"MARY BOOKS" DISTRIBUTED AT CALIFORNIA FESTIVAL VENERATING MARY
THORNTON, CA, OCT. 15, 2000 - In the "Catholic nations" of the world, such as Mexico, Guatamala, Cuba, Philippines, and many others, veneration to Mary is carried on with a fervant devotion, often celebrating with parades, carrying statues of the virgin through the streets of the cities, with participants often demonstrating their worthiness and carrying out penance by floggings and by walking the parade route barefooted. Once upon a time, Americans would have looked upon such a parade of ardent devotion and chantings in honor of statues of Mary as something that could only take place on the news and in a foreign country. But not so today. . .A small band of workers was there to distribute the booklet, Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? to the crowds venerating statues of Mary in Thornton, California. THORNTON, CA, OCT. 15, 2000 - Three little girls were pasturing their sheep on the hills of Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 1917, when they were entranced by an "apparition of Mary". There were a total of six apparitions to the three children, plus one visitation to just one of the girls, but these events have been enshrined and subsequently venerated around the world ever since.
In the "Catholic nations" of the world, such as Mexico, Guatamala, Cuba, Philippines, and many others, veneration to Mary is carried with a fervant devotion, often celebrating with parades, carrying statues of the virgin through the streets of the cities, with participants often demonstrating their worthiness and carrying out penance by floggings and by walking the parade route barefooted. Once upon a time, Americans would have looked upon such a parade of ardent devotion and chantings in honor of statues of Mary as something that could only take place on the news and in a foreign country. But not so today, for in Thornton, California,there is annually such a celebration which draws 50,000 people from all over the western U.S. Hundreds of little girls dressed up like the "Queen of Heaven" wearing elegant white gowns, donning sparkling crowns, and followed by flowing trains of satin and velvet. Scores of statues borne on the shoulders of humble penitents. Many in the parade, which lasted almost an hour, were chanting "Hail Marys" in monotone, while many marched humbly along barefoot, in order to endure more pain and thus earn some merit for a dear relative alegedly in purgatory.
The whole scene appeared so "pagan" to a Protestant onlooker such as myself, and a study into the origins of these practices prove that I was not far wrong in my impression. I found myself weeping for these poor, deceived people, steeped in pagan, psuedo-Christianity and the veneration and adoration of images. But I was reminded just why I was in Thornton that Sunday—to share the light of the Gospel to these dear people locked in such darkness. A small band of workers had gathered to distribute the booklet, Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? to the crowds.
The next day, after doing some last minute shopping for food and etc. in San Diego we were ready to cross the border. We made it past the border, that is Tijuana, just before it got real dark. It's amazing how the atmosphere suddenly changed right after crossing the border. All the noise, bustle and confusion which are not common here in the USA was a real eye opener, especially to the other brethren who were with us who had never been out of the United States before. We all braced ourselves for the days ahead. We headed to downtown right away, changed some money and we were off to find accomodations for the night, which was going to be an experience for the rest of the trip. After that was taken care of, none of us were ready for some food, we all wanted to get to work right away. That we did. We went downtown and ended up in front of the Catholic church and we started distributing literature right there. We were able to get out several hundred books that very first evening. Feeling blessed, we headed back to the motel, and after some well-deserved relaxation and personal Bible study, we were ready for a good night's rest.
The next morning, after showers, we were ready to get some fresh fruit for breakfast in the open air market a few blocks from the hotel. Surely, that experience in the market is nothing like any grocery experience here in the states--even the open air, farmer's markets. On our way back to the motel, a man, who almost looked like a homeless person, approached us trying to tell us of his ailment and was asking for whatever help we could give him. We invited him to follow us to our room. It turned out that he had a bad ear infection. We administered some onion and lemon juice ear drops and then placed a garlic clove on the outside of his ear. We explained to him what we were doing and encouraged him to continue the treatment that we gave him. He was very willing and happy to kneel down when it was time to pray for the Lord's blessing on the natural remedies that were administered to him. It was a real blessing to help someone in need.
Friends, the remainder of these photos will attempt to illustrate the delusion that our dear Catholic friends have been drawn into. Oh to be able to share with them the freedom in Christ of His Righteousness—and accepting His Righteousness by faith. Oh that they might learn that there is NO other intercessor other than the compassionate Jesus, who is our Advocate. May they be shown that they are NOT to confess their sins to an earthly priest, but can come directly to the Throne of Grace, through Jesus, and confess before the Son. God bless you all.
