Canada, Venezuela and Chile, April 2002
After a day at New York, Vassula and I arrived, late in the evening, through Calgary at Lethbridge, in the middle of a still snow covered Canada, by propeller plane.
Sandi and Len Whyte were waiting for us at the airport. Sandi, TV producer and Len, TV Chief engineer, both worked for the "Miracle channel" and invited Vassula for two TV interviews. The Miracle channel is an Ecumenical Christian TV covering Canada and part of the north US. It's focused on Protestantism and open to Unity.
The first interview was live on the air and on the Internet at the same time. (Vassula's two TV interviews can be heard on the website at: /soundmediap.html ) Vassula, in her simple way, talked about the early days of the messages, the days with her Angel, about his tenderness and the joy she felt through this communication, as if she had put her feet in Heaven. She explained about the way she receives the Divine messages and the change in her writing without any pressure. She talked about her mission for the benefit of the Church, since it was God that commanded her to: "Go out and tell them.."
Her talk was captivating and relaxed and the telephone center of the Miracle Channel was on fire, reaching peak numbers, "the biggest ever audience feedback" as Sandi and Len informed us afterwards. All in all, her speech was based on the Holy Spirit, the 2nd Pentecost and the renewal of the Church. At the end Paul, the host asked Vassula to summarize her mission. She replied with God's command to her: "Revive My Church."
After a short lunch break we came back on the set to do the next interview for the "Lifeline". This is the anchor program of the channel and is hosted by Joan and Dr. Dick Dewert, president of the Miracle Channel. The program was video taped, not live as the first one. Dr. Dick and Joan were very excited listening to Vassula explaining how everything will change and will be transformed through the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that people spiritually dead are running now like the Samaritan woman, to tell everybody how sweet is the Lord. They commented also on the message for Canada of March 4, 1992
After the interview we left Lethbridge by car enjoying the scenery and stayed for the night at Calgary.
Early in the morning we started the long trip to Caracas, Venezuela. At the airport we had read in the newspaper about a political crisis in Caracas with major demonstrations and riots. When we arrived there, later that night, Maria Trevino, Benito Prieto and two nuns, Hermana Saint Louis (about 95 years of age) and Hermana Amparo with other TLIG people were waiting for us. Their reception was really warm with the same joy and excitement that our worldwide family shares on such occasions. But great also was their sorrow for the people that died in the riots. According to the latest news, the riots were under control and a General was temporarily governing the country.
The Armenian Bishop of Caracas, Mons. Gomidas Ohanian, had invited every Ecclesiastical authority of Caracas (about 15 people) to an Ecumenical meeting at this Archdiocese, in order to introduce Vassula and her mission to them.
When we arrived, Mons. Gomidas Ohanian presented to Vassula some paintings of Our Lady he painted himself and chatted with her about painting. Eventually everybody else arrived. After short introductions at the garden, we went at the Cathedral for a memorial service for those that died the previous day in the riots. What a wonderful Ecumenical service it was. There, in front of the altar, they stood all of them around Vassula and Mons. Gomidas Ohanian. Representing Cardinal Velasco was Fr. Vinke Ramon, secretary of the Church Council of Caracas, then Mons. Orlando Guerrero, Bishop of the Anglican Church of Venezuela and Andean Countries, then Mons. Popa Costica, Bishop of the Orthodox Romanian Church with an escorting priest, next to Mons. Georges Kahhale Zouhairaty, Bishop - Exarca & Apostolico of the Greek - Melkites Catholics of Venezuela, and Mons. Joseph Dib, vicar of the Archbishop of the Catholic Orthodox and Apostolic Church of Venezuela next to fr. Raphael Bayed Mardeni, legal advisor of the churches counsel and fr. Emmanuel Remoundakis of the Greek Orthodox Church, and a few others.
One after the other, each prayed in his language and tradition. Spanish mixed with English, Arabic, Greek, Romanian, and Latin forming a celestial hymn. After that we went at the parish hall where a brunch was prepared. The Armenian Bishop talked to them about Vassula's mission and the fruits. Then, one after the other, each added a word or two as most of them already knew about True Life in God. Hermana Amparo started witnessing and talked about a letter she sent to the Holy Father to defend TLIG back in the early days of the Notification, and to her surprise, his encouraging response. All that made Fr. Emmanuel, the Greek Orthodox priest, approach Vassula telling her with tenderness in his voice: "Daughter is it true all this wonderful things I hear about you? Why don't you come over to my parish Church tonight for the "salutations" (in the Orthodox tradition, on Fridays during Lent, we venerate Our Lady with wonderful litanies of Hail Mary called "salutations") and after you can tell me all about it."
Vassula accepted the invitation and we went there at the Orthodox Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, later that evening after we visited two of the Beth Myriams in Caracas. There, in great surprise for all of us, just before the end of the Ceremony, Fr. Emmanuel said to the audience about the grace of having among us a prophet of the Lord, an instrument of God's Mercy and invited Vassula to speak to them. Vassula spoke for about ten minutes. In few words she explained about the start with her Angel and all the things that followed, changing not only her life but also a lot of other people's life too and invited everybody for the next day's meeting. Then at the parish hall, all the Greek people came around Vassula and talked with her, taking some pictures. Before we left, Fr. Emmanuel asked for all the books in Greek for his Church. So, after I returned to Greece, we sent him some sets of all the volumes.
Later on that evening, during dinner, Hermana Saint Louis introduced Vassula to seven or eight other sisters of her congregation and two young Catholic priests.
