The Words of the Spari Family
Toni Spari distributed more than a thousand copies of True Father's autobiography.
When True Father told us to hand out 430 of his autobiographies to fellow citizens, I felt challenged to believe that this goal could be possible. Because no German version was available in the beginning, my wife and I started to distribute the Korean version to Korean friends and acquaintances. Right at the beginning we had wonderful experiences. Many of our friends were deeply moved and cried about what Father had written. Our goal was to reach number 430 by Foundation Day.
Once the German version was published, we resumed the work at an accelerated pace, using every opportunity. Many of our clients accepted the autobiography, as did friends, relatives, strangers that we met at cafés or in restaurants and even employees at hotels. In this way, we reached our goal of 430 earlier than planned. Hence, we redefined our goals to prepare for Foundation Day. We felt that we would like to bring presents to God on that extraordinary day.
After Foundation Day, we kept going and by the end of 2013, we thought about what we wished to present to Jesus on the day that we celebrate his birth. We decided to reach a thousand. By December 31, 2013, we had distributed 1,013 copies of As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen.
What have we experienced in this time from 2010 to 2013? We had many wonderful encounters with God, our fellow human beings and those in the spiritual world. I would like to share some of these experiences with you.
God still does not have much ground and space in which to reside in the world. Wherever you look, in magazines, on television, in the political or economic realms or in the art world, where is God welcomed and able to freely participate in all that occurs?
Who honors God publicly? Our Heavenly Parent is not given a home, and this makes me quite sad. Because of this, my goal is always to expand the realm of our Heavenly Parent on earth, no matter where I am, whether through prayer before eating in a public restaurant, through specific words in a conversation, a gesture toward someone or the passing on of father's biographies.
A few weeks ago I watched the finale of the football world championship of U17 national teams Nigeria versus Mexico. The young men from Nigeria praised God. Every single player prayed with great devotion and joy before and after each game.
Viewing this on television, I felt that for these young people, God is the most important part of their lives. He is number one. It was completely public and millions of viewers watched the Nigerian youth football players testify to God's love. This was seen in the way they played -- a heavenly sensation. It was football from a different galaxy, from heaven!
I felt as if this were indeed a sign from heaven to show how the future might look in all areas of human life. When we learn to put our Heavenly Parent first, this vision becomes reality. To me, passing out True Father's biographies means working toward this vision.
As blessed couples, we should be an extension of True Parents. Who is to solve all problems, for instance the problem of world hunger? We, as blessed couples, working together toward the vision of putting God first in every area of life.
What True Father says in his autobiography has immense power, especially in regards to the future. Even if people do not read it right away, it is important to bring this book into their homes. This is how God's realm is expanded spiritually.
Some people got goose bumps when I handed them the book; others started to pray or told me that they felt it was not just any book, it is an extraordinary book. I was determined to distribute the book with a respectful and loving attitude. I prayed before and after each encounter.
One encounter with a woman was particularly interesting. When I visited her, she immediately told me she had no time. I replied, "Today, I only want to bring you a little present and give you a very special book." She said, "all right I opened the autobiography and mad aloud a sentence from "What I learned about peace on the shoulders of my father." All of a sudden, the woman called her colleague and said to her, "Look! My hands are shaking. This is not a regular book; it must be extraordinary" She clasped her hands as if in prayer and bowed her head once and then bowed again. Even though she had said that she did not have time, we sat together for an hour. She wanted to speak to me about peace and other topics.
Another beautiful encounter took place with an elderly woman. She is a very spiritual, religious woman who belongs to a new apostolic church. She has an open heart and is not stubborn or closed-minded. I brought her the autobiography and read the same sentence about peace. She closed her eyes and said, "Heaven told me this book is good for me." She accepted the present with joy and respect.
After about a week she called to tell me that she had immediately read the whole book and was astonished about what it contained.
She told me that words were inadequate to describe her enthusiasm. Also, she asked for more copies to pass out to her own friends.
At another encounter, I called one of my clients, who is a healer and is interested in spiritual healing. I had planned to make an appointment in order to give her the autobiography. She told me on the phone that she had been having very bad luck recently. Her office had burned down in a fire and she was in shock about it. She asked me to call again three weeks later. Thus, three weeks later, we met. She served me coffee and asked me to go out to the front yard. She wanted to show me something. "Here," she said, "are some wooden figures. Jesus, holy Mary with the child, here is Buddha" (and so on). Even though these figures had been standing in my office, which burned to the ground, none of them has even the slightest scratch. Of course, I was quite impressed.
We went back inside and talked over some more coffee. She was wondering why all this had happened to her. Maybe, so she thought, she had loved her practice too much and this was why she had to let go of it. At the end of our conversation, I read out some sentences from "As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen." She looked at True Father's picture on the cover and began to cry. "Now I know," she said, "why my practice burned down. It happened so I could receive this book.... This man [she pointed at True Father's face] looks like Jesus. These eyes are Jesus' eyes." I asked if I might give the book to her and she accepted the gift respectfully and held it close to her heart.
She asked me to become her friend and told me that I could always count on her help. At many encounters I noticed how people clasped the autobiography close to their chests, like mothers holding their babies.
Another experience was with an elderly man, a long-time customer of ours. After I had not heard anything from him in a long time, I visited him, keeping in mind that I wanted to give him the book. I rang the doorbell. He opened the door immediately. I was shocked because I hardly recognized him -- he had lost a lot of weight and needed the assistance of a walking frame. He told me that he had cancer. "During the last weeks I have been to many hospitals. I have gone through a lot," he said.
After I had listened to him for about an hour, I suggested that he start drinking ginseng tea again. He ordered two small bottles of ginseng, one for him and one for his neighbor who was under a great deal of stress, being the manager of a big company. Before leaving, I gave him the autobiography. He saw True Father's picture and asked, "Is this Moon?" I said that it was and started to tell him about True Father. He accepted the book and we said goodbye. About six weeks later, he called to tell me that he needed more ginseng. He said he felt much better and did not need a walking frame anymore.
To the doctors, he said, this was unbelievable. He now intended to start working again. He deals with artwork and knows many people from different fields. He told them his story and now they all wanted ginseng, too. His neighbor, he said, felt much better as well, since she began drinking ginseng. Her stress has disappeared. "What is this? Either a magic drink or something from heaven," she had told him.
"And about your book," he said to me, "I read it three times while in the hospital. It is unbelievable, amazing! I am over seventy years old and have my own library, but never in my life have I read a book like this. I handed the book to an American manager and he read a hundred pages right away; he could not stop reading it. He, as well, was completely amazed and had never read a book like it before, a book so inspiring."
These are just a few experiences, which I am incredibly grateful for. They gave me hope and energy. Reading the autobiography, I was able to understand why it belongs to the eight great textbooks that True Parents have given us. Not only for us as blessed couples but for all humanity. This is what I often feel while reading the book. The words are God's, our Heavenly Parent's, who has the power and love to heal everything with his eternal warm heart.