The Words of the Werner Family
Personal Testimony of Rev. Paul Werner
This is to testify what God has done to me and my family by sending His Son, our True Parents into this world for everyone's salvation.
Having experienced miracle after miracle, it is very hard to begin. Twenty-two years of following True Parents contain a tremendous amount of confrontations with God and Satan, yet I consider those years as well as the present a time of training and preparation for greater things to come. I know, that He has turned our lives upside down and inside out. Praise the Lord!
I was born on September 13, 1927 as the ninth child of my parents in Labes, Pommern, Germany. My parents were very religious, as my father was a minister. My mother, being burdened with 11 children and all the hard work connected with raising a large family, lived an exemplary life of faith and prayer. Jesus was our daily bread.
Even as a little boy of four or five years, I already had a deep longing for Jesus, who was God to us. Often I withdrew and had my little prayer meeting with him in my own childish way. As we grew up, we all experienced the turbulence of the Hitler time. At the age of 16, I was drafted into pre-military training and then to military officer's school in Stettin.
Then I was transferred for special training to a garrison near the city of Dresden. Dresden, being the cultural center of Germany at that time, with its countless treasures of art in its many expressions, was hardly touched by the war up to that point. Then, during the night of Feb. 13-14, 1945 the Allies decided to wipe it off the map, to weaken the moral of the home front, and they literally did. In addition to the normal population, about 500,000 refugees from the east crowded the city. Many thousands of them came in wagon trains to the city, ready to leave towards the west, when the air-raid began. 1,300 allied bombers came in three different waves, dropping 2,000 tons of bombs over the city, killing 250,000 people within a few hours. After the terrible bombardment for hour after hour, the Allied planes returned with firebombs, turning the city into an ocean of fire. The fire storm raged through the city at 180 m.p.h.. About 30 km away at our garrison, we saw the city go up in flames. It was an awesome sight. Once it was possible to go in, we were called to participate in the rescue mission. But there was hardly anything left to be saved. For three weeks I carried dead people, women, children, and old people, burned beyond recognition, some without their limbs, threw them on trucks, drove them to a large plaza an burned them, one hundred at a time. Thousands and thousand were burned that way to prevent an epidemic. To hear the cry of the hundreds of injured people was even worse, because man were beyond help. To experience something like this as teenager made me age overnight.
Therefore, when I see an accident now, I don't allow myself to have feelings. I just think about what can be done to help, and once everything is under control, I can afford to have feelings.
At 17 years of age I found myself a prisoner of war at the infamous death camp "Remagln" at the Rhine River near Sinzig. During the first months of my captivity several hundred thousand of us were living like cattle under the open sky on many acres of barren land, surrounded by American tanks and soldiers, or watchtowers armed with machine guns. They didn't have time to build fences as fast we were herded in. So many soldiers were held on that field that we hardly got anything to eat or drink. Nothing was organized, and in desperation to fill their stomachs many prisoners dug out beets, stored there during the wintertime by farmers to feed their animals. Consequently they got violently ill, and every day hundreds of prisoners died of malnutrition or gastric diseases. I myself ate the bark of some apple trees scattered around, and got terribly ill with diarrhea, passing nothing but blood. Our bodies were so weak that we could hardly make it to the, latrines, and many who did, fell in and suffocated. None of the fellow prisoners were able to help. But I had a strong determination to live through this ordeal and my faith in God was my greatest asset.
We all know how vital it is to have something to drink to stay alive. My only possession at this time were 25 cigars. I got a hold of this box of cigars at the risk of my life, while looking for food in the trenches of our captors. I guarded it closely like a great treasure, since I was a heavy smoker at that time. Our captors would bring tank cars full of water throughout the day until 6:00 p.m., and we had to stay in line for hours and hours to get a cup full of water. As I came closer to the car, I was so exhausted and ready to give up, but the prospect of a drink of water kept me going. But when my turn finally came, there was not a drop left. I collapsed right there, and then someone offered me a mouthful of water for my 25 cigars. So I gave away my only treasure for a sip of water. Only a smoker can imagine what that meant. But you just can't live without water. After joining the movement I fasted for seven days many times, but at least I had water to drink, and that is even more important than food.
A few months later, along with 700,000 German prisoners of war, I was sold by the Americans to the French as part of the German reparation for war damages and had to spend four years in forced labor camps in northern France. These four years were terrible years, and many times, being near death, I cried to God to get me out of this place of danger and hunger.
