The Words of Hyung Jin Moon
Good afternoon brothers and sisters, Outside it is really cold, and we are really welcoming you with a warm, open heart in this sanctuary. We are always honored to have you here in this sanctuary, and for those who are joining us through the Internet, we also welcome you as well. Welcome brothers, and welcome sisters.
Welcome brothers and sisters, today I would like to share with you from Cheon Song Gyeong page 1298. Here Father asks, "Where is the center of the Universe?" and he answers that question. He says, "It is in the family", and then he says that the family "must expand the realm of love beyond the family. They must follow the path of patriotism, in loving the nation, and extend it to loving the world, beyond race, and the nation."
When we hear Father's words, we can remember that Father's view of our family is of course connected to our smaller unit family, as that is the building block, but it stretches beyond that to include nations, the Unification family all over the world, and really, every time we participate in service, as Pastor Kyle has told us, every time we have service here, over 10,000 brothers and sisters are joining us from all the different parts of the world.
And the reason why Kyle knows that is because he and his team manage the Internet website, which has every week over 10,000 hits. Let's give it up for that Internet team (Clapping and cheers). Over 7,000 downloads ever week. We are so grateful to Kyle. He spearheaded that. He, of course, is a professional in that field. He managed that in the armed forces, and he brought that talent and shared it with brothers and sisters in California, who also have that talent.
And they created that web site on their own talents and time, and because of that it is allowing all of the participants around the world to actually participate with us in service. And we are so grateful that Kyle was able to spearhead that and to continue to serve so many thousands of brothers and sisters around the world.
Brothers and sisters, whenever we start service it is always so important to remember who and whose we are. It is important to see that if we look at ourselves with our own plain eyes, we may see somebody that is lacking and not perfect, and that is on a process of improvement, but when we look at ourselves with God's eyes, then we can see as God sees us in our ultimate form, where we are truly bringing amazing joy to Him, when we have actualized all those amazing potentials that He has planted within our hearts, in our minds, in our talents, our abilities.
And so, it's so important to remember that, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, not to say, "Hey, I think I gained 10 pounds this week, oh, I'm falling into depression…" No, no, brothers and sisters, we've got to say, "Wait a minute, God's done me good this week, and I'm going to step up to the next level."
He's asking you to do something greater. Always let's try to look at ourselves with those eyes. Always, let's try to remember that when God sees us, He sees someone that is totally unique. He's created thousands of universes, millions of atmospheres, but you, we, each and every one of us, are completely unique. He has planted within us eternal and divine value, as we are created in His image. And when we are able to actualize those things, bring Him fulfillment and joy, then we fulfill our true divine purpose.
Brothers and sisters, welcome again to service. Let's be participants. We're going to invite you to sing with Two Rivers. They practice 4 days a week, 5 hours at a time. Let's give it up for Two Rivers Choir, brothers and sisters. Oh, my goodness. Not only that, they also do service activities. They are always donating their talents to the younger brothers and sisters here; teaching them music downstairs, and guitar classes and piano; teaching them downstairs how to make the youth choir; donating their talents and their abilities; really participating in service to the community.
And so, when we come together in celebration to remember who we are, and when we come together as a community, then it is so important for us to participate, and sing along with them. You know, it is very hard. I'm always giving speeches in Korean, and it's extremely difficult. They are not only singing songs in Korean, but they have got to do the prayers and the comments in between in English. And that's a very tough job, it's a tough job for them. But we're also very proud of them. Brothers and sisters, once again, let's participate. Pray with us, sing with us; you know, smile with us. I hope maybe not too much crying, but I hope there is a lot of smiling today, and let's really participate in service today. Thanks so much for coming. Once again, welcome.
A blessed couple that was a Korean husband and a Japanese wife couple, were watching a baseball game between Korea and Japan. Actually, it was apparently a very close game, and as the game went on, they really got into it; and they ended up arguing which team should win. And the husband said, "You know what, Korea is the Father nation; Korea should win." And the Japanese wife said, "You know what? True Parents love all the nations, and you know, Korea being the Father nation, has no relevance with this baseball game."
