The Words of the Perrin Family
The following testimony comes from our sister June Darby-Perrin who first heard the Principle in Rome in August 1966. She testifies about how she was spiritually guided to our church and relates several personal encounters with Father and Mother during the early years of the movement in the West.
When I was seven or eight, Jesus used to appear to me. I would see him as a physical man, but he looked about twelve feet tall. My family was Anglican, and sometimes the children from the Catholic convent school would tell me we were going to hell. At times I used to fight them, rolling in the dust! But mostly I would get upset and run away to cry. On one of those days, I had run right away to the woods and was sitting on a bench crying.
And I saw Jesus. He asked me why I was crying. He told me that the next time other children tell me I am going to hell, I should tell them that he, Jesus, said that everybody who loves Jesus goes to heaven -- no matter what church they belong to. I felt so safe and so much love and protection.
Jesus came to me a few times. On one occasion he said, if you want to be happy. When you're grown up, you must pray every day to do God's will. And I did that.
Many years later, after becoming a committed Christian and traveling widely, I felt it was time to offer my life to God. I wanted to be a missionary but didn't know which church or organization to join. I had come to Italy. As I felt Italy was like the mother of the church,
I thought I would surely find my answer there. I was just praying to find the church or missionary group that would make God real to the world. That's all I asked. I was sincere in wanting to just do God's will. I would have been a missionary in Africa, but I knew mission stations in Africa, and they didn't have a wide radius of influence. I really wanted to be able to influence governments and people that could change society and a nation. That's partly why I became a social worker, so I could influence city leaders and the government.
After I had visited many places of art and culture, I spent three days praying for God to show me which church or organization to join. I went to the Episcopal Church in Rome to ask for help, and the minister put me up in his daughter's bedroom in the bell tower. Remarkably, he had just come back to the church for a few hours to sort out some affairs, and he asked his secretary to take care of me.
When I spoke with the secretary, he told me he was staying with some friends in Rome. I had the strongest feeling to go down on my knees to beg him to let me meet the people he was staying with. But I thought, if I do that, he will think I am very weird! So I kept quiet. Then, when I handed the keys in three days later, he started talking to me, asking questions about me, what I thought of Christianity and what I was looking for. Then he invited me to go to meet his friends, and hear a new Christian Oriental philosophy.
In those days they taught the Divine Principle from Miss Kim's book. In that book, the introduction says we have entered a new era because the cosmic winter is over and the cosmic spring has begun. My ears pricked up, because my father was a Rosicrucian, and I knew that the Rosicrucian's also teach that spiritually we were entering into a new era of cosmic spring. And I knew from what my father had told me that it would be the returning Lord who would introduce that cosmic spring.
My father had had a revelation, around 1954 when I was about twelve or thirteen years old, that Christ was already on the earth and that he was an oriental man, dressed in white. I had argued with my father, "No, no, Jesus will come back on the clouds." But my Father said he had to be born as a baby and had to spread his teaching by word of mouth, one by one; that he couldn't possibly be Jesus. He insisted that he was an oriental man, and that they wore white clothing in the country where he was.
As time passed, I forgot about all he told me, though I did believe that the Second Advent would take place in my lifetime. When I heard the introductory talk, I immediately remembered my father's revelation. When they said this revelation [the Principle] came from an oriental country, Korea, and that the national dress was white, I thought, "Oh! This is what my father saw!" Immediately I knew it was true.
God's presence was so powerful as I listened to the Principle. I felt a warm wind blowing around me. After the first few paragraphs, I knew what the conclusion would be.
Over the ensuing years, June became a missionary to eight different countries. Following is some of her testimony to True Parents' personal love and care for members:
Father came to England in 1969. I was happy because I was able to serve True Parents. I helped take care of True Parents' clothes and bring food to their room, and so forth. We all had a chance to sing for True Parents. Patricia Hartley and I sang an African song for Father. I was very moved when, as we sang, Father really listened, so humbly, really paying attention. Then he asked us what the words meant. People don't usually listen so attentively, so I was moved.
After that, I went back to Holland, where I had been working as a missionary, to prepare for True Parents' visit there. We painted the center in Amsterdam, and I made some kimchi for True Parents. I really prayed with all my heart, feeling so grateful to be able do this for the returned Lord, praying to honor True Parents with all my heart. Later I heard that Father really enjoyed the kimchi. I was so thrilled that I thought I should make some more. I was floating on a happy cloud that Father had liked my kimchi, so the next time I made some, I didn't pray as hard. And he didn't like the next lot I made! That taught me that when we are serving True Parents we have to have a heart of absolute reverence, humility and love. Father senses everything and cannot accept something unless it is offered with the right heart.
