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Stories from Derna Heather

The Awesome Vision

Christmas 1992 and New Years 1993 mum, nana and great grand nana had gone back to Rangitukia to be with those of our whanau. She had often visited them over the past years to holiday and also spend quality times with them. With great anticipation she would always be ready, luggage wise, a week before departing. Such was the urge within her and the happiness she portrayed, knowing too a visit to her much loved Porahu was imminent. Sure as always one of her luggage would be a brown carton box full of goodies and tied with a twine or string (that’s our mum!) Mum had told me that during those visits she was always grateful to God given opportunities to tell the gospel, especially to all her mokopunas adding that it was so important for all to know, for narrow is the way and God said many will not make it.

The Awesome Vision That God Gave Her

When mum returned to Auckland to all our elated family here she said, “I have got something to tell you. I was sitting at John and Nan’s house, looking out the glass sliding doors, to our Porahu hills and the lovely blue sky above them. Then I saw a big book come out of the sky. It was the most beautiful book that I have ever seen. It looked like the Bible but it was not it. The book was open when it came from the sky. From the pages I could see glowing out in such beautiful colours, rows of what looked like and what I believe was writing’s. The edging of the whole book was all in gold. I looked at it for a while then I close my eyes and shook my head. When I opened my eyes again the book was still there. In a while it lifted up, into the blue sky it went and I saw it no more. I was not seeing things or dreaming.” I believe mum had known it was the ‘Book of Life’. In her humbleness, God had given her such a great privilege to see it knowing that he would soon be taking her ! home to be with him. I remember reading Revelations Chapter 20, Verse 12 to her and seeing her facial expressions as one of great joy. Another scripture on the Book of life is in Luke Chapter10, Verse 20.


To the glory of God may this story ever be and a dedication to our loving mother, nana and great grand nana.

The year would have been 1955 or 1956 life at Porahu after dad had passed away was very lonely more so for our mother. As days and months went by, we adapted to life without him and joy and laughter was once again echoing through our house. Every now and then mum would have her quiet time sitting on her chair on the veranda. It was probably during the second year after dad had passed away that she went through a time of financial difficulty. If there was a time in her life that she needed money, that would have been it for our cupboards were empty and we been rather demanding children for other things apart from food did not help. Brother Rua was then at boarding school at Putaruru, north of Rotorua, a farming school owned and operated by the Salvation Army. During the school holidays we would look forward to his home comings and he having lots to tell us. The likes, driving tractors, caterpillars, the dislikes rising very early every morning to help out with! the milking of the many cows, washing his clothes and hanging them on the fence to dry only to have some pinched. Mum had to buy him more clothes to replace those that were stolen. With all our various needs her widow benefit did not go far. Brother John was a big help for whenever paid work was available, he would tell mum to phone the Waiapu Farmers if his pay had arrived and if it had to purchase groceries with it. So when John did earn some money, often it was spoken for. There was never any ready cash to be found in our house, not for a long time for that matter. Wages in those days were not very rewarding, commodities whether it be food or clothing were not cheap especially in Tikitiki. One’s pay did not go very far. In the 1960’s I went to Wellington to work and was amazed to find that my weekly pay was insufficient to purchase a dress. ‘Op Shops’ were unheard of then. Most of what I have written has been enlightenments to some of the situations that we were in at that! time which is relevant to the main story that I am about to write. Before I do go on I would like to expand on my thoughts at this moment, that been whether I should or should not write what mum had said to me because the next episode was a God given blessing to our mother and our family to not have written what she had said would only lessen the whole concept and the awesomeness in God’s outworking in her and our lives.

“All that mum spoke was in maori”

One day mum was having a quiet time sitting on her chair on the right hand side of the veranda a lovely day it was with hardly a cloud in the sky, time wise between 10.00 and 11.00am. I walked out onto the veranda on seeing her there I decided to join her, no sooner had I sat down mum said to me “It is very sad for us for we have no food. When daddy was alive our cupboards was always full of food and we lacked nothing.” She went on to say “I rang the Waiapu Farmers to book down a few stores for us but they declined my request and telling me my bill was too much and had to be paid. I also rand Rickards shop, he also said no reminding me of my bill there as well. I told him I had not forgotten and will pay it soon, it’s only a few groceries that I’m asking you for but he still refused.” Immediately after mum had spoken, John’s puppy whose name I think was Pluto and about 4 weeks old appeared on the scene. It came at a quick pace, not running but trotted up the steps ac! ross the veranda and sat at mum’s feet, lifting it’s head up to her. Mum said “This puppy has got something in it’s mouth. It’s money and it’s rolled up in a bundle.” Amazingly it only released the money from it’s mouth when she took hold of it for the puppy did have a firm grip on it. Having delivered the money, it quickly turned around and trotted off at the same pace that it had come, taking no notice of me whatsoever. Meanwhile there I was stunned but having the privilege of witnessing what had happened in such a short time. I suddenly thought to myself we must have visitors so I stood up and ran along the side of the house. Outside Pa Koroua’s bedroom window I found myself unable to go any further. There was no sign of any visitors or the puppy. I notice that the few dogs that we had there at the time were not barking even prior to that. There just seemed to be quiet and peacefulness around. Bewildered and bit scared, as by now had summed it up in my mind that it must be ! a spiritual visitation. I then went back to join mum, I asked her where did that money come from, she replied God had given it. Mum was so at peace with herself throughout the rest of that day. I distinctively remember the happiness and glow on her face. It was like she had been lifted up on to a higher level with her walk with the Lord. We were never to experience having no food in our cupboards again, perhaps not so much at times but never without. I do not recall as to how much money there was in that bundle but this I do know, they were all new notes compactly rolled giving me the impression it had been quite a sum. One Sunday, mum and I went to church, the year would have been 1991. The message that was preached that day was on the prophet Elijah: 1 Kings/Chapter 17 Verse 4 which reads God had commanded the ravens to take food for Elijah. I said to mum “Isn’t that awesome we read about those wild birds that God had commanded to take food for Elijah and we recalling that e! ventful day at the Porahu when God commanded the puppy to deliver the money to you.” Mum with a beaming smile and tears in her eyes replied “Yes, I know!”

There is a scripture that reads

God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

For encouragement to all mum, nana and great grand nana had put her trust and faith in God her testimony to us. We need to do the same for there will come a day that all things will pass away and only God remain. The Alpha and the Omega.

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