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Escaping Labor Camps and Finding God

Jack Blanco
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Jack Blanco's father abandoned him at an early age and he was raised by his mother around the time of World War II.  He was sent to several labor camps but was able to miraculously escape with his life. Later he was drafted into the US Airforce and was stationed in Guam where he came across a Bible and learned that there is a heavenly Father that loved him.

Presenter

Jack Blanco

Former dean of the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University and author of the Bible paraphrase, The Clear Word

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Recorded

  • November 15, 2015
    3:00 PM
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Father in Heaven has so many things in this world that we don't understand. You know we think back to World War One World War two Korea whatever. We're just going to be so glad when Jesus comes to put an end to wars and crying and shower one tears. And so we asked the jewel blasts our meeting this afternoon but first of all the Lord bless the people there in Parish. You're are close to them. And then finally to draw close to wash on lives our families and be with us in a meeting and it's this afternoon in Jesus name Amen. They give for the library. Well I'm going to mention a few things that are not in the book. And that are not in the D.V.D.. So while let me begin. What I want to emphasize. You know when I was thinking about this. I really don't want to emphasize the war. Even though I'll mention it. OK. I want to emphasize God's miracles. In my life. Because it's all about him. It's not about me. Well. My mother originally came from my Germany. The very young. The area that opposed Hitler coming to power and my father came from Vienna Austria. And they met here in this country in Chicago. Plenty get married. And you know immigrants in those days when they came here to this country I mean yeah. They had to really work hard. Mind mother used to work in the sweat shops of Chicago with the bakeries and. You know work. Eight ten hours a day and and get home late whatever. Anyway the point is they were planning their marriage. So she would call a mere know every the name. They were not that was before the days of cell phones. You know. And you know that the long. The long stemmed telephone with the hook on the side. And you know it's all about the wedding and so on but one evening she called his apartment and there was no answer. So she said well you know maybe something came up an appointment the weather and. OK because she couldn't always get ahold of her she had to call him. That so she called the next night and again there was no answer to she now there's a strange. So she went over to his apartment and. Knocked on the door but there was no answer so you solve the landlady. Oh the landlady said he left a couple days ago. He did. Where do you go. I don't know what about his stuff. To all the stuff with them. Oh my word or by mother felt abandoned because I was on the way. And you know. Why do you do. When she asked to work you know in a sweat shops and here she got a new one no words you do them. And I was little primi born. I don't know when I was born I really must have been born early or maybe. So anyway I weighed about four pounds. So I've been a little guy all my life. So she had to find babysitters for me. Well she found. We lived in one of the high rise a buildings in Chicago and I or I shouldn't say high rise but anyway get a going to apartment Billings about three stories up. You know and and the steps going up to back you know wooden balconies you know they're in the back and so on and so yeah she found a babysitter there. And one day she came home one of the early and. The the door was open and I was sitting in there and making the corner crawling. And so she said. You know how come he shitting in there crying. Well they said We told him if you stop crying we give him some need. She said he's crying because he is hungry. So this gives you a little idea. And then another. Nother day she came home with it early walking up the steps in the meantime I have been about a year old or a year and a half. And I was playing on the back porch and the point we're trying to get a broom loose that was under a rocking chair in the back porch. And I pulled real hard and lost my balance and fell backwards. And they are no you have the the railing there you know what he would call them slats or whatever. You know prevent he way they were not very close together they were quite far apart. So the little guy. I pulled real heart and fouled through those slats and on down. Three stories down my mother was coming up the stairs and saw me. Fall and then she almost ran back down and almost lost her. You know. Balance whatever running back down here I was on the ground. And I was unconscious. Fortunately I hit the. You know the law not the cement. But anyway I was unconscious for about a week. And. I mean God gene the venture and you know I mean. Any way at all then. Are recovered. And my great aunt. My mother's aunt my great aunt. Felt a little shy for us. And she find she took us in. And that that was a relief more. It was more regular family living you know she. She had. My great aunt of course had sons and my uncles and course they were older grown and so on and so forth. And so I grew up and when I got to be. You know school age. My. My mother was a faithful Catholic. And so you know when I was well we're not I should go back when I was born. You know shortly thereafter I was baptized. Them. Obviously the little baby. Sprinkled by the priest but that way when I got to be elementary school age I went to school and. The nuns what I one thing I remember about the nuns they were very kind of a. Little like Little Mother Theresa's. Really. I mean they would come into the classroom and they would say. How many of you did have breakfast today. You know kids. We would raise your hand. She can take us back to the kitchen and feeds breakfast. Now when I asked the question you think I will ever forget that. No there are some very kind. Mother Theresa's out there right. And any way at all then I got to be a little older seven eight nine. When I was about ten years old my mother said while