The Words of the Perrin Family
June Darby, second row on the far right, at a recent workshop in England.
June Darby is from South Africa. She has served as a missionary in seven different countries and is currently in her eighth.
Before I share some of my experiences as a missionary, I would like to explain how I joined the Unification Church.
When I was seven and eight I had to attend a boarding school. Often when I was alone in the fields and gardens of the school, Jesus would come to me. He was my best friend and I shared everything with him. When he was there with me, I felt so happy, safe, peaceful, and loved. He told me that if I wanted to be happy when I grew up, I should pray every day to do God's will. So, from that time on, I prayed to do God's will every night when the first star appeared in the sky.
I committed my life to Jesus when I was 16. I seriously contemplated becoming a nun, but after I prayed about it, God showed me that He wanted me to become a mother.
When I finished high school, I attended a teacher's training college. I was involved in a church at that time, but I could never accept that Jesus came to die on the cross to forgive men their sins. I would cry every time I heard that preached and I totally rejected it, feeling that it was a tragedy and should never have happened. I stopped attending church be- cause I did not want to be a hypocrite.
A year later while I was in a prayer meeting, Jesus again came to me. The room was filled with a bright light, and I felt a feeling of deep calm and peace. I felt my spirit leave my body and be embraced by Jesus. With great understanding, kindness, and love, he told me not to worry about the question of his crucifixion. He wanted me to go back to the church and serve him there, and he told me that I would find the answers to all my questions later.
I threw myself wholeheartedly into the activities of the church, doing my best to sincerely follow the teachings of Jesus. The words, "If you love me, keep my commandments" moved my heart at that time. But I was concerned because I saw that the church was not able to combat the teachings of communism; nor was it able to show people how to expand their hearts and overcome racial prejudice so that all people could truly become brothers and sisters under God. It was not able to teach people how to love centered on Jesus and God, nor could it explain why love, which should be sacred and noble, had become dirty and defiled.
I prayed that, if God willed, He would use me as His instrument to write a book about the truth that could solve every problem and bring peace to the world. I knew He had all the solutions. I was offered a scholarship to study in California and become a missionary.
When I prayed about it, God showed me that He wanted me to work at helping the whole continent of Africa, especially South Africa, to become truly Christian and God-centered, but not with the missionary group that had offered me the scholarship. Instead, God showed me I had to understand the problems and suffering of people before I could practically and constructively work toward that goal, so I studied social work.
Soon after I finished my studies, I went to Europe to experience the different cultures there. I then realized that the time had come for me to totally offer my life to the service of God, and that I should now become a missionary. I was in Rome at the time, looking for a church group where I could be a missionary. I didn't mind which church or group, so long as it was working on the world level. I wanted my actions and service to help the world become a better place. I also wanted to experience the dynamic, living presence of God, because I felt that the spirit of most churches was dead.
When I was witnessed to and heard the Divine Principle, I knew immediately that Jesus had led me there and that it was God's will for me to join.
That was soon after True Father blessed the Holy Grounds in 1965 and sent missionaries from America to Europe and Australia. Missionaries went first to Germany, Italy, England and Holland. After some months, missionaries from Germany went to Austria and Spain. The missionary in England at the time was Sandi Pinkerton, and I became her first member. (She was not the first missionary to England, but the fourth.) Soon two more South Africans became chosen ones, but no matter how hard we witnessed and taught, no British people joined. While Marion Porter (nee Dougherty) was leading in England, we received guidance that British people would join once a fourth person from the Commonwealth joined. That person was a Canadian, and no sooner had he moved in with us than two British brothers accepted the Principle, and within a few months we had a foundation of 12 chosen ones.
This experience showed me very clearly that we are not working in the Unification Church just as individuals. Each one of us represents some providential purpose, and we are working as representatives of our nations and many generations of people.
When I was asked to go as a missionary to Holland in 1968, I felt that I had to really serve and love Holland with all my heart to repay the spiritual debt South Africa owed to Holland. It was through Holland that Christianity had first come to the shores of South Africa. And it was through the generosity of the Dutch that many of the persecuted French Huguenots found a place of refuge. So many French Huguenots had flooded into Holland at the cost of their lives that the resources of the Dutch people were severely depleted.
