The Words of the Krishnek Family

Liberating True Parents through Love

Larry Krishnek
April 29, 2012

Thank you very much. Thank you. Please be seated. Thank you. I am tempted to just bask in that for a while, but it wouldn't be fair to you.

This is a wonderful place. For the last few weeks I've been watching my fellow district pastors come up here. I've been observing their faces closely at the moment when the lights come on and they see what's in front of them, and I have wondered, "What do they see that causes them to be so full of awe and delight?" So now I've experienced it, and I can go back to Seattle. Thank you for your kind attention.

I really wish I were a musician. We've just heard awesome music. It's incredible. I love this music ministry. I didn't want it to stop, for various reasons; I just love the music.

Do you remember the last time that our senior pastor spoke here, what date that was? It was February 13th of this year. That was the last time she spoke live to us, and her topic was "Real Love." It was a powerful speech. I was in Seattle at the time at our Lovin' Life service. We had already been alerted that all the district pastors would be called to this pulpit to deliver a message, so I was paying particularly close attention that day. I had my little red notebook out.

In Jin Nim's message was based on the motto of this year, which is "The Era of the Complete Victorious Liberation of True Parents of Heaven, Earth, and Humankind," so she talked a lot about liberation. To summarize the part of her speech that was particularly important to me, she said that last year the focus was a united ministry and this year the focus is family spirit, including sharing the pulpit as a united family. Yes, let's give a big hand for that. Raising great kids, great families, and great communities, and creating a paradigm of true love: That is our mission, the mission of Lovin' Life Ministry, and our mission as a church community. And this is how we liberate True Parents.

Introducing Larry Krishnek and District 10!

I'll be talking more about liberation, but I want to introduce myself. I don't get an opportunity like this very often and you probably wondered who I am. I'm Larry Krishnek. I'm the Northwest District 10 pastor. Let's hear it for the Northwest. That's right. Stand up. It's a great district. All our districts are great, but this one's truly great. And it isn't just the place of my assignment or the place where I work that I count as my mission territory. I was born in my district. I was born in Washington State; I've got moss in my blood and rain in my heart.

I was born in northwest Washington in Bellingham in Whatcom County. It's the most northwest county in the contiguous United States. You know what contiguous means, right? It's the lower 48. That means the states that are all stuck together. So I was way north. I was practically a Canadian, which is why I can speak the language very well. I get along really well with Canadians.

Also I was spiritually born -- I got new life -- in my district, in Boise, Idaho. There's where I joined the church. Did anybody here join in Boise? Stand up and give a big hand. I appreciate your politeness, but there are people who joined in Boise and I was one of them.

I received the Marriage Blessing in 1982 with many of you here and throughout the country. My wife, not surprisingly, is Japanese. She's a wonderful woman, and she keeps me vertical. We have four children: three daughters and one son. Our oldest daughter is Miwa, our second daughter is Bobeya, our third daughter is Chunghwa, and our son is Taesun, whose future wife is sitting here in the front row supporting me. So I appreciate her; she's my object today.

Most importantly, my elder daughter Miwa is the mother of Nico Anthony Aparo, who is my grandson. Next to a few people, he's my most favorite person in the world. He teaches me lessons about true love that I could never have imagined. I can learn from him what it means to say that the family is the school of love. Who's a grandparent? So you know that already. When you become a grandparent, it's another zone. It's a completely different reality of love, and I'll talk a little bit more about him later. I could talk about him the whole time.

Let me go back to the district. District 10 is huge geographically and also historically. We've got Alaska in our district. Alaska itself is big; it's even bigger than Texas, sorry to say. We've got Montana as the second biggest state in our district. A couple of weeks ago Reverend Takami talked about Montana, but that's only our second-biggest state. He had to borrow Montana because he needed a big state. Thank you, Takami-san. We've also got Idaho -- famous potatoes and other things, Oregon, and of course Washington.

But more important is the spiritual heritage of our district. Did you know that two of the three original missionaries who came to America started out in the state of Oregon? They were David S.C. Kim in Portland, Oregon, and Ms. Young Oon Kim in Eugene, Oregon. Let's have a hand for those beautiful people.

Doris Orme, Patty Pumphrey, Miss Young Oon Kim,and Pauline Verheyen 1960

Are there any Pumphreys in the audience, by any chance? You know Lloyd Pumphrey, and you know Robert Pumphrey and the other Pumphreys. Their parents were some of the very first people to join in Eugene, in 1960, very early on. Lloyd was the first child of a family that joined our church.