she had been in this country for seventeen years or so while she would like to go back and see her grandparents and you know ma. I mean her parents my grandparents. And so we went she saved up. You know some Verver cation time and. So she could be over there for about three weeks or whatever. And we went over our she saved money and we went over on the ship. Took eight days to get there. OK. Now I still remember the name of the ship Columbus it was called it was you know making the regular trip between a dream and I'll then in Germany and of course you know New York. And so from we went from Chicago New York are the ship went over there eat days and those course when we got there bring Monov and then we had to take the train a down to hole and bird in Bavaria. Light and they are like chick and and of course my grandparents you know. Met us and all they're glad to see and. My mother was glad to see her. You know. Brothers and Sisters whatever you know. And of course a My grandfather owned a little farm that was in one burger not too far from from Prague Czechoslovakia. Which of course Hitler later took over. And you know. Being on the farm. I want to tell you as a different experience and living in Chicago. Oh I enter City Hall Yeah. All of the sky is blue. Oh what do you know that wonderful. And they're animals. Oh you our real animals not just pictures of M M M M M you know. And I just love the farm. So one day. My grandfather after about a week or so and. He talks my mother and said you know. Why don't you let him stay out of school for a year and stay on the farm and work and get some sunshine. Develop some muscles. OK. And. So my mother said. Let's ask him. Well now wait a minute you ask a chain year old. If he wants shows. Stay out of school who for years. What was he going to say oh well if I didn't know what I was saying oh entire. Because my mother was the only person in the world I knew really loved me and she really did and. I could tell any way short a time came for her to go so we got on the on an ox cart and had to take an ox cart. To the next town live shake where we would catch the train. So the time came to say goodbye. And leave my mother and then it hit home. We know even if it's only for a year. But to leave. You know I guess got a hold of my mother and held on and held on and cried and cried. And my grandparents had a prime my fingers. Away from my mother. And then she went and got on the train and stood on the platform on the back you know. And the train pull out and waved. I'd say you know what that was like you know I taking like a rubber band. If you take a rubber band. And you stretch it and stretch it and stretch it what happens. Pop. And all I want to tell you it just hit and. I cried and cried and refused to eat for three days than I remember. Cried and refused to eat for treaties. Will ask you don't need for three days what happens. Yeah you start being oh yeah. Anyway so I worked on the farm and consoled myself you know that I would see her in a year whatever. And of course. That was thirty nine and. What happened. World War two guys say World War two broke out. And there was no way to get out all the borders were closed. My grandfather wouldn't dare to take me you know like the sound of music across the border into Switzerland. You know. Because he had opposed Hitler. Coming to power in had spent some time in prison. So if they caught him. OK. What would they do. That would be the end. Oh yeah. And of course you know my Uncle Joe of course were drafted and. So you know he'd needed all he needed all the help he could get on the farm and needed to stay in a farm or. Hitler would take away the farm. Then. So the borders were close and so was a matter of staying there and so then you know. I see my grandfather said well you need to go to school. Well by that time I had learned German could speak German and so I went to the school right there in that little town. OK German school and. Yeah. Teachers were hard. And. I don't know what I should see a snake sting or not go ahead and say oh we were little mischievous and we knew that learn that the teacher was afraid of mice. She didn't like mice. So guess what idea we came up with. We got a. We got a mouse. Killed it. In put the dead mouse. On the door knob. So when she had would come in because his school or whatever opened the door. She would grab that did mouse. I'm OK. So who did that. OK I put out your hand. And I want to tell you you know. She would take a ruler and SWAT us right across the hand as hard as she could. But since we were farm boys. We had a lot of calluses there. And we guessed kind of fast half smile. And she. And she. Well. Got the idea of them and she smacked us across the fingertips. Oh yeah that was a different story the. So anyway went to school. You know of course why there's a forty one there was to the. You know the attack on Pearl Harbor. And then shortly thereafter. You know war was declared Japan and Germany were you know. Partners and all that. Allies and sold in the war started whatever. Germany and with United States I mean. And by that time the forty two. I was up alone that she must have been in the sixth grade or something. OK. And there. That's as far as the school went in that little town hall in bird. Sonar to go to school. You know. For their own. You had to apply to go further on in the high school know it so I fill out the papers my grandfather said I'm not going to stay in the way. Stand in the way of your education. Because you know what to do that your mother wouldn't like that. So I fill out the papers and send them in a couple of months later I get a notice. Of from Berlin and your acceptance into school was approved. You need to show up by the such subsidies you can. Up in Berlin. Oh. So I told showed my grandfather and. Well. He was pleased on the one hand on the other hand he was not so pleased because he would lose a farm worker. You know. And of course farming in those days in those places. How can I best describe it it was just like farming in Abraham Lincoln's day. Everything was done by hand. OK. I mean clean out the in the barn and whatever with all the manure and shovel it on the wagon and haul allowed to the field and on loaded into piles. And then the spread of spying and. And then plow it under fertilizer and. Well everything was done by