With Katrin and Andrus and visit to the Prison

Trip Start Jul 16, 2008
Trip End Jul 29, 2008

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today is the day we visit the foreboding VANGLA, the Estonian prison on the outskirts of Tartu to see our friend Valdur Vesingi.  But, before that, Katrin Kaasik and Andrus Ripps wanted to stop by the Apartment for a visit.  We arranged for Britt and Jim to come over at 11:00 am, the same time that Katrin and Andrus were coming over.  
We got together just after 11 am.  Katrin and Andrus brought over a cake and Bev fixed some snacks and we talked.  Conversation is always enjoyable.  Katrin was quite talkative....Andrus always is.  Katrin is getting her Masters Degree and has just been certified as an anesthesiologist.  She works as a nurse at the main hospital in Tartu in the brain and spinal surgery.  We really like Katrin...she has a gentle disposition.   
At 1:00 PM Jim and I left for the Vangla by taxi.  The train station is just across the street from the Apartment and we grabbed a taxi there for the five mile or so trip out to the Vangla.   
We were supposed to have been cleared to see Valdur, but there seemed to be no record of our request.  The receptionist, was uncharacteristically pleasant and told be that THIS time she would let us see a prisoner with no record of visit request...but to be sure that this didn't happen next time. 
We filled out forms and gave our passports to the receptionist.  We were then led to another building, screened again with our passport, then searched.  Finally we were led to the visiting rooms where we could visit talking by telephone through a glass window.   
As soon as I saw Valdur-this is my third visit to him-I gave him a high five through the glass.  The visit went great....but only one of us can talk at a time through the telephone and this makes a visit a bit awkward except for the visitor who has the telephone.   
Valdur has translated four booklets for us and is now working on Jesus Christ: The Real Story.  I have a little bit about Valdur on my Web site - including his address for those who would like to write to him at http://kubik.org/prison/vesingi.htm  
Valdur still has to serve 13 year and won't be out until he's 66 years old.  He found out about the Church through the Good News magazine which was left in the prison chapel by an inmate who has since been released.  Now, Valdur leaves his old GN's in the chapel.  Valdur had already received the Good News that we mailed just the day before!   
As the visit closed, we prayed together and look forward to the next time we visit. 
We took the taxi back to the Apartment.  I have really appreciated the use of Jim Franks world phone that is good outside the US.  We've been able to use it like a local mobile phone in the US. 

Fifteen minutes after we returned to the Aparmtent Britt and Andrus came back. They had gone on a walk about town and visited a medical library/museum.  Katrin had been with them earlier, too. Tartu University has a medical faculty.  We talked some more with Andrus present.  He had some philosophical questions.  He then left on his bicycle for home.   
The four of went back to town. We wanted to visit the KGB cells museum which is about a 15 minute walk away.  This museum is quite new and I had not seen it yet.  Unfortunately, they closed at 4 PM and we were there about 4:30 PM.  Next time.  
This is our last evening in Tartu.  We decided to go to the Tsink Plekk Pang Chinese restaurant. Again, our two guests enjoyed the food and ambiance of another Tartu restaurant.   
Need to go home and pack.  Tomorrow we take the bus back to Tallinn and Thursday to Sweden! 
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ohooser on

safe travels!
Mr. Kubik, thanks for the updates from Estonia! We will pray that the Good News and the newly translated booklets reach even more people in Estonia! Please give Mr. Taylor our regards from Texas and have a safe and pleasant trip to Sweden!
Our best,
Oliver and Clarissa Hooser

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