"I Thank God for This Encounter," Natalia Omelyanchuk, Moscow, Russia

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O Orthodox people, I would like to tell you of what happened in my life, and how I received help from someone who is beyond the earthly world.

Health problems forced me to consult physicians. However, neither medications nor surgical procedures brought about the desired favorable results. While my soul was confused and troubled, I had a dream. Everything happened as if I were awake. I know that one should not rely on dreams, but my heart and mind told me that this one had come from God. Although this took place two years ago, everything in the dream remains clear and real.

In my dream I saw my dead brother, who had been a physician. He looked at me solemnly and said, “Sister, come quickly, there is a doctor from God seeing patients here; he helps everybody, and he will help you.”

After my brother had spoken thus, I saw at some distance a remarkable person dressed in white. He seemed to be radiating some kind of warming and calming love. His image fixed itself in my heart, and I especially remembered his face. For two years I have remembered it. This dream had the most beneficial effect upon me. Calm and a firm assurance in God’s help reigned in my soul. Any despondency left me completely. I did not know who that man was, or if he had even existed.

My encounter with him was completely unexpected. It happened that on an Ancestral Saturday I came to the Church of the Iveron Mother of God in the village of Rastunovo. I am a Muscovite, but as this church is near our dacha, I decided to look in. I took a candle to light in memory of my departed relatives. Coming up to the kanun [memorial table], I was struck dumb. What a surprise! Looking at me through the flickering candle light, from a photograph on the table, was that “physician from God” whom I had seen in the dream.

I had memorized his face so well that there was no possibility of my being mistaken! This was he. I literally leapt at the parishioners with the question, “Tell me, who is this? Was his funeral at this church?” The women standing next to me answered, “This is Brother Joseph.”

I learned from Archpriest Igor Shemonaev, the parish rector, about Brother Joseph and about many other people whom he had come to help in their times of difficulty. What amazed me is that he had helped me although I had not even known of his existence.

I accepted from the priest’s hands a great holy treasure, an icon, a book, and a little piece of clothing belonging to Joseph, who had become a brother to me.

I thank God for this encounter!

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