PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.)
I have always enjoyed food and have indulged in ethnic and cultural dishes wherever we traveled. We wanted Mexican food and found a humble, yet clean, restaurant in Bernalillo, where we went once or twice. We found an enjoyable local treat in New Mexico – pine nuts (piñon) – which we roasted and enjoyed. We shopped for our foods at Keller’s, an organic grocery store of mainly meats in Albuquerque. Finally, Linda, a worker at the KOA and lady of Spanish descent, invited us for a farewell supper at her home. She served up a Mexican beef dish we enjoyed.
She also gave us a little gift we have to this day, a ceramic musical watering can/flower pot with the tune, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.” I took that as a prophetic promise. We knew we would be in for something special, the dawning of the Day of the Lord, coming soon. (It was to be many years later than expected.)
I have loved food and drink all my life. And the Bible is full of references to, as well as admonishments about, these prime necessities of life. Ecclesiastes repeatedly speaks of the God-given blessing of eating and drinking being primary in God’s rewards on earth to mankind. Whenever godly celebrations were held, food was always a pleasure. All the solemn feasts were centered around food.
Jesus Christ often spoke about eating and drinking. He ate and drank with sinners, He spoke of the Kingdom of God as a great banquet, He turned water to wine at a wedding feast, and fed multitudes by multiplying fish and bread. He even spoke of our eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He being the Passover Lamb, our Sustenance and Life, the Bread of Heaven.
The Lord sent me on a search for the origin and meaning of my surname. I searched books on name origins, but found He was simply putting unexpected books in my hands (books I never would have thought of using) and leading me to appropriate portions with very little effort. I wish I had recorded the books and authors. Nevertheless, I found the meaning and origin in 1983 or 1984, partly by study, but more by Divine guidance and revelation.
The meaning of “Hafichuk”: A “g” in Ukrainian is pronounced as an “h,” as in “huh.” The root of the name used to be something like “Gafya,” and the “f” in it was once a “th” as in the Greek “theta.” The original name was the Greek “Agatha,” a matronymic baptismal name originating in the Greek Orthodox religion (my father’s great grandparents had been Orthodox).
At baptism, people were named after a saint. A woman was named Agatha after “Saint Agatha.” In the course of time, the “g” changed to an “h” and the “th” to a “phi” or an “f” (it wasn’t uncommon for people to confuse “theta” with “phi”). To the name was added the “chuk,” a common or traditional suffix in a certain area of the Ukraine, which means “son of” or “pertaining to.” So it went from “Agatha” to “Agafya” to “Hafya” or “Hafi,” and as history marched on and surnames came into use, the descendants became known as “chuks,” hence Hafichuks.
“Agatha” translated from the Greek means “good.” Literally translated, Hafichuk means “pertaining to, or son of, good.” I could meaningfully anglicize my name, by translation, to “Goodson.”
The origin of the family is a revelation by vision: One day I saw a woman (named Agatha) working with other women in what appeared to be a hay field, much like the scene in the painting, “The Gleaners,” by Jean-François Millet. I knew this to be in the area of present-day Ukraine, perhaps in the Steppes. The woman wore a headscarf and long dress.
Along came a horse rider of the Mongolians that had invaded those regions around the Middle Ages, somewhere about the 1200’s. The rider dismounted and took her into a shack or to a haystack. That was all I saw, but I knew they had intercourse, and I knew that she gave birth to a son, who became known as “the son of Agatha.”
It was noticeable that the man, though an alien invader, didn’t abuse her, and she didn’t resist. I thought that perhaps she thought it useless to resist (and likely it was), but it appeared to me that she was rather receptive, and both were doing it for pleasure. From what I had heard of the Mongolian hordes and their destructiveness and brutality, it was strange that such a relationship would occur, but of course, not at all impossible.
I was amazed to see this vision, and for no greater reason than to know the origin of my surname. It was also a surprise to discover that my origin as a “pure-blooded” Ukrainian was part Mongolian, and that our family name descended from a bastard.
Shortly after discovering the meaning and origin of the name, we were in a store in Albuquerque, New Mexico when I saw a woman shopping that looked very much like the woman I saw in that vision. She was holding a male toddler on her hip in one arm, and I thought I heard her address him as “Muscovitz.”
This is a name that originated in the same part of the world as that of my ancestors. What was I to make of that? Was my mind playing tricks on me? Isn’t “Muscovitz” only a surname, or can it also be a first name?
Are there parallels and repetitions in life, centuries and millennia later? Could there be many dimensions, stages, and manifestations of reality? Perhaps. Why not?
Then again, there was likely nothing to this New Mexico event.
Over the years I often felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything of importance. People were out there in all walks of life, achieving great things, or if not great, at least something. My former buddies were executives with large successful firms and with the government. Other past acquaintances were psychologists, judges, lawyers, chartered accountants, and successful entrepreneurs. Many other people were prominent religious leaders. What was I, but a nothing, a nobody?
