When Leander was just three years old, Lorine and I had taken him along with us to church on a Sunday. As usual, we had chosen the very first pew. The mass was being said by Fr. Daniel Cerofolini, our vicar. Leander was busy playing on the kneeler. Just before communion time, much to our embarrassment, we heard an excited Leander scream, "Beer, Beer". He was pointing out to Father who was drinking from the chalice! Both, Lorine and I did not know where to look in shame. We just covered Leander's mouth and quickly sat on the bench hoping that nobody had heard Leander!
In those days, we partied a lot and entertained family and friends at our home. Of course Leander was always in the limelight and remained with us in the hall whilst everyone drank and talked loosely. Little did we realize that the child's mind was absorbing new words and actions like a sponge! He was associating words with actions and having heard the word 'beer' and seeing people drink it, in his mind he was sure that Fr. Dan too was drinking beer!
Now Leander is 16 years young and Leroy 13 - both fine young lads. It has been about 3 years since we threw parties at home or drank. Nowadays, the celebrations have become very sober and prayers have increased. We realized just in time that what we were doing was having a bad effect on our children. The 'damage control' was not a very easy task. Many of the things we did as adults in front of our children were beginning to bear bad fruit through our children's behavior at school and with our maid (We had a maid then!). We used to get complaints from the teachers almost every day those days and we thought that beating the children was a good deterrent only to realize that the situation was becoming worse! Leroy was frequently falling sick too!
A little over 3 years back, at the height of my sinfulness, I met Bro. Alex in Goa during one of my short breaks. Whenever he used to visit my brother Cosme, I would tiptoe past Cosme's door and run up to my bedroom and lock myself in! I hated their loud prayers and Biblical sermons. One day, I was sitting with Cosme when Bro. Alex just walked in. I had no way to escape from him this time. As we were talking casually, he suddenly mentioned something about my younger son – He had guessed his illness! ('Kissing tonsils'). He also said that we were in fear over what the doctor had begun to doubt. He was telling me things that were very accurate and I'd never even mentioned these things to anyone in Goa nor in Dubai! Then he declares that the Lord has healed Leroy! He even told me the issues we were having with our children in school and at home!
That night I accepted the 'word of knowledge' as a sign from God to repent and change my ways. Once I had decided to seriously accept Jesus as my Lord and savior, the hunger to know more of God's Word grew in me. Today I look back and see what the Lord has done in our lives. He has taken us right through all those worrying situations and made us victorious! Every time we are faced with a challenge now, we only look at God's faithfulness and we know the end result even before we get into it! Blessings will always follow when one serves the Lord! There is no doubt that Joshua 24:15 really came to concrete terms in our family when I believed. And our children are/were marked out, claimed in the process. The household dynamic changed. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say the family, the home, was uprooted to a new place, spiritually speaking.Joshua 24:14-15
"Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.