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"PERSONAL ANSWERS III"--MO        April 28, 1971        NO.68--LTA
--The Trip From Cyprus To London

       1. My Precious Children: Greetings in Jesus' Dear Name! Thank you for your good phone call this morning with all the latest news about BBC, CBS, NET, and Jeremy and Fiona. BY THE TIME YOU RECEIVE MY LETTERS, I AM SURE THE LORD HAS WORKED OUT MOST OF YOUR PROBLEMS, BUT SINCE YOU'VE ASKED ME TO GIVE YOU SOME DETAILS ON THE SITUATION HERE IN LONDON, which might be helpful in making your plans. I'm sure probably everyone will be interested in the Lord's working in a rather unusual experience we had on our arrival here: and this will help explain our situation at present:


       2. Since, due to your impending arrival in London, WE HAD LEFT CYPRUS two weeks earlier than expected, WE HAD NOT HAD SUFFICIENT TIME TO MAKE ROOM RESERVATIONS with our former landlady in London. So we phoned her by radio from the ship en route, and she said she thought she might have a room by the time we got here.
       3. WE HAD A VERY INTERESTING JOURNEY IN THE LOWEST PRICED TOURIST ACCOMMODATIONS, AND MET LOTS OF INTERESTING PEOPLE. TRAVELING BY SHIP IS A GREAT CHANCE TO GET ACQUAINTED AND DO A LOT OF WITNESSING, because you see the same people every day, all day and all night long, and three times a day for meals, plus tea besides, if you want it--tea and biscuits, that is, about 4:00 in the afternoon--and you discover that biscuits is the British term for nothing but good old-fashioned cookies!--and since keeping your tummy full is one of the surest guarantees against getting seasick, nearly everybody hits tea, too. And at the other meals they really feed you, and nearly kill you with kindness. And since we were travelling on a small Italian liner, our waiter, of course was a very charming Italian Romeo who promptly entranced my little secretary's heart, and since she herself is so charming with her disarming smile and little-girl ways, of course, all the waiters hovered around, spoiling her to pieces, and giving her anything and everything she wanted, and then some! Sometimes for dinner, they'd steal as high as tree or four ice-creams for her, when they found out how much she likes ice-cream--and when they found out how much she liked cheese, they'd come around and slip her a whole plate of cheese that wasn't even on the menu.
       4. BREAKFAST IS ABOUT AVERAGE, with eggs and rolls and jam and coffee or tea; but the Europeans are so accustomed to elaborate service that even on these cheap fares, which are nearly half the air fare, they still wait on you like kings and queens. Trans-Atlantic fares are more than the air fare, but might be worth looking into in case we have someone coming with a lot of luggage or equipment.
       5. HOWEVER, DON'T LUG ALONG TYPEWRITERS AND HEAVY STUFF LIKE THAT, 'cause they're so cheap to buy over here. We bought a travel typewriter--a good one that we're now using at about the usual American price, when we discovered to our dismay after arriving in Cyprus, that almost anywhere in the British Commonwealth, you can buy exactly the same thing for one-third the price. This also goes for heavy wool winter clothing, which is one of Britain's prime products, that you can buy new over here much cheaper than in the States. However, there's nothing like our good old GoodWill or better yet, our Forsake-All; so wear your heavy winter suit, and bring your long underwear, and heaviest socks, etc.--because it's still Winter over here and cold enough to even wear fairly heavy clothing all Summer long--and most of the houses are even colder, and largely unheated--especially in rooms not usually occupied, like the front hall, where the phone is, where we stood literally shaking with the cold all during our conversation this morning, in spite of the fact we had on long underwear, heavy winter clothing, hat, and overcoat, believe it or not--but it was worth it. It took us about two hours afterward to get warmed up in our own room, huddling in front of our electric heaters, which run only when you stick a shilling in the meter--but about four hours to the shilling, which is only three cents an hour--and are actually only needed about six or eight hours a day! So our heat only costs us not more than a couple of shillings a day, which is twenty-five cents per day, not too bad; and frankly, WE'D RATHER HAVE IT THIS WAY, SO WE CAN CONTROL OUR OWN, TO OUR OWN LIKING, and whenever we need it, rather than depend on some cold-blooded janitor for an hour or two of central heating a day, only in the morning or evening, as in some places.