District 10 is an incredible place, and I'm really blessed to be from there. Also a little bit of trivia is that when the True Children came to the United States to join Father and Mother, they cleared immigration in Seattle, Washington. I was new in the faith at that time, and my spiritual mother took me to the airport to greet them. I had a little bouquet of flowers that I gave to Kook Jin Nim. I don't think he remembers, but I do. It was a special moment for me.

True Parents have visited Seattle many times, and not only in providentially significant tours, but because of their interest in the ocean. We all know how committed Father is to the sea as a source of hope, life, and adventure for the future -- and for the present. He came several times during the preparation of the factory trawler ship, "Ocean Peace," that became the foundation for a very successful business.

I could go on and on about our states and our people, and I'm going to in a little bit. We have Montana. We have beautiful families in Montana. I know we have Kendall and also Robert here from Montana. From Washington State, we've got Kotah Nishioka. Is there anyone else from Washington? Eileen Granstrom. GPA is full of representatives from our district, but I don't think we have anybody from Idaho. Is there anyone here from Oregon? Of course Taka is from Oregon and Washington State. So all of our district is pretty well represented on the GPA. It's a wonderful place.

The Importance of Kodiak, Alaska

I'd like to spend some time to talk about a particularly important place in our district which has an importance way beyond our district: Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak, as you know, is a very significant holy place. It's beyond just a place. It has immense importance to the True Parents and we're really honored to be able to be the custodians of that location. The brothers and sisters on that island have been able to share life so intimately with True Parents in a way that is just inconceivable to the rest of us on a day-by-day basis.

At least two young women from Kodiak Island are working here in the New York area: Natalie, formerly Franquelin, Wendy Fiala, and others as well. You should ask them their stories sometime. It's just remarkable, the experiences that they have had.

True Parents come to Kodiak almost every year, except for one year when they didn't come. But last year they came, and they stayed a full week. I'd like to show you a few pictures. I have permission to do a little show-and-tell here. You recognize that. That is taken inside North Garden, which is Father's house in Kodiak, at the Hoon Dok Hae. True Parents came to Kodiak, on the 28th of July last year, and they met together with all the brothers and sisters.

You see all those people in the maroon t-shirts? That's Ocean Challenge. Is anybody here who's in the photo? Do you want to stand up and take a bow there, Uncle Greg? He's one of the greatest cheerleaders for Ocean Challenge, which is a youth development program that centers on the True Parents' vision for the sea. We've had three successful years, and we're about to start our fourth season. If you want to know about it, you can go to -- a little plug there -- and sign up for that program.

So Father came to Kodiak, to bring his love to Kodiak and to remind us again of the significance of this location. He was there for an entire week, and every day we would have Hoon Dok Hae together with our True Parents. Father and Mother came together with our international president's family -- Hyung Jin Nim; his wife, Yeon Ah Nim; and all of their children -- and we spent the whole week together.

In that environment at North Garden -- as you know if you've been there -- it's very intimate. True Parents live upstairs, and there are guest rooms where other people stay. Some people stay downstairs. But you're all living in one big home. It's like a family together with our True Parents. There is a very warm spirit. Next slide.

This is the Kodiak family, and the lady down there in the green jacket next to the podium is Mrs. Jai Nan Fiala. She's our pastor in Kodiak. She's the mother of Wendy Fiala. She's doing a marvelous job guiding our community there and uplifting the presence, the foundation, and the victory of True Parents on that special island.

Fishing with True Parents and True Family

It's sometimes hard to understand everything that Father is doing because he does many things that only he and God are talking about. During the time Father was there, he did many conditions every morning, but then every day he went out on the sea. You can tell by that picture that Father has a fish on. Can you tell by the body language of the guy there, like, "Oooh, just set the hook." And Father is about to catch one of the many hundreds of thousands of fish he's caught in the waters of Kodiak.

But Father doesn't just go there to fish; he goes there to make conditions for the salvation of humankind. That is Yeon Ah Nim, Hyung Jin Nim's wife, and their daughter. The guy with his back to us is Hyung Jin Nim. What he's got in his lap is a little dog. Everybody fishes, but Hyung Jin Nim doesn't fish. He isn't opposed to fishing, but he doesn't fish himself. At the same time, he's there; he's totally engaged in everything.

