Mission to Santo Domingo
February 1-5, 2009
On Sunday lst February 2009, following the successful completion of the retreat in Monterrey, we set off for the airport in Mexico on our way to Santo Domingo. With us on this journey was Hilda Farah who translates Vassula's talks into Spanish. When we arrived at the airport, we discovered that the flight to Santo Domingo via Miami had been unexpectedly canceled without explanation by the airline. The old saying 'you can tell a good day from the morning' expresses exactly the difficulties and obstacles that came our way not only on that day but during the whole trip. The cancellation of our flights was one of many signs.
The choice we were offered by the airport clerk was to take the next flight for Miami, to spend the night there and fly on to Santo Domingo the next day. The delay, however, would affect all the programme. On Vassula's insistence, another flight to Miami was found via Cancun and from there to Santo Domingo, which flight was departing in 50 minutes.
The scenes which followed are beyond description. The lack of experience of the young clerk who was dealing with us and the absence of a more senior employee for more than half an hour kept us glued to the desk and in danger of losing the flight and then the connection. In the end, our whole itinerary was altered - we had to change plane three times, one of the air tickets was lost for the Miami-Santo Domingo leg and a solution was found with the help of the pilot during the flight, they did not change our on-going tickets, half our cases were left in Miami, the rest continuing for Santo Domingo, we went through incredibly thorough check-ups and naturally we lost the connection. We then took the next flight for Santo Domingo. We were changing planes and airports from nine in the morning and finally arrived at our destination at 11.30 at night where Piroska and Maria were waiting for us.
Vassula's mission to Santo Domingo, a new country for the reading of the Messages of True Life In God, started with threats and attacks. While Vassula was still in Los Angeles, different events took place in Santo Domingo in the days immediately before her arrival.
The Cardinal called Piroska, organiser of Vassula's talks there, saying that Vassula's visit to the country was forbidden and he threatened to excommunicate Piroska if she continued. All the volunteers immediately backed away as did the other organiser who said that Vassula's visit should be canceled. The hall in which the talk was scheduled to take place was canceled and Piroska was told that no place would be available to host Vassula's talks and no hotel would accept her. This left Piroska completely alone but she was not afraid. Her response to the Cardinal and everyone else was that she would be answerable only to God.
This event was an unhappy surprise but, knowing that everything is in God's hands we prayed in the little church in the house of the Mansour's in Los Angeles, offering the Holy Rosary to God's intentions and for Vassula's mission to Santo Domingo. At the end of the prayers, Vassula opened the Messages of TLIG at random at the message of 19th June 1990:"I am; peace be with you; honour Me by imitating Me, glorify Me by loving Me, sanctify your body, since I live in you, by eating Me and by drinking Me; adore Me, thirst for Me, repair for those who do not love Me and are blinded by their intellect and who cannot tell their right hand from their left; pray that they may realise that they need perception so as to not deviate, like many of them do now, from My Words; pray that they may understand that what I want from these wise men is adoration, I want them to come and do Me homage like the first shepherds and like the Magi; I know that I have in My Hands a mere child; do not fear, do I not know where I am sending you?"
Monday 2nd February
It was very obvious that Vassula and whoever worked for the glory of God was opposed by so many attacks from the forces of evil during this journey. 'The Message saves lives' said Vassula and its influence on the people of the country will be significant.
Piroska first heard of the Messages in May 2008 and believed deeply. She worked hard to bring to fruition her desire to invite Vassula to her country. Vassula's mission started with an interview with the newspaper "Diario Libre", millions of copies of which are distributed free throughout the country. The appointment was at the offices of the newspaper where the Cuban-origin journalist greeted her with joy, asking her about Greece and saying that it was his dream to visit her country and to see the Acropolis. His article contained a short biography of Vassula referring to her charism to write whatever Christ dictates and an announcement of her forthcoming speech.
At the last moment, a very nice hall in the State University was found for her speech with a 1,000 person capacity. After the interview, we went to the university in order to help Piroska organise the room. Many students circulate in the huge university garden, in small and large groups, talking and enjoying their coffee. We had the possibility of distributing the flyers with the announcement of the talk in the amphitheater of the university. Hilda and I separated and went in different directions giving out 5,000 flyers.
The evening of the same day at 8 pm the television interview was broadcast on "Color Vision Channel 9". The programme was live and was heard by a very large audience. The interviewer welcomed Vassula to his programme saying that it was a great honour that a mystic of our times had accepted to appear and be interviewed. He explained the difference between being a mystic and a religious person in the following words. 'A mystic is a person who has a call from God to speak with holy inspiration and is the instrument through whom God expresses His Will. A religious person is one who believes in God and carries out His religious duties.'
