The Words of the Novalis Family

A Foreign Missionary Testimony

Gregory Novalis
July 1980

The experience of life in the Third World (in my case, Africa) is different from life in America. You may have found that foreign missionaries don't write as many letters as you would like them to, or they don't respond to the letters that you send them. One reason is that it's really hard sometimes to express what we are seeing around us every day, because it is so different, absolutely indescribable in the terms of life in America or Germany or Japan. But I'll try.

Let me tell you a little of the history of our mission. First of all, many people think that the missionaries are still struggling alone for the most part, with no members, just trying to survive in their countries. I've heard people praying for the lonely foreign missionaries. I think you may not be aware that many foreign missionaries are far from alone, that there are growing families there, singing the same songs that you sing, praying the same kind of prayers, getting the same kind of love from the True Parents and generating the same kind of spirit. That's true not only of my country but of several other nations in Africa. I know it's true around the world as well.

When the foreign missionaries come back and report to you at a conference you'll be amazed. Right now they have a small family and a growing one. In our center we have 14 native members. These are members who you would feel are brothers and sisters just like the brothers and sisters here in America, with much the same spirit and character. In the winter the missionary from Chad visited us for an Itinerant Worker (IW) conference. The first thing he said was: 'Ah, this is just like the Berkeley Center!" And he was right. The spirit of a center in Africa and the spirit of a center in America are not really so different. The color of the faces is different and the food is a little different, the language is different. But the heart is not different. God created four billion human beings on earth, but He created them to have one single heart. As we restore people's hearts to Heavenly Father through our True Parents, they come to have this same spirit no matter what conflict they're in. I think you'd be struck by that if you visited us.

Also, we have about 90 community associate members, home members who frequent the center. These people come to our center on Sundays for services and other activities, but during the week they meet in homes. They meet to pray, to sing. They also witness to people in their neighborhoods to prepare them for Divine Principle lectures, and our center sends one of our lecturers to go to that home to give lectures. This is actually the main focus of our work now. One reason is that it's difficult for many applicants to move into the center, more difficult than here in America. People marry very early, even as high school students and they have families and responsibilities, so they can't live in the centers. But they still want to be a part of our movement, and they want to give, to witness, to teach, to participate in all the activities of restoration.

Another reason is financial. We really can't afford to have all the members who want to stay in the center. All our members, just as here in America or any other country, when they move into the center, give everything they have. All their material possessions, their salaries, they contribute to the center. But the salary of a secretary or teachers is something like $60 a month. That's not enough to pay for the expense of that person living in the center. The more members who move in, the more our financial situation declines. Recently we reached the point where we had to set a financial minimum contribution each month for living in the center, a minimum that is too high for most of them, so that there are several people who want to move in but can't because they haven't got the money, even though they may have a full time job and are willing to give it all. We are trying to solve this through our family businesses, which I will tell you about later; this is the only solution. We have to make our own family business, where our members can work and from which they can contribute to the activities of our center. We can't rely on the low-paying jobs in this Third World country.

Most foreign missionaries left right after Barrytown training, where Mr. Sudo and our True Parents had spoken to us so many times. We left with tremendous expectation, tremendous hope for our country. We were so full of enthusiasm, so full of inspiration and hope to restore our nation, to be the father of a nation, to be a small Sun Myung Moon. We imagined that we would swim across the ocean faster than a plane, climb up into your country and rush to witness to the president. As soon as he was converted, the next day the whole nation would be put on boats and sent to Barrytown for training. It was good that we had this feeling, and I believe that those things will happen, maybe even sooner than we think in some nations, perhaps even in my country. What is mistaken about that conception is only one thing: we were ignoring the law of indemnity. God had all the blessings in store for us that our True Parents promised when we started on our foreign mission, and that Mr. Sudo promised us we would find. All those blessings are real, and in fact the descriptions of situations that Father had prepared us to find were not exaggerations but realizations of the miracles to be found there. But these things can only be found after the law of indemnity has been established, and this is what we learned when we first arrived in our nations, the first lesson we learned.

