Vassula’s visit to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, May 2003
To begin this report I must say that, on two prior occasions, we had set a date for Vassula to visit Argentina, and other neighboring countries, both of which had to be cancelled since she had other visits in Asia. When she finally informed us that she would come right after the Puerto Rico retreat, we were hesitant between announcing the visit – like we had done in the past – being forced to cancel it afterwards, or if Our Lord was finally sending her to us, to look after His Vineyard over here. We really did not feel worthy of her visit, since she had already come in 1994, 1995, and 1998, but in spite of this, and due to the persecution of TLIG, here in Argentina, the movement did not grow as initially expected, when it had been so very well welcomed. Everything that followed the Notification, together with other local written publications against TLIG caused a total dispersion of the followers of these Messages. Many of them stopped reading them or even threw away the books, following the orders or the advice of some priest.
During the last years, we have tried to reach new people, as well as to unite, strengthen, and nourish those who already know TLIG. To accomplish this, we print a bi-monthly newsletter, which we distribute by mail (currently to more than 2000 people all over the country) and organize witnessing meetings for Ana Lizarralde, in several provinces of Argentina.
Moreover, we have contacted several ecumenical groups and started to take part in ecumenical meetings at different Churches of Buenos Aires. While doing so, we found a group of open minded people with great spiritual richness, all of whom we invited to participate in our prayer meetings.
We also had the idea of taking TLIG to Paraguay, a country which Vassula had not visited before.
Since the beginning, we placed under the protection of Our Blessed Mother, all the organization tasks of these conferences and ecumenical encounters. We also requested prayers from a Carmelite convent and a Cartuja convent.
We started to look for a place with a capacity of around 2000 people. After checking out several options, we chose the one which we thought was the most adequate and booked it. One week later, we were informed that there was a prior event booked, which had not been confirmed until that day, so our reservation was cancelled. Thus, we had to begin all over again. After many delays and difficulties, on April 28 we signed a lease contract for the Etchart Gymnasium, at the Ferrocarril West Club, with capacity for 3000 people.
We immediately printed posters and 55,000 flyers, and sent out brochures for the radio stations.
Simultaneously, we requested a choir to sing during the meeting. They refused due to internal differences, since some of the members argued that Vassula was condemned by the Church, and as such, they could not participate in the event at all. Other choirs and musical groups, which we had in mind as second choice, refused too.
This issue deserves a special mention. Ever since the end of 2001, Argentina and Uruguay had joined efforts to make contacts and form a group to organize a meeting in our brother country. All of our attempts had been unsuccessful, to the extent that one month before the set date – May 23 – we were tempted to inform Vassula that we could not organize such meeting. Nevertheless, we thought it was of great importance to take TLIG to a country that still did not know about it. We informed Vassula that there were still many difficulties to attain this goal, and waited to see what she decided on the matter (and that Jesus showed His Will through her). Her lack of response made us continue with our efforts, and even though we did not obtain any positive result, we did not lose hope.
At the same time, we started to meet with several Christian churches, parishes, and ecumenical institutions. We also requested an interview for Vassula with Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, which was not granted to us.
We must mention that we had several jobs at the printer’s shop with major unexpected delays: magazines, newsletters and books. All of the envelopes were ready to be mailed to the parishes and Bishops, but nothing would come out of the printer’s.
May 8 arrived and we had several unresolved major issues. The responsibility was huge, since Vassula was expected to arrive in less than two weeks’ time. Never relenting and always in prayer, we continued, without having any solution in sight.
That day (May 8), at the end of the Holy Mass, during the morning, an acquaintance approached me to say that her musical group was getting ready to sing during the meeting!!!! This surprised me immensely since she was the one that told me about the internal opposition within the group. Puzzled, I asked: “Didn’t you tell me that you would not sing?”, to which she replied: “When the Priest that leads us found out about this, he talked with us, appeased minds, and told us to attend and sing!”. I could not snap out of my amazement and blessed God for such a great gift. Next, we started to exchange ideas about the songs and other details. Also, I gave her more information about TLIG, since they knew very little about it.
At noon, while I was at the office, I received a call from a friend who lives at the North of Santa Fe, a Province of Argentina. She amazed me when she said that during their prayer meeting, her group had had the inspiration to contact us and assist us with our difficulties. “What do you need?”, she asked. I mentally went through the number of unsolved issues, but many of them had to be attended right here in Buenos Aires, so they could not help us from far away. Suddenly, I thought that since they were geographically located at the North of the country, they could somehow help us organize the meeting in Asunción, the capital city of Paraguay. I expressed to her my concerns on this matter.
