Articles From the June 1995 Unification News
Who Can Save This World A Visit With My Japanese Sisters In Japan
by Betsy Orman-Fargo, ND
It's amazing how God prepares things in advance of our finding them. We sometimes stumble into events and then realize how God has been working and everything is just waiting for our correct response. This was clearly shown to me at the WFWP Conferences in Washington D.C.
At the International Friendship Conference I attended in Washington I was matched with a beautiful sister, Mrs. Ota. She was a little older than myself but when I looked into her eyes I felt our spirit was the same. We really felt like sisters. I hated to leave her when the conference was over and felt I should attend the next conference as well. Then I was given another wonderful sister, Mrs. Cheiko Atago. As I was waiting to be matched to Cheiko I was asked to give up my seat to someone else who was assigned to that seat. That guest never came and finally the usher grabbed me from across the room and asked me to sit down next to Cheiko who now had no American match. I had prayed a simple prayer while waiting to meet my Japanese sister that day. "Heavenly Father please send someone to me whom I can help."
Five days after returning to my home in North Dakota I received a telephone call. It was early Saturday morning and I was dreaming about an earthquake. The earth was shaking and I was standing on top of it watching it move all over. The phone rang and Mrs. Atago was on the other end. She asked me to come to Japan to speak to her WFWP organization there. She was having a meeting in ten days and said she would send an airplane ticket if I could attend. She was trying to explain to her WFWP organization the value of the conference and wanted to show them the sister she had been given in America.
When I told my husband he was so inspired and with his support and the help of Keiko Foss interpreting my fax's and phone calls and Cindy Pfieffers babysitting and prayer I was off to Japan. Mrs. Atago lived in Toyama, her hometown. It's a beautiful city under the most impressive mountains. It was very cold like North Dakota and filled with small farms, similar to our state, but our small farms are huge in comparison.
As the Atagos worked furiously to prepare for the upcoming conference I did what I could to help. Unable to speak Japanese I got inspired to clean and organize their house. Being away from my responsibilities at home I could spend all my time serving her family and praying for the conference. For me it was like heaven having a chance to pray so much. I felt Gods love pouring down for the people of Japan.
When the day of the conference arrived I met my interpreter and her husband who coincidentally had worked for several years in North Dakota. I read a letter of recognition of this International conference from my Senator who had met with our delegation when we visited Washington D.C. He was moved by the ideals of our organization. As I spoke I felt True Parents love fill me up as though they were right there giving the speech. I then found out that True Parents could not speak in Japan at this time, so I understood why I felt their spirit come and surround me wherever I went.
When I spoke at the church center to the members I went into the prayer room and as I looked at True Parents picture I saw tears flowing down Mothers face as she worried about our members situation in Japan. Wherever I spoke I felt God just tried to love and uplift the people and help them solve the difficult situations which they face daily.
One of the most challenging situations our members deal with is the negativity that has surrounded our movement in Japan since the blessing. Also because of the bombing of the Tokyo subway by a religious cult the T.V. there has continuously filled the airwaves with negativity about religious movements. This heavy battle has put a tremendous strain on our members. I believe Americans have the power to help change this negativity.
In Toyama the WFWP Chairwoman (who is not a member of our church) was deeply moved by my speech and asked that I come meet her husband. She had tried to explain to him the value of WFWP for some time. He was very busy running his construction business and did not have time to find out about our movement. Because I was American he took time from his busy schedule to meet with me, although our church leaders in Toyama had tried to meet him for over one year. We shared deeply about his business and I spoke to him about the tunnel project Father had initiated in Asia. He was very impressed. We went on to talk about fishing, golf and grandchildren. I invited he and his wife to come visit us in North Dakota, where my father- in - law has a home on lake and we could take him fishing and our cousin owns a golf course. We are working out a plan for this now including a one day blessing workshop.
What impressed me most during my visit was the tremendous sacrifice our members in Japan are making for America. They are under a great financial burden to support many of our movements programs. They live humbly sacrificing everything for America in the hope that America will lead the world back to God. I felt shame for my lack of determination to fulfill this goal at the expense of the lives of our Japanese members. In America we have been given everything by True Parents, especially their love. Japan could flourish if they were able to receive this directly. We, as a nation have tremendous power to influence the east. If we in some way take responsibility to turn this nation around the east will follow us to heaven instead of hell. I repented on the plane as I headed for my next destination Tokyo, to visit my other sister Mrs. Ota. What had God prepared for me there?
