A group of 16 Christians (including me and my friends) left KLIA on a flight for Herzegovina (total of 13 hours). Once landed, we travelled by coach. The coach passed through beautiful landscapes. The Dinaric Alps bisected by the Miljacka River, the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina was truly a breath-taking sight. We saw God’s love in His creation and we thanked Him for our safe journey.
At the destination, the Christian town famously known as “Medjugorje”, we noticed it was alive 24 hours a day, with people bustling in and out of the main landmark, i.e. ST. JAMES CHURCH and its vast Sanctuary (open air pavilion).
Our homestay was about 10 minutes walking distance from the Church. We found the homestay suitable as it catered only for our group. We were able to hold our daily morning, noon and night prayers without outside interference.We embraced simple living of making our own beds and eating simple meals. God, our Provider, sustained us all the way.
For the first six days here, the focus was fully on prayers, meditation, Holy Hour Adorations, observing sacred services including people from other nations and other activities organised by the Church Centre; at the same time we did not miss out on our group prayers at our homestay. It was a rhythm of “back and forth” church and homestay walking routines, a few times a day.
Fasting was encouraged but it was very difficult to follow, in view of the cold weather.
Every pilgrim’s desire there would be, to visit two sites of the Apparition Hill and the Centre for Bosnia’s Homeless Children.
The Centre for the homeless children was huge, about 5 acres, consisting 20 big bungalows for the children, well-run offices housing security guards, solar houses, a church, and a big book shop which also sold souvenirs and religious articles. Except for the books, most other items were made by the children there under the supervision of the nuns and priests.
Everywhere was fresh and clean. Children were happy and mixed well with each other. They were educated and trained in different skills. Products from that place were of quality. God had blessed that place and provided well for them.
We had the last 3 days to go sight-seeing with specific time allocations.
Outing 1. We went to Tihaljina, to the Church of Elijah, a new, small and beautiful church. We attended worship service in that church. Other groups of pilgrims were waiting to do the same.
There was a shop selling religious articles and books, situated behind that beautiful church.
We then visited a beautiful, clean sea-port town called SPLIT. A UNESCO World Heritage Diocletian Palace was found here.
Outing 2. We visited Dubrovnik (Croatia), another beautiful city by the Adriatic Sea, another UNESCO World Heritage site. That city had more Monasteries and Churches built in different styles. Oh yes, the gelato ice-cream from that place was fantastic!
Outing 3. Our visit was originally to Surmanci (a little village) and the Kravice Niagara Waterfall. Unfortunately, due to the rain, we had to cancel the waterfall visit. We attended a worship service in the Holy Divine Mercy Church in Surmanci. That Church had a history of miraculous healings. For example, a man with multiple sclerosis, was healed after praying for three days there.
Before I conclude, I must thank our Sovereign Lord for the opportunity to visit Medjugorje and for taking care of us and our belongings. We had 3 cases of “lost and found” miraculous episodes.
1 Peter 5:7 [Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you]
a) A lady left her winter jacket on the spot where she sat at a venue of prayer and contemplation, in the midst of thousands of pilgrims using and passing that spot. Yet, on the following day, she found her jacket intact, at the very same spot.
b) Another lady left her hand phone on the church pew after service. Two hours later into the journey home, she realised the loss. By God’s grace the phone was found and returned to her in good time, in spite of the many groups of pilgrims waiting to worship in that church.
c) Our Tour Leader left his hand phone in the coach which ferried us to the airport, for our return to Malaysia. He only realized that he had left his hand phone in the coach after lapse of half an hour. We had only a short time before boarding.
God was at work again! The hand phone was returned in time. Imagine how badly he would have felt, losing all his data and photos. PRAISE THE LORD!
All praise be to God Almighty a successful and Spirit-filled journey. It was a tiring but a worthwhile walk with my Lord and my God. Amen.
Psalm 19:14 [May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer].
Indeed He has taught me to stay focused and I have learnt time and again, to keep my eyes fixed on Him. He has lifted my spirit to greater heights. I had gained joy and peace and a better understanding of my relationship with Him.
By A Pilgrim Blessed by the Lord.