And when their children watched them arguing, one of them said, "Appa, you are Korean, and Omma, you are Japanese, and I love both nations, and whichever team wins, I win. Either way, I win." He smiled, and everybody smiled.
Brothers and sisters, let us always remember the value of our blessed family, and the value of our True Parents. They have actualized something that nobody could imagine. Blessed families, let's always go forward with pride, as Unificationists. Aju.
Brothers and sisters, let us begin with unity of mind, body and breath. Let's start with our body. Let's place our hands toward the earth, breathing in the Universal Prime Energy, channeling that earth energy up towards our heart; breathing in. As we pass our beating heart, let's breathe out towards the sky, towards the Heavens; and let's receive what God wants to give to us today, His wisdom, His grace, His new understanding. Breathing in, as we pass our living hearts, let's breathe out, towards the Universe. One more time, breathe in that powerful earth energy towards our heart, breathing in, as we pass our hearts, breathing out, towards the Heavens now.
And let's let God now give us His wisdom, His strength, His confidence, His love today. Breathing in, Heavenly power and energy, as we pass our hearts, breathing out. Let's be gently seated today, and I'd like to invite you to sit up at the front of our chair, so that you can keep your back straight, and we can enter into our first visualization and meditation practice.
Let us gently close our eyes and visualize ourselves, not in this sanctuary, but let us visualize ourselves walking on a beautiful beach, a very warm, sunny day. We can see the sun is out, it's evening time. The sun is setting. We can feel the warm, warm rays of the sun basking over our bodies. And as we walk gently, we can feel the warm earth underneath, the warm sand. We can almost feel each grain of sand, as we walk gently. Each grain is lifting us up; it's supporting us. Thousands, tens of thousands of grains of sand are holding us up. As we walk gently, let us be mindful of each step; noticing the heel, being surrounded by the warm sand, noticing the ball of your foot, each toe even, supporting your body, keeping you straight.
Let us hear the beautiful ebb and flow of the ocean water; the warm sun rays above, and let us now face the sun, and feel the sun's rays come over our entire body, from our foreheads all the way down to our feet. We can feel that warm, life energy coming in, warming each one of our cells, radiating our light, illuminating our heart. In that image, let us close our eyes gently, feeling that warm sun, listening to the beautiful ocean waves, the calm and peaceful waves that sooth our hearts. And as we stand in that most glorious place, let us breathe in deeply, in our hearts let us say, "I am alive." And as we breathe out deeply and slowly, let us say, "Thank You." Second breath, as we breathe in new life in our lives, "I am alive." As we breathe out deeply, in our hearts, "Thank You." One more time, as new life soothes our hearts, breathing in, "I am alive." And as we gently breathe out, "Thank You."
Let us know that God and True Parents, throughout every course of our lives, are guiding us, just like the sun that provides illumination and direction in our lives. Let us know that they are with us; that they believe in us; that they love us; and that they truly wish for us to become a great blessing to this world.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this day that You have blessed upon us. Father, You bring together so many hearts and so many families here in this sanctuary and abroad. From all over the world brothers and sisters are joining us from Albania, from Germany, from America, from Brazil and Asia, from the Philippines, from Russia, and so many other different nations, Father.
Father, today we are here truly as Your global community. And Father, we pray that we may understand and expand our horizon, expand our awareness, to understand that we are part of something immense and great, and that, Father, You are proud to see us as Your children. Father, You take great delight in seeing us be the best that we can be; actualizing our potentials, and bringing joy to You. Father, we thank You so much for this day that You have blessed upon us. We pray that You may be here with us from beginning to end; and, Father, that we may, from this day take a new heart and determination.
