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'The heart of the Casa beats strong and steady' - Article by Diego, Casa Volunteer and Translator

This is a little story a few of us got to witness. A little story about the Casa de Dom Inacio that I believe should be told. Nothing momentous, just a Friday afternoon in late November…

I was glad it was Friday and I could tell everyone else in the staff was glad too. It had been an intense week. The lines had been long and the heat unbearable. It was already 2:30 and we had not started the afternoon session. Everyone was wondering what was going on. Finally a word! Joao has asked us to delay a bit. Someone mumbled something about a bus. Our valiant mediums are sitting in current, some of them sweating profusely. But to their credit, nobody has moved a muscle. Another hour goes by and finally the nod comes. We are starting! It is going to be a late session but here we go!

The usual sequence of events unfolds into a full current session. The operations are complete. The operated have been advised and have gone in their taxis. The line is flowing smoothly and the entity seems to be taking its time talking to people. Now the picture is beginning to fill in. Apparently a bus full of people from a small village close to Rio left late last night in hopes of arriving to the afternoon session at the casa. It seems the bus broke down and we are getting different estimates about the bus' arrival time.

Time goes by slowly. The work that goes on before our eyes is mesmerizing. For a while we forget where we are. We keep doing our job with diligence. We try to catch some of the happenings near the front while guiding the people who have already passed by the entity into their next step. Once in a while we are interrupted by an update on the bus. "It will be here soon"- "They just passed Brasilia" - "No wait! They have just fixed the bus" "They are headed to Brasilia". These seemingly contradictory reports continue to flow. Finally 6:30 rolls around. The lines are thinning. The entity gives another instruction. One more session! We will have a third session! Something I don't fully understand about finishing at 11 PM. Our hopes of an easy Friday afternoon at home are starting to fade. Some people immediately check out. I can't stay! I have this or that to do…

Finally we close the session. The announcement is made that we will have one more session. We do not know when but we estimate the bus should be here in an hour or so. Those who wish to stay are welcome. Those who want to go home and get dinner to come back later can do so. The third session is strictly optional.

And the wait begins. We have coffee, watch the sunset, walk around talk. Our ranks are thinning again. Mosquitoes feast on us for a while. Finally, a bit of cool air as darkness sets in. It's 9:30 and no news from the bus… Are we sure they are coming? They did not decide to turn back?

Finally we hear the sound of a diesel engine approaching the gates. They are here… Wow! it is 11:00 PM. Wait didn't the entity say something about 11:00 PM?

Before you can blink, Joao is standing beside the bus. He personally thanks every one of them for coming and hands them a Casa T-Shirt. All of a sudden the casa is bustling again. The new arrivals are led to the showers to refresh and don their new T-shirts. The coffee shop is opening again. Marinalva the cook is walking around counting the folks. I had not even noticed the activity in the kitchen! They have been making soup for an hour already! Finally the session starts. Joao gets on stage and thanks the folks for coming. He treats them to a couple of stories from his past and talks a bit about his mission. Then he disappears into the current rooms to get the session going.

Those of us who work in the current rooms follow him in. The dimly lit current rooms are warm and there is a cosy, almost musty feeling in them. Joao begins his incorporation prayers and when he receives his incorporation I notice he is limping… Oh my… It's Dom Inacio? Dom Inacio announces his arrival with a song and then one by one welcomes the new visitors and talks to them. The line seems to be formed of characters from a Garcia Marquez novel. There is the old man with a cane the large ears with puffs of hair coming out of them. His face deeply marked from years of work in the sun. Dom Inacio grabs his back and pushes on his chest. We rush to hold him as he swoons from his operation. The almost blind lady in the dark gray dress tears streaming down her eyes after Dom Inacio tells her she must come back twice to be healed. Each one files past him, some with confidence some with apprehension, some are visibly moved, some not so much, but all of them seem to have this glow about them, as if their spirit has just received a big boost. Many receive operations right there a few are told to sit in current. The Pharmacy folks are standing by to fill prescriptions. We are rushing to assist in the operations and take folks to the right places. Finally we are coming to the last few and it dawns on me… This is what the Casa is really about. This is the heart of the Casa: These people who could only come to one session on Friday afternoon because they can only afford to lose one day of work. So they take a bus all night and most of the day to attend one session and get right back on the bus to go home again.

The entity's voice shook me out of my reverie… "Listen to what I have to say!" He announced. "There are folks saying I have left the Medium. They say I am working somewhere else. I tell you I will never leave this Medium. And I do not incorporate in any other Mediums. Only the day he decides to charge people for his consultations I will let go of him. I will stay with him and when his mission is done [here on earth] I will hand him off to his mentor for the next stage of his evolution." With this, he turned around, his arm in a blessing motion around the room. He called on those who would close the session and in brief moments he left the body of the medium.

Joao instructed that everyone be given blessed water to take home and we proceeded to close down the current rooms. After completing my duties I joined everyone in the soup area. My body welcomed the hot soup. The area was bustling with joyful conversation the energy was really high. Some of the volunteers were not even willing to go home. They just wanted to bask in it some more. Finally, as everyone is back in the bus after Joao personally thanks every one of them, the diesel engine starts again and the folks begin their journey home.

It is past midnight in this small village in central Brazil, far from the eyes of the press, far from the scrutiny of the world and it is hard to comprehend what has just happened. The buzz in the air is silent witness to all that took place but for me it was one more demonstration of a man living up to his mission when nobody would have reasonably expected him to. Perhaps tonight more than most nights he has shown why they call him John of God…