       6. YOU ALSO GET A SURPRISE WHEN YOU GO IN THE ROOMING HOUSE BATHROOMS in this country, and find you have to stick a six-pence in it to get hot water; but the room and food prices are so low in these old rooming houses, that you can hardly complain--much cheaper than the equivalent in the States, or almost anywhere else we've been--about six pounds for room and breakfast, and a good English breakfast, at that: eggs, bacon, and all the toast and jam and tea you want, plus baked beans and cold cereal--enough to keep you goin' all day till suppertime, if you eat it late enough. My little secretary is shaking her head, because, like Eve, she has to nibble every two or three hours; but I don't object, since the Scripture says "Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn"--and as you can see, this little heifer is treading out a lot of corn on her little typewriter--very corny! Ha! But she's worth it, Praise the Lord. Anyhow, between her and the heater, I finally got warmed up. Praise the Lord!
       7. Well, now that my secretary has taken time out for another of her little snacks, we shall proceed. Of course, it's three o'clock, so I guess she has a right to be hungry, since she hasn't had anything since breakfast, God bless her.
       8. ANYWAY, BACK TO THE SHIP. AT PIREAUS, THE PORT FOR ATHENS, GREECE, we docked next to a huge Russian liner, and spent part of the day spying on real live Russian Communists through our binoculars. I noticed they were also taking pictures of us--for their Book of Remembrance, I'm sure.
       9. OUR ONLY REALLY ROUGH STRETCH WAS CROSSING THE IONIAN SEA THAT NIGHT TO ITALY--but after passing through the scenic Straits of Messina, within a stone's throw of Reggio Calabria--that wild little town on the tip of the toe of the Italian boot, where they've been throwing so many stones lately and kicking the cops around, just across from Sicily, international headquarters of the Mafia, we had a quiet little voyage around the volcanic island of Stromboli that night, which has been active lately; but as we slowly circled it, and Maria had missed the action, I PRAYED THE LORD WOULD TURN IT ON AGAIN, WHICH HE DID, JUST FOR OUR BENEFIT, with quite a thrilling display of His own magnificent fireworks. You know, the Lord is really something, when He'll even put on a fire-works display for you if you ask Him to. IT GAVE US A THRILLING TASTE OF HIS POWER, AND THE POWER OF PRAYER, AND A SAMPLE OF THINGS TO COME, in that final flood of fire which will wipe filthy man from the face of the earth, and all his pollution, just before the new Heaven and the New Earth, in which nothing shall hurt nor destroy, Hallelujah!
       10. BUT LIKE MANKIND TODAY, WHO ARE DWELLING IN A HOUSE THAT'S ON FIRE IN THE BASEMENT, so obviously evidenced by this active volcano, there was a little village sitting precariously right on the shoulder of the volcano itself, as though absolutely daring it to destroy them, like the audacious, insolent, and unbelieving wicked of this world who refuse to believe it's gonna happen, no matter how much you warn them.
       11. WHEN DOCKED AT NAPLES ON EASTER SUNDAY, next to a whole fleet of American warships, we peered through our binoculars at the slopes of Vesuvius, also which once wiped out evil Pompeii, and has done this several times--once even within my memory--of which I used to have a movie showing this huge, red-hot, smoking river of lava, two stories high, moving slowly down a city street, crushing everything in its path! Wow! WHEN THE LORD WANTS TO SHOW HIS POWER, THERE'S NOTHING LIKE IT! Man's got nothing to equal it! Even the hydrogen bomb, multiplied many times over, can't equal the power of even one hurricane, one volcanic eruption, or one magnificent earthquake--mighty judgements of God which can flatten and totally wipe out all of man's puny creations in their path. When the Lord just shakes himself a little bit in His wrath! Hallelujah! Praise God!
