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My life's Greatest Missionary Journey By Peter Christian Romanowsky The greatest singular event that happened in my life, and by extension to the church that I was pastoring at time. Was an amazing six month missionary journey that began after Becky my wife, my mother Ritva Romanowsky and I had finished the ground work of our future ministry in Finland. By traveling there together and ministering in homes and churches while visiting relatives. Afterwards John Newton a fellow Agape Church member and I traveled to Israel and Greece on another missionary journey, surveying and ministering in these countries. Later on to return to these above mentioned countries, and more with my music minister Ken Hopkins. To complete the third and greatest missionary outreach of them all to that date, which lasted six months from the time of my departure from the San Francisco Bay Area, to the time of our return from Israel. It began after I felt I received a proper date of departure from The Lord. I had a dream possibly influenced by the same type of dream that Saint Paul had in the Bible about the Macedonian man calling him to Greece. Nevertheless I had a dream about a man asking me to come to Greece. I knew no one in the formal ministry in there at the time. My week in Athens and Corinth with Brother John Newton on the earlier mission way a logistic time of ground breaking and getting familiar with the lay of the land. Where to rent a room where to buy groceries, etc. I found in my international travels that it usually takes about a week to familiarize oneself to the basic needs when entering a new country. The ground work had been laid in our principle target countries Finland, Greece and Israel. The year was approximately 1975 the world as ours and we were young and full of the fire, of enthusiasm. After a fund raising meeting, that was challenged by two other fund raising needs. One an evangelist and teacher who had recently come back from Page 2 India and another missionary named Roberto Brown, who was also in need of funds for Mexico. “What a challenge”, I woke up with only some fifty or a hundred dollars the next morning, after the double and triple fund raiser at the Knights of Columbus meeting hall. Which we especially rented for the event in San Anselmo, Marin County California. This was the date that I told everyone that I believed, was the date of my departure. I really only had fifty dollars the morning that I was going to leave for this the greatest of missionary evangelistic journeys. As the day began I found some money in the mail, maybe as little as twenty dollars maybe more. Then a neighbor of whom I told about the departure lovely and cheerfully gave me another maybe fifty dollars, maybe less. All in all that day maybe some two hundred dollars came into my possession. Enough to easily take the first leg of the journey and fly to Los Angeles, where my parents lived and wait for god’s next provision. In the meanwhile Kenneth Hopkins our music minister did not have his plane ticket either. So I told him that I would leave by faith and wait for him in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley suburb of Encino with my parents. I was filled with faith, I had nothing else to do but to ultimately trust in the Lord to provide. Then I got word from my wife Becky that she had sold our IBM Selectric typewriter which I had place in local paper before I left, to a seminary student from the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in Marin County. The add had been in the paper long before I left “what divine timing”. Just when I needed it, that was two hundred more dollars. Then my parents contributed the rest of the money for the plane ticket, with enough money left over to buy a first class Eurail Pass. So that we would be able to travel from Denmark to Greece, over land and sea after first landing in Finland. Then on to our final destination, returning from Israel. The plane ticket was called an open jaw arrangement, with the rail pass accommodations of being able to sleep in all first class couches, due to the fact that all the seats folded down flat, when one wanted to lay down or sleep between cities in Europe. I can’t remember exactly how much my parents Page 3 Contributed, but if I can recollect properly it seems that the pastor of the Foursquare Church Tarzana and his wife contributed money also. The pastor and his wife will always be in memories because of something unexpected and special that happened months later in Rome Italy. They told me about a place they ministered in Rome and a pastor they knew named John Mcturnen. Who I was told and later to find out first hand that by faith he had been used by God, to build the largest Pentecostal Church sanctuary in Europe. In the suburbs of Rome, according to his testimony. I believe the ministers name in Tarzana was Pastor Wayneburg “what a couple”, they have seen some of the greatest events in modern church history. In the meanwhile a miracle was happening in northern California, where I had left Ken Hopkins. He had taken his Volkswagen bug to his grandparents home, to wash it before putting an add in the paper to sell it. While there he told his grandparents of what was transpiring , they were so impressed that they gave him enough money to buy a plane ticket, from the funds that they had been saving for his college education. They believed this would be a great opportunity to travel and see Europe. “It was done”, we had the money, we bought the open jaw return tickets from Los Angeles to Finland, then by rail through Europe and over land and sea through the Near and Middle East to Israel then return from there by air. It was amazing it was a dream comes true for any evangelist. We departed with the blessings of my parents from the airport and we were off, with only a little money in Kens pockets and nothing in mine. When we lands I had to borrow five dollars from Ken for the train ride from Finland's capital city Helsinki, to Tainus Jurva a suburb of Jurva which is near to the mid country eastern port city if Vassa. It was incredible when I look back, but young people have a lot of faith and