It so happened the gentleman sitting next to me for this long flight was a doctor, from Holland. We began to chat and he inquired of my destination. He had never heard of Medjugorje. Prayer family, there are so many who are unaware of Our Lady's requests, and we have to share it with them. It is our responsibility, and I take it seriously. Even when we do share and it is rejected, as was at this time with me, at least we have planted a seed.
This doctor listened as I explained the story. I had the book,"Visions of the Children", by Janice Connell with me and pulled it out. He said he did not believe in God and I asked if he knew who the Blessed Mother was. He replied,"I am an educated man, I know who she is." I had opened the book and showed him pictures of Padre Jozo and Vicka. He had the book in his hands and I offered to let him read it. Hesitantly, he said OK. He read a few pages and politely returned it to me.
I prayed for him silently. It came to my heart to offer the book to him. I didn't want to, but I knew I should. Later on I did offer it to him. Politely he thanked me and said no, he would never read it. I left it at that. At least he now knew of Medjugorje and Our Lady's calling.
The flight to Amsterdam was flawless! No turbulence at all. I made all my connections, from Detroit, to Amsterdam, to Zagreb, then Dubrovnic. All my bags, including the medication box arrived with no problems. My driver met me with no delays and we were headed to the Holy Family Institute, I felt it was more preparation for finally being in Medjugorje.
I sat in the back seat of the car and was exhausted after 23 hours of travel. Zvonko, the driver had the Medjugorje radio on and they were saying the rosary. It really hit me hard that I was there. Tears ran down my cheeks as the radio said,"Silenco", and he told me the apparition was happening now! I could feel Our Lady in my heart! It was a profound moment. The Ardiatic Sea was to the left, the mountains to the right and Our Lady in my heart! A far cry from the flat, oceanless land of Indiana! And the peace I had begun with still remained.
We arrived at the Institute around 6:30 p.m. and I was met by one of the girls who lived there. She was an orphan of Padre Jozo's. She took me up to the 3rd floor room with my bags and offered me something to eat. I said just something light, perhaps soup and hot tea. She had me follow her to the small eating room where they had their meals. She was 6 paces ahead of me and as she came around the corner she said in Croatian something "American", and as I entered the room, sitting there before me was Padre Jozo!!!
I must of looked shell shocked! I went to his side, dropped to my knees and kissed his hand saying, "Padre Jozo!" He smiled at me and said,"Hello". It was a moment I had dreamed of for 2 years! I arose and went to a seat where I could just watch him as he ate with 2 Italian construction workers. It was wonderful to see him and hear him speak and laugh with them! The tea and soup were heavenly.
It hit me that my dream of breaking bread with him had occured within the first 30 minutes of being there!! I was amazed and delighted. This was just the beginning too.........
(End of Part 5)