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Discharged from hospital. No more visits to the cancer clinic. no more disrupted schedules. and *Praise The Lord* no more Cancer.
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I spoke too soon. The crankshaft in the engine broke this morning. Is this the end of the work?
Monday 16th of November 2009 05:24:14 PM

All going really well and meeting a few people here. The rain has never stopped since I got here and it is like a week in a swimming pool. The waterfalls are a truly magnificent sight and millions of gallons of water are pouring into the sea. It is difficult driving as most of the mountain roads resemble mountain streams. I am not complaining for the love of the people here is truly heartwarming.
Tonight I am invited to dinner with my dear friend Sofus and his family. I am really looking forward to the evening. This will be my third dinner engagement since I arrived here.
Tomorrow morning I will visit the Evangelical Church in Runavik and have not yet thought about the evening meeting.
I leave here on the 3rd December and arrive in the UK 7th December. I travel directly to Gosberton in Lincolnshire where my friend Tony and Laraine have made arrangements for an outreach at their church. I really look forward to getting back on UK soil for a few weeks before returning to Scandinavia.
Saturday 14th of November 2009 06:22:43 PM

It is really great to be back on the Islands, gazing out over the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean. I hope to catch a few fish of the swimming variety whils't I am here.
The brakes were checked yesterday and it appears that two out of six did not work at all. They are now repaired.
It appears that most of the very expensive work done in Finland will have to be checked when I can find a suitable mechanic.
The front windscreen cracked when I was driving through Sweden and is now dangerous. I am reliably informed that it could shatter under the slightest strain.
A new one will arrive next week from Denmark and will be fitted on wednesday and thursday before I go to Suderoy. cost is estimated at around 23,000 kroner or just over 3,000 pounds.
The other side of the coin is that I am relaxed and enjoying the beautiful people and scenery of my beloved Faroe Islands.
I called into the local church in Fugljifjord and was truly inpressed with the work done during the upgrading of the Siloa meeting room. All the work has been done by church members and it looks great. I tried out the accoustics by singing a short melody and they are truly perfect.
Thursday 12th of November 2009 07:52:39 AM

God is so good to me.
I am now back in the Faroe Islands for a few weeks. The boat docked at midnight but the passengers had to wait until 5am before we could disembark.
The journey across the islands to Kampstal was a nightmare for me as once again the brakes gave me great trouble. I travelled the whole 70 kilometres in first gear.
The next few days will be spent resting and catching up with much needed sleep.
The November newsletter has just been sent out and if you desire a copy sent to your email address just drop me a quick email and I will be delighted to send you a copy.
I have pictures of St Olafs well in Sweden to post on the pictures page and will do that later today.
Monday 09th of November 2009 12:12:56 PM

On board ship and heading for Denmark. Internet access is still not possible so I am using the ship computer to upload.
It has been a very trying time crossing Sweden. I called at Sandviken on the eve of All Saints Day and found that the chances of speaking engagements had gone due to the extended time I had to spend in the garage.
This means that my total income for the last five weeks has been around sixty pounds from the collecting boxes.The work just could not go ahead without the help of Caleb Initiative.
The wall of one of my back tyres burst just outside Mariestad and a new tyre had to be purchased and fitted. This was less than 500 miles since the tyre had winter studs put in it.
I at last called at the village of Husaby just outside of Mariestad. It was at the well outside the 1000 year old church that King Olaf was converted and baptised into the christian faith. I stayed overnight there and then set off for the boat.
On the way I once again had problems as an air pipe joint burst. A tow truck was sent for to do an emergency repair but I had to follow the truck to the garage to have the job finished properly. I drove without air into one of the back wheels. On the way the brakes gave me great trouble and as I turned into the garage, the pressure from the driving the bus without air proved too much for the front windscreen and I now have a series of cracks on the drivers side of the windscreen. A new screen costs around 1,300 pounds to be installed.
Even though times are tough I do not feel too discouraged and feel even closer to the Lord.
I wonder what miracles wait around the corner?
To those who have left messages on the visitors Atrium, Thank You, You are such a blessing to me.
Wednesday 04th of November 2009 11:08:19 AM

For news see the visitors page and the entry "John 1st November".
Sunday 01st of November 2009 09:46:24 AM