I went out one day on the boat with Hyung Jin Nim and everybody out there was catching fish right and left. I got my pole in the water and Hyung Jin Nim started talking to me about ministry -- for about 40 minutes on the boat. I listened carefully, but it was so difficult because all around me people are saying, "Fish on!" and setting hooks and pulling fish, in and he's teaching me about important aspects of ministry and attendance to our True Parents.

This is a photo of my favorite form of attendance to True Parents -- offering them a king salmon. On that particular day everybody on the boat except for me was Korean or spoke Korean, and we went out fishing with Father. There were fish everywhere. But even though we were doing well, Father told the captain, "Let's move to another location." Father wasn't looking at a Fish finder or anything like that. He was using his spiritual fish-finder. We moved to a different location, and suddenly we started catching king salmons like crazy. I hooked that one first of all, that king salmon right there.

Then at some point Father got a phone call on his cell phone and everybody started laughing because they understood Korean and I didn't. When I asked somebody, "What did Father say?" they said, "Well, it might have been Mother calling and she asked, 'Where are you, Father?' And he says, 'I'm in fish heaven.'" Father never tires of fishing, and he loves fish so much. Next slide.

It's really different when you go shopping with Mother on Kodiak Island. One day I didn't go fishing because I had other business to attend to. Then one of the staff members said, "Mother wants to go shopping." Here in the New York area you would go to the mall, or maybe go to some place like Macy's. But in Kodiak you go shopping at Wal-Mart. That's the best place to shop in Kodiak. It's one of the only places to shop. Or you go to Mac's Sporting Goods shop. Those are the two places you shop.

So I got in the car with Mother, Yeon Ah Nim, and her daughter, and we went to Wal-Mart. I sat in the Subway and drank a Coke while they bought t-shirts for people and came back. Then later Mother wanted to go out on the Buskin River. She's as intrigued about fishing and as invested in fishing as Father ever was, and she wanted to see if the silver salmon were running yet. That picture you saw on the beach was taken after we drove down to the river.

I asked if I could take a picture, and Yeon Ah Nim said, "Oh, you should get a picture of yourself, too." So then I got a picture with me, but I thought I shouldn't show two slides of me with True Parents because that might be showing off. But if you want to see it later, I'll share it with you.

So then next slide, please. On Father's last day there, before he went to the airport, he wrote this proclamation, which is really a blessing to the island of Kodiak. He spent the whole week on that island blessing the sea, the land, and the people, educating us, training us, claiming that place for God and God's providence.

Then he wrote this beautiful calligraphy. You'll see in the upper left-hand corner that it says number 74, which refers to page 74 in the speech book that Father carries all the time. He put that number in there and said, "This is page 74 in the speech book." That was the last thing he did before he left. And the final slide, please.

That's Mr. Furuta, who was assigned the responsibility by Father for Kodiak, sharing the calligraphy with everyone there.

That's just a sampling of Kodiak and True Parents' last visit to the island. I would like to encourage you to come to Kodiak sometime. I'll make sure that you're well taken care of. You'll be well fed. Even a bad day of fishing in Kodiak is better than a good day on the Hudson River, I tell you. You get so spoiled there, you can't fish anywhere else. It makes you feel like a killer fisherman.

I was up there two weeks ago, and Jaga Gavin was there. He caught a huge fish that was so big you could literally put your head in its mouth. It looks like a sea monster, but it's a lingcod.

Anyway, that's the district, the introduction. Don't worry, the rest of my talk won't be too long, but I do want to talk about liberation.

The Parents of Larry Krishnek

My path and my message on liberation start with my own life and my own testimony, so I'd like to share something about myself. We're all from unique and interesting families, don't you think? All of our parents are a little wonderful and a little weird. It's just a fact of life. And my parents were also weird and wonderful. My dad was a little weird, and my mom was wonderful. They're both wonderful, altogether wonderful.

My dad grew up in very difficult circumstances. His father, my grandfather, was an immigrant from Ukraine. My grandfather's entire family except for my grandfather and his brother were killed during the Russian Revolution, and those two escaped. They emigrated to the United States and moved to western Pennsylvania, where they worked hard lives. Uniontown, Pennsylvania, is where my dad was born, by the way. His father and his uncle were coal miners, and they worked in the steel mills. It was really a hard, difficult life.

My father's mother, my grandmother, was also an immigrant, from Czechoslovakia. My father spoke only Russian until he was six years old because he lived in the immigrant community, and he didn't start school until then.

