The Family / Children of God

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Copyright: Sept.1991 By Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

OUR GOLDEN BUTTERFLY!--Continued Excerpts of Reports from Marianne & Others to Dad & Mama
(PTL! GBY all! TYJ! Beautiful! "The Advantage of a Handicap!" ILY!--D.)

We Are So Thankful for the Family!

       The Lord used Gabriel to constantly remind me what a priceless privilege & wonderful blessing it is to live in the Family! Jerry & I could never have made it through this if it hadn't been for the support, love, prayers, & understanding of our Shepherds & brethren here who were willing to lay down their lives for us. I saw a living example of this right after Gabriel was born when not only Jerry, but also dear Kenny & Mercy took turns staying up all night sitting in a chair in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital holding baby Gabriel. Dear Teen Maresha, Teen Carmel, Windy & Mercy took turns to help care for Gabriel. They fought both the physical & the spiritual battle for him with us, as they stayed up in the night & cared for his weak little body with the same love & attention & dedication that I would have loved to have given him myself.
       Actually another very beautiful testimony of the Lord's Love is how He gave our dear secretary & helper, sweet Mercy, a real mother's love for little Gabriel right from the start. When Gabriel was at the hospital the first month of his life, Mercy took my place by his side, because I was very physically weak at that time. She asked the Lord to give her a mother's heart for him & the Lord beautifully answered this prayer & before long Gabriel looked to her as his second mommy. Because I had five & then six other children & many other responsibilities, it was such a comfort to me to know that the Lord had somehow raised up a new mother to give him the love, attention & extra care that I was not always able to give him. Where the Lord guides He provides. Though many times I had a battle that I wasn't giving Gabriel enough time, the Lord always reminded me that He was even using that to keep me more broken & to humble me. I guess it could have ministered to my pride if I had been able to do my job, be a mother to my other six children, & on top of all that, care personally for Gabriel too.
       During the last two & a half years, our Home really lived & fought the battle with us, battling every test & every decision in prayer with us. And everybody was very loving & understanding towards Gabriel & his special needs. They were always right there to support us & never made us feel like a burden, even though Gabe put extra weight on the workload of the Home. For me personally it was very humbling to have to ask for prayer at least once or twice a week for Gabriel as he always had either a cold or a cough or congestion or tummy trouble. He usually barely recuperated from one affliction when he'd start another. So I guess the Lord really used it to help me show myself weak & insufficient.
       I don't think I would've made it if it hadn't been for the love & the strength that Jerry has been in this battle--staying up at night with me, fighting in prayer, words & action, & always being an encouragement & support, GBH. It's so beautiful to see the special love the Lord gave him for Gabriel. The Lord has used Gabriel to deepen our relationship. I think every other free day we've spent either fasting or in a Word study or desperate prayer for Gabriel & others, which has brought us so much closer together. TYJ!
       I think the Lord used it to also draw us much closer together as a Home, as at different times we had several days of desperate prayer & fasting for Gabriel, which the Lord always used to punch through with some real good lessons that we needed to learn as a body. Jerry & I often thanked the Lord that Gabriel lived these short few years in the Family, as not only was he surrounded by the best love & the most faith, but also he was not looked down upon as a "problem child", but instead he was appreciated as a Heavenly visitor.

"Heavenly Reports" of Joy & Comfort!

       Another privilege that we have in the Family is that we can hear from the Lord. The Lord really blessed us with beautiful prophecies for Gabriel when he was taken to the hospital for the last time, & on the night of his graduation & then at his Homegoing Ceremony at the HCS. Jerry was saying, "I just wish I could know how he is doing & be able to see him or have a picture of him." The Lord gave us many beautiful pictures & messages through prophecy, like Heavenly reports, about Gabriel running & smiling & being so happy.
       And the Lord gave us many comforting messages such as: "You will see him soon!--Blessed be the Name of the Lord! While he was with you, was he not a blessing to you? Did he not bring forth your sweetness & your prayers & your understanding for others & your brokenness? Did he not bring you closer to Me? For I am in him & I was with him. So rejoice & be exceeding glad in that he is now able to sing & walk & run & play & be a servant of Mine. He is still your son & he will be with you whenever you need him.
       "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends & for his parents & for his brothers & sisters. It was not just for you that he came, but for all My children everywhere, so speak of the lessons that he has taught you & speak of the brokenness & the closeness that he has taught you, that others may know that all things work together for good to them that love Me. You are My children & no good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly."
       How precious & comforting it has been to hear these Heavenly reports through the prophecies of our dear brothers & sisters! PTL!

Gabriel Taught Us the True Values of Life!