I know how Paul and Silas felt now that I am out of prison.
The last few days in the garage became a nightmare to me as I once again waited for the bus to be finished and dreaded the final bill for the tremendous amount of work done in the past four weeks.
The bill was reasonable and I have managed to pay it by using ALL of my overdraft facilities in England. How I pray nothing else goes wrong as I have no money left and that includes all that has been donated to Caleb Initiative.
I have driven the 400 Kilometres to the port near Turku at the bottom of Finland and hope to sail tonight for the Stockholm area of Sweden and then on to Sandviken for the weekend.
Thanks to ALL you wonderful Prayer Warriors out there and God Bless You All.
Wednesday 28th of October 2009 05:28:53 PM

It is so good to have friends who can be trusted, I seem to have so many and I truly value you all.
As you read each entry on this page I hope you will realise that to me it is not just a few words of encouragement I write down. This page is my personal diary that I share with you.
I reveal my deepest feelings so that you will know the wonder and also the heartache a christian experiences when the path of evangelism is given to him or her.
"My Jesus" is closer to me than a childs whisper and more real than even the thoughts that pass through my mind.
I will never understand Him and often question the trials he sets before me, But I never doubt His Eternal Plan.
This is the fourth time I have visited this garage this year and I am beginning to feel a bit like a well worn spanner. I have questioned the reason for my frequent visits and the great financial cost of the repairs.
I believe I now know the answer to the question!
It was to meet a person who needs to know "More about Jesus" and also to meet someone who needs to "Know Jesus"
The gearbox is ready to be installed on monday and also the clutch plate has arrived.
I hope to be moving on tuesday or wednesday but that is all in my Fathers plan.
I think Bo has seen enough of me for a while but I will really miss the hardworking man who NEVER complains. In answer to Rob. " Bo " will never be a SIR but he is already a Saint.
Saturday 24th of October 2009 10:09:15 PM

I know the plans I have for you.
A promise God has sustained me with for many years. In the mids't of a typhoon there is always a calm in the middle before the storm begins to rage again.
I have found that calm place and now remember the advice I have given to so many disheartened people-
Get on with it ! It has nothing to do with you what the Lord chooses to do.
On wednesday I said goodbye to all my friends here and turned the key in the ignition. The bus would not start!
Bo was very upset and could not understand the reason why.
A fuel pump problem was revealed and a new pump was ordered.
Whils't waiting I suggested testing the gear box oil and it was burnt and unfit.
A part of the gear box also fell out.
Today the gear box is in pieces and Bo knows why I did not travel.
The gear box was at the end of it's life and would have broken down at great expence if I had moved on.
Today Bo has checked the clutch and finds the clutch plate ready to disintegrate.
Another imminent breakdown prevented.
I have decided to give up doing the work
and allow God to take over completely.
Keep praying for the Battle is only just beginning and as long as God allows.
I am going to be a bus driver for Jesus.
Friday 23rd of October 2009 04:37:21 PM

My mind is turning over and over as to why all these trials are coming one after the other.
Am I having an experience similar to " Job " when satan was allowed to test him to the limit of his physical endurance or, is someone praying agains't the work and a curse has been put on the bus or, is the Lord testing me to prepare me for a greater task in the future.
Without the finance donated to "Caleb Initiative" I firmly believe the work would have ceased to operate during the last six months and if the run of misfortunes continues it will be very hard to carry on.
Please pray for peace of mind and an end to these extremely long days. I am feeling very downhearted because I am so tired.

Thursday 22nd of October 2009 10:50:38 PM

Still in the garage and it looks like my delayed departure is going to even longer than anticipated.
I asked Bo to check the oil in the gear box and he reported that since he last checked it three months ago the oil has changed from clean to very dirty and seemed to have overheated. He drained the oil from the gear box and a spring and a small part of the internal machinery came out with it.
It now appears that the oil leak I have had from the gear box for the last two years has caused some damage.
I am told that the gear box may last for a long time but because of the terrain I drive in and the weather conditions that are imminent here, the gear box could fail without warning.
As I have no firm appointments untill I sail for the Faroe Islands on November 7th I have given the go ahead to take the gear box out for an overhaul. If no major parts are required the job should take about a week and will cost about 3,000 euros.
The maintenance of the bus this year has really stretched my faith to the limit. I cannot complain about it because the bus is nearly twenty years old and the previous owners did not maintain it properly. I still believe that the bus has many years of witness to perform and it has proved extremely reliable over the last three years.
Please pray that we find no other problems.
It is after 02 00 am and Bo is still working in the garage. I should get to bed before 04 00.
Thursday 22nd of October 2009 01:21:25 AM

