Marvin Besteman writes about his “unforgettable trip to the gates of heaven and back” in My Journey to Heaven. The amazing experience happened after pancreatic surgery left him in despair and extreme pain. His account includes descriptions of what he saw, who he met and his impressions of what he calls “celestial beauty.”
The story of his life-changing preview of eternity begins April 28, 2006 in “the middle of the night” where he’s confined to a hospital bed at the University of Michigan Medical Center. His pain racked body, supported by “a tangle of life-support tubes,” makes him long for sleep as a means of escape.
However, instead of sleep, two men suddenly appear in the doorway of his hospital room and his miraculous account begins…
From his pain-free ascent through the skies, to standing in front of a monumental gate amidst a “short line of people,” Marv writes, his “geezer body felt young…strong and fantastic,” all painful limitations of age—gone.
He describes color-bursts of light, more brilliant than the “northern lights” that lit the sky overhead. And the breathtaking sounds of beautiful organ and piano music that accompany choirs of what sounds like millions of people in chorus together.
However, his memories of the incredible number of babies he saw on the other side of the gateway draws the most attention when he speaks to groups. From questions about what the babies looked like, to how old they were who held them and whether they were happy. You must read the book to learn about what he calls “Heaven’s Cradle Roll.”
In addition, readers overhear his conversation with the “hot-headed apostle Peter…gatekeeper of glory.” What the “Book of Life” is and where it is kept and why it’s so important. The meeting with his two-month deceased son-in-law, Steve, a young man he considered his “bonus” son. As well as parents, grandparents and deceased friends who smiled, waved and beckoned for him to come through the gate.
Yet, Marv was kept from going through the gate because Peter couldn’t find his name in the Book of Life “for that day.” Peter left to find out why and on his return said, “…God still has work for you to finish there.” Then Marv’s journey ends and he wakes to pain, but no longer in despair.
Marv, “a banker by trade” who dealt in hard “numbers and percentages” thought people would question his sanity and didn’t talk about what happened, even to his family, until the Lord prompted him to “…open his mouth and start talking.”
He told his family first, then a few friends and soon accepted speaking engagements that led to this book which he co-authored with Lorilee Craker. The day after he and his wife met Lorilee for lunch and added the dedication page that completed the book Marv was hospitalized with pneumonia. Where, his wife writes, he soon “…flew back to heaven…” January 21, 2012, his work finished.
I, like Marv, believe in Christ, God, heaven and hell and that we are all born with eternal souls. Although his story reads like a true experience, I leave it to the reader to decide.
‘My Journey to Heaven’ by Marvin J. Besteman w/Lorilee Craker, Revell Publishing, 2012, 208 Pages, 978-0800721220, $13.99
Back Cover Copy:
~~An unforgettable trip to the gates of heaven and back~~
As Marv Besteman lay in a hospital bed, visions of celestial beauty were the last thing on his mind. He had just had surgery to remove a rare pancreatic tumor. Alone after visiting hours ended, Marv tossed and turned, wanting more than anything else to simply sleep and escape the excruciating pain and misery for a while.
He was about to have an experience he never could have imagined--and could never forget.
In My Journey to Heaven, Marv Besteman shares the true story of his experience of heaven with astounding detail. You'll meet the angels who accompanied him to the gate, overhear his conversation with St. Peter, and feel the joy as he recognizes friends and family members who touched his life.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or even if you just wonder about what happens after we die, you'll find peace, comfort, and encouragement in Marv's story.
MARVIN J BESTEMAN (1934-2012) was a graduate of Calvin College, a veteran of the US Army, and a retired bank president. He spoke frequently during his last few years of life about his experience of heaven. He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of three children and the grandparents of five. In January 2012, Marv returned to heaven after finishing the final manuscript for this book.
LORILEE CRAKER is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Through the Storm by Lynne Spears and the author of several books on parenting and relationships. A frequent speaker, Craker is also an entertainment writer who has been interviewing celebrities and music artists for many years for the Grand Rapids Press. She lives in Michigan.
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