that is why I believe that Jesus taught that, “…we must become as little to children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. We were on the first leg of a journey that I only dreamed about writing about in a journal. Page 4 “God is Good”! upon arriving at my grandparents farmhouse and after settling in a writing a few letters, as my manor had become after arriving in Finland. To let ministers and Christian workers know that I was in country. Invitations started coming in. During one meeting in a home for instance, after prayer for the sick and operating in the word of knowledge, calling out what physical or spiritual need was, as it was being healed. Revival broke out, word got out. I still remember the look on Brother Matti Ojalas (local Elder who invited us to minister) face when I called out a physical need, while praying for instance for someone sitting in a chair. I believe it was Perkins’s disease and the man responding while being healed. News spread like fire, the healing in this home meeting service somewhere near the town of Jurva. Organized by a “living saint,” in my opinion Matti Ojala of Jurva. News spread to other towns hamlets and villages about the healings and unmistakable power of God, that was flowing and healing person after person. Heart problems were a common prayer request, or discerning in the Spirit the needs while praying . People were being healed, people were being touched, joy was everywhere, hope had sprung anew in this spring and summer season. The warmth especially in the beginning of home meetings and services everywhere was contagious. I had read so clearly about miracles and phenomena like these in Charles G. Finneys book called Revival Lectures. As well as other stories of the way God used this great evangelist in America in the nineteenth century, I found a copy of one of his books in my grandparents home in Finland in the Finnish language. I thought to myself how my ancestors were ministered to by this same great book as I was. Page 5 We began we began being invited to speak in every imaginable place, such as factories for instance, where I felt so much like Charles G. Finney where he also spoke in factories. The people, workers, with their children sat there stoic like, then began opened up at the preaching of the Word, then lost all inhibitions when time came to pray for miracles and salvation as it was in our meetings, only on a smaller scale, with more healings. Again word spread at light speed, the light of God’s Word, the feeling of excitement that the Lord was able to convey through Ken and I was contagious. The healings were countless, the words and sensations of supernatural revelation of peoples needs in prayer were flowing. I feel almost overwhelmed as I write these words down, “my pen is the tongue of a ready writer,” as the scripture say. “Oh how I love Jesus,” it’s like I’m there again even though I am writing this far away and many light years from that time in space. I feel like I’m still there, ready only to let God flow like a mighty river of healing and salvation or redemption, as some might want to put it. Only a blessing and healing is the same, no matter what you may call it. I’m starting to lose touch with the physical so to speak, I have witnessed so many healing and miracles that I am tongue tied and awe struck, except to be able to write these flowing words with my pen. “God can do it again,” every day is a miracle; there is problem to big for God. I feel Satan also fighting, not fighting the good fight of faith, but fighting for our souls and our minds. Resist him, rebuke him, give him no quarter, and give him no glory, by even dwelling on his evil activity. “God is Good,” this is the number one principle, the first doubt Satan put in Adam and Eves mind was that God was holding something back that was good for them. In other words, that God was holding something back that was good for them. In other words, that God wasn’t perfectly good to His children. Resist that lie and you will be always able to overcome. As I reflect back, those days were some of the most powerful days of ministry I had ever experiences. My mother was healed at a Kathryn Kuhlmen service in the shrine auditorium some years earlier. Her testimony was published in Kathryn's second best selling book GOD CAN DO IT AGAIN. I am mentioned also in her testimony and because this book was published in Finland, in the Finnish language it helped open many doors for us. But the primary immediate moving force was the Holy Spirit. Revival had begun Finland, is a famous Page 6 country for revivals. It was prayer that kept the Russians from over running the country and seizing it as a satellite. I saw people praying on their knees OUT LOUD in the largest Pentecostal Church in Helsinki on subsequent visits and in time and in particular, it etched into my memory forever to see so many people on their knees. In reflection I remember a little sign as you enter the huge sanctuary in Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in San Francisco and it read something like this “PLEASE DO NOT PRAY OUT LOUD”. No wonder San Francisco has become such a Seat of Satan, when people forget how to fervently pray without fearing what some carnal minded person sitting next you is thinking about you anyway. “GOD IS SO GOOD”, it is Him that I spend all my most precious time glorifying, and if I criticize it is only out of deep love for God’s People who need leadership and fearless devotion to the written as well as The Holy Spirit inspired spoken Word “OUT LOUD”! We need to rise up and cast out fear and doubt and worry, no longer use these words. But instead use the words concern, faith and optimism in their place. I have replaced these words with CONCERNED, never do I tell people to worry about this or that or say “I’M AFRAID” that this might happen . Or I’m afraid for you my brother or sister but instead say, “I AM PRAYING FOR YOU” and BELIEVE only the best will happen! In Finland on this third and most powerful missionary journey to date, invitations keep coming to preach, sing and pray for the sick as well as other needs that they had. Sometimes we would have two services scheduled in the same