I was asked by Sr. Principal, Theresa Cherian,
” Miss we will go to see the Holy Land this summer, what do you say?”
“Thank you sister, for your kind invitation, are we going with some other batch?’
”Yes there is some arrangements going on, in our congregation, if you want, you can join with us.”
Thanking her for her generosity, I went home. There is still more 15 days to give the money to get the tickets to fly to the place.
I went home, later I got a phone call from my daughter Happy from USA , a casual talk that she had some on line exams to attend , and as the children were too small she was finding it very difficult to meet the needs at home.
Somehow I felt my presence is more needed at my daughter house, than my own desire to go on with my plan. On the other hand I did not have guidance to go then. Do not know the reason, but my heart was not at rest.
It was i n the year, 2009.
2010 I was retired from the Lecturer post, the next month I became sick Chikengunie I was crushed to death, two years passed, felt devastated, cannot walk , sit or do things in the way I used to do. Even to move my leg from one position to another on the bed needed someone’s help. Whole body was crushed, the skin on the scull was swollen, face, body , limbs.. everything felt like a bag of cement to carry on.
Everything was taking double time to do. Even to go from one room to another room in the home takes tame. ( I will tell that story of miracle , how God touched me and healed me by using the number of days from the scriptures later )
Years passing by .. it was 2012, March, son John came to see me on 5 days leave, as I was lamenting over the LEF , the way they built the baptistery blocking me, purposefully, to enter into the prayer center, which we built sacrificially at the cost of the life of my dear husband; I was down hearten, depressed, alone, to console, me my son came to see and spend some time with me.
But he got slight cold and fever, due to jet lag, so was on bed, that afternoon, Otherwise we cannot stop him to stay at home.
I was telling him, ” John , I wanted to see Jerusalem since ages, I like to go, but I need some one to go with me I called some agencies, to book my ticket with their batches, but nothing materialized so far. Because going with an unfamiliar group, not having even one person known to me in that batch would not be comfortable. Wish some one known, some family known could be in that batch.”
I said casually , lieing down on the bed nearby his bed. He looked at me, and said,” Mom, if you can wait for one more month or so , I will take you with me”
It was a pleasant surprise, did not expect this from him. I was so happy, “really? can you? will u get leave? for a fortnight?”
“Yes I will try. I will let you know once I joined in the job, because I joined into this bank recently , its very difficult to get leave, I must work with them atleast for some months without any break, now I came so, immediatly I cannot get leave again. wait for one or two months.”
I said,’ If you come with me, what else I need? surely its worth waiting, I will wait.”
Month of March over, April over, May over, TV channels bombarding with the advertisements of the Jerusalem trips over and over. I noted down two or three numbers to contact. I inquired the fare and details of the journey but waiting for the company of John.
I remember how much I wanted to see Jerusalem , Rome when I was undergoing Air hostess training in 1976. After I resigned the job, I thought I would never have this chance of seeing those places. Now I got the chance, but not able to travel without some one to be with.
That early morning I got up suddenly , the voice , the dream was so vivid. The dream was repeating again and again till I woke up that night. ‘ It was the dream telling me the story of Jacob’s dream in the wilderness, while he was running away from Easau, he lied down having a stone as a pillow , he got the dream
‘ …a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it”—-
That was the dream of mine, telling me over and over again and again whole night, and I heard a voice telling me read 15th verse.
I got up, still I was in the bed, I remember my own dream when I was in my 6th class; at that time I did not know the Bible leave alone the story of Jacob. But I knew Jesus Christ. I was believing at that tender age of 10-11 years, ‘If at all there is God, He is none but Jesus Christ’ I recollected that dream on my bed again at the age of 60 years…
That dream I got in Bandar ( Machilipatnam) in my little room in our Police Inspector’s bunglow, I remember that bunglow, that room and the place of that little bed even now. I got a dream, wherein I saw, 7 coloured Rainbow, up in the sky, while I was looking at the rainbow, there was a great ladder stretched from the middle of the rainbow, to the place where I stood on the ground. I saw the ladder was full of flowers and leaves. I saw Jesus Christ coming down the ladder unto me, He smiled at me and opened my palm and put a beautiful crystaled round box and closed the fist. I was in seren mood and beholding His comely face …”
And I woke up at the shouts of my mother at the door of that little room where I was sleeping, ” Leela get up, get up, its time to go to school , get up” She came inside the room and made me sit forcefully, and I remembered me crying bitterly, saying, ” ohhoooo hoo where is my box , where is my box, my fist was still tightly holding something which was not visible..”
she asked me,” what box?” —still weeping I said, ” My box ..oh my box”– then after a second I realized it was only a dream and there was no box in reality.
cooled down.. and obeyed her. But that dream I cannot forget , no never.
