The Words of the Biermans Family
Four of John Biermans' spiritual children. From left to right: Stephen Kearney, Diane Downward, Heather Thalheimer, and Mark Mylar.
John Biermans joined the Unification movement in May 1977, and has 30 spiritual children. He is now an attorney with the HSA legal staff in New York.
"Now your ancestors can come down
freely on the highway between the spirit world and the physical
world. Our ancestors in the spirit world are our allies and will help
us witness to others. They will come down in an unprecedented
avalanche, like Niagara Falls. They will pressure their descendants,
'you must become a champion. Go out and witness. You must do more.'
they will not only come down to you, but to their descendants who are
not yet members, directing them to go to a workshop, or to meet a
person from the unification church. This phenomenon will happen
Sun Myung Moon, October 4, 1976
As the Principle teaches us, righteous spirit men return to the earth so that they can grow spiritually through their descendants on the earth plane. Naturally, the best way for spirits to grow would be to guide their descendants to the Messiah. Therefore there is tremendous activity on the spiritual plane which seeks to direct people to our movement. But if the person on earth is rather "thick," then it is much more difficult for him to be effectively guided towards the Messiah. From my experience, it seems clear that the Abel spiritual realm is therefore focusing its attention on a limited number of individuals and is desperately trying to prepare them and guide them to meet our movement. Most of us know from our own experience that our entire life was in reality a preparation for joining this movement. It takes such a long time. Therefore only a limited number of people are ready to completely respond. Thus, the key to any kind of successful witnessing is to find these specific people. This can only be done through aggressive and intensive use of spirit world.
My experience in street witnessing is very similar to working in home church. Again there are specific people in each 360-home area who have been prepared by their ancestors and who can serve as our John the Baptist figures.
Spirit world operates very lawfully and logically. Abel-type spirit people will attempt to guide their descendants to specific locations where they know they will meet our family members. However, this is only possible if we consistently witness in certain locations. Therefore, I always tried to focus my witnessing in specific areas. I would usually make a plan of where I was going in advance and inform the spirit world. This made it possible to meet many prepared people. However, the key element to bringing success is being able to demonstrate to spirit world that you are trustworthy, and that you will be at the location where they are guiding their descendants. If I were in the spirit world and was trying to guide my descendant, that is the kind of Moonie I would look for.
On one most memorable occasion, I was witnessing in an area where I always told spirit world I would go. I had been there for only a short time but I needed to go to the post office, which was only a block away. However, my intuition told me very strongly not to go, not to get distracted by anything else. And so I began going back and forth on a one-block section of this street. In fact, I was going in circles -- back and forth. Within a short time, I saw sister approaching me. We looked at each other and both of us just suddenly stopped. It was an immediate connection! We began talking and it seemed like the most natural conversation in the world. I felt like I was talking to someone who was already in our family!
She had left the office of a spiritualist just moments before we met, where she had been seeking guidance for her spiritual life. The spiritualist had given her explicit directions. He had said, "Go out to Powell Street. When you get onto Powell Street, go right and follow until Bush Street. There you will find a place to stay. If you go right now, I will pray for you."
As it happened, the street where I had been pacing was Powell Street, less than a block from the spiritualist. When I told her that our home was on Bush Street she didn't need any more convincing -- she came.
This Powell Street was a very fruitful street for me -- especially this particular spot. About four months later, I met another spiritual child at this exact same location. Then, one month later, I was walking on Powell Street with another brother. As we passed this spot, I noticed a sister sitting in the restaurant overlooking "the spot." My intuition told me that I must talk to her. But I really didn't want to because it would be so awkward and embarrassing to walk into a restaurant and talk to a total stranger. So we continued walking. But I just had to go back. She, too, joined our movement.
A few months later, I was witnessing in this same vicinity with my spiritual daughter Dianna. We made a determination to pray every hour, and each time we prayed we told spirit world exactly where we would be going. Our unity in prayer created a powerful feeling and intense focus, and this gave us great confidence that spirit world would guide a prepared person to us. And sure enough, towards mid-afternoon we met a brother who was immediately responsive to us. He came over that night and ultimately joined. We had met him just as he was approaching "the spot."
Another incident showed me the power of telling the spirit world where we plan to go. One day during my time in law school I was working on a legal paper. I had promised spirit world I would go and witness at the train station before I went to school in the afternoon. As it turned out, my paper took much longer than I had anticipated and I got behind schedule. Nevertheless, I decided to at least go there -- even for a few moments -- before going to school. There I suddenly noticed a brother who looked very good. I was already on my way out, as I was late for school, but I knew I should talk to him, so I did. He responded immediately and joined.
When I first joined our movement, my witnessing results were not so great. It seemed so difficult to find people to respond as full-time members. Nevertheless, I kept trying and at the time of my first spiritual birthday, I had an amazing breakthrough. I met a sister who immediately responded to the Principle. It provided answers to all of her deep questions about life, love, and especially about God. Because she was so deeply moved by everything she heard, my heart was able to open in a way that I had never experienced before. Her total inspiration from hearing the lectures and sharing with brothers and sisters was contagious. I became totally inspired and was able to share very deeply in a heart-to-heart way about the beautiful hope and vision of our movement and about how all of her yearning for fulfillment could be realized through dedicating her life to God.