hand. Whether it was a harvesting or plowing wouldn't ploughs you know hold on to these wooden plows and have to auction pulled the plows and boy you got to keep your eyes straight ahead. I mean yeah out of wise you can't just go rock on a long and you know you have to make it clean for All right. Straight. Anyway. So you know was when up to Berlin and. He missed my work there on the farm. Cut the burly man. And they said no you need to go and you need to go to Koenig switch to Hausen. And it's this way outside of Berlin. So I got an entree into Kearney Crystal Hausen. And as a train was going out more and more people were getting off. It seems like I was the only one on the train or almost. So funny got their hello courage would never bloody old. When I got all phone call. And you know kind of like where I was and all of a sudden felt like comes walking up to me in the brown shirt. And SWAT Sikka bands on his arm. And I've. Visor cap. Black boots. Right. What's your name. I told him when I because you know I had my mother's maiden name. Like OK I'm sure my step father's name when she remarried. Now which was later told my name my name was a kid sling. K I S L I N G kids Ling. And I told me. You know. And of course Jax comes from the yacht club. So was Yakob his Ling. Told him my name. He says Come with me. So I followed him. We walked a couple blocks this wake up a box that way when there was barbed wire. And there were gold all mean and guards and dogs and. You know whenever one. That was the first taste of labor camp. Now let me pause here and make a distinction. This concentration camp. And some of you probably have seen a chord can move film on concentration camps. OK. MARTIN the hiding place you know. You know. Then there are what they called labor camps. But it's actually at risk strict did camps your mobile mobility is restricted. You may have a little. You know. What should I say lack of food a little bit but it's nothing that nothing Shiria she real serious life threatening they're necessarily. So there's a concentration camp as labor camp and then there's a slave labor camp and slave labor camp. Yeah. That's when they work you when work you until you collapse and they carry you out. And that is the end but I'll come to that in a second. You know why sure this was the first labor labor camp. Slave labor camp. OK. And now this was basically a doing a lot of farm work through help feed a German very marked. OK. And of course there were. This time bombings we were going on in Europe and the Allies were bombing Berlin and all that and then we had to build. Ever aid shelters. OK. In order to protect ourselves and and others are there are friends and I and the sirens would go off and we would sit there in the all of these areas shoulders. You know bomb shoulders with. Which would support shin you know. Dirt mounds and so on so forth. Protect us from any shells and of course we would hear the airline. Allied planes come over and we would hear. You know. The German plane jet trying to shoot him down in our own a pop up up up up up up up up up up. You know. And all of a sudden we hear this. We thought it was all over and always John we hear there's to Sloan plane flying. Oh he probably got separated. Allied plane. Separated from the others. And he was dropping his load of bombs as fast as he could lighten the load. And so we heard the bombs dropping oh oh oh wow. Oh my word and one came so close with the earth shook. And then quiet. So we got out and looked. Next morning of course we had to clean up. And we paced it off because they all fell in line. One more bomb near where you had that direct hit on our air raid shelters. I wouldn't be here. You know knowing the Lord word mirror miracles in my life and I don't know why deserve it. You know. The time I was little fell off that three story thing and you name it. And whatever. Anyway. We cleaned up and. You know all the every once in awhile they would take us into what looked like gas chambers. And we thought they were going to exterminate us. But they were we were put in there in order to kill the lice. In the bugs and injection whatever else that we had all over us now from there I got transferred from birth parents were strong housing July chick dug out on a train and headed for like shake and. You know two years ago we went over there to visit places again and had a train came in you know unloaded us and we were marching to words the gate. To get into the next camp. And as we were marching in when I'm going to tell you is the honest truth so help me Lord. As we were marching in all over shut and I wished taken out of line and was placed. We over in the fields. And I looked. What in the world. All there's the barbed wire. Oh. There are the others people marching in. How do they get way out here in the fields. Wow. Looking back now reminded me of the story of Philip Green the Bible member he was a coming out of Jerusalem met the Ethiopian eunuch. And they were shared Christ within and then the Ethiopian eunuch you know I asked to be baptized and he baptized in there in all of a sudden it just felt was caught up and moved to to the other shady essential rush. Wow. So there I was in the field. Nobody around. Oh. Took me awhile to get my thoughts together and in show I took off and headed for headed for. You know my grandfather's farm which was and. Well it took a day or two. But anyway. Got to my grandfather's farm knocked on the door and of course in those days there was no communication from my carriage said no shell phones and whatever he did no are as he thought I was in school. Joy Not down the door and you know. My grandmother open the door and no move all do go where have you been looked at me How come your shows. Then I'm skinny and whatever what's the matter with you where you've been so I told her and all I'm coming conveyed in Seoul OK I mean she prepared a big meal for my own my worth one who I mean this is food. And then the next morning on my grandfather talk to me call me a call me Sean. You should son. You're going to have to turn yourself in. Because if they find out that I'm harboring a fugitive. OK they will get me. You have to turn yourself in. So in order to save the family I turn myself it. And then I was shipped over to turn myself in and I was taken on the base nits. Which is near Nuremberg. Put in a