The Words of the Unger Family

I Began to Realize the Way Had Been Opened to Me

Elizabeth Biro
August 1971

Elizabeth Biro

In September, 1968, I went to Istanbul, Turkey to begin work with the United Church Board for World Ministries as a missionary-teacher at the Board's school at Usktidar. I arrived in Turkey with a heart full of love, with the desire to serve God and to share my faith with all who would listen. I came to Turkey with a background of missionary service, from a family which loves God and wants to show it with their lives.

And what did I find in Turkey? I found a community of American missionaries so unsure of their faith that they are reluctant to talk about it. Since open evangelism in Turkey is forbidden by law all missionaries must work in some institution such as a school or a hospital. And these missionaries are doing fine work in these institutions to help Turkey develop in the areas of education and health. The missionaries believe that, through the example of their lives, they can affect a spiritual change in the Turks. I believe this is so, to a degree, but it is too slow a process in this time of struggle for God's new world.

During my three years in Turkey I became dissatisfied with my work and unhappy about the missionary life. Close to nothing was happening to change the spiritual atmosphere of the Turks but much was happening to draw me away from God. My heart was closing; I was being pulled more and more by Satan. And I found myself doing things such as I did not want to do. I was associating with people with unclean hearts and minds. I was looking, searching, for some way out of the maze of evil. I needed a way back to God. I never doubted His love for me but I felt He and I had a communication breakdown.

On May 2nd of this year I met Harald Unger. From the minute I saw him I knew he was different from any person who was then in the sphere of my life. Immediately I trusted him; immediately I knew that God had brought us together. I knew that God had understood my need for a new life and I understood that, from and with Harald, I could learn; I could grow into the person I knew God wanted me to be.

Very quickly, but very quietly with an assurance I could only admire but not fully comprehend, Harald began to ask me questions that no one had ever asked me before. He challenged me to begin again, to rethink all that had once been so important to me. He told me about his family in Vienna and I was very curious about this group.

The idea of living with many people as brothers and sisters was immediately exciting to me. I asked Harald if there was anything I could read about this family organization and he brought me a copy of the Divine Principle book.

I began to read it, slowly and carefully. The first chapter seemed so logical, so totally understandable. I had some questions and Harald answered them, again with this same quiet strength and commitment that he had shown from the first moment of our meeting.

I had planned to leave my work with the school in Istanbul and begin work in southern Turkey with village children. About a week after Harald found me I received word that the Turkish Foundation had changed its mind and they no longer wanted me. My life was in a most confused state. I had no special work to do and no reason to stay in Turkey.

A few days after this I had a dream. This dream was the first of this sort that I've ever had and it impressed me very deeply. In it I was trying to place a telephone call to my grandfather. My grandfather was a very fine man who devoted his life to Christian missionary service in Japan. He, like Harald, was a quiet man of great inner strength, When he died about eight years ago I felt a great loss, for we had spent much time together. He had shown a special love for me and he had told me that he knew I would continue the fight for Christianity throughout the world. When he said those words I was about twelve years old and didn't really understand them. When I was a child he often sat by the piano as I practiced with his eyes closed and a look of serene peace on his face. He urged me to develop my gift of musical talent, both with the piano and, later, with my singing. He told me this would be very important for God's work.

In my dream I tried to call him in Paris, in Athens, and in several cities in Europe and Asia. I finally spoke with him and told him, at length, everything that had happened in my life since his death. He assured me that he knew all these things and that he had been watching me carefully. I told him I was going to return to America because I had no where else to go. He told me, gently but firmly, that my place was not in America but that I had special work to do somewhere else. I asked him where this place was and he said only that the way to that knowledge had been opened to me and I would soon understand it clearly. I begged him to tell me and he answered that I must pray and trust God to lead me.

In the weeks that followed, Harald and I studied the Divine Principle book together, reading it aloud to each other. I could easily accept the fact that Jesus didn't complete his mission and became most curious about the second coming Christ. I had suspected, even before Harald told me, that the Master was alive now and among us. And when he told me about our Master and our Mother I began to understand more and more of the importance of my dream. I began, slowly at first, to realize that the way had been opened to me; that my place was with Harald working to claim Turkey for God, in the name of our True Parents.

I believe that, with the love and the prayers of our brothers throughout the world, and with the loving, supporting hand of and sisters our Father, we will be victorious in the fight to establish God's new kingdom. 

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