day. All in all during that same thirty days we spent in Finland we had ministered in approximately thirty eight meetings altogether. Many of the meetings were in home churches because not every town and village had a church building. But it seemed that every town did have a church meeting in someone’s home, if not two or three. I remember a Baptist church that my grandmother took me to in a village close to where she and my aunt lived. I believe on my first visit to Finland, well anyway I was asked to address the congregation and minister on some two different occasions. When I believe it was the second time I was there a leader in the Baptist Denomination in Finland, who was visiting and ministering also, told me that speaking in tongues was not the issue that distinguished Baptists and Pentecostals in Finland. Because the Baptists speak in tongues also, it was something else he said or some other Page 7 difference, but we never got we never got into the differences whatever they were. I believe he said that he was the secretary in the leadership of the main Baptist denomination in Finland. The first time we went to that church I was asked to give my testimony or a greeting as it’s called, when a visiting minister first comes to a church. My mother was sitting behind a lady in the congregation and lady was praying in tongues. My mother asked her if she a Pentecostal and the lady turned around and said with pride that she was a Baptist. As Ken Hopkins and I were ministering and praying for the sick, we were being paid without having to ask for anything. We were transported and provided with translators, I am primarily speaking of a wonderful women of God named Ritva Phooey. “God bless her,” as she tirelessly interpreted for both Ken and myself. I never really got to thank her as much as I would have liked to. Partially because of the great heat and excitement of the period, or because of the many other occasions when returning to Finland with her as our primary interpreter, we or I myself either began to take her for granted, or that she was just too young or too potentially pretty, and felt so venerable being so far from family and friends that we or I myself, really couldn’t get too emotionally close to her. “GOD KNOWS HER LABOR OF LOVE”. I feel indebted to her to her for her great humility and godliness in the way she conducted herself and never doubted what she was witnessing and seeing as she translated. Ritva was as much as part of the miracle services as Ken and I were. Matti Ojala to is greatly impressed upon my mind for his professionalism and good nature, while he not only took care of scheduling our appointments and engagements, but was faithful in the financial business work that somebody had to do while we were all immersed in our Spiritual warfare world. Matti was the primary person that began our schedules and launched us into the Spiritual dimension of ministry. Before we left Finland the engagements began to get larger and larger, one dear pastor organized a revival meeting in a high school auditorium and the same day in the morning I was asked to give the morning devotion in the same auditorium before the entire high school of some nine hundred students. The devotion was short, but the fact that there is no separation of church and sate struck me in Finnish schools. They get all the teaching, both evolution and creation. A much more balanced system then ours in America today. In the evening service we ministered and prayed for the sick. Many hearts were touched and healed in this period of ministry in this part of Finland. Page 8 On one occasion, I don’t even know for sure if it was on this missionary evangelism journey or the next. I was asked to speak open air in the center of a town with a lot or red bricks. I believe the name of the city was called in Swedish Jacobstad and possibly in Finnish Pietrisary, all the cities towns and street signs on the coast of Finland are bilingual. Due to the many Swedish Finns that live there, my grandfather himself being one. We were in the front of what looked like city Hall with it’s impressive structure and I was able to speak through P.A. system and shake the buildings in the town square, so to speak. Such freedom of speech and I gave a hard hitting message about salvation and repentance if I recall. I stayed in a missionary training school in this part of Finland North of Vaasa, not far from a town called Umeo. Here in the school my interpreter lived and taught English. English is a very important missionary language because it is the principle international language spoken and missionary trainees here were preparing to go to Kenya. Where English is the principle language spoken for instance, plus anywhere you go in the world someone knows enough English to translate for you. In this school I have many fond memories, the young ladies of which the school seemed primarily comprised of were so thoughtful and helpful. When I asked for a shower upon my arrival they looked at one another at first and seemed a little puzzled. Then they opened the door of a huge walk in kitchen area where there was nothing but large pots and pans, from what I could see next to the main part of the kitchen area and closed the door. This was apparently where they cleaned the pots and pans and stored things. There was a drain on the concrete floor, so I just turned on the hot water and poured it on myself; I felt like I was showering in someone’s kitchen the room, was so big. Well I didn’t fully realize it till later that they had no shower and this was the only place with running hot running water, except the bathroom sinks. Mind you now this was a great wooden building, something that looked like a donated mansion for the school. For bathing the Sauna or Sana as the Swedes call it was the place to wash and it is only fired up with wood at certain times, or certain days, certainly not every day. Page 9 The water was heated traditionally on top of or next to the Sauna fire, and then poured on you, hot and cold. In the winter sometimes people roll in the snow naked to cool off, or jump into a near by ice cold pond. I never witnessed this myself. (Only being there in the winter but