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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kaitee Lusk Gets the Call of a Lifetime

Kaitee Lusk used to live in Citrus Heights, California, my present city of residence. Her daughter accepted Christ at the age of 2 1/2. Heather attended the same High School as my two boys, and like my eldest, she was valedictorian of her class. I never met Kaitee in person, but I have spoken to her by phone and corresponded with her. I was told about her by a man in my church who had his own miracle story to tell.

Kaitee's adventure began in July, 1989, with a coveted invitation to a Christian conference (Lausanne II), in Manila. Flight arrangements were made to come and go by way of Korea. Before the trip, her pastor's secretary made a joke about Kaitee stopping in Hawaii on the way home to see the Philippine's President, Ferdinand Marcos. He was ill and in a hospital there. Kaitee joked back that if it was God's will she just might do it, but actually, she didn't even know who Marcos was. The secretary filled her in, but assured her that no one would be allowed to gain entrance into Marcos's room. However, in the following days, Kaitee felt very strongly that God was calling her to do that very thing. He told her, "Marcos needs Me. He's asking for Me and is crying to Me for help." He also told her that Marcos would not be able to speak to her, but he would understand everything that she said. He told her that others were to read the Gospel of John to him for 7 days. The man I mentioned above helped Kaitee with the funds she would need to change her reservations to include a stop in Hawaii. Of course, she was told that there were waiting lists a mile long for people wanting to stop over in Hawaii. Kaitee told the airline that she needed to see someone there who was critically ill. They told her to keep calling, especially when she got to the Philippines.

Kaitee was to travel with other missionaries. If she got to Honolulu, she would meet up with Claire, a woman who lived there whom she met at a previous event in Washington, D.C. Travel was fraught with peril. Their flight out of Sacramento was cancelled, so they were routed through Los Angeles and Seoul. Most of their luggage went on to Manila without them. The plane almost crashed in Korea, causing a day's delay. At the Ambassador Hotel, they experienced riots, firebombs, tear gas, and rocks. Finally the exhausted team arrived in Manila.

After some anxious maneuvering, Kaitee got her miracle ticket to Hawaii. When the conference ended, she met up with her friend Claire. They immediately began their attempt to gain entrance into Marcos's hospital room. To make a long story short, they were repeatedly told by guards and nurses that no one gets in to see Marcos except doctors and immediate family. The First Lady would not return their call. Kaitee was running out of time, and the ladies were about to give up. She prayed one last prayer with Marcos's guard Alex. Afterwards, he thought that he could give her Col. Art Aruiza's phone number. Being Marcos's right hand man, he might be able to pull some strings. Kaitee called him and told him that God had sent her from Sacramento to deliver a message to President Marcos. Amazingly, he responded, "I believe you." She gasped, "You do?" He said that he had letters on his desk from several people around the world who said the same thing. "The difference between you and them," he said, "Is that you are here and they are not."

Col. Aruiza connected the ladies with Dr. Zagala, Marcos's physician of 25 years. She was a devout Christian, and was open to Kaitee's story. Kaitee and Claire rushed to the hospital to meet Dr. Zagala and Irene Araneta, Marcos's daughter. Claire had to stay out of the ICU room. Kaitee and 6 others were in the room when she delivered her message. Marcos had a breathing tube, which was why he was not able to speak to Kaitee, but he responded to her message with amazement, then smiles and tears. Kaitee assured him that God loved him and had heard his cry. She talked about how a baby in the womb pushes from darkness into light. Marcos was in a similar position. He was needing to be birthed into the light. Jesus was the light. He indicated with his eyes that he was willing to repent of all sin and ask Jesus into his life. Kaitee led him in a prayer, then gave him a Bible. She told him that someone would be reading it to him for 7 days. Kaitee found out years later that 7 was Marcos's favorite number. All in the room took mention of 7 as a sign that Kaitee really did hear from God. All were in tears at the end of the interview.

In time, Irene Araneta and Col. Aruiza both accepted Christ, as did Marcos's son Bong. The major portion of Kaitee's experience with the Marcos family and entourage can be found in Kaitee's book, Eternal Makeovers. Although the other people who were called of God to deliver that message may regret that they never got to Honolulu, the very fact that they wrote those letters undoubtedly played an important part in Kaitee's success. Marcos had a reputation of being a repressive dictator. Almost everyone knew about Imelda's closet full of shoes. He is not one who would garner sympathy as he died. But God heard his sincere heart's cry, and Kaitee heard God's call, the call of a lifetime.