slave labor camp there and the job that I had was working on the military equipment and. I don't know what exactly what it was and weapons or whatever. You know. During my little part on a machine working ten hours a day get up six clock in the morning and. And the and all the first thing we had to get up and line up on outside and where the Nazi flag was and stand in years and propaganda from a sion and. I tell you one thing that I learned. You know all this propaganda against United States against America against whatever whatever and. How all the how German people are being mistreated in America which was untrue. But you know. After a while when you see he's here. Lies and lies and lies and lies what happens if you don't watch out. Do you believe what you hear. So I learn to set my mind. Against what I heard. Anyway then work. For breakfast. We got a cup of black coffee and a slice of bread. Was it for lunch we got a bowl of water reshoot. I mean literally watery soup called soup. Go to slice of bread. And that night a couple black coffee and a slice of bread. That was it. And I saw some of my co-workers a collapse. And they came and carried them out. And you saw them. No more. Now why. The Lord kept me going. I don't know. Now I'm going to add something else which is not in the book or the D.V.D. by this time. Oh yeah it was getting a near you know. The end of forty four. Somewhere in there. The Allies were pushing up into Germany. Hitler was getting desperate. Course he had a already lost the war on the Russian front. You know by the way getting desperate that he was drafting anybody from sixteen to sixteen. Fight. And has already said I don't know why something's happened to be the way they did and. The Lord ZAHN You know I guess not a room. But anyway I see now they German military. I'm up not the S.S. not German military came and. There were three of us that swirl of course of the German background. You know myself. A Russian who had German roots and an actual German young man. So they came in a can't they should be an all you little to OSHA street. All right come with me. Took the three of us and took them took us into the German where mock draft or Joe to speak. Just took a sense of a German where Ma took us out it through a military training camp nearby. Gave us the uniforms. And of course we all kinds of training in using guns and bazookas and anti-tank weapons and you name it. I still remember this line of little skinny. Young people. OK. Marching along. And we had a march along right in front of a German Army Hospital. Were wounded soldiers were being treated. They sat out on the front porch of that hospital in kind of laughed at us. OK. I mean here these veterans. German veterans. And these these little kids are going to win the war. Haha. You know. And anyway I show member that asshole after the training. None about two weeks of training whatever. Now here's another miracle. Instead of taking us to the front and we had the three of us already decided that if they take us to the front. We are not going to fight we're just going to surrender. But the allies take us. You know. So anyway and. After the training. I know one. One of these days I'm going to ask the Lord. Why. A diesel Jer's took us back to the tune it to the labor camp. Day he says said Wait here till we get you know what the way to wait a minute. Why I mean the battle was going on not far from there. They couldn't put us. Yeah we're uniform. The drug German you know military uniform. It was a little too big for us but we were so that anyway took us back there and he said Wait here to like it so I will get you where we need or whatever. So the. The German guards there at the labor camp of course. They accepted Russian always friends. Rather than enemies. And so you know we would get better acquainted with them and of course we still had some. Some of our older clothes still there at the labor camp and A So you know. We would make friends with him and sometimes he would be called away for some emergency. And he says you know I'll just stay here and then you keep an eye on the place. Oh Dick give us an idea. Yeah. Put on our civilian clothes that we still had their underneath our German uniforms. And when he has an emergency call. And we look around and there's nobody else around. What. No no take off not the uniform. But take off your will you know. And so all yeah we were there one day when he was called and he said OK watch the place. You know. I'll be back. And we looked around and we looked on there was a village not too far away. He looked around and OK let's go and so we took off. OK. The. The I got food in the camper we match revive the camp. They made. They my hoop Yeah you know. JUROR. I mean you don't know what they're going to do with when the the war is over in years. They just take the guns are lined you up and you know just move your Niamh. So anyway. No we took off and. When our little ways and. We took off. We took off our uniforms and tossed some. And we had a little a little knife in the end that we carried on our belts you know with a German SWAT Sheik on the handle and all that obviously we got rid of all that whatever I had I should really enclose on underneath and and. One day we were walking through through woods making our way. And all the sudden we hear. Health. It was so dark you could hardly she was hidden from them I think. Oh it was a German I mean it was a German guard. OK. And we looked around and OK. To German soldiers a lot of them were asleep there in the woods. You know where you only own. We are displaced persons. You know we've got this place because of the Am I going to the genre whatever and. Well in one sense it was true. You know. And he said well listen. OK. Which direction we going this way be careful because if you go out on the road. I'm in the open the Allied a planes are strafing. Everything they she. Don't go out in the open day time. So we listen to him he let us go and pointed out and then of course a little while later we just split up the Russian went in one direction and D.D. at the other German young man in my shelf we went in the direction of his place. You know. Little Village. And of course you know and his folks you know all there were so glad to see him and welcome him and gave us a good meal and then of course then I left and headed towards