In contrast, my mom is from a very stable farm family. They lived in northwest Washington. They have their American roots in North Dakota and European ancestry from Welsh, Irish, and Scottish people. They were really responsible, not particularly religious, but just solid citizens, good, stable people. My parents' meeting was a wartime romance, somewhat like you see in the movies. He was a handsome young sailor on the battleship Colorado, and it was in repairs in Bremerton, Washington. My mother was gorgeous. It's hard to believe, but she was really amazing, and she's still gorgeous. My mom's 88 years old. She lives by herself, and she's active as can be. Yay, mom.

They met at a dance. She worked at the Bremerton shipyards, probably as a typist or something like that. They met and fell in love at a dance, got married, and a month later he went off to war. That's the way a lot of those marriages went. Many of those marriages didn't work. This marriage did, through incredible challenges and difficulty. A great deal of that success is due to the stability of my mother's family and how they embraced my father and loved him.

So I see that as a first step in why I can be here. These two really opposing forces came together centered on love and were glued together by family.

Life in the Coast Guard

I have four brothers and one sister, and they're all, of course, very different from me. I'm the second child in the family, which may or may not mean anything. As I was growing up we moved a lot. We lived in the Northwest and in the Intermountain West -- places like Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. So I love the out of doors, and I really wanted to be a forest ranger or smoke jumper. Do you know what a smoke jumper is? They're guys who, when a fire is detected as a little fire, jump out of an airplane, go to the fire, and put it out before it becomes a really big fire. I was really excited by that. I'd read novels, adventures of young people in Alaska and Canada, people being lost in the jungle and stuff like that. I thought, "Wow, this is the kind of life I want to live, a life of adventure."

But then in junior high school I took an aptitude test, which is designed to help you determine what path you should take in the future, the best career option for you based on your personality. They asked this whole battery of questions, and then you'd meet with a counselor who would talk to you about what you're best suited to do.

I was so excited. I met with the counselor, and she said, "You know, Larry, you would be a great librarian or a nurse." My heart sank. I didn't want to be a librarian. I was so disappointed. But I learned something about that. When you take those tests and they ask that question, "Would you rather be playing baseball with your friends or reading a book to a sick child?" pick baseball and then you won't be consigned to a library for the rest of your life.

But seriously, what that indicated was that there was something in me that I didn't know that was deeper than what my conscious desires were. I was a pretty good kid through high school, and I think part of it was because I didn't live anywhere long enough to get in serious trouble. I went to five junior high schools -- five of them. It's hard to make many friends. You just try not to get beat up because you're the new guy. And I went to three high schools.

That may have contributed to why I had a hard time figuring out what to do with my life. I really wanted to know what to do with my life, but getting out of high school, I didn't have an idea. So I thought, "I'll join the Coast Guard. I'll go into the military. They'll keep me busy. They'll have something for me to do." Of course that was during the Vietnam era, so there was really something to do.

I was kind of oblivious to the realities of the world at that time, but my dad knew that I was interested in going into the service, and he put my name on the list to join the Coast Guard. I'm so glad that he did because he could have potentially saved my life, or certainly my sanity. So I joined the Coast Guard and was in the Coast Guard for four years. That was my first time away from home and from a stable home environment.

A military situation with a bunch of single men is not the most stable environment. You have strict regulation according to your mission and your work, but after that you're on your own to do whatever good or evil you choose to do. And of course young men all together in circumstances like that, don't usually go to prayer meetings and go out and help sick children. They do other things that are not so good. I confess, I participated in some not-so-good things. But my wife has forgiven me. So have God, Jesus, and True Parents.

Let's hear it for salvation and forgiveness.

I want you to know that I was not as bad as I could have been. And there was a reason for that. God sent strange angels to protect me in the form of two guys in particular: Leslie David Fraser, Jr., and another fellow affectionately known as Pigpen Riordan. There's a reason he was called that.

I would buddy around with these two guys and do different things. These guys were involved in all kinds of wild stuff, but they would not let me participate in those extreme degrees of wildness -- they wouldn't let me do it. They would protect me from doing things that they themselves would do. They would let me participate to a certain point, but beyond that point they would ditch me or they would just disappear, or they'd say, "No, you'd better stay back, Krishnek. We'll talk to you later."

I was frustrated by that, you know, because everyone else could go and do whatever they were doing, but I couldn't go with them. Later on I understood these guys and I really appreciate them. I'm praying for them. I'll be looking for them when I get to spirit world, because I think without them I could have gone down a very dark path and maybe not come anywhere near to God and to salvation.

