school bus 2016 We are introduced to a new family in need!!
(Fr.) Don Rajko has gotten in touch with Joseph; that a local family needs help.  Grandmother is widowed;  she is eligible to receive 300 KM   ($168.00) a month and pays rent out of that.  The daughter’s spouse has disappeared from their place near Mostar so now daughter and the two teenagers have moved in with grandmother.
The teenage girl wants to continue her high school classes in Mostar (on the Catholic side) so as to graduate with a nursing backgound.  Bus fare is 60 KM a month; the second teener has graduated high school.  Living expenses (food etc.) are extra for the family and the student.
We have agreed to help (with the assistance of Kathie, Janine, Loretta, Suzanne, Ann E., Rita, Ann C., Shirley, Karen, Shirley, Cory & Mary Ann)!
stock photo nursing
It is good when a family is or can be shown the road to self sufficiency.
Sometimes through furnishing a car or paying for driver’s education; sometimes just helping the family financially through rough times.

Ana Beljo, one of the triplets, is a gem.  Self taught in English; has graduated from high school and has been employed at a Medjugorje gift shop until that closed.
Arrangements have been made for Ana & she is now taking Driver’s Ed (1700 KM($968.00)).Ana has sent us details as to where the Driver Ed funds deposit has been spent.
Once schooling & testing is accomplished then Ana can drive the ‘family car (no one in the family has a driver license) and be able to find employment (we pray).IMG_1376  Another one of “our” families!
Dijena with Zeljana on the left and oldest son, Ivan, on the right.
On the bright side Zeljana has also started driver’s ed through a grant from Medjugorjecallsyou.org.
Young Ivan continues to  have medical issues after the car accident of  1 1/2 years ago.Dijena and family  Maja smiles;  Martina smiles;
sometimes it is through dental assistance;Maja smileMartina smileIva graduatesSometimes the road is through paving the path to education;
Iva is a October 2016 graduate!Sometimes a pregnant cow can be purchased;  here mother cow gives birth to a healthy calf; it is a good day, a happy day for one of “our” families in Medjugorje! This is one of many blessings received from John and his fellow donors.PIC07pigs feed timeSometimes pigs can be purchased;Sometimes it is a few goats.  Here is shown Marina and her flock; gotta start someplace; their numbers do increase.Marina and the herdMarina in the greenhouse

Sometimes a greenhouse is really really needed!

Looking at this beautiful greenhouse we think back and marvel how different this must be from any other greenhouse in the Medjugorje area.
This family listened!  This family laid plastic sheeting on the ground to cut down on the weeds growing;  utilized sticks and ceiling strings to have the plants grow upward rather than horizontally spreading on the ground!
Water hose has been placed so watering can be done just by turning the spigot.

Of course self sufficiency requires the entire family to pitch in; everyone has their chores.
Here logs are cut into wood for the winter.Ivan and the firewoodmoving the hayHaving animals means taking care of the animals; hay has to be moved into the feed bin.Onions and other veggies have to be looked after; then harvested, sorted and cleaned; a family affair.sorting the onionssorting and cleaningSorting and cleaning, never seems to stop.  Blazenko12Blazenko is the younger son of Dijena and Zeljko and is now starting Grade 2.  Following is a note (we translated) received from Blazenko.


“Hi Meri and thank you to you and the other lady that sent me the money. I got books, book bag, pencil set, note books, crayons, sweat pants, running shoes, t-shirt, socks and now I will be a happy kids going to start school. Thank you to all. Blazenko”

Janet enjoys a visit with Dijena and
the Bukmir Family.
Janet was ‘put in touch with this family through her contacts with the local social center (but we know it was through our Blessed Mother reponding to Dijena’s prayers).
Am sometimes thinking of the book of Job and how some of his challenges bring to mind some of the challenges faced by Dijena and family.Janet & Bukmir Family  Joseph’s new project is coming along beautifully!  Rather than passing funds along to help the various poor, a couple of the families we interact with are “selling” their veggies and fruits to Joseph and even delivering those items once a week or so.IMG_1465IMG_1467Jelka (and family) continue to bring the very freshest veggies and fruits to Joseph.
Bob’s (me) first ‘fainting spell was in Jelka’s cabbage patch.
In the years since, Jelka has twice offered a 9 day fast of bread and water for my well being!
So much faith.There are now 5 or more Medjugorje groups, like the Merciful Fathers, Oasis of Peace, The Kay Center for unwed Mothers to name a few, that have fresh fruit and veggies weekly.IMG_1442IMG_1435

