Articles From the July 1995 Unification News


Hometown Blessing Workshops - Just Do It!!

by Edy Iversen-Palm Coast, FL

From Kevin Costner's movie Field of Dreams came the famous line, "If you build it, they will come." Even though that poor farm family had no money, and almost no hope, God gave them a dream and they determined to do it. Even though no one else believed, they believed, and their dream became reality, and other people began to see the dream, too.

When our inspired city leader of Jacksonville, Richard Sapp, came back from hearing Father's directions about the blessing, he determined to have a blessing workshop. He and Lenny Thiesen started a Bible study and began praying how to do it. When Richard called me and said he already rented a hotel room for the workshop with absolutely no prospects in sight, I thought he was crazy. But because he was willing to take responsibility to unite with Father's direction, I was determined to support him, even though the workshop was far away. He printed up some simple fliers and got the black and white slide presentation from CARP.

When he sent me the fliers, I couldn't imagine whom I would invite, so I just started praying and asking God to help me find the prepared people. I took the fliers in my car and visited all my good contacts and even invited people I had just met, and parents of members who lived in the area. I tried not to have any concepts about whether or not people could come, but just tried to unite with Father's direction, as I knew this was a different time in history now and maybe we could reap the fruit of all of Father's indemnity.

For the first workshop, God sent me three people to bring; we also had a handful of members' parents who came to hear Divine Principle. I felt it was just the beginning, but if we continued on, God would send more people. For our second workshop, I was able to bring one guest, and I felt it was our growth period experience. Finally, for the third workshop, I decided to have it in my home where we could create a beautiful spiritual atmosphere. I called everybody I knew, my neighbors, friends, former Church members, contacts, parents of members and all the Church centers within a 3-hour radius. The response was great. This time we had a total of nine guests and nine members, who were as diverse as the whole world, coming from as far away as Tampa. Some of the members had been trying to witness to their families for years and were finally able to bring them to the workshop.

Richard gave the color slide presentation on the Principles of Creation and the spiritual world, and Lenny explained briefly about the fall of man and why we need and value True Parents. Then we showed the Blessing film and actually passed out applications for the Blessing. We tried to unite with the programs that Dr. Baughman and Dan Fefferman are doing in New York (see May's U News).

It was a great experience for all of us, because it broke down our concepts and fears and made us realize that if we were willing to take responsibility to unite with Father's direction, God would work. We are hoping that through our efforts and continued follow-up and workshops, we will be able to fulfill our responsibilities in bringing people to the blessing.

If you are thinking about having a workshop in your home and do not know where to begin, here are some helpful hints:

1. Just do it! Determine a date and then begin to pray. God will guide you about who is prepared and things will begin to happen.

2. Print up bright fliers. If you need a sample, you can call us-or call headquarters for what they are doing in New York.

3. Find a good lecturer who can give Divine Principle lecturers. Even if the best one is three hours away, invite them or get the color slides from CARP and read from the script yourself (that's all we did!).

4. Don't have any concepts! People who never would have come ten years ago, might be viable candidates now. Ask all those you have loved and served in the past. Your parents, neighbors, CAUSA and United to Serve America contacts, brothers and sisters of Church members, pastors, etc. Father said he will be able to bless whole churches at this time. One missionary couple recently called from Guam and asked me to visit their parents, and they came to the Blessing workshop!

5. Have faith! Many of us have had tremendous disappointments and hurts in the past, witnessing and pouring out our hearts to people, and having been crushed so many times. God knows our hearts. This is truly a different time in history where we can reap all the fruits of our past suffering. People in the fallen world realize that without God, love does not work. Many ex-church members want to come back. Try to contact those you have known in the past.

6. Follow-up. We must continue to love and follow up on each person we bring, trying to get them to understand more deeply about Father and Divine Principle. They do not need to change their religion but merely understand the concept of True Parents and recognize who our Father is.

7. Hurry up! Time is of the essence. The blessing is Aug. 24, just weeks away. Don't wait for others to organize a workshop. Have one yourself in your own home. Even if you only have one guest and struggle to teach the Divine Principle yourself, God will work through your desire and heart.

If we give 100% of our heart and prayer, God will work to help us. Father wants to give the world the Blessing-that is why he came to this earth! Let us work together to make Father's dream a reality.


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