To alleviate the stress, 200 French Huguenots agreed to colonize a country where they could find freedom from terrible religious persecutions. That country was South Africa
While I was working in Holland, I genuinely felt that the Dutch were the most wonderful people in the world, and I was so grateful for the privilege of working there. I felt that no other people in the world were better prepared to accept and follow the Lord of the Second Advent. Subsequently, when working as a missionary in other countries, I have had similar experiences after asking God to help me love that nation as He did. It was amazing -- I really felt how God's love makes us feel so unique and special. I realized that I had to love people in a similar way if they were to experience True Parents' and Heavenly Father's heart through me.
After the blessing of the 43 couples in 1969, True Parents asked some newly blessed representatives of Britain, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, and Austria to go out as missionaries. Britain sent George Robertson to Malta, Carl Redmond to Australia and myself to Jordan.
In her most recent missionary country, Kenya, June poses with some of the Kenyan members.
I was very grateful to be chosen to go to Jordan as the British national representative. Dennis and Doris Orme had told me that I would really learn God's suffering heart through the suffering of the many refugees who had poured into Jordan from Palestine after the Israeli-Arab conflict in June 1966, and were still living under extreme poverty and hardship in refugee camps.
At first I found it difficult to love the people of that country. However, through my love for the creation there, I could begin to appreciate the people's good points, and I grew to love them as I had loved the people of Holland. I visited refugee camps accompanying those who were giving aid to the refugees, and my heart was deeply moved by their suffering. I experienced the suffering of Heavenly Father in my prayers and I would cry uncontrollably.
It was also incredibly lonely for me in Jordan. I could begin to understand Heavenly Father's lonely heart. I felt how much He loves us and wants to be loved by us, and to be a part of all our activities and relationships, and yet is completely ignored, left out, unwanted, and forgotten by us most of the time. Because of the atmosphere of tension and fear due to the civil war, people were afraid to go out at night. It was very difficult to teach people, and this made my work so lonely. Although I received many invitations to visit patients whom I had nursed at the hospital where I worked, I only visited people for the purpose of witnessing or teaching. Then because I was so very lonely, I began to contemplate visiting people just for company. I felt that that would be wrong, that I was weakening as a result of being on my own, and I asked Heavenly Father to help me overcome. At that time I went to the Post Office, hoping against hope for some mail as I hadn't received any letters for months and months. Great was my surprise and delight to find a copy of the 'Way of the World' from Korea!
I eagerly read Father's sermon and was so surprised to find an answer to my prayer. Father said: "No matter how difficult or lonely our situation, we must never deviate from the religious path but always stay faithful to God and comfort His suffering heart." I cried as I read it for I knew then that True Parents were with me and understood my situation. I was grateful for their love and concern to help me overcome my struggles.
Later when I was in Korea for the Blessing in 1970, Mrs. Won Pok Choi told me that True Parents had been very worried about me in my lonely situation. True Father had many times expressed his concern for me. I was so deeply touched by this substantial expression of True Parents' love and concern that I cried for a long time. True Parents have so many important concerns and are responsible for the whole world, yet they could still find time to worry about one unimportant little missionary!
About 6 months after the Blessing, I was sent with Patricia Hardman (Hartley) to begin a mission in Scotland. After a few months, Patricia was recalled and I continued on my own. One day, while praying in a park in Edinburgh to have the right attitude and heart for witnessing, a woman suddenly ran up to me, tears streaming down her face, desperately asking me if I'd seen her little boy whom she had just lost. She ran from person to person imploring them for help. Suddenly she saw her child and ran with all her strength, grabbed him, and held him tightly to her as if to make sure he could never be lost again. I prayed deeply to experience the heart God had revealed to me through that mother so I could search for True Parents' lost children with a similar heart.
When witnessing, I made many conditions for the spirit world to work and help me find people. I would always pray for God to speak through me, for only He knew the key to move and unlock each person's heart. Many times I would find myself saying things that amazed me. People would be surprised and exclaim "But how did you know that? I just prayed for that this morning!" It is very exciting to find oneself being used as an instrument to bring people to know the love of God and True Parents. For me, this is a most fulfilling and noble purpose to live for.
