Category: Real Testimonies

The Power Of Forgiveness: Priest Shares His Inspiring Story On How He Was Able To Forgive His Abusive Father Who Fractured His Skull 14 Times

The Power Of Forgiveness: Priest Shares His Inspiring Story On How He Was Able To Forgive His Abusive Father Who Fractured His Skull 14 Times


The shocking experience of Ciril Čuš proves the extraordinary power of forgiveness.

Father Ciril Čuš, a parish priest in Žetale, a small Slovenian parish on the border of Croatia, comes from a traditional Catholic family with two brothers and a sister. The first-born daughter in the family died as an infant. They lived a very simple and humble life, working on a farm and surviving on bread, milk, and water.

His father worked as a builder and one day took a fall from 16 feet, spending a month in a coma. After the accident, he wasn’t the same. He started drinking, becoming very aggressive — and young Ciril was often the target. Between the ages of 7 and 10, Ciril’s head was fractured with a blunt object 14 times.

“When I was 10, I had to wear a cap in the summer heat so that people would not notice the wounds,” Ciril said.

When his father was sober, he was a wonderful man; he taught his children a lot. But when he was drunk, he wasn’t safe to be around; the family tried to leave him completely alone.

Ciril had to escape through the window several times and spent many nights in the barn. He was afraid to sleep because he had terrible nightmares. He had learning difficulties and barely finished school.

Where should I run?

When I was 10, my life lost its meaning. I wanted to kill myself, but something stopped me.”

At 12 years old, he no longer qualified for aid to attend school, so he got a job picking strawberries, sour cherries, apples, mushrooms and chestnuts to help pay for his education. When he was 14 he wanted to run away from home because life no longer seemed to have a purpose, but he had nowhere to go. “I was beaten many times, whatever I did was wrong, and I was always afraid of my father.”

The abuse and distance from his father led Ciril to take up karate in school. Determined to prove himself — and protect himself — he won the national kickboxing championship and became a kung fu coach.

After secondary school, he got a job and moved to an old house in the town of Rače. “My friends at that time were rats and mice. But Monday to Friday I was okay, whereas at home it was a proper hell.”

Ciril no longer went to church. “I was very quiet, sad, I did my best to avoid people. I felt abandoned, unwelcomed, and all this had a great impact on me.”

But, with a lot of time on his hands, he would often visit the local library. It was there that he started reading the Bible. “I was drawn to the word of God, more and more every day.”

Out of curiosity, he travelled to Medjugorje. He was not particularly touched there, however, he made a good confession. When he returned home he felt at peace, but nothing extraordinary happened … until …

The realization

One Sunday, a fellow pilgrim from his Medjugorie journey paid Ciril a visit, and convinced him to accompany him to a Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group. “Everyone there lifted up their hands and praised the Lord. I thought they were on drugs, that they were not normal. I was definitely not used to that.” He decided never to enter a church again as people there were “completely abnormal.”

But his friend convinced him to try it a second time, and being that it was freezing outside, Ciril had no choice but to step inside the church. He heard a woman speaking about her husband who beat her and cheated on her, but she was still able to forgive him.

For the first time in my life, I realized what my biggest problem was — that I was not able to forgive my father. I was so angry that I even considered killing him.

This testimony touched him deeply and he kept returning to the prayer group every week. When other people prayed for him, he cried like a little child and his wounds began to heal. In order to be able to forgive, the priest suggested he pray. He prayed a Rosary for his father every day. During this time his father entered rehab but he did not get any better — in fact, he became even more aggressive.

A holy promise

“I wanted God to do something with my life. This was the only chance I could see for myself.” He prayed the Rosary at the cross, on his knees. He says this was incredibly difficult and he only managed to do it because he made a solemn promise to God that he would pray until he could forgive his father.

“For me, this was a sacred promise. I did not want to break it. Most of the time it was really difficult, I was not able to see any change. Everything seemed so pointless. I did not feel like praying; I would prefer watching the TV or going to the disco.” But, as he later found out, all of this was just a step away from his problems.

After a year and a half he realized that prayer alone was not enough, that he had to go to his father and tell him he forgave him. “I fought with myself, I fought with God, telling Him I was not able to forgive. But a month later I received mercy from God, I was able to approach my father and shake his hand.” Nothing changed; there was no mutual forgiveness, and this led Ciril into deep spiritual crisis. But from that point on he prayed two rosaries a day instead of one.