       I'm sorry that this report is so long, but since you have been involved with Gabriel's life since the very beginning, & your prayers, encouragement & guidance have been so instrumental in helping us make it through this special episode of our lives, I wanted to tell you the whole story as to my true parents.
       Before I close I would like to tell you a little bit about how Gabriel was different, how he was like a special emissary from Heaven. Though he was handicapped & not really much to behold (though Jerry & I thought he was the cutest little Mongoloid in the whole world), his spirit was so different. He was never really very mindful of the things of this Earth. He never wanted things to be put in his mouth, not even ice cream or pieces of cake. He only barely ate enough to sustain himself. He basically only drank bottles. He never fought for toys or even wanted other children's toys, but his real joy & excitement was to read books. He just loved his Baby Quote Book, the Poster Book & any Bible story book with pictures. He could look at those books over & over again a hundred times.
       Everywhere he went he loved to point to Jesus (Jesus always made him smile), the Heavenly City & Grandpa. He was always very faithful to put his little hands together & pray when we asked him to & he loved to raise his arms to praise the Lord. He would love us to sing hymns or songs about Jesus to him & he would act out little motions that the girls had taught him.
       He was only able to say three words: "Amen", "book" & "Mama". For Gabe the word, "Mama", actually meant mommy, daddy, Grandpa & Auntie Mercy. He never got into arguments or interfered with the other children, but he loved to be there & watch the other children play. He was always willing to send kisses, & at the end he would even give hugs to people--though he was quite attached to his favourites & he didn't like to be passed to anybody he didn't really know.
       His little spirit was very alive & he really communicated & often looked like he knew a lot more than he could tell or express. He was much more attracted to reading, seeing the Kiddie Viddies, listening to songs--activities that fed his spirit. He was like a pure little spirit or a beautiful butterfly in a cocoon waiting to be set free.
       I believe our lives will never be the same. For sure we now have our longings more Heavenward & hopefully we have become better fighters & more dependent on the Lord through all this. I think I can now see more clearly than ever that he never truly belonged to us, but he was just a pilgrim & a stranger sent to us with the mission of giving us a heart of flesh & a more broken spirit, & to teach us about the true values of life.
       Personally, I feel unworthy of such a gift, & I feel that the real crowns will go to those who tended to his every need day & night, those who stayed up to help him fight his many physical battles & who were there to care for him & comfort him, like dear Windy, Mercy, Daddy Jerry, Teen Maresha & Teen Carmel. They all really laid down their lives for him & for us, & I feel so indebted to them, but I know too that their lives also will never be the same for all the precious lessons they learned & the love Gabriel ministered to them daily. PTL!
       I love you so very very dearly! Please forgive me if this is too long. I guess this is the last chapter of a very very special part of our lives. I want to thank you again, dear Dad, for all the beautiful Words that you've given us about Heaven, which we never got so much out of as we do now. And thank you both so much for all your encouraging messages. I love you very very much & you are in our prayers always!
       With lots of love, Marianne

"Whatsoever Is Born of God Overcometh the World!"--Excerpts of Reports by Jerry to Dad & Mama

What Treasures He Brought Us!

       One of the most beautiful fruits of Gabriel's Homegoing in my own life is that I now have such a longing for Heaven. Of course I always believed in Heaven & desired to see the beauties There, but now that he is There I really have something that pulls me & makes me want to even give up this life on Earth to join him.
       This is a new feeling for me, which makes me understand so much more how you feel, Dad, when you talk & sing & cry about Heaven. I imagine that it might be the loss of some of your dear loved ones that put that feeling in you, because that tremendous desire for Heaven is in my heart today, whereas a few short weeks ago it wasn't. I love Jesus & I've wanted to go to Heaven to see Him, but now that Gabriel has gone on to Heaven it feels more like Home to me. I pray I always have this longing towards Heaven, making me constantly loosen my grip on the things of this Earth. Through Gabriel the Lord taught us precious lessons on prayer, enduring & fighting in the spirit that I never want to lose.
       Coming here from poor Third World countries like Latin America & the Philippines was quite a culture shock. With this country's wealth & cleanliness & organisation, I can see how we could easily have become complacent & "satisfied", especially since Marianne & I are also blessed with a sweet relationship & a wonderful place of service. So I believe the Lord also sent Gabriel to help us stay broken & desperate & uncomfortable in the midst of this country's material wealth & comfort.

Free at Last!

       It's quite amazing that our Home watched a movie called "Ghost" just a few days before Gabriel went to be with the Lord. That's quite a beautiful movie with so much about the Spirit World & going to the Other Side & spirits' interactions with the people on Earth. When we were watching it, it seemed as if someone had gotten ahold of the "Heaven's Children" series or some of your other Letters, Dad, & had decided to make a movie about them. It was very inspiring & a very feeding preparation for us before Gabey's Homegoing.
       One of the Teen girls had a vision when she heard that Gabe had gone to be with the Lord. She saw his little spirit coming out of his body just like one of the scenes in "Ghost", & instead of going straight up to Heaven, his little spirit was flying all around Marianne kissing her & kissing her, trying to comfort her & tell her that he was now happy & free.

The Butterfly!

       One of the most beautiful pictures we got at Gabe's graduation ceremony was the picture of the butterfly having escaped from his cocoon. In a way, Gabe was like a little worm in this life, though he couldn't even crawl as well as a worm. But now he is a beautiful butterfly as he's flown to freedom. A week after he went Home, the Lord gave me a song for him, which perhaps would be nice to include here since it's on the theme of the butterfly.


       Once the night looked kindly
       Once the sun did shine
       Upon a gentle treasure
       That once on Earth was mine.
       Once he smiled to see me
       And I, to hold him near
       But now my eyes are misty
       My treasure's far from here.

       But I'm happy because you're happy
       Because you're in Heaven, safe at last.
       Trials are past, pain is over
       That cocoon's no more your Home,
       For our precious golden butterfly has flown.

       Thank God the race is over
       Thank God the fight is done.
       Together with our Saviour
       We fought the war & won.
       With victory now behind us
       I long to soon abide
       There Where you are waiting
       On the Other Side.

       Once I held a treasure,
       Now it's stored away.
       Once I dreamed of Heaven--
       It's real to me today.
       And all that keeps me Earthbound
       Are those I need to bring
       When I come to join you
       Beyond the rainbow's gleam.

       I'm happy because you're happy
       Because you're in Heaven safe at last.
       Peace & joy & love & laughter,
       All abound in that new Home
       Where our precious golden butterfly has flown.

       After Gabriel's death I had cried a few times, but mostly it had been a time of victory, because we were so thankful for how the Lord had delivered him & we could obviously see the Lord in it all. I had been praying for a song. Lately I haven't had so much time to get songs as I used to have when writing songs was such an important part of my life. One week after his graduation, actually on Marianne's & my anniversary (we have been together for four years now), I started getting the words & the tune to the above song for Gabey when I was working in the studio. As I was getting the song, I had to stop & go to my room & weep.--I haven't wept like that for years, the kind of weeping that comes from the bottom of your soul, & it was such a relief. And then I was able to get the rest of the words of the song.

