published Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Adventure, service and miracles

"He is truly a Renaissance man," I thought in 2000 when I met and later heard Ambassador Pascal Alan Nazareth from India speak. He seemed equally at home in the worlds of music, art, science, religion, politics and diplomacy. In addition to English, he speaks Japanese, Spanish and three Indian languages.

His sense of humor is delightful, ranging from the subtlety of British humor to the jokes of Southern America. I appreciated him most for his strong sense of personal integrity, morality and commitment to the Christian faith. He is a third-generation Christian, his grandparents having been converted by American missionaries.

Shortly after graduation from the University of Madras with a master's degree in economics and politics, Mr. Nazareth was chosen for foreign service. He served in various positions with Indian embassies in Tokyo, Rangoon, and London, and was consulate general in New York from 1969 to 1979. Since retirement in 1994, he has been a member of the advisory board of India's Import Export Bank's Center for Excellence. Also, he is an enrichment lecturer on a cruise line. It was on such a cruise that my friends, Fran Simmons and Helen Exum, met the ambassador and his wife. After completing a tour through the United States, he stopped by to visit briefly with his Chattanooga friends. Through them, I was able to meet and talk with this remarkable man.

He told me of a miracle that happened to his son when he was 16. The son had developed cancer of the bone and was a patient at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. One evening his son's temperature rose to 105 degrees. Doctors told the family they had no alternative but to amputate the son's leg if he were to live. They planned to operate the following morning.

Mother Teresa happened to be in New York at the time and happened to be at the hospital when she heard the name of the Nazareth's son. "Is he a patient here?" she asked. When they answered affirmatively, she went immediately to his room, greeted the family and laid her hand on the head of the young man to pray for his healing.

She said good-bye to the family and left the room. Almost immediately, his temperature went down, and by the following morning, he was so much better that the doctor did extensive tests. At that time, they could find no trace of the cancer, nor has he had it since. The ambassador spoke to Mother Teresa, saying, "What can we ever do to express our gratitude to you?" The diminutive nun simply smiled, pointed heavenward and replied, "I didn't do it. He did it."

Ambassador Nazareth believes miracles happen around us all the time and that a miracle is not in conflict with natural law but on a plane higher than natural law. Most people would describe Ambassador Nazareth as an extremely knowledgeable and articulate man. I agree but would also add he is a mighty ambassador for Jesus Christ.

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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