We had a missionary conference recently with our IW. We missionaries were speaking among ourselves, discussing what was the main lesson we learned during our three years as missionaries, what was the main truth Heavenly Father taught us during this time. After the discussion we concluded that the main truth was that God hides himself in the middle of a suffering situation, and you can't meet Him except by passing through suffering. We didn't realize this as clearly when we first started our mission, but we soon found it was true. For the first 21 months of our mission we had no fruit at all. Not one spiritual child. Not even one potential spiritual child. We would get letters, of course, saying the same is true for most missionaries for the first year of their work. Then we would get letters from our brothers and sisters asking how many children we found that month. We didn't answer those letters.

The answer was nothing. Or how many Divine Principle lectures did we teach that month, how many people did we witness to that month. I couldn't even speak one sentence of the language! The main thing that we were accomplishing that month was to survive to the next month. But that's not a big thing to write home in a letter, and so many missionaries didn't do too much correspondence during that time.

There are two kinds of indemnity that have to be paid in a foreign mission, that have to be passed through before you can meet God, and before the promises and blessings from our True Parents and Heavenly Father can come true. The first one is physical indemnity, external indemnity. This is something those of us who grew up in America are usually not accustomed to paying at all, and it can be a tremendous shock when you suddenly find yourself landing in a country where the conditions of life are so difficult. Even for me now, coming back to America, it's a shock for me to see that you can drink water from a faucet and not get sick. You can't do that in my country at all. We have to boil and filter all our water carefully. It's a shock to see the kinds of houses we have here, and the means of transportation. It's a shock to go into the store and actually find what you are looking for. There are many stores there, of course, but there are shortages constantly of all kinds of goods, as there are in all Third World countries.

Here in America we wonder: "Which brand shall I buy, what's the best brand of soup? Campbell's or Lipton's or Heinz?" In Africa you just wonder whether there will be soup at all, not in terms of Campbell's or Heinz.

In fact, your life in America, after the first few months, begins to seem very unreal. You begin to wonder if this place of America really exists, or if it isn't an enchanted land and a fairy tale somewhere. The difference is so great between life in the Third World and life here. It's not just a matter of doing away with a few minor comforts: it's like a different planet that you're living on. America is an enchanted oasis of security, comfort and plenty in a world which is entirely different, which is in a dark night of want and poverty.

When foreign missionaries go out they find it very hard to adjust to the differences in the physical circumstances. The climate, of course, is very hot, and at first it's very hard to even walk and move. You are always tired. You have to rest during the day, but you feel guilty in resting because you have been trained that you can never lie down during the day, and so your heart is unhappy. And the food is different. You just don't have McDonald's hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes; I haven't had one of those for three years. Instead you eat manioc or casaba leaves, you eat bananas, a special kind of cooked banana; you have a very simple diet. At first you get very sick from eating this kind of food or from the change in diet, or from the water, especially if you are invited into the native homes, because you have to eat the food that they serve, and you have to drink the water. So you become sick.

In the first few months, every missionary, in Africa at least, recorded that a large part of his first three or four months was spent suffering with diarrhea. It is not a very romantic adventure. If you want to picture an early foreign missionary, you have to picture him sitting on the toilet groaning. Also, malaria in Africa is indemnity. Everyone who goes there, who doesn't lead a very protected life in a hotel as the richer people do, gets malaria, at least several times. You know, a hundred years ago when the Protestant and Catholic missionaries were being sent, the mortality rate for missionaries in Africa was 50 percent, each year. That is to say, half of all the missionaries sent each year would die, and new missionaries would have to be sent to replace them. It was because of yellow fever, malaria, dysentery and other diseases. Or because of violence, because the people didn't receive the message with entirely open hearts; nor do they today.

I think back about this, and I think of how, in spite of this mortality rate of 50 percent, the missionaries kept coming, every year new volunteers going out to Africa, knowing that they had a fifty-fifty chance of being dead before the end of the year. When we think of this, we foreign missionaries of the Unification Church can't complain about the physical circumstances. What we suffer now is nothing compared with what the pioneer Christian missionaries suffered physically.

Also, most missionaries experienced a tremendous feeling of loneliness. Our hearts were so full from the Barrytown experience, so full in the desire to share life with people and to share the words of truth, to tell people about our True Parents, but we couldn't even say a simple sentence like, "How are you?" in the language. We couldn't have a conversation with anyone at all. It's a very painful feeling, and I don't think you can imagine it if you haven't been through it yourself. I think perhaps our Japanese or Korean brothers who came to America, or some European members, had a similar experience. It was compounded by the fact that you were all alone too, with not even a brother or a sister to talk with. It meant that at least the first six months in your country had to be spent without any teaching at all. You had the name of a foreign missionary, but actually what you were was a language student or someone struggling to survive in a strange land, not really doing any spiritual work at all.

