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Somebody Up There Loves Us
By Edwin J F D'Souza

June 4, 2012

When I declare myself as a non-religious person people immediately shoot back and ask me, then why do you go to partake in the Sacrament of  Holy Communion every morning? I give them a tailor made reply and tell them that I require a familiar atmosphere to start my day, familiar sounds, prayers and hymns etc because I do not know what my ears are going to hear and bear during the ensuing day; at least in the Church I know what comes after what.

They smirk at me and say I have no Faith.

Perhaps that is correct because my Faith does not lie in running from saint to saint, novena to novena in order to reach my Lord. When I say my Lord I refer to Christ, the last emissary from our Creator, His very own Son, our Savior.

Why this mystique preamble to this write-up one may ask.  Christ once said to His Apostles – "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" (Mathew 8:26) and I am about to address this charge  in my own humble way, bear with me.

Even after discussing with students of  Basic Theology on Faith and its corollaries for the past 12 years,  I do declare that I am a man of little Faith; and I am afraid. I do not stand qualified to hear the words, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith, even in Israel,” (Luke 7:9)

I am afraid, even after my Family and I have suffered the tensions, qualms, loss and chaos of the Iraqi Invasion of  Kuwait in August 1990 when death stared at us.

Much has been said about this Invasion by the 1.50 lakh Indians who made an excruciating journey, most of them from air-conditioned homes and foam mattresses to sleeping in a tent on bare, stony ground. My family, Jane, my wife and Ruth twelve year daughter, being one of the lot.

I am not going to elaborate the fifty-two days we spent in Kuwait after the infamous Invasion on the 2 August 1990 but our exodus along with a consolidated figure of  1,11,000 Indians (others, the brave ones, opted to stay back to witness the fireworks) started in a convoy of 57 Iraqi buses organized by the Embassy of  India in Kuwait.
Passing through the iniquitous Shalan-1 and Shalan-II refugee camps and finally waiting for five days for deliverance in the Al-Azraq Camp on the No Man’s Land between Iraq and Jordan, was no picnic.

When in the early hours of 2 August 1990, the first missile to destroy the Telecom Tower in the vicinity of Fahaheel where we lived for 16 long years, my daughter, rattled from her sleep by the shattering of the window panes, came out from her bedroom and asked a question: How bad is it, Dada? I nearly broke down. We had discussed the probable invasion just before we went to bed.

Hearing her question, I gathered her in my arms and told her: Perhaps we will be a part of history or the history will be a part of us. You are a writer’s daughter. Keep a hour to hour of what is about to unfold. May be I can use it some day, that is if we survive. My nerves are too feeble to take up the pen.

Ruth did write her diary of the Invasion as it unfolded in our lives and based on this account I wrote “Monv Ani Rogot” (Honey & Blood).

(The picture shows Ruth writing her diary, my sister-in-law Caroline and my wife Jane in Tent No.3.9A in the Al-Azraq Camp)

Coming back to the preamble on Faith permit me narrate an incident which I have been narrating over the past 22 years, narrating it to my own soul and to those who care to read/hear.

It was our fifth night in Camp Al-Azraq. Our nerves were a tangled mass and the waiting game was too much to bear. Every evening we were assured by our bus leaders that the Jordanian buses would come in the morning to transport us to Queen Alia International Airport. This never happened for the first four mornings. This was the fifth night. It was chill but the winds were calm. Responding to a nature’s call I crawled out of the tent and came out in the open. What seemed to be chilly inside the tent was about six degrees in the open; I shuddered and hugging myself  looked up at the fantastic Jordanian sky. It was just beautiful. It was not December yet and I wondered how it would be in December, taking into account that Christ was born  somewhere in this vicinity in December. The Night of Christ’s Birth must have been a holy sight to behold with the ethereal glow of the Star and the juxtaposition of five planets coming in line.

I whispered, perhaps I whispered too loudly. “How long, dear Lord,” I said. “How long?”

Then, I heard a scuffle of feet; I was sure it was not my guardian angel. Perhaps some one had come out to ease himself.  For obvious reasons I did not turn back.

“Were you praying?” The voice that came from my rear was firm and crisp.

I hesitated.

“I was just asking my Lord a question,” I said.

“And what did you ask Him?”

“I just asked, how long dear Lord, how long?”

There was thick silence. A sortie flew across the sky, perhaps the Jordanian air force was joining the coalition forces now lined-up in Saudi Arabia? Perhaps.

“Do you believe in God?”

Again I hesitated but mustered an answer. “I believe that there is a extremely superior force that takes care of us. You may call this Force God or....”

“I never believed in one!” I was surprised at the past tense he used.

“And now?” I dared him.

“And now,” he said with a deep sigh, “When I see about twelve thousand Indians sleeping in tents on this expanse with abandon but with a hope that there is going to be a tomorrow and they will be home soon in the safety of the Motherland, I believe that there is Somebody Up There Who Loves us!”