We're Happy for Him!

       As I explain some of what we are feeling & some of the heartaches, I also want to express how genuinely happy we are for his Homegoing & the way the Lord did it & how beautifully the Lord handled it all. To me it was just such a beautiful testimony of how, if you trust the Lord with your life & your death, He will handle it all so wonderfully. As long as dear little Gabey was supposed to be here, he remained with us, & then when his time was up, he just passed away.
       For those of us who are left behind it's easy to see how happy Gabe must be now. He is in the Heavenly City that he loved so much, with Jesus Who he loved so dearly & pointed to at every chance he got. He was a Heavenly-minded little "peach," & he certainly made us more Heavenly-minded, first through his life & now even more so through his death.
       I got to sing the song, "I'll Meet You Over There," at his Graduation Ceremony, as well as some of the beautiful songs that you sing, Dad, in the "Songs of Heaven" Tapes. I thank you so much, Dad, for making Heaven so real to us & for delivering us from all that the World has to go through when they lose loved ones. GBY!
       In closing I would like to reiterate what a blessing little Gabriel was & what a beautiful life we had together. I don't know how many other special children like Gabey there are in the Family or how many more the Lord wants to give us. I certainly wouldn't want to scare anyone through our testimonies about how difficult it was, because although it was difficult many times, I would never ask for this not to have happened. If the Lord sees fit to give anyone else in our Family one of these special children, I know He will also give them the grace & the love needed, just like He did for us. Gabriel was something extra special for us, he was a bit like seeing an Angel or meeting your spirit helper. He really was such an inspiration to us!
       Thank you, dear Dad & Mama, for praying for him & for us. We rejoice together now that all our prayers, every single one of them, have been answered. We love you so much!
       Much love, Jerry

More on Dr. I. & the People We Met through Gabriel--By Marianne

       As I said previously, the Lord raised up a dear doctor who was a tremendous help to us, dear Dr. I. He is one of the leaders of the Association for the Parents with Down's Syndrome Children in this country. After he visited our Home & heard our music, he said that what we have is just what the parents of Down's Syndrome children need. He explained to us that in this country, until recently, Down's Syndrome children have been very much looked down on. Parents would feel very ashamed to have such children & they would often hide them. So this association has begun to try to organise support groups to help the parents overcome this stigma & realise that there is nothing to be ashamed of & see that their children can develop & be happy. GBH!
       Dr. I. travels around the country & participates in seminars & conferences to help educate families on what to do about their Down's Syndrome children. He was very interested in us meeting with the support group of our city. We were able to do two shows for this association, & last Christmas the 100 people present for their Christmas party, both adults & children, ended up holding hands in a big circle & asking Jesus to come into their hearts after our children performed a Christmas show for them. The Down's Syndrome children particularly loved our children.
       Dr. I. is thrilled with our Kiddie Viddies & he has been promoting them to many other parents. When we went to a conference which was organised by this association, our Videos went out like hotcakes. The lady who is the actual president for the association in our area made a tremendous sales pitch for our Videos. She explained that her eight-year-old daughter (a Down's Syndrome child) was just glued to the one Kiddie Viddie that Dr. I. had given her. She explained that through the Kiddie Viddie her daughter had learned to comb her hair & she was willing to lie down for naps & she understood about needing to wash her hands.--And all this was because she had seen these movements & attitudes repeated over & over on our Videos. Down's Syndrome children like to imitate, & the sweet ways that our Kiddie Viddies teach those simple lessons had really gone into her heart, & just from watching the Kiddie Viddies she had been able to absorb the attitudes as well as the behaviour that her mother had been trying to teach her for so long! PTL!
       Dr. I. had to suffer some persecution from the hospital for our sake. We explained to him that, although we knew Gabriel's condition was very delicate & therefore he may not be with us for very long, we strongly felt that the best place for him was with us, with his family & his brothers & sisters, & we wanted to avoid him being hospitalised. At different times Dr. I. had to refer us to various specialists at the hospital who examined Gabriel, & he had to speak to these specialists in favour of us keeping Gabriel at home. Of course the immediate reaction of these various specialists was to want to operate on Gabriel. So he had to fight for our faith, which I know he personally understood & related to, but several times he let us know that it wasn't easy for him to explain our stand to the other doctors. However, the Lord always gave us a way of escape & the doctors always ended up saying that it was fine with them if we wanted to keep Gabe at home, & they'd end up teaching us what to do to help him along. PTL!
       One time Dr. I. came over to our house & shared with us a little bit about the burden that he bears, as his work puts him in contact with many spiritual cases, but without his really knowing much about the Lord & the Spirit World. He was at that time having to help an autistic* child who had not said a single word since he was one year old. This child refused to communicate, but the doctor believed that somehow he could express himself, so he tried to win him with love. Soon the child started to write a few words on a piece of paper. Little by little their communication developed until the child would write him letters in a simple but understandable language. (*Autistic: an inability to relate socially to people; out of touch with reality.)
       Finally the doctor wrote him a question: "Why is it that you haven't wanted to communicate all this time?" The child wrote a letter back saying that it is because he knew his mother had murdered his younger brother. (She had had an abortion when he was one year old.) He was mad at her & he could also see the spirit of that baby brother who was mad at her too. The doctor said it was the power of love that had helped this child open up that much, but now he needed to teach him to forgive. These various situations are a tremendous burden on him & whenever we see him we feel we have to recharge him with faith & appreciation & encouragement, as the world he lives in pulls so much on him emotionally, physically & spiritually.
       After Gabriel's death, when we called Dr. I., we were the ones encouraging him. He was all choked up over the phone & we had to comfort him that we knew Gabriel is now healed & safe at last & is able to enjoy all the things that he couldn't enjoy on Earth & that we will be reunited together soon. More recently we talked to Dr. I. again & he said that normally in such circumstances the doctors are there to help the family members. But in this case, we are the ones helping him. And he asked if we could please continue to help minister to parents who have Down's Syndrome children, especially the foreigners here who find themselves in such circum-stances.
       The woman in charge of the Association of Parents with Down's Syndrome Children is a very precious woman who visited our Home. She explained how she had lived a rather selfish & independent life until the age of 40, at which time she decided to have a child against the advice of all of her relatives & friends. She was heartbroken when she found out the little girl she had given birth to had Down's Syndrome. She confessed the years that followed were the most difficult years of her life. However, she said this little girl has been the greatest blessing to her life as she has taught her the real meaning of love. Through her, she discovered the joy of giving sacrificially, the joy of caring unselfishly, the joy of loving until it hurts.
       This woman comes from a Buddhist background, but when she realised that she needed to give some sort of religion to her daughter she decided to take her to Sunday School, because she felt that Christianity was the best faith & religion for such children as it contains not only love, but also faith & hope for the future. She admitted that she wouldn't consider herself a Christian yet, but she was so thankful her daughter could be a Christian. The little girl so loved the Bible stories at Sunday School that her mommy had started to read parts of the Bible to her & it had brought her tremendous comfort & joy. She also told us that a lot of the Bible passages she had read so far had previously been pointed out to her by our friend, Dr. I. This confirmed to us that he is actually a secret believer, & though he's never really prayed the formal prayer with us, he does believe in the Lord & confesses Him to others in his own way. PTL! This woman was so hungry & receptive. Every time we shared a quote or explained to her some spiritual principles she would say, "Is that in the Bible?" & she would want to know where it could be found.
       One thing we have observed from ministering to parents of such children is that they are often quite broken & spiritually hungry & receptive. So we pray that we'll be able to continue this ministry to other families that the Lord saw fit to bless with such special children, so we can help them see the "God is Love" written on the front of the bookmark of their lives, instead of the tangled mess on the back that it may first appear to be when they find out that their child is "abnormal". We pray we will be able to lead many of these precious people to the Lord. PTL!