And as we leave this holy sanctuary, we pray that those blessings may continue to spread throughout the week; not only to the people around us, but to the people that we pray for in different countries. Father, we pray that You will use that miraculous power, Your supernatural grace, to be able to truly revive and allow Your promises and dreams to come true in the lives of those blessed families that are precious to You. Heavenly Father, we truly are grateful for this day that You have blessed upon us. Once again we pray that we may offer this service up to You; that we may truly bring You joy today, and that we may give You strength today through our songs, through our praises, through our prayers, and through our actions. Thank You so much Father, and we once again, dedicate this to You, in all of our names, as central blessed families, Aju. Aju. Aju.
You know, before we begin, we always like to start with something just a little interesting. I heard a story about a Grandfather that during Christmas time received a present. And that present was an MP3. Now Granddaddy was about 80 years old, so he was having difficulty trying to get the thing done, and so he sent for his little grandchild, and he said "Hey, Johnny, can you help me out a little bit?" Johnny helped him; he got on the computer and went to that download page, and said "Grandpa, this is how you do it. This is how you do it. You download here, you click here, and this and that, and this and that.”
And Grandpa went through the process a couple of times and said, "Johnny, I can't understand. Show me again." And Johnny did it again, and again. And Grandpa said, "Johnny, I can't understand. You've got to do it again." He did it again and again. Johnny ended up doing it 12 times that night. And at the end Johnny was so frustrated and flustered. He's only in elementary school, but he was so frustrated. And he said, "Grandpa, did God make you?" And Grandpa said, "Yes, He did." And he said, "Well, did God make me?" And Grandpa said, "Yes, He did." And then little Johnny said, "Well, I guess He's doing better work now then."
Today I'd like to talk to you about being confident in being God's child. You know, in order to live the blessed life, we have to be confident in who and in whose we are. We are here not only to fulfill our individual purposes. We can never, absolutely never, be truly, truly happy in life just pursuing our own purposes. We must understand that in the end we are created to fulfill the plans that bring joy to God. We are created to be that giving and receiving object that God can dwell in and share in. When we are confident in being children of God and True Parents, and we share that with pride, God is also proud.
Let's take a look at some of these World Scriptures today. We're going to look at some of the Psalms today. Let's read them together: "It is He that made us, and we are His. We are His people. Give thanks to Him. Bless His name, for the Lord is good, and His steadfast love endures forever."
Let us see the Islamic tradition, the Koran. Let's read that together: "God has promised to believers beautiful mansions and gardens of ever lasting bliss; but the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of God. That is the supreme felicity."
Let's take a look at the Confucian tradition. Confucius, our saint, let's look at him today: "To see gladness through righteous persistence is the way to accord with Heaven and to respond to men."
Let's look at Father, True Father's and True Mother's words. Let's read that together.” There is no limit to joy. Happiness has no end when you are standing in the love of God. Every cell in your body jumps for joy. You breathe in and out with the entire universe. This is how God means for us to live; intoxicated in love and joy; and through our joy, God receives His joy."
You see, we must be very clear with what our mission is as Unification Movement. We are not simply an educational organization, or a charitable foundation, or a federation of families that simply want world peace. We are a faith tradition. We have a core teaching. We have True Parents. And as a faith our mission is to spread that word and the good news of True Parents.
You see, when we joyfully and confidently spread the news of True Parents, effectively, and when we bring children to God and to True Parents, God feels great joy and pride. It's like a father who sees his son or daughter spreading the word of his father's works, his talents and efforts. There's a great sense of pride, joy, and also gratitude. That's how the father feels.
It's the same with God. When He sees us talking about True Parents with others in joy and in confidence, He's not only proud, He's not only joyful, He's not only happy, He's also grateful. Yes, the entire Almighty God of the entire Universe, who created millions of universes, can be grateful to us when we do such work.