She told me that she had a friend in Posadas (Argentina), who maybe could do something not in Asunción, but in Encarnación, a city in Paraguay, very near to Posadas. The sister of her friend was a nun in such city. I was more amazed and my joy was really complete, when I called her that night, and she confirmed that they had leased a hall for 300 people, at the premises of a radio and TV network. Moreover, such network offered to announce the conference during the whole week! In addition, several people had already got together for the printing of posters and distribution of flyers. That same day we had two more meetings, in an anointed atmosphere, both of which were very positive and successful for all those present, making us enjoy a day filled with blessings.
By now, you should be wondering what happens on May 8. Well, it is the Feast of Our Lady of Lujan, the Patron of Argentina!!!!! Without any doubt, everything started to change from that date onward. Things started to get moving, step by step. There were so many people helping us, without any personal interest and with so much enthusiasm, from different groups and institutions, and several provinces, that we thought that the celestial help was palpable, to the extent that we believed that nothing could stop the event. However, we did not take into account that the enemy would also work overtime….
On May 19, we were informed that we could not hold the meeting at the place we had leased, because the Football Association of Argentina had decided to have a game at the football field of that Club, on the same date and at the same time Due to security reasons, there was no way that two events could take place simultaneously.
Here we had another obstacle, and now everything was very critical and delicate, since we had already distributed the invitations and 55000 flyers, placed all the posters at high circulation spots, and paid radio and newspaper advertisements, and… we could not find a solution.
We asked for prayers all around the world, to the big TLIG family, and went to the Club, together with a Public Notary, in an attempt to also use the human means available.
In a meeting with representatives of the Club, and several companies involved, I saw that we were in the Hands of the Lord. Everything indicated that, unless the Lord made a small miracle, we would not be able to hold the expected meeting.
Our minds racing, we thought of every possible alternative: lease another venue, change the schedule, change days with Paraguay…. Everything was out of the question since all the advertising material had been distributed. We were only two days away!!!!! After the meeting at the Club, we went to see the Chief of Police… he gave us the same answer! As it was night already, there was nothing we could do anymore, so after planning the next day, (when Vassula was to arrive to take a plane to Uruguay the next day), we went to bed.
On Tuesday, we visited the Football Association of Argentina, and even consulted with two lawyers… We received the same answer, only now we were aware of all the existing obstacles.
At noon, a friend went to see the Chief of Police in order to present him with different alternatives that would allow the two events to be held simultaneously, and….. thanks God and to all your prayers, THEY ACCEPTED!!!!!! The employees of the Club were amazed, since although they were on our side, they could not understand how had we been allowed to do something that had never before been permitted, moreover, since the two events were so different.
When I called the Chief of Police to thank him for his good will and the solutions provided, he left me speechless when he replied: “Did you think that football would prevail over God?”.
This was not the only attack. In some Orthodox and Catholic communities, there were several communications against TLIG, as something heretical, unknown by the Church, and therefore, advising not to concur. However, we must also mention that, to our amazement and joy, there was an opening on the part of several Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist Pastors, as well as of some Catholic priests.
In spite of all of these stumbles, we did not want to fail on focusing on our objectives: give a warm welcome to all those who attended, create an ambiance of prayer, live unity, and also, maintain the unity, peace, harmony, and kindness of our group of collaborators. We thank God, with all of our hearts, because with His Grace and Help this was a reality witnessed by many of those present.
We started to work on the floral arrangements and the decorations of the place, early in the morning on May 22. We prayed the Rosary continuously. Different tasks were assigned to all those who were there early, so everyone could participate in the arrangements. As we had done in the prior visits, we placed some Icons, but this time, we had a big photo of a stamp of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, standing with His Arms open, which was kindly provided to us by our local Priest. It is clear that Our Lord was trying to tell us something, because during the morning, those who were present could smell the perfume of nards coming out of the Sacred Heart and the other Wounds of that image of Jesus.
While the arrangements went on at the Gymnasium, we went to the airport to receive Vassula who came back from Uruguay, with Carol Chamberlain, Ana Lizarralde, and Mabel and Sofía who had traveled with Vassula to Montevideo, representing Argentina.
By doing so, we wanted to express, more intensely, the existing union between the TLIG members of different countries.
From the airport, we went to see the Archbishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church, where we were warmly received by Archbishop Monsignor Kissag Mouradian, and other members of his community and of the Ecumenical Commission of Christian Churches in Argentina. After a nice conversation, in which Vassula explained her charisma, and after an interview for an Armenian audience, we left Vassula and Carol at the hotel, so they could rest and be ready for the meeting that evening.
At 19:00, in the midst of a high level of security, Vassula entered the gymnasium, accompanied by the songs of the choir and of the audience which, in its most part, were actively participating. You could feel the anointing and brotherly spirit, no doubt partly due to the choir, which had created a prayer spirit, two hours before the meeting started.
