Friends and Family
Titled: When Powers Collide
located in the heart of Asia, is surrounded by India, Pakistan,
Afghanistan and China(Tibet). It's 86,000 square miles is
strategic territory and boasts some of the world's greatest
natural resources. In 1947, following India's independence
from British colonial rule, Pakistan began to infiltrate the
region until Kashmir's Maharaja requested India's military
reinforcement. Today, 2/3 of Kashmir is occupied by India
leaving the remainer to Pakistan.
The conflict between India and Pakistan has escalated in the
past 50 years until the CIA designated Kashmir the most likely
place for the next nuclear war (1994). In May of 1999 both
India and Pakistan began to insert their fissionable cores,
arming their nuclear arsenals, and were within hours of full-scale
nuclear catastrophe. President Clinton intervened by calling
an emergency meeting with Pakistan's leader demanding they
cease the Kashmiri rebel advance. Although seen as a defeat,
Kashmir suceeded in internationalizing the world's longest
Today the war continues with a recorded 65,000 deaths since
1989 and thousands of Human Rights violation cases. So what
in the blazes am I doing here?
In the spring of 2000 a number of events lead me into the
war torn territory. After days of near captivity, I escaped
the house-boat and ventured out to see the action first-hand.
That evening, near a swamp marsh, I met a poor family. I then
spent several weeks living with this family. Those few weeks
were the beginning of my journey. I felt as if God was with
me, living in me, and all around me. His presence was so real
it is nearly impossible to convey with words. In addition
to the overwhelming sense of divinity, I was shown treasures
of both the natural and supernatural worlds.
The fabled Kashmir Blue Sapphire were mined between 1880 and
1925. These gemstones achieved a reputation unrivaled today
in both beauty and heritage.
I promised the family I would sell their cache of gemstones
and build them a new home with the earnings. I made the agreement
with an older man who I now call the "Prophet" because
he could see me in his dreams.
Now one year has passed and I have returned. Beside teaching
the children English, I am searching for answers which apply
to both these "KashmirBlue" sapphire and powers
of prophecy. Do they exist? And if so, I would like to know
"If you look for it as for silver and search for it as
for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of
the Lord and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:4-5).
In India my eyes have been dazzled by such jewels as never have
been seen in the Western world. When I was last in the Srinagar
palace of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir thirty trays were
brought before me, and if I were to say that any one tray, sent
to market, would fetch a million dollars, I would be giving
only a faint impression of the astonishing wealth and beauty
of those treasures of an Indian gentleman.
A handsome man is Colonel His Highness Maharaja Sir Hari Singh.
In the afternoon he had shown me his sapphires and told me the
story of how they were found.
It seemed that in the old days of band of men with beards dyed
red found some blue stones exposed by a landslide in the hills
of Kashmir. These men had come from Afghanistan, part of a mule
caravan on its way to Delhi. The stones, as curiosities, were
put away in the bags on one of the mules, and then, in Delhi,
they were traded for salt. Thereafter they were sold to someone
who recognized them to be rough sapphires: and they were resold
and resold and resold, until finally, in Calcutta, they brought
in rupees a price which was equal to $400,000. The news of this
transaction got back to the maharaja of that time, who discovered
that the sapphires had been picked up in his own Kashmir hills.
In great wrath he went to Calcutta and demanded them. Every
single transaction in the long train had to be undone. The man
who had sold the sapphires gave back the $400,000, and so it
went through many towns, until, at Delhi, a merchant received
back a few bags of salt. Today, I should think, those Kashmir
sapphires are worth $3,000,000. One of them is as large as an
eggplant. For one of the smaller fragments I offered His Highness
$25,000. He just laughed at me; he does not want to part with
any object in his beloved collection, but, oh how I should like
to buy some of those treasures.