Vassula in Zambia - Africa
Kabwe - Lusaka, January 11, 1999
First contact with True Life in God Message
I originally knew of Christ’s Messages being received by Visionary Vassula Ryden through Mrs Maggret Chandu - a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Member from the same Parish with me - the Holy Trinity Parish in late 1996 after her testimony when she wept after watching video No 1 (The meeting Vassula had at Franciscan Center in USA). This happened soon after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in May 1996.
I must inform you however that I received my water baptism, as a youth, on the 18 December 1956 at the Holy Family Mission in the then Caprivi Strip - now a Province of Namibia. In 1968 I contracted a marriage outside the Catholic Church and because of this act I could not partake in the Holy Sacraments, but both my wife and I never stopped going to Church on Sundays and during Church feasts.
In 1975 I was found with high blood pressure and this illness got worse every year. In 1968 I moved to Kabwe in Central Zambia from Katete in Eastern Zambia. In 1996 my heart condition got worse and my neighbour - a Catholic Charismatic asked me to accompany her to Charismatic prayers on Saturdays so that the group could pray for me. At first I avoided her, but finally after her repeated requests I went with her reluctantly. From that day I continued to pray in this charismatic group and soon after this my High Blood Pressure condition just disappeared up to this day!
I went through 'Life in the Spirit Seminars' for seven weeks after which I was baptized through the Holy Spirit on Pentecostal Sunday, in May 1996 together with wife, my daughter, my son and my sister in law. During Life in The Spirit Seminar we were strongly urged to regularize our marriage so that we could go back to the Sacraments. This we did soon after our seven weeks of marriage lessons and counseling, after which our marriage was blessed and regularized. In the month of September 1996 we went back to the Sacraments after a break of 29 years.
In June 1998 my oldest son and my 'Christmas daughter - Manyando' who was born on Christmas day 25 December 1988 were baptized in the Holy Spirit. At the moment all my children except one, who grew up in a Seventh Day Adventist family, are all Charismatic! Baptism in the Holy Spirit gave me new dawn of exiting experiences, I pray for the sick and the Lord uses me to cast demons from the possessed. I do this every Sunday, I want to pay the Lord for healing me of the killer disease.
How I got the tapes and came to know True Life in God Messages:
Suddenly one morning, I felt something, strongly urging me to look for Video Tape No 1 from which Mrs. Chanda gave her testimonies - it took me the whole day to locate the lady who had this tape. When I finally watched it, it gave me the hunger to watch more and try to find books or tapes or anything that could give me more information about Vassula and the messages she receives from Christ. I wrote to Trinitas in America, for information and materials that would help my Charismatic Renewal Prayer Group to grow at the Holy Trinity Parish. I further asked Trinitas to help us in Zambia especially Kabwe by appointing someone who could help distribute TLIG materials locally. I gave Trinitas the postal address and phone number of Fr Christian a Charismatic Priest. I was convinced that Fr Christian could help Trinitas distribute the books or any other materials that would be sent to him.
Your Express Air Mail letter, excited me, as I had expected to receive a big consignment of materials from you but when I saw a bare envelope at the Post Office; I was extremely disappointed. When I read your letter informing me the possibility of Vassula’s visit to Kabwe after an extension from Ivory Coast and Kenya, you further assured me that you could easily arrange that she visits Zambia in January; since Zambia was close to Kenya. You however informed me that Zambia will have to share to pay a third of the cost of the air ticket between Kenya, Ivory Coast and now Zambia.
The cost of this proposal was prohibitive on the Charismatic Membership in Kabwe, mainly due to donor fatigue after organizing the 2nd National Open Catholic Charismatic Rally which was hosted by the people in Kabwe from 28 to 30 August 1998. In spite of this I contacted a few people, but all of them told me that it was not wise to try and ask for financial assistance again so soon after the Rally. If I said yes to the proposal it would have meant that we needed to raise ZK 1,000,000.00 to ZK 2,000,000.00 for the return Air ticket! This was not possible in this town.
I sent a reply to you saying Kabwe could not afford the visit, due lack of money but I hinted that I expected Vassula to visit Zambia before the end of 1999, in spite of having her tour schedule being full up to the year 2000! After this I gave up all hope for her visit due to financial difficulties. After this everything about the tour was over and done with.
Soon after posting the reply; Fr Christian started a 9 day Novena in which I participated. I asked the Lord through the Novena that if it were His will to allow Vassula to visit Kabwe, let His will be done for the glory to His name. After this, I left everything in the hands of the good Lord.
Nine days of Novena at the Holy Trinity Parish:
On 24 November 1998 after evening Mass Fr Christian informed me that he had a phone call from you informing him that Vassula was now ready to come to Kabwe if she were invited.
When he mentioned this to me, I informed him that in fact I had already written you that we could not raise money to cover the cost of the return ticket to Nairobi - Kenya. Fr Christian further informed me that he expected a phone call that same evening from you; but he lamented because his phone line was damaged by lightning the previous night. However despite the damage, the phone worked but only for you to deliver your message, after the message was delivered to Fr Mashi as he is popularly called the phone went dead again and it was only repaired on the 28 November!