The audience (approximately 1200 souls) followed attentively all of Vassula’s talk. She spent quite some time talking about unity, quoting parts of the Farfa Speech, talking about the sin of division and how the Churches have closed their doors and windows… Among the subjects covered, we must highlight that this is the first time we hear her talk about detachment, dispassion and freedom of all bindings. She also talked about impassibility, which is an angelical virtue.
Vassula’s witnessing was very moving and filled with Love. This was also expressed to us by several people who gave us their impression on the meeting. There were a lot of people who did not know anything about TLIG, and told us how they feel the need to help in promoting these Messages, as well as to know and study them in depth.
After the meeting, filled with joy, we took Vassula and Carol, straight to the hotel, because we had to fly to Posadas, very early, the next morning.
There are some things that should be mentioned:
· Several police officers followed the talk attentively, and were very warm towards Vassula.
· There were many positive comments from enthusiastic people that wanted to know when was Vassula coming back to Argentina. We replied, as usual, that what is important is to read and live the Messages.
· There were enthusiastic comments from Protestant Pastors.
· The football game ended normally, and both audiences could leave without any inconvenience.
We managed to build a good relationship with the managers and employees of the Club, and even with the police officers. We could say that the Lord allowed us to benefit from the obstacles we found: we obtained fruits of harmony, peace, and true and solid human relations.
Surely, as Our Lord has told Vassula, many times, in similar cases, ALL Heaven was rejoicing, sharing our joy and pouring blessings on us. GLORY TO YOU, LORD!
Organizers: Guillermo Semeniuk, Sofía de Anghelidis, Mabel Rolando, Hugo Sabbadini, Victoria Anghelidis, Roberto Leboeuf, María Susana and Pablo Cuomo.
VISIT TO PARAGUAY, MAY 23
Vassula, Carol Chamberlain, Ana Lizarralde and Pablo Cuomo arrived to the airport of Posadas, Argentina, where we were received by Inés, Teresita, Alicia and all of the organizing team.
Aside from Teresita Galiano and her family, we had never met the other organizers, except from phone conversations. Ana had witnessed in Resistencia, the year before, so she knew some of them. The welcoming was warm and familiar. Right there, Vassula gave her first interview to be broadcasted by radio LT17 at Posadas. As always, Ana did the translation.
Towards noon, we went to the TV studio of Channel 12, where Vassula gave another brief interview, during which an impressive event took place. At some point, the interviewer asked Vassula her opinion on New Age. Vassula looked straight into the camera and asked the TV viewers to leave that sect and return to their own Church. Suddenly, a loud music started to come out of one of the speakers at the studio, and no one ever found out anyone responsible for doing this, at that precise moment.
To further our amazement, one of the crystals on Ines’ eyeglasses fell down at the same time, without any explanation. Carol, Inés and I were quietly standing together, so I know she did not do any harsh movement.
After lunch, which was generously offered by the organizers, we travelled to Encarnación, accros the Paraná River, which is the natural border between Argentina and Paraguay.
We arrived at the venue for the meeting, which were the premises of the City’s TV broadcasting station, the Radio Paraná Hall. There, Vassula gave another interview, which was broadcasted live, minutes before the beginning of the meeting.
The audience was formed by Paraguayans and Argentinians, some of which already knew TLIG. Among those present, were the Pastor President of the Flowing Glory Ministery of the Pentecostal Church, Mr. Saturnino Sánchez, together with members of his community. All of them showed an open mind and enthusiasm on the issue of unity and offered their collaboration in organization and promotion tasks.
Pastor Saturnino witnessed that he had never before heard anyone talk about unity in this way. He was very excited to have been invited to an ecumenical encounter and shared a chair with Vassula, on the stage.
The audience followed in silence and attentively all the talk and prayer of Vassula, which was longer than other times. The choir sang charismatic songs, and the Pastor’s wife sang too.
The Bishop, due to his lack of knowledge of TLIG, did not grant an interview to Vassula, but sent a Priest to listen to her witnessing.
We must consider that for a small city like Encarnación, and this being the first time, the attendance of 260 people was quite meaningful. Moreover, the impact of this meeting was really considerable, since at the request of the people, the TV Station broadcasted the full meeting, on two different occasions. Even in Buenos Aires, a radio station commented on this meeting. As Vassula said: True Life In God has been preached in 63 countries. Let us thank God!
Courage to all those who have made these meetings possible. The seed has been sowed; prayer and work will water it to make it grow and give bountiful fruits for the Glory of God!
Organizers: Inés Cáceres, Alicia Fabbro, Teresita Galiano and family, Mirta y Gabriel Kleiner, Raúl Valenzuela, Inés Acuña, Marita Claro, Silvina Moreno, Marta Paniagua and collaborators.