Unification News for July 2005

NEC Report July, 2005

By Rev. Chen Lawrence Fong

All glory and praise be given to Heavenly Father and the Parents of Heaven and Earth, Heung-Jin Nim and Dae-Mo Nim, and the saints of the spiritual world. With gratitude to Rev. In Hoi Lee who took the New Eden Center initiative. Without their leadership and support how can the New Eden Center exist and thrive?

From Monday through Thursday, weekly in the 'Big Apple' a team of determined brothers and sisters routinely do cosmic battle in Gotham's belly (midtown Manhattan). They meet the public one by one, as True Father once did, creating a heartistic foothold victory for Cheon Il Guk. Our location is called New Eden Center at 43rd Street, the old national headquarters building. The big dragon is beginning to have problems of indigestion.

I can proudly say that the New Eden Center for Learning and Healing is the hottest place in town, at least from God's viewpoint. It is the witnessing and education effort of full time and part time members sponsored by NY Region FFWPU, Rev. In Hoi Lee. The witnessing force is comprised of Mobile Education Team(primarily) Spanish):21, Ambassadors for Peace missionaries:2-4 and members of the local church. Mrs. Ayako Heller and I, Rev. Chen Fong are the directors. Since last year, 10 new members joined. During the last 21-day witnessing condition of NY region, Kodan sisters of the region joined in the effort.

In the movie, 'Field of Dreams' that wonderful phrase, 'If you build it, he will come.' kept repeating in my mind. It was the sign of what was to become. Thanks for fundraising effort of the full time MET members and the generous contributions of certain individuals NEC is operating in newly renovated ground floor rooms of 43rd, where it occupies a store-front space. This past January, NEC formally opened its new facility establishing a public visibility unprecedented in our movement's history in America. Because of this new store front 'Welcome Room' visitors feel at ease meeting with us. Confucius said that a picture is worth ten thousand words. A huge television monitor projects images of our movement out to the busy pedestrians. NEC also has a little cinema type theater where first time visitors view a short introduction of our movement. It provides an strong impact to the introduction of who we are.

It still exists as decades ago, Satan's children make the pilgrimage to the hot Roman capital of the fallen world. But can you believe it? Thirty-nine million people visited NYC last year. Many desperate souls are pondering life's purpose as they gaze into their laptops sipping Starbucks, sunning on the Bryant Park lawn, lusting after women or men, whatever, or sitting on the library steps waiting for lightning to strike. But God's fateful hand do strike the lucky ones. They stumble across our sidewalk book table suddenly facing a banner with portraits of Jesus, Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed and a blow-up display of a message by Jesus, dated 2001. Guess what the spiritual leaders want them to know? But can the man on the street see the handwriting on the wall? His destination is Times Square, Rockefeller Center, to work or fun. But he couldn't hide the fact for long. They will admit this to us. There are many destinations but they are clueless about one's true destiny homeward.

Happily for us, nowadays, there is just a trace of that satanic lie infecting their oh-so-smart NY Times-washed brains symptomatically revealed by the 'I know you' facial disdain when they were approached by a cult 'Moonie' devotee. Time changed. Little do the younger generation know of Sun Myung Moon and the Unification movement's poor image. But after viewing our introductory video, 'In Search of An Ideal' at the NEC, many were quite impressed with our efforts for peace, family and unification. Even more impressive, some viewers think True Father is cool. They respect True Father's legacy, for his suffering life and leadership course under so much persecution. If they went through some counseling headed by Mrs. Ayako Heller and John Arias, with help of the ancestors would the impressed ones commit themselves to study DP. Many visitors say they feel good coming to NEC and they keep returning for more of something they can't put their finger on.

We completed a 21-day witnessing condition. During this period what impressed me was the mid-aged Kodan Japanese wives working together with the MET younger brothers and sisters confidently inviting an unprecedented number of guests to come into NEC's Welcome Room. Also, there were local members helping in the effort, especially those families who made special donation for this time period. Especially, these sisters who made a commitment witnessing 21-days contributed a spirit of motherly-elder sister love helping to increase the number and quality of participants. Their commitment to 4-hours periods 21-days made our place humming with activity. The cooperation between elder and younger first generation built up the witnessing confidence of the young members. Now there are signs of hope at 43rd Street for a pregnant growth of our membership this year.

Do you remember how daunting it was to dive off the diving board for the first time? CARP 2nd generation had their leadership workshop at 43rd during the same period. They were getting their feet wet about the witnessing spirit. In the beginning many them stared at the shark-infested waters but eventually they took the plunge, started to bite back at the sharks and caught some nice fish. They began to breakthrough and started to relate to the NEC education activity. Several contacts of the second generation will continue to study DP. I was impressed by the second generation trying to street witness working together with the first generation in educating their contacts. For me to witness the older and younger first generation working together and the first and second generation cooperating together as well, can you picture this? The Unification movement is truly practicing its own philosophy of unification! Sometimes we forget. We're all in the same boat, aren't we?.

Our Regional Director, Rev. In Hoi Lee was on fire to get this witnessing on a fever pitch this summer. It took over a year of investment to build up to this point. The spirit world was no less as poised and ready for the kill. We at NEC have learned to make a concerted effort dealing with full time and part time realities of members. The guests are signing up for seminars and joining. It's making a difference to everyone's lives.

In keeping with the spirit of our age through our literature and graphic displays, NEC is declaring True Parents as the Second Coming and the spiritual leaders are family in the spiritual world because Divine Principle and True Parents brought them together. It's an up front approach. Others can say, 'I'm gay and I'm proud.' We can say 'God is proud of us because we are proud of our True Parents!' Amen?

As for results of this 21-day condition, 142 'Guests' were those who have visited the NEC for the first time. A high percentage of these Guests went on to sign up and pay for introductory study. Therefore, 33 of them became 'Friends' of NEC. A higher percentage of Friends signed up and paid for further study becoming 'Students', 15 of them. It was amazing. During some witnessing days all the possible rooms were used for lecturing DP. NEC had 20 guests for a 1-day seminar being taught in Spanish, English and Russian. NEC also supported a Chinese language seminar. NEC had 12 attending 2-day seminar another weekend. Half of those will continue for serious study 7-day and 21-day. Unprecedented is the high retention of those continuing to be involved. We, the team of NEC is optimistic in spiritual parenting many more newly born spiritual children in NYC. The witnessing field of the belly of the dragon is quite heavenly!

Yet we as previous times of front line work can appreciate more support of funds and manpower to enhance the effectiveness of this great salvation work of God. We still need the most basic of education materials, literature and updating of equipment.

If True Father had not asked how our membership growth was doing in NY Region last year we would not have made a concerted effort. I believe we are given a second chance to grow our membership in New York.

My deepest gratitude to Rev. In Hoi Lee, the staff and MET members of NEC, church supporters of the region.

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