Little Gabriel Drew Us All Closer to the Lord!--Members of the Home Share Lessons & the Lord's Comfort after Gabriel's Graduation

Dearest Mama,
       GBY! IRLY! The day after Gabriel's graduation, the adults & Teens of our Home got together to share their reactions as to how Gabriel & his graduation had affected them. I thought that you may be interested to hear some of these lessons & reactions that were shared in our Pow-wow.
       Many of the reactions mention Jerry's attitude & mine during this time. I want to say, as I'm sure you know, that it has been from no strength of our own, but truly a confirmation that "His grace is sufficient for us" & that "When we are weak, He is strong, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness." (2Cor.12:9,10)
       I pray that these testimonies can encourage others that you do get that "dying grace" when the tests & the time come. Personally I feel it is no testimony of our own personal virtues, but rather of the wonderful & merciful grace of God & that indeed He is "a very present help in time of trouble." (Psa.46:1) PTL!
       Love, Marianne

       Peter Pioneer: Gabe's graduation sobered me & woke me up to how quickly it can happen for any of us. Gabe was a special child & his case was a special one, but it can happen to anyone. At any time the Lord can call us Home. I'm finding myself loving my children more & wanting to give everybody more love, like the song that says, "Love your brothers, love your sisters, for they may be gone tomorrow."
       One of my biggest fears when I started having children was to have a child with defects, who was retarded, or was a Down's Syndrome baby. Then when the Lord gave Gabe to Marianne & Jerry, I realised it wasn't the worst thing that could happen.
       My next big worry & fear about having children was that one of them should die! I've often thought about that as the worst thing that could happen, & when they would leave the Home to go witnessing or on excursions out into the System, this thought would often cross my mind. But seeing how Gabe moved on so simply, as if he moved to another Home, really impressed me more than anything else. I realised that death is not so bad after all! In fact, in Gabe's case, it was beautiful & it has erased that fear of death I've had, TYJ!

       Eddie: Speaking of fear of death, I was raised with that as a Catholic, as well as fear of judgment & fear of going before an angry God. This was something that was ingrained in me as a child. But from this experience I realised that death is just so easy & so natural. It's not a big dramatic or scary thing at all. It's simply that when it's time for you to go Home, you just go Home! It's just so simple, like going through a door & closing the door behind you, & that's it. It's Man who has created all this rigmarole & made a big thing out of it, whereas death in itself is just simple & easy if you are a Christian, know the Lord & what He has in store for you.

       Maria: The children's reaction to Gabe's homegoing really impressed me. It seemed that the younger they were, the better they took it & the more faith they had. The small ones were talking about it in a very matter-of-fact way. At night they were praying & some of them said, "Jesus, send my love to Gabe!" And they blew kisses for him & it was so very sweet & touching.
       Another thing that really impressed me was to see Jerry just get up & keep going. GBH! He was like King David who was praying for his first son, & when the Lord took him, David got up & continued his work. (See 2Sam.12:15-23.) Jerry was a real sample to me when we heard of Gabe's graduation. The Lord gave so much grace & it was a real testimony.