I had many experiences in the labor camps. We had to work very hard and were so undernourished that I was just skin and bones. The only food we received at the end of the day was potato soup, which was water with some mashed potatoes, without salt or any other ingredient. Once the soup was cold it became like glue. Every day, one of the prisoners had the privilege to scrape out the pot, before it was washed. That always meant an extra ration. I had been looking forward to my turn for a long time. That day finally came, and I started scraping out the pot while the soup was still warm. I was so hungry, that I kept on eating as fast as I could, to fill my empty stomach. This was my only chance for a long time to come, and, as it turned out, almost my last.
Finally, there was still some of the thick mush left over, and I filled up two gallon cans. With those cans in my hand, I ran to my bunk, which actually wasn't much of a bunk, just a few boards, and emptied the first can all the way, while the pap was still lukewarm. My belly started to expand more and more, but I still couldn't stop eating, until I was half finished with the second can. By that time, my heart was pumping so strongly and I became so violently ill, that I almost died. But God needed me, so He kept me alive. I really experienced what hunger can do to a person, and I can feel with the millions of people, who go hungry every day somewhere on this earth. After those years I could really appreciate the food our Heavenly Father provides for us every day.
Even in this miserable place God looked after me. For awhile I had to work in a lumber mill, carrying wood and doing different chores. Being undernourished and physically so weak it took all my willpower to move around and work. Sometimes French civilians came with handcarts to pick up some firewood at the mill. Once an old woman came and as I filled up her cart she looked at me with deep compassion. Being so hungry, all I could say to her was "Bread, please." The next day she returned, and before she left she hid something wrapped in a newspaper, between the boards next to me. I waited f the right moment when I wasn't watched, picked up the packs and went to the outhouse to unwrap it.
It was a piece of fresh bread and as I immediately took a big bite, I had my whole mouth full of butter. This kind old grandmother had hollowed out the inner part of the bread, leaving the outer shell a filled it completely with butter, and I had a feast for a few days. To this day I'm deeply touched in my heart when I think of this old lady and her kind deed. I can never forget her even though I had many resentments towards my captors at that time.
Then I was transferred to another camp to work in the coal mines and I don't even know where to start to describe experiences during that time. Some events I can never forget. During my first week in the coal mine the ceiling caved in on me, burying me alive, more than one kilometer underground. My physical pain from injuries I sustained was nothing compared the agony of being trapped, alone, and lost somewhere deep inside the earth, without light and hardly any air to breath. Facing certain death, I cried to God, to get me out of this living grave. I promised Him, that I would serve Him for the rest of my life, if He saved me. After what seemed an eternity to me, the rescue crew found and freed me, bringing me up to the surface. It was such relief, to see daylight again. Although I had three broken ribs and countless cuts and bruises, not to mention the terrible shock of being buried alive, I was forced to go back into the mine the very next day. I was just a prisoner of war, therefore nobody cared about my condition. During my time in that labor camp I had many accidents and was buried twice. Every time I had to go back into the mine, I almost cried for fear. It was a terrible trauma. Later, when I heard of Father's suffering in Hungnam, I could really connect deeply and feel, what He went through.
Before Christmas 1948 I finally was released and sent home to Germany, but there was no home for me. Two of my brothers were killed in the war and five other brothers had been in prisoner of war camps. The rest of my family was scattered all over the country. My parents, along with 17 million other Germans, had to flee from the approaching Russians to West Germany and lost everything.
I myself had come back four years too late. All other people had picked up the pieces and at least partly recovered from the war. I started out on the bottom, wearing worn-out army clothes, and a spoon and a pair of socks were my only possessions.
At this time, when I was just 21 years old, I went to a revival meeting in the city of Duisburg. More than 400 people ended that meeting. Here, God spoke to me and I received Jesus as my personal savior. It was such a tremendous experience, that I was turned inside out and outside in, truly spiritual rebirth. I was so deeply touched by Jesus, fronting me directly, that I told him: "I offer my life, my heart and my love to you forever and ever", and I meant it too.
After that I kept looking for places and people, who were also more deeply connected with Jesus, like I was, with a burning desire in their hearts, to hear more and do something for God. So I applied for admission at three different seminaries in Germany and Switzerland, to become a foreign missionary. Ever though my Father had great influence, being a minister himself, I wasn't accepted. The seminaries were all filled up for years to come. With 17 million refugees in West Germany everything was overcrowded, and there was just no way to get in.
