Unification News for July 2005
With Parents in Kodiak
July 9, 2005 - Kodiak, Alaska
by Rev. Bruce Sutchar
After a whirlwind 10 days of campaigning, True Parents came to Chicago, spoke before a sold- out International Ballroom at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, shared their hearts for 2 ½ hours during morning Hoon Dok Hae and flew off into the next day's sunset toward Los Angeles. Four cities in four days--only our True Parents could have pulled that off so successfully, just as they had so many times before. As we returned home, I remarked to my wife that the only way to maintain that level of intensity was to keep traveling with our True Parents. Well, no sooner had I uttered those very words than a call came from Bishop Kim asking us to join our True Parents in Alaska for a seven-day fishing tournament. Two hours later, I was on my way to the airport, literally making my reservations on my cell phone as my wife did the driving. No problem. I was able to jump into the last remaining seat on the plane; just as the clock struck midnight, we were touching down at Anchorage International Airport. Then early the next morning we hopped aboard a little puddle jumper to go from the mainland to Kodiak Island.
True Parents were there awaiting our arrival. They had called a group of 72 representatives from all over the world-two from each of the four cities they had spoken in; continental leaders from every continent; many of the 45 that had traveled with True Parents to the four cities; and many of our worldwide leaders. What was to transpire over the next seven days was to be one of the deepest experiences of our lives.
True Parents greeted us at 8 pm. We filled the small living room and prepared for evening Hoon Dok Hae. Father began by stating that individualism never works--we must work together as one family. He then proceeded-really for about 6-8 hours a day for the next seven days, to share both about his life and the lessons that he has learned in the past 85 years.
He shared about teaching from 8am, forgetting about lunch and dinner until it was well past time to go to sleep. He talked about the eternal importance of the blessing and how we must offer everything to God. In the next 7 days, he would go from topic to topic, just sharing in the most intimate of ways, so many personal aspects and lessons from his life.
The next morning was July 1st, for many of us, the 23rd wedding anniversary of Madison Square Garden. Father shared the meaning of this historical day and gave deep internal guidance about how to come face to face with God. He then went on to share some equally deep internal and external guidance on how to be a successful fisherman.
After four hours, he concluded and we cut the celebration cake, with just enough time to eat breakfast, put on our yellow rain-suits and shuttle down to the docks and prepare to stalk the tournament prizes.
There would be three categories: king salmon, silver salmon and the mighty halibut.
On a personal note, my wife is the true fisherman in our family. She still keeps the hook that she used to catch a 613-pound tuna off the coast of Gloucester during Ocean Challenge 1984. But I was determined to do my best. Amazingly, I caught the very first fish of the tournament-a good-sized silver salmon. But of course, the first fish is an offering, so we would have to go on from here.
Over the next three days, I caught about eight rockfish --a funny looking, pretty good eating, strong fighting fish, which, of course had no value in the tournament. We fished every day from about 10am until 4pm. Then we headed home, showered, ate dinner and prepared to meet with Father every evening.
With the exception of the July 1st and July 4th holidays, Father shared deeply into the night. On those two occasions, Father would ask each and every member to offer a song-to some of us a challenge much greater than catching fish.
Father would share with us many of his visions for the future-the Bering Straits project, the helicopter project, cars with jet engines, a 7-lane highway going around the entire perimeter of the world, fish farming and his desire to solve each and every major problem in the world. His hope is always to align the entire universe into balance.
My reflection is that True Father is someone who has studied every aspect of life: the actions of a deer, the movements of a fish and the deepest desire for the unity of the mind and body and the heart and soul of every human being as the son or daughter of God. Father warned us to "not look back" as Lot's wife did. He also tried to inspire us to understand that, as true sons and daughters of our True Parents, there was no longer anything that we could not accomplish and achieve if we only set our mind and our heart to it.
As the tournament progressed, Rev. Sun Jo Hwang took over first place with a 45" king salmon and was in third place in the silver salmon category. Meanwhile two of the Japanese sisters had hauled in huge halibuts (a flat, strong fish usually feeding at the bottom of the 100' foot deep ocean bay). Every morning and every evening Father continued to pour out his heart and soul to us, talking about eating right, exercising, sitting up straight and walking straight. He demonstrated how to exercise, even when sitting on the floor, how to massage the right side of the body with the left hand and vice versa. He shared about his prison experiences and asked Mr. Kamiyama to share about his experience in Danbury. He also asked Mr. Kamiyama to recite parts of the Divine Principle by heart--which he was able to do.
Then Father began to share about the significance of the Bering Straits bridge project (note the end of Father's 4 city speech where he talks about how Satan separated the East and the West through the Bering Sea). And Father set a three-day condition. Eight people, led by True Parents on Day #1 would make the three-hour flight to the Bering Sea, spend one hour praying and spiritually claiming the land, and return home the same day. All this as a condition for the project to succeed.
On Day 4, I hooked my first king salmon; 37.5" long and I was on the board--fifth place, with three days to go. However, each day more and more kings were caught; although my joy remained the same, my place in >the tournament slipped slightly out of contention. One Korean leader shared with me the importance of catching these king salmon. He noted that in some previous tournaments, very few, if any, kings had been caught. But here and now, after the success of the four-city tour, we were hauling in an abundant number of these warriors.
The intensity of the days was immersed in the love and the presence of our True Parents. We celebrated July 4th-Independence Day. We drank in more and more of Father's guidance and love, and we fished and fished. And we got better and better. On Day 7, Franklin Fortune, a Guinean brother from London, caught six king salmon, standing barely two feet away from me.
I hauled in one beautiful 35" King and later would wrestle in a beautiful 47" 50 lb. Halibut from 100 feet below.
Yes, in seven days, many of us had become real fisherman. We were releasing fish that would have been considered champion catches back home in the lakes of our native hometowns.
Not to make light of our fishing prowess, many of the real lessons that we learned were not from sitting in the boat in the middle of the ocean but rather were from sitting on the floor in the middle of the room with our True Parents.
True Parents continued to give--and to give and to give. On the sixth night, Father asked to make sure that there would be Hoon Dok Hae the next morning, before he left for Korea. He was looking at the world, looking at the future and doing his best to help us to assure that it would be a peaceful future. We had no newspapers; we had no idea what was happening in the London subway. But Father was trying to do everything and anything possible to ensure that world peace would become a reality. He has a timetable until 2012. But most of all, he is doing everything possible to guide each and every one of us to develop our spiritual lives to insure that we will be able to have the deepest experience and relationship with God that is humanly possible.
Thank you, True Parents!
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