The Words of the Shapiro Family

God with Us

Linda Shapiro
May 1989

"Be strong and of good Courage... for God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

I and my assistant, Alex Smyth, had a wonderful experience in early April while searching for a house in our tribal area. We would like to share this with brothers and sisters to demonstrate how God and the spiritual world are ready to provide so much help at this time in the providence.

Prior to the announcement of the tribal messiah providence, I had decided that if I were to move from New Jersey, where I was living, to New York, Staten Island would be the place I would go. My late husband, Lee Shapiro, martyred at the hands of communists in Afghanistan, had planned to set up residence in Staten Island.

I was given my choice of areas and picked Staten Island. Then I spent one hour in tearful prayer asking God how I could possibly accomplish this mission, because I had been asked to teach the new 21-day workshop program, and had other responsibilities as well. Nonetheless, I pledged to God that I would accomplish the mission. Still, concerned about the amount of time I could devote to it, I pleaded with God to send me an assistant.

As I sat in the Staten Island church center, exhausted after my second day of house searching, the telephone rang. It was Alex Smyth, a brother who worked in the fish business in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Although all the members working in the plant could have moved to New Jersey if they so chose, Alex felt strongly drawn to Staten Island because it was the area given to him as a result of Father's original directions on March 19.

It would not be easy for Alex to live together with the members in his original tribe in Staten Island because their schedule is totally opposite to his own. Rev. Pak had given permission to change areas in such circumstances.

Alex knew something about my situation and was calling to ask "if I wouldn't mind" if he joined my tribe and helped me as an assistant. I felt it was an answer to my prayers. God surely had some base to work in this way because Alex himself had been in Afghanistan in 1977, prior to the communist takeover. I feel perhaps Lee was influencing the situation.

Just as Joshua had a three day period before crossing the River Jordan, it took three days for Alex and myself to find our Canaan in Staten Island. On that third day we were determined to find the house no matter what. After eight hours of back-to-back appointments, the choice had been narrowed down to two places. Alex made a checklist, but after listing the good and bad points of each, the result was a deadlock.

I prayed and received the message: "Where is the oldest area in Staten Island?" Looking around me I noticed an elderly couple and asked them if they knew. Very emphatically the husband said: "Go to Richmondtown!" Suddenly, Alex remembered that he had actually called someone in Richmondtown and had been given directions to the house, but had not included it in the list of appointments! Was God keeping it until the last moment?

As we drove to the area, I began to speak very emphatically about how something historical needed to be restored in this area. Later Alex commented to me that he could feel spiritual world speaking through me. I am very spiritually attuned and often receive messages from my husband Lee in the spiritual world.

Richmondtown, founded in the late 1600's, is the oldest settlement in Staten Island, and a vigorous restoration project is going on in the area. Also, Mother Elizabeth Seton, the first saint canonized in America, was born there.

Later, in prayer, I felt Mother Seton's spirit so closely and I cried deeply, feeling that Mother Seton was so happy that someone had come to bring the True Parents' love to her home.

The house that we found was ideal, too. What we learned from this experience is that God is with us just as He was with the Israelites. Just go with confidence and prayer and connect to the vertical providence of restoring the ancestors in your area. Then God will provide for your practical needs as well. Hallelujah! 

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