       12. HOW SICKENING BY COMPARISON WAS THE PITIFUL LITTLE HALF-HOUR EASTER MORNING MASS CONDUCTED ON SHIP-BOARD FOR THE POOR CREW! It reminded me of the drunk cowboy who shook hands with the modernistic preacher after his ten minute Sunday morning sermonette, saying "Put'er thar, Pahdner! Ya preach fer ten minutes, and said less about God than anything I ever heard!" Course, it was all in Latin, so we couldn't understand it anyhow; except they kept standin' up and sittin' down so much, till I got tired of standin' up, and went on a sit down strike, amid the glares of the priest and some of his parishioners. Of course, we understood very clearly when they started passin' that plate, so I pulled out a handful of left-over Cyprus coins that I couldn't exchange anyhow, and piled 'em on the plate--a dirty trick, if I ever saw one; although if I know most preachers, he'll figure out some slinky way of pawning them off on somebody else. I noticed him glaring at me after the service, but I couldn't help but enjoy it, since I'd paid him exactly what it was worth--absolutely nothing. I FELT SO SORRY FOR THOSE POOR PEOPLE--SHEEP WITH NO SHEPHERD--ONLY A WOLF!
       13. I must say, that after having been away from the States so long, that the best sight we saw in Naples was the cherry smiles of those American boys, who waved at us cheerfully from their subs and destroyers, as we passed by! America's a mess, but a much better mess than some other places in this old messed up world. We certainly haven't been able to find much better--and nearly everywhere we've been is much worse--more prudish, clannish, bigotted, narrow-minded, backward, unprogressive, self--righteous, ultra--conservative, hidebound with tradition, proud of their nothing, and with a holier-than-thou critical attitude of the States, when they're much worse off themselves and don't even know it. This is even true of dear old England, where they're muddling along with business as usual, while tottering on the brink of a Communistic catastrophe, and blaming all their woes on America; but it's even worse in the rest of Europe, particularly France, which is extremely anti-ugly American,--and worst of all in Israel, which is so anti-Christ!
       14. AFTER A DAY AND NIGHT OF SMOOTH SAILING FROM NAPLES TO GENOA, WE TOOK TRAINS THROUGH THE ALPS AND FRANCE TO THE FERRY FROM CALAIS TO FOLKSTONE, AND TRAIN AGAIN TO LONDON. During the night, however, we noticed a very unusual form of transportation in one of the stations where we stopped--a long line of Easter holidayers had driven their cars onto a long train of flat-cars, waiting to be pulled through the night on the railroad while they relaxed in their autos, free from the hazards and strains of driving--an excellent idea, we thought, and very cheap, we heard--a good innovation--worth copying.


       On our arrival at Victoria Station, I told the porter to take our mountain of luggage to the nearest cab stand, while I phoned our prospective landlady about the room. Instead, he misunderstood and had it already loaded in the cab by the time I got back from the phone, which wouldn't work.
       15. SO WE FIGURED WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GO AHEAD BY FAITH, AND JUST TRUST THE LORD she had a room for us. This was certainly of the Lord, because if we had not done this, what happened later, as a result, might not have happened. God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform--and sometimes we're just swept along by His current, even when we don't know any better.
       16. SO WHEN WE ARRIVED AT OUR FORMER ROOMING HOUSE, WE DISCOVERED SHE WAS STILL FULL, MUCH TO OUR DISMAY, and we had no place to go, although we had already unloaded all our bags, and dismissed the cab, thinking she would surely take us in--but her whole family had moved in on her, instead, so she was overflowing. She suggested we try next door, where we are now, but the lady was not home. In fact, she was in a Majorca on a holiday, we learned later.
       17. SO PARKING OUR BAGS IN OUR FORMER LANDLADY'S HALLWAY, WE WENT OUT DESPERATELY ROOM-HUNTING, SINCE HOTELS ARE NOT CHEAP IN LONDON. We went to several places she had suggested, but everybody was full, and kept sending us some place else. Finally we were so desperate, after tramping the streets for several hours, and exhausted, that we began just knocking on doors, as we climbed the hills, hoping somebody would rent us a room in our desperation. I don't know when I've felt so low, and so lonely as in this big city, all by ourselves, with no place to lay our weary heads. In the darkening gloom, as we dragged our feet up the last hill, I cried out aloud desperately to the Lord, so Maria heard me, saying, "LORD, I'VE SHARED EVERYTHING I'VE GOT WITH OTHERS; NOW YOU MAKE SOMEBODY SHARE WITH US!"
