The Words of the Saver Family

Forty Nine Years Young: The Golden Era

Paul Saver
August 2007

In 1999, I had been a teacher of Physical Education and Science in high schools in Australia for five years. My family was living some three hundred kilometers from the nearest blessed family, when our life took a turn that propelled us onto the frontline of God's providence in Oceania. Our lives since have never been better, and the future has never looked as promising.

Some personal history

I joined the Unification Movement in 1979, having almost completed a Bachelor of Education degree. My Japanese wife Michiko I were blessed in 1982. Both of us committed ourselves to the Formula Course, undertaking what turned out to be a six-year separation. In 1988, we started our family life.

The following year I completed my undergraduate degree. In 1990, Michiko, our first child and I journeyed to the Unification Theological Seminary in the United States, where I completed the Master of Divinity program. Faithful to True Father's direction, our family, with a second child, went to Russia and spent two years there as missionaries following my graduation. In late 1994, now with a third child, we returned to Australia.

Intent on stabilizing our family circumstances, I took up teaching in high schools in rural Australia, and there we built a new home. Our fourth child was born on True God's Day 1996.

A turning point

Come mid-1999, our lives were looking up. I had achieved competence as a teacher. Financially, we were stable. We almost owned our home outright. We had four strong, healthy children, who were happy in school. Our marriage and family, while facing challenges, was a work in progress.

On the other hand, I had a nagging feeling that I had lost my way spiritually. My conscience was unsatisfied in building our own family kingdom of heaven while the world by and large did not understand True Parents or the blessing [1].

I then had a dream that left me stunned. I dreamt that I had two years left to live. I quickly reviewed my life to that point and concluded I was too young to die. From that day, I have felt that time is rushing by and now is the time to really do something for God's providence that extends beyond myself and beyond my family. We sold our house, paid the Total Living Offering and moved to Sydney, where I began a three-year stint as the Australian national leader. I later became the regional leader of Melanesia, which is my current position.

Fully committed

Australian FFWPU members define our missionaries as those who go to work in the Pacific islands, which are all the nations of our region apart from Australia and New Zealand, which are far more developed. While working as the Australian national leader, I continued to work on and off, part time and full time, as a schoolteacher in Sydney. In mid-2003, I quit my teaching job and began going out to do missionary work in the small island nations. Now that approximately four years have passed since I determined to put God's providence first and work full time in a missionary capacity while raising a family, I can only thank God.

Though I have spent less time with my wife and children, I look at them with new eyes of love and admiration. I can concur with the American ACLC pastor in one of our videos who says something like, "I can think better now. I can love better now. My wife looks more beautiful to me now. My children seem more wonderful to me now."

People often speak of a so-called mid-life crisis. I prefer to call it a "mid-life opportunity." Middle age is a time when people have been around long enough to have made mistakes. Perhaps the biggest worry is a mindset that may include cynicism, resentment and deep regret that causes us to be wary of commitment and sacrifice. I think it is a noteworthy accomplishment for anyone entering the second half of his or her life who exudes love, enthusiasm, openness and passion to says no to any thoughts of retirement.

We have an FFWPU member in Australia who is now sixty-six years old yet is arguably just as active as when she joined more than thirty-five years ago. She told me that when she reached sixty, she told God that when her birthday comes around each year from then on, she would become a year younger. I must say she is a true radical and a revolutionary.

For me, having recently turned forty-nine, this is turning out to be the golden era of my life. When I joined at twenty years of age, I thought that from twenty to forty would be the best years that I could offer to God's providence. Now I think differently. Certain realizations that some people came to early in their lives took me decades. At twenty, I had a strong, healthy body, enormous energy and enthusiasm but little knowledge or experience. I was destined, therefore, to make many mistakes -- which I did.

When we achieve success, the memory of it is short-lived as we look to the next challenge. When we fail, we don't forget in a hurry. The memory of loss and pain has a way of lingering in our minds. Failing yet not being defeated helps shape our character and prepares us best for the challenges of life.

I dare say that most of us senior saints in the Unification Movement carry some regret in our hearts-regret for what we did in the past that we feel ashamed of and for the things we failed to do, which we should have.

If we were to go to the spirit world right no would you (or I) carry regret for eternity? This is a serious question

I have pondered many times. If the answer is yes to this question, I can only conclude that you, or I, have stopped living. We are digging our own graves. What a bleak future and what a waste of a life.

The era after the coming of the kingdom of heaven has come. The holy myriads have descended and are seeking our cooperation to bring to fruition God's eternal peace kingdom on earth. This is not a time to become tired or worn out. It is not time to retire.

This is the time for the most sincere, vigorous, smart and concerted action. Truly, this is the time for true radicals to emerge and fulfill their destiny. Is there any greater glory than working for a cosmic peace and prosperity that will continue for eternity?

Now is the time to break all records. All those years of suffering, hardship and misery have helped to mold and shape us to become God's champions of the Cheon II Guk era.

Despite the regrets I carry from the past, the amazing thing is that I find myself still alive and with a physical body. I can make amends for failures in the past. I can learn life's lessons now and do right where in the past I failed. I can look back on my teenage years as a Christian and my twenty-eight years as a member of the Unification Movement and reflect on all my experiences and the ways God guided me to be where I am today and shout out "Thank you Heavenly Father for your unchanging love and guidance. How blessed I am! Here I am God, ready, willing and able to do great things to bring your eternal peace kingdom finally to pass on earth. Three cheers for Cheon II Guk." God is good!


[1] The model course, ideally fulfilled before one's blessing, of laying a Foundation to Receive the Messiah through 3 years of fundraising, as a Foundation of Faith, and 3 years of witnessing, as a Foundation of Substance. 

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