once, and that year was not much snow). Regardless it was a time of such intense ministry it was hard to even think about every day little pleasures such as daily hot showers, but I still love the memories of the smell of burning wood, soap and hot steam coming off the rocks in the Sauna. Even thought I wasn’t totally accustomed to bathing naked with other people especially relatives, males only of course. At this time also and in the school Ken Hopkins was asked to play and sing over the radio visa via tape. I believe the music may have even covered all Finland on its primary, if not only radio network. Regardless whether it was local or national the Word was getting out. We were also taken to a Swedish speaking elderly retirement home and ministered there in healing and encouragement and were received well. That is where I realized how distinct the language difference barrier was between ethnic Swedish speaking Finnish citizens and ethnic Finns. The Swedish Finns did not find the need for a large part to understand or learn the Finnish language. From what I was told it was too difficult a language to learn (being non-Germanic). Although this Swedish speaking retirement home had to be translated into their tongue, I still thought it strange. But as I look back after many years this was an older generation. Since the war with Russia I was told that the Swedish speaking Finns and the ethnic Finns began to for instance intermarry more. The people were wonderful though, charming and polite with great warmth and smiles and miracles did happen. Finland at the time had only two national television channels, one in Finnish and the other in Swedish and neither of them were on twenty four hours a day. One must remember that Finland was passed back and forth between Russia and Sweden for many centuries. My great great grand father Jussi Tarkenen was one of the ministers; teachers and businessmen that help bring the Finnish language back, by founding a school and writing textbooks. I was learning so much about the language differences between ethnic Swedes who lived in Finland and the indigenous Finns, along with the Laplanders who were in the area possibly before them all. Page 10 Since I am writing these events in 1995, (plus finally typing and revising this text in 2005) and the events took place in approximately 1975. Many kilometers and names of towns ministered in are not as clear, as if I had recorded them in a journal at time. But I am so great full to God that I am finally able to complete my journal, in large part at this time. While still typing and hopefully remembering more as I go, in further additions and revisions God willing. May he help by His Holy Spirit, whom the Bible says will bring all things to remembrance. These most powerful and memorial events are with me and written down forever in 1975, when I first wrote is manuscript by hand. May my children both spiritual and biological keep these memories and history alive forever. There were also businessmen, professionals and ministers who were like saints helping me along the way, behind the scenes in Finland. Then again people like Ritva Poyhonen our translator and Matti Ojala a businessmen and church elder back in the town of Jurva, still playing a major part in organizing meetings and keeping tabs on things In The Spirit along with countless others whom I hope to remember, as I continue revising, editing and expanding this handwritten manuscript in 2005. One Event that Matti Ojala organized early on in the campaign was to minister in a TENT MEETING in the village of Jurva. I had received an invitation to open the first meeting in a LARGE TENT REVIVAL in one of the largest cities in the area. But Matti who was handling my engagements, on the earthly plane, had scheduled me and Ken instead to the smaller home town tent revival. Every summer Finland flourishes with old time religion style tent meetings, like were common in America in the forties. It was like being in the past in the great days of American evangelism. I wanted so much to speak in the large tent OPENING SERVICE, but duty calls to minister to my home town even if it means missing a part of a dream to be under a canopy that eventually could hold five thousand people. Matti was right to schedule me to speak the same date in the local tent meeting instead, even though it held only fraction of the people I could have ministered to. Size doesn’t always matter in the long run. I am sharing this part of the story because after reading about and seeing the great tent revivals in America on television, and even witnessing such an event in my home county of Marin. Organized by Pastor Fred Small of the Church of God in Marin City Page 11 California, I yearn to witness those days again in a general way, in the first person from the pulpit, but everything in God’s time. There was a young pastor and Bible smuggler, into Russia that organized some of the best meetings for Ken Hopkins and me. I can’t quite remember his name at this time, but it will eventually come to me. He went to Kenya Africa as missionary with his family, not long after I first met him. He lost one of his children a young daughter from what I can remember, to local disease. My heart went out to him, and his pretty and young and brilliantly blond petit wife next time I saw him. I felt some guilt and shame, that at the same time they were getting ready and raising money to go to Africa, my preaching schedule overlapped their fund raising schedule. I even thought I saw some sadness, bewilderment and a shrug of a shoulders, in the look of the eyes of some of the elders. As if our timing schedules could have been off, and more money and awareness could have been raised for the missionaries. We all looked inside and out for what could have caused such a tragedy, but we all pushed on, especially the young pastor. That was during my fourth missionary visit to Finland. Money is often a source of weariness in a crusade, where we are all looking to the spiritual. Even though we never asked for money, it was given to by Matti the Elder, and many other churches and groups for services rendered. In fact it is a shame to beg for money in this country; Finnish