It's a struggle during that time to remind yourself of your identity, of who you are as a son of God or a daughter of God, as a representative of our True Parents there, because externally you can't do much, and you show that too. You can't tell anybody that you are a foreign missionary, because our church doesn't exist there and you may be kicked out of the country if you tell anyone you are a Unification Church missionary. So you have to tell some complicated story to everybody to explain why you are present there, to the foreign community or to the America Embassy. You tell them you are a Ginseng tea businessman and they say, "I would like to buy some Ginseng tea." And you say, "The shipment hasn't come in yet," and you have to keep a false identity to the whole world. In your heart you have to remember that you are a missionary for the Unification Church, but you have no external sign to prove it to yourself. So there is a real test of faith as a missionary. Every missionary has this same type of experience. And some don't survive it.

There's a question of poverty, too. I can speak from my own experience. In all my life in America, growing up here, living here in the Unification Church, I was never poor. Oh, sure, in the Unification Church sometimes my pocket was empty, but the center had plenty of money to get food for everybody and give us a house to stay in and so on. That's not real poverty. Even if our pockets are empty, everything is provided for you. I never knew poverty, but in the first six months of our mission there, no money arrived from America, and although I had a small job teaching English part-time for two hours a day, it didn't pay very much money. There were many times when my pockets were empty. I had no money even to purchase any food for the day, and I had no prospect of getting any for a week, and I was all alone in a country when I couldn't even speak to people. It's a very frightening experience when you first experience this, if you have never known it before.

So there are all these physical circumstances: the constant sickness, the loneliness, the inability to communicate with anybody, the poverty. There's the lack of identity, the necessity to tell an elaborate story of why you have come here, to put up a false front, to pretend to be something other than you are and the inability to do any spiritual work during that time, the lack of any security, or the fear that you are going to be arrested the next day without knowing what's happening or how you are going to get your visa renewed or what's going on. All of these can create sort of a crisis while all this physical indemnity pours down on you. You can sink down lower and lower and be put into a kind of prison. You feel like you are in a physical prison, you can't work, you can't move. You can't act because of all these external limitations to your work.

I think that's the first crisis that every missionary had to face, this physical external prison of indemnity that constrains you. The tendency, in that circumstance, is to feel resentment in your heart. A great power of resentment begins to well up in your heart. Not just for the physical circumstances, but also for the people and everything else. Your heart becomes resentful at your circumstances. Why am I here? Why am I sitting here sick with fever, with no food and no money, alone in this country, unable even to speak to anybody in the middle of Africa? How did I get here? How did such a promising career end up like this? This begins to affect you. This resentment, if you can't deal with it directly, begins to grow into a resentment against the Parents and towards God. You begin to say, "Where is God? They said God was a God of love, but where have you been for six months? Heavenly Father, why do you leave me in this circumstance? Why did you bring me to this miserable place? Why have you abandoned me? What earthly good can I be serving here?"

You feel this resentment because of the impression of physical circumstances.

And the first thing necessary, I think, in a foreign mission is to conquer this resentment, to eat up this resentment, to judge this resentment, to take it away. For me, it came over a bowl of beans, one day when I was sitting all alone. I still couldn't speak French well enough to communicate anything substantial, after I had been there for several months, and all I could afford to buy was some beans. All I could eat was beans every night. I'll tell you one of my weaknesses: I enjoy food. I enjoy eating it. One week of eating beans was pressing on a sore nerve with me. And then somehow the beans came to symbolize for me all the indemnity, all the physical indemnity of the mission. I looked at these beans with such resentment in my heart: "Why? Why am I in this circumstance? Where is God?" Anger. But then, all of a sudden I understood where that kind of feeling led.

I could see that that kind of feeling was death, spiritual death, and if I felt that way I was a dead man spiritually. I said to myself: "Why did I come here? Why did I go out as a missionary in the first place? When people had asked me why I wanted to be a missionary I said, "I don't feel I'm going away. I'm going out there to meet Heavenly Father. I'm going there to be with True Parents. I'm going to Africa to be closer to True Parents, closer to God, to find Heavenly Father working there in the rock bottom of Hell. I've learned that He does work and He does live. I went there to meet Heavenly Father and to be with Him."

