The Words of the Spurgin Family
Brothers and sisters singing at the conference with [Black] Heung Jin Nim in New York, November 18-20, 1987.
Heung Jin Nim, working spiritually through a brother from Africa [Cleophas / Cleopas Kundioni], has taken on a great mission -- that of cleansing our Unification movement of the impurities of the members, teaching us how to apply the Principle in our everyday lives, and preparing us for the new Pentecost, the descending of the good spirit world to help usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
As a child of the True Parents, [Black] Heung Jin Nim is a true representative of their lineage and tradition -- an Abel child. Thus he serves as a bridge through which their love, guidance, and tradition can flow to each of us who come as children of the True Parents from the Cain position. In his work worldwide, as a True Child, [Black] Heung Jin Nim represents not only our True Parents but also all his brothers and sisters in the True Family.
From his unique position in the spirit world, [Black] Heung Jin Nim has been able to perceive the private lives and hearts of the members as well as the public aspects of our Unification movement. His heart was pained as he observed Satan's devious attempts to interfere in the lives of our members and immobilize us. He determined, therefore, as an Abel child, to clean out Satan completely from our movement and to more clearly teach us the heavenly tradition.
Heung Jin Nim has chosen to work on earth most completely at this time through a young church member who had been prepared by Jesus for many years to develop a humble heart and thus allow [Black] Heung Jin Nim to do this great work of God through him. In July 1987, in the prayer room of a small house in the middle of Africa, [Black] Heung Jin Nim announced to a few members ("second selves" and "chosen ones." he calls them) that he would begin his activities on earth in the heart of Africa. From that moment, he has been working at an incredible pace to meet leaders and members all over the world in order to bring about the heavenly order and to give the "second selves" and "chosen ones" a second chance to become pure and to accomplish the will of God on earth during our lifetimes.
It is appropriate here to introduce some new terminology. As Unificationists, we are all missionaries; unfortunately, however, the term "missionary" has many negative connotations, especially in most third world countries. Hence, [Black] Heung Jin Nim has asked us instead to use the term "second self" to describe each member who has been blessed and has started family life, and the phrase "chosen one" for each member who either has not yet been blessed or has not yet consummated the marriage. "Second self" also refers to being a "small Sun Myung Moon."
Starting in Africa in July , [Black] Heung Jin Nim organized throughout the world a series of special three-day conferences. At each one he gathered the members together, led them in singing and praying, spoke with them, received their confessions and prayers of repentance, and gave them conditions of restitution. All participants were asked to stay together for the duration of the conference so that they could become one body with a new purified spirit. It was a time of renewal and rebirth for everyone, as we gained a new understanding of God, of the True Family, and of ourselves. Everywhere there was a cleansing. There was some judgment but only in the sense of separation from evil.
At a very fast pace, [Black] Heung Jin Nim conducted four conferences in Africa and then held successive conferences in Greece, Thailand, Colombia, Argentina, France, England, America, and the Far East. At each location, all the second selves (and some chosen ones) from around the area were called together. In the United States, [Black] Heung Jin Nim met with approximately 800 second selves and chosen ones in New York City, 800 in Washington DC, and 800 near San Francisco.
[Black] Heung Jin Nim made it very clear that this second chance must be offered not by True Parents but by the second generation -- by the True Children. At this time in the providence, during the Children's Era, we each must connect to True Parents through the True Children. It is clear that this relationship is one of great hope for us as second selves, for they are truly our elder brothers and sisters in one big unified family -- the family of our True Parents. During these conferences, [Black] Heung Jin Nim encouraged all of us to know, respect, pray for, and love the True Children. We also gained a greater awareness of the sacrifices that our True Parents' family make daily in taking the burden of the world upon their shoulders, which consequently limits their ability to live a "normal" family life. The pain that the True Family feels as a result of this great sacrifice was very evident in [Black] Heung Jin Nim's message.
Rev. Chang Seong Ahn shares his testimony.
After singing, prayer, testimonies, and a short introductory talk by [Black] Heung Jin Nim, each conference began with individual confessions. It was a most remarkable experience for everyone attending, for church elders as well as other blessed members. The external circumstances differed from place to place, but the response was the same worldwide. It was a second chance and a new start for everyone present, whether one's sins were small or great.
During confession, deep secrets people had held inside were revealed. The sin that lurked in the corner of each person's life and mind was cast out, thus freeing each of us to respond fully to all that God could offer during the conference. As each of us stood before [Black] Heung Jin Nim and confessed our sins, we pledged before God to take responsibility for our life from that time forward and made a new determination to sin no more. These confessions and the accompanying indemnity conditions are a vital part of each conference. Previously [Black] Heung Jin Nim had said that most of our members were not in a position of purity such that God could work through us sufficiently to fulfill His will on earth. [Black] Heung Jin Nim expressed his concern about God's providence, asking rhetorically, "How can we build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth with such a less-than-adequate standard among our members? True Parents have educated you enough; they expected you to be more responsible. It is not their role to receive your confessions. I and my brothers and sisters are giving you another chance Then he added, "Today I should be spending this time introducing God's heart to you from the outset, but I cannot do so until you are first purified." He told us to start confessing from "where you hide."
From the perspective of the new Pentecost we are now experiencing, the confession is quite significant. How can we be without accusation if we ourselves are filled with sin? How can we be acceptable as blessed couples at the center of the providence in this age, trying to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and its new traditions, unless we are liberated from sin? How can our forefathers find a common base with us if we ourselves continue to sin? Yet we are the ones with whom the saints and sages are required to work so that their own souls can be resurrected in these Last Days. No wonder we need to confess and be freed from the things that hold us back from being pure before heaven and earth! Only through confession, repentance, and forgiveness are our spirits renewed.