"MARY BOOKS" DISTRIBUTED SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER
HERMISILLO, MEXICO: January 30, 2001 - Mexico is one of the largest Catholic nations in the world. With a population that is nearly 90% Roman Catholic, the burden to reach these dear neighbors to the south with the truth of the Gospel of Christ burned in the hearts of a group of believers from Sacramento, California. When Modern Manna heard of their plans to drive from northern California to several hundred miles into northwestern Mexico (more than 1,000 miles from Sacramento) to distribute literature, Director Danny Vierra, without hesitation, volunteered to donate 10,000 copies of Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? in Spanish for their trip. The following is a condensed version of their wonderful report:
MEXICO: DEC., 2000 - Mexico is one of the largest Catholic nations in the world. With a population that is nearly 90% Roman Catholic, the burden to reach these dear neighbors to the south with the truth of the Gospel of Christ burned in the hearts of a group of believers from Sacramento, California. When Modern Manna heard of their plans to drive from northern California to several hundred miles into northwestern Mexico (more than 1,000 miles from Sacramento) to distribute literature, Director Danny Vierra, without hesitation, volunteered to donate 10,000 copies of Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? in Spanish for their trip. The following is a condensed version of their wonderful report:
"God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means the He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300.
After last minute unexpected car maintenance and repairs in our 1978 Dodge van, we were on our way to Mexico on the late afternoon of December 20. We have been planning and contemplating about
doing this effort for a while, but that afternoon as the van was getting loaded, everything was becoming a reality to all of us. The decision to finally go was not made until about 3 weeks prior to that afternoon, and everything since then on was purely the work of providence. How the Lord parted the Red Sea for us in providing everything and getting everything ready was just amazing. Truly we have seen the words in Testimonies to Ministers p. 300 fulfilled as we have seen it fulfilled over and over again in all our other missionary efforts. With a van full of 9,700 "Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive" from Modern Manna, some Spanish "Steps to Christ" and "Great Controversy" from Echoes from the Past, 1,000 "Earth's Final Warning" from Eternal Gospel church and Cornerstone Publishing, and assorted Spanish books that were sent to us, we were happy to be on our way. With 5 adults and 4 children we had a big work ahead of us.
We made it safely past the border, that is Tijuana, just before it got real dark. It's amazing how the atmosphere suddenly changed right after crossing the border. All the noise, bustle and confusion which are not common here in northern California was a real eye opener, especially to the other brethren who were with us who had never been out of the United States before. We all braced ourselves for the days ahead. We headed to downtown right away, changed some currency and we were off to find accomodations for the night, which proved to be an experience for the entire trip. After that was taken care of, we all wanted to get to work right away. That we did. We went to downtown Tijuana and ended up in front of the Catholic church and immediately started distributing right there. We got out a couple hundred books in no time and then everyone was ready for some good food.
"The next morning, after showers, we were ready to get some fresh fruit for breakfast in the open air market just a few blocks from the hotel. Surely, that experience in the market is nothing like any grocery experience here in the states--even the open-air, farmer's markets! On our way back to the motel, a man, who almost looked like a homeless person, approached us trying to tell us of his ailment and was asking for whatever help we could give him. We invited him to follow us to our room. It turned out that he had a bad ear infection. We administered some onion and lemon juice ear-drops and then placed a garlic clove on the outside of his ear. We explained to him what we were doing and encouraged him to continue the treatment that we had begun. He was very willing and happy to kneel down when it was time to pray for the Lord's blessing on the natural remedies that were administered to him. It was a real blessing to help someone in need.
After a hearty breakfast of some fruit and granola, and our first freshly made hot tortillas, we were ready to go. We left 5 boxes of literature with the hotel manager where we stayed, planning to distribute them on our way back when we head east to Hermosillo. We sped on to Ensenada, hoping to get there and find a place to stay for the night before Sabbath. We grabbed the first motel we looked at, as the Sabbath was drawing nigh. It was a nice and peaceful place at such a reasonable price, and for that we were very thankful. It was not until later that we found out that there was a mouse that lived in the room, and that the roof in the bathroom was leaking water from the room above us. Still, it was a far better place than where we had stayed the night before. But the good thing was, they did not mind us all piling into one room, although they did look at us very strangely when we told them about that intention. We were pretty sure they never had any Americans there who would negotiate a bargain price and at the same time ask to fit 9 people in one room!
We went to downtown Ensenada that night and distributed more literature. The next morning, after breakfast and everything, we went to the residential areas and threw out booklets house-to-house from our vehicles. We did that until all our literature allotted for Ensenada was gone. After that, we went to spend the last few hours of the Sabbath at the beach. It was nice to watch the sun go down with the sound of the waves in the background. We left Ensenada after worship on the beach and after filling up with gas. We had given out about 2,500 pieces of literature in that town
After distributing 1,000 Mary Books, we left Rosarito before dark and headed back to Tijuana. We first went to get the boxes of literature we had previously left at the hotel. Then we had dinner right there in our vehicles. Afterward we were ready to distribute the boxes of literature we had just picked up. We went downtown again to a different location and gave out the booklets to the people running to and fro doing their last minute holiday shopping. That place was very busy that night considering it was about 9:00 in the evening of December 24th. But we got all of the literature out and we moved on.