I thought of that and I realized that Heavenly Father was there, too. I began to cry and I said, "Heavenly Father, I came here to meet you, and you are here, and these beans may not be much but I'm sharing these beans with you, and even a bean shared with you is more valuable than a steak dinner in Satan's world at the Intercontinental Hotel. Even the poorest food, even a glass of water, if I can share it with you then it's like wine. I can't be resentful at the difficult food. Instead, I have to be grateful that I can be here with you and share it with you. I'm so glad that I can look at those beans with new eyes." My tears, even, were falling into them. They were salted with my own tears and I was so happy and, I swear, I ate those beans up, and they tasted like steak, they had a definite flavor of a steak dinner, and I ate them with such gratitude for each bean, thanking Heavenly Father that I could be there and be sharing a meal with Him.

From that point on, my resentment at physical circumstances disappeared. I was able to forget it and go forward in my mission. It never came back after that. Every one of us in a mission encounters a similar experience I think. We reach some kind of a point where we are just imprisoned and almost killed by our physical circumstances that created resentment in our hearts, and finally come out of this, and once it had passed it wasn't to return again. Even though I've since been in far worse circumstances, I have never again felt any resentment.

But the next kind of indemnity that a foreign missionary has to meet up with is internal, spiritual indemnity. This also, I think, is a problem of resentment, a problem of conquering resentment in our hearts. We like to think of a foreign missionary as being one who rushes out to a foreign land to proclaim the truth to millions of people who are bursting to know about God and bursting to know the truth and will welcome him with open arms, saying "Embrace us and teach us, please." In reality, that's not the situation at all. We think of cute little children in a village, and we picture ourselves as being some kind of a hero, embracing them all. That's not the way it is at all in the Third World. Actually, what you meet up with when you go out to reach out to the people is mostly hatred and deep resentment, and bitterness. You run out with love, but it's like running into a stone wall of hatred. Instead of arms coming out to welcome you, it's just rock.

You have to understand that, in Africa especially, there is a certain spiritual world that you come into when you enter that continent. You have to know the history of the African people to know what you are going to face. Africa is a continent that has done nothing but suffer for its whole history. The people there have been dying of disease: malaria, yellow fever, dysentery, smallpox. The people there have been dying because of the climate, because of terrible geographical circumstances. They could never develop a high civilization because of the heat, because of the geography that prevented them from uniting with each other. They were isolated in small villages, with no culture at all in many cases, at least as we know it. Their language was a language spoken only by one hundred other people in the world.

Then came slavery. Millions were carried off as slaves in boats, sold as property. And then came the colonial experience where these countries were exploited ruthlessly just to be profit to the colonial nation. In my nation, which was a Belgian colony, the Belgians came to that nation solely to take, and not to give anything. They even made a ruling forbidding any higher education for the African. It was against the law; he could be shot for having a higher education. They didn't want Africans to learn any of the professions. They didn't want them to be able to become independent; they wanted them to be dependent upon Belgium. The only value the African people had was as labor in their plantations, labor in their diamond mines, gold mines and copper mines.

They had a work quota for working those mines; they considered the Africans a very lazy race, and so they needed a work quota. If a man didn't meet his quota in the mines for a day, he had his hands chopped off as a warning to the others that they had better work harder and not be lazy. I know even today dozens of people among my friends whose parents had their hands chopped off or were beaten to death by the owner of the mine or the plantation because they didn't work hard enough and they didn't produce enough. This is a living memory in the minds of many people living today. When I come there as an American, a white man, a foreigner, and I step into that Africa, immediately, when people respond, they don't just respond to me, to Gregory Novalis; they're responding to six thousand years of cruelty and injustice and oppression, and they respond with hatred and suspicion and coldness and bitterness.