But she left. I was completely heartbroken. After I said good-bye to her at the airport, I couldn't stop my tears. I didn't think anyone could feel greater sadness. I can still remember walking down the street singing the saddest song I knew -- my heart aching, aching -- and this, I think, is what moved spirit world. I believe my feelings must have moved those in spirit world who were searching for someone who could give God's love to their descendants.
The sadness I felt also helped me begin to really understand Heavenly Father's aching, aching heart. Through my own suffering, I began to know how God has felt about His children all through history. Because of this, I could never give up; I could never stop; and so I continued to go out witnessing every day.
John Biermans and Heather Thalheimer
This is when miracles began to happen. Suddenly almost every person I spoke to seemed to be "chosen" to respond. One of these people recently told me how it was that we met, from her vantage point. She had been searching for God for many years without finding any real answers about what God wanted her to do. She quit both school and her job and gave God an ultimatum: "I'll give You three weeks to show me what You want me to do." She left her home and began travelling. Towards the end of the three weeks, she woke up one morning and a voice said: "Now the time has come." She followed spiritual directions from there and was guided nearly 100 miles to the bus station in San Francisco.
As she describes it to me now, "Within 15 seconds, you showed up and began talking to me." Then a voice said to her very clearly: "Whatever you decide to do no will affect the rest of your life." Then she looked at me very carefully and she realized that I was the person she was intended to meet.
I was rather amazed to hear her testimony when she shared it with me a few weeks ago, more than six and a half years after she joined the movement. Why? Because I had no idea that spirit world had given her such clear guidance and specific directions. All I knew in the moment of seeing her was that I should speak to her. I didn't hesitate and after we spoke; I felt certain that she was meant to join our movement. I didn't hear any voices -- I simply tried to be available as Heavenly Father's spokesman.
Even more recently, another spiritual child shared her story of how spirit world had guided her to our movement. I had just brought a very good person to our workshop for a number of days. I had totally invested my heart in her because I had made a promise to God that I would do so. Through an inspiration, Heavenly Father told me that even if she did not respond, any suffering I would experience in my heart would help me know His heart more deeply.
As things turned out, this precious sister was kidnapped and left. To this day my heart aches to think of her. Just after she left, I prayed and then I told Satan that he would have to pay seven times for taking this person away. I felt justified in making this demand because of True Parents' sacrifice and because I had totally given my heart as God's representative. Therefore I was convinced that he actually had no right or claim to her at all.
After this I was able to find seven spiritual children within a few weeks. One of these was a girl who had just been fired from her job. Her boyfriend had left her, she had just given up her baby for adoption...and she had come to the conclusion that life just wasn't worth living anymore.
As she recently shared with me, when she left her place of work she heard voices that told her explicitly where she should go, and go there she did. At that moment I was witnessing in that vicinity. I suddenly received a very clear intuition that I was about to meet a spiritual child. My reaction was to desperately look everywhere for this person. Every person I encountered made me ask, "Is this the one?" For about 20 minutes I continued this frantic search until I had to go to a place nearby where I was supposed to meet a number of other brothers and sisters for lunch.
When I arrived at this designated meeting spot, this is where I met this exact same sister.
Spirit world often gave me intuitions about whom I should talk to. This is important because we can talk to many people but often we miss the ones who are the most prepared to respond. Just after I had told Satan he had to let me have seven spiritual children, I was on my way to an important meeting -- if I arrived late, I knew I would be in trouble.
As I was walking -- running actually -- out of the corner of my eye I saw a blond-haired brother with a bright spirit. I had run past him and that is when I began receiving a very strong intuition that I should go back to talk to him. I was very reluctant -- because I was already late -- but I had long ago made a resolution to always follow such intuitions. I stopped and went back to witness to him. As I spoke to him, I received a very powerful feeling that he was a "prepared" person. In fact, he reminded me a lot of myself -- he seemed as if he was my second self.
We didn't speak for very long it was getting even later -- but I invited him to our evening program. Sure enough, he came and became deeply inspired by the lectures and ultimately joined.
As I reflected in writing this article and as I listened to the testimony of how these two sisters felt when we met, I asked myself, "Why did I meet them?" The answer that seems most evident is that during these particular time periods, I had been able to demonstrate to the spiritual world that I was sincere, that I was committed, that I was completely focused and that I would invest my whole heart in each person.
It was not easy. Each time I felt tremendous resistance to making the commitment of heart that was needed. Sometimes I just felt lazy, but more often I would fear betrayal. It was extremely difficult to make myself so vulnerable to another -- especially a stranger. Yet it was possible as I came to understand Heavenly Father's heart for each person -- that each person is His precious son or daughter. When I had this kind of heart, I could always receive the strength needed to make this profound investment. From my experience, there is just no other way.