The Words of the Etteh Family

Christian Studies at UTS

Akpanoluo Etteh
December, 2000

I am a believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am a silent activist whose heart aches and is full of pain to see and hear of the injustices and suffering of folks around the world. Iíve studied the Bible (albeit peripherally) and have found that not only have we, as Christians, fallen short of the glory of God, but we have completely ignored the greater prayer of Jesus found in John 17. That prayer in John 17 verse 11b, which says "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one" has largely been ignored and/or glossed over by most of us. Every so often when I sit back to ponder that phrase--that they may be one, even as we are one, I ask myself this question: When will the Body of Christ become one? Almost to a person, the overwhelming response from my fellow Christians has been: "Never, until the Lord returns, because the Devil owns this world." But "thanks be to God," as my brother Apostle Paul would say, "through Jesus Christ our Lord," there is a Church that answers my question in the affirmative and that church is the Unification Church.

It is amazing that I have lived in the USA for twenty-plus years, and the only thing I heard about the Unification Church was "the Moonie flower seller." It never occurred to me to ever inquire what their belief system is all about. I guess it would be right to conclude that I was not ready. As the saying goes: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." In addition, providential appointment often, if not always, comes when one is least expecting it. And so it was with me. Through many unpleasant circumstances (which deserve to be left untouched here), in mid April 2000, a gentleman visited a friendís office in Boston and I happened to meet the visitor (Mr. YB) and was introduced. A couple of weeks later, Mr. YB (a Christian of another denomination) told me about his exciting experiences attending the Unification Churchís many conferences. My curiosity took over. I pestered Mr. YB until he took me to the Church. Once introduced to the video presentation of the Divine Principle at the Church, I was greatly impressed by what I heard. I was further excited over the fact that the founder and leader of the Church, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, had received a mandate from Christ Jesus for not only the "unification of World Christianity" but for the unification of all religions of the world. This vision certainly addresses our Lord Jesusí John 17 prayer, and much more.

For a long time, since "being born again," I always had a strong desire to attend a Christian theological seminary. Thus it was an answered prayer for me when, at the American Leadership Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts in August 2000, I met a graduate from the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS), Rev. Bismarck. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that UTS was offering limited scholarships to Christians from other denominations to attend the Seminary. I was more pleasantly surprised when I became the recipient of one of those scholarships.

At UTS, the church practices what it preaches. Serious and sincere efforts are made to recruit students from across the world and from other Christian denominations. The serenity and beauty of the campus are awesome. The student body is not only welcoming but very lively to interact with. What is more, the faculty, including the President, emphasizes not only professionalism but, more importantly, they strongly urge all students to strive to leave the school with stronger faith than what they came with. What inspired me the most is seeing the founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the true man of GOD, eighty years old, with the agility of a 35-year-old, combining that vitality with the greatest vision of all, the vision for "One world, under GOD, indivisible, with true and sincere freedom, true and sincere liberty for all." Yes, the world is now witnessing the words of Our LORD JESUS: "...[H]e who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do." John 14 verse 12a.

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