So when a missionary comes into this situation to preach Divine Principle, to teach the people and to love them, reaching out to them in love, he becomes like a lightning rod, and descending upon him is all these six thousand years of resentment. People respond to him with resentment because he's a white man, resentment because he's a missionary and they had bad experiences with hypocritical Christian missionaries before, resentment because he's a foreigner, resentment because he's richer than they are, resentment because he's more educated than they are, resentment just because he's a human being and they resent all human beings. And they even hate God, and when you try to speak to them about God they say, "Don't tell me about God! Where's God? Why did He leave Africa to suffer like this if there's a real God of love?" and they walk away.

All of this keeps striking upon a missionary when he goes out there to proclaim the truth. Father said, in a way, that he sends out missionaries as lightning rods to receive all this. That's exactly what you receive. Before you begin to move forward, before you can begin to teach people, to act, you have first of all to receive all of this, and you have to digest it and dissolve it and overcome it. Only then can you move forward. Of course, this feeling of hatred against you can create in your heart, too, a bitterness. Nobody likes to be hated. Nobody likes to be resented, especially when you didn't do anything. You're just coming into the situation; you're not responsible for it. But it's all falling down upon you, and so you begin to feel resentful yourself: "Why should I have to take the consequences for all this historical injustice and resentment? Why should I have to stand here and bear this?" Again, you find it difficult to love the people. People are treating you so badly, betraying you, resenting you, failing you. They can never keep appointments, it seems. They promise they'll come, but they never come. They listen to Principle and they don't understand, even if you teach them ten times. They don't understand at all. They resent you, and they try to steal from you. They look for your money. You pour out your heart teaching Principle to someone, and it turns out that all he really wanted was to get a loan from you of some money.

After you have had so many bad experiences with the people, so much of a terrible reception, you begin to resent them. You don't love the people. They come to the center to visit you, and you close the door. You say, "I'm sorry, I'm not feeling well today." Or you turn out the lights and you hide, because you can't stand to face an African person that day. You can't even stand to look him in the face. You don't love him. All you feel is a desire to cut off from him, not to see anyone else again. As long as you have this resentment in your heart, you can't operate as a missionary. You can't function at all. It's impossible to go to a spiritual child if you're feeling this way. This is the second crisis that you come to, the crisis of resentment. It is a heartistic crisis, an inability to love people, and a resentment against the people. And again this resentment can turn into a resentment against Heavenly Father. "Why do you put me in this impossible circumstance? Why me?"

You may think you would never feel such obviously un-principled sentiments. In a circumstance like that you find that those thoughts come to your mind unbidden. You didn't want think it, but suddenly you find yourself thinking this terrible thought. You even find yourself beginning to have racist thoughts. You begin to think, "Oh, black people, Africans, they'll never be saved. They'll never be civilized. I don't want to see another one again." When you hear yourself saying these things, suddenly you realize what you've become. You realize, suddenly, that you've lost your ability to love. You've lost your heart for the people; you've lost your love completely, and you're even hating them; even you are saying the same things that the worst racists say, that the worst foreign people or the worst Belgians were saying, which you used to get so angry at when you heard them six months earlier. Now you're saying the same things, and you think to yourself, "What have I become? What has happened to me? I'm not even a Unification Church member anymore if I can think and feel such things. My heart is dead." And again that is the point when you're in a prison of resentment. You can't move because you can't love. All you feel, everywhere you look, is resentment. Walls all around you press in on you.

At that point you're in the second crisis of your mission. You have to break through those walls. You have to eat up that resentment too, and digest it. It has to go away. You have to dissolve it. When I felt this, when I felt that I was standing there in True Parents' place, then I felt Heavenly Father's love for me. My love for the people returned, too. I wanted to reach out again, and continue to reach out and to love. From that point on, my resentment against the people, and my inability to reach out in love to the people, ceased and I could begin to live internally again, spiritually. That is the second crisis of a missionary. I know I'm not alone in this either. I've shared this with other missionaries.

After you've overcome your external and internal circumstances, then you're able to begin you life as a missionary Up to that point you weren't a missionary Up to that point you were still moving to the point where you could become a missionary Now, when you're freed of resentment, when you're grateful for your situation, and when you have love in your heart fir the people, then you're standing in True Parents' position, then you begin to be a missionary But then you don't get results either because although you've gotten rid of the resentment in your heart, the resentment still exists in the people's hearts around you. And they can't listen to Divine Principle; they can't listen to the words of God from your mouth as long as their hearts and minds are filled with bitterness and resentment and hatred. So before you can preach the truth to them, before you can even speak to them about God, you have to wash away, to melt away the resentment that surrounds their own hearts, and that's very difficult to do in Africa. I think the only way to you can, really, is by incredible giving and incredible loving, by unceasing patience and by constant forgiveness, and by especially strict fidelity to your word, to your promises to the people, strict sincerity of heart.

