July 3 – 5, 2009 — Lombard, Illinois, USA
Amma’s annual programs in Chicago fell on America’s Independence Day Weekend. As fireworks burst in the summer skies celebrating the United State’s freedom from the British, Amma and devotees celebrated a different type of freedom.
On the first day, William J. Mueller, the Lombard Village President, came to the hall in order to welcome Amma. “It is an honor to welcome Mother here today—a living saint. Thank you for being here with us.”
Mueller went on to speak about his personal triumphs in fighting cancer, all of which he attributes to faith and prayer. “[Amma’s] the vehicle to reach to our God in prayer and healing,” he said. “The first time I [prayed], I was in doubt. And there are probably some here today that are in doubt too. But let me assure you that it is the real thing.”
He concluded by saying that he would include Amma in his prayers. “Tonight when I say a prayer, I will thank the Lord for Mother and the work that she does.”
On the second day, Ashok Kumar Attri, the Consul General of India in Chicago, came for darshan. “We don’t come here as guests,” he said, referring to his wife and himself. “We come here as fellow devotees”.
Speaking about his first two years in Chicago—at the beginning of which he received Amma’s darshan for the first time—Consul General Attri said, “It has been a specially blessed period for us. … We feel this has been because of Amma’s blessings to us. Amma blessed us to serve all of you. And that has been very precious to us. … Serving humanity as a service to all-mighty God. That has been the motto of Amma, and I bow my head in reverence to this ideal.”