Unification News for October 1998
New Hope East Garden, the Place to go After Chung Pyung Lake
by Lourdes Swarts-New Hope East Garden, Brazil
I can't thank God enough for affording me the recent opportunity to visit New Hope East Garden in Jardim, Brazil-or rather to return home, since I was born and raised in a small city only 500 kilometers farther south. I came to this area this past August in order to take part in the first American 40-day workshop in New Hope East Garden. "New Hope East Garden" is, of course, the legal entity comprising what was formally known simply as New Hope Farm, but which has grown so large, with innumerable educational and business sub-entities, that the word farm became misleading. This corporation now includes, or will soon include, a secondary school, a university, a hospital, an educational center, a hotel, a research institute, many scenic properties, and businesses such as agriculture, ostrich farming, fish and escargot farming, ecotourism, and engineering, construction, fiberglass and machinery firms. And this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of developmental plans.
This first thing I noticed in my travels to Jardim is that True Father is known in this state of Mato Grosso do Sul simply as O Reverendo' (the Reverend). As we traveled from Campo Grande to Jardim by bus I felt the need to speak about Father and the principle. I stood up in the bus and begin reading the Today's World and made sure people could see our Father's picture. Well, I noticed a great deal of interest from my new friends: Do you work with O Reverendo? I was asked.
Good question, I thought! And the whole trip I was able to speak about our Father's vision and doctrine. I can't imagine a better way to travel to the farm. There is certainly a great deal of interest in our True Father in this state. To the citizens in this underdeveloped region, True Father represents hope as they eagerly look to him to usher in a new era of prosperity.
After several hours in the bus and a short drive to the Farm (at the end of 48 hours in airports and planes due to some technical difficulties,') , I finally crossed the recently- inaugurated bridge which takes us to the main educational center. Just two years ago, the route to the farm involved 50 minutes over a very rough and sometimes impossible to transverse dirt road, and one would arrive at a tent and bamboo settlement. Now one travels via an asphalt highway, and the tent and bamboo settlement is a brightly lit village of beautiful buildings, including a large meeting hall, a two-story restaurant, and enough individual rooms (with private baths) to accommodate a 1000 people. The top of the restaurant also serves as a conference center, and it was in the south east wing of this conference center that the American 40-day workshop was being held.
This is the place where heaven is to begin. To top at all, the great breeze makes you feel like God is saying, "Welcome, I am here! You are at my home!" I immediately joined the workshop and was able to attend True Father's speech-one of many he gave to this first workshop.
The meeting room-which can accommodate 1,200, and has a large stage and high-ceiling-is fully decorated with the bright faces of our adorable Japanese brothers and sisters, over 300 families, and the 300 Korean families likewise brings a great deal of spirit and dignity to the floor. The small American contingent-11 families-sit in the back where we can receive interpretation..
True Father's message that first night was the commitment of us during these times: Absolute love, Absolute Faith and Absolute Obedience. Certainly not a new message but one that had a whole new impact when heard here in this developing model village, set in a floral and faunal paradise. With Father looking at us, we can sense the intensity of his heart. The heart of father wanting his children to become a unique reflection of divinity, and of a Father wanting to be loved and understood. I wish I could whisper into Father's ears a word of love. But he has heard so many false words over the years that the thought causes pained reflections.
During the time I was there, Father addressed the members many times. Every morning, True Father and Mother would gather with all the members for pledge, prayer and Hoon Dok Hae. Late at night True Father would once again be sharing himself with the members. At times, we were laughing with joy, at another moment we could hear the whisper of the wind and the gasp on our brothers and sisters as our Father addressed them in Japanese, quietly. Even without understanding the Japanese, we were caught up in the moment, just watching our Japanese brothers and sisters weeping as Father spoke in hushed, tearful tones.
The giant faith of the Japanese was moving beyond words. Centered on the leadership of Mr. Oyamada, The Eve National Messiah of Brazil, the Japanese members live a life of service at New Hope East Garden reflecting their service to True Parents throughout the world. A service of great sacrifice. History will record that these faithful brothers and especially sisters carried our movement during times when we could not imagine going down such a thorny path.
The schedule at the 40-day workshop was not the intensity one finds at the Chung Pyung workshops. Here the premium is placed on personal and family reflection, and experiencing the principle and Father's words in a paradise-like setting. Surrounded by beautiful trees, macaws and coatis, in an environment where chirping insects and croaking frogs replace traffic noise, and walks on dirt roads replace traffic congestion, the principle seems to come alive. Many participants, and especially my husband, have commented on how many intense insights one can get from studying principle and Father's words in such an environment. The laws of the universe, the meaning of unconditional love and richness of interpersonal relationships, and the basic principles of creation, all become so much clearer. Father has stated that one must leave the cities in order to better understand principle. That becomes much clearer here.
The schedule also includes tours to other properties owned in the area, including the Salobra Hotel in the Pantanal area, the Fuerte Olimpo workshop area on the Paraguay River, and the Rio Perdido, which is a beautiful, clear river with shoals of beautiful fish visible. Individually, the families walk to the ostrich farm, or take a nearby tour to the escargot farm.
This workshop is a workshop for couples and families-not individuals. Many individuals without their spouse were quite distressed when realizing the fullness of the blessing available was reserved for families. Indeed, as we know, it is couples and families that will enter the Kingdom of Heaven together, not individually, and thus the Registration for the Kingdom of Heaven requires a family or couple registering together.
All the sounds of love can be heard at this Educational Center of New Hope East Garden. The squawks of the paired macaws, the chirps of crickets, the low bellows of the wild rheas on the property, the occasional chattering of monkeys, the calls of the parrots, and the croaks of innumerable frogs pierce the air. But the most beautiful sounds were that of the words of harmony between our brothers and sisters gathered from the far corners of the world, engaged in constructing a literal Garden of Eden on the earth.
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