Unification News for February 1999

Testimonies from the Ideal Families Workshop

Robert Becker

I didn’t come to Brazil to attend the Ideal Families Workshop in Jardim. I came to attend the National Messiah’s 40-day Workshop in Fuerte Olimpo, Paraguay. While I was in Olimpo, I saw that many of the National Messiahs there were making plans to meet their wives in Jardim afterwards, and do the Ideal Families Workshop. Having borrowed the money to go to Olimpo, I couldn’t imagine borrowing more money and asking my wife to bring our children here. So I came back to Jardim from Olimpo on the way back to the USA. Then my conscience began to bother me, and I talked to one of the elder couples here. "I don’t know how my wife will react if I ask her to come here now, even though I feel it would be best. She’ll probably think I’ve gone crazy," I told Rev. Gerhard Bessell. "That’s because you have the wrong attitude. If you tell your wife to come, with faith that it’s God’s Will, then she can respond to you, and she will come," he told me. This immediately brought to mind the way that Rev. Zim Moon Kim had presented the first Jardim Proclamation to us in Olimpo. "When the subject, centering on absolute faith, gives absolute love, the object can respond with absolute obedience. So I went to pray.

The most popular prayer place here in Jardim, at New Hope East Garden, is in front of True Parents’ house. I went there. As I began to pray, I felt that God was telling me, "I want to come live in your family. What’s better, sooner, or later?" I felt the warm embrace of God’s love, and His longing to live with us on Earth according to His ideal of creation. That was enough for me. I called my wife and told her to bring the children to Brazil. My wife, Yoko, went through a lot of difficulty to get the passports, visas and tickets on very short notice and to prepare everything by herself, but now she’s really glad that she did.

Lawrence and Yuko Mock

It is an incredible blessing to have the opportunity to attend the 40 day Ideal Family Workshop in Jardim. We received so much spiritual guidance, had time for self reflection, and made the pilgrimages to the Holy Places that True Parents established, and more. We feel their love and unconditional giving as well as their concern that each one of us be engrafted into True Parents’ family and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

The foundation established in the Pantanal is not without the great sacrifice and incredible indemnity conditions by our True Parents. They have shed many tears and poured out their sweat and blood to make the condition to liberate the spirit world and give the Blessing to many spirit men, saints and sages in the last Blessings.

As I listened to the testimonies of elder members who have witnessed True Parents’ incredible indemnity conditions in Olimpo, Salobra, and Perdido, I was moved to great tears and a heart of repentance. Through my repentance I have come to realize that our True Parents have determined with all of their hearts to restore all of mankind even if they must do it all by themselves. I hope everyone will come to Jardim to experience a reunion of heart with our True Parents.

Marilyn Angelucci

In the beginning of our 40 days, Rev. Oyamada said to us, "God is here." I believed him. Through our time here we saw many problems, struggles, and inconveniences, but I still believed. Then, I experienced that when I prayed deeply, God answered my prayer. We had already gone to two of the outings to the "Holy Places," but for me they were just like tourist trips. I didn’t want to continue like that. So, when we went to Fuerte Olimpo, I prayed to experience something more deeply. When we were leaving on the boat after visiting this holy place, I felt deep sorrow in my heart, and tears poured down my face. I reflected, and the realization came to me that nobody knew the importance of this holy place, not even the people living there. This small fishing town is so simple and poor, but from the viewpoint of God’s Providence, it has great significance. True Parents accomplished incredible conditions there, unknown to the world. Similar to the time of Jesus’ birth, nobody understood, only a few. God had heard me.

Even we, church members, cannot realize anything deeply unless we prepare our hearts. The crucial, important moment can just slip by without us realizing a thing if our heart is not prepared and in tune to God. The same is true for the whole experience at New Hope East Garden. God is here, but whether or not I can live with Him depends on the condition of my heart. At moments, I could be with Him. But I repent, because the moments were much fewer than God had hoped.

Peter Lewis

Our first day had a somewhat surreal quality. After a blurry journey from New York, still suffering from jet lag after a long flight from Korea, we suddenly found ourselves in a small motorboat traveling down a narrow, meandering river through dense Brazilian jungle. This was the Salobra Riverin the Pantanal. Exotic birds of shocking colors darted in and out of the surrounding trees while under the water swam schools of piranhas and the odd crocodile. I took out my new camera, the one that prints the date on the photos. It really didn’t feel very much like January.

Bayard Bauer

On our first trip (pilgrimage) we visited some pristine lands Father had bought. The area is called Rio Perdido ("Lost River"). The river with its crystal clear water, the many waterfalls, the many fish inside and the surrounding forest wilderness made a deep impression on me. Not so much because of its beauty but more because this beautiful area had just recently been discovered by our True Parents. So I felt like I was standing in the "lost Garden of Eden" there which is being rediscovered and reclaimed by the True Parents and their sons and daughters, us.

New Year Baby in Jardim
Lance and Siew Lian Gardener

The Ideal Family Workshop took on a special meaning for us since we transformed from being a couple to being a family during the time of our participation. Our baby daughter was born in the hospital in Jardim on January 4th, 1999, close to the date of our tenth Blessing anniversary (1275 Couples) on January 12th. We named her Miranda after one of the rivers flowing through the New Hope Farm. We were able to obtain Brazilian citizenship for her, so with Dad’s British and Mum’s Malaysian nationalities we have become a worldwide family spanning three continents.

The workshop was a beautiful preparation for the many challenges that lie ahead for us. Through the hoon dok hae sessions and sharing with members, we came to gave a deeper understanding of God’s expectation for Blessed families to inherit the Heavenly tradition. We were especially blessed to be able to participate in the many hoon dok hae sessions and speeches directed by True Father himself. Through those precious moments we could feel closer to True Parents’ heart and deeply experience their love for us.

