The Words of the Verheyen Family
Mr. Teddy Verheyen
I am one of the many people whom our Heavenly Father has prepared throughout the history of restoration to do a certain task. The work given me may be small, but I accept it, knowing that joined with other such works the world will be restored.
To be prepared meant to me to experience loneliness, rejection, disappointments, etc. At that time I also had a very deep experience with Jesus and felt so good for a long time, and felt heartbroken because Jesus had been crucified. I was so shy and afraid, hiding myself as much as possible, thinking that it was better to be dead than to meet certain persons. Relationships were finally established but suddenly broken. My cry was often, "why is this happening to me? Why not to someone else? Life is not worth living."
Instead of going to church on Sunday morning I went to the dunes by the sea to catch some rabbits and hares. Very often I stood on the beach and looked out over the seas and wanted to be on the other side but did not know exactly why.
At the age of 21, in 1956, I began work as a marine engineer, sailing on a freight boat to Scotland, where two mates died at sea. Also to South America, and to the U.S.A. When touching the ground of the U.S.A. I felt so good that I decided to get back there by any means. At the age of 24 I emigrated to Canada. My family was happy when I told them I would bring back much treasure. By 1962 I was in San Francisco. Once, by the beach, I passed two girls (Doris [Orme] and Pauline [Verheyen]) but we passed each other. I went to Los Angeles and was an engineer with a milk factory. I made a lot of money but spent it in foolish ways. After one year I was fed up with that kind of life and at a beach party got drunk and fought with some friends and lost. At 3 in the morning I left with all my things to move to Inglewood. At Inglewood I found an apartment in a house which had four apartments. Then I got sick-a strange sickness with no physical cause. After 6 weeks of isolation I heard laughter and voices and found out that 2 girls had moved in next door. I could not figure out why two American girls would want to live in an old house like that.
One day while fixing my car, one of the girls came to me and asked all kinds of strange questions about my parents and myself and finally said that she was a teacher of philosophy. She asked me to hear some of it at their apartment at 7 p.m. At exactly 7 I rang the doorbell and they let me in somewhat hesitantly. They firmly put a book in my hand and asked me to start reading. After 3 chapters I said it seemed logical. I did not believe in the Principles but saw it really helped people, and thought it could not harm them. Sometime later Miss [Young Oon] Kim came and Doris [Orme] had me do the first chapter in a hotel room. At that time I could not believe spirit world. But many signs came. First, my door opened by itself and something like a wind came in the room. I was really scared. Secondly, once I was very stubborn and did not want to go preaching downtown with the girls. Many of my former friends were there. So I stayed home but then I felt someone was looking over my shoulder while it became heavier and heavier--until I could not stand it any longer and ran out of the door to the street and took the car and drove 100 miles an hour to their preaching and screamed for help. Once I saw a terrible face and a beautiful Oriental woman. A medium told me the two mates who had died at sea were standing behind me, telling me to go on doing what I was doing because it was good.
Then the moment came when I heard the conclusion. It shocked me, and I decided not to be the one to crucify our Lord. I found at that time why I had been looking for someone all my life but never really knew what I was looking for.
Some boys were moving into my apartment and it was being used as a teaching room. Whenever someone came to listen to the Divine Principles, they often said they hurt themselves that day or someone took their wallet. We saw clearly the laws of indemnity working and were so happy and excited. One boy did not believe in spirit world and suddenly felt himself lifted up and saw himself looking at his own physical body. He got so scared and yelled and screamed to be back again, shouting, "I believe...! believe... " Many times I had to leave the apartment and go to work because the spiritual atmosphere created by the spoken words of the Divine Principles was so high.
I felt chosen, but could not see why it was me. I also felt I was supposed to meet the right kind of person to restore me to God, and later it became clear that my direction to the Kingdom of Heaven was through the gate of love.
We celebrated Children's Day in San Francisco and later moved to a big house in Los Angeles. I always slept with a light burning because I was still afraid of spirits. One evening before going to bed I saw a great vision: a clear face of a woman, then the face of a man with a long oval face, high cheekbones, and big eyes. He was looking upwards in spiritual suffering like agony. Right afterwards I saw a man hanging on the cross, very thin, with blood pouring from physical wounds. Nothing was spoken but it made a very deep impression on me and I have told it again an' again to many people.