       Florence (Rachel of Peter Pioneer): This was one of the main things that impressed me & encouraged me too--Marianne's & Jerry's reaction. As a parent myself I have thought, how would I be able to handle something like this if it were to happen? I didn't think I could handle it or stand it. But seeing the grace they had & what fighters they were really encouraged me & impressed me.
       Also, you can't think of it as "death." When I first heard about it & thought about it like that, I didn't know how to react & I was shocked! But then thinking of him being with Jesus, I realised that it wasn't so bad, but it is actually beautiful & he is much better off. Gabe's graduation made me realise how short life is & that sometimes the battles I go through are so very small. I place so much importance on my battles while actually they are so little in comparison to the Heavenly things that are going on.

My Mission of Caring for Gabriel, a Special Child!--By Windy, Gabriel's fulltime nanny for two years

       When I first started taking care of Gabriel he was eight months old. I had previous experience working with another handicapped child & what I learned from it is that I can't go about things with my own natural reasoning. I had to be led of the Spirit & I needed to learn how this little boy operated. These are special children & they have special needs, & I had to learn to pray for guidance & be desperate for the Lord to help me walk in His Spirit & to lead me step by step.
       One thing that I would like to testify of is the love that the Lord poured into me for Gabey. It was easy for me to overlook his handicaps because what I saw was a sweet child with a sweet spirit. Although the sacrifice of taking care of him was quite big at times, considering the many physical & spiritual battles involved, the Lord's Love & grace was what helped overcome those battles & win tremendous victories! PTL!

Love Was the Key!

       One of the most important keys in working with him was love & physical contact. He thrived on all the love that he got & that was one of the main motivations to help him to do things. It seemed that the love that the Lord gave me for him helped him overcome his handicap. From this I learned a more general lesson about the importance of not just looking at children's needs in a practical way, but to look deeper, to open my eyes, to look into their hearts.
       One important thing for Gabey was to make him feel secure. Making him feel secure meant giving him affection, approval & acceptance.--We wanted him to know that we would love him for what he was, accept him & approve of him for the things that he was capable of doing without him having to go beyond that to earn approval.

Gabey's Physical Progress!

       From the very beginning I knew I was walking by faith, because I didn't see so much physical progress. He was weak physically & he needed a lot of stimulation & massages to help him respond to touch & to help him to roll over. Things that you would expect a normal baby to do had to be taught to him.
       Up until the age of six months, Mongoloid children have a chance of developing on an equal level as normal children. But after six months, their ability to develop falls behind if they don't have constant input & training. Since Gabey did have to be taught everything, I learned not to take things for granted.

Learning to Fight!--The Importance of Praise!

       Gabey's physical problems gave me compassion for him.--Not just pity, though, because we really wanted to help him not just to grow & learn to live with his handicaps, but at the same time to learn how to be a fighter. We wanted to teach him to do all that he was capable of doing.
       He had a good understanding of everything, but his main difficulty was to be able to respond & express his feelings verbally or otherwise. Because of this he had a lot of frustration & often got discouraged from trying to do more.
       With Gabey I learned a very important principle in childcare: The importance of praise & building up the child's confidence.--Letting him know that you have faith in him & at the same time faith in the Lord that He will help the child learn what he needs to learn.
       If we were to push Gabey to learn how to walk, for example, he would easily get discouraged & feel that he was not capable of doing it. So I couldn't set rigid goals, leaning to my own understanding or expecting him to learn more in the physical than he was able to learn. I had to see things with the eyes of the Spirit & learn to follow the Lord & go as far as He wanted me to go in teaching Gabriel.
       As far as discipline with Gabey, we needed to be really firm, but not severe or forceful. It seemed that positive reinforcement always strengthened him & helped him to grow a lot faster.

Teaching Skills to the Handicapped!

       Gabey was cross-eyed & his eyes would sometimes focus on two different things. You couldn't even tell what he was looking at sometimes. But he had a real remarkable accuracy of finding little tiny things & always could spot pictures of Jesus or point to objects that you would ask him to point to. Gabey was able to learn his colours very rapidly, as well as recognition of different shapes & math dots.
       Seeing that Gabey was capable of learning helped me to not look at his handicaps & not allow them to discourage me from trying to teach him.
       Little by little as I kept my eyes on Jesus & not on the waves, Gabey learned to do some of the things I tried to teach him. I also learned to trust the Lord & not to get frustrated, thinking that Gabey needed to learn more or make more rapid progress. The more I learned to walk by faith & not by sight, the more I was able to help Gabey overcome some of his problems.

The Importance of Patience & Stick-to-it-iveness!

       One very important thing to remember with handicapped children, which we learned from working with Gabey, is that if you want to teach them anything, it is going to take a lot of patience & perseverance. Nothing happens overnight & it takes a lot of determination & stick-to-it-iveness.
       For example, with his progress in walking, I knew that he wasn't going to develop that skill on his own & it was something that needed to get broken down step by step & developed by stages. I first had to teach him coordination & how to roll, how to bend his body, how to kick, & it was one step at a time. We had to make sure that his body was physically ready & also that he himself was feeling secure & emotionally ready to try something new.

More Spiritual Lessons for Me!

       The Lord used Gabey to teach me a lot of spiritual principles, not just to know the Word but to really drink it into my heart & apply it to situations. In times of need, when Gabey was sick, the Lord helped me to gain strength spiritually by causing me to get desperate, & by my having to exercise faith.
       I had to learn how to go through those trials & tests by keeping a tough spirit & a soft heart.--Also not to get bitter against the Lord for all that He was allowing Gabey to go through, but to really see the Lord's hand each step of the way.
       One very encouraging thing that we were all able to witness was that the Lord never failed to guide us & "lead us in a plain path" (Psa.27:11), as long as we were united & constantly looking to Him for His leadings. I saw how very important it is to pull together in the Spirit & in the same direction.
       Sometimes I would be over-confident in myself & what I thought needed to get done, but from my Shepherds' sample I learned a lot about walking with the Lord & following the voice of the Lord & waiting in prayer to confirm His Will. A lot of times I had to change my way of thinking & how I thought things needed to get done. All along it was a very special training time for me, in constantly learning to trust & obey & keep praying for His solutions instead of my own.