Remembering Commander Ripley

Also along the way in my course in the Coast Guard I met people who tried to understand other people through me. At that time the Coast Guard had a lot of people who were there to avoid being in the armed forces, like the Army or the Marine Corps or the Navy. There was a dangerous and difficult war going on in Vietnam. Naturally, many people wanted to escape from that possibility, and the legal way out, if you could get into it, was to get into the Coast Guard. So it was very difficult to get into the Coast Guard.

Many people were not there for the right motivations. They mostly weren't there with the kind of the motivation that perhaps brought Jaga to the Coast Guard. He spent four years in the Coast Guard. He was there to do good things, I'm sure -- to enforce the laws of the sea, to do search-and-rescue missions, and to take care of aids to navigation. These guys in the Coast Guard when I was there were there to avoid difficulty, so they were a very strange bunch. The old guard of the Coast Guard couldn't figure out the new guard of the Coast Guard. But for some reason the old guard thought they could figure these guys out through me. I don't know what they saw in me. I didn't have any idea why I was like I was, and I wasn't particularly good.

But I remember one time the boson's mate, Watson, and another guy set me down really serious and tried to understand, "Now what are you guys thinking about?" "I don't know what I'm thinking about." "We give you punishment because you don't do it right, but you don't change your behavior. Why is that?" "I don't know. I don't know." I didn't know. I didn't have a clue. But it made me wonder, "Why are you talking to me? I'm no different than anybody else." But there was something going on.

Then finally I was about to end my enlistment. I had four years and two months in the Coast Guard, and I was on a Coast Guard cutter in Coos Bay, Oregon. I was a week away from leaving the service. You know this story? Yeah. We got called on a search-and-rescue mission for a Taiwanese freighter that lost steerage 300 miles off the coast of Oregon. We had to go out to rescue the ship. I was so angry because I knew I would be three days late in getting out of the service because of that ship that had the audacity to break down off the coast of Oregon at that time. I was so angry.

I was so angry that I wrapped chains around my ankles. Can you imagine me doing that? Like a prisoner I was walking around the ship, clanking around the ship and singing the Johnny Cash song: "I've got stripes, stripes around my shoulders. I've got chains." One day I ran into the captain, Commander Ripley. He's got a root beer in his hand. He looks at me, shakes his head, and walks by. He didn't say a thing. I thought I was toast.

Anyway, I got back, I got all my papers signed, and I'm ready to get out. It's my last day in the service, and then someone gives a message to me, "Captain wants to see you out on the fantail, Krishnek." My heart beat. I thought, "Oh, no, here it comes. Payback time. He's waiting until the last day to get me."

He came out to me, sat down, and just like a father he said, "You know, Krishnek" -- that's what he called me -- "you did a good job, and you didn't even try." Those were his words to me. "Well, yeah." He said, "You know, you could have easily made rank. You're an E-3, you're an electronic technician, you're a smart guy. Why don't you try to improve yourself in the Coast Guard?" I was so embarrassed, I didn't know what to say. It would have been easier to be yelled at, or be scolded, or something like that. But he was asking some important questions. He saw something in me that I didn't see in myself, the same as these other guys had done.

And then he did a remarkable thing. He had this flag on the ship. When you're out at sea or on duty, there's this pennant they fly up there, and he gave it to me as a gift after our last trip. And I was so -- I was just humbled. I mean, I was embarrassed. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what that meant at the time. But then later on I came to understand exactly what was going on.

And as a side story, I always remembered Commander Ripley. After I was saved, after I found God and True Parents, I wanted to let him know that I turned out all right. I remembered him all the time and I felt like, "I've got to let him know that I'm all right; actually I'm doing good."

It was a little hard to find people until the age of the Internet, but now there are these great resources out there. About four years ago I found this online reunion site, and I connected to the former senior chief of the Coast Guard. They were really happy to help out, and they got me Commander Ripley's e-mail address. So I sent him an e-mail, and said, "Commander, I don't know if you remember me but I sure remember you." I described the whole incident and everything. He lives in Connecticut somewhere.

He wrote me back right away. "I'm so humbled," he wrote. "My wife is a retired schoolteacher and now I know how she feels when a student calls her up after 20 years and says, 'You really made a difference in my life.'" I was so happy to be able to connect to him.