Another delay in setting off for Swededn.
I said my goodbyes to friends here in Jacobstad and when I turned the key in the ignition it was found that the fuel pump has packed up.
Bo has ordered one from Helsinki and it will be here by tomorrow and fitted by lunchtime.
I am warned of much black ice on the roads towards Turku so I pray the temperature will soar to above freezing point before I set off.
Wednesday 21st of October 2009 04:00:16 PM

After over two weeks in the garage it looks like the end of my enforced rest is drawing close.
Bo is truly incredible and has worked until the early hours of the morning to get me back on the road. This morning it was 01 00am before he stopped work and was back in the garage before 07 30am.
At last I have a refridgerator that works and also FULL cental heating.
The toilet should be functioning tonight and I hope to leave for the Turku area tomorrow morning. This should get me to the boat for Sweden on thursday.
Thanks for all your prayers. I hope that once I get back on the road more people will join me on the website and maybe even leave a message of encouragement for us all.
Tuesday 20th of October 2009 01:53:42 PM

Tomorrow ( sunday ) I am speaking at Kokkola Methodist Church and this will be my last speaking engagement in Finland this year, I believe.
I anticipate leaving the garage on monday and heading for Sweden. If I can manage to find the time I will call at Sandviken bit I am not yet sure of the timetable the Lord has planned for me.
Winter spikes are being put into the tyres ready for the snow in Sweden.
So much work has been done on the bus in the last two weeks that I hope repairs will not be required for a long time.
I have heard from Timo in Kuhmo and he informs me that he and 39 others are in Russia this week evangelising.
Kuhmo has had an incredible year of witness this year.
Bo is still working on the bus and trying to repair the brakes and electrical systems.
Saturday 17th of October 2009 05:28:32 PM

Bo is still working on the bus and as each day passes he finds more things that need doing to it.
I took it for a test drive today and now Bo is fixing small leaks that have developed over the years and not been noticed by other mechanics.
This evening he has taken the exhaust pipes off and found a lot of rusty bodywork that he has cut away and will replace with new metal.
This repair has taken more time than I anticipated but it must be done if the bus is to carry on being a witness throughout the northern hemisphere.
My major concern at the moment is the cost of all the repairs. I have used up most of my euros and I am now delving into my English overdraft facilities.
I thank God for those who contribute to Caleb Initiative and take so much of the burden of fundraising away from me.
I do not know if I shall get to Sandviken again this year, it all depends upon what other repairs Bo finds in the next couple of days.
He has my complete trust and is one of the great mechanics of the world and He really does "Love Jesus."
Wednesday 14th of October 2009 09:32:27 PM

I hope the parts needed will arrive tomorrow and then the engine can be put back together.
I am told that the removal of an injector takes about ten minutes. Not so here.
Some of the eight injectors took over three hours to take out and all of them need full scale repair.
I and others are amazed that the bus actually managed to start and drive, yet it has travelled thousands of miles without any serious mishap.
My refrigerator has never worked and Bo is installing a new one tomorrow. I hope he can also manage to repair the toilet. The water outlet does not close properly so the toilet smells if it has been used. It will be a real blessing for my frequent guests who have to find alternative facilites.
I should be in Sweden by next weekend and leave for the Faroe Islands on November 7th.
Sunday 11th of October 2009 04:41:28 PM

It has been decided that a new engine for the bus is NOT required but extensive work is being done on it.
Fuel leaks have been found and the injectors all need replacing, or a major overhaul. Also there is a problem with the compressor.
When Bo took out one of the injectors and tested it he commented that it was the worst he had seen in his long career as a mechanic. The whole thing was clogged up with rust and dirt.
Three have now been removed after a very long struggle and another five still need taking out. We worked until 23.00 hours ( 11pm ) and then it just got too cold to carry on.
I hope to leave Finland next wednesday for Sweden but it depends upon the parts arriving.
I am expecting this work to cost around 3.000 before it is completed. It would cost far more at any other garage so I really thank the Lord for a committed christian mechanic.
The DVD I made in Pieksimaki has now arrived and is proving very popular already.
It is only 15 minutes long and I believe it is one of the best I have ever done. Thank you Thomas for not only filming and editing the programme but adding the full text in Swedish and Finnish.
Thursday 08th of October 2009 10:56:57 PM