Mrs. Ota greeted me with tears when we met at the airport. A day later I realized why she was awaiting my coming with such love. In order to pay for her trip to Washington she decided to sell her home, a home she had lived in for thirty years, and raised her family in. In Tokyo a new home is almost impossible to find because of the lack of land. Homes are passed down through generations. On the day I called to tell her I was coming to Japan, her house was sold. She felt Gods blessing was coming through my visit.
We went out to dinner that evening with her children and an interpreter and shared about life in our two countries. When I shared about my experiences serving True Parents or the True Children, working with Dr. Pak and Mr. Fujii she was shocked. In Japan our movement has over 50,000 members. Dr. Pak is now leading our movement there and Mr. Fujii was formally President of the Japanese church. Mrs. Ota was amazed that I knew them personally and had worked with them..
The following day Dr. Pak was to speak to over 2000 people about our movement at a nearby hotel in Tokyo. As soon as we arrived Mrs. Ota went up to someone in charge and told them I wanted to greet Dr. Pak. He whisked us off to Dr. Pak's room where I was able to give Dr. Pak a report about our victory in Toyama and a meeting our WFWP members had in Washington with some very important members of congress. I happened to have video taped both and gave him a copy. He was moved that I wanted to report to him. I knew much of the victory in Washington was due to the tremendous effort Dr. Pak had made while working there so many years. As I introduced Mrs. Ota to him she could barely look up, as though she were meeting the Emperor of Japan. And here in America I had the blessing to be able to work with Dr. Pak so closely.
This meeting was for guests. When the meeting began the atmosphere was very cool. Dr. Pak used slides to share about the work that has been done throughout our movement, most of which was done in America. Although the speech was in Japanese almost every sentence included the word America. Not having worked in Japan I didn't realize how much of True Parents investment was made in America. Through watching Dr. Pak's presentation it struck me so deeply. How much God has sacrificed everything to raise up America, so America could lead the world. By the end of the speech even the biggest skeptics were in tears. I was sitting next to one whose wife dragged him to the program. By the end he was filling out request forms for more information about our movement.
As I looked up I caught the eyes of Mr. Fujii who was sitting a couple of rows away. He couldn't figure out what I was doing in Japan. I introduced Mrs. Ota, who was amazed that Mr. Fujii would come over to greet us. He asked us out to lunch and he shared with Mrs. Ota for about three hours about her life of faith. While working in America Mr. Fujii is the leader that taught me faith, he brought such a deep understanding of Gods love to me. Before I left for Japan my husband suggested that I call Mr. Fujii and meet with him, but I thought surely Mr. Fujii would be too busy and dismissed the idea. God had already prepared this meeting.
Afterward we went to his home and I met four of his seven children. I shared all about how the Fujiis sacrificed their own children to take care of the American members. I felt finally I could impart to their children the gratitude and love I had for their parents. Most of the family longed to be back in America with it's wide open spaces. Mrs. Ota was melted to see how much we were like Father and Daughter. For her is was like a dream come true to have received such love from these two leaders directly.
When I spoke in our Church in Toyama the week before, I asked how many members had spent time with True Parents or had some kind of personal relationship with them. Only two raised their hands. Our membership in America have seen True Parents so many times. But in Japan it's difficult for the members to feel like the children of True Parents because they have so few direct experiences with them. Also because Japans religious foundation is Buddhist rather than Judeo-Christian the relationship our members have to God is more one of obedience rather than parental love.
As I look back on my experience I felt to give the love of True Parents was the reason I was sent there. God sent me two of the most sincere sisters to share this with. And God gave me so much understanding of the power America holds in her hand and how we have to use it for goodness..
All the love and investment God has made into this nation is not for America but for the world. Each member here must take a leadership role in their community and turn that area toward God. God has allowed True Parents to stay in America and work even though he is worried about so many other nations.
I urge all sisters to attend the Washington conferences. The more women attend, I believe, the more quickly world peace will be achieved. Once you return please do all you can to help your Japanese sisters, especially go visit Japan if possible. It gave me such a different perspective of our mission in America. Through the unity of our families I know we are building a bridge of love that will never be broken. I never really understood the importance of my mission here in America until my Japanese sisters showed me through their love and sacrifice.
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