Overcoming fear

After three years of praying rosaries, he realized that he had to tell his father how much he loved him. Initially, he resisted the urge, and then he asked the Lord to heal his heart from any lack of love for his father. “This is how my faith grew. I had neither courage nor mercy to approach my father straight away. I kept having visions in my head of how badly he had treated me,” he said.

He received more mercy and approached his father yet again. He told him that he had been very angry with him. He apologized for everything he had done wrong. He told him that he was his only father and he loved him very much.

“It was at that point that the worst suffering in my life began,” Ciril said. “My father grabbed a knife and said: ‘I will kill you like a pig!’ I ran to my room and father went to the garage to get the chain saw and kill me. For the first time in my life I stepped in front of the crucifix on the wall and started thanking the Lord Jesus: thank you for giving me a father like that, an alcoholic, thank you that I am so unworthy.” He escaped through the window.

From then on his father’s words no longer hurt him. But there was still no forgiveness. He started praying three rosaries a day. His father entered rehab for the fourth time but escaped after a few hours. Once again, he tried to attack his family with an axe.

After praying three rosaries a day for nine months, Ciril thought: your love was not shown in deeds. “I knew then that I had to give my father a hug.” At that time, his father would drink a quart-sized bottle of liquor every day, sometimes not even returning home. He suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, coughing up blood. His doctors told him he only had a month to live — it was his choice to determine how he’d live it.

The power of forgiveness

“I asked to forgive him before he died. One day, after prayer, I went to meet my father when he was coming home from the woods. I had always been afraid but at that moment I felt at peace. I took his hand, looked him in the eyes, told him I forgave him, that I was sorry for everything, and that I loved him. I held his head close to my heart. It was the first time in my life that I hugged my father.”

From that moment on his father stopped drinking and peace returned to the family. “His eyes opened and he wanted to fix everything. For the first time in our lives the children saw mother in father’s embrace – we cried tears of joy.  He told us, his children, that he loved us.” He lived another 16 years.

Once I forgave, I was happy, joyful. This real encounter with God is more powerful than any hatred, curse, suffering or distress,” says Ciril. He never stopped praying, either.

Priesthood? Not for me, thank you

But Ciril’s journey was not over. He had always wanted a big family. He and his long-term girlfriend planned to marry and start their own family, but suddenly that direction felt wrong. He had never considered becoming a priest, either, as he barely finished secondary school.

When the Lord called him originally, he hesitated. But he soon made up his mind.

Today, Ciril realizes that he had to walk his path of suffering to be able to understand and help people who go through similar experiences. His life bears a powerful witness. He travels a lot around the world, witnessing about his experience of forgiveness.

“If we do not forgive, we stop God’s blessing from entering and God cannot work within us. Forgiveness means establishing a new relationship with another person. And that is a great gift from God.”

“But everyone has his own path. Jesus will provide mercy when he sees the necessity. Sometimes it takes a long time. If Jesus had granted me mercy after two weeks I might have become the same old me. But after three years I was happy to pray. And when forgiveness came I did not stop praying.”

Source:

Aleteia – English 

“I Always Carry A Rosary With Me” – 2018 Croatia FIFA World Cup Football Coach Attributes Success To His Faith And The Rosary 

“I Always Carry A Rosary With Me” – 2018 Croatia FIFA World Cup Football Coach Attributes Success To His Faith And The Rosary 

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic 

On Sunday July 15, Croatia’s soccer team will play France in the championship game of the 2018 World Cup, after running victoriously through a string of soccer powerhouses in the tournament.

Here’s one reason Catholics in the US might be rooting for the small Central European country: Croatia is a deeply Catholic country, and the coach of its national team, Zlatko Dalic, is a man of sincere faith.

Dalic said recently that his current success is due to his faith in God, and that he always carries a rosary to hold onto in difficult times.

Dalic spoke about his faith on Croatian Catholic radio when the World Cup began.

“Everything I have done in my life and in my professional career I owe to my faith, and I am grateful to my Lord,” Dalic said.

Croatia got a ticket to the final match of the World Cup after defeating England 2-1 in a game that went to overtime July 11.

“I can be very happy with my life,” Dalic said, adding that “without strong faith and that motivation, it would be very difficult to achieve it.”

“When a man loses any hope, then he must depend on our merciful God and on our faith,” he said.

In that sense, Dalic explained that “I always carry a rosary with me” and “when I feel that I am going through a difficult time I put my hand in my pocket, I cling to it and then everything is easier.”

