The Words of the Ablong Family

Mission Matters Matter 3: Using our Faith and Unity in Times of Disasters

Raffy Ablong
March 23, 2011

I am writing this in view of the fact that so many of us are responding to a lot of call for help and support at this time. When we look at the pictures of devastated Japan right now, we feel so much sympathy and urgency to help in whatever way we can. It is normal for conscientious and responsible citizens to do the best they can to give so others can live, succeed or move on. It is human nature to sympathize and give to those who are in need, to be concerned and to care for those who are hurt and to feel the bitterness and difficulties of those who are in pain. We have this kind of human nature to love and to live with people and all things that God has created.

The Best of the Japanese People Ever

Japan is experiencing its worst disaster after World War II. The devastation has shocked other nations. This most wired economic giant is dwarfed by the force of nature and has caused a lot of anxieties all over the world. The devastation caused a lot of worries ranging from economy, energy and nuclear technology to food and health scare.

When we look at the photos of Japan, however, we see the loyalty, dignity and discipline of the Japanese people. We see them in their lines waiting for their turn even when they are so hungry, tired and traumatized by the situation. Even the loyalty of dogs in Japan is featured on CNN. If it were another country, with the slow flow of rescue and relief operations after a disaster, chaos and riot would occur.

Japan Unification church members did a 3-Days Fasting Condition and donated their savings of Y6,300 (700/meal x 9 meals) from this condition to the disaster victims. There are so many reports of people in hardships helping other people. Their missionary spirit has literally earned the respect of the world. Indeed, we can see the best of the Japanese people in these trying times.

This good character of the people in the face of adversity tames the ferocity of disasters. Their strength of character is the reason why they became the most advanced country in the world in a short time after the Second World War. With this strong missionary spirit, they can easily surmount any kind of hardship and sacrifice the best in themselves to make this country great. This devastating experience will make them even greater in heart, fortitude and progress as a country.

How We Can Help

Japan government is still accounting for the number of dead and survivors while responding to the immediate needs of the victims. They are also preparing the support fund that they can give to each victim for a new life ahead of them. Although there are a lot of inherent complexities in the reconstruction process, housing facilities along with livelihood and financial assistance, support infrastructures and other mechanisms will be provided just as they had done after the earthquake that hit Kobe. Visit these links to see what Japan has done after the Kobe earthquake. You may also go to this page to read about the lessons from rebuilding Kobe after the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake

Even if we are far away from the disaster area, we can still help from where we are. We can pray, donate blood, fast a meal or meals to raise money to give to the victims, sponsor charity events and get involve directly with relief operations and others when possible.

Two Options for Giving

There are so many appeals for donations right now. Even though we want to give more, we can only give what we have. To be more pragmatic about it, we should know why we are giving, how we should give and know whom we are giving it to. There are two alternatives to choose from. If you want to give to a few more people and organizations then you have to take the "trickle" approach: divide your budget for donations by the number of people and organizations you would like to become your channels for helping the victims. You may also take the "total" approach: just give all your donation money to one organization and say, "no, I have already given" to others. Either way is fine. In the end, it is you, the donor, who is going to decide where your donation should go.

We cannot give every penny we have because there are a lot of practical considerations. There are many organizations that are helping in the effort but their common objective is to help the same group of people. Donors have to be wise enough to choose where to give the money. We have to pray for guidance so that God can reveal to us which agency or group should receive the money to help the victims. Acting on impulse is good, but when we impulsively decide many times, we will lose adequate judgment to give to those who are in need of immediate help especially the ones we know. Let us consider looking at our public position first, and quickly decide things from that viewpoint.

Due to the urgency of the situation, some members have given to one or several organizations already. We have a few members in Tokyo who have managed to temporarily adopt families from hard hit areas. Although these family members have already given, they still want to give more knowing that there are still so many victims who need help. For now, it is just a matter for individuals or families to decide how to give the best of what they have so those who have less or nothing in life, except clothes, after a disaster will feel the heart of heaven.

Three Ways to Donate

An Arabian proverb says, "If you have much, give your wealth; if you have little, give your heart". Albert Einstein, tells us that our value "resides in what we give, not in what we are capable of receiving." Average men become saints and heroes because of this ability to pursue goodness despite their individual situation. Plato, Confucius, Gautama Buddha, St. Theresa, all the saints and sages have proven this point many times.

There are three ways to donate. We can donate money, time and effort. Those who do not have money may always give their time by offering it to whoever needs it. For instance, giving away family time for dinner to volunteer at a relief center or for someone to enjoy the safety and security of the home environment. In the classroom, this means giving time to motivate others to help or do something for others' sake instead of teaching the actual lessons. Any work that is done to help victims of disasters, uplift the lives of the poor or alleviate the plight of the needy are donations of effort.