We had a small center. Originally we spent six months searching for a new center. We couldn't understand why it was taking six months to find a new center. Well, for six months we searched and searched and searched, and every house was closed to us. We would almost find a house, and someone else would take it. We would almost have an apartment and then it would be closed off to us. Or we would find something, but the price would be too high. We couldn't find a center for six months. For six months we lived in the houses of some of our native friends, not really members of our church, just associates and personal friends; we would sleep on their floors. I was sleeping on the floor of the dining room of one family, behind the refrigerator, and we couldn't teach, we couldn't meet together even to pray because we were scattered in different houses. We were living in fallen people's houses where the atmosphere was so low. They would drink beer every night and the television would be playing and there was no time or place to pray or read Principle. For six months we were pressed down into this kind of circumstance. It was very hard spiritually and no matter how we tried we couldn't break out of it.

For me this was a time to remember the lessons I had learned and I couldn't resent, I didn't get angry and so I thanked Heavenly Father for this situation and I kept pushing forward to persevere through it. And after this period ended, the day before God's Day 1977, we found a center. It was a very poor house, it looked like a disaster area, like it had been in the war, but it was a center. We moved in that same t light, and all night we cleaned, everyone cleaned the house and painted and scrubbed and prepared everything. The next morning at 5 a.m. we had our God's Day service.

It was the first prayer meeting we had together in six months, except for being outside by the river or informal occasions. We never had realized before how precious the center is, how precious it is to be together and pray with brothers and sisters, how precious it is to be able to celebrate God's Day together. I feel now, looking back, that Heavenly Father took away our first center because we didn't appreciate it truly. We didn't understand its value; we took it for granted and this was not right. We had to learn the value of a center. This time, after six months, we knew. Everyone wept when they prayed, thanking Him for the house. And really, when we sanctified that house, it was like finding a treasure, a pearl in a field. We knew then that a center is a tremendous gift and you can never take it for granted. It's the most precious building.

This God's Day celebration was a very poor celebration; we had one table, the only furniture in the house, and we just had some fruits and nothing much, but it was the most wonderful God's Day celebration I have ever celebrated in my life, although it was also the poorest I've ever seen. Because of what we passed through, we could understand the meaning of God's Day a little bit and we really rejoiced together as a family that day, sang songs, shared testimonies. None of us in the mission will ever forget that day, for the rest of our lives. We really cared for our center after that and we thanked God for it every night.

We had several people who were over to hear Divine Principle, but they were very low quality. To find people who do understand and receive Divine Principle is very hard. Also the moral level of the people is very low. Prostitution is very common, immorality is so common, drinking, drunkenness is so common, even among the young people whom we witnessed to, so hard. So, up to this time we hadn't found anyone who could become a strong member and even among ourselves as missionaries we discussed and said, "Maybe there is no one. Maybe it's just not possible to make a normal Unification Church center in this country. Maybe we'd better forget the idea and just do social work or something, I don't know. Maybe it's just not possible."

Nevertheless, in our new center we began to take on a new life and a new heart. As we got our center set up we decided we really had to get it together and make the strongest possible condition of prayer and indemnity and of seeking to begin to get members. We decided, if we made our full effort, prayed with all our heart, and fasted with all our heart, and poured out everything, and no fruit came; maybe then we were justified in saying it was impossible. But we hadn't tried enough yet, and we hadn't given our all yet. So we made a condition, a seven day fast and a forty day prayer condition, the whole center together; we made a very strong determination on our Holy Ground. During this time of fasting we made a breakthrough internally, and we really got connected to our mission. We came home. It was during this time that members began to come, high quality people, wonderful people, strong Christians. The first member had been a Christian youth leader for five years, a leader of the Christian youth in the country He knew the Bible so well, he had a good education, he plays the guitar and composes his own songs, and he became our first member.