But I kept on going and finally I asked God: "Why did You let me have this experience in the first place, if You don't want me to be a missionary?" I had found many church groups I could go to every evening, either for Bible studies, singing in the choir, etc.. I attended all religious events in the city and just couldn't get enough spiritual food. If there was one evening during the week, when nothing took place in those groups, I would feel so miserable. My longing became greater and greater. I knew more about Jesus than about God at that time and wanted to still come closer and closer to 'him. My prayer life intensified and I had such a deep longing for Heaven, for Jesus, for something, I couldn't really put my finger on. It was something so mysterious and hidden inside myself in a spiritual sense, that I wanted to do nothing but spiritual work. I just wanted to live for God and Jesus.
Through the following months I didn't find so many people who had the same longing and desire as I did. So my spiritual life declined a little, and after a few years it declined even more. Then I thought: "God, what have You done to me? First you let me have this great experience with Jesus, and then You don't want me. I was full of fire to become a missionary for You, but it didn't work out that way."
In 1950, in a Christian youth group I met my wife Christel. We were married in 1951. In 1952 our son Klaus was born.
Since conditions were very unfavorable in our country, devastated by the war, we were looking for a brighter future. So, after working for four years in a chemical metallurgical research laboratory, my wife, our son Klaus, then eight months old, and I, emigrated to Canada in April 1953. Here I worked as a construction laborer and carpenter for 4 1/2 years. During those years in Canada much indemnity was paid. At that time of course we didn't know the reason for this. I worked outside during the extremely hot summer months and in sub-zero weather with severe snowstorms during the long and harsh Canadian winters. But worst of all were the periods of unemployment with all the worries of how to feed my family. During those difficult times we were expecting our second child. My wife had to have two serious operations in her eighth month of pregnancy.
Consequently our second son died five hours after birth. Then on top of this very painful experience came the financial burden of hospital and doctors bills.
When we found out that economic conditions in the United States were much better than in Canada, we emigrated to the U.S. in 1957. In Cleveland, Ohio, I became a partner in Formica factory. Just when everything started to look a little brighter, I myself almost died in early 1958 on account of blood clot in my leg. This same year, our son Klaus became violently ill after a tonsillectomy. During those years we had really been tested in many ways, but we always lived our life with God.
In 1961 we moved to Sacramento, California, where studied at a business and engineering college as well as at real estate school, getting my diplomas and licenses in both. I then became a contractor, investor, and real estate broker. Since coming to California, everything took an upturn. We became wealthy and were thinking of an early retirement. We had definite plans, but things turned out altogether different. We have an old saying in Germany: "Man thinks, but God directs."
Confrontation With Father and the Divine Principle In Sacramento, California, August 1963
It was hard to understand for us, why we ended up in Sacramento, Calif. But soon enough we would know, what God had in mind for us.
We lived a good Christian life, had our daily prayers on our knees, praying to Jesus, our Savior. I always knew and told my wife, that one of these days I would become a preacher. At that time it was hard to comprehend, living as we did, far removed from such an outspoken religious life of service to God.
At this time I was in the process of building six super-duplexes and several apartment houses. I had to deal with investors, bankers and the like in my daily business life, so I was well occupied with making money, creating a future of wealth for my family.
On this historical day in the summer of 1963 my wife attended a farewell party for one of the secretaries she worked with at IBM. There she met Sandy Pinkerton , a former co-worker, again, who offered to give her a ride back to the IBM garage where she had to pick up her car. Little did we know of the consequences resulting from that short trip. Sandy acted strangely, as if she was deeply troubled by something, and when she began to cry, my wife asked her: "What is it that bothers you?" Sobbing, she answered: "Christ is on earth. He has returned."
In my over protective way, I scolded my wife after her return, for coming home much later than I expected. As her excuse for being out so late, she told me the story of this girl.
Something clicked inside of me. After all, you don't hear everyday, that supposedly Christ has returned to the earth. On the other hand, my wife and I talked about this coming event many times. "Why didn't you bring her home," I asked my wife. She must have fallen into the hands of some false prophets, some anti-Christian sect, since there are so many of them the days. My Christian spirit was ignited. But also something else was there, yet I couldn't put my thumb on it. My curiosity was aroused, and a magnetic force vibrated inside of me. To make it short, just hearing those words, re-ignited me again I thought: "Ah, God left me alone for a few years and let sweat it out. Now He wants me after all."