my grandfather's town. Farm. Well I tell you that took. And how many days that took us to get home about three days I know why that sticks in my mind. But I remember walking through the woods. And all of a sudden he hears a noise behind me. Look. And there were American change. Pushing through the woods. Sammy that the tanks they lose small trees I mean a tank just pushes them right over you know. Oh yeah. Originally I let me back up a little bit Originally we had planned to go through Nuremberg. OK. But when we got out of the camp made our way through the wood to through the woods and trying to head head towards Nurnberg. All we got near there the whole city was on fire on the allies that bombed it. So yeah. Anyway. So we headed another direction. And I got made my way to my. My grandfather's a town and got to the town. And to my grandfather's house. Just before the American troops pulled in right after me again. Oh yeah. But anyway home. Yeah. Now there's a problem. OK. Does your American troops came in and of course after I you know. The shuttle and the for a couple of days and so on and. Yeah the Allied troops our troops were pushing us. You know the north up into what. You know what we would call the west Germany and towards Berlin and all that. And. First I thought well maybe I could just get on one of their trucks and write with them. You know you know. Whatever way back to America. But I noticed that they had Russian troops on their trucks as well. Want to do what Russian military. You know. And I said No I don't want to go in that direction. And I'm glad I didn't know. Because going up to Berlin the Gannon whatever and and getting into the fight sion. So anyway I stayed there on the farm and then the course of Shortly there after the war ended. And I went and I went to the American intelligence and turn myself in why should she turn my son went through. She then. And I told them that I was an American and born in America. And I'd like to get back home. Well. By this time. This is near forty five and I went over the Germany and thirty nine. This is. You know. Yeah it shakes years later. I hadn't heard a new list for six years. I hadn't spoken English for six years. I couldn't talk English. And they said you were what they talk to me in German you were what you were born in the in the in America. Gee goggle whatever. Oh my we're a let me see your papers. I mean you can't even talk English. Let me see your papers. Well they did Germans are taken away all my papers by and the way to prove that I was an American. Oh well. I got discouraged went back to the farm. In another miracle happened. The German mailman slew tiny town. The German mailman. Brought a letter from my mother. OK. Now why you know. This is six seven six seven years whatever. Going on seven years. A miracle. All you know we've been other one I wonder how your band never heard from you all these years ago the rhythm of them who carry and contacted Red Cross and paid the money asked them to find you they can't find you they don't know where you are. Well but it was just so was are. You know. So glad to hear from her and so I took this letter to the American military and also the intelligence and showed them the letter. They said would you get this letter. I said well the German mailman. There is no civilian mail coming through. Yet. OK. This was made maybe this was just. Just before the war in and I don't remember exactly. You know whether it was just a week or so afterward. Week or so before. There is no civilian Mayo coming through. I should i don't know but here it is. So they should have a seat. I waited there for I still remember that for three hours. While they check things out three hours later they come back. Oh OK. We checked it out. It's January. True. You know. So on and I don't know what to the stay I don't know where they contact my mother who they contacted the Red Cross whatever. SOS as they go back to the farm and. You know will contact you. So we're back to the farm and then the short time later they said OK. Come to camp here in Maine to Frankford. What they call is camp really not rehabilitate him but read. Can't think of the name. Right now. Anyway. So I went down to Frankfurt of course Frankford was all bombed and I still remember going down there and having to. You know what call over all kinds of debris and. Oh it is City was a mess and the way they put it put us into this rehabilitation camp. And. Well in least we got some you know. Satisfactory food not totally but anyway. And then of course finally after a while with the taken on the train and taken to bray Manav and to be put on a boat to come back home. OK let me tell you something. Folks coming back on the ship and poorly. Into New York Harbor and seeing this statue of liberty. I head. The children the top of my head to the bottom of my feet holo when we can free hand free. One. Nobody knows what freedom is until your own have it. No more guard dogs. No more slave labor. Home freed. Other way when. When I got out of camp. Yeah I weighed what I do every day eighty five pounds and I was five foot tall. And then after a year back in the States I put on to fifty pounds. And grew six inches. Now I'm shrinking again. See any way that my mother was supposed to welcome me and of course or train got delayed from Chicago and so on my aunt. Lived in New York. One of my aunts and. My cousin came to pick me up. OK I could actually I got a call came in to Ellis Island. And got a call they handed me to phone. You know was one of those long neck phones with a hook on the side. OK The handed to me was I don't know. OK. So I took the earpiece and start talking into the air precision. And then put the added freeze on my ear. Oh the latest no no no no that's not the way they there's this place. Oh OK OK OK so you're all yeah well because my cousin he could talk German you know. So her. And so while then he came to pick me up. The next day of course you know everybody you know glad to see me and all that and. Anyway next day came to pick me up. He's well we got to take you to shopping. You know and who Kate. And so as you're walking down the street. I mean I look like a twelve year old kid. OK. And I had learned there in in labor camp I had learned to to smoke. Because right near our camp there and big Michener Nurnberg. There was a prisoner of