The Importance of Honest Reporting & Communication!

       There were times when I had to report about Gabriel's condition & I learned to seek the Lord in that, too. I needed Him to help me to be honest about the things that were in my heart, but at the same time teach me how to speak in faith & manifest a trusting attitude. I had to learn to trust the Lord & my Shepherds' judgements more, knowing that they had the Lord's discernment & that Gabriel's life was really the Lord's doing. There was no reason to try to work things out in my own strength, or worry that they wouldn't work out.
       Having to counsel more & keep reporting about Gabriel's situation helped me tremendously in my own walk with the Lord. I was able to learn important principles in my relationship with my leadership & overcome fears that I had had in regards to leadership.
       Often, since I was very emotionally involved with Gabriel & was with him all the time, I wasn't able to see the whole picture very clearly or distinguish the forest from the trees. So to have regular communication time with Marianne & Jerry via paper or personal heart-to-heart talks was a tremendous blessing for me & consequently for Gabey. Those communication times would often open my eyes to the whole picture & other factors involved with Gabey's situation. The Lord caused me to desperately desire to hear from Him, instead of going by what was "logical" according to my natural mind.
       Marianne's support was also very instrumental in keeping me going too, because even though it was difficult for her to "forsake" Gabey to my fulltime care, she really prayed for me & counselled me all along the way & in every situation that came up. Without her & Jerry's support, I wouldn't have been able to give as much or stick to the special task that the Lord had given me of caring for this special one.

How the Lord Comforted My Heart!

       During Gabey's Homegoing Ceremony, the pain that came with the realisation of his "departure" was suddenly replaced with great peace, comfort, relief & faith in the Lord. I knew right then & there that Jesus had finally won the battle, helped Gabey finish the course & accomplish his well-planned mission here on Earth, & he was now receiving a Crown of Life, which the Lord has promised to give to them that love Him. (Jam.1:12) PTL!
       Gabe taught me a lot about longsuffering as he couldn't fight so much in the physical, but he would fight along with us in the Spirit as we sang Psalms & hymns together throughout every attack that he had. Also, he was a good sample of always praising the Lord! Some of the verses that the Lord impressed upon me were, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing" (Jn.6:63) & the part in 2Cor.12 where it says that to be weak in the flesh is to be strong in the Spirit, & that way God is glorified. (2Cor.12:9,10)
       While I was putting him in the Lord's hands I got the verse, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me & forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." (Mat.19:14) It's like the Lord was saying, "Okay, Gabe can go now to his new Home. His mission has been accomplished."
       One more thing I saw is how real the Spirit World is. It is just one step away & we should be living with that truth in mind, we should be living in the Spirit. That's how Gabe was! He was bound in the flesh, but he was very free in the Spirit. He was very alive in the Spirit, very loving & cheerful & so beautifully happy! The Lord has done a lot for me through Gabe & it makes me want to do my best for Jesus! TYJ!
       Love, Windy

More News!--And Evidence of Gabriel's Presence!--Excerpts from Marianne's report to Dad & Mama, three weeks after Gabriel's graduation

       Last night we saw a beautiful movie called "Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love" about a special child. He was the third child of a sweet couple & he turned out to be totally autistic. When they found out what his condition was they decided they were going to do everything in their power to help pull him out of the prison he seemed to be in, & they started to research books & consulted all sorts of doctors, programs & institutions. They were met by a tremendous barrage of doubts, "it can't be done's" & just plain medical weirdnesses. When watching the movie, you get so mad at the medical system & these psychologists & so-called "experts". How wrong the System is in the way they classify these children & how much they miss by not seeing them as God's special gifts to accomplish a special purpose in our lives, as well as theirs!
       So back to the story of the movie: These parents decided that they'd try on their own to reach into the little boy's world through love & acceptance & Home Schooling. And after much effort, desperation & time spent with him, the little boy miraculously pulled through. He even had quite a discouraging relapse at one point, but they didn't give up trying. They continued to have constant workshops with him in their home with the help of their two older daughters & a teen girl who they had basically adopted. You can see how the fight brings them all closer together & brings out a real sweetness in them. Of course, the tremendous victory is that the little boy ends up totally healed with a brilliant mind & he's able to attend regular school--when the original tests gave him an IQ of barely 30! PTL!
       We could certainly relate to the experience of this couple as we met the same barrage of impossibilities when we first tried to find out more about how to help Gabriel. It was Dad's Word about Mongoloid children that really gave us faith. And then we had the conviction to not settle down to any program or book or accept the advice from "experts" whose counsel didn't coincide with our faith, but instead we kept looking until we found a "new set of experts" who believed in miracles & that the best miracles can happen at home where the child is surrounded by love & faith & is totally accepted for what he is & not classified as "abnormal".
       Just like the older sisters in this movie, our children had totally accepted Gabriel for what he was. They were always very interested in what he was going through & what was happening with him, & they were always especially gentle with him & concerned about him. To show how these special children actually bring out the best in so-called "normal" children: In the toddler room where Gabriel lived with Windy, the other children living there (ages one to two & a half) were very aware that Gabriel was especially sensitive, & this seemed to always help them be very kind & sweet to each other & to him in particular. Windy observed that after Gabriel graduated these children kind of lost that sweetness & kind & patient handling of each other & they became more like regular toddlers, grabbing, pushing & doing all the things that children that age normally do. In other words, they started to do the things that they seemed to consciously try to not do as long as Gabriel was around, as they didn't want to hurt him or scare him. They kind of instinctively learned to "bear the infirmities of the weak," which actually brought out the best in them. PTL!
       Though Gabriel had many physical handicaps which hindered his motor development, we always felt he had a good little mind & especially a very lively & bright little spirit. As a result of all of the input given him, at the age of two years & three months he could recognise colours & shapes & match them. He could also throw a ball, put items in & out of a box, recognise many words & pictures, & he responded enthusiastically to music & stories. He could do the actions to several songs, but most of all, you could really communicate with him. He couldn't say many words, but he could clearly let you know what he liked & didn't like & what he wanted to do. Our dear doctor was very impressed by his alertness & mental progress, even though his physical body had a hard time tagging along. All this excitement was just trapped inside an inefficient & badly functioning body, from which he's now been released. PTL!
       It's been beautiful how the Lord has been answering our prayers to keep in touch with Gabriel, as both Windy & myself have really felt his presence recently in different instances. She felt his presence once when she was taking care of Florence's (Rachel of Peter Pioneer) newborn--he seemed to be there encouraging her. And for me, I felt his presence when I went to help Greek Maggie deliver her baby. Going to the delivery was a bit of a test for me, as it stirred up so many emotional memories in me, but I really felt Gabriel was wanting me to go & face my fears, & I felt his presence & help then. It all turned out to be a very victorious & inspiring experience with his help from Heaven! PTL!

