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The next day we went to the burning hot, ancient city of Petra where, after a long walk, we celebrated Holy Mass in a simple chapel – almost out in the open – with great joy. The chief celebrant was Bishop Anil Couto. The journey back to the bus park was hard work for some, especially if they had the courage to take a buggy ride! Some who had been here before, and knew better, rode a horse.

Holy Mass at the Byzantine Church in Petra, Jordan
Holy Mass at the Byzantine Church in Petra, Jordan

The Imam, the Buddhist leader and the Hindu leader during the Liturgy
The Imam, the Buddhist leader and the Hindu leader during the Liturgy

Petra, Jordan
Petra, Jordan

Petra, Jordan
Petra, Jordan

Petra Temple

It is likely that this is the area visited by St. Paul after his escape from Damascus. What must it have been like then?

The next day we left Petra and returned to Amman. On the way we went to Mount Nebo from where Moses had seen the Promised Land (Deut 32: 48-52) and where he died (Deut 34: 1-5).

There we celebrated the Orthodox Liturgy. The main celebrant was Father Hernando Garcia Garcia.

After the Mass the bishops and priests were joined by our Moslem, Buddhist and Hindu friends for a photograph.

Clergy with Vassula after the Liturgy, Nt. Nebo.
Clergy with Vassula after the Liturgy, Mt. Nebo

Bishop Anil Couto, icons were blessed after the LiturgyMt. Nebo Church
Bishop Anil Couto, icons were blessed after the Liturgy (left), Mt. Nebo Church (right)

What is the spiritual meaning of this visit to Mt. Nebo? Isn’t it something to do with looking again at our calling, trusting in the promises of the Lord, understanding that, unlike Moses, we are being called to go on into the Promised Land of UNITY? The Lord called us to look in faith at what is ahead of us. The prophecies of Holy Scripture are being fulfilled before our eyes and we must go forward in HOPE and TRUST, following the New Moses, JESUS CHRIST, The Way, The Truth and The Life.

View from Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land
View from Mt. Nebo overlooking the Promised Land

Mt. Aaron in the Mt. Nebo region
Mt. Aaron in the Mt. Nebo region

The farewell dinner buffet was held at the Hotel Marriott in Amman. It is always sad to say goodbye after we have spent so many challenging and grace-filled days together. But “goodbye” often contains the hope of “until next time” – in Greece, perhaps. Such a farewell meal is also a meal of thanksgiving for all that God has allowed us to share together.

For those who were left, which was a sizeable number, there was a visit to Gerasa, or Jerash, which has wrongly been associated with a place where Jesus performed an exorcism (Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39). St. Matthew’s Gospel places that event at Gadara. That is the more likely location since there seems to be no lake in the area of Gerasa, and, as we know the “Gadarene swine” ran over a cliff into the sea (Matt 8: 28-34), which sea was most probably the Sea of Galilee. However, Jerash was important for other reasons and the Roman ruins are some of the best in the world although there is little dating from pre-Christian times.

Jerash, Jordan, with the Imam
Jerash, Jordan, with the Imam

The Liturgy of the day took place at the Anglican Church in Amman. The celebrant was Bishop Orlando Guerrero. We were welcomed very warmly by members of this community. A homily was given by Canon Samir J. Habiby. This was a wonderful and important occasion; the Holy Spirit was most certainly in our midst.

Anglican Liturgy
Anglican Liturgy

With Thanksgiving and Hope.

For the vast majority, the Pilgrimage was over. Only a few were left, and they departed a day later

This was a difficult and also eventful pilgrimage. There were some challenging moments and some moving experiences. During the Pilgrimage, especially in the hotels at the evening get-togethers, different people shared their insights into the messages and spoke of their hopes for unity and renewal. Some of those who shared impressed us with their courage and devotion. There was also a sense of fun from time to time and plenty of laughter. There were also a few tears; tears of joy and tears of pain. Many of us will not quickly forget the moving healing service with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, led by Henri Le May and Father Raphael. Did healing take place? When Christ is present there is always healing. Perhaps we will have to wait for some to share the joy of their healing before we really understand how blessed we were on that evening.

One of the most important blessings of any True Life in God Pilgrimage is the presence and participation of Vassula. Christ has chosen her to be our special guiding light. She did not fail us.

Patriarch Gregorios and Vassula, Jordan
Patriarch Gregorios and Vassula, Jordan

From the beginning, the Mother of Jesus was present, and Mary remained with us, encouraging us, especially through the Rosary, and like a mother, helped us remain childlike when the journey was hard.

The Lord Jesus, of course, was everywhere: "We, Us!" on the buses, in the dining rooms, in the private conversations, with those who laughed and with those who cried. Above all, we are called to loving intimacy with Him. This call was repeated and renewed on our 2005 Pilgrimage. Without this intimacy we cannot advance, for without Christ there is no True Life in God.

Reverend Father John Abberton

 
Pilgrimages & International Retreats
11th Ecumenical True Life in God Pilgrimage to Russia
Loutraki Greece 2016
10th True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage in Italy
Rhodes 2012
9th True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage in the Holy Land
8th Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Rome
Rhodes, Greece 2010
Evangelization Retreat in Rome 2010
Biblical Greece Pilgrimage 2009
Mexico Retreat 2009
Egypt Gathering April 2008
Brazilian Retreat 2008
Biblical Turkey Pilgrimage 2007
Barcelona Retreat 2006
Lebanon, Syria and Jordan Pilgrimage 2005
    The Official Pilgrimage Report
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg1
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg2
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg3
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg4
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg5
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg6
        The Official Pilgrimage Report - pg7
    Renunciation
    President of Lebanon Greets Vassula and TLIG Pilgrims
    Cardinal Sfeir
    Advisor to the King of Jordan Addresses Vassula and TLIG Pilgrims
    An Example of Unity in the East
    Pilgrimage Photo Gallery
    The "True Life in God" family visited Maghdouche and Our Lady of Mantara
    Bishop Anil Couto
Meteora Retreat 2004
Egypt Pilgrimage 2002
Holy Land Pilgrimage 2000
Holy Land Pilgrimage 1998

11th Ecumenical True Life in God Pilgrimage to Russia
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Loutraki Greece 2016
International retreat in Loutraki Greece, 2016
 

10th True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage in Italy
"Exploring Sacred Destinations" from October 10th - 17th, 2015
 

Rhodes 2012
Inner Healing and Deliverance
 

9th True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage in the Holy Land
"Biblical Revival" from August 25 - September 2, 2013
 

8th Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Rome
September 3 - 11, 2011
 

Rhodes, Greece 2010
330 people from 33 countries gather in Rhodes, Greece for a retreat focused on understanding and protecting ourselves from Satan, demons and evil spirits.
 

Evangelization Retreat in Rome 2010
Powerful retreat led by Fr. Otfried to revitalize evangelization in Europe
 

Biblical Greece Pilgrimage 2009
7th True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage
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Mexico Retreat 2009
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Egypt Gathering April 2008
Participating together in the Greek Orthodox Easter while contemplating the Mystery of the Passion of Our Lord.
 

Brazilian Retreat 2008
True Life in God South American TLIG Retreat and Evangelization in Brazil, 31 March - 6 April 2008
 

Biblical Turkey Pilgrimage 2007

 

Barcelona Retreat 2006
4th Iberoamerican Ecumenical Retreat, 12th - 17th May 2006, Begues (Barcelona), Spain
 

Lebanon, Syria and Jordan Pilgrimage 2005
5th International Ecumenical TLIG Pilgrimage
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Meteora Retreat 2004
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Holy Land Pilgrimage 2000
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