"Why don't you invite Sandy to our house soon and let find out, into whose hands she had fallen. I would like help her in her spiritual struggle," I told my wife.
Sandy agreed to visit us a week later in our suburb home. It was a Sunday afternoon, and she didn't come alone. Her husband John Pinkerton and Pauline Philips Verheyen came with her. Sandy didn't look like she needed help. She appeared very strong and self-confident, and so did the others. We invited them to have coffee and cake, but they refused to eat. That bothered me and I thought that those people had little understanding of etiquette and seemed pretty arrogant. Later we found out they had been fasting. They began to talk, and within the hour we heard again, that Christ had returned and was supposedly walking on the earth now. Not enough with that, it wasn't Jesus, the one we had been waiting for. It was somebody else, a Korean.
We had a strong confrontation, since I could not accept any of that. They left us after about an hour and we were alone with what we had heard. All kinds of thoughts and feelings raged within me. Could it be true? What if it was true? Maybe, it is the Anti-Christ. I was in turmoil. I had expected Jesus to come back on the clouds, like all the other Christians. I believed in the Bible, word for word, and didn't question anything at all. I was convinced that God would reveal things to me, that I couldn't yet understand. For me, the Bible was the word of God, and I was ready to defend every word of it. That was my state of mind and heart at that time. All of a sudden I was told, that Jesus couldn't fulfill his mission, and that this is the reason for his Second Coming.
Not only that, but I was told, that Sun Myung Moon and Jesus are one in mission and that the returned Christ has another name. This was really hard for me to cope with.
I couldn't get rid of these thoughts, and we waited for those three people to come back again. We figured they would, after making such a tremendous statement. But nothing happened. They had considered coming back, but maybe they regarded us as a hopeless case, because of our strong orthodox Christian belief. After a week went by I told my wife to connect with Sandy and ask her to come back to discuss the matter further.
One week later they came, and a very turbulent time began. They had a blue book called, "The Divine Principle". The words were simple, but what problems they created for me! Just about everything written in that book was contrary to my firm Christian belief. That brought about one collision after another with the book and the people who brought it.
I began to study and pray as never before in my life. I fact I did it day and night. I prayed to Jesus: "Tell me, my Savior, what is this all about? Is it true? Is Sun Myung Moon the Anti-Christ, or is it You, returning under a new name?"
Soon we asked Pauline, John and Sandy to move in with us. All my life I was very self-confident and strong. But they took over in no time at all, and I became a guest in my own house. They told me, to ask God for answers to my prayers, and to fast and study the Divine Principle.
So I began to pray without ceasing and to study. At that time I created an outline of the Principle book, to make easier to study. I fasted and especially prayed. Boy, I really prayed.
Right from the beginning my spiritual eyes opened up, and I began to see things spiritually, that I had never seen before. I designated one room in my house as a prayer room. Whenever I sat down to pray, the room was filled with people, spirits. I could see them, and the room was filled with light. I was drawn magnetically into that room at all hours. Many times I saw beautiful colors in there: pink, white, royal blue, much gold and a beautiful light green. It was such a wonderful feeling, just sitting in that room with so many spirit people, praying and talking to God. My prayers lasted for hours. Many times I even prayed through the nights. I never wanted to stop.
I found out, what baptism with fire is all about, because that is exactly what I experienced while praying, studying or fasting. All this was so wonderful that I didn't want to stop being in this spiritual realm. Soon I also found out that I had healing power, and many spiritual phenomena occurred to me. I myself and others around me regarded me as a man, down to earth. Therefore I tested all those experiences many times. Other things happened to me, such as smelling and hearing spiritually. Anyone who never had similar experiences may have thought that I was out of my mind. On the contrary, I was as keen as could be. But even today, after 22 years, I can still have those experiences if I want to.
One night in 1963, my wife was in San Francisco at that time, I woke up at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning by a sudden noise. As I sat up, looking towards a chair about five feet away from me, I saw a man sitting there, an oriental man, smiling and holding a baby in his lap. I was so shocked by this experience. I had never seen a picture of Father at that time. A few days later, being in the Unification Church center on Masonic Ave. in San Francisco, where Miss Kim (Dr. Young Oon Kim) lived and taught the Divine Principle, I had the opportunity to look through the open door of her room, and there was a picture on her nightstand, showing the same man who had appeared to me in my bedroom in Sacramento. It was our Father, Sun Myung Moon.