people are very proud and honest, (honest as a Finn). We were never short of money or hospitality. The young missionary pastor and his little family will always on in my heart and mind. The many meetings he organized for us on our third journey, the careful hospitality of him and his wife in his home /church, the obedience they had from their beautiful children and the congregation that he pastured. I could only imagine, what my non-believing or non committed relatives would have thought, if I lost a child on the mission field in Africa. Some already thinking, that I am beside myself for living and moving in this spiritual world. “God bless you pastor and man of God and your beautiful snow white platinum blond haired wife”. Page 12 The meetings in Finland were getting more powerful intense and more numerous. Although we were not able to speak at the opening meeting of the Large tent revival meeting in the city of Sainajoki, because of the two invitations on we had that same day. Nevertheless later on and towards the end of our thirty eight day mission in Finland we were blessed and invited to preach in the largest congregation, of the second largest city of that area of west central Finland the beautiful San Francisco like city of Vaasa. This was our ultimate and trumpet service, in The Lord. People had traveled one hundred kilometers from another area where we ministered just before. This was our final farewell service and people were crowded all the way to the balcony. Ken Hopkins told me later, that when he turned to look over at me ministering, he said with admiration and wonder, “Peter you looked like a real evangelist”. The power and anointing of God was there mightily. One lady sitting near the front started to cry out like as though a great struggle was taking place. People began to look to me for leadership as she was shaking and tensed up into a ball, while still sitting. I sensed that it was the power of the Holy Spirit coming on her and an inner battle for healing and deliverance or salvation had begun. The church building had hundreds of people there if I recall, it seemed like a thousand looking back, and even the balcony was filled. It was awesome, the atmosphere was charged, the invisible Shaken Glory was present, and the Holy Sprit was moving mightily. People were being healed, revival was staking place right before us, and souls were being saved. What I remember the most was the supernatural warmth, as I was to sense and pray for people’s needs at the alter call. I could feel by warmth on my own body, on what part of other people’s bodies were being healed and would call out the healing in the audience. This same phenomenon happened in virtually every meeting we conducted, in very place and very heart that would let the Holy Sprit move, heal, save and deliver. The Word of Knowledge moved daily, hearts where being physically healed as well as spiritually. I remember in one service prior to our final service in the large Pentecostal Church in Vassa. I believe it may have been in the evening service at the high school auditorium, in the hearts were being physically healed, I could sense people’s pain and healing in their hearts, it was Page 13 supernatural beyond words, I could feel in my body heart and mind, what people were going through. Words did not have to be spoken, people came foreword in every service, or I reached out to them in audience. Touching, healing, moving, singing, motivating everywhere where people had an open mind, and an open heart. The healing is still flowing; I can feel it, while I am typing these words. I never worked so hard in my life, doing something so rewarding, being part of a revival a supernatural experience, never has one young man felt so blessed. While I was praying ministering and traveling through west central Finland, I thought about all the petty problems that the local church and ministries had in Marin County. Truly a prophet is not without honor, except in his own country and his own home, as the Bible teaches. I felt so free, no head trips I had purpose in life. I felt I could have stayed here indefinitely, full time, with my family and children. This was only for the poorest of the poor, In Spirit. Nobody but a saint could do this, make the sacrifices, and teach the children as missionaries as long distance family cruise sailors do. It wasn’t my lot, I married into wealth and power, and it is hard to break free from this both blessing and curse. Jesus taught the rich young ruler to sell to sell his excess, and come and follow him. He could not, Jesus also taught that it was harder for a camel to go thorough the eye of needle then for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. To those that trust in uncertain riches Jesus also taught that they must give their extra coat, to those who have none. That goes for houses and property also, as the early believers did so after the day Pentecost. I have never had more then I have needed, even when I lived in the nicest house on the block, I and my wife Becky took in all the poor and homeless. I remembered Charles G. Finny the American Awakening Evangelist who lived out of a trunk with his wife and was so poor, that that was all they owned at one time. I could have traveled around the world non stop doing nothing but teaching, preaching, traveling. But I needed a home base, the church I was pasturing, the wife and children and home that I left behind. Even though we would have been provided for even more, if my family was with me. But it was not our lot at the time. Someday in the future I would like to circle the earth ministering somewhat like my famous Finnish great granduncle who became my great grandfather at the early deaths of my biological great grandparents. Matti Tarkenen was his brother, who adopted my grandmother and raised her with his Germen wife. He went on to seminary and became a Lutheran Page 14 Priest, then traveled around the world three times establishing missions, schools and ordained the first Lutheran priests in Angola Africa, started a school in Shanghi China, ministered in probably in or near Nagasaki Japan, and started missions for Finnish seamen. Most notably in my mind was