"We left Tijuana at about 10 PM. The group decided we needed to move on so as to make some headway on to Hermosillo. On our way out of Tijuana, as we were following the signs for the freeway going to Tecate, we somehow got lost and we ended up in a residential area just outside of Tijuana. Instead of retracing our way back onto the freeway, we decided to pass out some literature in that area, as we thought it might be the hand of God that brought us there. There might be a precious soul who needed the message that we have in that place. So in the dark of the night, we once more started winging out literature onto people's porches. After we were done we retraced our way and finally found the freeway. We reached Tecate about midnight and by the time we found a place to stay and were finally settled in it was almost 2:00 a.m. The blessing was, we got a place that gave us 2 rooms for $40 which was about the same price we had been paying for just 1 room. "Everybody is going to sleep normal tonight," we thought! It's too bad the night was almost over. We went to bed and got all the sleep that we could get and prepared ourselves for the next day.
After showers and breakfast the next morning, (which was December 25), we set out to give out more literature. The town looked dead being that it was a holiday, so there was hardly anybody out. So, we just threw papers out house to house again. We winged the literature over their fences right onto their front porch. Sometimes the literature would slide underneath the door and make it inside the house. There were also Virgin Mary shrines in the yard's of some of the houses. We made sure we would throw a Mary Book right in front of those shrines--the literature usually ended up at the foot of Virgin Mary. There were shrines like these in all of the places we went to in Mexico. After we got a couple of boxes of literature out we headed on to Mexicali. We didn't get lost finding the freeway this time. But we hadn't made it far onto the freeway, when these 2 men, standing behind a little car, flagged us down. They were in the right lane of the freeway, obviously stuck. We stopped and found out that they needed a push. So with the van's big and tough bumper we started pushing their little vehicle, while he tried hard to pop-start it. We did it once, twice, and the engine just choke and sputtered, and the third time all of a sudden we saw the back of their vehicle on fire! We pulled away from behind their car at once, drove right next to them and signaled them to get out of the vehicle! Above all the sound of engines and the wind howling we were shouting "Fire! Fire! Fire!" The men pulled over and were trying to put the fire out with dirt from the side of the freeway. James quickly grabbed the 2 gallons of drinking water we had in our van and ran over to pour it onto the fire, while Bill grabbed their 2 gallons of water as well. As if sent by God a man pulled over at exactly the same time and gave 2 more gallons of water and left. The fire was put out. Praise the Lord! Only a few minutes down the mountain road to Mexicali we were brought to a halt by an 18-wheeler truck that had flipped over onto its side. The police had just arrived there. We all thought that could be the reason for God allowing us to get involved with the first accident. We were overwhelmed the more by this, yet another sign of God's love and care for us. We could almost feel the angels near, especially as we moved on and saw in those deep canyons some of the vehicles that had not made it on some of the turns and had ended up down in the canyon below. The whole mountain stretch was all deep canyons and in almost every turn you could see vehicles that had not made it. We understood as never before the promise in Psalms 34:7, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
"We reached Mexicali just before dark. We dropped off the 2 men to their destination and then we set off to find a place to eat. We found this Chinese-Mexican restaurant where they were happy to serve us exactly what we wanted without the msg, soy sauces and any seasonings. We all sat down and ate our first hot meal in days. When our bill came we were surprised to see the amount, just $22! Six big plates of vegetables for that much! Nowhere in America! We left the restaurant fully satisfied and quite happy. We then set out to distribute the literature allotted for Mexicali.
After stops in San Luis, Sonoyta, and Santa Ana we headed on to Hermosillo--about 100 miles beyond Santa Ana. We arrived in Hermosillo fairly early, although we spent a good bit of time finding our way around. The city is fairly large, and finding our way around, following the road signs and the directions we got from the locals, was like going through a trail without maps and guides. It was the work of providence, however, to make us stumble on our first turn into town, right to the only vegetarian restaurant in town. Hmmm, we then knew where we were going to have something warm for dinner! We proceeded to find the market and bought some more provisions for the next few days. Afterward we retraced our way back into the vegetarian restaurant. Some of us who decided not to have dinner that night, decided to go out and pass out some literature. The next morning after showers, (which usually took awhile since there was only one bathroom and there are 9 of us), and breakfast, we headed downtown. We ended up in front of a large Catholic Church and decided to pass out the Earth's Final Warning papers by sticking them in the cars that were lined up all around the cathedral. As we walked by the church's entrance and saw the priest giving the mass and saw all the people that were inside, we decided to get the Virgin Mary booklets and distribute them to the people as they come out. It went well, except for the instance when this man, whom six-year old Paul had given the booklet to, after realizing exactly what he had in his hand, came ranting and raving about how deceptive we were and how it was a sin for us to be passing this literature out there, and on and on he went. He would not listen to anything we had to say and would not be encouraged to take the book back and to just investigate and study more about the whole thing. He left shaking his head. We left him for the Holy Spirit to work on. We left that cathedral and decided to go somewhere else.