That morning again I recollected that dreams, and got up from the bed and grabed my Bible, and looked into the Bible, as I know now where that story of the dream of Jacob was recorded, its in Genesis 28th chapter, I was looking for the verse 15th in that chapter, as I was directed in my dream.. the date posted on that promise in my Bible is 28/6/2012
There this promise is written for me-”
…and behold, I am with thee, and keep thee in all places, wither thou goest and bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done of which I have spoken to thee of.” Gen 28:15
This is how God consoled me that He would take me and that He would be with me, and Keep me in all places, wherever I go and He will bring me again to India, He promised me that He will not leave me, until He done it what He had promised to me.
What else I needed, I called the phone numbers I noted, the tour organizer, answered me, ‘Yes mam we have arranged a tour actually from from 1st July to `15th july, all most all the seat are over now except one or two, but now it is postponed to 14th July and it might be too early for you to get ready for this tour, in this short notice, because you need to pay the amount for the expenses within three or four days, as I need to send the names to get visa ”
” No sir, its not too earlier, for me ‘As early as possible is the best deal.’ I will get ready with the the amount”
” Sure you can do that, but see that you can send the details of the passport of yours first , and money may be tomorrow.”
“Yes, I will give the details by email soon”‘
I sent the details of my passport first.
I tried to contact John on mobile but could not reach him. Usually he was the one who calls me on every week end, so I was wondering how to reach him, and within a couple of hours he called me on that day which was Thursday , I remember very well, which was very unlike of him.
First thing I blurted out was, “John, I am going to Jerusalem this next week.” He was shocked and said, what mom, how come so quickly?”
“See I got promise from God last night, and recited the verse 15th from my Bible , he exclaimed.
‘Oh mom, what else you need? what else.. You have God with you” and he added, wish I could join you; I said “What stops you, if you can come with this batch, come along.” I persisted.
” Mom first I need to see money for my expenses. and then for permission for leave.”
” Money? money should not be a problem for you, I will pay for you, too, get ready with the leave and let me know”
My children like me never depend on parents for money, I brought them up with self dignity, and respect. For them money is only a means to live, it should be earned, spend, and saved for future emergencies. Craving for money or begging money from parents is abomination to them.
John work hard and earned the money for his studies, so was with Happy, she never was dependent on me. Soon after her studies, she worked and earned for hostel stay in Hyderabad. So they never get an idea of begging money from anyone, leave alone from me. So he was taken aback when I told him I will pay for the ticket. Any way as I already decided to leave, he did not have any other go to say no for my appeal, accepted my request but said he would pay me back later for which I laughed and did not poof poof the idea, I insisted that he better to get permission for a fortnight leave and let me know immediatly. He asked me to pray for this, as he would go to meet his manager to get leave within an hour. I knelt down and prayed.
after an hour he was on line and informed me that his manager gave permission , I said I would inform the details of the tour by email for him to get a flight and come to Hyderabad.
Everything settled, I contacted the organizer once again,requested him “but just give me a day to send it as I also want to ask my son who is in Australia, whether he could join us on this trip—“as I got one photostrat copy of John’s passport too in an old file, and emailed the details to them and went to the bank and deposited the money in the name of the organizer’s daughter as he instructed me to do so.
The details of the programme I asked him, he said , nothing to worry, as everything will be supplied later. Later he was not in much contact, I thought as he is a busy man may be that was the reason I could not get him on mobile. He asked me to come and collect the tickets at his home, even there his daughter came and handed over the tickets, but not he. I asked for the programme sheet and visa particulars, she said , nothing to worry all will be taken care of. I went to Hyd on 12th of July 13th night john came to Hyd, and we both reached Shamshabad Air port on 14th night as we were instructed. When the time to board the flight , the man at the counter who was checking the tickets and visa particulars, flatly rejected me and John saying the number of the passports were not tallying with the the numbers given to him on visa.
