Vassula's visit to Swaziland - Africa
February 2 - 4, 2001
The small organising committee based in Manzini, the capital of Swaziland were out en masse to greet Vassula as the flight from Jo'burg arrived early afternnoon on 2 February 2001. This was the first visit to the little country of Swaziland, often referred to as the little Switzerland of Africa, with its green undulating hills and a great sense of open space. The awaiting committee was easy to spot as several of them were clad in True Life in God 'T' shirts, bearing the beautiful face of Jesus and the invitation to live in peace and unity. There was a marked difference in the temperature there than that of Jo'burg in that it was much hotter and much more humid, but one could not say that the sun was not shining on Swaziland that day.
We were kindly driven by Octavia, one of the committee members, to the nearby hotel where Vassula was met and interviewed by a local television news network crew in the relaxed atmosphere of the hotel. This five minute interview, in which she was asked as to the reason she was here and what message she was bringing, was scheduled to be broadcast on the 7 and 8 pm news in Chichewa and English respectively, and which we were able to watch later on in the evening at the hotel. Vassula was portayed as the truly humble messenger and instrument of God that she is and that many of us have been given the grace to understand.
Before the interview was broadcast however, Vassula went to the University of Swaziland in Manzini, the Capita, to a room which had been reserved for a meeting with interested local clergy. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 2.30 pm, however as no one had yet turned up, Vassula took the opportunity to "spoil" the group and read them a message from the, as yet, unpublished notebook no.98, who all slapped each other on the leg in excitement as she offered this treat to them. "God is being offered to you to divinise you, Come and make me your property as an adoptive child". A journalist from the Christian Media centre, Miriam Maseka, had turned up to do a scheduled radio interview for two hours later, but she was present and was able to hear this message and also there when Vassula offered to pray over each member present.
Eventually at 5pm, three members of the clergy arrived; a Roman Catholic Priest, Rev Larry McDonnell and Pastor Guna Dlamini from the African Evangelical Church and Nhlankla Dlamini also from the same church. Two lay people from the Methodist church, Tom and Dorah Nhleko also came along as the Methodist Minister was unable to attend and had requested that he be represented by his parishioners. Vassula briefly discussed the messages and there was a short questions and answer session. One of the questions was: 'Is there a danger that in the desire for unity we invite those not invloved in the church to "enter"?'. When probed further, the person asking this question articulated that from the Catholic side of things, there is a fear that the reverence and understanding of The Eucharist will be misunderstood and then from a Protestant perspective that there is a concern that "heretics might enter?"
Vassula was able to use the example of Blantyre, Malawi regarding the meeting organised there for the clergy. She explained that almost 60 people came together for the first time in 32 years in some instances and that 10 denominations were represented. She continued by saying that Jesus reminds us that we continue to think as Man thinks and not as God. (In Volume one of the messages, Our Blessed Mother through Vassula told us something similiar, "Child this is the way men tend to think; Do not forget His teachings; Jesus wants that His works are acknowledged with Grace", - 7 September 1987). She concluded by reminding us of the message that Jesus gave us on October 27 1987, "Orthodox! Catholic! Protestants! You all belong to Me! You are all One in My Eyes! I do not make any distinction, so then why fear?
Another question raised was that many children who have come to the Catholic church in particular already have poor self images due to their poverty and social circumstances. The Catholic Priest raising the question added that it had often taken years to build up people's self image... How then can we ask people to die to themselves? On answering this question, Vassula without have to collect herself and without hesitation said, tell them," You are Offspring of the Most High, You descend from Royalty". In an almost tangible silence, there was an acceptance of that answer as if Jesus had just given it to all there present, Himself. This meeting concluded about 6.30 and Vassula was able to return to the hotel where another journalist form the local Sunday Times Newspaper was waiting for her, the result of which appeared in the newspaper on Sunday 4 February.
The following day,3 February, the day of the big meeting arranged to take place in the muti purpose hall of Kwaluseni university campus was scheduled to start at 1pm. It was a particularly hot day well into the thirties, and not a puff of wind felt. The hall had no electric fans and about 250 people gathered waving their individual programmes back and forwards near their faces to provide some relief from the oppresive heat. Introduced by Mze from the organising committee, the 250 strong crowd were asked how far they had all come to attend the meeting. Many people had come from all over Swaziland and Winnie and Gracinda had also come all the way from Jo'burg. Father Larry then recited a beautiful prayer from the heart asking for unity in Christ's Mystical Body, the Church. When Vassula spoke, she first of all asked the crowd of people present, how many had never heard of the messages at all and most people raised their hands. This gave Vassula an idea as to what she needed to explain to those attending.
It had been anticipated that the King of Swaziland would send a representative to the meeting. He had sent a Minister from His Government who also happened to be a Protestant Minister of the Church. As he sat up on the rostrum, Bible by his side, he listened along with all the people very intently and seemed to hang on every word being spoken. Vassula began by explaining how the messgaes are received and the fact that when God speaks, it is for a reason and for the benefit of the church. God will always help His people come back to Him in time of rebellion. She continued by explaining how alive Scripture is. The times we are living in are the "end of times........, not the end of the world but the end of one of the most evil epochs", alluded to in Thessalonian 2 Chapter 2, where the Divine Truth is being rejected known as the Apostasy, in Ezekiel 28 and in Matthew 24 where we are told that Daniel's prophecy is being fulfilled now. Vassula then continued by saying, "Everything that is good comes form God, whom we offend when we do not thank Him for all the Blessings we receive". We were reminded that we should all behave as nobility as we are His Seed and therefore Sovereign. She gave a few words on unity and about the unification of the dates of Easter and then concluded with reading form Volume one on the description of the crucifixion, November 6 1986. She emphasised on the need for all of us to repent from our hearts.
As the choir and all present burst into song, "Woza moya Ongumdali", a hymn to the Holy Spirit, one could tell from the reaction that these people had truly been touched by God's Holy Spirit. The Minister of Education stood up to make a concluding speech in which he said that he had come to the meeting very sceptically, as Swaziland had had her share of people proclaiming to have "messages from God" and then proven to be false prophets and visionaries who made a lucrative business from making such claims. He said that he was in no doubt that everything he had listened to was from God and he had no hesitation to say so by reinforcing that everything he had heard was steeped in Scripture. The whole hall erupted into thunderous applause and praise to God.
The whole day was made perfect by an evening gathering at Nandi's house where a truly ecumenical gathering took place. We were about 25 people in all ranging from Greek Orthodox, Protestants,Catholics, Africans Europeans, Adults and Youth all giving thanks and praise to Our Father in Heaven for such a wonderful gift to His people of Swaziland. This new family in True Life in God is truly loved by God and as they accompanied Vassula to the airport on Sunday 4 February for her return flight to Jo'burg, there were plans already afoot to keep the fire burning.