The Words of the Phillips Family
Report from Jeon Ju City
February 15, 2003
What a wonderful response we are receiving. We are going to the dong city centers and meeting the dong leaders, and they are meeting us with open arms! Several leaders who had been very cool towards our movement gave permission for us to use the city meeting halls. At on of the events today one of the city hall officials who had tried to block our use of the city meeting hall calling us a 'cult' dropped in to observe the event for a few minutes. After understanding the purpose of the meeting and experiencing the atmosphere in the hall, she met our members and apologized for her attitude.
The Japanese wives of Koreans have made a strong foundation through learning the Korean language and culture and by understanding the Korean han over the Japanese occupation. Several of the dong leaders found it difficult to believe that they were in fact Japanese, even after speaking with them for several minutes! Many of these Japanese missionaries had been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to work together with American brothers and sisters.
Coming from the elder son nation to witness to our True Parents' heart and activities throughout the world, we are witnessing the fortune that True Parents have blessed us with. One official inside the dong city center who observed our meeting with the leader was curious to know more about our visit and called the regional church headquarters. He was so impressed with our motivation that he called aside one of the members of our delegation and gave us a list of leaders that we should contact for the event. Even leaders who were already positive to our movement are gaining a new appreciation of Father and our movement by hearing reports first hand about our activities throughout the world.
On more than a few occasions, our brothers and sisters and the Korean officials have been so moved by the spirit of the unity between American, Japanese and Koreans coming together to support the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula, that they are overcome with tears. When we come together in unity it seems that the spiritual world is moving centered upon us.
Our church leader is a young pastor who recently completed the 50-day workshop in Chung Pyung. Even though he is a young leader, he is giving his all to spiritually lead our group. Every night until well past midnight he listens to reports and makes comments. He does this to encourage the development of our unity. In many ways, our schedule is more challenging than Chung Pyung but by God's grace somehow we are not simply surviving, we are finding new power to breakthrough our limitations.
At first, there was some apprehension about meeting with Christian church leaders. From the previous experience of Korean members, it was feared that we would simply end up in endless arguments. We had the occasion to meet with a woman minister of a small Christian denomination. She had been involved in the ministry for over 20 years. She was not able to attend the meeting because of a conflict of schedules but received us very warmly and asked to be invited to a future event. She obviously represents the "Able-type Christianity." After our meeting, I was reflecting on how, in Father's early ministry, it was not the mainline churches that received special guidance from Heavenly Father but small splinter denominations like Ho Ho Bin's "Inside Belly" Church. Certainly today, there must be many prepared, Able-type Christians ready to receive the Second Coming.
After our meeting with the female minister, the local members commented that they had also learned something from our encounter. I had approached her with a sense of respect and awe of the mission that she had been called by God to fulfill, and tried to make our calling by God our common base rather than the new revelation that I wanted to share with her.
It is especially gratifying to work on a project that Father is directly guiding and to be able to inspire True Parents through our results. We are grateful for the opportunity to return something to the Fatherland after the many years of dedication that True Parents have given to America and the rest of the world. It has been especially rewarding for me personally after attending the 50-day leaders' workshop. I have been truly impressed that the tradition of Korea possesses a holy tradition refined and highlighted by True Parents that can lead humanity into a new spiritual civilization in the 21st century.
However, a critical issue is if we can go beyond getting people to attend an event and focus on creating a movement for North/South unification. In order for this to happen we have to move both the participants in the events to become owners, as well as ourselves becoming Cheon Il Guk owners who happen to have come from America or Japan. One of the areas of ownership that seems most appropriate for American members is the cultivation of relationships with Christians as well as social organizations and the media. We have a lot to offer towards the establishment of Cheon Il Guk from all the training that True Parents and True Family have given to us over the years.
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