After Children's Day, 1972, I was sent to Ireland. Even though two missionaries had gone to Ireland two years before, they had had many difficulties and there were only two chosen ones in Ireland. When I prayed with my central figures, Dennis and Doris Orme in Britain, they cried for Ireland, feeling that they had let Heavenly Father down. I prayed very much to comfort their hearts by bringing many people in a short period. I made a condition to bring 12 people to accept True Parents within 3 months. Great was my gratitude and joy when that condition was fulfilled!
Once while praying in Ireland I had a vision: I saw that all God's hopes and expectations are centered on True Parents, and that the destiny of all mankind -- past, present, and to come -- is entirely dependent on True Parents. I saw that if people did not unite with True Parents and enable them to fulfill their mission and establish the conditions to save all mankind, human beings would degenerate in a short period of time into animal-like beings with no spiritual sensitivity, causing God and True Parents unimaginable anguish and intolerable pain. I prayed that we could support and help True Parents be victorious in whatever way we could, and to understand their significance and value more deeply.
Because there is generally a deep love for God in Ireland, and the Irish chosen ones were so "on fire" for God and True Parents, we had new people joining every month. My deepest desire and prayer was always for one nation to arise soon in the world which could accept and recognize True Parents.
While walking home from the bus stop one day, I was praying about our activities and I suddenly experienced God's love. I felt as if love were bubbling through my whole being, and I was intoxicated by the feeling! I didn't worry who saw me or what they thought as I danced, skipped, and sang all the way home. I was so totally filled with the joy of tasting God's love!
My next mission was to be the missionary to Malta. Soon after I arrived, I saw a couple of films about physical disasters which are prophesied to take place in the last days. I felt that God was showing me how desperately urgent He feels to save as many people as possible before the final judgment and destruction of evil, when many people will perish in disasters of various kinds.
Later I was sent to help in a mother's position in Australia. I felt very much that I needed to be totally connected to True Parents in order to be able to express their heart of love, especially that of Mother.
People are hungry for love, and it is only True Parents' love that can give life and hope to our dead spirits. I prayed to become True Parents' channel; to speak only what they would have me say, to go where they desired, and to act as Mother would behave.
Toward the end of 1987, I received word from my national representatives in South Africa, John and Freda Brady, that Heung Jin Nim had given me the mission to work in Kenya as a missionary. I was deeply grateful, for my heart has always been to work on the front line, pioneering in missionary activities.
I feel a great desire to really substantialize the heart and word of Heung Jin Nim and the True Children. I want us all to be on fire with the love of God and True Parents so that we can "fight the last holy war" together with all the saints, martyrs, and providential figures of the past. We must, as Heung Jin Nim said, destroy Satan's kingdom once and for all and fulfill our glorious and sacred destiny; we must embrace True Parents' course and their future vision. We must vindicate the suffering of Heavenly Father, True Parents, and the True Children, and end the suffering of mankind by freeing people from evil. Most of all, True Parents must be lifted up and recognized by all peoples of the world. My deepest longing is to see this come about in the shortest possible time.
I think I prefer the pioneering lifestyle more than working where there is an established foundation because through our struggles to establish a foundation in our mission countries, on both the spiritual and economic levels, we are able to experience the heart and raw-bone suffering and struggles of True Parents in establishing the foundation for world restoration. One has to struggle to embrace different cultures and peoples, to love them more than one's own nation. One's heart develops in order to raise young chosen ones with the patience and love of True Parents. There has to be a total commitment to fulfilling one's responsibilities. Even though you may feel like it at times, there is no running away. You have to love unconditionally, for your responsibility is to restore a nation.
It is an awesome and seemingly impossible task, but the beauty and the challenge of it is that in struggling to accomplish it, one can identify so much more with True Parents' course and heart. For me, the only goal worth living for is to unite more and more with the heart and marrow of True Parents, until we become totally one with their Shim Jung and can dwell with them as their true sons and daughters, working with them for eternity to build and develop Gods Kingdom on earth and in the spiritual world.