Marvin Besteman was a graduate of Calvin College, a veteran of the US Army, and a retired bank president. He passed away in January 2012 after completing the final manuscript for his book, MY JOURNEY TO HEAVEN. Besteman’s co-author, Lorilee Craker, is a speaker, entertainment writer, and author of several books on parenting and relationships. Together, they tell the story of Marvin’s dramatic and life-changing journey to heaven in 2006.
On April 28, 2006, Marvin lay in his hospital bed following surgery to remove his pancreatic cancer. In desperate pain, he just wanted to get some sleep, but God had a different plan. Instead of drifting off into the land of sweet slumber, Marvin watched as two angels came into his room and began unhooking him from all the tubes attached to his body. Next, they assisted him to heaven, where he saw and heard things that both astounded and comforted him.
"Chapter by chapter, Marvin describes his wondrous journey in the hopes of bringing renewed passion, hope and encouragement to all Christians. Interestingly, once he did his part in getting his story down in writing, God took him back to heaven for good."
As a practical man, Marvin knew that most people would never believe him if he started telling his story of visiting heaven, so he kept quiet. But over time, God continued to work on his heart and revealed to him that the very fact that he was transported to heaven and then back to earth meant he should be sharing his story with anyone and everyone. Marvin first told his wife, and her positive reaction gave him courage to start telling others. Next, he shared with his children, and from there the story went from person to person. This book is the fulfillment of God’s mission for Marvin once he was brought back to earth.
Readers will have their interest piqued as Marvin describes the two male angels who entered his hospital room and then gently, lovingly, took him to heaven’s gates where he noticed a short line of people from all different nationalities awaiting entrance. Marvin details the brilliance of the colors and how young and energetic his body felt. He then shares how glorious the music sounded and, finally, how Peter greeted him. Yes, Peter, the apostle of Christ. Not only did Marvin talk with his best-loved scriptural figure, he maintains the two argued over the fact that this brief visit to heaven was just that: a small glimpse into heaven. He didn’t want to come back to earth.
Marvin believed that part of this mission was to bring encouragement to those who have lost their children, for everywhere he looked, there were children: happy, healthy, beautiful children. He also was given a quick look at his deceased son-in-law and was amazed how vibrant and content Steve appeared compared to how ill he was from the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that took his life only two months before. Marvel upon marvel, Marvin witnessed so much in that short visit that he wondered if even he would believe another person’s account of it had he been on the receiving end of the tale.
Chapter by chapter, Marvin describes his wondrous journey in the hopes of bringing renewed passion, hope and encouragement to all Christians. Interestingly, once he did his part in getting his story down in writing, God took him back to heaven for good.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 19, 2012