You know, here in Korea there is a tea shop in Insa-dong, that I usually buy tea at. The owner is wonderful. She is a very exuberant lady, she's very enthusiastic. She's always bright, she's smiling; she's just an amazing lady. But as the world economy is slowing down, one day she showed her desperation. When I was in there one day, she said to me, "I don't know what I am going to do, it's so hard to sell now-a-days. I don't know how I am going to survive this."
And I could perfectly, rationally, understand that business was slow for her. And I could completely empathizes rationally; but suddenly, for some strange reason, I emotionally, I think, sub-consciously, felt a distance, and I felt a strange feeling, as if she wanted me to throw money at her, because I am Father's son. And strangely I felt, "You know, I don't want to buy tea from this place anymore. I'm feeling like she is begging for me to bail her out."
And a few weeks later I stopped by, and in a conversation I asked her and said, "Business is hard now these days, it's really tough." On that day she smiled at me with her usual bright, illuminated smile, and she said, "Everyday, happy day." She said that to me. When she said that to me, then my feeling completely turned around. And inside I said, "You know what, I'm going to continue to buy tea here; I am totally inspired by her."
What happened here? All of a sudden I changed my mind. One second I don't want to buy tea here anymore, the next second she says "Happy day, everyday," and now I want to buy tea all of a sudden. What happened here? How come I changed my decision? Why didn't she lose my business? And the answer is very simple. Her optimistic confidence in her life, in her shop, in herself was inspiring. If I am going to buy tea anyway, I want to buy tea from a lady that inspires me. And even though business is tough, she threw off her grave clothes, and she put on her praise clothes, and instead of moping around, complaining and begging for others to pay her with a defeated mentality, she bounced back. Her usual bright attitude, smiley, nobody can get me down attitude, and that was inspiring.
You see, in the end, I realized that I don't just go to buy tea from her, just because of her selection of teas, I go, subconsciously, to be inspired by her. Yes, the tea lady inspires me. She has such an optimistic, positive thinking, such a "I can't get down attitude", and that is inspiring.
It is the same with our Unification Church. If we are moping around uninspired, defeated and with no enthusiasm for our lives as blessed families then no matter how much we witness, no matter how much we talk to people, they're not going to be inspired. They are going to subconsciously say, "You know, you can't even get yourself inspired, honey, how are you going to get ME inspired?"
It is so important that we are able to see and to have that confidence in who we are, that we have something so unique to offer, that it has changed history; that it will continue to change religious history. So we have to know that God has waited 6,000 plus years for us; and that True Parents are here, and that we are blessed families are here.
And we have to know that we are the most successful religion while the founder is alive; and that we will continue to grow and to flourish throughout the generations. You know, there is no other time in Unification Church history where things are this much in our favor. Here in Korea we have been able to turn the media from against us, from negative, to now positive.
When Kook Jin Nim, myself and Sun Jin Nim, when we meet dignitaries and reporters, CEO's of major organizations, political leaders, they are interested in the Unification Church, and they want to know, "What's Father Moon up to, what's he doing nowadays?"
Kook Jin hyung has a practice of inviting these VVIP's, not to an event or a hotel conference, but to church!! Whenever he meets the KBS president, the SBS president, he goes, "Oh, you should stop by church one day; it's really fun, it's really exciting, you should come by!" And they'll say, "Oh yeah, I would love to come over, send me some sermons."
He was talking to the chairman of the Green Cross the other day. The Green Cross is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Korea. You have probably seen the ambulances, the EMS with the Green Cross on it, and Kook Jin hyung just offered, "We have a wonderful ministry that is happening, and you know what? We'd love to invite you over." The chairman said, "Oh, I'd love to come over. Send me some sermons, and set me up so that I can come in."
See, it is truly a different age, brothers and sisters, there is no reason why we cannot succeed in witnessing, in sharing our faith. In Japan our persecutors try to link us with a terrorist organization. Our brothers and sisters in Japan are being persecuted by people that try to link us with a terrorist group.
