I got up at 5:30 am and got ready to leave home at 6:45 am for my flight back to Helsinki and then on to Gothenburg, Sweden where I'll be visiting with a few families until my departure back to the United States on Wednesday through Brussels, Belgium and then on to Chicago and Indianapolis.
Airline travel is very expensive in Scandinavia, but I was able to get some amazing deals, but some required connections a bit less than ideal. I have more than a six hour layover in Helsinki. I don't really mind if I've got something to read or do on the computer.
At 4 pm I flew on regional carrier based in Gothenburg called City Airlines on a one hour flight to Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city having a population of 500,000.
Stanley and Birgitta Olson were outside baggage claim waiting to greet me and to take me to their home about one hour north in the village of Halanda. Stanley Olson is an Ambassador College graduate from Bricket Wood in the mid-sixties. The last time I saw him was at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1994 in Idre Fjall, Sweden. Most notably I remember a Scandinavian hike (Scandinavians like long hard hikes-this was no exception) that we and many of the Feast-goers took and I walked along side him most of the route that took all afternoon to a mountain-top where I remembered it started to snow.
Stanley Olson married Birgitta in 1999 and they treat each other as newlyweds with utmost respect and love. It was so much fun just be in their presence and see how they treated each other.
The Olson's live out in the country. When we arrived at their home they stoked up two wood stoves. The heat was cozy. Birgitta prepared a tasty meal of salmon. One of the highlights of her life was serving as a nurse in Ethiopia in the Sidamo region. She was there during the period of Haille Sellassai's death and country coming under Communist rule and the Civil War which at times reached their clinic.
The next day is very special for Stanley Olson as it is the birthday of his late father Gusten who would have been 93. Gusten Olson was the first Church member for the then Radio Church of God in Sweden. He had lived previously in Princeton, Illinois. But, in Sweden he received Prairie Farmer magazine and saw an ad for the Church's publications. He went to Bricket Wood in 1960 to help start the Farm Program for Ambassador College which was just starting in the UK. Stanley went as a student in 1961.
Stanley has written a few books. One is about the history of the Nordic people and another one is about the way to world peace that. I had the first book for years, but not the second.
I hauled about 180 copies of our Swedish translation of The Road to Eternal Life translated primarily by Kira Spenser. Stanley enthusiastically picked it up to read and commented how well expressed it is Swedish and how easy it was to read.
We are going to send these booklets to Paul and Kira Spenser who is going to have their child born any day. I feel badly not being able to see my good friends the Spenser's but they just couldn't reschedule the birth. I felt it best not to come at all and to concentrate my work to Gothenrburg on the west coast. The Spenser's about about three and a half hours away from here by car.
We stayed up late talking about various subjects of common interest. It was thoroughly enjoyable talking with both of them. We also prayed together and read the Bible together.
A few stops in Gothenburg, Sweden
Tuesday, January 23, 2007