More Reactions & Reflections!

From Marianne:
        When I wrote my flesh family about Gabriel's birth, my sister rebuked me for giving birth to such a child & for being ignorant or not willing to go through the tests that are available nowadays "to help women prevent having children who are a burden to society." My sister wrote me months after Gabriel was born because she said she was so upset with me she couldn't bring herself to write sooner. My brother never even wrote me.
       I don't hold this against my sister & brother as "they know not what they do", but seeing their reactions helped me appreciate more the love & support that we have in our Family. Here we have true brothers & sisters in Christ!

        In "If Ye Suffer, Ye Shall Also Reign" (ML#2608, GN 450), Dad got the following prophecy: "Because of these afflictions I've kept them close to Me that they may seek My face continually for their afflictions." I was thinking that maybe just as we needed to learn to be better fighters & more dependent on the Lord & draw closer to Him, maybe Gabriel also had to go through this special course of suffering & learning to desperately cling to the Lord during his short while on Earth, to teach him certain lessons that he needed to learn in order to be a better tool or servant of the Lord.
       I can see more clearly now that the lessons were mostly for us to go through, but possibly the Lord wanted to purify & perfect his little spirit too, before calling him back Home.

        After we explained to our other children about Gabe's death, we were praying together, & our oldest child, David, 10 years old, got a little picture. It was like we had a ceiling over our heads & Gabriel had gone through the ceiling into a room that was above, a room that we could only poke our heads into. That was quite a nice way to explain how Heaven & the Spirit World is for us, that we can only see it through our understanding (our heads) & our faith in the Word.

From Jerry:
        Thank the Lord that a big percentage of Down's Syndrome children don't have the many problems that Gabriel had. Some have actually grown to live almost normal lives. There are many here who you see walking to school by themselves, & who seem to live fairly normal lives.

        The hardest thing about losing a loved one like Gabey is the feeling that you are missing spending precious years with them as they grow up. When I separated from my first wife & children I experienced a similar feeling to this separation from Gabriel, & emotionally it's difficult for me to tell the difference between having a child in Heaven or having children in a distant country on Earth. It seems so similar: In both cases the children are out of your life, away from your immediate presence, & you can no longer hold them, watch them, laugh with them, etc. It's difficult to know that your children are growing up & you are missing the precious years when they are learning, having battles, making progress & overcoming, etc.
       Windy said the first thing she is going to do when she gets to Heaven is get on a 3-D TV & watch the years of Gabe's life that she missed. It's certainly a comforting thought to me concerning my first set of children who are growing up in a different country, & dear Gabey & his departure, to know that we'll be able to watch the years we missed when we get There.

       "The things of yesteryear, the things of yore & the pain shall be gone & forgotten in the things which shall be! Neither shall there be any more crying nor any more sorrow nor any more pain! For all these hurts shall be forgotten in the joys that I will give them, the things to come. And I shall wipe away all their tears, neither shall they remember them any more, for all their pain shall be forgotten in the beauties & joys that are to come!" Hallelujah! Amen! We kiss goodbye for now--good night here, but good morning Up There! Thank You Jesus!
       "I shall take away thy pain & thy grief forever with everlasting joy & eternal solace that shall never end!--And thou shalt have these thy children forever then, & the love that shall never end & a life that shall be forever!" ("No More Tears," ML# 1367:18,21,29, DB1)

       "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, I make all things new." (Rev.21:4, 5)

From Josiah:
        One of the children in the nursery, when one of the others asked him where Gabey was, said, "Gabey's not here. He's dancing, he's playing, he's running all over the place." It is as though the Lord had revealed, even to the little children in the nursery, that Gabey is now able to dance & play. Isn't this so precious how the Lord can give such peace, such a beautiful answer even to the little ones to comfort them not to worry, not to fear, not to be sad?
       The thought that kept coming to me on the train as I was travelling to Marianne's was, "Why be ashamed to be glad that Gabe has gone Home to be with Jesus?" I felt like the Devil was trying to make us feel condemned or ashamed to be glad, when in reality there should be a joy & gladness. After all, this is the recompense of the reward which He has spoken of. This is what we're all here for. Like the Bible says, if all we have is hope in this life, we are of all men most miserable. (1Cor.15:19) Gabe has gone before us, he has his reward. Isn't that wonderful? Thank you, Dad & Mama, for teaching us to have faith!

