Unification News for February 1999

Reflections on a Matching - Late January of 1999 with True Father at Hannam Dong

Tyler Hendricks
January, 1999

True Parents’ home in Seoul, called Hannam Dong, is a stone house atop a steep hill just north of the Han River. The hill is called the UN Village, as many folks from overseas live there, including diplomats. The houses are walled by concrete and brick. On the top is True Parents dwelling, and there are other church houses nearby.

Inside the gate one views a lovely oriental garden, with sculpted trees and bushes and manicured lawns. Small Asian statues are scattered about and one walks up the driveway and to the side of the house, downstairs into the basement to enter. After depositing shoes upon the row after row of shoe shelves, one walks down a hallway and enters a large hall with a low ceiling. It is brightly lit with a heated floor, a comfort on a cold Seoul day. The room is full of display boards, fit for 8" by 10" photos, full-face, of all humanity.

Asians -- Korean, Filipino, Thai, Japanese, Indian and Pakistani, Taiwanese and Chinese. These are the burning eyes of the unwashed masses, to a parochial American raised near Ellis Island. The photos give evidence of all kinds of studios, some flagrant with glitz, some humble and plain, all with the eyes staring out at the one behind the camera's lens, who will match them to their eternal mate from around the corner or around the world. Eyes full of trust, hope, desire for true love.

Africans -- Nigerians, Zambians, Beninians, Congolese, Ghanians, Sierra Leonians, Cote d'Ivoirians, Mauritanians, Angolese, Kenyans, Senegalese, and on and on, in their Sunday best, a continent believing in the ideal of True Parents and striving to accomplish that ideal in whatever way God has planned for them. Take me to America, to Japan, to Korea, leave me here at home, match me to my tribal enemy of 1,000 years. Here I am, offering myself.

There are Russians, French, German, Austrian, Dutch, Italian, English -- all the shades of white. There are Brazilian, Costa Rican, Mexican, Honduran, Guatemalan, Peruvian, Bolivian, Colombian, Uruguayan -- all the Latin blood flowing into the same river. They have the same eyes, the same hopes. There are older people, yes, but the overwhelming presence is of youth, of revolutionary and searching youth. True Parents are sending out fishing lines with invisible partners as bait and God's eternal love as the hook pulling them out of the fallen world of false love. Thousands and thousands of photos, thousands of people, thousands of lives. They are meeting at this cosmic intersection, arriving single and departing with an eternal spouse.

The leaders and assistants of each continent arrive hour by hour with photos in suitcases, the easiest way to carry them across oceans. They sit cross-legged in ante-rooms, photos spread on the floor, piles and piles grouped by age and sex, by education, by background -- never married or matched, matched but broken, divorced, and so forth. Broke the match or was broken against The weight of lives is overwhelming. Held together by scotch tape and staples. The computers hold databases and print out the labels for the photos, each with a bar code.

After sorting they are displayed on the racks. The men are on the racks; the women are in stacks below the area of men of similar age and background. The stage is set. When everything is ready, Reverend Moon comes downstairs. Upstairs he has been doing Hoon Dok Hae, speaking with leaders from around the world and locally as they arrive and depart. Mrs. Moon is about, in and out, speaking her various instructions. Hyo Jin Nim is there, and his new fiancee with her parents.

When Reverend Moon comes into the matching room, the leaders involved with the continent which is displayed crowd around him as he moves down the aisles; the others continue their own preparations. Some have made suggested matches, especially for those who were divorced or are older, and it is up to Reverend Moon to approve or change the suggestions. He passes his hand over these, as if with his own bar code reader, and changes a few. He will exchange women from one row to another. I looked at a few that he changed. His changes were improvements, as far as I could see.

For his part, Reverend Moon worked with the stacks of women's photos, holding up one at a time, passing it across the display of men. He actually matches groups of twenty or thirty women to twenty or thirty men, although there will be some remainders from each group carried over to the next, the men shuttled down the rack to keep up with the crowd.

He works quickly, usually finding a match for a given sister within five seconds, occasionally taking ten. I never saw him fail to match a sister once her photo was given him, but it could have happened. The coterie of six to ten aides surrounding this cosmic connector would frantically grab the newly made pairs and staple the photos together.

Father matched around 11,000 or 12,000 couples in those few days. Teenage girls had the job of taking the stapled pairs to a side room filled with tables and computer terminals. Here bar code readers would instantly record the matches. From there begins a process to get each partner the photo and basic information about his or her partner. All are expected to do their best to contact each other as soon as possible. Rejections come back, but not many, and there are last-minute efforts to match those who are rejected.

All in all, the world is knit a bit tighter together through this implementation of conjugal love. It is a work of peace through faith, sacrificial love and pure hearted obedience. It is a wondrous thing to behold and a sign of God in the flesh, the flesh within every photo.

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