Problems are not yet solved but PRAYER IS WORKING.
A miracle is expected, Hold on to your money and release the prayer cover as I wait for God to move.
The water siuation seems to have been fixed and the engine has stopped emmitting black smoke.
I am not a mechanic but things are looking much better. I pray the engine can be repaired.
Wednesday 07th of October 2009 12:51:59 PM

It looks like the problems I have had with the bus engine are not yet over.
A water plug in the engine blew out last week and I was able to get a mechanic to come out to refit it. It blew again a few kilometres down the road and once again the engine overheated before I could bring it to a halt. This time the plug was fitted satisfactorily and got me to the garage at Jacobstad for Bo to do a check on the damage.
The engine is now blowing black smoke and it looks like a major overhaul is required.
This was going to be done when I got back to Ireland but it is now vital that the work is done before I can go anywhere.
The estimate is around 5,000 euros for labour and parts.
The repair has to be done so I am praying that the work does not take too long and that the finance will be available before I move on to my next stop.
I believe that the work the engine has done since I got the bus is incredible and I now pray that with these repairs the bus will continue the work for many more years.
Tuesday 06th of October 2009 04:17:43 PM

At last I am able to concentrate on my own life for a few days and rest without the worry of rushing to the next appointment.
As I sit here in the forecourt of Bo's garage waiting to be summonnd for the repairs to the bus I feel a deep sadness that the winter is coming very quickly and I will have to depart from this country. The people of Finland have been very good to and for me and I pray the Lord will show me the next step of the work in this country of great beauty.
As I write, I feel I should share one experience from the border journey that took place at the very top of Finland near Tana Bru.
I was looking for the bridge to cross the river from Norway into Finland. Two roads follow the top of Finland at this point, one in Norway and one in Finland.
My work demanded that I follow the roads in Finland wherever possible.
As I drove I came across a bridge but could not get the bus across so continued driving. I came to a car park and felt I should wait for someone who could speak english and help me.
I waited for nearly an hour then drove on without seeing anyone. The road got very narrow and was heading inland before I could manage to turn round and head back towards the border.
I reached my original parking place just at the moment a car was being started up to drive away.
I signalled I needed help and a young man got out and came over to the bus and gave me very precise instructions.
His name was Paul and I knew that He was the reason for my getting lost.
I pray he read my life story and was able to understand the Love that Jesus has for him.
"So many encounters in life are designed by God"
If we treat them ALL that way, we will soon have told the whole world about Jesus as lives are changed to out Heavenly Father's Glory.

Monday 05th of October 2009 08:18:01 AM

I was really looking forward to getting back on the web and reading the comments from everyone by email and visitors Atrium after a week with no chance of a connection.
I was really gutted to find no comments for a week.
My trip around Finland is completed after a drive of just under 10,000 miles and within twenty kilometres of finishing the trip the engine blew a water plug and I was stranded in the middle of no.where for a day before repairs could be completed. Thank you Olli forom Saalla for finding me a mechanic.
I am bow at the garage in Jacobstad for a few days rest whils't the cooling system and heating is checked and them I am sure the Lord will let me know His Desires.
Saturday 03rd of October 2009 11:12:20 PM

Internet access at last.
As you will have read from John I made it to my destination at the last possible hamlet on the Russia Norway border and then set out for the North Cape.A tunnel got in my way so I headed for the next highest point and reached it after a traumatic drive over bad mountain roads.
I have just driven over a very high mountain and am about 250 kilometres from the Finnish, Sweden. Norway border.
The snow is now in front of me and the blizzard I have just driven through was a complete whiteout.Cannot delay because I have more mountains in the way and I need to be over them before night falls.
Will make entries on the page when it is possible. Keep Praying-
Tuesday 29th of September 2009 12:03:07 PM

I have just left GRENSE JAKOB SELVA (70N 31E), which is on the Finnish/Russian border on the BARENTS SEA. A village? of 7 houses. I am now heading west to Norway and will probably be out of touch for some days.
Saturday 26th of September 2009 10:46:24 AM

I reached Raja-Jooseppi, the last Finland - Russia border crossing this afternoon. This is situated 40 kilometres from Ivalo.
Now the hard work begins as I reach Sami ( the reindeer herders ) country.
I now head for the top of Finland and into Norway as I head for the furthest possible Europe Russia Border crossing and then on to the most northerly point in Europe, The North Cape.
I do not anticipate doing much stopping on this part of the trip because the weather will soon defeat me if I hesitate.
Much prayer is needed as I travel unknown terrain and head for the Mountain roads of Norway.
Please leave a comment on the visitor page. I am beginning to feel a little lonely.
Wednesday 23rd of September 2009 06:48:08 PM