Regarding the expectations of the Croatians for the success of their selection at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he indicated that “I know what our people expect, how many people love Croatian football and our team.”

He stressed that “finding the good in life always brings satisfaction, happiness, a result. Man must always be honest with himself and with others”.

Before the July 11 game, Dalic said of his Cinderella-story team: “we do not fear anyone, not even England.”

The coach is 51 years old, married and has two children. During his youth he played on Croatian soccer teams, among them Hajduk Split, Inter Zapresic and Varteks Varazdin.

In 2000, he finished his career as a professional soccer and started coaching Croatian teams. In 2010 he went to Saudi Arabia to lead the teams of Al-Faisaly Harmah and then Al-Hilal. A year later he moved to the United Arab Emirates to be the coach of the Al-Ain club.

In October 2017 he was appointed head coach of the Croatian national team.

Islamic Cleric Encounters Jesus In Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Islamic Cleric Encounters Jesus In Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed finds Jesus in Mecca!

Mecca! Mohammed shivered with excitement. To think he was really here, at the heart of Islam in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the great Prophet whose name he bore—the dream of a lifetime!

Although Mohammed served as an imam (pastor) at his local mosque on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, he had never before made a pilgrimage to Mecca, as all devout Muslims must do at least once. This first hajj in May 1992 fulfilled Mohammed’s commitment to the fifth and last pillar of Islam. He went full of expectation that the trip would represent the spiritual climax of his life.

On his first day in Mecca, Mohammed signed up for a bus tour of some outlying holy sites. The next morning he arrived early for one of the many regularly scheduled departures, and he sat right behind the bus driver to get a good view out the front window. He was glad the coach did not fill up and seats nearby remained empty.

The bus shifted into gear and headed down the road towards the city of Medina and the shrines they would visit. In Medina, the Prophet Mohammed had established his theocratic state after fleeing a murder plot in Mecca in the year 622. With Medina, more than 200 miles north of Mecca, Mohammed the Cleric had plenty of time to strike up a conversation with the bus driver.

Above the drone of the engine they exchanged chit-chat, using English as a common language.

“Yes, this is my first hajj,” Mohammed told the dark-haired driver whose face framed deep, penetrating eyes. “I’m from Sumatra, a Malay—one of the largest Muslim people groups in Southeast Asia.”

The driver swiveled his head sideways enough to see Mohammed. “You know, you really shouldn’t have spent all your money coming here.”

Mohammed figured he had misunderstood. He leaned forward to catch the driver’s words. “Excuse me?”

Coming here on pilgrimage is really a waste of money,” the driver repeated unmistakablyp

Stunned, Mohammed  could only listen as the man went on to point out issues he had never considered. For over an hour they conversed as the bus rumbled on through the desert.

“The truth is,” said the driver, turning to look straight at his passenger, “God wants to know you personally, as a friend, not just at a distance through rituals. Islam can’t give you that kind of relationship.”

With their destination approaching, the driver slowed and downshifted to park at the site. Everyone disembarked, but Mohammed’s head spun with new, unthinkable thoughts. In a daze he followed the tour group, yet now everything seemed confused.

What did the driver mean? Where did he get such a perspective? How could I possibly run into a person like that in the Holy Land!

After the tour, Mohammed hurried back to meet the returning bus, eager to get a seat by the driver and resume their conversation. But when he boarded, he looked up to see the face of someone new. His spirits sank.

“What happened to the earlier driver?” he asked the man behind the wheel.

He got little more than a shrug in response.

 Intense pleas to Allah for forgiveness in Mecca

INTENSE PLEAS TO ALLAH FOR FORGIVENESS IN MECCA

Mohammed found a seat and stared out the window. During the trip back to Mecca, his heart burned with the words of the man on the morning bus. He felt he could recall the whole conversation from beginning to end.

Mohammed’s hajj lasted more than a week, but the excitement and anticipation he had brought with him fizzled like air from a leaky tire. Everything he saw and did etched fresh questions and doubts into his mind. As he continued his pilgrimage, he scanned all the buses lined up at each tour site, but never saw his driver again.

Back at home, Mohammed’s family wondered why he had not returned bubbling with joy from his spiritual zenith. In the solitude of his thoughts he pored over the events of his hajj. He could not forget the driver’s words or his face. Yet Mohammed’s spirit grappled with perplexities. If Islam is not the true faith, what is?

