The Words of the Espindola Family
Mr. Espindola giving a sermon at Cheon Bok Gung; Mr. Koichi Sasaki, vice-president of the church in Brazil, is translating from Portuguese into Korean. Mrs. Espindola (not visible in this photograph) is in a booth interpreting simultaneously into English.
Arcanjo Espindola did a twenty-one year Hoon Dok Hae condition that began before Father introduced the Hoon Dok Hae tradition. He has focused his life on helping people in his native Brazil extricate themselves from a wide range of difficulties by having them interact very seriously with God's word. True Parents, having heard about Arcanjo's efforts, invited him to Korea for the Day of All True Things. The following Sunday, June 5, at Mother's request, Arcanjo gave the sermon at the two main Sunday services at Cheon Bok Gung. We present here a portion of Arcanjo's sermon that day, followed by testimonies from the vice-president of our church in Brazil and from some of Arcanjo's spiritual children.
I joined the church at the age of thirty-three. I was a businessman and owned a construction company, which I gave up after a seven-day workshop in order to follow True Parents. I became a full time member. I have been a missionary, and a state leader of Santa Catarina in Brazil.
When I met the church, I had a heart problem, and the doctors said I would only live a short time. Four years later, after dedicating myself to God's providence, I passed by the hospital where I had been treated. The doctor found I no longer had the heart problem. He said he didn't believe in God, but that he was forced to believe that this was a miracle because I was completely cured. I testified that I was following True Parents and that they had transformed not only my life but also my health.
I have been doing tribal messiah work for twenty-one years. For seven years, I offered special conditions of Jeong Seong by fasting every Friday and eating only one meal, after 5 PM, on the other days. I also took a cold shower every day. Understanding that I am a sinner, I made these special conditions to remove these sins. Through doing twenty-one years of Hoon Dok Hae for ninety minutes day, I changed my life completely.
I made conditions to help people, and I kept studying and praying. I asked True Parents to show me how to help people restore themselves more quickly. True Father appeared to me in a dream. He told me to read the Divine Principle for seventy-two minutes a day. I found that I could change people so they would become better and solve their own problems. And when Father changed Hoon Dok Hae to ninety minutes, I also changed to ninety minutes.
I had financial difficulties and began to sell the Divine Principle book. I had been giving it away, but people did not read it or take it seriously. When I began selling it, people began to read it and then change their lives, because they had made a condition to restore themselves. I sold four thousand Divine Principle books. One day, a company bought a hundred. I started selling the book for $20, but now I sell it for $35. I do a condition of Hoon Dok Hae with people first and then I sell them a copy of the book.
We read together aloud. Everybody reads, and I explain whatever people don't understand. As they start understanding the Principle, they become members of the movement.
I give people conditions to read Divine Principle for ninety minutes every day for between one and fifteen years. When they do the conditions, old people become younger; people become healthier and more prosperous in everything they do. In twenty years, more than a hundred people have gotten off drugs and they still do Hoon Dok Hae.
I have seven hundred and twenty families in my tribe. One hundred and twenty among these believe in True Parents and in the Principle.
One city councilor did a reading condition for fifteen years. He read Divine Principle three hundred and sixty times. I did a condition for twenty-one years and I continue to read Divine Principle. The more we read Principle, the more we understand the value of True Parents, and the more victory we will have. True Father says that if we change everything around us changes.
Father went through a lot of suffering to reach the level he is at. He has opened an extraordinary path for us.... We have a tendency to want our brother, our wife, our child to change. But through the Divine Principle I learned that I have to change, to perfect myself, to become a better brother, better husband, better family, better friend. When you change, you become an example so that others can change. You can become an example so that others can follow True Parents, and you can be an example of someone who has changed the world.
Brazil Church vice-president Koichi Sasaki testifies Arcanjo wakes up at 4:30 every morning and usually holds a Hoon Dok Hae session with his family and two other church members. Sometimes, guests or new members come to join the session and more than ten people may be present. From 5 AM to 7 AM, they read the Divine Principle and Arcanjo gives explanations about what they have read. At 7 AM, others come to his home and he holds another Divine Principle Hoon Dok Hae session lasting one to two hours in a similar fashion, and afterward, he gives guidance about leading a life of faith or advice on life in general when they ask for it.