war camp American prisoner of war camp and a Russian prison a war camp they separated by a fence. You know. While nobody Barboy booty call it. Anyone said Pardon. What kind of like one French well know the it's to change things training French and the. Well the Russians. You know P.O.W. as the. We never saw them. Open packages but the American P.O.W.'s they always got packages. And they would smoke their cigarettes. And then when we got through smoking and they would take their butts and wet. Flipping through the fence. OK chain link fence then of course we would run over there and grab them. OK and peace and together and start smoking because what smoking. Would helps wage that hunger. See in so. Anyway so when I came back to the states the I was smoking. And so here you know my cousin is taking me down to go shopping and. He bought me some cigarettes and so I was smoking. I think we got stopped by the police. Pardon. That's right. What is this guy's talk to my cousin what is this twelve year old kid doing smoking cigarettes. While he says no he's not twelve years old he's seventeen years old. Oh who then told the policeman about on me away. So they took took me to the store. My cousin says OK we gotta buy you some clothes. The first thing we had by you is some underwear. I says underwear what's underwear. No no I said under clothes I think is that underclothes I says whatever underclothes. What he says those are close you were under your clothes. Oh OK. Obvious among the clothes or next day of course my mother came and then I learned of course that she had gotten married. You know. And she had no I met a man in Chicago who was originally from Florida. In his parents had come from Spain and had emigrated to Cuban from Q But you to Florida and then he was in Chicago and they met and they got married and he was operating a small little one room brush front. That is name was Blanco. And so my mother said Would you be willing to change your name. I says anything I mean I'm home free whatever you want to call me doesn't make a difference to me. While she says she was embarrassed to have to introduce mean you know her son. But name Blanco and then me having my mother's maiden name Kissling. You know. And she was a barrister about all this and I should Sure mom doesn't make any difference you know. Probably when I get to heaven I get a new name and whatever. As you're going to say and so that's how my name was officially changed and was officially changed to Jack. But not Jake and. Jack so Fishley. My name Jack is not a nickname. It is officially legally. Jack. You know. Anyway I worked in the restaurant there and I let me tell you. He know my stepfather of course my mother asked me to help there in a restaurant which I was willing to do. Started as a dishwasher. In those days they didn't have dishwasher. They had only fish. Washers you know but I mean. Yeah. And tell you another miracle. I don't know why the Lord has been so good to me but anyway. Praises name forever. Down the basemen in that restaurant we had were where we stored some extra food supplies. You know. And there was always a water leak down there. So we had little love platforms. You know where we put the boxes on and so on and so sometimes there was maybe an inch or two of water there. You know. And I went down there one day and then I mean I need stuff. Food. You know. Run didn't help to run the restaurant and went down there and the water had gone over the over this a is already calling over the pallets. And so there was about an inch of water or or or to a whatever. Over the pallet. Well I need food so you know. Joe I stepped on the pallet and sure I was standing in water and I needed something and I lean way over to get it because I didn't want to keep walking the water. But I was still standing in the water. Anyway I reach. Good. And I should as I straightened up. The back of my neck. A wire. An electric wire. That was not secured by the electrician. You know it was bare at the end. And I as I straightened up it touched the back of my neck. Oh and I felt this surge of electricity going through me. While I'm standing at about an inch or two a water. Oh I know. I waited for a minute. Wow. Who seem to be OK. So I took what I got had gotten NG I went back up stairs and you know went to work. Obviously I'd keep the. You know. People supplied with their their orders. Any rate. Jumping ahead about a month or two later I had a doctor's appointment. You know when the doctor. Looks at you and then you jam you open your mouth you know that he pushes your tongue down right. Exceed your throat. And he says what happened to you. I she some scars there. Where your tonsils should be. Don't you having tonsils. EDITION. Know that Aleck trick shock. He had burned. My tones. I have no tonsils. Well I don't know I mean we have some probably some nurses aired I can explain it. Yeah. That that burned out my tonsils. OK. But anyway and then there was a. Well that was forty six when I came back out. Two years later. Course I said I put on weight and I put on heights and. Whatever. The burning their lives started. Remember the Berlin airlift. Brylin airlift started. And. Russia one of the rush of one of it. One of the take over to different sectors are Brolin. You know because a building was divided in different sectors the British an American and so on in the French and show we flew food supplies into the American sector. You know. And it looked like World War three was going to start. And Uncle Sam said oh yeah we need to start the draft. So they started the draft. OK. And they looked at me and by this time I had as I already said had grown a little input on the way. Michael Sam looked at me and. Where have you been. We need you. So yeah. So I got drafted and drafted and up in the Air Force and into a communications training. Anyway. And then. Career strike. Anyway. Daisy green war started then it was a one nine hundred fifty. I think the Korean War started part. Yeah. Started following year because I waited I was drafted I think it was July forty nine minute Korean War started you know. And so I got trained as a communications. Person and went. Shed over to South Pacific in from South Pacific someone buddies were transferred into Korea. And I should know English Mike Sheahan enough. We don't let me go to Korea. In the Lord or