Amsterdam and Stavanger, Norway

Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
Trip End Jun 29, 2007

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Our flight from Amsterdam arrived a little late in Stavanger at 2:25 PM.  There was no immigration, passport control and only a quick walk through customs. Ragnar Schroeder was there waiting for us.  I recognized him through his MySpace photo. He was affable, helpful and we quickly because positively acquainted.  He does not have a car, so we took a half hour city bus back to his apartment. We were still uncertain about where we would be staying this evening, but, not to worry, all things fall into place.
The airport is called Solo and is a few settlements away from Stavanger proper where we would spend our next full day.  Norway is a self-sufficient oil producing country that comes from the North Sea.  Stavanger is where much of the oil industry is located and Ragnar told us that Stavanger was the "Houston" of Norway.  The city and adjoining areas is beautiful and built around a fjord and North Sea coastline. The air is clear and clean. It is also warmer than other parts of Norway with many flowers and budding bushes. My wife Beverly would have loved to see all this.  The day was perfect with the high temperature about 75.  The area had a reminisce to San Diego of all places. 
As we got off the bus we walked a few blocks to Ragnar's apartment. The homes and streets are Norwegian clean and there is a deep sense of order.  Again, my Norwegian wife Bev would have related to all this. 
At Ragnar's we had an animated discussion as we were getting acquainted. I had gotten to know him ten years ago at the Feast of Tabernacles we attended at Sundovolen outside Oslo.  Ragnar is a mathematician. Discussion ranged from physics, mathematics, Einstein's theory of relativity and theories that go beyond Einstein's to explain the universe. We talked of Norwegian politics, Norwegian oil and, of course, theology that included a discussion about the origin of Man and faith.  I was enjoying listening to Bruce and Ragnar's knowledgeable discussion.
I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate my traveling partner Bruce Anderson who is an elder in Minnesota.  Bruce is the vice-president of Anderson Chemicals.  He very actively serves in the Mankato, Little Falls, Winnipeg, Manitoba and other scattered congregations.  I have known the Anderson family for years.  His orgins are Swedish and he very naturally relates right away to everything here in Norway. He is very expressive and I enjoyed listening to his talking with Ragnar.  
For the evening we will be staying with another family, however. It is the extended Lie family.  The elder Lies, Elfrida and Reidar, are in their 80's.  They have three daughters and two sons.  I know them through their daughter Irene who lived with a family in Minneapolis when I was pastor there in the 80's. I met her parents at the Feast of Tabernacles in Idre Feille, Sweden in 1994 and I knew they were from Stavanger.  Irene has since married and moved to Malta.  We were taken to their other daughter's home. Her name is Astrid and she is married to Herman Meier, an architect.  Herman picked us up in his red Peugot and the three of us went over to Herman and Astrid's beautiful home.  I did know about Astrid at all.  There the elder Mr. and Mrs. Lie were waiting along with dinner.  It was a most pleasant experience. 
Astrid graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena.  We talked over the many people and events that have passed through our lives.  Along with Reidar and Elfrida Lie, teen age daughter Sarah Louise, another sister to Astrid whose name is Karin, and Ragnar Schroder, we had a most enjoyable discussion. 
Norway was the strongest of the Scandinavian churches in numbers and energy. At one time there was a Norwegian Plain Truth magazine.  A number of young students who went through Ambassador College campuses.
Astrid prepared a very delicious dinner of salmon and cod that ended with a variety home-made Norwegian cakes. 
Bruce and I finally called it a day after traveling all the way from the United States and having a full day here.  My day began with doing lots of last-minute work all day Sunday, attending Katherine Rowland birthday picnic at Garfield Park in Indianapolis flying to Memphis, then Amsterdam, meeting Bruce Anderson and having a great day visiting with our Norwegian friends. The trip is moving along very well!
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rogersma on

Hey Victor!
I was excited to see you were in Stavanger as we had a foreign exchange student from there last year. He had told me that some friends of his family kept similar religous practices to ours, curious if they are the same.

Take care and thanks for sharing.

Lorelei Nettles

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