Then I asked him, "What was the meaning of that flag, and why did you give it to me?" This is 37 years after the fact. Usually an outgoing commanding officer on a vessel gives it to the incoming commanding officer on the vessel. He doesn't give it to some obnoxious Coast Guardsman on his way out of the service, but somehow the commander had honored me with that. He couldn't even explain exactly why he did that. But I think he saw something in me that I didn't see in myself.

"Larry, You're Special"

Anyway, I got out of the service, I worked for my dad for a couple of years, and then I went to college. I went to Boise State College in Boise, Idaho, and I signed up for a two-year vocational horticulture course. I was going back to my dream about getting close to the forest. It wasn't exactly being a smoke jumper or a forest ranger, but I love trees. I love plants. I love to see how they grow. When I couldn't understand many other things in life and I still didn't know what I wanted to do, I always felt comforted by plants. I love to be around plants.

Other people were getting excited about other things. If you remember, in the 1970s it was a time of great spiritual upheaval. They talked about the Age of Aquarius and planets lining up or whatever, but it was a different time. There were so many religious groups out there. There was not only Unification Church but there were the Children of God, Hare Krishna, and of course Scientologists. There was a group with a 16-year-old perfect master. You remember them all, right? You would go out in the parks, and everybody was witnessing; everybody was joining something and becoming part of something.

Especially there were a lot of Jesus freaks, many different ones. They called themselves Jesus freaks. That's not derogatory. They were like hippies, they were cool, and they were into Jesus. I had friends doing all these things. And at the same time I had the strong compulsion, like almost a voice in my mind telling me, "Larry, you've got to do something with your head." And it didn't mean, cabeza head. It meant with your mind, with your heart. It was a strong feeling, so I really wanted to try to understand religion, but I couldn't. I couldn't get excited about the things people get excited about.

Some friends would be excited about forming a commune and going off somewhere and raising organic chickens or whatever, or living in South America. You remember that. We all wanted to do that. Maybe some of you did it. I could get excited, I loved the notion, but I could see this isn't going to work because you'll cheat on it. You'll do this and that and then after two years everyone will be angry, and they'll quit, and they'll leave. I'd always see the grim end of the situation, so I couldn't get excited about it. I wasn't very idealistic.

At the same time I recognized that I was really divided, kind of being pushed up against a wall. I couldn't understand anything spiritual, though I felt that I should pursue spiritual truth. I knew that I was out of control in many ways. I had the experience one time when I looked in the mirror in my bathroom and I saw in my face that half of it was good and half of it was evil. That was a shock. A little poem came to my mind. "One eye is evil, one eye ain't; one's of the devil and the other's of a saint."

I remember that very well, and I was just stuck in the middle. I had no idea where to go or what to do. But at the same time I had a voice, an actual voice that would tell me, "Larry, you're special." I was, "What?! Do you know who you're talking to? I think you've got the wrong number. This is me, you know. You know, I have no control over my life, I can't understand anything, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm a problem to everybody and to myself -- and I'm special?!" And the voice, "You're special." I hated it. I would fight myself? "Special?!" Bam. And I'd punch myself. I just hated the notion because that can't be special. That's not possible. But it persisted.

But again, I was encouraged by the plants. I was in horticultural school. The one thing that gave me comfort and solace was the plants because plants are so pure. They're so committed to survive and to procreate. If you know about plants, they grow in all kinds of ways. You can cut the roots, plant another piece of root and grow a plant. They'll grow from seed certainly. If you take a cutting and a leaf and you can get it to root, you can grow a plant. Plants have so many ways to propagate, it's amazing. Their determination to thrive and survive is just fascinating.

"God Needs You"

So even though all this was going on, and I couldn't find out things spiritually, I was learning something through them. At this time I found a half-page leaflet at school in the break room, a flyer that said, "Spirit World." I was drinking coffee with my friend George there and looking at the flyer. It had things like about palmistry and numerology and auras. At the bottom it said Acts 2:17: "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh" and many spiritual phenomena will happen.

That really struck me because I thought, "Wow, how will all these things relate to each other?" Somehow I had sensed that things spiritual had a common foundation, but I had never articulated that. I saw that flyer and thought, "There's something going on here." I wouldn't usually go to things like that, but it struck me. I wanted to go. So I told three of my friends, we got in a Volkswagen, and we went to the program at Boise State College that night.