answered my prayer. And because the. The army went you know in any meaning my NEEMO and picked you and you and you and you go to Korea. OK. And they skipped over me. And so I was staying on Guam and my job was to communicate with the airplanes. Guiding then into Korea. So they would fly from the United States to the South Pacific and from there into Korea. OK. But every day we had to learn to code. You know those days they came up with Asia. What they call a ticker tape. Ticker tapes. Yeah. With whole Genet. Well it depends on how the holds are configured. That would determine the decode. You know. And so you learn to code every day a new code going to be in any way out. While I was over there and I kind of enjoyed the military and I was going to make the military my career and. But I thought you know who do I model my life after. I looked around at my buddies. They didn't see anyone of the really. Model my life after or whatever and then I've looked at the officers while the officers were little better. But you know so one one one evening I was lying in bed with a mosquito net around me. And again. Neighbors and friends. I'm telling you the truth the whole truth here. Not my imagination. Now just have you ever you ever thought of following Jesus. On That's to want to model your life after you know. He's honest his true faithful on thinking of all these qualities or Jesus as and I thought Oh if I would live. Two thousand years ago. Walking by the Shia Galilean he would have said Jack come follow me. I and I said I would have thought of next thought comes to my mind. That was two thousand years ago. Which. Not dead. Even though is two thousand years ago. And what about you not dead he's alive today. You can follow him. Oh. That isn't a great idea. My only or life after him. Oh man. Yes. So I try to imagine what it was for you know. Model my life after Christ walk with him. You talk with him. You think Jesus would say to me. Jack come let's stop and here in this bar never drink. They could say that. No. So they ended by drinking is a key would say I watch it Jack here have a smoke. Those days I was smoking lucky strike. OK. Here I have a lucky strike ever smoke. I could imagine Jesus didn't trust not for my smoking. OK. Anyway. I don't want to go. So that is ban. Basically the thrush of my life. Used to follow him the best I can. You know I'm looking forward to seeing him winning praise the Lord. And of course you know God felt the call to the ministry and then went to college and in. I went to Chicago and then met my wife there in Chicago. You know and she was a worker there at the church and. And then went to college and went to seminary and got into the ministry and make a long story short and then the worked up. You know in the New Jersey area for a while as a pastor and then from there got the call the go to Africa. And then five years and I forgot into the Far East. And then came back to the states and. Teaching. Up there in Washington D.C. at a college there for a while and then got a call the come down here to Southern make a long story short. And so I've been here. Oh my word when they come. I think hundred eighty two. OK. So I've become a Southerner. It's my then of course say you know. One day I was I was thinking about my relationship to Jesus. You know. You know you when you do when you a study the Bible for your own devotional. You know reading. I mean you can read it and I've read it and read it and read it through many times. And after a while you have to find a new way to go about it or gets into a routine. And you get we wanted to be a habit on the one hand. But you don't want to be a routine. You want to be a relationship. It's so I thought to myself here are Jesus were here today and I was walking with him or writing with him in the car. What would he tell me. Well he would tell me to shame thing he said before he would tell me the difference. Oh yeah. What would it be like to put to read the Bible. To read the New Testament as if Jesus were speaking to me today. Wow. That's an idea. So I would. I started writing it out I get up three thirty in the morning. Not writing it out by hand. Starting with the book of Mark Day. And you know. I would Jesus say what he said. And how would he say it today. Well I would have to check the Greek and later on the the Old Testament the Hebrew. Just to make sure. I was in running. Way off. OK. But how would he say it. And so I wrote the Nero mark and then they got into Matthew and whatever New Testament and. You know got the New Testament. And that was published and then parents asked me to do the Old Testament I should do my own took me three years to do the New Testament and then seven years through the Old Testament sort of ten years old again or. So that's the product you know the clear word. Yeah and. So anyway the journey goes on you know as we go on looking forward for large come right. I mean what I want to ask you question what do people do without hope. Without the hope of the coming of Christ and resurrection and or new heavens and a new earth where there's no more war shower or crying or any more pain all these former things a passed away. What do people do without how our cars were in the way Father Neven we want to thank you for your kindness to wash and there are many things in this life. That we can't understand like wars tragic. Ordered and mass occurs in oil and as a individual lives are blast we don't always understand why we are shingles out and receive so many blessings. In order asked that you will bless us each one here their families to children or grandchildren. Father draw close to all of us and draws close to each other and they help us always to stand for you no matter what happens Lord help us never to lose sight of you in Jesus name Amen. Right thank you very much. Well if I can I will try. Yeah. Yeah. He was Catholic he was very very committed Catholic. In my mom too but what I want to say this. One day when we were out in the field working on the farm. We heard the Czech church bells ring. And my grandfather. They won that it's not time for church bells to ring it's not. Noon or whatever you know. Or for God was. And what the German military were doing they were taking church bells. Thousand. Belting him down for war huge. And say would in order to get them down from the from the church tower