Our living together with the three members brought tremendous strains. Sandy was somewhat of a playgirl and hard to take. After a few days we had to ask her to go to San Francisco and live with Miss Kim, since the situation became unbearable.
Pauline and John tried very hard to bring us into the Principle, as we called it. One weekend Miss Kim came to Sacramento to teach the Divine Principle. For two days I listened for hours to her in-depth presentation of the truth and really bombarded her with critical questions. We also visited the center in San Francisco, where Miss Kim took care of the members, quite frequently. Miss Kim was one of the first missionaries sent by Father to the U.S. She taught us the Principle, and sometimes Gordon Ross was the teacher. Most of the new people, who studied the Principle at that time didn't make it. Even Gordon, a good teacher, who appeared us like a luminous being at times, fell away later. He could not overcome his personal problems.
While spending another of our weekends in San Francisco the fall of 1963 it was decided to publicly announce the return of the Messiah. We got busy making up big signs and one of them read: "CHRIST HAS RETURNED. HE IS NOW ON EARTH." On the Sunday afternoon the whole family, maybe about a dozen members, and paraded down Market Street displaying our revolutionary signs and finally stopped at Union Square. Usually some religious our groups assembled there to speak out to the public. There we stood with our signs and one of .us started to talk about the new revelation from God. Just then another religious group hard showed up with their brass band and started to play hymns, completely silencing us, as we couldn't compete with the instruments. Therefore, we joined them in singing along, and passers-by thought we were together. Suddenly it began to rain, and the downpour washed down the white paint on our signs. White polka dots covered our dark suits but we hung on to our signs. Marching home our boards were practically bare and our clothes soaked, but we felt very happy inside. When we entered the center Miss Kim received us with a simple but wonderful dinner and we all had a warm feeling of coming home.
Miss Kim had a very high and strict Principle standard, and for a newcomer, especially me, there was much to digest. The first Holy Day we ever celebrated was Children's Day 1963. For the first time Miss Kim gave us a deep talk about the suffering path Father had to walk to fulfill his mission. The atmosphere was so high, and many tears were shed.
God showed me in so many ways, through opening up Heaven for me, that this was the road to take. This was the time of real tribulations for me, to overcome my physical body and bring it under the control of my spirit. I began to take cold baths every night, even with ice cubes in it. I continued this for nine months and only stopped when I left for my mission for Germany.
When I was confronted with the Divine Principle, the spirit of God truly worked. I got a baptism not by water but by fire. I mentioned my experiences with Jesus before, but my experiences with God and with Father were a thousand times stronger and different. I had heard about baptism with fires but now I received it. When I came into contact with the Principle and began to pray and study, I felt surrounded by fire all the time, fire that came from Heaven. It was the presence of God in form of fire. Many other things happened along with that conversion experience. Once I heard that Christ is on earth, I felt subconsciously that it must be true. Yet another voice said: "Impossible, it has to be the Anti-Christ, because he has to come in the clouds," and so on. But inside of myself something was decided already. I just had t fight it out.
In Sacramento, after we accepted our True Parents, we began to go into houses, to teach the Divine Principle. It was our first Home Church mission. We went to prayer meetings and got thrown out of churches so many times, as soon as they knew who we were. There are so many stories to tell, how God and spirit world worked overtime to draw the first Westerners away from Satan and to use them in a greater way for His dispensation. Let me just talk about one or two experiences had during the first 40 days of my struggles with the Principle.
One evening, being in greatest anguish, while all those things were happening to us, I jumped into my car and raced out of Sacramento along the Sacramento River. There was just wilderness all around. The riverbanks were covered with all kinds of weeds and the moon was out, partly hidden by clouds. I glanced down upon the water of the river with a troubled heart. There were rocks along the riverbank, and I remember being told that Sun Myung Moon had kneeled on rocks and prayed for many hours. Here I was, out in the wilderness. I had prayed and cried to God so much while driving out here, that many spirits came down to take part in this struggle. I could feel their presence. I kneeled down on the stony ground. He had done it, so I wanted to do it too. I prayed as never before asking God for some kind of a sign, showing me whether I was going the right or the wrong way. I prayed and prayed, crying out loud, shedding many tears. It was good that nobody lived in that neighborhood. They might have thought that I had lost my mind.
