The Words of the Seuk Family
At first I was unable to connect martial arts and Unificationism. So it took me time to understand how to start this campaign. Finally, my wife told me. "You must follow." You know, the archangel always need the support of a mother figure.
Before this, I never had any interest in martial arts, except for one day in high school when I asked my older brother whether I should practice karate. "How can you think about karate?" he replied. "Don't you know that Jesus' love is stronger than any physical power like karate?" Since that day I never attended any martial arts demonstrations. Even during a God's Day celebration in New York some years ago, I did not go to the martial arts demonstration at the Manhattan Center. I thought that going to a Korean restaurant would be much better than attending a karate demonstration!
But because my wife pushed me, I started to pray about this rally and campaign. Gradually I started to receive some inspiration. At a bloc leaders' meeting we prayed to God and promised to restore 400 members within this year. I had never made a pledge like that before, but God pushed me and did not allow me to remain silent. Usually, until I achieve substantial result, I never say anything; I just work. Then after working, I can give a testimony. That was my attitude during the past 17 years in the church. This year, Heavenly Father asked me to change my attitude towards God and True Parents, and also towards our movement.
Everybody started working hard, but I felt that to achieve that kind of goal, I myself needed to relate to God through an Abel figure, in order to renew my heart. I could see that the brothers and sisters also wanted to gain some new heart and spirit, but first I had to be renewed myself. When I prayed, I felt that to unite and work toward this new direction was the best way to gain a new spirit.
Another concern I felt was how to restore more of a family feeling and spirit of unity. We have been working together centering on God and True Parents and the CARP spirit, but the key was to create one family atmosphere. As people were coming from other regions and from the CARP MFT, and I began to feel that somehow God really liked us! When members came, I tried to learn to know them and find out how they could best work with us.
Many times Dr. Seuk would call me from Chicago, from San Francisco, from Los Angeles, or wherever he was working. He would ask me how the brothers and sisters were, whether people were excited, how they were working. He was always concerned about our situation and was a great support to me. Through this process, I gradually sensed how serious God was to have us succeed and overcome every kind of negative attitude. Whenever I had to report about something negative, Dr. Seuk would respond with a more aggressive attitude. He is very strong inside, but he expresses himself very softly.
I felt that this campaign was not just for Boston, but was some conditional campaign for the rest of the CARP movement. During my early years in the church I had worked on six campaigns, but never with a peaceful mind and heart. In 1968 I was in charge of a VOC campaign in Kyoto. The campaign was so difficult that everybody got scars on their heart. People were working too hard, without spiritual guidance; everyday was filled with physical work and sometimes physical fighting. During another campaign we had to sell tickets to an event; the cheapest tickets were $10.00. I had never participated in a campaign with a peaceful heart; I never had the confidence that something good would result from this kind of campaign.
But after uniting with Dr. Seuk's decision about the date and location of the event, I felt that God's blessing already with us. I think God really worked through Dr. Seuk and I feel, therefore, that this is God's victory.
I realized that this campaign was really serious for America for the world and everyone was trying to find the key to understand Unificationism. At first I thought this was very serious, although I myself was happy to participate and the spirit was high. During the last couple of days I began to lose the spirit of seriousness, then I thought of Abraham, who couldn't succeed in the first offering, and I felt God was testing me to see whether we could maintain the right spirit and give a really pure offering.
One day I wanted to ride on the train and speak to the passengers, but because of appointments to sell tickets, I postponed entering the station until about 4:30. When I saw how packed the train was I got off and decided to wait for another line. There were many people waiting and the train's arrival was delayed. Finally, I sat down and started to pray. Suddenly I looked up and saw the familiar pamphlet by my side. The pamphlet was like a light.
As I looked around, Gordon, a brother on our team, appeared; he told me he had seen me and placed the pamphlet beside me. He inspired me many times as I saw him talking to negative people, but still able to maintain his righteousness. I needed to inherit that righteous spirit from him.
I really respect the people who do Wonhwa-do because it takes self- discipline, and you can use that self- discipline to do God's work.
I have found that no matter how long you have been in the family -- whether 20 years or one year -- you never stop sacrificing. If you stop putting yourself on the altar, that is the beginning of the end.
This whole campaign was a rebirth experience for me. This is my second time in CARP. My recent three months on ocean church were a real challenge to my faith and relationship with True Parents. When I heard that Dr. Seuk was chosen as the new leader of CARP I determined to return to CARP, knowing that Wonhwa-do had a place in CARP. Preparing myself internally, I decided to go to New York. The first day there, I met Dr. Seuk in the elevator lobby. He told me about his plans and visions for Unificationism and martial arts.
Rev. Im of Ocean Church once asked us why American members can't unite with Koreans. We were silent. He explained that the Korean leaders had come to teach not the Korean tradition but Father's tradition and heart. This man is about 45 or 50 years old, but to him Father is really Father, and he is a child. Rev. Im told us about the early days when sometimes there were only four people in the house and Father would talk about science conferences and large ocean projects; at the time, he thought Father was crazy. Now he realizes how serious Father really is.
My mind went back to Rev. Im when Dr. Seuk talked about this tour. During my time at the Seminary, I had not been so serious about Wonhwa-do, so Dr. Seuk gave me three days to think before giving him an answer. Everywhere I went during those three days, I thought about it and began to exercise again.
I was still struggling from my experience in Ocean Church when I arrived in Boston. But at the center, people were very bright and happy; they were getting up early, working hard and doing a lot of praying. Mr. Fujii was constantly talking about prayer, prayer, prayer and how God was working. Prayer was what I needed most.