But in spite of that incredible persecution -- they are being persecuted just by being Unification Church members -- in spite of that persecution, every year the Japanese church is able to witness to 5,000 new members every year on average. Even in that incredible, negative persecution. And this is not because those people who are being witnessed to are not capable intellectually, or because Japan has unique circumstances that allow incredible witnessing growth, while they are being tremendously persecuted, but is due in Japan to the members' confidence. They are confident in who they are. They are confident in True Parents' absolute value, they are confident in the Divine Principle to move and change lives, and they are confident in themselves as blessed families.
Whenever we go to Japan and have an opportunity to meet the top witnessers, we see that they are amazing people. They come across with confidence. They are so elegant; they have certainty in who they are; they're joyful, they're bright, they're enthusiastic in their faith. In short, they are incredibly inspiring people.
You see, I've seen women shop at Dongdaemun, you've all been there at Dongdaemun, and I've seen ladies buy handbags there, a new handbag, a brand new handbag for $5 or $10. I am sure many of you have done that, too. For 5 or 10 bucks, a new handbag. But I've also seen other ladies go shopping at Prada or Gucci or Lewi Vitant, they may pay $2,000, $5,000 for a new handbag. I know many of you have done that, too, right? (Laughter)
But when a lady buys a Dongdaemun bag for 10 bucks, see, chances are she's not going to take care of it so well. She's not going to look after it, she'll probably buy a new one in a few weeks, a few months, and for some ladies, a few days. But when she buys that quality bag, that world class quality bag, she's going to take care of it, that $2,000 bag. She's going to polish it; she's going to make a shelf for it; she's going to clean it, she's going to value it, she's going to honor it.
But rationally speaking, this is crazy; rationally this is insanity. The Dongdaemun bag and the Prada bag are made in the same manner. They are made the same, the metal and the zippers, they are the same, the materials are the same. So why would she pay thousands of times more for a Prada bag? Why would she do such an irrational activity? It's because she appreciates that Prada, the designer who made it, the value it holds as a brand that has become world famous. When she wears that bag, she feels beautiful. When she wears that bag, she feels classy. When she wears that bag, she feels glamorous. When she wears that bag she is confident; she is proud of who she is. You know, that's why she will spend, that's why she will pay that much more.
And I've seen so many people lose confidence in what we have to offer as a tradition. You know, many people will say, "We give Divine Principle lectures for free and people are not receptive. How can we win this? We give it away for free!" Because we give it away for free people are not receptive, brothers and sisters. If someone gives something away for free, people think it has no value.
If I bought 100 $4,000 Prada bags at the local shopping mall, and I ran down to the local McDonald's and I started distributing those hundreds of $4,000 bags to people and say, "This is a real Prada bag, you can have it for free!" they would not believe me. They would say, "Okay, I'll take it, but I don't believe it's real." They would not believe that it's real. They would not believe it has value. They would probably think that it came from Dongdaemun or something like that.
It's the same thing with our teachings. We have been treating Divine Principle like a Dongdaemun bag while we have something a million times more precious than a Prada bag or a Gucci bag. We have a Divine Principle bag! Give it up, give it up for Divine Principle. (Clapping)
You see, you've got to think about it like this. Think about the members that joined when Father started his ministry. Look at the people who joined! In Korea, the people were coming out of Ehwa University, Seoul National University, and in Japan from Waseda University, in America from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Georgetown University. And many people are saying, "Due to historical circumstances, because of the war, that's why people were joining at that time. They were desperate."
Well, even though that is the case, even in the present day the economy is so slow, it is now creating a crisis for many people to actually be receptive towards religion, receptive to the good works that are helping the world. We were able to reach top students, top families across the nation. We were confident; we were proud of who we are. We were proud of getting to know, to feel, the joy of getting to know True Parents.
But as time passed our kids grew up, and they weren't perfect, and our lives had troubles, etc. And slowly we started losing that confidence. But as one of my elder, bigger sisters said, "Honey, that is life. It's normal to have ups and downs. Don't worry about it so much. Stop pulling out your hair; that's why you're bald." That's when I was bald.
