Mission to Cyprus
9-11 February, 2010
In Athens one day in January 2010, as Vassula was talking to us, all of a sudden she mentioned that she had never been invited to give her testimony in Cyprus. Extraordinary enough even while she was still speaking, the phone rang from Cyprus! It was a reporter from a popular TV channel inviting Vassula to go over to Nicosia and talk about her experience with God in their channel. You can imagine the expression on our face, for we felt as though heaven had whispered in Vassula's ear the word "Cyprus".
Cyprus is the third largest island of the Mediterranean, located in the east between three continents. From the 4th to the 12th century, it was part of the eastern Roman Empire, later known as the Byzantine Empire. It is a country with primeval history and civilization but whose story includes invasions, crusades, destruction and hardship.
The apostles Paul and Barnabas arrived in Cyprus in the company of the evangelist, Mark, during Paul's first mission in 45 A.D. (Acts 13,5) According to local tradition, in Paphos St. Paul was subjected to 39 floggings but Christianity was preached in the presence of the Roman Governor who accepted the new religion. Cyprus thus became the first country in the world to be governed by a Christian. The Apostle Barnabas, on the other hand, a Cypriot from a wealthy Jewish family (Acts 4,36), is considered the founder of the Church of Cyprus and is honored as its first archbishop.
However, a day before our departure to Cyprus the producer manager of this particular program called back saying that they had to postpone Vassula's interview for middle April. This was truly disappointing, and I was about to cancel my ticket when Vassula called telling me not to do so. Since there were people she said, in Cyprus, who knew the messages, it was worth going for them, so we left the same day as we were programmed and in the evening of 9th February, we landed in Larnaka. We were welcomed by several friends familiar with the Messages of TLIG. They were meeting Vassula for the first time and their joy was visible on their faces. From the airport at Larnaka, we were driven to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.
Meeting Vassula for the first time in the airport
The following morning, 10th February, I called the producer manager of the program just so that I inform her that we were after all in Cyprus for the group of people who were familiar with the message of TLIG. She was very much surprised and without hesitation she asked whether Vassula would accept to give a half hour interview for her channel if she sent a reporter with a cameraman to the hotel. Vassula hesitated a lot and at first and refused, but after having second thoughts she accepted.
The reporter arrived with a young cameraman who interviewed Vassula around 45 minutes, more than we presumed. Vassula spoke of God’s calling and giving them an overall of all her mission. The reporter asked her, what brought her over to Cyprus. Vassula said that God does not forget anyone and even if Cyprus was late in the list of countries she visited, Cyprus is not forgotten by God. She said, "Christ comes out of love for us and asks for simple things - to remember His Presence, to love Him, to love one another and to examine ourselves and repent. Love is the key to Heaven and this message is for all mankind. Those who want to hear will hear." The camera-man, a sturdy and tall young man looking like an athlete, was very touched, and later on, after the interview had ended, he confessed that he had to do something to change his way of life. Before leaving, the interviewer and the God-fearing camera-man willingly accepted the TLIG books we had brought with us saying that they will read them.
We looked at our watch and already it was about four in the afternoon. No time for a break or for lunch, Vassula and I rushed down to meet in the hotel lounge the Cypriots who were arriving to meet Vassula. Approximately 25 people of different Church denominations had gathered together. They had come from different cities of Cyprus, Paphos, Nicosia, Larnaka, and Limasol and were full of joy and enthusiasm at the opportunity to meet Vassula personally and talked about how the study of the Messages had changed their lives. They expressed their gratitude that the messenger of the Lord had visited their troubled country. Vassula said that they should see her as a postman bringing to them a love letter from the Lord. "The Lord does not neglect anyone" she said; "He will always come even if you had to wait so long, in the end He comes."