One day while talking about the Principles with one student the whole afternoon, God spoke and said very clearly, "I am your friend." I was so happy-we were so close together, walking together, sharing everything, experiencing joys and sadness, always together looking for lost children.
Then the great moment came. Master came to the U.S.A. for the first time. Much indemnity had to be paid and we really experienced it. It seemed as if all the evil forces were attacking us physically and spiritually. Before he arrived much trouble started in Viet Nam.
When Master had stayed one week in San Francisco and came to Los Angeles we felt his coming 5 minutes before he actually arrived. At first we stared at him, not knowing what to say. Then he talked. And it all came very suddenly-we were hanging on the words of his lips, not wanting to miss one thing. The atmosphere was tremendously high and to think negative thoughts seemed impossible. The Next morning he blessed Holy Ground in the Hollywood mountains. After staying one week in Los Angeles, he blessed holy ground at the highest and lowest points in the U.S. -- Las Vegas and Phoenix. At that time I gave him a solid handshake and returned to Los Angeles.
Later a phone call came from Washington D.C. saying I was to be a missionary in Holland. I ignored it because I did not want to go back to Holland. The next day again a telephone call came telling me to leave for Holland. I could not understand why they chose me, because I did not feel that I was prepared. But then Abraham came to mind, Abraham who left his beloved land without a second thought. Three days later, on March 21, 1965, I arrived in Holland at the age of 30.
After clearing customs I had 90 f left. So I made a hole in the ground and buried this small change remembering how Jacob buried the idols under an oak tree. I prayed there and read the pledge.
From there I walked to Amsterdam. Beginning witnessing, I worked washing dishes and a journalist found me a place to room in the Salvation Army. I prayed to get a difficult job to pay a lot of indemnity. Father led me around the next corner to an old paper hauling and packing old paper. I was very happy with shop, this job, remembering Nishikawa who started in Japan by hauling old paper.
At night with 20 old men in the same room, every time I tried to teach they told me to shut up. So, finding a room with 3 other boys, we began translating the Divine Principles into Dutch. Many times tears ran down my face when I asked Father, "What do you feel about this city?" The job was physically and spiritually unbearable but I was happy inside.
I went to my family to tell them that I had come back a rich man, but they did not believe me because I was walking in rags. They could not believe that spiritual richness supersedes physical treasure. My suitcase was full of Divine Principle books from the States. So they rejected the new word of God completely. How sad Father was! After 4 months 50 books were printed and I was able to give a Divine Principle book in Dutch to our Master when he visited Holland in August 1965. He was so happy. He gave me a bike. He stayed 2 days in Holland and blessed Holy Ground. After his leaving, I felt lonely, but continued.
I found one room by myself and later found one on an old houseboat with 3 decks like Noah's Ark. Sometimes it looked hopeless but then I had to pick myself up, never giving up. Suffering is indeed the greatest experience. And to know our Father a little bit we have to go the same road as he came to us.
At one time I felt so close to Our Heavenly Father-we sat together on a park bench-he likes a little baby who really needed comfort. Often I saw the spirit of Sun Myung Moon on the street in rags, or in a dream giving comfort-after much rejection and persecution.
After almost 3 years in Holland, after having found 3 people who accepted Father's new truth, these people then rejected the truth and turned away. This was so sad. But then God also rejected me and left me. This was really sad, and I couldn't understand it.
Then I went to the North of Holland and worked 3 days at night, like the experience of Jesus in the tomb. When I ca~ e back it was again March 21 and I was 33 years of age. Then I understood clearly that my three years in Holland was · like the road of Jesus in Israel. Then I understood the vision of Jesus I had seen in Los Angeles.
After that I found three spiritual children to start a new Family-this after five years. In 1969 Our Master came and I was happy to plan to be married. In 1970 he called me to Korea and I was really happy to be there to see his family and share everything with them.
Our Father has given me everything I ever wanted and even more. The experience of suffering was worth more than all the gold in the world.