the one he started in San Francisco around the turn of the century. The red brick Finnish Lutheran Church located on Church Street on the right hand of to Market St. facing south, which is still there. The church wrote the Finnish Governments Missionary Board to send someone to help the Finnish sailors who along with mostly Scandinavians were the backbone of International Merchant Fleet. That first invited him to minister to the seamen and sober them up and give them coffee and make them write home to their mothers, and sent them money. He said to my mother later, while she sat at his feet listening to his stories, that that was his first mission and the it took three years to establish and was the toughest assignment he ever had. The red brick building where the Seamen’s Mission was located, is still at the foot of Market Street, it is a restaurant today and my older brother Bronik got a free meal there after telling them the story. It was one of the few buildings that was not destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1906. There were still 30 people there meeting regularly in the sixties when my mother visited the mission. I attempted to contact the lady in charge one Sunday at the Church, but they were having a dinner that day and wasn’t available to talk. My mother said that she still had pictures and history of him with her. He went on to become head of all missionary activities for the Lutheran Church in Finland translated the New Testament into modern Finnish wrote theology books and brought the first black Africans to Finland from Angola. His story is in a museum in Helsinki, the Lutheran Church and State are together in Finland. He received a metal from the Czar of Russia, according to my older brother Bronik who also visited and worked in Finland many years later. Building Nokia Corporations Website after being contracted out by The IBM. Corporation. When Matti Tarkenen died all he had accumulated in life was memorabilia from the missionary field and a set of silver wear given to him as a gift and pictures and books and the family farm which he inherited form his father, my great great grandfather Anti Tarkenen. Who also was a Free Church Minister, businessman, educator and school founder. In fact he wrote some of the first books teaching and bringing back the Finnish language, which has been suppressed in favor of Swedish. Depending on what side of Finland you lived on I suppose, because she was passed back and Page 15 forth between Russia and Finland for four hundred years before her relatively recent independence. We left Finland after thirty eight days of ministry. We came with only ten dollars or so and with no promises of meetings or engagements in advance. But with only the promise of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s directions, which can always be relayed upon. We had some three hundred and sixty dollars each after ministering in approximately thirty eight meetings, an average on one a day. Where the pay we received and the general wages paid in Finland, was equal to one third of what people made in America at the time. So by American standards and the rate of exchange, we left Finland with closer to one thousand dollars each above our expenses. I am not saying all this to boast, but to show the sacrifice and love of the Christians in Finland. To those who come to them bearing the precious Word of God. My aunt was shocked and surprised when she saw how much we were being paid after ministering in a few meetings and yet we thought it not that much at the time and cared not about the amount, because we were so glad to be provided for with food, lodging and even clothes. I remember a Christian businessman taking us out shopping from the church in Vassa, and another Christian businessman lodging us in his own home and transported us to every meeting. We never had to pay for transportation except once or twice between cites, but were virtually everywhere. Everywhere we went, we were taken care of. Before leaving Finland I also want to mention that in the relatively large city of Peitrassari we were invited to minister in a special meeting organized for the Gypsies, or those who are called Romany I will have much more to say in the future about these special Christian Peoples in this special Christian Church. A Christian Romany Evangelist named Manny, and the Pastor of the Church he belonged to organized the meeting. The women wore their beautiful full dresses and the men all wore their traditional Gypsy Boots. I especially remember a beautiful young Gypsy women come to the alter with; tears in her eyes and people were being healed in general inside and out. Page 16 Enough can’t be said about Kenneth Hopkins and the songs he wrote while on the road, his beautiful twelve string guitar, HIS MUSIC WHICH DREW MANY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AND HELPED MAKE THE JOURNEY WHAT IT WAS. Like Paul and Silas we were together, two by two as the Lord sent his Disciples out to evangelize the world, in preparation for his coming, “The fields are white saith the Lord, pray to the Lord of the harvest to sent laborers into the field, go to where people will listen, go to where the Word is hungered for. Cast not you pearls before swine, wipe off even the dust from your feet as a testimony against those who will not receive The Living Word of the Lord. It will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah when for those cities that reject the Living Word of Christ”. To use some of the words of Christ, in a prophet inspirational manor. CHAPTER TWO The Journey to Sweden We disembarked on a vessel from Vaasa to Umeo Sweden where the next leg of our journey was about to begin. Once on the ship and in the middle of the sea, we were in very high waves. Higher then anyone might have expected on such and inland sea, of which we were on. It was dark and grey and windy, I had no fear even though I was tempted. I had witnessed so many miracles back in Finland and of course I remembered Christ walking on the water. I sat behind near the ships stern watching the huge grey waves pushing us westward and onwards to Sweden. I remembered how my parents escaped to Sweden with