Today we got a letter in the mail from a Spanish lawyer (I mean, he lives in Spain) purporting a great family fortune lies in wait for my husband.  We know that it is a hoax, of course, but on a whim we went looking for the Spanish branch of Ed's family (Zirkwitz) that has apparently passed away with no heir, no other person on the planet with the same surname to claim the substantial funds.  For whatever reason, I went well beyond Google's first page (I actually found some other interesting quasi-genealogical information translated from Polish into sorry English about an Evangelical Lutheran Pastor in 1897 Poland, we believe to be the father or grandfather of Ed's cousin who lives in Germany).  And there, on page 3, was an odd little piece of script from the Adventist Archives that mentioned that in 1971 the Voice of Prophecy Bible School had granted a certification of completion to its 500,000th Bible Studies student... my young boy-husband at age 21.

You can imagine how excited we were to find this blast from the past!  We made something like eleven moves in the first five years of our marriage so this particular journal article (from page 5 of the Southern Union Record,) never made the cut.  I DIDN'T study the Bible with VOP then (or ever) and wasn't baptized for another 22 years after this article was printed on December 11, 1971 (oddly enough, the first birthday of our oldest child).  I do, however, have a recollection of the photographer coming to take Ed's picture for event.  About four years ago at the Hope Camp Meeting Ed had the opportunity to talk to the Voice of Prophecy representative there and told him this story and we had our picture taken then, both of us.  Whenever we mention that Ed was the 500,000th student of the Voice of Prophecy Bible School, people look at us a little sceptically.  I praise the Lord for his good solid start with the VOP on KARI (Blaine, Washington) back in 1971 and for his willingness to continue to follow his Lord and Saviour until the end.  God wants us to realize just how great a treasure we have been blessed with-- a monetary fortune could never measure up!

Here is the article for anyone who might be interested:

VOICE  OF  PROPHECY Bible Course Graduates Now Total 500,000

Bible  study  by  correspondence  has reached  an  important  milepost  at  The Voice  of  Prophecy  —  a  half  million graduates since  the  English  Bible  school was  begun  in  1942.  The  young man who  happened to  be number  500,000  is  Edwin  E.  Zirkwitz, 21,  a  Simon  Eraser  University  student
in  Vancouver,  British  Columbia.

Bible  school  records  show  that  Zirkwitz  began  the  Faith  Bible  course  May 27  and  completed  the  40-lesson  course just  three  months  later.  Upon  discovery  that Zirkwitz was  the half-millionth  graduate,  W.  W.  Rogers, British  Columbia  radio-TV  secretary, was  asked  to  deliver the  course  diploma
and  extend  to  him  the  congratulations  of  the  entire  broadcast  and  Bible school  staff.

When Mr. Zirkwitz was enrolled,  Pastor  George  Atiga,  Bible  school  instructor,  was  assigned  to  care  for  his  lessons. Pastor  Atiga  is  one  of  18  Bible  instructors  in  the  school  each  of  whom  receives  and  grades  thousands  of  lessons every  month  from  students  in  the  11 courses  offered  by  The  Voice  of  Prophecy.  From  the  establishment  of  the  Bible school  until  the  first  100,000  students were  graduated  took  18  years.  Last year  12,452  persons  were  graduated from  the  various  courses.  During  the same  period  some  2,143  graduates  accepted  Christ  and  were  baptized. Zirkwitz  is  now  observing  the  seventh-day  Sabbath  and  is  attending  the Vancouver  Central  Seventh-day  Adventist  Church,  where  he  was  baptized November  6. ~C. Elwyn Plainer Widgets