I kept yelling for God: "Father, You have to tell me whether this is the truth or not. I don't want to go to hell, but if this is Your work, I definitely want to be a good disciple right away. I want to do as much as I can to restore this world to You." All I wanted was a sign from Heaven, from God, a confirmation or rejection of what I was about to believe in. I wanted God to come down and say: "Oh, my dear son, you served Me so well in the past, and since you love Me so much I'm going to tell you that Sun Myung Moon is My beloved Son Surely, surely, he is My Son. Go and serve Him!" But God didn't do that. Hour after hour I prayed. I never knew that it was possible to shed so many tears. This went on for 6 hours, but no sign came, no matter how much I cried for God. Finally, completely exhausted and somewhat disappointed, but with a quiet prayer on my lips, I slowly drove home. I walked into my house and laid down on the couch. There, God spoke to me in a way I had not at all expected. I began to cry and cry. My whole body was shaking and the whole couch with me. I experienced a suffering I never knew before. I could not stop crying. Tears ran down and soaked the whole area. Such great sorrow went through my heart and I felt that I had I carry the suffering of the whole world. Then God said to me "This is your sign. This is what I feel when I look mankind."
For three days I had to cry. I couldn't stop. It even wore out my body. It was shaking, vibrating with the tears. This was my sign from God. I'll never forget it.
Even so I felt right from the beginning that the Divine Principle was true, and that the Messiah was on earth, I had I go through a tremendous struggle, to get my confirmation. I prayed and prayed day and night and studied the Bible and the Divine Principle. When I connected with God and True Parents, I got confirmation after confirmation from Heaven that He is the One. Then I said to God: "Now I know that Your Son has returned, and I'll give my life, my heart and my love to Him."
So we made up our minds to serve God and True Parents. But how God could we offer our hearts, love and life to God? What power is that it that changes a man inside out, that changes all his values? First, wealth and power were important, then all of a sudden nothing mattered as far as the material world was concerned. A much greater replaced everything I had experienced before.
We had a nice family, a good life. When I was confronted with the Principle, I knew that accepting the new Messiah meant total sacrifice. It meant giving up everything dear to me, everything I am and have, all my dreams and plans, even my wife and son. The simple truth, that Christ has returned and is restoring this fallen world back to God, made such a deep impact on our hearts, that our desire to help Him made us give up everything, our lives, our hearts and our love for this cause.
On August 11, 1963 we decided to follow our Master, as we called Him then, and to go back to Germany as missionaries, to help restore our nation.
It was not so easy to disengage from all business affairs I was involved in. It was aggravating and time consuming. My mind was already totally focused on God and the returned Christ. So I went to my partner in real estate and investment and said to him: "Isaac, I decided to become a missionary and go to Europe to spread the gospel there." Isaac Berger was a 63 year old very wealthy Jewish businessman. He looked at me and laughed. He thought I was joking, but when he found out that I really meant it, he became angry and called me a crazy guy, a dumbbell and everything else in the book. His god was money. He once pulled a dollar bill out of his pocket, banged it on the table and yelled: "This is my God!" I'll never forget that. The poor millionaire Isaac was sitting in his wheel chair after a stroke. His own children wouldn't even touch him, so ugly he was to them. For the previous two years I had picked him up and put him into the bathtub and so on since he couldn't move under his own power. Even though he had called me his angel before, now he cheated me out of a great amount of money due to me from our partnership.
Anyway, I then traded in my new Imperial for a VW bus which later served as my first center in Austria, and above all, was used for Father's first trip through Europe in 1965 when He blessed all the European Holy Grounds. We loaded up a few suitcases and starting on April 1, 1964 we crossed the United States to New York. From New York harbor a ship would take us to our new mission in Europe. Along the way through the United States we visited 40 churches, reading aloud some passages of the Divine Principle in each one of them as condition for future witnessing in those states.