The following morning, Thursday 25 November, I received a fax from you saying you phoned Fr Christian and you were now informing me that Vassula was ready to come to Kabwe and that the TLIG Association of Switzerland was going to pay for her return ticket. On the same day the message was received, the Charismatic Deanery Coordinator was consulted and he advised that Fr Mashi should be asked for spiritual advice before he could give his opinion on the projected visit. The Deanery seemed to be ready in principle to host the visit if Fr Mashi had no objection against it.
My Parish Catholic Charismatic Coordinator and I met Fr Christian on 29 November and after a long searching and exhaustive discussion, Fr Mashi advised that it would be much better if Vassula was received by the Charismatic fraternity and he advised me to inform the Deanery for their opinion. The Coordinator was informed the following Monday before I even went to my place of work; he told me that this motion would be tabled before his Executive on the 2 December and soon after the meeting he would give me the reply.
The Deanery decline to host the visit:
The Deanery never met for over 20 days in spite of the urgency of decision they were to take. The Coordinator finally informed me of their decision on 23 December and handed me a letter to this effect on 24 December 1998 saying they could not host the visit.
However before this reply was received, my soul was extremely troubled because of the unexpected delay, we could not raise any funds without the decision of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. In my distress, I prayed in the office asking the Lord to guide me by the message from the Bible opened at random and let Him give me a clear message as what I was to do.
I opened the Bible at random in Isaiah 56:10-11. I was shocked by the strong message I received. I had to go back on my knees again asking the Lord for His forgiveness because of this unexpected strong message and I further asked the Lord to finally guide me by giving me an appropriate message. I turned the bible over and over, making sure that the same page should not be opened and I turned it and closed it upside down while I prayed for divine guidance again. I opened the Bible at random and came again in the Book of Isaiah 56:10-11! At once I knew that, there was a problem at the Deanery and I could not expect a positive message from them. After Mass on Sunday, I confirmed the message with one of the Deanery Executive members, who informed me that the reply from the Deanery was negative! On Monday I went to confirm with the Coordinator of the Deanery who gave me the following reasons for saying no:
1. That the time was short to get permission from the relevant authorities like:
(a) The National Charismatic Executive
(b) The Archbishop of Lusaka
(c) The Charismatic Diocesan Executive
(d) The Dean of Priests of Kabwe Deanery
(e) Parish Priests in the Deanery
(f) They also said that they could not host a non Catholic, a Greek Orthodox!
2. A few in the Deanery said they did need someone from Rome to tell people in Kabwe prophesies because they claimed that people in Kabwe can also receive prophesies.
(a) The Deanery even banned the Charismatic Choir to sing during the meeting.
(b) Charismatic Members were banned to dress in their uniform, stressing that any member going to the meeting should do so in his/her individual and private capacity.
3. At the Parish of the Deanery Coordinator posters announcing Vassula were torn off notice boards.
4. Disinformation was given to some people in the Parishes saying Vassula was claiming to be Jesus and that she was satanic.
5 Some people were even threatened saying if they attend the meeting to be addressed by Vassula they will be excommunicated from the Charismatic group and the Church.
6. Two members of the Deanery Executive from my Parish, were threatened with expulsion from the Executive if they were involved in the preparations of the visit. Both of them withdrew without informing the Organizing Committee at the critical moment.
Many other nasty things were said about Vassula and her mission, including me and members of the Organizing Committee. Well, you warned me in advance about these persecutions, if Jesus was persecuted for saving our souls what more with us bare mortals!
Formation or the organizing committee:
When the Deanery declined to organize the Tour, a few people who were interested in the messages were contacted to salvage the tour. An Organizing Committee comprising of 15 people was formed. Some people in the Committee never heard of Vassula before but they came forward to organize the tour with zeal! Some people even started getting messages direct from Their Two Hearts, encouraging the Committee to forge ahead!
The Committee met Fr Christian Mashimishila at once to inform him about the refusal of the Charismatic Renewal to Host the visit of Vassula to Kabwe. The Priest advised that we go ahead to organize the tour saying - 'You cannot close the door in the face of Jesus'. He however warned us to pray hard because the Evil one would try hard to disrupt the visit. Fr Mashi then offered Chows 'A' Church, the largest Catholic Church in town for the meeting.
Fr Christian was being informed of the progress on weekly basis and he was extremely helpful to the Organizing Committee. On the day of the first meeting of the Organization Committee, I received the message from the Lord on page 54-55 of TLIG Vol III (Ask My Spirit to Help You. Ash). This message was given to the Committee Members who were extremely encouraged by the message.
Committee Members and well wishers contributed funds that we needed, to host our two visitors additionally we had to host even the two German Cameramen who had all their money stolen in Lusaka! The Lord provided all the money and transport that we needed to serve His cause!
