In order for Marija’s brother, Andrija, to be accepted for a kidney transplant at the University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, it was necessary to have someone willing to donate a kidney. Marija volunteered to give one of hers. Marija, her brother, and two friends traveled to America where Marija would undergo surgery along with her brother. They arrived on November 18, 1988. Our Lady did many beautiful things during Marija’s stay over the next three months.
A human issue caused Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem. The census was the means God used to have them travel to Bethlehem, and therefore, God’s words:
And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler who will govern my people Israel
was fulfilled. Likewise, the kidney transplant was the means and human issue to get Marija to Birmingham, Alabama, thereby initiating Our Lady’s plans She foretold in the October 6, 1986, message. Marija stayed three months. Over time, Our Lady began to unfold a beautiful love story, establishing a way of life through Her messages that She began in Medjugorje.
From 1988 to this present year, the history of a Friend of Medjugorje, his family, and the Community of Caritas have intertwined with Marija, Our Lady and Her messages and apparitions. In this first visit, Our Lady surprised not only a Friend of Medjugorje, but, Marija, herself when She began giving messages everyday. Not even in Medjugorje was Our Lady giving daily messages any longer. Marija said to a Friend of Medjugorje:
â€œOur Lady is doing something different here.â€
Also, there were many physical signs and manifestations of God’s presence: dramatic miracles of the sun, three full beautiful rainbows appearing on a blue sky cloudless day, a figure of Our Lady appearing on the mountain behind the Field in view of everyone. These were among many others. But, more impressive, were the conversions of thousands of people who experienced the love of God through Our Lady’s apparitions to Marija.
It was in the Bedroom of a Friend of Medjugorje and his wife, that Our Lady directed events around, and the Bedroom became the main place for Her apparitions. It was apparent, over time that Our Lady had come to say important things, through both Her words and Her actions concerning the plight of today’s family, and therefore the gradual moral deterioration of the nation. She needed a family from which She desired to teach Her lessons. As She had just said in Medjugorje:
Here was a father who was placing himself and his family at the service of Our Lady.
On the wall of the Bedroom hung the Crucifix that Fr. Slavko had given to a Friend of Medjugorje in October. It had just recently been placed above the Bed, just before Marija’s arrival. The Cross was central to Our Lady’s plans in Medjugorje and would be central in the plan She was initiating in Alabama. Our Lady was creating a new location of grace, not to compete with Medjugorje, but to be a witness for and point back to Medjugorje as the source of grace for the renewal of the whole world, which would come through the renewal and rebirth of the family.
In the apparitions in Alabama, Our Lady also blessed another site along with the Bedroom, though the Bedroom would always be the place of preference for Her. On November 24, 1988, at the request of a Friend of Medjugorje, Our Lady appeared in an open Field by a lone Pine Tree. The day was Thanksgiving Day, not a significant day to anyone at the time as the attention was all on Our Lady and Her apparitions. It was only through reflection that a Friend of Medjugorje began to realize that Our Lady never responded again to an invitation to return to the Field during the rest of Her visit, making â€œThanksgiving Dayâ€ stand alone, and therefore it became significant for what Thanksgiving represents in the history of the United States: a day of thanksgiving and remembrance of God’s bounty and graciousness upon the founding of America. With Our Lady appearing in the Field on this day, it was a call from Her to return to what the United States was founded upon, the principles of Jesus Christ. Yet, the Bedroom was more dear to Our Lady, because it was the family that needed healing first, which the Bedroom represents, and from the healing of the family, would come the healing of the nation, which the Field represents.