Before leaving for Europe we visited a medium for the first time in our lives. That was almost 22 years ago. From my experiences with spirit world since joining the movement I know what really counts in the world of spirit is love, not a brilliant mind or a dynamic personality, or success in any way. As a Christian we never even considered coming into contact with a medium, since it was considered to be occult and evil, but at that time we decided to find out what this was all about. When the four of us entered that place we were confronted with an elderly lady with very kind and loving vibrations. The whole atmosphere in that room was very warm. We were just new members of the movement, barely a few weeks old, but spirit world must have told her who was walking in. She went into trance right away and started moving her hands in the pattern of waves, signifying the flow of love. She then started talking about me for 20 minutes. I was completely amazed. She told me that I would leave America in the near future for Europe. The first years there would be difficult, but then great success would come, and this would only happen through love. She said that all of us were called for a certain mission, and continued: "I can't tell you today what it is, but you have to prepare for a great mission in the future. There is still a little time." She told me many things about the future. How could she have known? I had never seen her before in my life. Somebody in spirit world must have known. Even though I was only a few weeks in the family, at that time, my name must have been know in spirit world. Looking back at that experience now, I find that all the things the medium predicted came to pass, one by one.
Curious to find out more, we contacted several other mediums, who gave the same results. One of them spoke of the greatest teachers she had ever seen in her life surrounding me in gold or white attire. She was so amazed and asked me: "Who are you?" It was quite an experience to hear so many wonderful things from a complete stranger, and I thought: "Where does all this come from? How could she refer to me as such a great personality?" What she really saw was the impact of the Divine Principle in spirit world, the truth we carried with us. When I started my mission I tasted the deepest agony and suffering, not in a high place but in a most miserable position, and only then an upward development began gradually. Our Father started from the lowest position, and as His children we are following the same path.
Our last station before boarding the ship in New York was Washington, D.C., where we followed an invitation to Col. Pak's home. Col. Pak and. his wife received us warmly, as if we had known each other for a long time, and shared their experiences with our True Parents. At Col. Pak' s request I gave my testimony to some members of his congregation for the first time, and it was quite an experience for me. The life of Co Pak and his wife as a blessed couple, in service to God and o True Parents left a deep impression in our hearts for our work in Europe.
My Mission in Austria: May 18, 1965 - May 18, 1969 Part 3, Section 1
Since the first members in Germany had all joined in America, they were pretty independent, and unfortunately the relationship was not very harmonious. As I felt, something had to change, I received in prayer in the spring of 1965, to start a new mission in Austria. Immediately I quit my job and loaded up my VW bus with a few necessities. On the platform in the back I put a piece of plywood and a sleeping bag. Little did I know then, that this would be my center for a long time to come. Christel held a job at a large insurance company at that time, and Klaus went to school. So I left my wife and son behind in Wiesbaden for the next two years and headed for my mission in Austria, on May 18, 1965, as the first missionary going out from Germany. On my way I stopped once more at the center in Frankfurt, where an incident hurt me so deeply, that I cried and cried all the way to Vienna, a 12-hour drive. That's how my mission in Austria began.
After arriving in Vienna, I parked my van in front of a church and prayed and prayed. I wanted to restore this nation as quickly as possible, and I knew, much indemnity had to be paid. I was resolved to pay more indemnity to speed up the restoration process and to have a large family very quickly. Therefore, I prayed day and night and fasted most of the time. In my search for prepared people I walked the streets of Vienna day in and day out, but nobody responded to my witnessing efforts. Nobody wanted to listen to the message I was so eager to convey. The only partner I could relate to during those lonely days, weeks and months was our Heavenly Father. I talked to Him day and night, and we had a very close relationship. I always felt spirit world around me, but at the same time I was very lonesome. Yet God showered me with so much love, as I tried to comfort and reassure Him of my commitment to this mission. I could hardly sleep anymore, and when I dozed off sometime during the night, I woke up from my prayers. My whole being was so involved with Heavenly Father, what my mouth kept talking to Him day and night. I received so much love and energy from God, that I know what it means, to be "intoxicated with the love of God". This lasted for years, not just temporarily for a day or a week, so I know it works. I just lived my life for God and He responded not only to me but to the people I came in contact with. Many unusual things began to happen around me, and I became a real spiritual fireball, eager to share God's love with His lost children. By being active for Him, searching for His children and proclaiming the appearance of our True Parents on the earth in our lifetime, my spiritual senses became so keen and helped me to perceive, what God is all about.