Betsy Jones

At True Children’s Day in November, 1998, Father spoke for a long time at the Pledge. He was speaking in Korean when I saw him frown and say, "Westerners." I asked someone nearby what Father was saying. He said, "Father is very unhappy because Westerners are not going to the Jardim workshop and to their countries. At that moment I determined to do both in 1999.

My husband, Farley, had attended True God’s Day in Uruguay in 1998, but this year we went together. By meeting True Parents and brothers and sisters working internationally, we both regained a vision of the power and beauty of dedicating ourselves for our mission country, Mexico. It was strengthening to share testimonies with other brothers and sisters, some who have moved, some who are raising money to move to their mission countries.

The greatest inspiration was our True Parents. As Father approaches his 80th birthday, he is actively preparing the land and people in South America. He spoke of the deep anguish he has felt in sacrificing his family. "Father loved you more than my own children," he said. If Father had loved his own sons, they would be filial sons. Again the heartache our True Parents have undergone was deeply felt as he cried out to us to follow his guidance during this critical time. Father said, "Have confidence in 1999 of God’s power on the vertical axis." He continued with, "Become the pipe of God’s blessing."

Father spoke of the relationship between our activities on the earth and our ancestors. When we bow, the spirit world and our ancestors can bow and get blessing through us. Husband and wife need to unite to get rid of God and True Parents’ han. We need to offer all of our assets to God. Our ancestors are chasing us, but we should go willingly to the bottom of hell."

He spoke as well of our understanding of the spiritual world. On Earth we need to organize the spiritual world. We need to break out of the limitations of the environment. Break all habits. Set spiritual conditions. Do three to ten times your capacity in a time period. Man is constantly penetrated by Satan through mind and body, husband and wife relationship. If my mind and body are not harmonized, I waste my time and everything may well go into failure. When you get up in the morning and go to the bathroom, splash water on your face, look in the mirror, and shout, ‘Tong Il!’ for the unification of your mind and body and husband and wife." After several inspiring talks and hoon dok hae sessions, the next two days were spent on the beach.

"God, take me with you!" This phrase came to my mind and heart, and I spoke it out loud after climbing out of the thrashing surf at Punta del Este, Uruguay. On this beach, over seven hundred Unificationists divided into teams for competition in fishing, volleyball, soccer, and leg races . Each team member wore the color of shorts of their team and each had a white T shirt with the Unification symbol on it. The beach was fully alive with activity. Father and Mother and their party came and watched several games of soccer. At one point, Father and Mother stopped to look at the ocean and just beamed at each other. Many cameras clicked. The highlight of the second day was the tug-of-war between several teams. Tremendous effort was made by each team exerting all their power. The struggle was so great that the big, thick rope snapped in two.

Soon after arriving in Jardim, we were met by the Western workshop coordinators, James and Mimi Mitchell. We were assigned a room with another family, so right away, our public life started. Children, parents, and people from other countries soon opened doors in our hearts. I met several American members who had been Blessed with Brazilians and had been working in this country for many years. Father has been working on the worldwide level for many years and by coming here you can really feel the depth of it. Why did Father bring us here? In this atmosphere we could, through hoon dok hae, four sessions per day, connect in heart with Father’s words. I recalled how difficult it was at home to set aside one hour for hoon dok hae. Now, one hour seems like a piece of cake. James Buchanan spoke of his experience in the 40 days, "Father wants us to turn the page ourselves in our understanding of the spiritual world. It’s interesting that through reading Father’s words and Dr. Lee’s words, you understand why we must change our lifestyle in preparation for the spiritual world."

Here we can experience the fullness and depth of Father’s work. Korean, Japanese, Brazilian workshops and members from the USA, Europe, and several other nations in the Western workshop. On Sundays we come together beyond language to play sports together and, in the evening, entertain each other. I felt happy and proud for my children to belong to this broader community. Marjory Hill led us in performing an Indian song and dance. The next week, Peter Lewis helped organize a medley of International songs in a skit that emphasized both our diverse backgrounds and united heart. Our son, Bow, shared a rap song he wrote based on his experience in Jardim.

Shortly after we arrived , we heard that True Parents were coming to speak to us and take photos. Prior to their coming, Rev. Yoon, the Director of Education, had spoken to us of the meaning of the matching of the couples for this picture, and he said that we cannot go to the matching alone. Ideally, husband and wife should pose for the picture, but True Parents allow one spouse with a child over twelve years old, unless the other spouse has already passed to spirit world. Because my husband had to go back to New York after True God’s Day, my son Harvet came. He arrived just two hours before True Parents, for the only picture taking session in our workshop. Thank you, Harvet.

The next day, after 5:00 a.m. pledge, Father spoke briefly before departing for New York. Two themes that Father stressed were that all Unification Church members must be True Parents’ family. As tribal and National Messiahs, we will represent the worldwide True Parent. Also, you must have international marriages in your family so the world can become one family. And Father said, "The physical life is a suffering life because man fell. From the moment Adam and Eve fell, man has been unhappy. God became unhappy. One goal of God and man is the liberation of God’s sorrow. Then not only do we become happy, but God becomes happy as well."

As True Parents drove away, I repented in my heart for all the times I could not unite in heart and action with True Parents, and a strong desire came over me to work in whatever capacity True Parents need me. I felt so grateful to have these feelings wash over me and squeeze away my own ambition. I could feel how much True Parents need us to have that attitude. I am so grateful to have come to the 40 days.

By immersion in this international community, heartistic changes emerge. One can see and feel True Parents investment of heart everywhere: in the word, in the visits to the Holy Places, and in the simplicity of the life they ask us to live, and live with us. True Parents’ heart and tears are here. As we catch it, it empowers us to move forward as true families.

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