The Words of the Vincenz Family
Testimony of Reverend Reiner Vincenz
February 19, 2004
Transcribed by Harumi Kawamura
Unification Theological Seminary
Student Testimony Meeting at the Haksaengjon
Convener Mr. Shota Iwasaki: ...Rev. Vincenz has been the leader, who led that entire event 1975 in Korea and he has been directly with True Parents. He has many wonderful experiences. He was the pioneer of our church of France. He is one of the 43 couples. Let us all invite and welcome Reiner Vincenz.
Reiner Vincenz: Good evening. I'd like to share with you several important events in my life with True Parents.
I joined the Unification Church on August 22, 1964. It seems it is like yesterday. At that time we had only 6 members in Europe. And of the six members, all six came from the United States as missionaries, so I was the very first who joined in Europe. I joined in '64, and then in 1965, our True Father came for the first time. We had all kinds of expectations. You must imagine that no one in Europe has seen the Messiah before. Only the missionaries, like Young Oon Kim, have seen Father before. So we had no idea who Father is. I remember, when Father arrived in Frankfurt/Germany, we had permission, to go to the landing field at the airport and Father came out of the airplane and he looked in my eyes, and I felt, that he knew me long time already and I know him already long time as well. This I remember, this was the first moment.
And we had a tiny little center at this that time, and we had Father in this tiny center in 1965. And I remember we had our first meal together and we were very poor at that time. We could only buy food and special things for Father. Father came with 3 missionaries. Young Oon Kim, Mr. [Sang Ik] Choi and Mrs. [Won Bok] Choi, these 3 missionaries. And I was sitting next to Father and we had only bananas for Father and suddenly Father gave me His banana and I said, "oh no no, Father this is for you." And another member said to me "Hey, you have to take it; it's from the Messiah."
So anyway, we had the unique opportunity to travel with Father all through Europe and I had to coordinate the entire European trip. At that time Father could stay for only 3 days in each country, because that was the limit of his visa. We traveled by Van. We had no money for airplanes, we had no money for restaurants; we ate on the road. I remember that I had my first strong confrontation with Father in Switzerland. Father went to Paris and then we took a long distance drive to Switzerland. In Geneva we were near the famous mountain Mont Blanc. Father saw it and said, "I want to go there." I had a big argument with Father "It's impossible, because Mont Blanc is in France and already you spent your 3 days in France." I had a long discussion with Mrs. Choi. "Do you really think we could just go in the night illegal over the border with the Messiah? Can you imagine, if we would have been caught with the Messiah by the police?" We had several hours of discussion and finally Father changed His mind. He said, "Okay, it's okay."
The next day Father blessed one mountain in the Alps. Nobody from us could read French at that time. Father just said, " Go left, go right, go straight." Later on, we found out, that the mountain Father had blessed translated into English means "the devil's mountain." He blessed the devil's mountain. So we had very deep experiences in '65.
Our most difficult holy ground blessing 1965 was in Italy, because you have only St. Peter's Square before the Pope's palace, and there are no stones, needed for the blessing. So we had to keep the guards in sight, and they were very suspicious, and then suddenly we found some stones and the Vatican could be blessed.
The most important holy ground blessing, that I could participate with Father, was in Germany; Father blessed 3Holy Grounds in Germany. He blessed first Berlin and then the city of Frankfurt, where we had our center, and Father wanted to bless a third place, the city of Essen, where we had later on 1969 the first Blessing of 8 couples, which are part of the 43 couples. Father needed new visa for other countries to visit. So, I had the passport from the entire party, including the passport from Father and I went to the different embassies and I had such an unusual feeling, "I have the passport of the Messiah." I'll never forget that in my life. So the passport visa for other countries took longer than expected, I called Father and said I cannot come in time back for the blessing. Father said, "Reiner, don't worry, I'll wait here, even two days and I want to bless the holy grounds with you." It was such a deep moment in my life. The Messiah waited for me." I was so moved.
When Father blessed the holy ground in the mountain in Switzerland. I could carry the stones and the holy salt, not even knowing what I carried, because Mrs. Choi just gave me the bag (without any explanation). I knew the space, Father needed to make a holy ground, that it was 21 steps in each direction. Suddenly we were on top of the mountain. And Father said, "Let's make a holy ground." I immediately wanted to say, "But Father don't you know, you need a much bigger place than this." But I'm glad I didn't say it, for Father told me, "Push all the tourists out of this place," and he shortened the necessary distance. He turned 21 steps into 7 steps. I didn't know he could do this, so it was very interesting.