Then the Lord said to me, “Victor, of what value are the many and great works of men? When you move but your little finger in Me, you move mountains; you accomplish far more than men who amass great resources, and lead governments and armies, and do great works over many years. ”
I thought about it. One can consider the pope of Rome, a famous evangelist, or other religious leader, a high-powered business executive, a multi-billionaire business tycoon, or a movie or sports star. These may be wealthy, famous, charismatic, powerful, and popular among men, but how important are they? And how effective are their works before God?
Addis took us to a Pueblo Indian powwow – a treat in many ways. I think it began with dancing. Here we witnessed somewhat of a minor spectacle.
As we watched the dancers, there was one white man, about 35, among the dozens of natives. While he was apparently in step with the rhythm of the drums and chanting, he stuck out like a missing front tooth in a grin, or perhaps more accurately, a single tooth in a mouth otherwise missing teeth altogether. While the natives danced humbly and with ease, in natural rest and invisibility, he danced with effort and pride. While their eyes were ever downward, his were often looking up and around, often to the audience. The man was lost, not knowing where to find himself, looking in the wrong directions.
The spirit of the Hopi people was remarkable to me. They were meek and friendly – their faces something like I saw of the Indians in my first dream from the Lord in 1972, though the countenances of these in New Mexico were tinged with the sadness of oppression, not radiant with the inner peace only God can give.
After the dancing, the residents invited all visitors into their private homes, sharing traditional Indian foods with us, Indian bread, a certain hot chili, and other dishes. I much enjoyed both the food and the warm hospitality. Frankly, I was emotionally moved.
The Lord was teaching me as we watched. Today, as I write, I appreciate more fully what I saw that day and the value of true rest within.
Here’s what I learned from the white man amongst the Hopi dancers: Trying to be something you aren’t isn’t good. It’s an offense to both man and God. It’s an abdication of one’s natural responsibility toward God, neighbor, and all of creation – such a sad thing it is.
We can only be what we are, and shouldn’t try to be what we think we should be, or what others say we should be, or what we admiringly see others naturally, enjoyably, and effectively being.
We mustn’t envy another’s lot, or try to emulate another, or think to find our own peace, purpose, or fulfillment by the way we presume others have found theirs. We each have our own way and destiny to be fulfilled.
There are some people in the world without Christ who seem to be fulfilled or at least in their element. Yet even the Hopi natives, who were in their own element (or what remained of it), were lost. They danced and lived with a sadness, groaning along with the rest of creation, waiting and hoping for something. But what? They wait, not knowing it is for their Creator, and only He can meet any person’s deep, core spiritual need.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him Who subjected it on hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21 MKJV).
How can we find the perfect way? Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man can come unto the Father but by Me.” He’s the only complete way.
I’ve learned only the Creator can fulfill the purpose He intended for us, because He alone knows it and how to accomplish it – it’s His business. The issue boils down to faith in Him, rather than in ourselves, religion, or any other person or thing.
That said, God has a purpose and destiny for all, even if they don’t believe. There are many who have their gifts and live them out with great success – people like the great musicians, artists, writers, composers, politicians, and others. God is over all.
We spent considerable time at the library – not as your typical tourists. The librarian informed us one day of a legend of the Sandia (it means “Turtle”) Mountain. In future, we would find the legend marvelously relevant to, and allegorically descriptive of, what the Lord would be doing with Paul and me. Here it is:
“The Sun Father has children by mortal woman, and some of his offspring can travel a rainbow from this world to the house of the Sun and back again at will. The little war twins are such spirits.
These twins were known as powerful sons of the Sun, and leaders of the people at the time of their emergence, and protectors from outlandish foes. Though twins, there actually was an elder and a younger. They are a pair, not of identical spirits, but more often of opposites. In the stories there is often the theme of the elder brother who makes the first attempt, but fails, and then the younger brother succeeds.
For example, in a test of carrying the sun across the sky the younger brother had to push the elder into a monster’s jaws to succeed in getting the sun to set, because the elder was afraid.
Despite the fact that they seem to have been conceived in the upper world, they are the ones who lead the people from the underworld.
In one Indian dialect their names mean Son of the Sun (elder) and Water-Dripping Son.
The twins undergo a series of Herculean adventures. They go in search of their father and are tested by water and fire, finally acknowledged to be true sons. They end up in the underworld, leading the emergence of the people.
Thereafter they kill various monsters that have been plaguing the human race.
Sandia (Turtle) Mountain is the home of the war twins.”
(We could give you the wonderful interpretation of this legend, the reality of which we experienced years later.)
Not long after we left Bernalillo, Paul came from the eastern states to work at the very KOA in which we stayed. Though each of us has lived in many places, some at the same time, like Revivim and Winnipeg, only in Bernalillo, New Mexico, did we both live for a time, but not at the same time, and it was only to Bernalillo Paul followed us and stayed for a time when we were gone. Does that mean anything? Perhaps not, but it is a unique thing between us.
In January 1984, at Bernalillo, New Mexico, the Lord gave me a song.