"We had about 12 boxes of Virgin Mary books and a few more of the other literature when we got to Hermosillo. The men got out 10 boxes of books in just a couple of hours. The people took the literature gladly and hardly no one refused to take them.James also met an Assembly of God pastor who personally approached him and asked for a copy of the Virgin Mary booklet. He also met a man, who expressed his desire to worship and follow the Lord but does not want to go to church nor does he agree with the churches. James shared with him some and encouraged him to follow the Lord, and explained to him that he won't find the truth in any of those churches. He promised to send him some more literature and books as soon as we got back to U.S. We have already fulfilled that promise, and have mailed him a packet of books and literature in Spanish.
We had 2 boxes of Virgin Mary Books and some other literature and books left when we exited Hermosillo. We purposely left those for Nogales and other towns on the way. Magdalena is one of those towns. In the dark of the night, we decided to wing out some more literature in that place. Surprisingly, most of the houses there were nice and to say the least, pretty big. Not a few had the Virgin Mary shrines in their yards and we were very happy to toss out the literature with just the message they needed onto their shrines. After we were done we moved on. It was about 170 miles from Hermosillo to Nogales. We reached Nogales sometime past midnight of course. We grabbed the cheapest motel in town and prepared for bed. It did not take us long to find out that we were just across the street from the police station and the fire station, as we heard the first fire truck and its siren squealing down the street. "There could not have been a worse time for it to be so busy," we thought as we heard one siren afer another. The fire station had to sound their piercing, scary alarm several times as well. We tried to get some sleep amid all of that.
"The next morning after breakfast we set off to distribute whatever literature we had left. Bill, Sherry and Sarah went on ahead of us and winged out the rest of the literature they had and then headed on and crossed the border, hoping to make some headway onto San Diego before Sabbath. Our family decided to go downtown and distribute some of the literature. After that, we did some more residential areas with whatever else we had left. As we climbed up the dirt road hills of Nogales with the little literature we had left, we were wishing we had more. We were already thinking about returning back there and distributing more at a future date. We noticed that there were more of those Virgin Mary shrines in that town than in all the other towns. We crossed the border back into the U.S. after we ran out of literature. We were hoping to make headway going back before Sabbath but that did not happen. We made it just past the border, which is Nogales, Arizona. We grabbed a motel in town and spent Friday night there. We also distributed all that was left of the English-Spanish Earth's Final Warning from Eternal Gospel Church in that town. Most of the people there were Spanish-speaking as well.
Sabbath morning, after breakfast, we went to a lake, which was a couple of miles away from where we stayed. There we had a restful and quiet Sabbath for relaxation and study. By the quiet and beautiful lake, we sat down and rested and praised the Lord for the privilege and opportunity that was given us to go to Mexico and share the message to those who have never heard the truth. Joy filled our hearts with the thought that about 11,000 people in Mexico now have the opportunity to know and receive God's last message of warning to the world. We recounted the blessings received throughout the whole trip, and how our 1978 Dodge van, old as it is with almost 200,000 miles on the engine, did not give us any problems at all. We recalled how we were saved from sickness, though some of the kids did get a touch of a stomach flu or something like that, but, praise the Lord for charcoal and the knowledge of natural remedies, as the plague was stayed. Of course, we cannot forget how we were saved from accident and maybe even death. We can't help but praise the Lord all the day long especially for letting us enjoy His creation on that nice Sabbath day wherein to recount all the evidences of His love for us.
Brothers and sisters, we all have a part to act in reaching out to a dying world. Time is running out and things are not looking good now, with all the political unrest, calamities, wickedness teeming everywhere, all telling us that what we have to do, we have to do now! Let us all work together in hastening the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This world is getting old and we are not getting any younger either. Let us all do the work of getting our lives in order and in reaching out to a dying world before many more dear souls will die without a knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
"Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim then as His own. It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
If anybody is interested in seeing the home-made video that we have recorded of the trip, do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly send you a copy. If you would like to know more about this effort and other efforts that we are planning in the future, Again, we want to thank everyone who had been a part in this effort and all we can say is praise the Lord!
God Bless You All,
James and Daryl K