One member of the Organizing Committee offered to pay board for Mrs Georgia Braun. We however managed to host all our four guests without tears!
On Sunday 10 January we left for Lusaka at about 9.00 hours to join forces with our Lusaka colleagues who we were going to meet for the first time. Everyone was extremely elated and exited we prayed the Rosary the whole trip interceding for the safety of our guests and the welcoming team.
My experiences at the arrival of Vassula and mrs Brawn:
When time drew near for the plane to touch down, I became apprehensive; my mind was not convinced that Vassula was arriving in Zambia that same afternoon! Even when the plane touched down I declined to receive her at the apron together with the Glower Girls and Medard! Members of the Kabwe Organizing Committee could not understand my strange but rather embarrassing behavior nor could I understand this behavior myself! Vassula was however received warmly more like a Head of State in true Zambian tradition hospitality; some people were even weeping and dancing with joy when Vassula and Mrs Braun came out from the arrival bay!
I met Vassula and shook her hand an hour or so when we stopped for a drink at a form Motel after covering almost three quarters of the journey to Kabwe, this was a place where I was introduced to her and Mrs Braun. After this encounter, I believed that I was not dreaming after all - Vassula was on her way to Kabwe! This was a miracle to me. The arrangement of Vassula’s tour to Kabwe did not promise me any success. There were numerous physical and spiritual problems, against the tour, but the Lord is great; he can do anything even in things human nature considered impossible! This is how I view the visit of Vassula and Mrs Brawn to Kabwe and Lusaka.
I am thanking Their Two Hearts, and the Switzerland TLIG Association which paid for Vassula’s return ticket and the request Vassula made to them for the trip. This was a special gift to us from the Lord, I am grateful for what you have done for us in Zambia and what you have done for me - the Lord used me so that he could talk to His people.
When we arrived at the Government Lodge in Kabwe we got a welcoming Choir waiting, when they say her, people danced with great joy. After dinner she was received by Fr Christian and all the members of the Organizing Committee to brief her about the meeting the following day.
Meeting at Chowa on Monday morning, the message of Love:
Monday, 11 January was not a suitable day for the majority of the Community in Kabwe or any where in Zambia! That was the day when schools were opening and most parents were taking their children for the first time. Everyone thought that this problem would affect attendance, but this was not to be the case.
I went to Chowa Church late myself due to the Fax in which you asked me to attend in regard to Visas for the two ladies to South Africa. I tried to Fax you and the other two ladies in Lesotho and South Africa but to no avail. However when I showed Vassula the Fax she told me that something was being done by the German Embassy with the help of Hans the Cameraman and the matter was sorted out. Vassula did not need a visa to South Africa - she is the Lords Ambassador!
The Church at Chowa was packed with over 3000 and there were hundreds more people outside who could not find space inside, people sat all over in the passages.
There were children in the Church, but the little ones were so well behaved and it was difficult to believe that we had children in within the Church! The Lord is always ready to surprise us but we still don’t understand, our hearts are made of stone and we even ignore the most obvious situations!
The introduction theme done by Fr Christian and the message I received that morning from the Lord which I showed Vassula before the meeting started ie - in the TLIG messages Vol III Page 63 (8 October 1992), and the message that Vassula gave in her talk was the same. It was a message of love, humility, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The message was so refreshing to all the people in the outside the Church; some people were weeping publicly while embracing each other, some of these people never talked to each other for years! The multitudes were stunned by Christ’ s message.
After the end of the Kabwe programme on Monday 11 January 1999, the Kabwe Organizing Committee handed over Vassula Mrs Braun and the Cameramen to the Lusaka team at 15.00 hours local time and they departed for Lusaka soon after.
Persecution after the meeting:
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal Deanery, continued spreading negative stories of persecution of Vassula and me and the Organizing Committee to other Parishes saying. The Lord solved all such problems. 'If the Lord is with you who can be against you'. The negative stories were not in line with the message of love and forgiveness which Vassula brought to Kabwe.
When the Deanery refused to host the tour, it was decided by the committee to organize the tour privately, this is what we did. However, the Archbishop of Lusaka Arch Diocese knew about the visit of Vassula as a private guest; when the Catholic Secretariat were told about the visit they said time was too short to clear Church bureaucracy.
Fr Christian was also hit by this same persecution, when he was rebuked by a fellow priest for allowing Vassula in his Parish. It is surprising to see how priests can fail to recognize the voice and the cry of Christ and they end up rebuking their fellow priest whose only mistake is recognizing the Lord’s cry on the cross of Calvary where such people crucify Him daily!
Fr Christian informed Parishioners about this persecution in Church during the homily on Sunday 17 January 1999.
Up to now, Vassula’s visit is still the talk of the town of Kabwe and I must therefore thank Their Two Hearts for what you have done for the Nation of Zambia and particularly for the people of Kabwe and Lusaka. We are praying to the Lord to afford us with the third visit of Vassula to our country.
Bernard S. Chiuma