(Click HERE to listen to “The Very Best,” or to read the lyrics.)
A woman lived at the campground in a small trailer with six or more large dogs, which she kept inside. Standing several feet away from the open door, the stench was evident. How can people live that way? This is another escapist reaction to the realities of life. People will choose anything but the truth, anything but their Creator’s design for them.
Idols abound everywhere, consciously or otherwise. With the dancer, it was the apparently virtuous lifestyle of the Pueblo Indians, which he thought might be his answer. With this lady it was the companionship of animals, instead of human beings. Many are the stories of people living alone, except for many dozens of cats or dogs in their homes, companions often sadly neglected.
While we were in Bernalillo or shortly before, I had a dream wherein Dave Cohen was coming after us in a van. While pursuing us, he and others with him, including Frada, crashed. Dave died in the crash, but Frada was set free. She now wore a chastity belt, and was happy for us.
I also saw in this dream a great skin or hide stretched out, held with cords tied to stakes, which were pinned in the ground. The stakes represented Judaism and the hide Christianity, or the other way around – Christianity was supporting (or representing?) Judaism. I don’t remember.
There were also two women in that dream, but I don’t recall the details.
While in Bernalillo for almost six months, it seemed we were saying farewell to our entire past, not just friends or acquaintances. It also seemed I was prophesying some kind of a parting in the future, but which kind of division would thankfully cease one day, never to happen again.
On January 18, I received a song – “Farewell” (not available for listening):
Good-bye, my friends, it’s time to go;
It’s been so good to share with you.
We’ve shared our joys, we’ve shared our sorrows;
Praise be to God, we have tomorrows.
There’ll come a day when there’s no parting;
We’ll be together and with the Lord…
We must go on to higher places,
To better things, to wider spaces.
We mustn’t stop and turn around
For our reward to come is bound.
Good-bye my friends, it’s time to go;
It’s been so good to share with you.
While in the men’s washroom, I met an Episcopal priest. Talking with him, I discovered he didn’t believe the Bible was the Word of God. He honestly admitted he didn’t really know if there was a God or not. I was somewhat surprised, though not entirely, being familiar with this kind of scenario with clergy of other denominations.
But why would he continue to be a priest or cleric? Why would he associate with an organization that presumably professed to believe in God and Jesus Christ, even calling itself a Christian church? It seemed that he saw no relevance between his affiliation/occupation and his personal beliefs.
Perhaps it was a job and a paycheck, a soulless activity. Yet it was his job to lead others spiritually. Here was a glaring example of the fulfillment of the Lord’s words, “Blind guides leading the blind and both shall fall in the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
There was a particular issue we discussed, but I don’t recall what it was. I do remember that the man was hurting, barely trying to put on a good face, perhaps thinking it was his duty as a priest to do so. I don’t recall that he was open, but I believe I had many things to say to him that would cause him to cogitate and reassess his direction. I hope so.
I have always had a difficult time doing nothing occupationally or financially worthwhile, so I was naturally wondering where we should go and what we should be doing. It seemed like we were fish out of water.
One warm, sunny, pleasant day, I was sitting outside our trailer reading the Bible. I needed to go to the public washroom nearby. I then realized, “Wow! I’m not at a workstation, classroom, or some restrictive formal setting. I can just get up and go as I please!”
Suddenly, this great peace and sense of freedom and wellbeing came over me, and I was inspired to quietly exclaim, “Lord, this is the kind of life I would like to have – one where I’m free to come and go, and where You do with me as You please, taking care of all my needs and concerns, while You use me for Your purposes, and to address Your concerns.”
In that very moment, He said, “It’s yours. You’ve got it.”
Oh, how precious such moments are! What I would love to last a lifetime usually lasts only seconds or minutes. But there was more to come. I got up and went to the washroom, and there began a momentous dialogue between the Lord and me. Why does He speak so often to me in a washroom?
The Lord gave me to query Him on what He told me in 1976, eight years earlier, in the abandoned little log cabin in Prince Albert. (Notice that event was in a washroom of sorts, as well.) I asked, “Lord, why are You hurting?”
He answered, “Because My people are suffering.”
I asked, “Why are they suffering?”
“Because they don’t obey Me.”
“Why don’t they obey You?”
“Because they choose to do their own thing.”
“Why do they choose to do their own thing, Lord?”
“Because they lack knowledge.”
“Why do they lack knowledge?”
“Because nobody is willing to give his life that they might have that knowledge. ”
I was silent for a time. Years before, I recognized that many sought for the Lord to be their friend, asking Him for things, praying to Him only when they needed something. But what about being His friend? Didn’t He want friends? Abraham was known as a friend of God (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).
I wanted that. So I asked, “Lord, would I be your friend if I wasn’t willing to lay down my life so that people would have that knowledge?”
There was no reply for a time, but the question to me was quite rhetorical.
He then said, “Behold, I send a light unto the Gentiles, and I will grace them with your presence. ”