So what if everything didn't go our way? We cannot let it defeat us. What if the kids are not perfect, or they don't float around with halos? That shouldn't defeat us. So what if our lives have ups and downs? Everybody has ups and downs in their lives. That should not defeat us. We are stronger than all those problems combined. We have to know that God never gives us more tribulations and difficulties than we are able to overcome.
You know, I was having lunch with a professor of Asian art, she is a professor at University, and she is a devote Buddhist practitioner, and she has become a part of our Unification Church family in recent times. She told me how one of the Korean dynasties, the dynasty that Chumong founded, began in 37 B.C. And she told me how Chumong proclaimed at that time, "I'm going to create a dynasty that will last 1,000 years." Interestingly enough, that dynasty came to a close in 926. This dynasty ended literally just about after 1,000 years.
Then she told me of the founder of the Chungsong dynasty. He moved the capital to Seoul, and he proclaimed that he would create a capital that would last 500 years; and check out the dates on this. 1392 to 1897, literally, 505 years. As they proclaimed, so it came to pass. As they proclaimed the 1,000, the dynasty ended in about 1,000 years, and when they proclaimed 500, the dynasty lasted for just about 500 years.
She then told how she is so inspired by what we are doing. She's a devout Buddhist practitioner. She's had connections with many, many people in the Buddhist world. Especially, she is so inspired by the Unification World Temple. And she says, "I believe this temple will be the hallmark, the future hallmark of Korea. It will be the symbolic representation of our nation and it's tradition. And she said, "You know what? I'm doing an art exhibition in Japan, I'm doing one in a couple of months." And she decided to donate every single cent of that exhibition to the building of our Unification Church World Temple. Brothers and sisters, give it up!
She says she's going around meeting her monk friends. She's connected to some very top Buddhist leaders, and she's saying to them, "You should be donating to the World Temple. Who is going to be supporting Buddhism? Christianity is not going to support you, you should better be donating to Unification Church which is supporting us." She said that to the monks. She says that she's confident. Why is she confident? When she heard about how these dynasties were proclaimed for 1,000 years and 500 years, she said, "You know why I'm even more confident? Because I came to church and I heard something Sunday morning; I didn't hear 1,000; I didn't hear 500, I heard Ogmansei!" Brothers and sisters, what does Ogmansei mean? Do you know how many zeros that has? That's one trillion years! Brothers and sisters, give it up for Unification Church Ogmansei. (Clapping and cheers). Ogmansei for the Unification Church! As we proclaim, so it shall pass. Thank you.
Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? We can learn confidence in who we are, and in our identity as the Unification Church, as a Unification Church member that is attractive! It's okay that our children are not all Mother Theresa. When we regain our confidence in our faith, and in our True Parents, we will bring great joy to God. In the end, we will never be truly, truly, truly happy unless we realize that we were created not only to fulfill our own purposes, but that ultimately we were created to fulfill God's plan.
Now on our way to the World Temple, if we go forward with this kind of confidence, with this kind of joyful optimism, a smile on our face, no matter the adversity, we will be attractive and inspiring, like that tea lady that I buy tea from, who says, "Happy day, every day". We are not offering a Dongdaemun bag, brothers and sisters, we something super amazing, brilliant, tremendous, more than a million times greater than a Prada bag! We have got the Unification Church family, brothers and sisters! Give it up!
If we go forward with this great enthusiasm and pride in who we are, I do believe we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination, and more peace; and we will live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live, and be a greater blessing to this world. Brothers and sisters, if you receive this message, give it up; let's give it up for God and True Parents. Come on, let's give it up. (Clapping and cheers). Thank you so much.
