My Journey to Heaven


Marvin J. Besteman


Lorilee Craker

208 pages
Pub Date: September 2012

About the Book . . .

In My Journey to Heaven, Marv Besteman shares the story of his experience of heaven with astounding detail. Readers will hear of his encounters with angels who accompanied him to the gate, his conversation (argument, really) with St. Peter, and his recognition of friends and family members who touched his life.
On April 28, 2006, as he lay in his hospital bed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, visions of celestial beauty were the last thing on Marv Besteman’s mind. He had just had surgery to remove a rare pancreatic tumor. It was after visiting hours and his family had left for the day. Alone and racked with pain, Marv tossed and turned, wanting more than anything else to simply sleep and escape the misery and discomfort for a while. The retired banker, father, and grandfather had no idea he was about to get a short reprieve in the form of an experience he never could have imagined.
Marv’s story offers peace, comfort, and encouragement to those who have lost loved ones and gives security and solace to those who are grieving, dying, or wonder about the afterlife. Marv believed God sent him back to earth to fulfill this mission of comfort and reminds readers that God has work for each of us to do before he calls us to be with him in heaven. Secure in his belief that his book was the fulfillment of his own mission, Marv returned to heaven in January 2012.

About the Authors . . .    

Ruth Besteman, Marv’s wife of 54 years, is available for interviews to discuss her husbands’ miraculous journey to heaven and how it forever changed not only his life, but impacted hers as well.
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 four. Marv passed away in January of 2012, joyfully anticipating his return to heaven.    
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.   

Reader Review . . .

In My Journey to Heaven, Marvin Besteman describes his visit to Heaven in 2006.  He describes in detail what he saw and experienced there, as well as the people he saw and recognized. 
Normally, I describe the plot of a book without worrying about having to issue  “spoiler alerts”, but in this case, I don’t really see a way to talk about this book in detail without just retelling his story.  So, it comes down to this:  some people will believe this book, and others won’t.   I admit that it challenged my thinking regarding Heaven.  Everything he described wasn’t exactly the way I’ve always understood the Bible to mean.  However, I tried to keep an open mind while reading.  Without giving away too much detail, the one point where I felt that this could be on target was when he described what he saw before the Throne of God.  It wasn’t the type of thing that a man of his generation and theological background would probably imagine.   
Whether or not he described Heaven accurately, I feel that he sincerely believed that he saw Heaven, and that it looked just the way he described.  This could be very comforting for someone who has lost a loved one.  It may not be for everyone, but for anyone who will keep an open mind while reading, it is a wonderful reminder that Heaven is certainly real.
4 stars

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. Joy

    After recently having my own husband and brother taken, and knowing how my dear husband believed, I was greatly encouraged by this story of Marv’s.
    I would highly recommend it and also
    Randy Alcorn’s book ‘Heaven’.
    Just remember all do not go there.