Vassula answering questions patiently regarding her prophetic charism
Vassula was asked many questions to which she patiently replied to them; questions regarding her prophetic charism, questions about discernment; the way she had been approached by her angel Daniel, etc. Someone then asked her if there was a particular message for Cyprus. She asked, "Is my presence with you, bringing you the TLIG messages to you, not enough, and a message for you?" She told them that the Lord’s mercy is boundless and that His aim is to draw all souls in His Heart. Her warm words came from the depths of her heart and were accepted with desire and thirst by those present. The Lord has His plan, for Cyprus too. That reminded me of His Message where He said to her:
"... resound My Voice to the ends of this earth; let everyone hear and learn that I am a God of tenderness and mercy; (...) My Song of Love to you is My gift to give you more understanding and to draw you towards Me, so that you will get to know Me as your Father; (...) be blessed all you who came in My Name in this gathering, and be one in Our Oneness;" (5 June, 1997)
We noticed how attentive this small group was and even if we had stayed on with them all night they would not have left but were getting all the more eager to listen to Vassula's experiences with God.
In their turn too they shared with us their experiences and of how they discovered the Messages. There were different ways in which the Lord had approached each one of them. An English lady living in Cyprus had heard of the Messages from a Catholic priest in Damascus in the early 90s. Another lady had found the books in a bookshop in Poland and had met with local TLIG groups on arriving in Greece. Others were browsing the internet...
Sharing experiences of how they discovered "True Life in God"
Vassula explaining the different ways one could evangelize ‘True life in God’
Vassula explained to them the different ways one could evangelize ‘True life in God’. One way is to have a prayer group. If they wished, we would send them Teresa and me as well, to help them create several prayer groups in their country. With great joy they showed their eagerness. Vassula promised them that she will return to them when they prepare a meeting for her with the help of the Greek people.
It was getting late and they were not leaving. In the end Vassula had to tell them that we had nothing to eat or drink all day from breakfast time and although we enjoyed their company and wanted to stay more, Vassula and I needed to rest and go for dinner. Vassula made them understand that our meeting was not the end but the beginning for Cyprus.
We offered to all of them the books of true Life in God informing them in which bookstores they are stocked.
A few days passed after our return from Cyprus and the TV coordinator of the program having had time to watch the interview of Vassula that was taken then in the hotel, got so excited over it that she phoned me asking me whether Vassula was able to return immediately. "Vassula has to be in Switzerland," I told her, "but I will ask her." Vassula accepted to go again to Cyprus on the 3rd March after she returned from Switzerland. Everything once more was being prepared to go there.
Today, March 3, as I am writing this report would have been the day where Vassula and I would have traveled to Cyprus. Things did not turn up as we thought. We had our tickets and bookings of hotel, and yesterday when I arrived in Rhodes to fly from here to Cyprus with Vassula I received a phone call from the TV station telling us that they had to cancel altogether the program! Both of us were taken aback, although Vassula did not appear to be troubled in any way. The reason was that the interviewer who was to interview Vassula was bitterly persecuted, even threatened to be murdered if she would continue doing spiritual programs and promote spiritual talks. This threat of death came after she had invited an Orthodox theologian to talk about fasting and the meaning of it since we were in the period of Lent. It was a very good talk. After that talk of his, they received this phone call from, as they called it, a heretic movement. The management of the TV channel assembled together and decided that this was far too great a risk if Vassula came, just a few days after that threat. They decided that they will have no more spiritual talks in their TV station. Very apologetically they asked us to understand what great risks that would cause them. Obviously, Satan, did not want the TLIG message to be widely spread, but, Vassula reassured us that God will prevail. She said that we will still go over there at a later date to prepare a meeting and the prayer groups that we promised them.
Not long ago, we had seen on the TV news that the director of the TV station, a young man, was shot to death by four killers. This was another story. A woman who was working in there was not being promoted and she decided to employ killers and get rid of him. With this drama still freshly in their heads, they took a safe way out.
We called the group we knew and told them that the TV program was off once more, explaining the reasons. They were extremely disappointed and upset. They planned to gather and go over there and insist of bringing Vassula in their channel.
To evangelize in these ends of times where Satan is lashing out his hatred, is not an easy task. We are quite aware that we are in a spiritual battle, between evil and good, and that we are tested now and then. We have learned with the grace of God that we must never get discouraged when tested when threatened when attacked and persecuted. We must never lose the peace the Lord has given us. We must never give up either, but always hope. Hope makes us stronger in our faith in God. Threatened makes us more persevering, because we believe that God is on our side and with us. We know that we are nothing and we can do nothing on our own but that great things can be achieved by being with God and especially fully relying on His strength.