening pastor Shaller's and pastor Schibelli's MP3 messages and also pastor Pavel's ones (he is the pastor of Tumen church in Siberia). Those are amazing messages. And we encourage one
another visiting each other daily. Today all our family prayed and Toir was sharing from the Word. It was a very much encouraging message. Like we should look only at our Lord and expect Him to accomplish what He has already started in our hearts. Because He promised He will! And we also should do our best to carry through what we have already.That is what our faith is all about: to believe in our faithful Lord till the end of our lives.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kalevi is my favorite bird.

Godless Religion

When people get disappointed or tired of their religion
they don’t usually turn to another religion for help.
They rather escape and avoid to the maximum all forms
of religion. Anything religious makes them alert.
People even agree to live as nominal believers as long as it doesn’t
interfere with their life -style.
It seems like the fastest growing religion in the world today is
Humanism, a belief that man is the final absolute and authority
for everything . I call it a religion because it claims to meet
all the religious needs of the modern man.
In Humanism the world leaders , those who have understood the
value of political power, end up sooner or later with taking
the role of God in people’s daily life.
All totalitarian systems in the world history have been developed
in the swift of power from God to people.
In George Orwell’s classic book “Animal Farm” the pigs first despised the
people who walked on two feet. Soon they themselves learned
this painful and impractical way of moving around.
They claimed that all animals are equal, some were just born
more equal than others. They despised man, but ended up taking
the place of man in their animal kingdom.
Man cannot and should not live his life independently.
Man gets lost when he disconnects himself from his Creator.
He needs a covering, a shepherd for his soul.
Without an authority every individual is lost like a little dumb lamb
that becomes a victim in no time. The wolves don’t care about
hurting or not hurting the sheep. They care about eating them.

Jesus had no problems with recognizing the need for the civil government.
He was not killed by the ungodly government , nor was he killed by an
accident. He gave his life.
He showed again and again how believers should trust God for
His supernatural help. His famous words “Render to Caesar that which
is Caesar’s and to God that what is His” (Matthew 22:21)
cut wings of any revolutionary ideas that the disciples could have
entertained to that point.
Jesus showed that believers could be spiritual and in the same time
fulfill their civil duties blamelessly.
I think that we all have learned that just the fact that somebody speaks
in the name of God, doesn’t yet guarantee that he cares for our soul.
It’s clear that also a believer can be a bad politician.
Theoretically an Atheist or a representative of another religion could
be a good leader, too.
However, most of us would not trust our lives into the hands of an Atheist
disregard of his abilities and fame.
Atheistic Humanism has big problems is exercising justice.
Without believing in absolutes every judgment and verdict will lack
objectivity and consistency.
This kind of Humanism has an appearance of really caring for people.
However, Humanism, without morals that are be based on something
bigger than ourselves, cannot motivate people to really care for other people.
They find themselves puzzled when they see tens of thousands of Earthquake
Survivors worshipping God in Haiti. For a godless person that is irrelevant.
Atheistic Humanism doesn’t care for humans.
It only cares for it’s own right not to worship God.
Humanism claims equality and freedom of speech, but when it comes to the real
questions of life, they leave no room to ask them.
With it’s absurd neutrality Humanism tries to hide it’s hatred against God.
Humanism claims all people to be equal.
It will be impossible to please everybody
all the time. There will always be winners and losers in man’s society.
At the end of the day the winners will be the best speakers and those who have
no problems walking over other people in the name of some noble cause,
or just like that, explaining nothing to nobody. Why should they, if there is
no greater authority besides themselves.
Humanism despises grace as something ridiculous and useless.
If sin doesn’t exist, forgiveness is not needed. It becomes worthless.
Without forgiveness people will create a merciless society.
Unfortunately Humanism is too often just a well disguised form of Atheism.

God created man in his own image.
He loved him more than he had deserved to be loved.
He humbled himself by becoming a man
opening the way for the glorified humanity to heaven.
After doing everything he said to man, ”Come and follow me.”
Only pride would cause man to turn the other direction
and escape from Him pretending that he never heard that voice.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Remember Samarkand !

Keep on praying for Samarkand !

Latest from Samarkand

A court case took place against our believers in Samarkand.
Two of the leaders ( Toir and Pasha) were fined for 150$ each
and a lady who was accused to open her home for the meetings
was fined for 50$.
All the books and the computer that were confiscated are still
kept by the police.
The police is also visiting the teenagers, who were arrested in
the youth meeting, in their school and making
them to sign reports and written promises that they will not attend
the church activities ever again.
The church has stopped their bigger meetings for a season.
They love their country and pray for the authorities daily.
Let’s pray together with them.
It’s extremely important for them to know that they are not forgotten.
Feel free to write to them some words of encouragement.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Hannele mingling in the mall

Follow me!

Little did they know about theology and religious politics.
They simple fell in love with the person of Jesus.
If someone told these juvenile fishermen that one day their
beardy pictures would decorate most of the church buildings
in Europe, they would have laughed their heads off.
They heard the call, left their nets and stepped into a new adventure.
I’m sure that emotional excitement characterized their days.
They were moving from one place to another with a youthful
enthusiasm. Struggles for a position and other practical evaluations
came later. They had fallen in love with God.
Peter was brought to Jesus by his friends.
He was a big catch. If Peter would follow, so many others would
come in his footsteps.
Peter followed Jesus and ended up losing his own strength and
self-confidence. He went from failure to failure.
After all these embarrassing incidents Jesus talks with him heart to heart.
Jesus tells him to feed his sheep.
By now Jesus had had several serious moments with Peter,
yet he believes that Peter is the man. He would be the right person
to communicate the heart of God to the church.
At the end of this conversation Peter hears the call again, “Follow me!”
John 21:19
He knew so much more what it meant.
It was another revelation of God’s unfailing grace.
Because of the grace we follow and continue to follow.

checking out the new malls in Istanbul

Monday, February 1, 2010

just grow up

"But when I became a man, I put away childish things." I Cor.13:11

Childish things take a lot of time and emotional energy.
They are those temptations to cry out,"I also have an opinion.
This is mine.I, myself."
Childish things pop up here and there and we have learned not to pay too
much attention to them.
But when a leader falls into childish stupidities everybody else is
We quietly say in our hearts,"Just grow up, please!"
The best thing for a leader to do after such a childish behavior, is to
join others and laugh at it.
It sets everybody free and probably destroys thousand of demons
on the the top of it all.