We had deep, deep moments with the Messiah in 1965. We asked him, "Where is Mother?" and Father said, "Mother is with the children." So he didn't tell us, later on we understood that Mother had to go her course first, and she could not come with Father at that time.
Father spent several weeks with us. And he said to us, "If Germany wants to grow, you have to send out 3 missionaries first." Adam and Eve had to take care of the three archangels first, but they did not do. They did not work through the archangels. So we had to send out three missionaries to three neighboring countries first. We found two people right away to go. One went to Austria and one went to Spain and still we needed a third person. And I was the youngest member-I had just joined. And very shyly, I raised my hand. Peter Koch was my spiritual father, and the spiritual father of my wife. I said, "Peter, I want to become missionary in France." He answered, "You will for certain die in two months, forget about it." A few days later, I said, "Peter, can I not write a letter to Father, asking Him about my question?" Peter said, "Oh, sure, you can write to Father." Peter was sure; Father would say it wasn't good at all.
Now, I wrote a letter to Father, and I had such a strong desire. I wanted to go to our enemy country-Germany and France have been always at war. I sent a letter to Father, asking Father if I could become a missionary. The answer came, "Naturally you can go." I was so happy. So in 1966, I became a missionary to France.
Completely on my own, I was given money to eat for 21 days. My leader told me, with this you have to restore the nation. You will never get money again. And I never did. So this was my beginning. I had to learn French, I was in the enemy country, and I had no money. I had no friends, I had nothing. Just God. And I found God every day in researching the Principle. And I searched the Principle and I had two questions to ask God. In my search I had made an agreement with God: I said, "God, if you cannot answer me the two questions, I'm not going to work for you. The first question was, "I want to know the existence of the spirit world." And not only this I want to see the angels and I want to meet Satan in person. Second, I want to know if you are really our loving Heavenly Father." So I pushed this question so hard, that God knew if he didn't give me an answer, He would lose me. I will only tell you now how I got the first answer about the spirit world and the angels; I will not tell you the second answer in this place.
The first answer was I looked for the appearance of angels and the reality of angels. I wanted to see if angels are real, if spirit world is real. I made a powerful prayer request to God for several months, but nothing happened. And suddenly, because I made strong conditions, I heard for the first time a voice telling me, "Just go home now, You will see the angels." I went home, sitting in my little room, and for the first time in my life an incredible number of angels came in my room. They were moving around. I closed my eyes, opened my eyes, and then I started writing down everything I saw. It lasted 20 minutes. I will never in my life forget this experience. When things become very difficult, I always think about this experience. Everybody has to find his personal way-his personal to God and our True Parents.
So Father left in '65 Europe and I became a missionary for France. Then in '69 we had heard a rumor that Father is coming for Blessing. And I was a missionary and luckily by 1969 I had found three members. I had promised Father, I would have at least one member when I will see Him again. So I was very happy-I had three, two brothers and one sister. And then my spiritual father called me from Germany telling me, that Father came to Europe 1969. He said, "Reiner, Father is coming to do Blessing." And at that time the conditions for Blessing condition have been so different from now. We had such difficult conditions. He said, "I know, you have all the conditions. So why don't you get ready for the Blessing." I said, "Peter, you know, I am not interested in the Blessing at all." He was very shocked. You must understand that our training was with Young Oon Kim, through her very early book, not Mr. Eu's book. Young Oon Kim had left Korea in 1959. She came to America in 1959. She did not experience the Blessing. In her book was one statement, "Once people get the Blessing they are perfect." So naturally I was reading this, and "I said, Peter, I think I'm far away from perfection. It's not for me." Peter just ignored it; he invited me to come and see True Parents, when they came. Do you want to know how this happened?
True Parents came to Germany on a Monday, so we all had to go to Germany from different countries. And at first Father came and said, "I want to give three speeches, before I think about Blessing." And Father was scheduled to leave the same week on Saturday morning, so I thought, "Today Father is tired, he will not speak; tomorrow is Tuesday, he may speak, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then he will decide about the Blessing, so there will be no time for a Blessing." That was my thinking.