       18. IMMEDIATELY WE KNOCKED AT THIS DOOR. OUT CAME A BOUNCY LITTLE TEENAGE GIRL, having a wild party with her hippy friends, who said she couldn't rent us a room, since her Mother wasn't there; but maybe her friend up the street could. So this dear little teenager took us under her friendly little wing, led us to another old house a few doors up, where she told her friends our sad tale in such a pitiful tear-jerking way, as through we were her dearest relatives, and they just had to take us in--And believe it or not, they did. And guess what? It turned out to be a houseful of hippies--a genuine hippie pad, a radical commune of a dozen or so members, who had taken pity on us,--and nothing we could have liked better--a real good youth contact that we are still following up with dinner and a Bible study there tomorrow night again, God willing.
       19. AS UNEXPECTED GUESTS, WE INSISTED ON CONTRIBUTING SOMETHING TOWARD THE DINNER one of the boys had provided, which turned out to be an artistic, health-food, raw vegetable sensation, which Maria went wild about, including raw cauliflower and cheese, grated, and mixed together, a truly delectable delight, and extremely healthful and satisfying. Try it sometime. No vitamins destroyed by overcooking--everything just like God made it. WE COULD LEARN A LITTLE SOMETHING FROM THESE KIDS, LIVING ON A SHOESTRING. The average ordinary wage here is only about 20 pounds, or 50 dollars a week, much lower than the American standard, and although some restaurant food is considerably lower, groceries are nearly as high, which means these kids really have to cut the corners on their weekly budget, which they share together in their little commune. They were just as sweet to us as could be, treated us like old friends, and listened eagerly to our stories about our way of living, and the prospective London colony. They said they too, were looking for another place, out in the country, if possible, but that country acreage anywhere near London is very expensive--and they didn't have much money, so they'd almost given up, and were thinking of leasing a place instead. Houses like the big four-story place they're in run at least $300.00 a month, run-down and unfurnished, so they have to go together to rent one, buy their food, etc.
       20. WE THOUGHT WE WERE GONNA GET TO SLEEP ON THE FLOOR OF THE LIVING ROOM WITH SOME OF THE REST OF 'EM, but two of the Kids didn't show up that night so they let us have their room, much to our disappointment. I was really looking forward to the experience, particularly since some of them were pretty girls! Ha!
       21. ANYHOW, SINCE THEY WERE ALREADY CROWDED, WE HAD TO GO OUT ROOM-HUNTING AGAIN the next day. So loaded with ads, and fortified with phone calls, we started for the Underground (subway, to you)--when suddenly we were reminded of the little old lady next door to our former place--the one who wasn't home. So before we went to look at anything else, we thought we'd stroll over there, only a block away, and see if she had anything. Miraculously enough, she'd just gotten back from Majorca that morning, and had a nice big sunny room, with this huge table, on which we're working, and we've already got it piled high with our junk (it looks homey, this way, says my secretary!)--Excuses, Excuses! Yes, I know a lot of it's my junk, too. We need a good house-keeper. Any volunteers? --Don't all you lovely girls scream at once! How I love you all!
       22. Are you ready?--Eve can do the procuring! Amen? God bless our mobile team!


       23. Anyhow, we now have the room for the London team right here, about as cheap a rate as you can get anywhere in this part of the world, in the way of immediate emergency accommodations, with everything provided, Praise the Lord! This cheap a rooming house is rare in this area, as we had found out in our long and futile search,--that first memorably discouraging day--and to find one with so many vacant rooms is certainly a miracle, as they've got a housing shortage here, and people are standing in line waiting for places to stay.
       24. But our dear Polish Catholic landlady, who's about as sweet as they come, has been away a lot this Winter, and hadn't been planning on renting rooms till this Summer, when she depends on the local YMCA to keep her full with their overflow.
       25. However, she went there just this week to let her friends at the Y know she was open for business again, only to discover they had torn it down, and she had moved out of town this Winter; so she was considerably dismayed and a loss to know what to do for roomers for the Summer. I wonder why!