The interview lasted about half and hour. Vassula answered the questions and Hilda translated into Spanish. At the end, the reporter announced the speech which was going to take place the next day and thanked her for accepting his invitation to talk on his programme.
Tuesday 3 February
The day began with yet another radio interview on the Diario Listing 99.7 station, on the programme entitled "At 12pm". The programme is addressed to an audience in the 18-35 age range. The two young journalists welcomed Vassula and announced to the audience that they were hosting a Greek lady who was visiting their country in order to bring a joyful message. With great surprise they listened to Vassula speaking about the Messages of True Life In God which she receives, explaining why this is a very valuable gift from God in our days, that God is a person, not an abstract meaning; he listens to us and sees us, He has feelings and wants to express Himself through his Messages in a way that everyone can understand. Vassula confirmed that she herself has no financial gain from her speeches nor from the sale of the books.
Their questions were simple and spontaneous and Vassula's answers responded to their questions and doubts. Their enthusiasm was obvious as was their desire to learn more about her mission and the way she communicates with Christ and her relationship with Him. They made an announcement about the speech scheduled for that evening adding that they themselves would be trying not to miss it.
On the evening of the same day in the lecture hall in the University of Santo Domingo, Vassula gave her talk. The programme started with a small young group of singers who sang hymns and immediately after Vassula started speaking with Hilda translating. About 150 people including a priest and a nun attended her witnessing which lasted about an hour.
As usual, Vassula greeted and thanked all in attendance that had given their time to come and hear her speak. She began with a prayer then spoke a little about the beginning of her experience. During the speech she covered important subjects referred to in the Messages - the greatness of God, how in order to know God we need repentance and conversion in our hearts, prayer and abandonment to the Holy Spirit who comes as teacher and companion. She said that Christ calls us today and uses every possible means to bring us closer to Him, his presence is obvious. Vassula then read extracts from the Messages. She referred to the seeds of these Messages all over the world and the creation of the Beth Myriams.
At the end she thanked Piroska for her organisation and the courage she showed by staying firm and strong in spite of the attacks. She spoke of the prayer groups and asked those who wanted to join the prayer groups to remain behind after the talk. About 30 people stayed behind and Vassula explained to them that the creation of prayer groups in TLIG was a desire of Our Lord and that group prayer is a powerful tool of the faithful before evil.
Everyone bought the TLIG books in Spanish which had been sent from Mexico and all spoke with enthusiasm about Vassula and the speech. Most had seen the TV interview, some had read the article in the newspaper, others had heard the radio interview, some students had seen posters and some had even read some of the TLIG books and were trying to find the remainder in bookshops.
Wednesday 4 February
In the morning, Vassula was invited by Channel 45 to give her last interview on the programme "En Pocos Minutos". The young interviewer, who was 19 years old, had studied his subject. His questions were lucid and direct and he did not hide his satisfaction with the replies he received. At the end of the interview, he confessed that he was impressed with Vassula's simplicity and that he had experienced a sense of stage fright at the prospect of meeting, for the first time, a person that Christ is using in our days to remind mankind that he is the Word, choosing this way to make known His will.
With the help of the Lord, Piroska organised Vassula's speech and four interviews, two on TV, one on the radio and one in a newspaper with a very wide circulation. From these interviews, the people who had come to the meeting and many more were informed about Vassula's visit. On this last day of our visit to Santo Domingo, Piroska was kind enough to offer Vassula and colleagues some hours of rest on a beautiful beach outside the capital. We returned early in the evening in order to prepare to leave on the morning of the next day.
The evil attacks came suddenly like a thunderstorm! At the moment when I was taking a shower, I actually felt the anger and the hate which shattered the 2 metre high 6mm thick shower screen into thousands of pieces causing, miraculously, only minor injury. I felt at the same time the blessing and protection of Christ; I felt no fear nor panic, I was only shocked and I thank the Lord from the bottom of my heart.
Thursday 5 February
The moment of our departure was the most difficult. Piroska accompanied us almost tearfully to the airport. How tenderly Our Lord unites the lives of people that have never met before - from different countries and continents - for His work and His glory. The mission of Vassula in this new country was complete. Nothing stops the work of Christ and we were witnesses of the events. We experienced the methods that the devil uses in order to obstruct the diffusion, the knowledge and the conversion arising from the Messages of TLIG. Our Lord had anyway warned us with the message He had given to Vassula at the beginning of her mission to Santo Domingo: "Do I not know where I am sending you?"