But what really happened was, on the same very first night True Parents have called me in their room. I'll never forget this moment. Mrs. Choi was there for translation. Father said, "Now tell me about your entire life." So I had to tell Father my entire life. And sometimes Father interrupted me and said, "Reiner, think again, what you are telling me, was this not a little different?"
Anyway, at midnight Father said, "Wait outside, I have to talk with you more." Oh, I waited all night outside his room and he didn't call me, and I said, "That's good; than Father is not interested in me for the blessing." Anyway, we went on with our activities. Barbara was responsible for True Parents' food and everything connected to their visit.
Suddenly Barbara was given the responsibility to make Blessing gowns, because True Parents didn't bring any. So Barbara had to make the crown and the robe, everything. But still, in my mind had been, this has nothing to do with me, because Father wanted to talk to me (but he didn't). He was not interested in me; that's good, I was very happy about this.
On Thursday of the same week, suddenly somebody said, "You have to come to Father now upstairs." I said, "I talked already with him; I waited all night. Why does he want to talk with me now again?" Everybody laughed. I could not understand English at that time. Somebody said, "Yeah, you should go up to Father's room but you should not go up alone. You should bring Barbara." I still had no idea, why. And we looked for Barbara and she was not there. And a few minutes later, she entered the door with two big shopping bags coming in from shopping. And I told her, "Barbara, I don't know, what Father wants; he wants to speak with you and he wants to speak to me." And she started smiling. And when came before True Parents room, 7 couples were standing there and they said, "Why are you coming so late?" and I said, "Late for what?" "Don't you know what's happening?" "I have no idea." "It's an engagement ceremony." Soon we had engagement ceremony with True Parents in their room couple by couple.
Such a personal moment I can never forget in my life. In True Parents' room and our testimony was Mr. Eu. So then one day later was the Blessing. So from the time I heard there is a Blessing and the time I got engaged, I think I have the world record. Fifteen minutes. I thought there would not be a Blessing, and then I was engaged and there was to be a Blessing.
And then the next day we had Blessing ceremony.
So then Father brought us together and he said, "I have to explain to you something about a 40-day condition afterwards and how you are to conduct your life afterwards. But you can't write it down; you have to memorize, what I teach you. Because I will say it only one time and you have to remember it." You know, Reiner thought, he is very clever. I had a little tape recorder. Father didn't say anything about not using a tape recorder, this what I have been thinking. Everyone was very nervous about catching every word and remembering it, but I was very relaxed. Under my little seat I had my tape recorder. To make long story short, when Father left, we came together to remember what Father said. I said, " No problem. I have my little tape recorder." Everyone laughed. "Oh you're the salvation for us." The only thing that was recorded on this tape was Mrs. Choi saying, "...and now Father will give you instructions about what to do from now on." From that moment on, there was nothing recorded. So it's very interesting. These are little memories from the beginning.
I arrived as a missionary in France February 26 1966. We thanked God and prayed each year on this day and came together. After I have been in France 7 years, we have reached 120 members. And then we had our prayer and after the prayer, everybody was in tears, including me. There was no need to say anything; we all received the same message. That message was: Reiner has to leave France. A few days later, Father called and asked, "Can you come with some French members to America?" That was in 1973. So I took 100 members to America. I left 20 in France. So this is a little of my history from the early times.
Then I did much campaigning. I campaigned in 80 cities in America, 45 cities in Japan, 20 cities in England, more in Germany, and 10 cities in Korea. Korea was very unusual. I started in Pusan and went from city to city. And Father had something in mind in order to explain to me the entire campaign in Seoul. I had no idea. Father just said to me, "I want to climb a mountain with you." So I had to climb mountain with Father. And maybe there were 2 or 3 other people. I have a habit that became a difficulty for me. My habit is that I have to tape record everything, I have to write it down and that I have always a little camera with me. . And I had no idea why we were climbing the mountain. I misplaced my camera. We were sitting and Father wanted just to begin to speak to me. And my attention was completely gone. Poor Father he had this guy to lead a big rally in Korea, and his attention was completely gone, because he couldn't find his little camera. You know what Father said? "Sit down, I'll look for your camera." Father looked around, found it, and gave it to me. Reiner was happy. I could listen. I got all the information. I did the campaign. So these are small things but these are big things.