       26. THIS MORNING AFTER TALKING TO YOU ON THE TELEPHONE I HAD A PRETTY GOOD IDEA. She has beds enough for eleven in the five rooms she now has available, and which could hold a lot more, if needed. She has one weekly roomer in a single, and another tenant in the basement, who has permanent tenure and cannot be evicted as long as he pays his 3 and 1/2 pound a week rent, since he's been here nearly thirty years, and this socialist state refuses to let her evict him or raise the rent, which is less than 1/7 normal. He should be paying at least 20 pounds for his two rooms, kitchen and bath, flat. However, I had a juicy thought today about how long he might stay with one of our bands practising right on the floor directly over his head in the living room. We might even get the neighbours to move out, if they don't get us first!
       27. ANYHOW, THERE ARE ALL THESE NICE EMPTY ROOMS WITH NOBODY IN 'EM, and when I thought of how fast we could fill 'em up for some flat rate, or a promise of perpetual care for the land lady, it began to dawn on me why this place might be empty. Hallelujah!
       28. IT'S IN A FAIRLY OLD NEIGHBOURHOOD, ONLY A BLOCK FROM THE HIPPIE HOUSE where we stayed, and the house on the corner has a big sign in the window saying "Vote Communist"; so it might be just the place for us. It has a nice big back yard and rose garden, hedged and walled in, and a small front yard, and it gets lots of sun all day, whenever there is any up here on this hill overlooking the rest of London.
       29. IT'S ONLY A SHORT WALK FROM A NICE LITTLE SHOPPING CENTER, and the Tufnell Park Underground Station, where you can get the subway to downtown for only a shilling--twelve cents, or what is now called five new pence, since England has gone on the decimal standard, each of their pence being worth about two and a half of ours, although everybody still calls the five pence pieces, shillings, which was their old name; so for only twelve of our cents, you can go to Goodge Street Station, and walk just two more blocks to one of the main squares at Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, one of the principal shopping districts, thronged by thousands, and only three or four more blocks to Piccadilly Circus, considered the heart of the city of Metropolitan London, although actually technically called Westminster, as the literal city of London itself occupies only exactly one square mile of this huge, sprawling, multi-million megalopolis, the financial and trading capital and commercial centre of all Western Europe, the Mid-East, if not all Africa, Asia, and Europe combined. London is the heart of this part of the world, and within easy transportation reach of everywhere on this side of the earth.
       30. PEOPLE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD THINK NOTHING OF VISITING LONDON, or sending their children to school here, even from Africa, India, and the Mid-East; but America is like another planet to them, and seems as far off geographically and financially, as the moon. As someone remarked last night, there are more foreigners in London than Englishmen; but as the British would say, this maybe a bit of an exaggeration.--But there are certainly people here from everywhere--from every nation of Europe, Africa, and the Mid-East, in particular, although we haven't even met many Americans, this time of year. The kids from there don't start coming till school is out.
       32. WE SAW ONE TYPICAL OLD PENTECOSTAL STANDING ON OXFORD STREET LAST NIGHT WITH A FISTFUL OF TYPICAL TRACTS, PASSING 'EM OUT WHOLESALE, and it was amazing how many people took these old, traditional leaflets, with nothing on 'em but a Gospel message, and the address of some church. He said he'd been at it 25 years, but hadn't seen much results, and we didn't wonder, considering he didn't have much to offer but the same old story, which people have heard a thousand times, but don't believe it, because they haven't seen anybody living it. THE PICTURE OF OUR SAMPLE IS GONNA BE WORTH TEN THOUSAND OF THEIR PROSAIC WORDS; AND THE YOUTH WE'VE ALREADY TOLD ABOUT IT HAVE REALLY TURNED ON TO IT, and one beautiful young stewardess is about to quit her job and join us--and I'm sure she would if we had a place here. She's already fed up with travel, far-away places, fast and high living, and innumerable boyfriends, and is looking for the real thing--me and you and Jesus, Hallelujah! Are you ready? I believe the kids here are! They're sweet, sad, disillusioned, cynical, but hungry!