I stood rooted to the ground.

I do not know for how long, an eternity perhaps.

And then when I turned to see there was no one at the back.

He was gone, leaving undeletable Foot Prints of Faith in me.

(This is a true-life incident)


Edwin J F D'Souza Archives:



Comments on this article
paul d`souza, balakunjeThursday, June 14, 2012
Nature is arround you. you must feel it. Ek munis dhon savlya, chaar dhees pans rathin, kursa patlo uzvad, havn jiyethan, what a article/novels of you sir. just great. Have a great day.
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suzanna raviraj, MangaloreFriday, June 08, 2012
Sorry to say Edwin u also belong to that group who believe in god when they face difficulties. And what subtle way of saying it - existence of some supreme power which we are free to call as god. Heard this umpteen number of times especially when faced with problems, difficulties or when some serious sickness afflicts people who initially claim they are non-believers. It is just one facet of human weakness trying to find recluse in god.
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sheryl, mangaloreThursday, June 07, 2012
All Praise to the Almighty. Although, my then 5 year old girl was hit by a car and thrown off the road, despite the heavy bleeding, she came out of the hospital without even a hair line fracture.. If this is not HIS providence, then I surely do not know what is.
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Benedict Noronha, UdupiWednesday, June 06, 2012
Very good Mr Edwin. May god bless you for your faithful acknowledgment of God who is above and he loves us down below. Very true and I too believe it this. God Bless you to continue your discourese for the benefit of faithful.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi.
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ad, mangloorTuesday, June 05, 2012
Mother of all faiths is "ones own faith".
Its true someone up there looks after us for eternity.
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Juliana, UdupiTuesday, June 05, 2012
Earlier I used to read stories by the author of this article in Rakno weekly news paper. Very interesting they were. Mr. Edwin J.F. D'Souza is a good writer and should continue writing for the future generation. He is talented to write interesting stories.
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Kurt Waschnig, Oldenburg GermanyMonday, June 04, 2012
You are right my friend! I lost your e-mail-address. Please write me, regards Kurt
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Kurt Waschnig, Oldenburg GermanyMonday, June 04, 2012
I would like to express my deep gratitude for this wonderful article written by Mr Edwin J F D´Souza.
He gives us an insight into his faith. By his truthful narration the readers of Daijiworld are able to realise which importance faith plays in his life.

I am used to go to church every morning because I too require a familiar atmosphere to start my day.
Everything is so familiar when Holy Mass begins, prayers and hymns. It strengthens a believer to close the eyes, to pray, to thank, to worship.

During week only few believers go to church early in the morning here in Oldenburg. An old priest says mass, we sing, we all know one another very well.
The Holy Mass takes 35 minutes during week. And after mass everyday life commences, I can only describe my own experiences, I feel strength, joy and happiness.
This feeling I describe as a deep meaning of life.
We cannot understand the mystery what happens, but to have a deep personal faith is a wonderful gift given by GOD.

Edwin narrates about the difficult times he and his family faced during the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
His faith helped him to overcome all difficulties.

I am sure it is easier to overcome heavy crises or diseases when one has a personal faith and believes in Jesus.

In 2003 I went to an urologist for a medical examination and after the examination I was told that I suffer from cancer.
A difficult time started and I had to undergo two operations and further treatment. The medical treatment took 4 months.
Frankly speaking I went through hell. But my faith and the meaning of life helped me to overcome this terrible time.
Meanwhile 9 years have passed and there was no recurrence of the cancer.

Therefore receiving faith and stick to it makes life rich.

Again thank you for this great narration.

Best regards

Kurt Waschnig Oldenburg Germany

e-mail: oldenburg1952@yahoo.de

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A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.Monday, June 04, 2012
Great and very touching article from the personal experience of life which made it more valid.
Keep on writing such articles.
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Nisha D'Souza, BangaloreMonday, June 04, 2012
I'm reading your article after a long time. I used to read your stories in many Konkani magazines earlier. This is sure, a good eyeopener to the people who have no faith in God. It is the faith which helps us to surmount the problems and difficulties & gives a strong anchor to hold on to. Even people suffering from terminal sicknesses have been found to overcome the sickness , when they are positive minded and have faith. Good article! Do keep writing.
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Alexander P Menezes, Karkala/DubaiMonday, June 04, 2012
Excellent real life incident which renews our faith in God. Edwin bab has been a fantastic writer and I always loved reading his write ups. Faith in God is what we lack in today's world and we are slowely going away from God to the worldly temptations.I am sure after reading this write up, we all shall make an attempt to renew our faith in God.
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Chris, MumbaiMonday, June 04, 2012

Good article Mr Edwin. Keep writing. I am your fan for your Konkani as well as English articles

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