In the 70s we had first purchased Belvedere. So we met at Belvedere many times. And one time I came to Belvedere, and this is another deep story. I arrived in Belvedere and hardly anyone was there. So at the main door I put my suitcase down. I asked, "Where is Father?" "Oh he's in the garden, by the greenhouse." So I went to see him, and he was very happy to see me. And we walked together and talked together, and slowly we went back to the main house. I wasn't paying attention, but all of a sudden Father advanced his steps, took my suitcase and carried my suitcase to the second floor. I was so unprepared; I couldn't speak. Before I could say anything, he took my suitcase. He wanted to teach me something. All these experiences help me. And these moments with God, and True Parents, and True Parents' family, are the binding experiences that I never forget. I think about these exact things. In 20 years, whatever happens to me, I think the same things. These are my strength. Does this help you little bit?
One time Father sent me to North Korea because we were working on this famous project, Diamond Mountain. It involved building a harbor and airports. I had to bring bankers for this project. It was a project of 2 billion dollars and I never knew if I would come out of North Korea alive. I had my escape plan ready. I know these things, because I was born under a Communist regime. In my first 17 years of my life I had to go through many, many things. After I came out of North Korea, Father gave me a big financial mission. All my missions I've received until today, I've received directly from Father. I received my current mission ten years ago and I'm still working on this. If I would tell you my mission, I don't think you could sleep tonight. It's so heavy and so complex and I only have God. I still every day, every minute, connect with this mission, until I finish it. There are only three people in the world with this mission. I am one of the three.
These are the energy sources and I have many of them. These personal things... Maybe here is the one to tell you tonight. Some years ago, when I drove to East Garden, suddenly I was called into the kitchen and Mother was there preparing breakfast. Mother looked at me, and said, "Reiner, wouldn't you like a banana?" Can you see what I want to say? The time Father gave me a banana was now years ago. No one understood except Mother and myself. She knew, she remembered the story, even though she was not there.
Question: How does Father make decisions, the big decisions, the small decisions?
I think every decision has a long story and history. He doesn't make a decision just in the moment; he takes long time. He gave lots of testimonies about this. Father makes all these plans, usually a long time in advance. For instance, tribal messiahship, or Cheon Il Guk. He may not say it, or he may indicate it in some ways, but he prepares long time for it. He consults with God, asking, "Is this the right thing?" Especially about the matching. There's a long sermon about the matching, how he does matching. Sometimes it is many years.
And is always has to do with how members react. My ancestors are Huguenots. Huguenots are the French people who changed from Catholic belief to Protestant belief. Those people became Protestants. The French king said, you have to change back or I will kill you. There was no other way. So then the people escaped, and my ancestors escaped. My name is French. And without knowing this, I volunteered to become a missionary to France. So Father knew this story spiritually, although I didn't know. He examined all this before he said, "Yes, you become a missionary." I didn't know, but he knew. He knew the circumstances, because he hears it from the spirit world. There's usually a long course before Father makes decisions.
He came here to Barrytown 22 times before buying it. Sometimes he came 3 times a day. In the morning, going home, noon again, going home, and evening again. Sometimes 3 times a day.
Question: Can you explain what it was like in the early days in Barrytown?
It was very old and very dirty. Not like today. And Father had a certain plan that we didn't know. Just one day, he said come to Barrytown. I cleaned the statue. I remember. I looked at the statue today. We had something very interesting. Does the pond still exist? Suddenly it was springtime, but very cold. And suddenly we heard we had to bring carp out of one pond into another one. And he had us do this by hand. And it was icy cold. And very carefully we put the carp out and the train came by and the people thought we were completely crazy. After we completed this, we had a meeting. It was extremely cold. We were wet and cold. It was quite exciting.
In my early time as a missionary in France, I worked every day in hotel from 9 o'clock in morning to 9 o'clock in the evening. I earned as a missionary, in one month, 10 dollars. With 10 dollars I had to buy other 15 meals. And I was very happy. That was my missionary life. I started witnessing at 10 o'clock in the evening. It took me 2 and a half years to find my first spiritual child.
