40 Years in America

Clark Eberly

I was going to the University of Arkansas in 1972. I was in my second year, and I met the church. There was one main missionary in Little Rock named Merlinda. I heard the principle, but it went in one ear and out the other. I didnít have a dramatic change of heart, but I liked her as a friend. I thought she was such a good person. When she invited me to functions I would come. This went on for six months or so. It must have been frustrating for her. She asked me to do a 21-day prayer condition and I felt like, well, I have to do this. At or near the end of the condition, one of the last days, maybe as late as 10 pm, she called. I was with my parents. Finals were coming. The phone rang. Merlinda said, "Thereís a van going to California with our members. Would you like to go with them?"

The funniest thing was when she gave me that invitation; I felt intuitively "I have to do this." I said to my parents, "Merlinda is inviting me to go to California tomorrow. I have to find out if Rev. Moon is the Messiah." My parents helped me pack and I went with their blessing. I am forever grateful for that. I went through an anxious and troubling time. Listening to the lectures was difficult. I was trying to understand if I should make a dramatic commitment in my life. I was very serious. I had no desire to save the world or leave my comfortable habits. But I was very serious, and knew it was absolutely important to determine if the DP was true. The format each day included Young Whi Kim speaking, and Father spoke too. It was in Berkeley, California.

Towards the 6th or 7th day, I came back after a long, hard day. I went to the room assigned to me, which was just big enough for one person. I turned off the light. I was standing and put my sleeping bag on the floor. Then God or some good angel or good spirit person was there -- the clear and powerful presence was with me, speaking to me, in the back of my mind. It was very clearly asking me, with what you know now, what is your decision?

I answered, "I donít really want to join, but I donít have any choice." I then saw in the blackness of the room, an amphitheater, with terraced seats. There were a number of people there. I didnít recognize any of them, but I knew they were my family. There were 15 - 25 people. They were indicating their approval or profound relief that I decided to commit myself. The fact that there was somebody back there wanting me to be there was comforting. I feel close to them but havenít seen them since. That experience has been the most treasured experience that I have. I can go back to that "rock"; it left me no question about Father and Mother.

The workshop ended with a banquet. There was a crowd of people, and I was standing by choice at the back. David Kim was translating for Father, who was at the podium. I had just a day or so prior been given this wonderful gift (described above) but I started to worry again. So I started to pray again to God: please give me one more sign to confirm the message I got the other day. I was praying at the back of the crowd of people. For some reason, it occurred to me to pretend to drink a glass of water. I thought, this is crazy. Iíll look silly. But I did it. I went through the pantomime, and I drank the invisible glass of water. Father had two glasses of water on the podium. Then as I was doing this crazy pantomime, I noticed that David Kim and Father were just lowering their glasses as I was. I was kind of joining in a toast to the Kingdom of Heaven.

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