After that many members came; one after another, members began to come in. It wasn't so much that we witnessed so hard, or that we had some secret of witnessing. Somebody asked me in New York, "What is your witnessing technique?", and I couldn't answer. Actually we almost don't witness, because you can't go on the street and witness to people. We don't have that kind of witnessing around here, it's impossible, impossible around here. But, after these conditions were fulfilled, after we made these breakthroughs internally and externally, people began to come and we couldn't stop them. One would come; he would go out and bring another one; he would go out and bring his two cousins who would go out and bring their two classmates and they would go out and bring their uncle. People started to come over in ever increasing numbers to our center, good people, who understood and accepted. Everyone of our prayer group who is in the center now, 14 people, had a vision of True Parents or a dream of the True Parents after they had heard conclusion that convinced them of the truth of the Principle and made them willing to commit their whole life.

Every single one, as well as dozens of our outside members. This is not common in America. In America some members are members for two or three years and they never have a dream or vision of True Parents, but having them in Africa is the rule it seems. I was amazed. Father would come to people and teach them in their dreams. Mother would appear and embrace one of our sisters, who joined after that. They'd hear heavenly music singing, people who'd never had spiritual experiences like this before.

Once the conditions were made, once we had passed through our period of indemnity, members began to come and we couldn't stop them. Each new member was so precious, I can't explain to you what they meant to us. We had never met any people like this before in our mission. These were people who were just like brothers and sisters here in America, and even more marvelous because they passed through such suffering lives and still come out so radiant and shining and loving God. I wish I could present the members of our family to you; you'd love them as much as I do. Except for the fact that they don't speak English, most of them would fit in quite well here and be a wonderful part of the team here. They have the same spirit and they learned it so quickly even though they'd never met the family outside of their country. We didn't teach it to them; Heavenly Father did it. From that point on it had begun to grow. Right now we hardly do any witnessing and people are coming over, new people, every week. Our problem right now is that we have no financial foundation and we're all working to build one so we can expand our spiritual grace as well as our financial grace. But this is very hard to do in a Third World country.

As our movement was beginning to grow we began to experience real financial problems in taking care of the center. Our members were giving everything, but they couldn't give so much financially and we could see we were going to have problems in the future. Pamela and I were discussing this situation once, because we had no money and the rent was due and things were difficult and we couldn't see how we were going to take care of our center members. There was no possibility. All of a sudden Pamela began to cry, and she said, "If only I could be in New York with just one day to make enough money for all our needs!" When she said this I began to cry too, for a different reason, because I know when I was in America I often used to resent having to go fundraising. Or, If I didn't resent it at least I felt it was an unpleasant task that had to be done, but was hardly an activity that I would do with great joy, not my first choice of activity by any means. I remembered my past resentment, and now I felt the same way that Pamela felt, "How precious one day of fundraising would be." We could earn enough money in one day of fundraising, equivalent to meet the needs of our family for one month. Here there's no way to do fundraising: the people are too poor. I really repented of my past attitude.

Here a few hundred dollars is a big, a great treasure. We struggle each month. We have one business, where four members work; we have a "Logos Translation Service"; we have six typewriters now and our sisters work typing, and we have a mimeograph machine; we chart stencils and do translations. But if we can make four hundred dollars from this work in a month, we're very happy. Really, America's mission is the financial mission. You won't appreciate what I say until you see circumstances where there's no money to be had. Here in America when we have no money we say, "Oh well, it's time to go fundraising," and we come back in the evening and we have it. It's like magic. What a miracle God has given, like the manna that came for the Israelites, the quail that fell from the skies, almost. I know it seems like much indemnity when you're walking the streets, but it's very small indemnity for a great manna to come down. Really I appreciated that, all of us appreciated that as foreign missionaries. If more foreign missionaries come back here for a conference, I think the first thing they might ask for is for the privilege of going out fundraising again. All their old resentments have disappeared over that.

So, with no capital, we started this typing business. Now it moved to a bigger office. We have three large rooms, with a mimeograph and six typewriters. Pamela is training twelve or thirteen native girls to type and become secretaries. From this we've gotten many new members. Most of the sisters who are living in the center now came through this typing service. First they came to take typing lessons, then they became our friends, then we witnessed to them, brought them, and taught them the Principle and they joined. Now they work for the family. They thought they were going to make a salary, perhaps in the future, but now that they work for the family they actually become poorer. You know, the African members come in with a very small salary, but maybe at first they think by meeting spiritual Americans they'll become rich. Actually, after hearing Divine Principle, they lose everything; their salary becomes zero. But still they're very happy. They gain a spiritual treasure.