Those who live in Japan know how things are valued in terms of money. Time is gold. When we think of money as Unificationists, however, we realize that money is a result of time and effort. Time and effort make money. More exactly, money is a derivative of time, effort and material instruments.

God's material instruments like nickel, silver and gold cannot be obtained without man's contribution of time and effort cannot be turned into coins. We can say, therefore, that money is a creation of God and man. Thus, things like money can represent the heart, time and effort of man. This is why money is very important. We can change money into food and many other things easier than by changing clothes and other things into money.

Different Ideas About Giving

There are so many ideas about giving. Most people give without expecting anything in return. Some give believing that the more they give, the more they receive. Others give because they feel they had to do it as a result of an internal (heart) impulse or to express something that cannot be simply said. Others give for some selfish reasons.

We believe that when we give love, we receive love in return. Financial and other material presents are an externalization of our internal character and desires. Internal character of heart keeps human beings stand above minerals, microorganisms, plants and animals. It is our ability to think and create based on heart and purpose for being that makes us the highest and most loved of God's creation.

We also create based on need and reason. Whether it is the need for food, clothing, shelter or to engage someone in a relationship. We also need to realize that there are inappropriate or dangerous things we create as a consequence of not thinking enough with a public mind. Thus, creations are made as a result of purpose, motivation and condition.

Meaning from "Nothing"

Roy Carumba, a PUCMJ regional church minister here said during our "skype" meeting, "it is really up to us to find the meaning why we do things" if we do not want people to follow up on us then we have to follow up on things ourselves, if we really care. Members have to "find meaning from nothing." We get the meaning of things in reality when we pray. When we indulge ourselves in deep meditation and prayer then God can reveal things to us more clearly. God can teach many things if we just close our eyes and listen to our hearts. He can guide us when we look for the meaning behind each happening.

True sons and daughters of God think about what they can do for Heaven without being told. We become creative and sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people we love. We can bring things to fruition when we collaborate with same-minded individuals. Thus, creating activities for the good of the family and others are matters that may not be dictated but thought, felt and actualized carefully with a humble heart, individually or collectively.

From the Divine Principle, we learn that human beings and all creations are inter-connected bodies. We exist to give and receive love from people and things. Giving and receiving relationships between and among the creation occur instinctively or automatically. Human beings have both instinctive (auto-response) and learned (conditioned response) abilities. Above all these, we gain happiness when we give and receive centering on true love.

Giving and Receiving is Life

From the Divine Principle, we learn that human beings and all creations are inter-connected bodies. We exist to give and receive love from people and things. Giving and receiving relationships between and among the creation occur instinctively or automatically. Human beings have both instinctive (auto-response) and learned (conditioned response) abilities. Above all these, we gain happiness when we give and receive centering on true love.

Briefly, the purpose of giving is receiving life. Life can mean happiness, vitality or survival. It depends on the state of one's existence but as long as there is giving, there is life and continuity of existence. Giving and receiving is a basic equation of life. It keeps the cycle of existence, multiplication, and development for eternity. We give and receive to live. Plants give oxygen to animals and animals give carbon dioxide to plants, etc. This giving and receiving action occurs in all levels of existence of the universe and with the corporeal and incorporeal, spirit world. This is also the reason why God had to create. He needs someone He can give and take with otherwise he will be a lonely and unknown being. This is how God Exists as a being of heart. Heart is the "fountain and motivator of love."

As Co-Creators of God

Just as God made all creation to support human life. As co-creators of God we are given the ability to create things that can support the life and existence of people and things as well. Our unique relationship with God as His children give us this power to make things or to make things happen.

Although, there is something as time tithes, we should not think of it only as the time that we give for prayer or pledge services and other work or meetings held in our respective churches or departments. We should seriously think that God does not expect only ten percent time tithe. He expects a minimum donation of three-tenths of our time as a commitment to fulfill His Will.

Donation is what we give outside the tithing concept. This is the money that we as individuals decide on our own to give out of our willingness to offer to someone, a group or institution. We are all encouraged to offer donations on our church holidays like True Parents Day, True Children's Day, True Day of All Things, True God's Day as well as the True Parents' birthday. Every donation carries with it the value of purity of heart, humility and love. In short, we should give out of love not out of obligation.

God loves a cheerful giver not the one who brags or pouts about it. A person who secretly donates from the heart what he has, even how little it is makes his offering more valuable than someone who boasts about it. The key here is to offer willingly with gratefulness from the heart. This key element of giving from the heart determines whether an offering is acceptable or not. Let us remember, that what we offer does not really belong to us. We offer what we have because it gives us joy and happiness to see God and or other people being happy because of it.

True Father and Hyung Jin Nim said, "it is in the end times that these things will happen, yet, it is only after the end times that we see the new beginning." Ultimate power comes from giving love. When we give love, we receive love in return.

Rafael E. Ablong


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