Heavenly Messages of Comfort & Encouragement--Prophecies received at the HCS right after Gabriel's heart stopped beating--7/6/91

       * Is not he a child of My design? My eye is on the sparrow, & My eye is on him, & I have hallowed him about with My protection & My Spirit. My Spirit overshadows him & protects the little one. The spirit of this little one hath always beheld the face of his Father which is in Heaven.
       * I saw a picture of an Angel over his bed & he was saying, "Fear not, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."
       * I got a vision of the gates of Heaven open, & then this transparent ball came out of the gates. There were two Cherubim standing on the ball, like when a soul is being sent to Heaven.
       * Passing on is like a ship leaving the shore. We're waving good-bye, but as the ship appears on the other shore, they're waving "Welcome, welcome!"

Prophecies received at Marianne & Jerry's Home on the night of Gabe's graduation--7/6/91

       * He fought a good fight, he finished the course & a crown is given unto him. What a victory!
       * For if in this life only we have hope we are of all men most miserable. But our hope is in the Lord & our hope will help us see greater things than these. Thou canst not imagine the beauty & the wonders that I have prepared for you. He is waiting for you & you will join together with him in My holy Temple & My holy Mountain. For thou shalt dwell together for ever. This life is only for a time. Set not your affections on things below, but on things Above.
       * We kiss good night for now, we say, "Good night" down here, but Up There we will say, "Good morning." We cry down here right now, we weep down here, but Up There we will rejoice & we will know each other even as He knows us.
       * At first I saw Gabe smiling really big with a shining face, then I saw him running! He ran the race & he is going to a greater grade. And we too need to run the same race.
       * I got the same vision & the verse, "Rejoice in the Lord always for me, & again I say rejoice."
       * "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." When the prophecy came about him being a testimony of this & that, I thought how he was always happy & smiling & he was never arguing with anyone. But then I got that the greater sacrifice is that he left the halls of Heaven to come & confine himself in corruptible flesh, not just any body, but a handicapped body.--And that was a sacrifice, but now he is going to his reward. He's returning with his mission fulfilled & he is going back to a cheery party as a shiner.

Prophecies received at Gabriel's Graduation Ceremony at the HCS--9/6/91

       * You will see him soon. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.
       * I saw a picture of a Home in Heaven, & it looked like when we have visitors & we all get ready & clean up. There's all of these people & they're so happy, getting ready to greet Gabey!
       * Wherefore comfort one another with these Words: Seek not the living among the dead, for he is not dead as you suppose, he is living a greater life than he has ever lived. He has gone to his reward. He has gone through his metamorphosis and come out as a butterfly. He is no longer a caterpillar.

Poems of Comfort


       We are quite sure
       That He will give them back
       --Bright, pure & beautiful--
       We know He will but keep
       Our Own & His until we fall asleep.
       We know He does not mean
       To break the strands reaching between
       The here & There.
       He does not mean--though Heaven be fair--
       To change the spirits entering There
       That they forget
       The eyes upraised & wet,
       The lips too still for prayer,
       The mute despair.

       He will not take
       The spirits which He gave, & make
       The glorified so new
       That they are lost to me & you.

       I do believe
       They will receive
       Us--you & me--and be so glad
       To meet us, that when most I would grow sad
       I just begin to think about that gladness,
       And the day
       When they shall tell us all about the way
       That they have learned to go--
       Heaven's pathway show.

       My lost, my own, & I
       Shall have so much to see together by & by.
       I do believe that just the same sweet face,
       But glorified, is waiting in the Place
       Where we shall meet, I know 'tis true,
       We'll have our promised rendezvous.
       I do believe that God will give
       A sweet surprise
       To tear-stained saddened eyes,
       And that this His Heaven will be
       Most glad, most tided through with joy
       For you & me,
       As we have suffered most.

       God never made
       Spirit for spirit,
       Answering shade for shade,
       And placed them side by side--
       So wrought in one,
       Though separate, mystified--
       And meant to break
       The quivering threads between.
       When we shall wake,
       I am quite sure, we shall be very glad
       That for a little while we were so sad.
--Georgiana Holmes (George Klingle)


       I cannot say, & I will not say,
       That he is dead--he is just away.
       With a cheery smile & a wave of the hand,
       He has been led by God to a blissful Land,
       And left us dreaming, how very fair
       It needs must be, since he lingers there.

       And you--O you, who so wildly yearn
       For his merry laugh & the glad return,
       Think of him faring on, as dear
       In the love of There as the love of here.
       Think of him as the same, I say;
       He is not dead--he is just away.
--James Whitcomb Riley


       Passing out of the shadow
       Into a purer light;
       Stepping behind the curtain,
       Getting a clearer sight;

       Passing out of the shadow
       Into eternal day.
       Why do we call it dying
       This sweet going away?


       Oh, what do you think the Angels say?
       Said the children up in Heaven:
       There's a dear little boy coming home today,
       From the Earth we used to live in.
       Let's run and open the gates real wide,
       And wait for him there, till he's safe inside,
       Said the children up in Heaven.

       God wanted himhere where His little ones meet,
       Said the children up in Heaven:
       He will play with us in the golden street;
       He has grown too fair, He has grown so sweet;
       He needs the sunshine, this little boy,
       That fills our city with eternal joy,
       Said the children up in Heaven.

       (Editor's Note: If you would like to have the above poem talk about a girl, you can change the word "boy" to "girl" & the masculine pronouns (he, him) to feminine pronouns (she, her). And the last three lines of the first stanza can read as follows:

       "Let's go and open the gates of pearl,
       Open them wide for the new little girl,
       Said the children up in Heaven."

And the last three lines of the second stanza can read as follows:

       "She needs the sunshine, this little girl,
       That glows on this side of the gates of pearl,
       Said the children up in Heaven.")

Copyright 1996 The Family