40 Years in America

Building Boats

Jean Jacques Trifault

There was a time when True Parents were in England to create a foundation for the Home Church providence, which, for some mysterious reason, ended very dramatically. And many Unification Church members became depressed when we were obliged to stop this hopeful mission of Home Church, which looked like it was going somewhere very positive, with its philosophy to build the Kingdom of God on earth.

Personally, I was also called to participate in this home church providence. To be more precise, it was in England in 1978 and ended in October 1980. Father began Master Marine in New York, and I was called to go there.

On first impression it was interesting because according to Father, these boats were to be used to help third-world countries economically. But we had come from the mission of home church, which had a very idealistic goal and a philosophy that was growing very fast. At the same time, a humanistic and communistic dream was also growing fast in the world, growing parallel to the UC philosophy, like two brothers.

Whatever the reason Father needed home church in England, he then did ask every person who was involved to come to America and start to make an economic foundation there. So of course for everyone it was a shock, and in some ways very depressing because suddenly the dream of the Kingdom turned into just making money. And anyone who joined the Church for the purpose of creating an ideal had a hard time to readjust him or herself. For the one who did accept to readjust himself, this new opportunity was a chance to come to America and build boats. Father designed a 28-foot boat, and to achieve that Father called 10 people, each from different countries in Europe. Through this opportunity I came to America in November 1980, to achieve the desire of Father.

Because Father was living close by, he did come often to see the evolution of the project. Yes, I do believe Father came several times each week. He came with True Mother and many elders were with him from countries of the East. What was interesting to me was to see this man, whom we call the True Parents, and after listening to his theology and concluding that he was the Messiah, sitting down in the middle of this boat and examining each detail. Of course, when you see this man so close to you and remember he is the Messiah, and if you understood that historically the messiah was supposed to come to liberate you from some kind of misery, it is indeed a deep contrast to see the True Parent just looking at a boat, or making various remarks to improve whatever he felt was necessary.

And because I had some kind of old Christian idea that the messiah should only know about heaven, and could read the souls of people, and is someone who should only touch gold, marble or materials that do not create dust or smell unpleasant, I was surprised to see him in the middle of the noise and smell of Master Marine. So when I saw the Messiah, whom we also call True Parents because he is no longer just a single messiah, but a couple, I was very surprised to see him inside the boat in a factory where normally we need to wear a mask to protect ourselves from the fumes. But he was too humble perhaps, or just too excited to see his idea become real. And what was interesting was that True Father was not giving a sermon during all these moments when he had a chance to be a theologian, but instead he contented himself to touch every place that he believed he would like to improve. For example, many times he remarked that the edges of some parts of the boat were too dangerous, and asked us to round them out.

Of course, anyone close to him realized that his mind wanted to accomplish his word the second it was pronounced verbally. We were also excited to see these boats accomplished but alas found it was impossible to adjust the boats to his words quickly enough, regardless of our high desire. So when he came back the next week, he sometimes saw that what he had said had not been accomplished, or that it would take longer to achieve.

But somehow he did stay calm, or at other times he would feel free to let us feel that if he were in our place he would work faster and, especially, more efficiently. And after this long process of making this boat, we arrived at the great moment to launch it on the river.

The boat was called the "Good Go" and the river was the East River in New York City, between Manhattan and Queens. After Father drove the boat for one or two hours, he came back to the land and for some reason he didn’t look happy. In other words, he wasn’t satisfied.

After this event a few weeks passed, and we had a chance to see Father coming again to the factory. And again he looked at the hull, and he looked at us, and we looked at him, not knowing what his silence was about, until he directed us to destroy the hull and build another one. Of course, for us it was a very big shock because what kind of flaw could the hull have, to need to be destroyed?

So I remember the day we decided to cut up this hull that we had worked on for around one and a half years, and which was indeed in a few hours destroyed, cut into pieces. But it was interesting to see how much this event affected our belief in God. This was because most of us had an idea, who knows from where, that God was absolute, unchangeable and omnipresent. So for us, True Father, who was the Messiah, and was one with God, must also have the same characteristics as God.

Therefore, how can God, who is unchangeable, have the desire to destroy the boat, if He is perfect?

You can understand why this event was not a pleasant job but rather like cutting the idea of perfection. It means, True Father, if he is perfect, cannot change his plan after he decides upon it. But after this dramatic event, we were obliged to look at True Parents with a deeper viewpoint than just purely externally, or mainly with our preconceived ideas.

After this event Father continued to pursue the achievement of his boat. But also I started to look at him as a real person who is the True Parent and the Messiah. I hope this testimony will help others look at him as I learned to look at him through these events over several years’ time.

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