On one occasion during Father's time in England we were in a restaurant, and Father went to use the restroom. I was a young member and I wanted to be close to Father, so I followed Father and waited for him to come out. I was hoping Father might say something to me -- I was waiting for some attention from him. As he came out he saw me but he just ignored me completely.
Right near where I was standing there was a cage in which a canary was singing. Father just went and stood listening to the canary and ignored me, without looking at me at all. I sensed I was doing something wrong. I was a bit confused and upset. When I went back to the table, Mother looked at me, and she could understand my inner conflict. She smiled at me and calmed my heart. I really prayed, "What did I do wrong, such that Father couldn't talk to me?" After some time it came to me that it was because I was looking for attention for myself, and Father couldn't relate to me on that level. On the other hand, the little canary was just singing freely, giving its heart, without any expectation or desire for recognition or attention.
When we went to Korea for the blessing in 1970, I had been working as a missionary in Jordan. Mrs. Won Bok Choi told me that Father had talked about me every day in Korea, worrying if I was all right. So I just started to cry. You know, Father has all those responsibilities, and so many concerns, and I didn't know how he could have time to think of one small missionary in Jordan...
When I offered the gift from Great Britain that I had brought for True Parents, Father smiled at me. I can't tell you what an incredible, beautiful smile it was. It was like the sun suddenly came out. It was such a brilliant, beaming, totally happy smile. That smile was so overwhelming.
One day Father took all the Western members out, up to the hill near the training center. When we sat down to listen to Father, the ground was a bit damp. I wanted to sit near Father, but I thought that I shouldn't be so selfish and I went and sat down furthest away from Father, behind the other sisters. Father asked some Korean brothers to go and get a tarpaulin to cover the ground. We all stood up while the tarpaulin was being put down. Then Father called me to come and sit right next to him. I was so moved, as it seemed that Father knew that I wanted to sit next to him.
While I was in Korea I developed hepatitis, which I had caught from the water in Jordan. Miss Young-oon Kim arranged for a nurse to come and treat me at the training center. I found out later that it was Father himself who had instructed Miss Kim to make this arrangement because he did not want me to go to hospital. He told me he knew that I would feel too lonely, miserable and left out. I was so amazed. How incredibly kind, thoughtful and understanding!
This is his incredible heart for the members.
Sometimes all the Western members would go out for a trip somewhere, but I couldn't go because I had to stay and have the intravenous drip treatment. Mrs. Lan-young Moon was looking after us then. She was so considerate and kind. When I had finished the drip one day, she told me that True Parents and Mrs. Choi had gone for a walk, and that if I ran I would be able to join them.
I ran along the path and found them sitting on a blanket at the top of a hillock. Two Dutch brothers were giving testimony. When I came along, Father gave me a cushion to sit on next to him. Mother and Mrs. Choi smiled at me. I sat there listening to the testimonies. Father then shared his plans to send out missionaries in future in threes, not just one by one like us.
Then he turned and looked at me, and asked me, "What do you think of that idea?"
I thought it was a wonderful idea, and I was so excited that I grabbed Father's arm hard with both my hands!
I was in heaven just sitting there with the True Family. When we got up to go, I was walking behind Father along the path when I suddenly realized I was putting my feet in his footsteps. The whole way back I carefully put my feet in his footsteps, praying as I went. Later I said to Father, "Father, I never dreamt I would actually walk in your footsteps!" Even to walk in his footsteps like that was so precious.
We were sharing Father's flat at that time. We shared Father and Mother's bathroom, even. If Father wanted to come to use the bathroom, we would scurry off and leave the room for him. There was a huge rock near the door that led up to their room. Father and Mother would sit on that rock in the evening, and sometimes we were able to go and join them. One evening, we were sitting there. Father was talking and sharing, and we were singing. And I was thinking, "Oh Heavenly Father, this is absolute heaven! I wish it would never end."
Then suddenly Father said, "I wish this would never end." I felt that Father is aware of what we are thinking or feeling.
On our way back after Kook-jin nim's one-hundredth-day celebration, Mother had made some sandwiches for us and given us each a package and a drink. There were about eighteen of us, and Mother made sandwiches for each one of us herself.
I had never tasted anything so delicious in my life. It was like ambrosia. The sandwiches were made with carrots and coleslaw, but so, so delicious! Then I realized, "On, that's Mother's love in those sandwiches!" I will never forget that. I was really touched by her love and consideration for us.