       33. I BELIEVE THEY MAY BE EVEN MORE RECEPTIVE AND RESPONSIVE THAN THE HARD, TOUGH, NEW YORK KIDS. They're certainly not as violent, and there' not near the crime here that there is in our big cities. They're much more meek, peaceful, and quiet, polite, courteous, hospitable, friendly, and well-behaved, compared to our boisterous, noisy, loud-mouth, rambunctious, violent, destructive, American youth. Maybe its having so much German, Italian, Irish, and Jewish in us that makes the difference. The English are fond of poetry, their pretty little gardens, and their cherished old tradition and history, of which they have a grand one, and a proud past. These conventions and old customs and traditional ceremonialisms, even their Christian cultural heritage, still mean a great deal to them, and WE AMERICANS, COMING FROM A GODLESS, ANTI-CHRIST, IRRELIGIOUS, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, ARE AMAZED BY THE BOLD WAY IN WHICH ENGLAND PROCLAIMS HER CHRISTIANITY AND AT LEAST PROFESSED CHRISTIAN FAITH AND CULTURE, even on BBC government radio and TV, unabashed and without apology. We are shocked to hear the Bible being read and hymns played on programs designed for public school use. This is so foreign to our own anti-Christ system; so Britain does have its advantages, even though they're quite churchy, although their cherished churches have very few faithful worshippers, and the state is compromising more and more with the irresistible and overwhelming tide of inevitable Communism! For example, Pat Boone's new Christian film is being premiered here May Day night at the height of World Communist festivities, and I dare say the local Communist rally will have a bigger crowd than Christ! Everywhere, ads, bookstores, pamphlets, newspapers, handbills, speakers, labor unions, cultural programs, movies, musicals, etc., blare the virtues of Communism. The Communist party operates openly, without shame. The Communist encirclement of America, their final foe, is almost complete, with France already informally in the Communist fold, and Britain tottering on the brink! Even strong, resilient, and recuperating Germany, opportunist business nation that she is, is now being forced to compromise with Communism, in her new Ost-Politik international policies, in order to survive in a decadent, weak, willy-nilly, chaotic, and confused Europe, who sees they can no longer depend on America as their Saviour, in a world dominated by the Communist. The Russians are really throwing their weight around over here, and the Chinese are strutting their stuff, and bragging of the glorious victories of world Communism! AMERICA STANDS ALONE, DESERTED EVEN BY HER FRIENDS, WHO HAVEN'T MUCH LONGER TO GO. Whatever's done to reach them freely with the Gospel had better be done soon!
       34. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU ABLE? GOD IS WAITING FOR YOU, and more willing to give than we are to receive. I know He'll provide, and make a way, even if we only start with a toenail hold over here. LITTLE IS MUCH IF GOD IS IN IT, AND OUR ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT LIMITED BY FEW OR MANY, NOR THE SIZE OF OUR ACCOMMODATIONS. Hallelujah! I know He's leading, and if He wants to bypass New York, to start in Britain first because of the ripeness of its harvest and the shortness of its days, that's up to Him! He's able, and He has to do it anyhow! We're only His little vessels, fit for the Master's use, his tiny children, with nothing to cling to but Him, Praise the Lord!
       35. WHO KNOWS? NEW YORK MAY HAVE LONGER THAN LONDON, AND THIS MAY BE LONDON'S HOUR; so if you have to come now, come on! We can look for a location together. We have room for you here in the meantime for as big a team as you want to bring over, although I believe a small scout team will be better to begin with, such as just you, Hosea, and us, and Jeremy and Fiona, if they have to leave now, to help look the situation over, find a location if possible, and send for the others later. I would still suggest preparation and training now of a team of our British disciples, who can stay over here long after we, on tourist's visas, are gone, and carry on.
       36. BECAUSE, AS I SAID BEFORE, IT'S ALMOST GOTTA BE BRITISH, as they're very found of their own tight, little Isle and way of doing things, and are somewhat resentful of outsiders tryin' to tell them anything; as well as the official problems you might run into with any large, alien team.
       37. Anyhow, if Jeremy and Fiona have to leave now, I suggest that at least you, Hosea, come over with 'em and take a look and size up the situation; and let's see how the Lord leads. There's room for you to stay with us, and even room for Jeremy and Fiona if their house throws 'em out--at least temporarily in an emergency.
       38. However, unless our landlady would be willing to give us a much more greatly reduced flat rate for larger numbers, or sub-let the whole place to us at a reasonable price, we would have to find a place of our own, before you send for a larger team.
       40. I suggest you consider charter excursion flights first, scheduled for certain dates with other groups, well in advance bookings, for specified periods of 45 days to three months for the pioneer team, as these are cheapest.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family