without damaging tower. They would smash the bells until the belled broke to pieces. Then they would take the pieces away for military use. OK. Well when my grandfather heard you know all this going on the I still remember him standing there in the fee of and taking off his hat. And just standing there in prayer. OK. And he would do the same for Protestant churches or Catholic churches or whatever if every passed by a Protestant church he would take off his hat and bow. And so that's the kind of grandfather I had no idea where that answers your question. He says. Oh. You know the answer is yes and no my course my grandparents passed away. The farm was given to. One of my grandfather's daughters which was my wife's sister and she got married but then they passed away and so there is some distant relatives Now that leaves in the farmhouse. You know. Because things are all it was all scattered. A few acres here and a few acres there and in a few acres on the other side of town and that was all so. Yeah he did. But it was all scattered pieces. Not one big piece. You know you are so. Hours on trees. Yeah that's right. You know. And of course I don't know the history of this why was broken up into so many pieces. MARTIN. Wow. Yeah that's a good. Good way to look at again. Whatever you can get. I want to get a return again. Speech. All that came back were quickly. I didn't take a long. Pardon to Sophie just now that that's gone. No I haven't spoken German for all my four decades and shall go back to NY and all what nine hundred fifty. I mean you're talking about all my word. You're talking about fifty sixty five years not speaking German. Well I can read a little bit. Still and understand one word here there. But the actually converge. Know your mom. Yeah. All right. You know they all know it was in German. Oh yeah like she wrote a letter in German. And I am. You're. All right. Yes ma'am. Oh. Well first of all that me say this. I don't get a cent of royalty from from the book sale. I don't want a cent of royalty. OK. Because I feel that they and all the more to lead in all this and not we're not for me. No and show the money is used to buy copies for prisoners. And I'll tell you in want to short sentence in the second. And it's all too huge the royalties altar used to help the students to go as missionaries. Or whatever. You know. You know. So any royalty checks go directly wherever you know I don't get it going to be out of it. But talk about a prison story of a few years back. I long years have been now maybe ten years ago. Wow. I get a letter from somebody saying that there is a prisoner. Up in Nashville. Who got a copy of. You know the clear word. And read it was converted gave his Hard to the Lord Jesus Christ. And I'm sure that he would like to see you. So I drove up to Nashville. Because my son was a physician. And he was practicing in Nashville. It was so there's my daughter in long drawn up there anyways I went up there to see. This prisoner. And you go down. You know the certain road and you first you come across the regular prison. Then you go about another quarter mile. And on the left there is the maximum security prison. And he was convicted of murder. In a match machine curity prison there are seven hundred and fifty prisoners in a maximum security prison. Bought one hundred. Are on death row. In fact one prisoner of course should went up there and of course to study with them and you know. Had communion with them led him to Christ and. Yeah one of them was baptized a couple of years ago and. Well many of them were baptized but one of them meticulously he was baptized a couple years ago and then right after that he was executed. You know. He when they baptized them you know. They Maxim security. You know they have a ankle chains on and belly chains and. So when they take him to the pool to be baptized. They have to actually lift them die down. Because they can't walk down. Not with the ankle change. And victim embalm you know Joe and I don't I've been up there and he has been a great witnessed other prisoners. And then since then people have contacted me in what they know either relatives or friends and some even their own sons are in prison. You know. And then. So I have contacts in living in Maryland Cumberland Maryland and I have to go to the list now and so I stay in contact with them and write to them. You know. And so on so you know that's one of my ministry is prison ministry. That's living. You know. And we should really take some of the royalty monies. And we buy. Clear word. Copies of a clear word. And we send them to the prisoners. Course we cannot we are not allowed to shin hardbacks. Because the hardbacks can has some very sharp points. Only paperbacks and they have to be shipped from the publisher or from a bookstore. OK so if I we send them from here I go down to the advantage of bookstore here. And we buy in and we have them have them send them. You know. You can use Were you there. I have one passage I'll be very glad to share with you my friend. And well when I was in the military. You know all corresponding with some young ladies in whatever and. One lady wrote back and she was I'd told her I'd given my heart to Christ and someone you know. And she said. I think the text that belongs to you is for Libyans. One sticks and stones. So I looked up on church. You know what it says. Being confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ who will perform it. Who will perform and he will do it. He will do it. We don't do it. He will do it day and then all we do is cooperate with for LET be as one sixteen. You know being confident. Confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good working you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. And then of what it's all about. You know that answer your question. There are any other questions. Of watching. Where washing the sheets are college up there. At that time was called Colombian in college. Is that what you want. But we live. Yeah. It was yeah yeah yeah that's right. Well my word that goes back to nineteen Chevon something like that. Wow. Borders time goal. Right. Anyway thank you very much. This media was brought to you by audio person a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit. W W W dot audio verse. Dot org.

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