The Words of the Relph Family

To Survive In a Muslim Country

Beverly Lee Relph
November 1985

Some members at the God's Day celebration in 1983. In the back row just to the right of center is the president of HSA-UWC in Malaysia, Mr. Ngan Kwang Seng.

Malaysia, land of wealth and lush greenery, can be called Paradise in its tropical splendor and prosperity. Its multiracial and multi-religious character offers a vitality and diversity of culture that cannot easily be found in other parts of the world. On any street in Malaysia you may see a Malay teenager shouting to his schoolmates from behind the handlebars of a motorbike, a street side Chinese chef boiling noodles below a row of plucked chickens hung on hooks, or an Indian at a newsstand selling paperback palmistry books wrapped in cellophane. To the national identity the Malays have contributed their Islamic culture, the Chinese their hard-driving workaday spirit, and Indians their skills in economic and professional fields.

Unity Is a Complicated Affair

Someone once told me that the only people who can come to really know the soul of any country are the missionaries whose hearts become entwined with that nation's struggles. Over the years, we have found this to be true. The soul of Malaysia has come alive to us only in the midst of the most agonizing and challenging situations. Working in a country where Islam is the official religion and yet where fifty percent of the population comprises a prism of every conceivable form of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity can indeed be a most complicated affair. Almost any project you might want to undertake can become a sensitive issue, injuring one of the racial groups; the strict laws, suspicions, and barriers immediately loom forth. "Unity? In Malaysia, this word is very sensitive. You better not do anything controversial!'

Initially for us, everything we encountered seemed to constantly negate God's aspirations and vision for the country. Many past entanglements between the different cultures and races needed to be indemnified, in particular between countries that had conquered each other in the past, such as Japan and China. This brought on unpredictable internal as well as external hardships. Somehow, the altar upon which we wanted to place our offering seemed to have also become an abandoned one. The past British and Japanese colonial masters of Malaysia were arrogant and ruthless, ruling their subjects with a complete lack of compassion and justice. Therefore, the invisible foundation for future members to join later on could only come through unconditional investment and the daily offering up of our adversities for the country's future. Sometimes, after heavy indemnity periods, Heavenly Father suddenly rescued our suffering situation by sending us overseas Malaysian members who could help lift the providence to new levels.

As missionaries, we work virtually alone, and yet we are never alone, for the living God and the spirit world are always protecting our spiritual as well as our physical lives. At times, when there were internal struggles of disunity between Cain and Abel, the spirit world seemed to be in a state of emergency, pouring down dreams and visions to leaders and members in order to resolve the rifts and bring the situation back to a principled state. Sometimes the spirit world precisely indicated that if members followed their central figure, they would make it through the thorny, mountainous path, whereas if they followed their own way, they would become lost in the mountains.

Typical Malay dance, God's Day 1985.

Father Is the One Who Suffers Most

At one critical time, many of our members dreamt of True Father as an old man, very exhausted and even sick to the point of death. Despite the members' desire to revive Father in their dreams, they were not successful. One brother dreamt that many family members were asking True Father if he could fly, but Father said that he couldn't fly. In the next scene, he saw Father in a huge gutter where piles of human waste were pouring out. Father was lying covered with horrible human waste, and this brother began to cry and cry, offering to wipe Father's face with a wet handkerchief. Father stiffened his body and refused to move, enduring the situation. In another scene in the dream Father became very sick and the brother couldn't alleviate Father's illness. Through these types of dreams, we all could realize that the person who suffers most from our bad conditions and improper attitudes is not our Abel or the brothers and sisters we intend to hurt, but Father himself, who is paying the price for all our mistakes and wrongdoings.

Since Father's imprisonment, our family seems to be more and more protected from threatening forces from outside. Father is the one who has been keeping Satan from attacking us freely. During Father's imprisonment, God was able to correct us and bring us all to deep repentance. We shared our dreams and pledged to offer Father a more pure internal heart. It was in this way that Heavenly Father reached the members' hearts with such depth, despite our own limitations.

God's miraculous protection of our family was also manifested clearly this year when nearly thirty of our members contracted a virus that was known to be fatal. We were guided to a Chinese spiritualist healer who had been praying for years to cure mysterious "Last Days" diseases and viruses, including AIDS. Through a vision, he discovered one special leaf that could cure these viruses, and finally, after several months of treatment, we were all completely cured. As much as Satan was determined to destroy God's family, Heavenly Father was also there to help us overcome our situation victoriously.

A Sense of Harmony in the Malaysian Spirit

After years of struggle against many external constraints, we have come to discover the soul and beauty of the Malaysian heart. In the West and most other countries, a "no" is a categorical "no' Full stop. It is irreversible and the door is closed. But in Malaysia we found that "no" may not mean a full "no'.' If you are patient and continually persistent in your desire and commitment, the official you have been visiting 10 or 15 times (or even 50 times!) will gradually begin to feel sorry for your troubled state and will finally find a way to accommodate you. And this is how the different races have been able to achieve a certain tolerance and harmony despite the obvious daily conflicts and even explosions of misunderstanding. It is the muhibah (sense of harmony) in the Malaysian heart that tries to nverrnme hostile discomforts to make a harmonious national spirit. Because of this spirit, God could give us so many chances to survive in a Muslim country.