And standing at the door was Frank Davis. You know Frank, from Austin, Texas? I saw Frank Davis, and I'd seen Frank all year hanging around at community college -- at my school. He was a student there. I didn't know him, but he always looked like he was looking for somebody -- actually he was. I thought he was somebody important, and actually he was. I would see him around and think, "Maybe he's in student government. The guy looks pretty serious, and he seems to know what he's doing." Even without knowing him I kind of respected him.

When I went into the school that night to go to that program, Frank was standing there. I thought, "This guy's got something to do with this." That piqued my interest. So I went into the lecture, and it was about the spirit world. It was actually the Principle of Creation but it started with an explanation of the spirit world. I won't go into that too much, but that for me was an incredible revelation.

In one lecture I was completely transformed. All my questions were answered, every one of them. I had an incredible down-flowing, upwelling, influxing of the Holy Spirit. I got zapped from 360 directions simultaneously with truth and love in a way that I couldn't imagine. I'll be frank with you. When I went there, I was a little inebriated. But I did go there, and this is important -- I was sure I wouldn't be invited back -- but I was resurrected. I went in there high. I went out of there in a zone I'd never been in before, and that was a powerful thing. I thought, "Wow, this is powerful stuff. This is really strong."

I changed everything on that day, everything I did that was wrong, I didn't want to do those things anymore. I found what I wanted; I knew who I was. I knew I had value. I had hope. I believed in God. I understood the spirit world. Everything that had been foggy in my mind came into order and got clear in that moment. I was liberated. And I realized that it had been a long course that led up to that liberation -- through Pigpen Riordan, Commander Ripley, and other people like that all along the way who protected me. God works in mysterious ways to get people on the right course. All bore fruit in that moment, but that moment was paid for by the heartfelt investment of a lot of people in the spirit world and on the earth.

It was a powerful experience, and it changed me completely. The word hope came into my life. It was amazing. I still feel it. When I say hope, I feel hope. From that moment I did. I'd go out fund-raising or witnessing and I'd talk about the Principle and what we're doing. "This message gives hope to young people." I'd say it, and they'd feel it, and they'd get hit with it. It was powerful. I'd never had hope before like that.

Also I knew that God needed me. God absolutely needed me. I had a sign of that. We were out street preaching on the corner in Boise, Idaho, and my sign said, "God needs you!" A Christian lady said, "No, you need God." But no, I really felt that. And I knew that that was true. Of course I need God, but God needs you. God needs me. God needs everybody in heaven and on earth. There's no way around that.

So through my life and my experience I've come to understand the value of a single person, starting with an understanding of my own value. I had inclinations to goodness, but I couldn't understand them until I could discover the truth of God's love through the Divine Principle. Then I could understand how much God invested in me, how urgent Heaven is for each of us to understand that and for all of us who do understand that to act upon it. This is what True Parents want us to do, and this is how we can liberate them -- by loving everybody.

"Lovin' Life Ministries Is a Liberation Movement"

I'd like to say that in my opinion Lovin' Life Ministries is a liberation movement. It's not by guns, swords, fists, and fighting, but it's a movement of liberation by love. Like all liberation movements it requires a visionary leadership: the leadership the Rev. In Jin Moon has provided us. It requires courage and persistence to create a movement like we have with Lovin' Life Ministry.

Prior to Lovin' Life, I really wanted to see some kind of a national ministry. I mean, we were all out there. We had wonderful pastors. We had wonderful brothers and sisters. We had people with amazing experience, but what we didn't have was a brand or common thread or common message running through our movement, and I longed for that. I really wanted to have that. I felt uncomfortable. I could talk about things in my life, but we've got 50 states and hundreds of centers and different people and personalities, but there was no common thread or common brand.

So now we need to bring about a cultural change, and Lovin' Life is definitely leading that cultural change. A minister close to us in Seattle is a 32-year-old Pentecostal preacher in one of the emerging churches. He came to plant a church in Covington, Washington, and it's growing. He's on the cutting edge of what it takes for churches to grow.

In a conversation with our state pastor in Oregon, David Coryell, this minister said, "You know, I don't have any problem with your teaching, your teaching about True Parents. That's not your problem at all. And In Jin Nim is doing everything right. If you study church growth and the modern church growth, In Jin Nim is spot on. She's nailing it. Your problem," he said, "is your culture."

And he's right -- the problem is our culture because culture needs to be refreshed at various points along the course of the life of anything. It takes a younger generation to refresh the culture.