Mrs. Choi asked me how things were going. I told her, I have to be honest, my husband and I have not been together much in the years since the blessing. Mrs. Choi must have reported this to Father. When she came back later, she said to make sure I was serving Father in the evening. "When you come in with some food, as soon as Father sees you he will talk to Dennis and Doris Orme about your situation," she said.
When I came in with the food, Father looked at me and asked, "How old are you?" I was about thirty-five. Then Father asked if I had any children. I said no. Have you been together with your husband? I said, not so much. Then Father turned to Dennis and Doris, and said, "June and her husband need to be together, rather than work separately." Father was incredibly kind, thoughtful and wise, and spoke so tactfully, so as to uphold the dignity of the national leaders' position and not hurt their feelings, but at the same time to protect and help us as a couple. I was so amazed.
It had been about seven years since the blessing, and I had not become pregnant. And Father said to me, "Now you must have a child!"
Actually, my husband Dennis had once said, "We'll have a child when Father tells us."
I had replied, "How can we have a child when Father tells us? We almost never see Father!" [June laughs] But the very next month I became pregnant.
When I worked on the babies' ward in a hospital in Jordan, sometimes a baby would be born terribly deformed. I knew when I saw those babies that when I became pregnant in the future I would worry about my children being born like that.
When I had my interview with Father before the blessing, suddenly, in the middle of it, Father suddenly looked at me and said, "June, when you have babies, they will be fine." I thought, my goodness, I wasn't even thinking about it at the moment. It must have been in my subconscious, though. Father is too amazing for words!
During the seventh or eighth month of my pregnancy with my first son, John, he stopped growing, and they couldn't find his heartbeat for two weeks. I knew they were worried. But I told the nurse not to worry, he would be fine. I had absolute confidence because Father had told me my babies would be fine. I felt it was a crucial time for me to be calm, to keep faith and not to worry. I was so grateful. It confirmed to me that Father's care and concern reached beyond that of earthly parents.
Doris Orme asked me to take a picture of Father to a well-known medium in Edinburgh, to see what he could see about Father. (I wouldn't have done this otherwise!) When I sat down with the medium, and he looked at the photograph, he said, "This person's your father!" Then he looked at me and said, "But how is that possible? He can't be.... But he is! And he loves you very much. And yet, how can he be your father?"
From the time I received the blessing, I had been praying to understand its significance. It was a great testimony to me to hear that True Parents really are our parents.
When I started my mission in Edinburgh, I was praying about what attitude I must have in order to find spiritual children. I was standing and looking over the park in Edinburgh, praying about how I could bring spiritual children. I saw this woman running desperately from bench to bench where people were sitting. She ran up to me, she said, "I've looked all over the park.... Have you seen my little boy? Have you seen my little boy!?" Tears were streaming down her face.
"I haven't seen him," I said, "I'm sorry." She ran off desperately.
Suddenly, I saw her find her little boy. She picked him up and hugged him as if she would never let him go.
This was my answer. I had to be like a mother who had lost her child, with that heart of desperation.
But the most amazing thing was that when Mother came to speak in Edinburgh, Scotland, when the Women's Federation was being inaugurated, she was speaking to brothers and sisters after the event; and she said, "To bring spiritual children, you have to have the heart of a mother searching desperately for her lost child."
European leaders were having a conference in England, and they had all come to the London headquarters. I was serving food, when Father called me over. He looked at me straight in the eyes, really deeply, and he said, "I know you are having a very difficult time, really suffering a lot. But there will come a time when everything will be all right." When he said it, he looked at me with the kindest, most compassionate, gentle, smile. I was just so comforted.
Later when I was in South Africa, and things were very difficult, it kept me sane. I could always remember that experience, and think of it, and it helped me stay collected and vertically focused.
When I had experiences with Father and Mother I always felt I was representing sisters, and that one day I should share those experiences, so that others could understand True Parents' hearts. True Parents deeply love us all, each and every one, and will guide us in the details of our lives if we ask them. They are our Messiah and Savior, and will liberate and heal us completely from the effects of sin and fallen nature, when we ask.
I've been thinking and praying for a long time to understand what a true daughter is. I have come to feel that becoming a true son or daughter of God -- taking our position with authority as Adam or Eve before the Fall -- depends on the grace of True Parents, on the clarity of our conscience and spirit and on how deeply and closely we love True Parents and people, and live our lives with God. It's very hard to reach that standard but I understand that God is happy if we try our best to change little by little.
I know there are members who have had far deeper experiences with True Parents than I have, and I was surprised when the editor asked me to speak about mine. Even so, I am grateful to share these brief reflections.