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Iím Naveen Lobo from Chickmagalur, Karnataka. Iím a B.Com graduate and was doing my own business when I met my Lord. Presently Iím a life time Missionary in Santvana Community.
I was an average student and finished my B.com in 1991. Hailing from a middle class family I had a deep desire to earn lots of money. So I tried going abroad but it didnít work out and finally I landed up in illegal liquor business. It brought me what I wanted-money! By doing business for one and half years I had plenty of money but no peace at all. I was already caught in a vicious circle and I didnít have any way out even if I wanted to. In July 1995, one of my vehicles was caught while smuggling liquor and a case was filed against me. Since my parents didnít know about my business I was scared to death and planned to move away from my hometown. I got in touch with one of my friends and he said that he was going to Kerala to Divine Retreat Centre (a Charismatic Retreat Centre in the south of India). Without knowing where he was headed I just accompanied him and landed up in the retreat Center. The Word of God was being preached but I was distracted and didnít pay any attention. On the final day of the retreat, before adoration one of the preachers proclaimed the word of God in Mathew 7:7 ďAsk and you shall receive.Ē He was repeatedly asking the people attending, to ask God for whatever they wanted. So I too asked. I just asked God to get the case against me cancelled which I knew was impossible, since there was a non bailable warrant issued against me. I promised God to surrender my life if the case gets cancelled. When the retreat was over I went back home and to my astonishment my driver reported to me that the Police had sent the vehicle back after ceasing the liquor. The Lord did the impossible in my life. That day I took a decision to surrender my life to the Lord and for His work. I returned to Divine and continued serving there for a while by helping out in intercession. During the time there I met one of the brothers from Santvana and he invited me to North India. Thus I reached Santvana on 24th March 1999. I came to the community while still unmarried. Though I knew that my calling was for married life I knew that it would be difficult for any parent to give away their daughter to a person who lived by divine providence alone. Many proposals were brought but none worked out because of this reason. Finally in 2004 another couple in the community brought the proposal of Jini who had done her engineering and was working. Again the impossible happened in my life when she and her parents consented to the marriage. We were married in 2004 and now Jini too is a full time committed member of the community. We have three children Judith (7), Joshua (2) and Naomi (1). Now I am going to complete 13 years in the community and am blessed to be able to carry on with the work entrusted to me by my Lord in Santvana.
Mrs. Jini Lobo
Iím Jini Lobo, now a committed (for life) member of Santvana Community and I reside in the Mother House of Santvana at Delhi. Iím from Thiruvnanthapuram, Kerala. My father was a hard core atheist, so I was not brought up as a practicing Christian though our forefathers belonged to the protestant faith. I and my siblings (two brothers and a sister) grew up without any religion. I was baptized into the protestant church along with my siblings at the age of 17 only for the sake of a community certificate that was required for my higher studies. On the outside I always seemed a happy girl but that was not the truth. My father in spite of all his good qualities and love for us had a very bad habit of drinking and abusing my mother physically almost every day. In the evenings our house turned into a battle field. Besides this, my father was very authoritarian and none of us children or my mother had any voice in any of the decisions taken at home. So as we were growing up we were getting more and more suffocated by the situation at home. My Father wanted all of us to study well and he wanted me to become a Doctor and I also aspired to become one, but two times I tried and didnít get through my entrance exam. So my father was very upset and stopped communications with me. I had already joined the engineering college for my higher studies but engineering was not my cup of tea. So I was not very comfortable being in college and was finding it difficult to cope with my studies.
There was a beautiful Jesus Youth prayer group in my college. Even though I was very hesitant in the beginning to go to the prayer group after a while I started enjoying the company of my seniors in the prayer group. One day during the prayer meeting one of my seniors was sharing about the significance of the Holy Mass. This is the only one place where you can see the Almighty God coming to meet man, that too to live with man in the form of bread. I was able to relate to a Father who gave His only son for my sake. This understanding of God coming to meet man was a beautiful experience in my life and I started going for Mass daily even though I was not able to receive Him as I was a protestant. I fell in love with this God who comes daily to meet me and my relationship with Him grew every day. There were plenty of struggles which I had to go through, but my Lord kept me going throughout my studies and my work later. Lord blessed me with an ardent desire for the WOG and intercession. The Holy Eucharist, WOG and Intercessory Prayer kept me rooted in faith and in the Catholic Church. I delayed getting married because I wanted to marry only someone who was committed to the Lord and who had a zeal for the kingdom of God. When the proposal for marriage to Mr. Naveen Lobo, a lay missionary who has committed his life for the Lord, through Santvana Community came along, it was a miracle that my father agreed to it. I was received into the Catholic Church on 7th May 2004 after I was engaged to Mr. Naveen Lobo. We got married on 9th Oct. 2004 and thus now I am part of Santvana Community.
An experience of Godís intervention in JiniĎs Life.
Although I had been suffering from stomach pain for a month I dint take it seriously thinking that it would have been because of the severe cold climate. As the Christmas season was setting in, my pain also started increasing. We made frequent visits to the doctors. Different tests were done, sonograms were taken. It was diagnosed that there was an inflammatory lump in the lower pelvic region, which was giving trouble to the whole area. I was told that since it was inflammatory there was need for an emergency surgery. Even though I tried to bargain for a keyhole surgery, the Doctor in Ranchi straightaway said that I would have to undergo a surgery because of the inflammation and keyhole surgery would not solve the problem. I then had to decide where to undergo the operation whether at Ranchi, Delhi, Trivandrum or Chickmaglore and book the tickets in case of a travel. This was on 25 th of Dec'. I was given 2 days time and the doctor asked me to go undergo the operation on the 3rd or 4th day for sure. Even though there was no big hospital and sophisticated medical facilities as in Delhi and Trivandrum, God inspired us to come over to Chickmagalour. Only because Dr. Sunil was an expert in Laproscopy they decided to try it rather than opening up the area. The doctors who worked on me said that I was very lucky (we understand it as Gods care) that the lump could be removed without damaging any of my internal organs. The doctor in Ranchi had said that one of my ovaries would have to be removed but God worked in a different way.
If at all I had gone to a Gynecologist instead of meeting a surgeon they would have opened up my tummy and put me through so much more complications. I could see Gods intervention in each and every decision we had taken, intervening in our lives through situations, people, and time. God because of his love and care brought us to the right place, to the right people at the right time. I remember and thank God for everybody in Santvana, our families, and many, many close friends who had been calling up from around the world supporting us morally and spiritually.