When I walked through Vienna Woods, I felt God in the wind, and I talked to Him, tears streaming down my face. Physically I was all by myself, but it was the most beautiful experience just walking with God and perceiving His love. When I prayed I was so deeply connected with my Heavenly Father, even pine trees bent down, as it they were bowing before me. Heaven really moved nature as a result of my relationship with God.
I usually went to sleep in the back of my VW bus around 2:00 am, telling spirit world to wake me up at 10 minutes to six, to begin my day. Indeed, they were very reliable. At exactly 10 minutes to six they shook me and woke me up, and the first word coming over my lips was "Father". After washing up at a camping place a gas station I fixed my breakfast, a jelly sandwich, and was ready for action. While driving downtown I constantly talked to God and then got out of the van singing and smiling. Many times though I walked through the streets with tears running down my face, but whenever I witnessed to someone, I was cheerful and happy. People who knew me already couldn't figure it out. They shook their heads and were puzzled, because they knew I had left my wife and son behind in Germany, to work for God in this nation. They knew I lived in a VW bus for months and months, and still I was happy and joyful at all times. That's all they saw. In reality I was lonely many times, also for my family, but the mission always came first. God had to take care of my wife and son, while I devoted my life to His work completely.
Because I was always fasting, I lost much weight and looked quite skinny, and my contacts were really curious to find out what made me tick. I told them all about God, and they believed me, because they saw, how God works and how much love I received from Him, enabling me to carry out this impossible task. The point is, that Heaven really united with me at that time, because my whole life was devoted to this mission, and I was able to perceive God, talking to Him all the time.
My first contact in Vienna was a student who was working on his Ph.D. in economics, Walter Linder. I met him many, many times and we discussed the Divine Principle. We became very good friends and he accepted the Principle and Father, but he had two great weaknesses, women and drinking. We had many deep experiences together. Once he invited me to visit him at a certain time, and when I came to his room, I found him totally drunk. I just sat at his bedside until he woke up and then I taught him the Principle. There were many other experiences we shared, and I tried very hard, to win him for Father. I didn't want to give him up, but he was such a weak person, even though he clearly understood that the Messiah had returned and that this was the way to go.
Finally, I remember standing with Walter at a plaza in Vienna, and he said to me, "Paul, I know this is the truth. I know that Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah. I know that everything you have told me will come about. I know it, but I am not strong enough. At this time I cannot come. I tried and tried, but I can't, I'm too weak." We were just like brothers, and it tore me apart inside when he went in one direction and I went into the other direction of the plaza. Again I had to start from scratch. Ten years later one of our members say him in Stuttgart, Germany, and talked to him. He said, "Yes, if I had only come then. I remember Paul. I remember what he taught. Now I see hundreds of people everywhere, hundreds of Moonies. On every street corner there is a Moonie. Everybody writes about Rev. Moon. All the papers write that he is the Messiah, sometimes in a very cynical and negative way, but it is all over the world. Paul was right. But in the meantime I am married, I have three children and had to cope with one calamity after another. I'll never forget standing in the middle of the plaza in Vienna with Paul that evening, hearing him say, "Walter, make that jump." But I had to answer, "I cannot go now. I am too weak. My heart was aching and he felt the same way. He was crying and so was I, but we both went into different directions."
I then began working with ministers, visiting the Calvinist church and the Lutheran church. They were situated side by side in the Dorotheergasse, in Vienna. The Calvinist church had three ministers, and I contacted the youngest one. I met him on the stairway to his office and conveyed the main points of the Divine Principle to him in 45 minutes. His head was spinning and he turned all red in his face from excitement. Finally he asked me: "Who are you? What you told me here in 45 minutes I have never heard in all my life. This is incredible. I would like you to speak in my church." Naturally, I was happy to oblige and gave lectures in his church in the summer of 1965.
Then, on July 26, 1965 Father arrived in Germany during his first world tour, blessing Holy Grounds in 120 nations, and I had the privilege to drive Father and his party through Europe in my VW-bus. At that time he also blessed a Holy Ground in the Rathauspark in Vienna, where I participated in the ceremony. It was a beautiful spot and as I resumed my mission work in Austria after Father's departure, I visited this precious piece of land quite frequently, praying for the salvation of this nation. Sometimes, while meditating at the Holy Ground, I saw Father walking by. It was quite realistic, and I'm sure, Father often prayed for the success of our mission. Needless to say, an experience like this gave me an extra boost each time.
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