Most difficult year was 1970. We wanted absolutely to have 40 members by God's Day of 1971. The entire year we had 38, 39, 37, and finally one day before God's Day we had 39. I thought this was impossible. We had one day, and we must have 40. We prayed, and we had a ceremony at 7:00 in the morning. Then somebody knocked on the door. We opened the door. "Oh, I came last week and I am interested in Divine Principle, can I come in?" Then we wrote a song, "Number 40 knocks on the door." And then once we had 40 suddenly we started to grow.
Question: Through the past 40 years, especially after 1992, has the spirit world changed around Father?
Very much. In the early years it was more an individual spirit world, Father and his spirit world. But as the accomplishments advanced, suddenly you have a very broad spirit world, very strong. It was more vertical in the beginning and it became horizontal. Well, not horizontal. In early days you had to get close to Father to feel the spirit world. Now when Father enters the room, everyone feels the difference. So many testimonies are coming. So many new things. That's why the entire spirit world has changed.
Unless we believe this... I start every morning as I started 40 years ago. The first thing is an enormous expectation for spirit world, an enormous expectation. If you have this, automatically many things happen.
Spirit world is so large now. When I went to Delaware the weather was terrible. Even the gas station people said not to drive. And so I prayed to God, I have to go to this one city. I must go. And I invited the spirit world. I'm not a beginner driver, but it was very difficult. But determination is everything. After 40 years, I have the same determination I always had. I have a young spirit, a young spirit, and a spirit of expectation. If some doubting spirits come, some problematic spirits, just push them on the side. Don't have give and take with them. If you would be in the same situation, I am in now, I'm not sure you would be able to go on. But I go on absolutely. I have total confidence. Why? Because I have so much accumulation, meetings with Father, experiences, so many situations.
The moment you doubt a little bit, nothing will work. This is what you have to build up. You have to build it up. This is a tough world. You advance inch by inch. This is what we call faith. Building up something that is not immediately there. So therefore, I made up my mind, I can do anything. I don't have any problems, and I have no hesitation. Some do. Some left the church. Some have all kinds of difficult feelings, negative feelings. If my mission doesn't go well, it is because I don't want it to go well. Of course I had bad central figures. It's just a question of mind. Once you settle this, it becomes very clear.
Question: As an original German, you have entirely sacrificed your entire physical and spiritual energy; so doesn't temptation come, asking, why do I have to work so hard? Have you ever thought about going back to your country?
I never thought like that. I am above my nationality. I try hard not to be influenced by nationality. I feel American and worldwide. When I was the national leader in Germany, I had the entire German church against me when I gave my sermons in English. So I had to really be pioneering. Well, anyway, life is a life of faith. It's not an easy thing. Are there any more questions?
Rev. Vincenz's prayer:
Our loving Heavenly Father and True Parents. Father we greet you tonight in Barrytown on this day. And we determine our life to go forward and prepare ourselves for graduating from the Seminary. Father we have heard testimonies and speeches tonight and we know as young men and women that we will be the leaders of the world tomorrow. Father we need a lot of leaders. We couldn't succeed yet. Father, we tried so hard. Father, please, let these people move forward. We need more students here. We pray that America will succeed and not fail. Out of all the countries, it must lead the world. Father, we pray that America will wake up, particularly with the ministers. The Lord is here, the True Parents are here, and now they have crowned the king and queen of Christianity. So many ministers still play around with us, and we pray that these young people will go out on their missions and stand up for our True Parents.
Father, we know how many people you trained out in Barrytown. So many people didn't have the courage to go out. We need a lot of faith, a lot of consistency, a lot of guts and energy to move forward. We pray that all these young people can go out. The world is waiting for them. Be strong and bold and let them have the strength to overcome difficulties. Let them overcome. Father, there will be phases of death coming. Sooner or later. We are also living in a time of judgment before we go into Cheon Il Guk. If we don't have You strongly by our side, we have nothing. If we keep You, we are the richest people on earth.
Win the victory in a personal way. It has nothing to do with intellectual knowledge. We have to go with enthusiasm. Father if we don't have this, we have lost everything. We couldn't succeed making a great impact worldwide until now. Our True Parents' family is still suffering. They gave us all kinds of guidance but still we are not enough. Father, I thank you for the Seminary, I thank you in particular for the President, that he is so strong and bold and he may lead these people to a great success. That they will unite with him. And the members go out with families and
Father, I pray for your great blessing upon everyone here. I pray in the name of the Reiner Vincenz blessed central family. Amen.
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