The Words of the Werner Family
The Australian family gathers for a two-day members' workshop.
Our movement in Australia is now over sixteen years old, but recently we have experienced a new beginning. The 40-day condition for renewal and resurrection given by True Father was particularly appropriate for us as it provided a larger focus for the spiritual awakening occurring here.
Many changes have come through the spiritual nourishment of a 40-day witnessing condition which took place in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, in May and June, leading to a doubling of active membership. Prior to this, our witnessing efforts over the last few years have taken place from each city's church center and have not brought much result.
Stimulus for this long-awaited transformation came from True Parents' ambassador to the Oceana Region, Dr. Paul Werner. After his arrival and initial tour of all the centers, Dr. Werner gave a two-day workshop in Melbourne for almost the entire membership.
Dr. Werner's words came so clearly from his heart and his experience. His testimony of spiritual and substantial victory inspired all of us. For many, hope and belief long dormant was rekindled; for others, the spark already there burst into flame. By the end of the two days all who could possibly take time away from their usual mission place committed themselves to spending the next 40 days in Melbourne. Others, unable to arrange to spend the time in Melbourne, made strong personal pledges of spiritual support for the witnessers.
Rev. Paul Werner delivers a sermon.
Blessed wives -- several pregnant and all with small children and babies -- participated on a roster system which allowed all of them to witness one or two days a week, free of the usual demands of home and child care. Other members continued with full-time work but spent their evenings witnessing.
Most, however, lived together for the entire period in an apartment near the University of Melbourne, where every waking moment was focused on bringing people to the center and teaching the Principle to whomever walked through the door.
Seven days a week the morning began with a prayer and planning meeting for the day, after which the house emptied as the street witnessing began. Breakfast came later -- maybe with guests to share it. During the rest of the day, the only people inside would be lecturers and brothers and sisters with their guests. Often there were three or even four teaching sessions going on at once in different parts of the house. A lecturer coming downstairs with a guest for a break after a one and a half hour lecture would often be immediately requested to give an introductory lecture before continuing with his original student. The days invariably finished very late, after all guests had left, with a closing assessment and prayer meeting.
Not wanting to give up on a good thing, the witnessing in Melbourne is now continuing in the same mode. Guests continue to come to study and enjoy the atmosphere of our center. Weekend workshops followed by 5 day seminars are continuing, and the center is often empty on weekends now because everyone is attending workshop with their guests!
In response to a question about Australia's providential role, Dr. Werner explained that all of God's body must be restored before restoration is complete. Hence each nation's restoration is a vital part of the worldwide providence of restoration. We're excited and grateful to be part of the beginning of the resurrection of Australia.