Unification News for April 2002
Blessing Campaign Testimony
It felt so good to bless someone. It made me want to do it again and more!! Although I am among the majority of American members who are employed and support their families, I felt strongly motivated to assist the Japanese missionaries who were relying on the western members in our northern Virginia community for daily transportation. So I volunteered two time slots (Thursday mornings and Wednesday evenings), and hoped other western members in our community would step forward.
I saw no reason why we shouldn't use up some of our time to help in any way we could. It is the least we can do, and let us remember, as we were taught many times that whatever we invest ourselves for God, particularly for this coming special Blessing, every effort we make will be remembered, and we don't need to look around and doubt if our own such effort is valuable.
Fortunately, in the last few weeks a number of western community members have committed their time to provide transportation, homes, funds and food to the Japanese sister's efforts. My wife Hisayo and I have done the same. She has even assisted a team with transportation on one Sunday with a rental car.
My first Thursday experience was with three Japanese missionaries. That morning we re-visited three churches they had visited before. In each location, the Pastor, pastor's wives or pastor's secretary's received us and "heard us out". But they were not able to receive the Holy Wine or commit to attending a convocation or the Blessing ceremony (even though, in one case, the Pastor's wife had received the Holy Wine on a previous visit). We did not consider the visit in vain, but just one more day of "tilling the soil" to be harvested later.
We decided to visit some new churches in the time we had left. We stopped at a fundamentalist, independent Protestant church that we found out had been visited before. We met with an Assistant Pastor, who informed the Japanese missionaries of a prior visit from ACLC representatives. He was a 72-year-old white American, who explained their church, with an inter-racial, international congregation, was "all about Jesus!!" and nothing else. He also explained that he couldn't do anything without the Pastor's review and consent.
I then asked him if he was married, and his pride swelled. "I just celebrated my 42nd wedding anniversary to the same woman I first married", he told us. He described how all of his family -- his wife, his children and his grandchildren -- were all either pastors, assistant pastors, Sunday School teachers or missionaries all around the country and the world. He agreed marriage was an institution sanctioned by God "from the outset of Creation" and key to the spiritual health and future of any country and the world.
He appreciated our acknowledgment of what a tremendous achievement that was. We could see he was prepared. I explained that the primary work of the ACLC was to find and recognize outstanding clergy couples such as he and his wife as an example for the nation.
I then suggested we offer a toast to him, his wife, his family and ministry for God to continue to do bless them and do His work through them. The Japanese missionaries had the sealed "cups" of holy "wine" (juice) out of their bag. Their joyful enthusiasm was irresistible to him, and he "popped the top" open and raised the little plastic container with us in a toast and received the Holy Wine then and there!
We shared about the upcoming convocations at local universities, and about the 144,000 clergy Blessing, which he agreed to pass along to his pastor. We invited him and his wife to participate, which he'd need to talk to his pastor about, he said. He then recounted his life to us, and all of the trials and tribulations he had faced and overcome in his life of faith. It was obvious he had a lot of ancestral support which had led him to that very moment.
We left with a very uplifting feeling, and felt he would testify to his Pastor which would open the door to a future appointment with him.
It felt so good to bless someone -- my first time!. It made me want to do it again and more.
Then later that day (and I believe, on the foundation of our tiny effort, our willing heart, and the "good condition" especially made by so many Japanese missionaries and other brothers and sisters) my wife and I heard that one of the Pastor's of the three churches in downtown DC we adopted (and had been visiting and inviting to events for some time) had actually responded to an invitation flyer we only had had time to leave at his church, and had attended the last one-day National Convocation on March 16 at Hyatt Regency Hotel for ministers! He and his wife had received the Holy Wine, been blessed, and now had taken on the mission of blessing other clergy! Due to our unavoidable business (to go get a car), my wife and I agreed she would drop off a small donation and a bouquet for their church's 20th anniversary celebration later that day. We hoped it would help encourage their blessing more couples in their churches, or even an altar call blessing at the anniversary event!. His position is often that of a touring evangelist, pastoring a number of other churches within the same denomination.
To top it off, the financing finally came through on a wonderful used vehicle my wife and I hoped we could purchase in place of her completely broken vehicle so we could be more free to do more to help with this and future providential work. Having only one functioning vehicle had limited us when our jobs and three children's schedules required rides and pick-up's.
So, arriving home with the car after a long day, we were in awe of God's love and gratefully Holy Salted the car and offered to God, True Parents, and their providence. And our eldest son sat in the car and shared our joy.
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