That's happening in our movement too through our younger generation. I don't want to speak on behalf of young people, but I was actually a young person once and I remember what the concerns and interests were when I was a young person. So I can speak to those concerns and interests, and you can respect it. Human rights, right? You care about people and their rights and about their happiness and about their freedom and fairness. You care about issues of justice, solving needs, and issues of disaster relief. If something goes wrong, you can go on campus and find that they're the first ones collecting money and putting together some kind of program to solve the problem.

They're the ones who lead creative expression. Look at the music. Occasionally we have Reverend Cotter playing piano -- he's young at heart -- but other than that everybody is really young. I love you, Reverend Cotter.

Art, dance, sports -- all these things emerge from the Shim Jung of young people. Shim Jung is very close in younger people. It kind of sputters a little bit as we age and we get a little compromised by the realities of life around us. But the energy and righteousness of youth, the awakening to life's possibilities, also rekindles the fire in us elders. Isn't that correct? We're all ballroom dancing. How many of you older folks ballroom danced before? We never did that before. Did we listen to the music like this music, jazz music at Sunday service? That was amazing. I love Kennedy. I love the music. It's a wonderful ministry.

Also, we find now that our movement has taken on new life in areas that deal with issues like Japanese faith breaking, led by our senior pastor. That's a cooperative effort between younger people and the first-generation. It's a multigenerational project. Then there are issues like human trafficking and services of all kinds.

Uniquely "Wired"

So Lovin' Life Ministries is addressing the cultural issues. We have great resources now. We have the quarterly Launch materials that are outstanding. Think about what comes to us, even if we don't ask for it. It comes in a box every month, church-in-a-box. Everything you need for that: "The theme is W.I.R.E.D." Okay, that's our theme for this quarter. And it speaks to the fact that all of us have something unique and important to offer.

And how liberating is it to be able to discover your gift, what you have that you can give, for other people! I think back to the people who helped me in my course -- those unlikely people who protected me from doing the wrong that I would have done. They probably didn't exactly know what they were doing but they saw -- they were wired to see, "We'd better not corrupt Krishnek. He's worthy of protection." I don't know why they saw that. I don't know the conditions that brought that about, but they were there. They were obviously there: Two very specific people, and they were protecting me. They weren't protecting themselves, and they weren't protecting anyone else, but they were wired uniquely. Maybe that was their big moment in life. I don't know. Maybe they went to Tibet and became monks. I really doubt that, but maybe that was their big moment.

I feel responsible for that in my heart. I want to help these guys out. I was even Googling David the other day. I know he's in San Diego. I've got to find him sometime. I want to tell these people who helped me that they did help me and they were wired to help.

The point is that we're all wired to do something. We may not be able to do huge ministries or really fantastic organizational things, but we have something in us that God has placed in us that is in nobody else and that is very important to at least somebody. So everybody is important. Thank you.

In conclusion, this is the gift of our True Parents. We may find many gifts from our True Parents, but for me it's a revelation of the value of the individual, of our holiness, of our unique potential. No one is forgotten, not in the spirit world and not in the physical world. No one can be forgotten.

I see my grandson, and I love that guy so much. I couldn't imagine that I could love anybody that much. I miss him all the time. I have all these pictures on my phone, and they're all of him. I love texting. I get new pictures of him all of the time, and going through them, and some of my screensavers, I look at those pictures all the time. He's unfairly loved almost. He's so much loved. I realize that's how much all of us should love every child, and that's how much love every child should receive.

But we know that's not the case. Even in our community. When you're on the bus, on the subway, or walking down the street, you see what relationships are like. You see how children suffer and their parents suffer. But still we know that each one of them is so important.

So we have to liberate them. Rev. In Jin Moon is calling on us to liberate our True Parents. And the way we liberate our True Parents is to be like them, to love everybody, to care about everybody. You may not like everybody. There are a lot of people I don't particularly like, and I'm sure there are a lot who don't like me, but I have to love them, and I can't just write them off. I can't consign them to some other zone in life. I can't wish them evil. I may not know how to deal with them, but somebody does. Somebody's wired to help that person out and in the long run will get there.

Now is our time that we can do the same thing that our True Parents have done. And we can never give up on this holy project. We're not too old for this. Even if we're 70, 80, or 90, we can never give up on this project. We should believe in it; we should work toward it until we pass on into the next realm. Thank you.

So our belief and passion can really save the world and its people. It truly can. I'd like to thank you very much for your kind attention. It's been a wonderful pleasure to be here. God bless you all. 

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