It is good to see that Father Maximillian gets a share of the fresh veggies.and some of the fellows from the Merciful Fathers pick up their share.

IMG_1439A 2011 pic of Mr & Mrs Beljo. They were our first family.And now Mr. Beljo passes away leaving  Mrs. Beljo with even more problems.  The family home ownership is in question.
Mrs. B. is a struggling hard worker; the mother of 5, including triplets.Beljo obitJoseph front row lecternJoseph is in the front row at St. James church all ready to do the announcements from the lectern!

Most of the time food is the urgent need.

Joseph is grocery shopping; six cart baskets are being used.


The store will deliver whatever does not fit in the car!

Waiting for the delivery van!IMG_1556IMG_1562Excited??  Looks like a happy day!Eggs and tomatos and bags and bags of goodies.IMG_1509IMG_1591Flour and oil is a must every time.Gabriela is looking fine; we pray that the family lets her stay in school.IMG_1606IMG_1573‘Everyone loves little Robert!Janet, a retired medical social worker lived and helped others in Medjugorje for years (now retired to Ohio), just cannot stay away.
Here at the camp, Janet and Fedilija are ‘catching up on old times.IMG_1609IMG_1622Janet and Amela may be discussing life’s choices.Behara is looking good and growing fast.IMG_1642Janja,Teresa, Niki, Janet, 9_5_16

Janja,Teresa, Niki, Janet,

Many times self sufficiency is just not possible, a family must just exist from day to day.  Faith is necessary and this family pictured with Janet is full of faith and so welcoming.

One of the garages available for Joseph to use is dedicated by Joseph to gather shoes, clothes, school supplies and toiletries and to offer those items to those in need.IMG_1370IMG_1660Slavica and family; originally referred to Joseph by Father R. so we usually refer to this family as ‘Joseph’s.
The oldest boy has found his niche in car repair; is employed and is a highly recommended worker.
Should have a driver’s license; needs ‘Driver’s Ed (1700 KM ($956.00)); and so should Mama (1700 KM ($956.00)).
We will all try.The family is invited to do their shopping at Joseph’s garage; a blessing.IMG_1657IMG_1653A treasure trove!  We are all so grateful to the pilgrims  who leave their clothes, shoes & toiletries behind.Two of the boys zero in on shoes but are distracted with neat magazines.IMG_1655IMG_1583Danjela, daughter of Jelka, is married with children.  She and her husband are still living with and subject to the husband’s parents.  All is good but they look forward to a place of their own.  They have built a small dream home over the 6 years.
Funds are being passed to Joseph to pass onto Danjela in the hope that that dream can come true.

Zeljko and family were looking happy as they were making progress around the farm.  This photo is from that time.

Ivan, the son, is still having problems 2 years after the auto accident;  the family is told by the doctor in the larger town of Mostar that little can be done; just be grateful he is still with you.
Funding has recently been found to have mama and Ivan to take the overnight bus to the city of Zagreb and have an appointment with a city doctor;  There mama is told the Mostar doctor is wrong; therapy is long overdue.

IMG_8982MAJA AT SHOPPINGMaja, daughter of Ivan & Marina, is shopping for University school supplies.Mirjana (Medjugorje visionary) writes in her new book, My Heart Will Triumph, that sometimes ; on her way down from an apparition at the Blue Cross; that it might happen that she is directed to pass on a message to a specific pilgrim and sometimes passes her rosary to a pilgrim.