Another vital part of each conference is the lectures given by [Black] Heung Jin Nim on the Principle and its application in our daily life. As we went through the courses of our forefathers -- Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus -- he gave profound explanations for the motivations behind many of their actions. Since he had the opportunity to talk personally with these great providential figures in the spirit world, [Black] Heung Jin Nim could share with us the lessons they had learned. He could also explore the meaning behind the many symbols and parables in the Bible. [Black] Heung Jin Nim made many of the Old Testament stories come alive through dramatic role-playing, by calling upon people in the audience to take part in the scenes he directed. In this way he frequently brought the house down in laughter and kept us all involved and awake.
Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God often admonished the Israelites not to mix their blood lineage with others -- not to marry those outside the faith. This was an important part of God's providence for the chosen nation. [Black] Heung Jin Nim stressed that we today must also maintain the pure lineage of our True Parents and of the True Family. Satan desperately wants to "mix the blood" of the blessed couples by always tempting them to stray away from their partners.
[Black] Heung Jin Nim explained that our forefathers (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Joseph) were supposed to make conditions of separation in their sexual life. Many of them failed in this -- often mixing their lineage and not abstaining from marital relations during certain critical times. In this age, we too have been asked to abide by a period of separation before starting our family life, as a condition of purity in our own blessed marriages.
Throughout the conferences, particular issues came up and were addressed by [Black] Heung Jin Nim. One of the most moving expressions of his love was the concern he showed toward those couples who have been unable to have children. During some conferences, these couples were called up to the stage in front of the congregation, and a call was given for couples to volunteer to have a child for each of the infertile couples to adopt. As they filed forward one by one to offer this most precious of gifts, tears streamed from many eyes. The giving and receiving couples embraced with deep emotion as they were matched one with another. It was most meaningful to observe this special offering of friendship and brotherhood to couples in need. Husbands and wives who were not yet living together were also asked to come forward to explain their individual situations. If they met the qualifications to begin family life, [Black] Heung Jin Nim encouraged them to get together.
During the conferences, perfecting our relationships with our spouse and children was highlighted. [Black] Heung Jin Nim emphasized the need for us to work and live together as families, to love and respect each other, to communicate deeply, not to fight, to always greet one another warmly, to be clean, and to use good manners. He said he wanted to break down the barriers that sometimes exist between spouses. On one occasion he called a husband and wife who were sitting at a great distance from one another to come to the stage and kiss each other while he continued to speak to the audience. That woke everyone up!
Interspersed between the lectures were many personal encounters. On many occasions [Black] Heung Jin Nim had couples sing for everyone; at other times he gathered people in a long train and had them march around the room. Another time he divided us into smaller groups and asked us to sing, pray, share testimonies about the conference, or write reflections. Frequently he led us in group songs, accompanied by clapping, hand gestures, and even some very innovative and lively jumping and marching movements.
He frequently met with special groups or individuals around the dinner table. Two sisters at two different conferences each went into labor during the three days, and both children born were named by [Black] Heung Jin Nim. In Washington DC a group of blessed children were invited for a worship service and a breakfast with [Black] Heung Jin Nim. He spoke to them, had them each sing a song, and prayed with them. He also met privately afterwards with the teenage children present, giving them advice and much love. Throughout the personal encounters, [Black] Heung Jin Nim always expressed a great deal of love. Whenever there was any form of judgment from him one could feel it coming from a place of love rather than anger.
At another time, a group of blessed mothers had a meal with [Black] Heung Jin Nim. At this time he discussed raising children with them. He advised that when children reach the age of three, the parents should discipline them in this way: First discuss their disobedience with them; then after punishment go to the altar with them and allow them to repent and receive the forgiveness of God and their parents.
In several locations around the world [Black] Heung Jin Nim established new holy grounds. For example, in northern California hundreds of members participated in a ceremony he conducted around a 500-year-old tree on the grounds of a camp owned by our church.
During the three days of each conference, we sang many holy songs, especially "The Song of the Garden," and were moved to tears. And in America as we sang our national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," we felt an overwhelming love for our own country and its role in the providence. Such an experience called upon our patriotic spirit as Americans to take responsibility for our nation and to help the world.
For many years we* have been concerned about America and its response to our movement. As Americans who love our nation, we now feel that a beautiful liberation has taken place during these conferences with [Black] Heung Jin Nim and that spiritual conditions have been laid for God to work in a new way among us. We believe many members working in our church in America rejoice with us in the renewal made possible through True Parents and [Black] Heung Jin Nim.
This has not been an easy year for us as a family personally. However, we now feel new hope for ourselves and for our entire movement.
How does all of this benefit us unless we can take responsibility for our own lives of faith from this time forward? [Black] Heung Jin Nim wants us to be responsible so our True Parents can rest assured that we are indeed creating the true tradition and that we are one in heart and lineage with them. Throughout the three days and nights, [Black] Heung Jin Nim stressed three points: Have hope, work and accomplish quietly, and be responsible.
At the close of each conference, participants were given a detailed schedule for their own lives of devotion and attendance. This schedule includes morning and evening prayer (based on a prayer list he presented) and study and discussion of the Principle. Whether we live in a center or in our own apartment, we should all gather together and share these times (including children). We were also advised to make goals and to write them down every morning and check them each evening. "Writing them down is our offering," [Black] Heung Jin Nim said. We could feel that by keeping this daily schedule, we are placing ourselves in a responsible position before God and True Parents, to be guided in every aspect of our everyday life and work. It makes sense, then, that through this offering God, True Parents, Jesus, and the whole of the spirit world can meet us on a regular basis if we take responsibility to be faithful and consistent in our everyday lives, especially in our prayer morning and evening. Thus we can mobilize spiritual help in a far more powerful way than ever before.
* The Spurgins