Thomas Cosmades





Crossing the Atlantic

His departure from Naples was at hand.  The transatlantic crossing was to take seventeen days, covering many time zones.  This was to be a new experience for him.  But for a person in touch with heaven every occurrence is God-ordained.  There was plenty of time to study the Bible, to meditate, pray and of course, fervently witness.  It was winter.  Finally they left Gibraltar behind and started sailing over the wide expanse of the Atlantic. Great ocean swells were constantly causing the ship to rock and roll. Most of the passengers became seasick, including him.  But he composed himself and went around encouraging fellow-passengers who were also enduring the ordeal.  Some were crying.


The majority of the passengers were Italian, not knowing any other language.  Vahram lovingly moved from one person to another extending comfort to these distressed travelers. As much as he could, he told them that beyond this long and trying voyage there was another journey which had to be solemnly considered and carefully prepared for.  Naturally, all of these people bore the name Christian.  He emphasized to them that being a true believer in Christ meant enjoying personal fellowship with Jesus Christ through his sacrifice.  As already mentioned, having wide experience in communicating with people of different nationalities he always learned a few basic words and phrases in a language which would be helpful in his witness:  God, Jesus Christ, sin, repentance, forgiveness, atonement, blood, cross, sacrifice, salvation, resurrection, heaven, hell, assurance and a few basic verbs.  This method always worked.  Before long, he discovered that crossing the ocean, although a taxing journey, had a certain attraction.  At one point, the ship crossed the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere.  The people who had brought summer clothing along changed, and those who didnít, wished they had, because the weather was now warm.  At last passengers caught sight of land and loudly raised their voices in cheers of joy.


His relatives and friends in Argentina who had eagerly awaited his arrival were thrilled at finally seeing him. Years after having become acquainted with him through his writings in Maranatha and hearing of his labors, the time had come to meet him face to face.  It was March 20, 1957.  A sizeable crowd of men and women from various fellowships had congregated at the quay.  Way back from the days of the Apostle Paul whenever a believer arrived or departed from a certain place, his/her fellow-believers were always on hand to welcome the person or bid him farewell (Acts 20:37; 21:7, 17). These earnest folks had waited to welcome and embrace their courageous evangelist friend from a distant land.


The Armenian special dishes were already prepared for a big welcome feast. Immediately after his disembarking and sharing greetings all around an impromptu prayer session took place right at the port.  Everyone was full of thanksgiving to the Lord.  Vahram remembered that during his evangelistic visits in the spiritual desert of Anatolia there was hardly a person waiting to meet him.  In fact, in some places he had to discreetly inquire where local Armenians lived or worked.  Argentina was another country and a totally different situation.  Believers here uninhibitedly burst into singing and prayer, asking God to use Vahram effectively throughout South America, and they were confident that He was going to answer.  Some of them reminded him of how they had been blessed through a particular article of his.  And now they were going hear him preach!


The churches had grown spiritually complacent. This disturbed the Christians who took their faith seriously. They prayed that Vahram would be used by the Holy Spirit in to usher in the blowing of a different wind.  They were aware that God was not dependent on any person.  Nevertheless, the role of the evangelist could not be minimized.  What they had heard, especially about the unforgettable revival in Amman, stirred them to expect and hope for a similar spiritual awakening in Argentina.  Here was a single-hearted evangelist serious in his mission, fervent in prayer, true to the Word.  Vahram was going to be used in the Latin American countries as he had been in Turkey and the Middle East.


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