In June, 2016 a gift of a bracelet was passed on to Darren along with an admonition that this was a special gift; to wear it and to take good care of it.

etsy rosary
a typical rosary braceletDarrenCathy & Darren are consistently present & are as close to the altar as this family is.  Always pleasant,  always full of hope.
An inspiration to us and to many during our  years in Medjugorje.

In September, 2016 we received the following email (and pictures) of a change.
Darren’s condition has reversed!  He has been able to go to the Blue Cross (from the Irish House) without the wheelchair!
Joseph tells us that Darren hailed him with “it’s a miracle; I can walk!”  Goosebumps.

See here what a miracle!!!!! Darren is now able to walk he is so happy, he was dancing after Mass today. See what he is sat on – a chair – no wheel chair!!!!! Praise the Lord.

Darren 02Darren 01

“PS I did ask his mum if it was ok for me to send you these pictures and she said yes.
PPS the one where he is holding onto the altar he is showing us how he can do a jig. His little legs were going 50 to the dozen.”

A fine website on Medjugorje is http://marytv.tv
  The site is continually updated and even has live feeds from Medjugorje!
There are different windows you can click on (you might want to ‘halt the first window so as to eliminate the competing audio when you click on one of the other windows).
The window, FRUIT OF MEDJUGORJE, has interesting interviews; one recent interview by Rosie was with Darren and Cathy .Darren has always been a happy loving fellow and really enjoys interacting with both kids and adults.Darren10_7aAllison10_7Another interesting interview is with Allison Shipley, President of Medjugorjecallsyou.org, and a frequent pilgrim to Medjugorje.
Allison talks of her calling and how that has helped her and many of the poor around Medjugorje.  Lovely.It was nice to receive word (and pics) that Father Pablo is back in Medjugorje! Father Pablo is sitting next to Barry and Ann; across the table are Father’s parents.    Father went with us to entertain the patients and staff at Holy Family House in Mostar back in 2012.Fr. Pablo & familyFather Pablo and Sister Krunoslava at the Holy Family House in Mostar in 2012.  Here a willing audience is always available and appreciative.Visions of the Children
An enjoyable book on Medjugorje and the visionaries….plus a rare interview with the two locutionists in Medjugorje; Jelina and Marijana!

 One of the first Medjugorje messages from our Blessed Mother;  “I have come to tell you that God exists.”

Visions of the ChildrenThe Blessed Mother is quoted in the book as follows “Tell everyone that it is you who are divided on earth.  The Muslims and the
Orthodox for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and me.  You are all my children.  Certainly all religions are not equal,–All men are equal before God.  It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic church to be saved.  It is necessary to respect and obey the commandments of God in following one’s conscience.  Those who are not Catholics
are no less creatures made in the image of God and destined ultimately to live in the house of God, our Father.  Salvation is available to everyone without exception.   My Son Jesus redeemed all people on earth.  Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned
by their own choice.  To him who has been given little, little will be asked for.  To whom
ever has been given much (Catholics, Christians
who know) very  much will be required.  It is
God alone, in His infinite justice who
determines the degree of responsibility and renders judgement.” 

all equal  Adriatic swim group
This swimming group really warms our hearts!  The Muslim after school ‘society has invited our Catholic school attendees (our Roma gypsy kids), to come with them for an afternoon at the beach!
What kid could turn that invite down?Adriatic swim groupAdriatic swim-1Floats and other inflatables have been brought and the kids get to choose!
Sandra, Ing & Joseph
Friends all: Sandra  (Manchester, England), Ing (Singapore) & Joseph (Medjugorje and Washington State)Sandra, Ing & Josephshowing Medjugorje videoThe computer and projector is almost ready to show one of our favorite Medjugorje DVD’s (QUEEN OF PEACE (MY SWEET ANGELS).  The DVD is available for $19.95 +4.95 P&H from
Funds have been passed to Matthew in Mostar to help with the winter firewood for families in need.
Matthew has the facility in Mostar which measures, builds and replaces limbs of people who have been maimed in one way or another including coming into contact with one of the mines left from the recent war in Bosnia.
A free service!Matthew's Mission