He bluntly rejected our papers. I could not see the organizer anywhere, instead his brother in law was there with us introducing himself that he would be the one who would be incharge of this tour , and the original organizer had all ready left for the tour the day before with another batch of tourists.
I had no words to say, I heard so much about this organizer that he organizes number of tours like this, and seeing and being the victims of this firsthand blunder of his, I could not speak anything, but to tell his brother in law the problem that we were rejected to embark the flight as our passport numbers were wrongly printed on visa sheet.
This brother in law was confused not knowing what to do, as he himself did never travelled to Jerusalem and that was his first trip with us, so hed desperately trying to contact the Organizer but could not.
I saw his daughter among the people who came to send off, asked her whereabouts of her dad explaining the problem. she coolly advised me, “do not worry, God will see about this, and your names can be added to the next batch .”. while she was trying to contact her dad about the problem” which she utterly failed to do so.
I was shocked seeing the numbness, recklessness and indifference of these people about the blunder they committed.. on the other hand advising that God is going to do something instead of accepting their mistake. I said,” see , I can cancel my trip with u, but I called my son from Australia spending his time. leave he came all the way from there, and now for the blunder you committed you people are telling me to join another group?”
They had no answer, and did not tell any thing. we sat there in the chairs and were anxious and praying. Again we were called after an hour so, and told by the counter person that we will be allowed to go till Ammon, but he could not give any assurance that we could enter into Israel, because the rules of Israel are too hard to break. —The same promise I used to get from God , “So far He lead, He would do the rest” flashed in my mind once again.
We remembered the promise of God Gen 28:15 once again and embarked the flight keeping ourselves onto the wings of the Eagle, our Lord.
(How we travelled.. the rest of the journey with many miracles will be narrated in next episodes.) Yes we went to Amman, by early morning, walked and walked, till we reached the Mt.Nebo the Moabite Mountain to the top of Pisgah, from where Moses viewed the Promised Land on the last day of his life.
I stood on the pinnacle of the mount, looking down at the far off land, trying to feel how Moses would had felt seeing this peice of land… as it was described in Holy Scriptures as unto my imagination all these years, it did not look like the land of Honey and Milk. I imagined it with gardens and flowers where honey oozes out and cattle and sheep in multitudes, nay, I saw only rocks and one or two pools of water here and there, that too I could visualise with my binoculars. I thought of Moses, how weary he might be after 40 years of walking with such rebellious people, reaching there rejected by God for he did disobey His law, depressed, may be in tears, looking longingly at that distant place…! I remembered the verse from
Hebrew 11:13 ..”all these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised, they only saw them and welcomed them from distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth”
Still living by faith when they died????? what does it mean ? They died , but living by faith… because they saw them welcomed them from distance.
Moses , he being a leader, the man whom God used so much, talked to him as a friend to friend, was not allowed to enter into the promised land because he did not follow the Law of God, letter by letter,he being the Law giver, missed the point.. God showed Himself how He would treat them who follow the Law..at the end.
Whatever, I was downhearted, for Moses, felt sad, no words to speak any way. On the same mount a little far away I saw a great big iron serpent on an iron cross, symbolizing the bronze serpent in the wilderness “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the son of man must be lifted up, 2 Kings 18:4 Hezekiah destroyed the idolatry in Judah…..he broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made for up to that time the Israelites burning incense to it, it was called NEHUSTAN–
there was a pillar saying the body of Moses was there, but the word of God says, he was buried in the valley of Moab, but no man know the sepulcher of him unto this day. Deu34:6
And then why Michael had a dispute with satan about the body of Moses do not know. Jude 1:9
Soon after we reached this mountain, we saw two Moabites chating with each other, they were talking non stop and joking at each other. One of them wore one white flowery transparent shirt.. they look very healthy and very robust. I remember the descendants of Lot, the Moabites and Ammonites. I also remember Ruth the Moabite
We stayed at Hotel in Ammon, the accommodation and food was so good, and our tired bodies found good refreshment. and rest.