Oh, there's so much more I could say in all that's happened in my country. I've only touched the surface. What's happening here only reflects what's happening in one country. I could speak for twelve hours more about the miracles that have occurred in my mission. Every missionary would have a similar story to tell you. Of course, in some countries it's true that missionaries couldn't get any new members. Some countries are communist countries and our missionaries could only suffer, there was no way to make a church. Some nations are Muslim countries; it's very difficult there. Sometimes it's possible, with great struggle, but slower. But in many countries in the world, many countries in Africa, there are budding new movements of the Unification Church that are going to bear great fruit in the future that have already seen miracles of the kind that I've seen, and well see more.

When the foreign missionaries went out, it wasn't that they had more determination to suffer. We had the same hearts we had in America and the same fallen natures, but we were forced to suffer. We had no choice, there was nowhere to escape. The suffering was brought upon us. But, because we endured this suffering, at the heart of this suffering we could find God and we could find miracles and we could bring fruit. As I said before, God hides himself in the middle of a suffering situation. You can never find Him without penetrating through suffering. I think, if I bring any testimony back to you there must be some reason why Heavenly Father brought me back just at this time and made it possible for me to be here, it must be because I represent something more than just my nation, which after all is just one nation of the many nations of the world.

If I have any testimony to bring you it's this testimony. It's the story we've heard all along in every training session, that we teach all the time in Divine Principle, that restoration comes by way of indemnity, that God hides himself in the heart of a suffering situation, that if you want to find Heavenly Father you must go to the rock bottom of Hell. You won't find Him in the Kingdom of Heaven, you don't find Him in comfortable places. And if Heavenly Father hasn't given us miracles, He hasn't given us fruit. If we haven't received the blessing that we're praying for and hoping for, and that we need to save this country, we have to look into ourselves and see whether we've really suffered enough, whether we've really paid that price to receive what we're asking for.

During these three years there have been a few missionaries I know, good friends of mine, who lost hope and lost faith and left their mission and returned to America. Not so many, in comparison to all of them, but it hurt me very much because they were my good friends, my brothers and sisters. Some of them wrote to me. One of them wrote and said, "I have given too much, I sacrificed for so long for the Church, now I'm burned out. I'm a burned out member. I can't do anymore, I can't move anymore." I felt this was very wrong. I wrote back to this person,

"You're not a light bulb that can burn out. You can never think that way. You're an immortal, living son of God. An immortal being with God's eternal life, you can't burn out. By giving you can only become more alive. If it was possible to burn out by working too hard for the Unification Church or sacrificing too much for the restoration of the world then True Parents would've burned out a long time ago. They'd be in a rest home now recuperating. But True Parents have not burned out. I just saw the video tape of True Parents 1977.

Every year that passes, True Parents gain in life, gain in vitality, gain in power, gain in beauty, they don't burn out. And we can't burn out either. We don't have to be afraid of sacrificing too much, of giving too much."

God's promises are true. God sent us out as missionaries and planted us for his seed in the soil of each country. Some of those seeds couldn't take root and died and were blown away. but many of those seeds have taken root in the soil, and have sent off roots down into the soil and are beginning to send off their first sprouts, their first leaves above the soil and out into the sun, and they're going to be very beautiful trees of life growing in Africa, growing in Asia, growing in Latin America, that you'll hear about soon and will be bearing beautiful fruit. All of these trees have one thing in common, they've been fertilized, they've been watered, by blood, sweat and tears and by sacrifice.

As I say, the missionaries can't exactly say we prayed for it, this sacrifice was in a way forced upon us, but we know that it's because of this sacrifice, because of this indemnity paid, that the tree could grow out of this, and the seed could take root. That's the only way. There's no easy way to the Kingdom of Heaven; I found that out too. I think that in America I was always trying to find an easy way to get results without really giving that last one percent, to get results without really totally letting go of myself, to get results by some easy way or quick way. There's only one way to build the Kingdom of Heaven, that's by sacrifice, by passing by the gate of suffering. That was true in Korea, that was true in Japan, it was true in the foreign mission field, and surely America is no exception. 

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