Unification News for March 2003
by Debra Gertz
In keeping with my husband's and my family's tradition, I would like to give an honest and what I see as truthful account of my experience in Korea -- ie, no fluff!
Father once said, (after some members criticized my husband's book) it is the mission of the elder son to tell the truth, so here goes. I will be surprised if this gets any play on the list.
Truthfully, I was very scared to go to Korea again. During the women's 21 day workshop in CP two and a half years ago, I got very sick with a fever, and my back ached constantly from people hitting it at ansu. I had to walk bent over in constant pain. I was sick for weeks after coming home to the USA. I chalked it all up to indemnity. The conditions at CP at that time were extremely overcrowded and I felt it was a constant battle for survival both physically and spiritually. I felt abused in many ways.
This time I really wanted to do what Father asked, but I was sure it would be very difficult and that I might die, so I told God, I will go, and I will die, if that is what you want. I decided I would just go for the blessing and the witnessing condition and spend as little time in CP as possible and take as many precautions as possible not to get sick in CP. I called Beatrice to ask her for remedies, and I took a ton of vitamins with me. I would die, but go down fighting!
Well, the call came for me to submit the CIK application, even though in no way did I considered me or my family eligible for any kind of heavenly award. I felt guilty that I did not want to submit it. If God needed more people to apply, I wanted to do what He needed, so I filled it out and faxed it in. To my surprise and partial dismay, I was accepted to go to the CIK workshop. Once again I determined to just go, to pay indemnity, and die if necessary. In no way did I think that God would give my family an award. If anything we need to give an award to God for accepting us as a Blessed Central Family.
My dear, precious, friend Libby Henkin was so supportive. During the workshop at CP I did get sick, cough, phlegm, have a fever, and have terrible stabbing back pains. Libby fed me antibiotics and we were partners and had the pleasure of being with Mary, her sweet daughter. The conditions were overcrowded and many times we had to push to get a place on the floor to sleep. It was good to have a friend through all of this. Libby is a great sister.
There were many precious moments with True Parents at CP, like seeing Father and Mother at the hospital opening (freezing our buns outside, and the beauty of the blessing (dripping sweat under our holy robes). I did enjoy the performance with The Little Angel's and the play about Mother's life, but it was overshadowed by all of the overcrowding and awful pushing and shoving. While waiting to get into the auditorium, we were crammed in the hallway for 30 minutes like sardines. Several people became faint and ready to pass out. I felt like we were being treated like cattle. When everyone rushed in to get a seat there was chaos. Some had to stand during the whole thing. During Mother's play, Libby saved me a seat so we could see True Parents and the play.
Many times during the CP experience I felt abused, and many other times I felt God's Love and care. I guess it was like being in Heaven and hell at the same time. I still have to figure out and pray about why people come to CP for healing and virtually everyone leaves there sick, coughing for weeks afterward. I have great hope in the hospital there, but I have to say, I hope they first solve the CP sickness. I fear sending people to CP like my daughters who are prone to asthma, or even any weak sick person. I am asking God for answers. I am not inspired anymore to encourage anyone to go to CP because of this--even though, I have felt the ancestor liberations to be greatly beneficial. I hope this problem can be solved soon. If the sickness is solved and the overcrowding not allowed, CP Training center could be almost heaven.
Much to our surprise, both Libby and I received the CIK award. I expected Libby to. I really admire her and her family, but God must be a gracious God to give my family an award. I really loved the necklace set that the sisters were getting, but when I saw the ring that Gudrin Gavin won for Jim, I knew that my husband should be the one to get the ring. I prayed that I could get a ring for Bill, and God did not disappoint me. That was great.
That is one valuable thing I learned at CP--our prayers now are very powerful. Especially after this last Blessing and TP coronation. When I pray, or even just sincerely desire anything that is one with God's heart, my prayers are answered and in a loving and powerful way. What I learned is that we must pray and act constantly for God's Will and it will be so! Isn't it wonderful?? We have all this prayer and love power now. I think God is bursting to work through us--and to love us each one, so be ware. Evil will try to stop us with laziness and doubt.
One thing I really repented for in the prayer chapel in CP is fallen, immoral, American women that are influencing all the world with immorality. That felt great. To pray tears of repentance and to feel it really having an impact.
My experience in the towns that I visited were also a mixed bag. I see that Korea is very poor externally compared to America, but very rich in some ways internally. I was surprised that the people live so poorly and are not so aware of external beauty in the living environment. It was very difficult physically, especially while being sick.
I see Korea as like America in the turn of the century to the 1920's and 30's as far as prosperity. I felt that when the Korean people accept True Parents, God will so happy to bless Korea, and that He has not been able to do so for so long. Now is the time, I felt. Now God really wants to bless His precious Korean family. I am glad, though that God wants us to intermarry. Hopefully, that will end racism and nationalism in a few generations.
My church leader and the young Korean (husband) and Japanese (wife) that took us to our town everyday were wonderful. The leader has 6 children and lives in a tiny place. The children are amazing.
The people were very gracious, giving, and kind. They had little, but always delighted in giving us what they had, especially those things precious to them. That was really beautiful.
The church center was very cold--even colder than outside. The kerosene space heater was of little help. It did not have a fan, and smelled awful making me cough more. The bathroom was very smelly and dirty. Everything externally in Korea to me seemed dirty, gray, cold, smelly, old, rotten, rocky and hard. I thought that the mountains in the spring may be beautiful and that I would like to see the place in bloom. We did enjoy the cute little bathhouse a half block from the center -- Thank God! Also, Thank God for the two Japanese sisters I was with. They were like a comedy team funnier than any I have seen--they always came back to the room and we would laugh and laugh. They made such funny jokes about what happened that day. They kept a heavy situation very light and happy.
My best experience was at the final rally when I got to give a speech in my own words (the book was not there, so the leader demanded that I give a speech at the last minute, and fortunately, the night before for some reason, I wrote a little speech in my notebook...go figure.)
I got to witness to True Parents to a group of town officials at the final rally at the hotel. That was very liberating and wonderful. The next best experience was while visiting town offices and a negative city official asked me when I joined UC and why. When I gave my sincere answer he really seemed to listened and it had an impact. I think Korean people really respond to sincerity and love. They are truly a people of the deepest hearts.
Cough, cough, The CP cough is almost gone, and I did not die--nearly did when we had to wait three hours for our luggage to come out of the bin at the Dulles airport after a 14 hour flight, but at least I did not get stuck in Chicago because of snow like the sisters that left the day before -- and it is great to be home in the USA. I do love America.
There is a lot to digest. Now I am dealing with Father's latest -- move to your hometown in Korea. Somehow, I still see my mission in America. My husband is doing so much in America. He got to go to the Geraldo show a couple of days ago. After all, one of my ancestors is Daniel Boone, and some of the others are Hungarian gypsies that escaped Nazism and communism by coming to the USA. It will be very hard to leave America. For now, I would like to think about working with the prayer ministry and Christian ministers, here.
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