Unification News for December 2001

Sarah Witt

Therese Stewart

Sarah was, and is, a dear friend of mine. We met in Chicago in 1969 or thereabouts. I was in Chicago for True Fatherís Day of Hope speech. I remember going shopping with Sarah--the neighborhood was busy and traffic heavy but to my surprise we had no trouble finding a parking space. When this happened at two more stores, I remarked to Sarah, "This is amazing!" and she replied, "Oh, not for me. This happens to me all the time." And then she told me about her relationship with the spiritual world. At some time her mother became very ill and in danger of dying. Sarah heard a voice say, "Donít worry--weíre taking care of you from up here." Sarah said she felt comforted by those words and had many occasions to recall them. One day, years later, she slipped on a patch of ice and her feet flew out from under her. She should have landed very hard, but at the last moment something that felt like a cushion slipped under her and she wasnít hurt at all.

Sarah and I were together at the Seminary for twenty years and our friendship grew over the years. I always felt encouraged and uplifted by her. I didnít see her as often after we moved from Barrytown but occasionally we got together. We did see her at the IOWC Board meetings with Pres. Kim in Poughkeepsie. We all reported on the various activities we were involved in and Sarah reported such projects as her weekly radio broadcast; writing an introduction and epilogue for Edward Bellamyís book from a Divine Principle viewpoint and putting it on the Internet; devoting much time to replying to the many letters she received; and working in the Health Center one day a week "doing the kinds of things I would do in my own home."

Sarah took her prayer commitments very seriously. She told me that she prayed for friends and families individually and by name. One time when she was sick she worried about not being able to complete all her prayers and I assured her that at that time, being ill was her prayer. In 1999 she participated in "Lady General" Kimís prayer condition at the Rock of Decision on the Seminary campus for as long as she was able to do so.

While Sarah was happy living and working at the Seminary, sometimes her heart was heavy over having left her two sons (then ages 24 and 20) when she first came to New York. At the same time, she felt that God wanted her to be at the Seminary. She loved her sons dearly, wrote them regularly, and visited them and other members of her family in Chicago from time to time when she could do so.

Yesterday people commented on Sarahís positive attitude. She attributed that in part to her work typing the manuscripts of Earl Nightingale, one of the first motivational speakers in America in the 1940s.

Some of you have heard Sarahís Unification Hour radio broadcast. I remember how hard she worked developing the first series of talks. She went over her drafts with my husband and they had lively discussions over various points. She appreciated Ernieís knowledge of the Bible and his Christian background and found that it complemented her perspective from Judaism. So they too became good friends. Yesterday Marie Ang talked about Sarahís care of families at the Seminary as well as students. Our son Michael, like the Ang children, the Byrnes and some others who were born at or lived at the Seminary, knew her from little on and were touched by her birthday card and the $10 bill she enclosed in it each year.

Last night I talked with Ernie about what I was planning to say today and asked him what he had to say about Sarah. He summed it up well: Sarah loved everybody and was always reaching out. She was concerned about everybody.... She was "Granny Sarah."

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