These Hoon Dok Hae sessions are not exclusively for mornings; some people come during the day while others come in the evening. Some come so late that Hoon Dok Hae goes on until 2 AM. The guests have experienced having their problems in life solved through Hoon Dok Hae and have had surprising results. A blind person had her sight restored. A woman that had frequently been admitted to mental hospitals has now not been in a hospital for more than ten years. Other people have become free of drugs or alcohol. Conjugal, physical or financial problems have been solved in ways that surprised even Arcanjo. These people bring new people to his home, and sometimes as many as thirty people congregate there. Because so many people wanting advice on life visit him or call him from other cities, he is busy all day long in his witnessing work.
Arcanjo deeply understands others' difficulties in life. He counsels them with patience and nurtures them, one by one, with love. At the same time, he makes them set a strict condition of reading the Divine Principle. He thus helps them resolve their own problems. Those who have accepted True Parents include people from all backgrounds, religions and ideologies, from shop assistants and housewives to politicians, judges, journalists, lawyers, professors, public prosecutors, bankers, councilors, a senator, a state governor, businessmen, federal policemen, doctors, engineers, army officers and so on. All of them have set the indemnity condition strictly of reading the Divine Principle for one and a half hours every day for their ancestors, because they are experiencing many positive changes in their lives. These people have continued to read the Divine Principle for several years, and some have attended the seven-day workshop in Säo Paulo. Arcanjo also guides those suffering from cancer or that desire to solve other problems to think of the people they have felt hatred for in their lives, and to forgive them.
In a recent sermon [in Brazil] he said, "I began my work based on what True Father said to me in a dream. Now I find that I have witnessed to hundreds of families without my knowing it. Among those, I will continue to teach a core group more thoroughly, to prepare them for the era of registration and return glory to the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind. Now that I have reached the end of my twenty-one-year course as a tribal messiah, I find it has been a time of gratitude and nothing else, where I loved each and every one of my guests and experienced personal growth in the process."
Everything started in 1995, when I heard about Mr. Espindola and his work with Divine Principle through a neighbor. I had been married for five years but my life had not taken off; everything had gone wrong. I did not have my own house and could barely support myself and my wife. I believed in what Pastor Arcanjo was saying and began to read the Divine Principle every day. I started to understand how much my life was changing, financially and professionally. Today I am on my third mandate as a city councilor in my city and I am Health Secretary for the second time. I never imagined that I would reach these positions and would be considered as a candidate for mayor. For me it is a great happiness that God has put this man in my path. I have received all possible blessings.
I have been on this path for eleven years, reading the Divine Principle for ninety minutes every day, and I still have a lot of work to do. On this journey I have had many experiences and feel that the Principle has helped me and those around me. My nephew had a serious illness in the intestines and the doctors had given up hope. The daughter of a friend was lost in drugs but our prayer and reading of Divine Principle helped these people completely, my nephew is growing up strong and healthy, and my friend's daughter is completely free of drugs.
I met the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace through my sister Fernanda. Her joy and willingness to read the Divine Principle made me feel the desire to meet Pastor Arcanjo and learn about his religion. I learned many things about the Divine Principle through his style of educating people in his simple and humble way.
I made an effort to maintain discipline every day, dedicating myself more to my responsibility toward God through the Divine Principle and learning more from True Parents' wise teachings about the family and the world. Because I have let God's love enter my heart, the empty space which was there has disappeared.
I am living in Arcanjo's house. I do Hoon Dok Hae every day and read the Divine Principle for ninety minutes a day. I am grateful for the dedication they have to helping me and the people who visit us every day.
Jennifer Espindola, Arcanjo's Wife: My husband has an incredible gift to live for the sake of others. He accepts and loves people for who they are, rather than fighting with them over points they might not accept. He allows them to discover for themselves what is right about Divine Principle.