Before I continue with the main meeting, I have to come back and share with you the visit to the two Beth Myriams, earlier on that day. The first one was the Propatria Beth Myiam. Located in the poor side of Caracas, where most of the houses are made out of clay bricks, in a square opposite the parish Church. In the small veranda a big statue of Our Lady of the Mount Carmel, indicates the uniqueness of this house, the property of the TLIG association, as it is bought with loans and donations from the group. The place was packed with people waiting to meet with Vassula. The parish priest was also there to welcome her. Everything was amazingly clean and in order. A living room with sofa and couches, a big family table for the dinning room, three or four smaller bedrooms, a big kitchen with all the essential electrical appliances and a small garden on the backyard with another outdoor dinning space. About 230 people are served daily here. This is not a mere shelter but it feels like home, actually like Our Lady's home. The joy on their happy faces makes you soon realize that this is a real Vineyard bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The second one is the Puente Hierro Beth Myriam. Located also in a poor neighborhood of Caracas. This place is property of Fr. Mancini and is run by donations. 20 TLIG people take care of the place. The house was also packed from people waiting for Vassula. It's clean and everything is in order as well, despite some work in progress. The dining room with some tables and the kitchen, with all the necessary facilities and a small chapel, are already accommodating 375 people daily, not all of them served in house, but also as "take out" or delivered to them from volunteers. A couple of freshly painted rooms, are being prepared to accommodate a first aid medical facility run by a volunteer doctor and a nurse to comfort the people of the streets. There are also bathroom facilities and storage rooms as well for food supplies and clothing. The big surprise was in an upper room. There, in cooperation with the local prayer group of St. Padre Pio, the volunteer doctor and the nurse take care of six 2 - 7 years old orphans, after their parents passed away because of the HIV disease.
The work that the TLIG people are doing in Caracas is incredible. They established the Beth Myriams in two years. No wonder why Cardinal Velasco of Caracas decorated, in public, ten people for their actions. Five of them are from the True Life in God association and five from the parishes of the Beth Myriams.
At 09:00 we arrived at the "Parque Naciones Unidas". The 95 years old Hermana Saint Louis grabbed Vassula's hand and drove her to the stadium. About 7000 - 8000 were gathered. Fr. Mancini exposed the Holy Sacrament in Adoration while praying the rosary. When the angelic figure of Sister Louis appeared next to Vassula, the people started cheering.
The political situation was still troubled with new riots on the streets, but this time from the opposing side. This made it difficult for people to come, especially from people outside Caracas. Under different circumstances, this number could be easily doubled. What a festive atmosphere, people not far from us were fighting for earthly political ideas whereas the people here were sharing a heavenly joy praising the Lord singing and dancing.
In her talk Vassula emphasized the fact that their presence was not by "luck" as this word doesn't exist on His vocabulary but it was indeed a Call. A Call to became apostles of the end of times, a Call to Christianize a de-christianized generation. She also spoke about how many people today value more the energies of natural elements, like crystals and metals etc. instead of seeking the incomparable Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Before the end, Vassula asked everyone to stand up and prayed together the wonderful prayer of St. Gertrude the Great, that Jesus promised would release 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said:
"Eternal Father, I Offer Thee The Precious Blood Of Thy Divine Son Jesus In Union With The Masses Said Throughout The Whole World Today For All The Holy Souls In Purgatory"
(Approval and Recommendation Cardinal Lisbon, Portugal Mar. 4, 1936 - The prayer may be usefully changed to pray for the most forgotten souls or any other specified groups of Souls.)
After the talk, we left for the airport. Canelon, our driver, through a mobile phone, was seeking information for open and safe streets to take us there, away from the riots.
On the plane to Santiago, Chile we heard the latest news, the crisis had ended and the previous government was back in control.
It was after midnight when we arrived at Santiago, Chile. There a family reunion again, Olga Gajardo, Fanny and Alvaro Barros, Elizabeth Pennycook and Cristina Alliende were waiting for us. New people for me, but the hug, the joy and the warmhearted and enthusiastic reception were the same.
The day started with the Sunday Mass at "Las Pequenas Almas" with Fr. Contardo and a short visit to the small bookstore next to the Church where you can get TLIG books.
The meeting was at Don Bosco's Gym at 13:00. About 3000 people were gathered with a few people from far away places such as Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and a couple from Greece (after the talk they came to offer Vassula some "kourampiedes" traditional home made Greek cookies). A unique band and choir, all of them ex-prisoners, converted from the TLIG messages, were singing Hymns and songs. Vassula's talk was mainly focused on the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these days of the end of times we live in, inviting all of them to live the messages, not only to read them, so that everyone will be an apostle. She finished her talk again with the St. Gertrude's prayer and Blessings of the Holy Spirit.
In the evening, Alvaro and Fanny Barros prepared a farewell dinner for Vassula. All the TLIG people that assist in preparing the successful meeting were there, Olga Gajardo, Elizabeth Pennycook, Cristina Alliende, as well Fr.Harry Peterson and a few people that came all the way from Peru and Uruguay. It was a relaxing evening after a heavy week.
After breakfast we left for the airport, the long return trip had started.
All I can say, after this unique opportunity of traveling with Vassula on a mission trip like this, is that no matter how extended or detailed a report may be, if you don't live it, you can't imagine the excitement. The physical strength that Our Lord gives to His obedient instrument, passes somehow to the one who travels with her. The fatigue is minimal for such an effort and the grace is incomparable.