Let us now enter into our homeland mediation. Let us gently close our eyes and visualize ourselves, not in this sanctuary, but walking in a beautiful meadow. I invite you to pay attention to each step that we take. And let us notice that each step that we take, there are beautiful flowers that grow right around our feet, almost magically. As we look to our left we will see a beautiful stream, that is meandering down, sparkling with the sun's rays passing through its transparent water. As you look up ahead, we will see the beautiful field that extends all the way to the horizon, and beautiful mountains way in the back. We will notice those mountains touching the beautiful sky that is completely blue.
And now we will notice that with each step the flowers bloom and expand and spread over the entire meadow; almost as if the entire meadow itself is changing colors. As you look up ahead you will see True Parents there. They are waiting for us with outstretched hands. Let us stand before them, and let us kneel down. True Father places his right hand on our head. True Mother places her left hand on our head; and they give us their blessing. They tell us, "If your burdens are heavy, give them to us, we will hold them for you. We will rid them from you."
If there is anything in our hearts that we wish to share with True Parents at this time, let us offer that report. Let us see them smiling upon us, their faces almost brilliant, shining like the sun. Let us feel that powerful energy coming through us, from the top of our heads, all the way down to the tips of our feet. We can feel that they are turning around those situations and circumstances in our hearts and in our minds, and in our lives, as a healing energy passes through our entire body from head to toe. God is beginning to work a miracle in our lives. We can see our spirit body. If there are any places that are dark, they become totally purified, become totally clean, as our spirit body is illuminated in thousands of directions, shimmering, like a brilliant star.
As we receive that blessing into our hearts, let us breathe in deeply, in our minds say, "I am alive." And as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts let us say, "thank you." Once again, as we breathe in deeply in our hearts, let us say, "I am alive." As we breathe out, in our hearts, let us say, "thank you." One more time, as we breathe in new life, "I am alive." As we breathe out old life, "thank you.” God and True Parents are always with us, no matter where we may go, no matter how our lives may change, let us always know that they believe in us, they have blessed us with the blessed life; and we will be a blessing to this world.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this day that You have blessed upon us. True Parents, thank you for being with us in this sanctuary today. Father, we thank You that You are able to fill us, that You are able to lead us. And Father, as we get to know You, we will be purified, and we will be illuminated. We will become more wise, Father, we will become more compassionate.
Father, we pray that we may take off our burdens, that we may take off the things that are weighing us down; and Father, that You may fill us with new life, that You may lighten our step, that You may be able to empower us with courage in our hearts. Father, let us know that we are precious blessed central families; and that we must be confident in who we are. Father, let us know that You have waited for us for thousands of years, and we are the fruit, the fruition of what You have desired for so many decades. Heavenly Father, let us realize the tremendous value. Let us imbibe that within our hearts. Let us recite that to ourselves whenever we feel down; whenever we feel we can't overcome something, let us know that You are with us, that You are behind us, that You are leading in front of us. That You are above us, protecting us. That You are below us; that You are supporting us, and lifting us up.
Heavenly Father, we truly thank You for this time that You have blessed upon us. Let us have that confidence in ourselves, as not only children of God, of You, but also as part of the Unification tradition. Father, we have such an amazing tradition, so much to offer to this world. Let us hold that with confidence in our heart. Let us hold that with confidence in our mind. Let us hold that with confidence as we move forward and fulfill our destiny.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for this day, and we truly pray that You may bless each child that is here. That You may raise each child that is here, that You may uplift and truly be able to blossom through us Your great providence. Thank You for this day; thank You for this life, and we offer it all back to You, Father, with an everlasting joy and gratitude, in our names, as central blessed families, Aju.
Konnichiwa, Annyeong haseyo.
My name is Hira, Masako of the Suwa Church of South Nagano District. I was guided to the church through a friend in 1991. We were part of the 360,000 Blessing in 1995, and have two daughters. I feel unworthy to stand here today, but I share my testimony with gratitude.