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God to thee. "How Great thou Art"
Those words are ringing in my heart as I write this message of Hope to this troubled world.
I have just left the small town of Salla ( 5,000 population ) and have parked for the night at the closest point to the Russian border I will achieve on this trip other than at the border crossings. I can look out of the upstairs window and see Russia over the treetops.
Salla was incredible and I received a rich blessing from the people there.
On saturday it was a day of outreach and sunday a great morning service in the pentecostal church.
Today ( monday) I spoke to over a hundred students at the high school as I was the english teacher for six lessons. I left there with an invitation to return and speak to the other classes when they were not doing exams.
This evening 12 people turned up for a two hour prayer meeting in the bus and tears were much in evidence as we prayed for the town and for Lappland.
I wait upon the Lord to reveal the next steps of the journey but have been warned that it will be below zero tonight. It looks like a mad dash to the top of Europe and hopefully a leisurely drive back. Only around a thousand miles to go to the North Cape.
Monday 21st of September 2009 08:02:29 PM

How thrilled I was to get a message from my friend Titti in Sandviken. She promised to leave a message last year when I left the town, but with a minibus full of children she just cannot find the time. In Sandviken she takes food to those who are needy and is on fire for Jesus. Please remember her as you pray.
Today a team from Kemijarvi joined us in Salla for an outreach in the market square and it proved to be a success. Quite a few teenagers visited the bus and around ten people went into the shopping area with tracts and my life story.
I pray that another Kuhmo is waiting to happen in this area that is a short distance from the Russian border.
I speak in the pentecostal church at 11 00 tomorrow. (9am britain)
Saturday 19th of September 2009 06:27:45 PM

Another good day with time to relax and clean my living quarters at last.
I was amazed how much rubbish can be collected in only a few weeks of travelling.
A call came through from the pentecostal pastor in "Salla" that I have been booked at the junior school there on monday. The session begins at 08 45 and ends at 15 30.
Please remember that there is a two hour time difference between Finland and the UK. 08.45 is 06 45 in the UK.
This evening I joined the ladies prayer group just outside of Rovaniemi and was able to thank them for their tremendous prayer support over the last few weeks. I hope some of them will join me in Salla on saturday.
I pray that more prayer and home groups will invite me to attend and speak in the Lappland area.
A prayer day has been arranged for the north of Finland in November and I hope to be able to attend ( snow permitting )
Wednesday 16th of September 2009 11:49:28 PM

My day of rest did not happen as people found me and the bus was as busy as normal.
Here in Finland the people I know are getting quite excited.
I have been invited to speak at the pentecostal church and do an outreach on saturday in the town of Salla.
This is the nearest town to the Russian border on the Arctic Circle and very few young people attend a place of worship.
Street work is virtually unknown so it is a very big challenge.
Negotiations are going ahead to get me to speak in the schools and I am quite optomistic.
This whole area needs a touch from God and I beg for much prayer in the coming days.
Please pray that workers can be found and hopefully musicians who are willing to join us.
I have promised to stay for two days,but could extend if the helpers turn up and forward bookings are made for me. I will make decisions on a daily basis.
Tuesday 15th of September 2009 10:57:12 PM

Arrived in Lappland at last. More later this evening.
I am having a day of rest. ( I Hope=
Tuesday 15th of September 2009 09:03:03 AM

I set off frok Kuhmo yesterday and headed north.
As I travel onwards thrrough the forest, Autumn begins to reveal herself as the trees show signs of their promised autumnal colours. The roads through the forest can be very dangerous and full of potholes. I slept last night in true wilderness surroundings and the silince was so intense I could nearly hear the trees breathing. The area is populated by brown bears so I kept within the confines of the bus area.
I believe the holiday season for visitors will begin soon as tourists fly into Lappland to see the shades of autumn in their Majestic Glory.
Last year I only travelled as far as Ivalo because of the snow storms. This year I am heading for the morth cape and into the top of Norway.
I am still experiencing a lot of pain in my shoulder and hope no damage has been done to it.
Monday 14th of September 2009 06:26:26 AM

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