A few days later, Mohammed dropped by the home of a neighbor we will call Mr ‘A-Ching’, a Chinese Christian, to borrow something. Mr ‘A-Ching’ welcomed him inside with customary Indonesian hospitality. As they chatted, Mohammed’s eyes lit on something hanging from ‘A-Ching’s’ wall. There within a picture frame he saw the face of his bus driver from Mecca!

Mohammed gasped, pointing to the picture. “A-Ching! Do you know this man?”

Yes, I do,” came the reply. “That’s Jesus. You know Him as Isa.”

Mohammed sat still as a stone. Isa! The second-highest prophet in Islam—the Christians’ Messiah! Could it be …?

When he found his voice, he spoke up quietly. “I have a story to tell you, A-Ching.”

His neighbor, just as shocked at the tale, listened in silence. When Mohammed finished, he began to choke up, suddenly overcome with conviction of his sin. A-Ching explained the truths Jesus had declared about His own identity and purpose.

“Mohammed, you can receive salvation as the free gift of God through Jesus Christ,” A-Ching told him. “You can have a personal relationship with God.”

Mohammed prayed and committed his life to Christ. When he returned home, he gathered his family and spilled out the whole account. Awed at his story and his transformation, they, too, confessed Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

A-Ching introduced Mohammed privately to the pastor of his local fellowship. Then, for their own protection, a network of believers spirited the new convert and his family to a safe house in another city where they could receive biblical teaching without risking retribution from angry Islamists.

Mohammed’s trip to Mecca indeed proved to be the turning point of his spiritual life. But he never expected a divine encounter and supernatural revelation to come through his bus driver.

How A Grandma Was Rescued By ‘A Man With Nail-Scared Hands’ From Attack By A Wild Pig 

How A Grandma Was Rescued By ‘A Man With Nail-Scared Hands’ From Attack By A Wild Pig 


Pastor Paul’s wife Mercy shares a pivotal, transformational experience in her grandmother’s life

My grandmother Eliyamma grew up in a heavily-forested area in a highrange region of India. Her family was religious but hadn’t been taught what it meant to have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Child marriage was common in India at the time, so at the age of 13 she married a man named Mathai.

Eliyamma and Mathai lived with her family in their mud house in the forest. They had no electricity or running water, and there wasn’t a local market to buy food. Her father and Mathai worked hard to reclaim the forest for their small farm, where they cultivated coffee and spices such as pepper and cardamom.

Because the family had no pipes to get suitable drinking water to their house or even a well nearby, it was part of the women’s daily chores to fetch water from the river.

One day, when Eliyamma was 27, she walked down to the river to fill up her water pot. As she bent over the water’s edge, a wild pig charged out of the underbrush and brutally attacked her. She fought back, using the water pot as a defensive shield and weapon to swing at the pig’s head.

But as they fought, the wild pig became even more enraged and fierce. His sharp teeth ripped her legs and arms. Eliyamma knew her life was in jeopardy when blood began to flow profusely from her torn body. She cried out for help, but no one was nearby.

Suddenly a man appeared out of nowhere. He drove the pig away and then knelt down beside her to tend to her wounds. When his hands touched the torn places on her body, she was immediately healed!

Still in shock, Eliyamma’s eyes grew wide with astonishment as she saw the palms of the man’s hands. They were nail-scarred; he carried the markings of crucifixion. Reverence and awe filled her heart. Only one response came to mind as she recognized who attended her. She prostrated herself on the ground and said, “My Lord and my God!”

It was but a moment that she was face down in the soil, which was damp with river water mingled with blood. When she slowly raised her head, her Rescuer had disappeared.

After this dramatic incident, Eliyamma had an insatiable hunger to know more about Jesus. She accepted Him as her personal Savior and, as a result of her testimony, her entire family believed and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

In their lifetimes, Eliyamma and Mathai had a total of sixty-seven children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Being one of them, I grew up knowing Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I married a man named Paul who, though Muslim by birth, accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord on his twenty-first birthday while studying at the university. Now we are winning souls for Christ.

My grandfather, Mathai, went home to be with the Lord when Eliyamma was 62. Thirty-nine years later, Jesus took Eliyamma home when she was 101. Up until that day, she eagerly awaited being with her Rescuer face-to-face, and she devoted her life to studying the Bible, praying for others, and glorifying her Lord as His living witness.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?” (Ps. 27: 1)

__________________

Source:

Bibles4mideast

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