Sunday, July 30, 2006

Repent your sins and the Turks will be punished for their crimes…

Yesterday afternoon around 2:45, the people of Martuni had some unexpected visitors from Canada.

I got a call from my wife who said some guy from Canada was at the city center in front of the theater, asking people questions via his translator and everyone was laughing at him.

When I got to the theater, a crowd was gathered around two men standing on step-stools. One was speaking English and the other translating to Armenian.

The guy from Canada who I believe said his name was Garth, was telling the small crowd gathered that you must repent your sins and believe in the word of the bible.

I asked the question of what Church he is affiliated with and he said no Church, he has come to spread the word of Jesus Christ. He said that 20 years ago he learned that Jesus cleansed all our sins with his blood and if he didn’t spread the word of what he learned, he would be guilty of not sharing this with others.

He shouted out the standard lines of Jesus’s teachings of how he spoke to the poor and to kings after someone suggested to him that he go speak to our President. He said that if we could get him an appointment with out President he would go talk to him too. I was tempted to call and schedule him an appointment.

One person asked Garth where was God when the Azeri’s were bombing us and why does He not protect us from the attacks? Garth answered that if we repent our sins, God will punish the Turks.

When he finished his preaching, I pulled him aside to talk with my buddy Gamo, the head of the KGB of our region, who was in the process of checking their permit they obtained from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which was in order and allowed our visitors to do what they were doing.

Gamo asked Garth a few questions which I translated.

Garth asked Gamo if believed in the bible and does he see himself and a good man and when he dies, what will happen to him. Gamo didn’t answer his question.

Garth asked me a few questions, most of which I answered with questions.

It seems that Garth and company is traveling all over Armenia and Artsakh to spread the word of the lord, passing out bibles and pamphlets, one of which looks like an American Passport. I asked him where the bibles are from and he said that they buy whatever bibles they can. The one I saw was the New Testament (573 pages) in Armenian, printed in Finland.

You always have to wonder what intentions such people have? Who finances them? Are they really here to spread the word of Jesus, or are they people who someone else is manipulating to undermine the stability we have.

Religion is a great thing, don't get me wrong. It can make peoples lives more peaceful. On the other hand, hardcore religion I’ve seen cause a great deal of hardship in families here for various reasons. I've even seen families break up because of it.

I guess we just have to have faith in God that when such people as Garth come rolling through town calling on us to repent for our sins, people will have it in them to take everything for what it’s worth and do what's right for them.

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