When I first came to this land I had a dream in which Father visited Malaysia and entered a room filled with many Malaysian people, mostly Chinese. One Chinese nobleman stood out among all the rest. He was bald with a long pigtail, and he was the only one standing. Father sat down immediately and bowed his head in prayer. Right away all the people began to tremble and shake uncontrollably. Everyone was shouting and screaming out to Father, "Save me, save me, save me!" Through the dream, we could realize that even though Malaysia was a Muslim country and we were forbidden to witness to Muslims, many Chinese in the spirit world already recognized Father and were desperately waiting to be saved. It turns out that most of our members -- 73 center and home members and 124 associate members -- are Chinese and two are Indian.

Recently we have had miraculous breakthroughs in reaching higher level contacts and expanding our CARP movement. Normally, the government is extremely restrictive towards student movements. However, centering on two strong student pioneers on our campuses, we were able to have our first CARP seminar this year which 25 students attended. From that seminar, 13 have joined the CARP movement and now many students have come to the center to listen to the Principle. There is great hope for a CARP movement now which in the past seemed quite distant.

Since inter-religious difficulties represent the national problem of Malaysia, we have begun a "Day of Prayer for National Unity through Inter-religious Harmony." Through this program we plan to reach government leaders and religious leaders of all faiths. Three cabinet ministers have been contacted, representing the Chinese, Indian, and Malay people, and already one of the aides working for the Chinese cabinet minister expressed his full support for our work. We are contacting many Hindu, Taoist, and Buddhist temples, gathering signatures for the program, and at the same time we are searching for Abel-type community leaders who have the same vision as Father.

Already members of one Buddhist temple are very close to us and we are teaching the Principle to the monks. Three times this year we have held Introductory Seminars on the Unification Movement (ISUM's) for professors, community leaders, and religious teachers. Slowly Heavenly Father has been opening up the way for us to reach higher level people who could assist the church in numerous ways. Through these activities, God has shown us that Malaysia has a very bright future. There are prepared people in Malaysia who for years have been yearning for the day of unity of all religions and have come to see Father as a very great spiritual leader of our time.

CARP seminar in Malaysia.

The Chinese Virtue of Loyalty

I would like to share what I have learned from working with Chinese people and coming in contact with the treasures of Chinese culture. By my own experience, I have seen that because of the virtue of loyalty among the Chinese our family was able to conquer the most seemingly insurmountable challenges. When Father's trial was going on in 1982 in America, there was great misunderstanding everywhere. Our small family of 20 members faced extreme persecution from all sides, even from government levels. Our neighboring country banned the church and we faced a possible ban in our own country. Father's name was suspect and it was feared that we might present a danger to national security. There were three layers of investigations going on for almost two years. And of course our family was never free from the usual problems that beset any family -- problems of unity, lack of commitment, faith struggles, etc. But in a time of crisis, the Chinese members put aside all individualistic thinking and mobilized in full force to protect the existence of the church. What I saw before my eyes was one solid body of unity, which left not even a crack for Satan to infiltrate. This was an astonishing phenomenon I had never encountered in the West, and I believe that this expression of loyalty to True Parents' providence in Malaysia laid the condition for Satan's threats to be defeated during these two years.

Sometimes to a Westerner, Confucian ethics seem to be strict, externally imposed practices, but Confucian folklore contains many beautiful stories of a king's loyalty to his subjects and a subject's loyalty to his king. These tales enable the Oriental members to nurture a deep, heartistic relationship with True Parents. Confucian ethics stress that the king should never be exposed to the front line in combat. Rather, his role is to give the final victorious blow to the enemy after his followers have fought in the most advanced, visible positions with their lives. If the king is exposed to the front line, it means that his followers have not been loyal. To the Oriental members, it is not a source of inspiration but rather deep shame that instead of ourselves

True Father and Mother still continue to fight the frontline battle, exposed to the enemy. They feel that it is necessary to not just let Father rest after so many years, but to restore the honor and dignity of His true position as God's son, the King of Kings. Chinese legends and classics have a deep moral lesson of heart which, if drawn into the restored world centering on God, can show us how to best express our attendance to True Parents. Because of their history and tradition, Chinese people understand spiritual laws -- what will bring fortune to their family and descendants and what will bring misfortune. Therefore, it is very clear to them that we must live a life of restoration through indemnity.

I could give countless examples which have provided us, as missionaries, with enriching internal experiences, even though we have been working in an externally restrictive environment. This is why True Parents have emphasized virtues in Oriental culture that can help us offer our hearts to God and True Parents in the purest way. 

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library