Eight years after I joined, my husband's company went bankrupt, and he decided to start his own business. There was a large-scale donation providence in Japan at the time, and the amount needed was identical to the amount it would take for my husband to restart the company. We had no funds at home except for the loan that we'd made in order to start the company, but somehow I felt that we absolutely must make this offering, and going against my husband's wishes, I donated all of the loan that we took out. Later, we were somehow able to raise the funds to start our company.
From the year after that, our company suddenly started to develop, and now, 9 years later, we have five companies in successful operation. Looking back, I believe that God was teaching us how important it is to give priority to Heaven's situation first. Following that, we have been able to offer more, as the company developed.
My husband is from Nagasaki Prefecture of Kyushu, southern Japan, but I had never visited his hometown. Last month, we planned a visit to his birthplace, the cities of Omura and Shimabara in Nagasaki, together with church leaders. We searched around for his family grave, based on what his mother told us and finally arrived at a stately grave, which was marked with a swastika, indicating underground Christians.
We also visited the castle ruins of the first feudal Christian lord of Japan, Sumitada Omura, and his descendants' graves, as well as important sites in the Christian history of Japan. For example, the Hara Castle in Shimabara is known for its history 400 years ago, in which the 16-year old leader, Amakusa Shiro and 37,000 Christians were under siege by the Tokugawa shogun's army of 120,000 for 88 days. In the end, all of them became martyrs.
We held a Prayer Ceremony for Restoration at the Hara Castle site, and noticed after the final prayer that one Christian lady was standing behind us. She was with one Catholic man, and one Protestant man, and said, "I pray here daily, but today I did not intend to come. Then in the afternoon somehow I felt moved to come and to my surprise found your group praying, and I saw the Holy Spirit descending. I have also visited Korea several times, but from now on, I should also pray crying, 'Aboji, Aboji!' as the Korean Christians do." Even after we explained to her that we were Unificationists, she wasn't surprised but continued to talk with more interest, so that we weren't able to leave.
I couldn't help feeling even by this incident at the Hara Castle, that this was truly the time of the advent of the Messiah. I was truly grateful to our ancestors who were underground Christians at that time for guiding us here so that they could connect themselves to the Messiah.
We felt through our visit to Nagasaki, that we are here today thanks to the precious faith and sacrifice of those who offered their lives to protect the foundation of Christianity, and felt keenly the long history through which God had endured much sorrow. After returning to Nagano, we then had the opportunity to attend a special meeting at the Nagano Church, welcoming Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim. Hyung Jin Nim spoke to us, and there we learned of the Cheonbok Goong (World Temple) providence.
The death and regret of the Japanese Christians who were unable to establish Christianity in Japan and were sacrificed, waiting for the Messiah, overlapped within me with the desire of Heaven to build the Holy Temple.
I know that our ancestors would rejoice more than anything else that our family can take part in the providence while living in the same era as our True Parents, and that my husband's ancestors have also been waiting for this time. I'm certain that the reason why our companies developed so well lies in the sacrifice and will of many ancestors. We believe that this is the time for us to offer our utmost, and made a donation to the Cheonbok Goong Temple, full of gratitude.
Then the following day, we received word that Hyung Jin Nim would write a calligraphy for our family. Despite his busy schedule, Hyung Jin Nim took time out to write the characters "Seong Ae Cheon (Sincerity, Love, Heaven)" for us. I felt that the character for Heaven represented not only the 'Cheon' of Cheonbok Goong, but also the 'Cheon' for the Christian leader Amakusa Shiro (Ama is written as 'Cheon'). When the characters were being written by Hyung Jin Nim, I was filled with tears in spite of myself. I felt they were tears of joy and inspiration of our ancestors, who were able to contribute to the Holy Temple of God through us. I am certain that the ancestors who were underground Christians and those who were martyred were in attendance right there.
Yeon Ah Nim also told me kindly that the character for Ah in her name is the same as Masa of my name, and I felt very happy. We are truly grateful for the deep love of Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim. I pray that the construction of the Cheonbok Goong Temple will be realized as soon as possible.