my older baby brother in a thirty foot life boat before I was born, with some thirty refugees from Finland in the vessel. The rudder broke and my father got into the water to fix it. The waves that night during the storm they went through sank a couple ships including an American vessel. What we were going through was a wind storm and not even a true winter storm. Even when it got dark I feared not, even though I had never seen waves that huge, since I first looked out of a ships window coming to America as a child. On an ocean liner that was going through a big gray, gloomy storm in the middle of the Atlantic. There was much motion Page 17 on this fairly large boat that we were on. I watched people drinking when we started, as people often do on boats. Then I saw them later, so very sick and vomiting in the restroom and sad to say some, did not even make it to the restroom before getting sick and leaning against the hallway or lobby wall. Alcohol only increased motion sickness, and does not help it at all to my observation at the time. I think people were scared and tried to forget. Sea sickness takes your mind off the fear of death, to the point you don’t care that much about it any more, that’s the blessing in disguise. Dealing with sickness is sometimes a diversion from dealing with fear. While on a small twenty foot sail boat alone off the Pacific Coast of California many years later, in a very big wind storm, when the seas where behind as big as houses. I experienced some sea sickness, but just enough to take my mind off of the wind and the waves, and focus my heart and mind on my body and my vessel. It’s hard to explain sometimes but every dark cloud has a silver lining and when one is very sick, death is sometimes to be welcomed, more then fear of death. I also was thrown out of my twenty four foot boat by a rough wave, but held onto the gun rail, even though thank God I had a rope around my waist for safety, which I didn’t have to use. Only later in my bed, when I would think about what happened, did I have to think about the fear. At the time, there was no time to fear. When my parents landed in Sweden after the storm, they were blown off course and landed somewhere in the southern part of Sweden. The government sent back all the refugees in the boat back to Finland, except for my parents because my father was a Russian defector and soviet army officer and would have been executed for desertion to the Finnish front, during the Russian Finnish war. It also helped I’m sure that my mother was half Swedish, so that is how I happened to be born in Kristianstad Sweden on a Sunday on June 26th 1949. My Swedish name was Hejlsberg of which my grandfather changed to the basic Finnish equivalent of Kallio. Did I forget to mention that one of my distant cousins on my grandfather’s side became the head of Nokia Corporation, which became the largest cell phone company in the world? Hejlsberg and Kallio both basically mean rock, or Stone Mountain or barren place. That is what the Vikings named North America when Leif Erickson landed in what is now in the Northern Canada territories above the tree line. Heliland or barren and rocky land because it was above the sandy beaches of the Golden Strand, of which the Vikings discovered later, after they sailed further south and renamed their new found country Vineland, after finding wild grapes in order to make wine. I believe the original name Heliland also came from the basic root Nordic word for rock, from which we get the word Hell, or barren place. It’s interesting that I was named Peter, which also means rock, or more accurately stone. Page 18 While on this ocean going roller coaster I to write or dictate a message on cassette to the church that I was the founding pastor. We had recently moved our Sunday service to Stewart Chapel which is on the grounds of The San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo California. The Seminary moved from San Francisco some time ago and was built to look somewhat like a Scottish Castle, during 1906 the earthquake one of its towers collapsed. The epicenter of the earthquake was actually centered in Marin County on the North Side of the Golden Gate, in a little town called Olema. These is a story about the ground opening under a cow and it fell in. But later was dismissed as hoax or an attempt to bury an already dead cow, by pushing it into the opening of the earth. Marin County now is more or less an extended suburb, or bed room community of San Francisco. Even though most of the county is beautiful and rural with extensive natural wonders made up of parks and wilderness. Dominated by a majestic mountain called Mount Tam, where the first mountain bike was built by a man named Gary Fisher of Fairfax. In the heart of this county sits Stewart Chapel, perched on a hill overlooking the town of San Anselmo which sprung up around the Seminary when it moved there, of which before it was just referred to as The Junction or train junction. My ancestor Matti took these trains and traveled extensively around preaching as far as Astoria in Northern California, where a lot of Finns lived. Our church even rented one of the old train stops for an office and meeting room for Friday evening dinner services. I believe a rock and roll band called Credence Clearwater Revival meet there before us for rehearsal, and recorded an album with a picture of the inside, with a band member sitting on a bicycle. I couldn’t help but wonder, if my great granduncle/father stopped at this very spot further down from the main junction, on his way to a speaking engagement somewhere north. The ghosts, spirits and history of this place in general speak to me, of a person who prayed, looked and wondered who would follow him. I Page 19 can not help but to think of him when I am on a bike path that used to be an old train track. Of him thinking and praying as I would do as he traveled along looking at the people towns and scenery. That his work would not be in vain and that someone, preferably a decedent would carry on the family name and spiritual tradition, of bearing the precious Word. Which is more precious then houses, land or gold, and which words are the building