In the snow, tickets were very hard to sell. I remember someone once saying that when it snows in Korea, it is a sign of God's blessing, so I felt something good would happen.
Mr. Fujii was having the leaders get up at 5:00 and the rest of the members at 6:00. When Father heard about it, he gave direction to the other centers to do that as well. So Mr. Fujii raised the standard, having his members wake up an hour earlier.
For the first time since I joined the family, I feel that instead of being inspired by things I want to do, I can now be more influenced vertically and live more fully for God and True Parents.
Through Wonhwa-do God is showing me the importance of unity with the central figure, regardless of what you want to do. CARP has a reputation for working hard and maintaining a strong fighting spirit, but the reputation doesn't mean anything if we don't bring results. I feel this is the last chance for the American movement and for America itself.
When Mark Tobkin told us we had to go to Boston, I was really torn in two because I didn't know what I would be getting into because Mr. Fujii has a reputation for hard work. If I was going to go, I knew it would have to be by my own choice.
Upon arriving and discovering that I had to sit through an all-day meeting, I became really negative, because I wanted to dive into activities. The next day I was inspired about being able to talk to people. This was my first opportunity to witness in seven years, so I really wanted to learn.
I have been thinking a lot about how I broke through on MFT, and I wanted to learn to break through in witnessing. Watching everything Mr. Fujii and the other members did, I began to talk to people about Father. I got the names of 12 people; they were so precious to me because I was able to witness to them about Father. I had many experiences following up on these contacts. Satan struck people from every possible direction. One thing I have learned is that if you really want to bring people, you just have to keep on asking them. If we keep on asking, the odds are that we will find someone who is searching.
After God's Day I started reflecting on the large campaigns in the past, such as Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument. Around these focal points, our movement was able to make a strong stand, work hard to move forward. After Washington Monument, however, it seemed that we no longer had a focal point -- even though Father asked us to take the spirit of Washington Monument to Moscow.
I felt a lot of wavering in the movement, and people experienced many struggles. Since Washington Monument, we had become very lax; people seemed to feel the internal standard, prayer life, conditions, etc., were no longer necessary. This God's Day, I felt the thrust of Father's sincere desire to go to Moscow. Our region was becoming very serious; conditions were being set, and of their own accord people were getting up early to pray.
When Dr. Seuk called me and asked me to mobilize the east coast region and bring members to Boston, one side of me didn't want to go. But I felt that if we united, God could fulfill His responsibility. Members united very well and came to Boston. They felt like they were no longer just east coast CARP members, but part of a campaign to speak out for Father and Unificationism.
The campaign confronted almost every conceivable barrier. The weather was terrible; all the vehicles broke down. Since everything was going wrong, I felt we must be doing some# thing right and gained confidence that we would fill that gymnasium. If God exists, I thought, during this campaign members are going to understand His existence with a certainty. This was the first time I have seen the Washington Monument rally spirit regenerated.
I am so inspired by the Wonhwa-do team. There are many martial artists who show off how great they are, but the Wonhwa-do team members were humble -- not just to Dr. Seuk but also in front of the members. I really learned many things through them.
At the end of last year, God in a way revealed to me many things I had been doing to Him. One of them was resisting him. In order to be able to change, I feel I have to face up to that resistance. So this is my offering, to stand up and share something with you.
When Paul came to pick me up at the airport at 3:00 a.m., I was expecting someone very tired looking, but he arrived with such a bright spirit. I was tired and worn out, but he uplifted me. He had such a hopeful spirit as he was explaining about all the meetings they had been having. Even though it was three hours after midnight, he was still inspired and going strong! I thought maybe he was just trying to put on a good show, since he is the spiritual son of one of our members. But when we arrived at the center and I had to step over sleeping members, they didn't stir. And I realized they had been working very hard.
At morning service, I saw the spirit of each person and realized that God was here in Boston. I felt that God had really come because of a certain cohesiveness between the leaders and members. Brothers and sisters really wanted to work with the leaders. Unity has a certain magnetism that draws God, and I couldn't help but feel God.
I wanted to meet some of the brand new members, to figure out what kind of person is joining here in Boston. Last night I was deeply moved by the testimonies of two of these members. I could feel that they had joined not because of some external push, but because they were drawn here. Without being able to attract God, you won't be able to draw members.
For years I have seen members and leaders pushing people to join; you push them into the family and they go out the back door. I asked Rev. Won Pil Kim about keeping members, and he told me the problem is the back door. Tiger Park also used to talk about that. One time when Father spoke to the seminarians, he scolded us as representative Americans. One problem with Americans, he said, was that they cannot take care of children. He meant spiritual children as well.
I think that more than any other time, the time is now ripe for CARP to explode in America. I think that the leader to make this happen is Dr. Seuk. His investment of heart and effort here is so evident that I think of every one of you as a reflection of him. I can see the light coming from you, not just Dr. Seuk, and I can see cohesiveness forming.
I see how very hard Father tries to inspire American members by giving more than he needs to give, sacrificing more than necessary, and offering himself more than a hundred percent. I can see this same quality in this man. I feel that what we have here needs to spread throughout the country, and then I know that this nation can be saved.
I was so inspired by the sacrifice and hard work and unity of everyone during this critical period. It was a most difficult time period; the weather was so cold, it bit through to the bone.
The reason why we put so much heart into this campaign was to establish faith and CARP tradition. The testimonies from this campaign will touch thousands of young people in the future. During the past ten days, you were suffering and crying, but now you are smiling and True Parents are smiling.