Testimonies & Conversion Stories

"Testimony of Bob Gardner"

In July 1999 I started my vacation off with the intent to read Wayne Weible's book "The Final Harvest". I was looking forward to reading this book since (1) Years before I had a major conversion experience reading Wayne's book "Medjugorje, The Message" and (2) My brother Steve had a conversion experience and was helped out of a serious drug addiction by a series of miracles that started with his reading the copy of "The Message" that had sent him shortly after my own Medjugorje conversion experience. In July 1999, as I opened "The Final Harvest" I noted that the chapter headings in the table of contents sounded like song titles. As I was thinking about one of those headings, a song came into my head. I had never experienced an original song popping into my head before. I had never tried to write a song before and I knew this song was not coming from me. I quickly found a child's tape recorder and attempted to sing the song into the recorder as I heard it in my head. Most of the songs for the album "Gospa" came to me this way on that two week vacation prior to my even having a chance to read "The Final Harvest". The last two songs came to me in the fall of 1999. I had thought I had finished "The Final Harvest" but felt drawn back to the book feeling that I was supposed to get another song. It was then that I noticed in the back of the book a listing of Our Lady of Medjugorje's monthly messages to the world. It was while I was reading through these messages that the last two songs for the album came to me. It was also in reading these messages that I realized that I was somehow supposed to include narrated messages in the album.

I am not sure why Our Lady chose me for receiving this music. I do not read or write music and the only instrument I play is drums. This made it quite challenging to share what I was hearing in my head since there was much more to it than I could sing into a recording device. From the beginning I felt that Our Lady wanted me to approach Steve Borst, a local musician, to work with me on this music. Now my stumbling block was my ego. Steve was not into Medjugorje and, although he's a wonderful guy, he did not seem to be the religious sort. I just could not get myself to approach him and say: "Steve I have been given these religious songs by Our Lady of Medjugorje. They're in my head and I need your help putting chords to them." I tried a number of other musicians first and then, because I was not getting anywhere and I was feeling very guilty, in December of 1999 I went to Steve. At first he worked with me because he is a very kind person. Then he saw this as "a labor of love." Then as we started putting a practice tape together for other musicians he saw that I just might have something here. Steve could only give me on average about a half-hour per week so we didn't complete the musician's practice tape until the summer of 2000. I sent a copy of the practice tape to my sister Mary and my brother-in-law Jim to see if they would consider working on recording this album with me. Neither are Roman Catholics and, at the time, Jim did not really believe in a God than you can have a personal relationship with and definitely didn't believe in Satan or hell. In the mean time, Steve and I went to the local recording studio to see if they would consider recording the album and to get an idea how much it would cost. This was my first experience at professional recording and it was an eye opener that started me questioning whether we were the ones to record this album. I told Steve and my wife that I needed to hear my brother-in-law's honest opinion of the practice tape before determining if I should proceed with "booking" the recording studio time. It was clear to me that, since none of us had professionally recorded, since we all had other jobs and since Mary and Jim lived eight hours away, it was going to take a miracle for us to pull this off. That's when I spoke to Jim and found out that he had a major conversion experience while listening to the practice tape. He was now on fire with the Holy Spirit. He was full of faith. He knew what he was to contribute to the music because he heard it in his head as he listened to the tape and he felt that all his previous years as a musician were just a preparation to answer God's call and record this album. Jim plays keyboards, saxophone and flute on this album so there was a lot for him to have heard in his head that day he listened to the practice tape and when, in his words, "all the hairs on my body stood on end." This is how the Holy Spirit brought together the band we called "The Conversion Experience" to record an album for God and with God. Without a doubt, The Holy Spirit produced this album, "Gospa". The Holy Spirit brought Barbara Marshall into the group to sing and narrate the Mother Mary parts. Barbara is a 3rd order Carmelite who handed out rosaries from Medjugorje at the recording studio and prayed us through the recording. Barbara is also the one that told us we should title the album "Gospa". The Holy Spirit brought us Lisa St. Pierre to sing high harmonies, and the Holy Spirit made it clear in the studio that Lisa was to sing the lead on "The Father's Plan", and so she did. Lisa had her own miracle come about through all of this. After recording the "Father's Plan", which is a song about how the father's plan is a family plan, Lisa was given a feeling of confidence to try to make contact with her biological parents. That, my friends, turned out to be a beautiful blessing for all; Lisa found not just her biological parents but a wonderful Catholic family (father, mother, brothers and sisters) that had been trying to reunite with her.

The album "Gospa" was released in March 2001. It was proclaimed by Jeannie Nichols, who has an international healing ministry, to be anointed. On Mercy Sunday this year we had another confirmation of that anointing. My wife and I went to visit my niece Kay who has suffered so significantly from depression that for years she was bed ridden much of the time. On Mercy Sunday this year, however, she was up and about. She said that she had received a great healing while listening to the CD "Gospa" and that she felt the best she had in years. Kay told us that the album made her realize how much God loves her and that she wanted to go to confession with us and to Mercy Sunday Mass. Kay's healing continues to this day and she listens to the "Gospa" album each night when she goes to bed because it gives her joy. Our Lady gives us her special blessing in Medjugorje and she has said that we can pass that blessing on to others. Through the album "Gospa", The Conversion Experience is passing Our Lady's special blessing to people across the world. The album has already gone out to people in over twenty countries. We have received very confirming written feedback from many of those who have been the first to hear the album. Felicity, in Switzerland, just happened to receive the album in the mail on her birthday and received a personal message while listening to her favorite song "The Message". Robert, in Quebec Canada, said the album touched his heart and soul and Our Lady must rejoice in Heaven. Other responses included: "awesome", "powerful", "inspired", "uplifting", "beautiful", "wonderful", "exquisite"and "great". Anthony in New Jersey wrote: "...there is a wonderful order to the songs...almost like the Liturgy of the Hours...we are in a battle with powers and principalities and this CD really gets that message across with Mary as the General! She is leading us into battle, we are her army!..."

I have made arrangements through Medjugorje Web to give the profits for internet sales of the "Gospa" CD for September to go to The Risen Christ Project in Medjugorje. I am attempting to unite with other Medjugorje ministries with a combined effort that will reach more people with Our Lady's blessings of Medjugorje. My web site is Conversion Experience.

Yours, in serving Jesus through service to The Handmaid of God, Bob Gardner, d.b.a. Work In The Spirit Publishing Co.

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