bocks of a city not made with hands, which lies eternal and not with brick and mortar but with souls of the redeemed. The building blocks made into a precious house with many rooms and with many mansions built into a city immortal and fellowship with God and all that is good forever. Where nobody is hungry lonely or cold anymore and God shall wipe away every tear and fear. Yes my ancestors were here before me, yes they prayed that someone would follow them and build on their spiritual work and complete it and yes God did answer their prayers, and they are still praying under the Alter of Heaven for us. We are not alone in this World, even though it feels like it in the middle of the long night we call Earth compared to the eternal day, except for the still small voice of God and the good that He is contemplating for us who love Him and worship Him. The gold of a man's heart is all that ones needs in Heaven to walk the streets of Spiritual mirror polished streets of gold. The diamonds of ones souls are all that are needed to shine with brilliant colors through any darkness, and the silver of ones word will all that will be needed to purchase anything of need in the City of God. The gates will be made of great pearls carved with the mighty deeds of the righteous and their exploits. The stones of the walls will have the names of the redeemed engraved and set with precious gem stones and he language spoken in Heaven will be that of poetry. There will be blue sky all the day, with brilliant pure white clouds, which are the symbols of the garments of the inhabitations that were washed in the red blood of the spotless Lamb. The throne before God and the Lamb will have a sea glass, like no sailor has ever seen for calmness and beauty. Stewart Chapel where meet for Sunday Service was the most beautifully situated in all Marin County. It is also a popular place to have weddings, being also called The Wedding Chapel. The vaulted extremely high ceilings and the stone work was marvelous. The high stain glass windows made the chapel or more accurately church size building, awesome to behold. The pedestal pulpit is ascended by steps and was made of fine oak wood. Behind the great the great Page 20 golden wood alter was also a great carving of the last supper in oak facing rows of white oak pews that could seat a least two hundred people. Above the carving was a circular stain glass window, with great tear drops like a spinning wheel descending into a cacophony of brilliant stain glass light climaxing into the center where there was an cut glass effigy of Christ the Lamb of God, carrying a banner or cross on His shoulder. It was awesome and hypnotic to behold in this great Cathedral like Chapel. “Oh you must see by now, that I am in another world free from petty fears of letter and word”. I feel poetry moving through my soul, that language that makes sense of all sincerely held religious beliefs. Perfect inflections and freedom to move and express the ecstasy of creativity. In The Holy Spirit I can create and imagine brilliant lights and dazzling sights. I can create things out of nothing, I can speak things into existence like my Heavenly Father saith, the Spirit in the Word of God, where He inspired the great words. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made”. To quote from John first chapter verses one to three, and then in the first chapter of Genesis ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let their be light: and there was light”. I am free, “I am free at last” to express myself, move myself, in The Spirit, I see things, with my minds eye, things the earthly eyes can only imagine, only dream, I dream while I’m awake, I feel the breath of God moving through my spirit and earthly lungs, I see Heaven, I see people all one, all beautiful all young all caring and tender, forever free. holding one another without sex or gender, but all looking beautiful, like a man or women looking at one another, holding one another in their arms, laying ones head one another’s lap and falling asleep without fear of abandonment, disappointment or discomfort. I see flowers and colors vibrating and singing with eternal music coming from everywhere, where odors and incense are beyond human description where flight is a given and majesty and rule is given to all according to their talents and deeds. But above all praise be given for the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, and to the Page 21 Father of lights who by His Spirit accomplished it all and all praise be given to Him and towards Him when the rule of Christ be accomplished. “Oh the Logos”, all that has been sacrificed for the faith of believing in His Word, all the wealth and riches that have been traded for the intangibility of His Word. All the sacrifices made trusting that His Word will bring life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness with purpose. How many people have traded their wealth and riches for this “Logos Christ” only to find at times persecution and loss of reputation, for trusting in something so visibly unseen with the naked eye? But the Eye of the Lord sees all things, and travels back and forth throughout the earth looking for those who trust in Him, and will reward them with great riches in the heart and glory from above, not only in this world but in the world to come. “Oh the victories and joy”, when after our sacrifices and we are found to be wise, by God’s Word. Even more then all our teachers as it says in Psalms 119:89 “For ever, O Lord they word is settled in heaven”. and then in Psalms 119: 98 “Thou through they commandments hast made me wiser than mines enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers:” Psalms 119:105 “They word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Christ is the embodiment, fulfillment and empowerment of the word by The Holy Spirit, to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, only to stand above on top the highest mountain. The higher the mountains, the deeper the valleys, you..
.to be continued ...
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Peter Romanowsky's Greatest Missionary Journey
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