Travel for the Soul: A Different Kind of Farm

        We recently returned from a week-long stay in Peachtree City, Georgia, where we spent spring break with my brother and his family.  While there, we took a day trip to Conyers to visit, for the first time, the site where the Blessed Mother appeared 49 times on the 13th of each month from 1990 to 1998.  On our way to Conyers, I thought about what the place would be like.  For years, I read a lot of articles regarding the events occurring there, and so I had an idea of what to expect, but to be honest, it turns out I had imagined a place very different from the one I saw.

        We arrived at the site, which is on a farm, early that morning.  Initially, we thought we could be at the wrong place, because there was no one else there.  And I mean no one, as in deserted.  It wasn’t until a few minutes after our arrival that we spotted, making their exit, the only other people we saw there that day — a couple and their dog.  Typically, the Farm, as it is called, is visited the most on the 13th of each month, and during certain religious feast days.  Given that the day of our visit was neither, I figured we weren’t going to see a large crowd, but I didn’t think we would find ourselves there in total solitude.  This just added a level of eeriness to our experience, as later confirmed by my husband and kids when they said the place was spooky and freaky.  It was you know, but it turns out, in a special kind of way.

        As we made our way through the Farm, we stopped at various points of interest.  There’s the Statue of Our Loving Mother, a nine-foot marble statue which is visible as you first drive up to the Farm; there’s Rosary Hill, where meditation of the Mystery of the Rosary takes place; the Spirituality Center, where retreats and seminars are held; the Sacred Heart Grotto; the Blessed Well and Water, depicting the Biblical passage of the Samaritan woman at the well with Jesus; the Mother of God Catholic Church Sanctuary, a beautiful little church established in 1998, where visitors can confess, hear mass, and receive Communion; and there’s the Welcoming Center.  But out of all of the interesting spots found at the Farm, the one that really made an impact on us, and I suspect does on most people as well, was the Shrine of Our Loving Mother, where the “Apparition Room” and the “Divine Mercy Room” are housed.  In these rooms, housewife and mother, Nancy Fowler, experienced the apparitions of the Blessed Mother and of Jesus Christ between 1990 and 1998.

        When we entered the Shrine, I immediately felt an incredible sense of peace.  So did my family, they later told me.  And no, it wasn’t because we were the only ones in the room that day, it just felt different.  This room contains various holy statues, it is filled with flowers, informational pamphlets, and there are blessed medals and rosaries which one can take home.  But the most telling objects in that room are the baskets filled with the many written prayers and petitions of those who had visited before us.  We walked around both rooms observing, reading the literature, and commenting on some of the items in them.  Then at one point my son said, “What if she appears now?” and we all looked at each other with…..ah…..yeah that kinda frozen expression, and with nothing to say.  My daughter too, while we were in the Divine Mercy Room sitting in front of the crucifix where Jesus appeared, said, “If He pops up now I’ll die.”  Their comments may have sounded a bit childish to me initially, but in retrospect, I must say I was highly impressed by the way both of them behaved and how seriously and faithfully they took this experience.  The simplicity of their comments implied that they acknowledged the possibility of that actually occurring, and showed how much faith there was in them.  Besides, I’ll be honest, I was sorta having the same “what if” thoughts.  You couldn’t help it.  The setting was conducive to that.  What would you have thought?  

        Eventually, after some time, the four of us sat down to write our prayers and petitions and dropped them in the baskets along with all the other ones.  I felt such a strong and open connection with Jesus and Mary as I sat there writing, that it was just amazing.  Even more amazing was the feeling I got when I realized, as I looked around the room, not just where I was, but who was with me there sharing that moment.  When I glanced at my husband and children sitting there, engulfed in faith, writing in their little pieces of paper their own thoughts, I couldn’t help but feeling blessed.

        We made our way through the rest of the Farm that day and ended our visit at the church.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.  Not unlike what I feel after visiting a new place when we travel, but this time with the added feeling of gratitude.  I couldn’t believe that the place I had seen in pictures always crowded with people, was on that day, all ours.  I was so taken by how quiet it was there and how alone we were, in the physical sense that is, not in the spiritual sense.  Because as my husband said after we left, “There was definitely a presence in that farm.”  Now, that was freaky my friends, and definitely special.  

        In that humble farm, a woman had visions of Mary and Jesus, and made public their messages.  Messages containing warnings, reassurances and hope for all of us, skeptics and believers alike.  Which are you?  In her last apparition, our Blessed Mother assured her faithful followers that blessings would continue to be given to all those who visited the Farm and prayed to her.  It is because of that, that I share my story with you; in the hopes that, if you haven’t already, you make some time to visit this holy site, so you too may experience this different kind of farm.

-by Connie Perez

The Farm                    &nbs
p;                                      Statute of Our Loving Mother
     
Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights       Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights
reserved.                                                                                    reserved.

Rosary Hill                                            Apparition Room
     
Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights        Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights
reserved.                                                                                     reserved.

Divine Mercy Room                                            Blessed Well and Water
    
Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights          Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights
reserved.                                                                                       reserved.

Mother of God Catholic Church

Photo by CCPerez. Copyright © 2008 Connie Perez. All rights
reserved.

You may read all about the history and the apparitions at the Farm in Conyers by
going to http://www.conyers.org/1/e_history.aspx.


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