Unification News For March 1996


Visiting New Hope Farm in South America

by Tyler O. Hendricks-NYC

All night and all day bus ride through the countryside of Brazil. Several rest stops, at progressively poorer sites, until we were being served by children with thermoses of coffee and ice chests of fresh- squeezed orange juice. We turned as well onto progressively narrower roads, until we reached the dirt road to the farm, which ended in the rain and mud at the head of a trail. The trail led to a small river, and at the dock was a motor boat. Across to the dock on the other side, and then clambering onto a wagon pulled by a tractor for the final couple of hundred yards, and we were home with our parents.

We settled into our tents in the drizzly rain. I found a tent. The floor was wet and I dried it. The entry was muddy, so I found a board to cover it. But I could not mend the broken zipper, and this was a problem, as a zipped tent is a necessary protection against mosquitoes. Later I learned that for the first several weeks, Reverend Moon himself had given up the shelter of the small house, and slept in a tent with a wet floor. When I heard that, I surely felt humbled.

Soon Reverend Moon appeared and formed us into fishing teams. There were five teams of a dozen or so each. We prepared our fishing tackle and headed off for the nearby rivers. The property is bounded by two rivers. My team went to one and I promptly slid on a muddy bank into the water, up to my knees. I was clearly not doing well in the battle against the elements.

Everyone arrived back from the first evening of fishing save one, who was stung by a sting ray. He was rushed to the hospital. It was my partner, Reverend Chung Young Yoo, who was a Regional Director in America many years and is now a leader in Japan, who caught the ray, while I was back in the camp, setting mosquito netting for myself, Mr. Yup Ju Hwang, a professor from China, and Peter Zohrer, National Leader of Hungary.

We all shared a simple meal with Reverend and Mrs. Moon, who had also been fishing. Reverend Moon summoned us to his room, where he spoke to us. Then we watched a video of Mr. and Mrs. Yop Ju Hwang in North Korea. They were representing the Unificationist activities worldwide, to an audience of the Juche Academy, the major ideologues of the North Korean regime. Mrs. Kathy Hwang--better known to many of us Americans by her maiden name Tyman--spoke on behalf of the WFWP to a group of North Korean women leaders. The most powerful moment of this video, which was produced by the North Korean government, was when Mr. Hwang called everyone to prayer at the start of his presentation. He prayed for several minutes. The camera panned the room of some one hundred men, all of whom had their heads bowed. That it would happen at all is worthy of applause; that the North Korean information service would include it (in a highly censored report) is quite significant.

The evening ended after the viewing of one more video, this one a documentary produced in South Korea about the famine in the north. We retired to our sleeping bags at around 11:00, and were awakened by roosters crowing some five hours later: nature's alarm clock. The hardier among us took off fishing in the pre-dawn darkness. They returned empty-handed. I was told that the dorado--the golden bass- like fish prized for their tremendous fight, are not here this year, because there were not enough rains to bring them this far upstream. At around 6:30 a.m. Reverend Moon emerged with a lengthy fax in hand. We gathered and one of the Korean elders read it. It was the speech he will be delivering to the Christian clergy conferences in Montevideo, which I was told is entitled the "Jardim Declaration."

This simple morning worship was followed by breakfast. As all meals, this was taken buffet-style, and eaten casually seated on platforms around the camp. Reverend and Mrs. Moon at a table on the open patio, and invited the leaders of the Japanese Church to join them. This led into a long meeting, which I waited through, because these were my team members. At the end of the meeting we headed off for the river. It was hot and sunny, and fishing again was poor. I did have the chance, however, to fix the tackle for the manager of the Il Hwa Soccer Team. Fortunately, his soccer fortune is better than his fishing fortune.

Of course, the day would not be complete without me falling into the river, which I did in the last moments before we returned to the farm for lunch. I walked back once again in squishy tennis shoes. Once again I dined in my formal wear as a result, having nothing else in my suitcase. Word was that Reverend and Mrs. Moon were preparing to depart to the clergy workshop in Montevideo. Soon after lunch they came out, took a quick set of group photos, squeezed into the cab of a waiting pick-up truck and were off.

We enjoyed the remainder of the day cleaning up and swapping stories. Around 4 p.m. Mr. Yoon Sam Kim, Director of the farm project, presented a report about their activities. Dinner was served, and by 7 p.m. most everyone was back on the buses and heading to Sao Paulo. I stayed the night and next morning, having a plane ticket from the nearby city of Campo Grande to Sao Paulo. It was my chance to soak up a little more of the heart of the farm. I shared evening service and morning service with the members, walked back to the river and didn't fall in, and enjoyed the quiet time.

Reverend Moon views New Hope Farm as the zero point for the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. God created from zero, or, as the theologians say, out of nothing: ex nihilo. He created an ideal environment for His children, and His children destroyed it by their selfish love. Everything of this world is the fruit of the false lineage, the lineage which has never escaped from the realm of the fall, the lineage of the fallen ancestors. Therefore, the ideal cannot be built from anything of this world. As Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Reverend Moon has succeeded in finding the zero point.

It is zero physically but infinite in potential based upon a spiritual vision. There are water, sun and fertile soil in abundance. It is far away from centers of population, true. But consider the way that communications and transportation are shrinking the globe. I dialed up Michael Kiely in Rockland County just as easily as if I were at home in Westchester. Internet doesn't stop at the equator. And consider the state of today's cities. Pollution, overcrowding, crime, impersonal streets. The trend is to distance-learning, long-distance travel and electronic access to each other's lives beyond time and space.

There are millions of empty square miles between Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Campo Grande. They are verdant, luxuriant plains and hills and valleys. They await the loving and strong hand of the true owner, who can make them abundant for the sake of a hungry world. I confront my Yankee prejudices, my "north of the equator" prejudices. The world needs pioneers, not just of new technologies of matter but new technologies of the heart.

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