MEMORIES ABOUT HARALAMBOS
personally studying the book on the Second Coming of Christ. She had
not known anything about this particular interpretation of eschatology. She
said that in it she found the aim of the life of faith. She wondered why
there was all this stir in rejecting it. She and her girlfriends were
captivated by these fresh truths, frequently discussing them among
The author was no
stranger to Aneta. A few years before when she was an eleven year old girl,
Haralambos visited Zinjidere on one of his evangelistic tours. He was then
an eighteen year old student at St. Paul’s College in Tarsus. The pastor
invited him to preach in the church. Aneta was in the Protestant elementary
school of Zinjidere. One bright morning an announcement was made that there
would be no school that day! Instead, the girls were going to meet the
guest evangelist, by now known in town. All the girls tried to make
themselves as presentable as possible. Books were placed into desks, and the
classroom was put in order.
After a while he
entered the classroom, ushered in by the minister’s daughter. As was
customary, the girls all stood up in respect. He greeted them with a smile.
Before her, Aneta saw a tall, handsome, warmhearted young man, whose
dedication was clearly evident. She was impressed and commented to herself,
“What a deep commitment to Christ!” He also impressed her by not praying
lengthy prayers, to which they were so accustomed, and not very fond of!
Neither did he read his sermons. His most enthralling characteristic
however was that he didn’t open his Bible as he spoke. Memorized Scripture
passages simply flowed from his lips.
In that small town
everyone soon came to know him. People started talking about the Savior whom
he was proclaiming with power and conviction. The word went around that he
had the gift of discerning human thoughts! This greatly disturbed her. “How
can this be?” she reasoned. “What if he has discerned my thoughts?” After
hearing him, a deep desire burned in her heart to study and memorize the
Scriptures even as he had done. This aspiration caused her to read the Bible
more diligently. She never forgot the verses she memorized at that time.
After a productive summer in Zinjidere, he left for the south. Sporadic
reports of his effective ministry continued to reach them.
contemplation of the much-discussed book brought back past memories about
its author. Also the effect of the unfamiliar message on the Second Coming
was so all-consuming that it motivated her to learn all she could about her
Savior who would return to earth. She wanted to purchase all the
evangelist’s books in spite of Professor Krikorian’s warnings!
In 1904 she
finished elementary school. Being so near to Zinjidere, the logical choice
for her next step was to enroll at the American Academy for Girls in Talas.
The years there passed swiftly and enjoyably. She always talked
appreciatively about her years at the American Academy. Her time in Talas
was coming to an end. At this stage her main concern centered on future
service for the Savior. Having had a heart-warming encounter with Him and
being grounded in the Word of God, a sense of responsibility for service
gripped her heart.
For a trained girl
in Anatolia teaching was a greatly respected profession. It was a highly
appreciated contribution to the community. Before long, two offers for
teaching reached her. One was from the Evangelical orphanage in Zinjidere
and the other from the very school she had completed her education.
The invitation from
the orphanage came first, so received priority. The Academy was unhappy with
her choice. Aneta wanted to satisfy both institutions, so promised to return
to her school as soon as God opened the way. After saying goodbye to Talas,
she moved back to her home town.