Unification News for March 2003
New Hope Farms: On Horses and Chung Il Guk
by Lesa Ellanson
If ever there is a religious benchmark to be measured from the life and example of our True Parents, it is their unwavering resolve to advance, increase and achieve. They never give so much as the slightest consideration to the thought of retreat, surrender, compromise or defeat. They see to it that the ongoing realization of Godís ideal neither stands still nor do they permit it to lose any ground. There is only one direction in which they proceed: Forward. "Damn the torpedoes," for it is full speed ahead. It is through education (speeches, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc.) that Father and Mother have marched forward to regain Godís ground, thereby establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. And their ultimate motive? They seek to give absolute joy to God. Period.
I live at New Hope Farms in upstate New York. Without question, this farm is very unique. Out of all the American properties that our True Parents have claimed for God, very few have been built from the ground up; most were "restored", that is, they were properties all ready constructed with buildings and/or dwellings formally used by outside, fallen people. In contrast, New Hope Farms was constructed, board by board, by the blood, sweat and tears of our church members. Following its completion, my family came to work here in 1994. Admittedly, while it is unlikely that I or my family will completely restore the entire world, we did determine at that time to work towards establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on this one 40-acre parcel. No matter what, I and my family would seek to set a heavenly example, make the right conditions and, hopefully, bring some result.
Yet results came few and far between. I asked myself why. How do I move forward? As stated in the beginning, True Parents never waver. They go forward and educate, educate, educate. When it came time to leave the farm and my family to join the Korean mobilization experience (the Holy Marriage of True Parents of Heaven and Earth and the Opening of Cheon Il Guk, visits to the Little Angels school, Sun Moon University and the Hoon Dok Hae readings) the sojourn made me realize that it was a determined True Parentís education that separated slaves to sin from a liberated, heavenly people. And the subsequent Cheon Il Guk witnessing activity served to further entrench that realization. For many of us, the deep experiences from Chung Pyung and the Cheon Il Guk activity, granted an inner peace and a renewed passion to remain steadfast to our True Parents, without regret and without apology. We applied their hard won words of truth in all manner of unpredictable situations and, over time, we came to know their certainty.
After nearly thirty years, I cannot remember why I joined but, today, I know exactly why I stay: As I continue to learn and pray, I continually deepen my loving bond with God. Having returned from Korea, I and my family resolved that the foundation of Cheon Il Guk, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, will likewise be set here upon the soil of New Hope Farms International Equestrian Park. It is paramount to unshackle Godís children and free them from Satanís enslavement and, in so doing, we also liberate the heart of God, our True Parent. For me and my family who live on a site wherein the mission is the restoration of the Third Great Blessing, our resolve is to educate and exalt all those who come. Step by step, we will open up Chung Il Guk on Godís own New York property, centering on the creation. There can never be a complete appreciation of Godís heart without also loving His creation. This beautiful world filled with its magnificent beasts can be totally appreciated only when the true children of God are one in heart with Him. So what is our practical application? As has been done in 2000, New Hope Farms will again be offering equestrian internships (equine facility related jobs) and inaugurating several one-week horsemanship seminars exclusively for Blessed and Second Generation participants.
Classroom courses in stable guardianship, equestrian history, geography, theories of horsemanship and equine care from the Divine Principle perspective will be taught by a certified master of equine management who is also a Blessed Couple. Formal riding instruction in the disciplines of classical and competitive dressage, jumpers, equitation and cross-country riding through foxhunting have all ready been established. Our resident instructors, though not yet church members, have outstanding qualifications, including past Olympic experience (dressage) and success at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden (hunter/jumper). Bit by bit we are working to educate these instructors in Unification Thought, especially as it pertains to heavenly stewardship. Like our True Parents, we will pray for, and be determined to, advance and expand. Thankfully, our prayers are now bearing fruit because inquiries continue to come in as God and the spirit world render support.
For example, one woman came to our office and inquired about boarding. I invited her into our office and she explained that she needed to board her daughterís horse. When I asked how she had heard of New Hope Farms, she replied that she was referred to us by another trainer. She said that, ". . . You came so highly recommended. She (the trainer) could not say enough good things about this farm."
I shared with this woman why she would be hard pressed to hear anything negative. I told her that it was Reverend Moonís mandate that we care for and train our horses with kindness and not with cruelty (Some trainers utilize artificial devices that augment a horseĎs performance by inducing pain and/or fear in its training. This is absolutely forbidden at New Hope Farms.). When she asked further, I began to share about Father and his vision and, without apology, I explained that this farm has, as its core, the impetus to love God and that we do so by being stewards of His creation. I said that that is what we teach, that is how we ride and that is how we live. Her eyes reddened and she suddenly burst into tears. "I knew it. I knew I was sent here," she sobbed. "My husband was a New York fire fighter and he was killed in the World Trade Towers. I knew heís been watching over us and I just know that he sent me here."
She revealed that her horse was in a barn where the owners were taking advantage of her; they were charging her many outrageous fees because they knew that she had received a huge settlement from her husbandís death. She was desperate and she said that she had prayed for a better situation. She met the trainer who recommended New Hope Farms and so she came to see us. She and her daughter will move her horse to our farm this month.
To this day, New Hope Farms remains as one of the finest equestrian facilities in America. It is still affectionately deemed the "Horse Hilton" by those traveling within the ranks of equine professionals because of the renowned and prestigious world class horse shows. Site and facility pre-eminence notwithstanding, horse owners, many of them among the cream of the equestrian crop, know and praise the name of the Reverend Moon. They bear witness from experience to the level of care they and their horses receive while residing at New Hope Farms; that causes them to lavish praise upon its founder for his uncompromising standard. We, the family of New Hope Farms, have no intention at leaving it there. Godís word and Cheon Il Guk education, centering on creation, will be our tool to liberate fallen people from ignorance. What is our ultimate motive? To give absolute joy to God. Period.
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