The Words of the Newman Family
In 1983 I was fundraising in Australia. Toward the end of the year my leader announced that whoever was able to raise a certain amount of funds would be treated to a two-week visit to Korea! As soon as I heard this I felt it was my destiny -- to reach the fundraising goal and go to Korea. But I felt disappointed that, as the weeks went by, I wasn't doing very well. By December my hopes had just about gone; yet deep inside something told me that I would be going. Our room was decorated with Korean posters, reminding me of my original hopes.
On God's Day, the Australian family had a workshop, and we traveled from all across the land to meet together. I was eager to see who had reached the fundraising goal, but only one person had. I asked my leader, "Can you lower the goal so I can go to Korea?" This question surprised him, as it did me! He said, "No." I felt sad.
The workshop ended, and we traveled back to our respective centers. Then a phone call came for me. God had been working behind the scenes, and while we were having our workshop, back in New Zealand I was being chosen as one of three representatives from New Zealand to go to Korea for the IFVOC mobilization. My mouth dropped, and my heart missed a few beats. I knew my life was about to dramatically change, as if I had suddenly been launched onto the theater of the world -- and Korea was my stage!!
Within two days, the three of us were flying to Korea. I knew God was directly guiding me. As the plane made a bumpy landing at Seoul's Kimpo Airport, it felt like God was placing me in Korea, saying, "Here you are. What you deeply desired has been realized. This experience is just for you."
Five months in Korea seemed more like five years. After adjusting, I soon felt like a han guk salam (a Korean). I can never forget the love that all the brothers and sisters gave out, abundantly and purely, for the sake of Korea. And in return, waterfalls of love came out from the Korean families with whom we lived.
The pinnacle of my experience came after the completion of the goal for our province. Our team of 24 members took a two-day spring sightseeing trip to Pusan, through the beautiful countryside blossoming forth with new life. We awoke early on the second day in Pusan and walked up to the Rock of Tears. In deep respect we took off our shoes, gathered, sang, and prayed.
The atmosphere was indescribable.
As soon as we began praying, tears flowed from many eyes. I realized that at this same rock, 30 years previously, True Father had cried out for me and all mankind, cried out for the fulfillment of True Parents' mission, cried out for the day that brothers and sisters of all five skin colors could come to that place. Father had shed tears for me! Now, because of True Parents' love and tears, I am eternally connected to them.
This moment was a turning point in my life. Without such a deep, heart- moving experience, I'm sure I would have been only an "external Moonie," unable to weather the rough storms I have encountered since my return.
It was much easier for me to experience Heavenly Father in Korea. My own heart could perceive His guidance in very intimate ways. A few days before my return to New Zealand, I was looking at a small lake, and there God spoke to me in the gentle waters, as they lapped to and fro: "I have sent you out; now I am sending you back home. Take what you have learned here back to your country"
And as I left on the airplane, Heavenly Father comforted me, saying, "There is no distance in the realm of heart!"