Next day we travelled King Hussain Bridge to cross the Israel border. We were stopped for long time, before entering into Israel , we were stopped all of us, we sat in the bus. After a while every one was allowed to enter into the land of Israel, but not me and John. We were stopped at the boarder. They objected for the wrong passport numbers. we were stopped more than two hours. but all our friends did not procede further, they were waiting for us faithfully, some of them praying for us, we became good friends already. John was questioned seperately in seperate room and checked for long time, he looked like a spy soldier to them tall and sturdy. I was sitting in one corner and looking at the dark and strong lady who asked us to sit and wait. I was sitting and praying , suddenly one Israelite tall and thin fair man came and asked me, “Are you from India?” Yes, I answered, it seems he visited India a few years back and he was thrilled to see me sitting there quietly, he wanted to talk to me about the places he visited, mostly the North, I tried to be polite and answer him whatever I remember about those places. When I expressed my anxiety about our passport details, he assured me that we will go to Israel definitely, He was the first Israelite with whom I had funny conversation for long time. Meanwhile mr organizer reached the place where we are, and talked to the people there, even after that we had to sit for longer time, then with many byes and SHANTHIES from the Israelite there we could step into the land of Israel. Thus by the faith we could entered into the Promised Land.
We saw the place where the Gabriel visited mother Mary, and the workshop of Joseph and proceded to the town Cana where Jesus performed the first miracle of turning the water into wine. there we saw those big vessels of those days where the water was kept for the visitors, it was like a miracle to place for me, seeing the place where Jesus walked and talked with the people.
Next day we had a sailing on boat on the lake of Galilee. we had long sailing I was imagining all those beautiful stories taken place in this lake, our Lord and His disciples.., the bank was soft and seren silent picked up many pebbles, remembered how the Lord called peter and his friends to come with Him.
Later we visited the Church of Beautitudes Capernaum where our Lord had fed 5000 people there was a round stone where they say Jesus kept those 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and prayed over them before he distributed those.
Later we visited Baptismal River Jordan, many people took baptism, they give a sort of white dress for rent to go into the water, for $10, I sat for long time on the steps going into the river, where small fish coming and touching my feet, some touching my legs with their little mouths, as if they were kissing.
At the end of the this I could not resist from not taking to go into the water fully, so I had a nominal baptism where John the Baptist gave baptism to our Lord
We were taken to a hotel where on our platter the
St. Peter fish was served for lunch, we were told that when Jesus told Peter to go to the river and catch a fish and find a sovereign in the mouth of the fish to give it away as tax to the Roman Government.
Later we went to Mt Carmel where Elijah had challenged the false prophets of Baal. There was a big statue there of Elihah, there was a shop where we can buy some gifts to be given away, I bought many key chains, etc.
This is hill is to high, we went by the bus up on the top. wondering how Elijah must be shouting at those idol worshippers and made fun of them.
Yes later we saw the ruins of Ceasarea, it was never rebuilt again, later we could go to Meditarian sea near Bethlehem the birth place of Jesus, we had hotel accommodation in that place. we went to Mt Olives, Lords’ prayer church where the Lords prayer was translated into number of languages, we saw our Telugu language too there. Later we went to Mt Ascension from where the Lord ascended to heaven.
we went to the garden of Gethsemene, where we saw the trees of 3000 years too, drip irrigation was the speciality of israel. then that panorama view of Jerusalem dome.. we visited Bethesda where
the holy pool was there, it was the home of Mary too. Later we travelled through the road Dolorosa with 14 stations of way of cross, the Holy Speulcher , the Golgotha Moutn zion the last supper room, David tomb , the Garden tomb the churh of Galicanto wher peter deniof King Solomon’s Temple, ed jesus, …later we went to Wailing wall Later we visited the tomb of Lazurus, saw the mustard tree, Church of Nativity , the birth place of Jesus, then we went to Shepherds Mount where the Angel announced the birth of Jesus to them.
later we went to swim in Dead Sea, Look at the Qumran caves where the dead sea rolls were found in 1947, the mount of Temptation of Jesus in Jericho and we saw the Sycamore tree of Zacheus and also the Elisha springs. we had worshiping in the garden of the tomb,
later we traveled to Egypt, there was strike on the road, we were stopped on road for 8 hours, on the way we saw the pillar statue of Lot’s wife. we traveled on the shore of Red sea, later we visited Moses burning bush and Moses well. on Mt Sinai, there we picked up stones , any stone u pick up they have the design of a burning bush. traveled through Sinai desert where our patriarchs traveled for 40 years. and reached Cairo we saw the place where Mary and Joseph hid themselves after they ran from Bethlehem . Later we saw the place Marah saw Pyramids, sphinx we climbed those pyramids, and we had cruise on the river Nile. traveled to Alexandrian Airport to return back..
That was the trip of ours to jerusalem.