Unification News for January 2000

Japanese Sisters in Bayou la Batre

by J. Grapek - Bayou la Batre, AL

I remember saying not long ago, that our problems would seem much smaller if we were doing things that are much larger. That statement has been verified recently as we have been investing ourselves in the many young people who come to our center to hear more about the Blessing and study the Principle. It's been the busiest time I can remember, but also the most gratifying!

We are lucky here in Alabama, because the Japanese Sisters are dependent on our help. Unlike a larger city there is no way to get around unless we drive them. Without their investment, we wouldn't be bringing people, so we are mutually dependent.

We rented a very nice house, and thus created a center between two college campuses. Every night there is an evening program and an afternoon workshop on Sundays. Up until now we've sent in eight matching applications, and have several more guests returning regularly to study the Principle. Most nights we have between one and five guests, and so far we've been fortunate not to have a guestless night. We have dinner, entertainment, an orientation talk for the first time guests (ongoing lectures for others), dessert and a sharing by a Blessed couple. Having the Blessed couple share, or even just having them there, seems to be the most powerful part of the whole program. The guests are hungry for this type of testimony. Because we might be focusing on our own shortcomings, many of us don't realize how much we have to give as a matched and Blessed couple. But through testifying with my wife, I have realized how good we really have it. The grass isn't any greener than under our own four feet!

One brother here named Alberto, while on an errand, met a lady the same day she had been praying for a good husband! She came that evening and has signed up for the matching. We had one young man coming who was very nervous about going through with it, so he brought his mother. It turns out that his mom is single and she got inspired. She's a minister so she got filled with the Holy Spirit. She hasn't signed up but encouraged her son. Last night we had another lady minister come and she was very inspired by the program (just so you understand; there are a lot of ministers here in the South). The Sunday before Christmas I was witnessing with some of the Japanese Sisters in the mall. As you can imagine it was very crowded. I saw a young man who looked like just the type to come to a program, so I had my partners stop him and talk to him. He said "Oh, I've been over to the house. I met Ukiko." Everyone is meeting us. I've even had two of my seafood customers come to the program. One might get matched. One of our matching candidates lives in Bayou La Batre next to a family of members, and rents his house from a another member. He had heard about us but always wondered what we actually did.

We recently held a Hoon Dook Hae conference in a Holiday Inn. This was great with fifty guests attending. A minister couple from Jackson, Mississippi testified that the RFK Blessing had turned their marriage around. A Nation of Islam brother gave a moving talk about racial unity. Also present were several representatives from an Islamic Mosque and State Senator George Callahan, who is congressman Sonny Callahan's brother. A few days later a young minister who had attended the conference with his wife met with our state leader, Joshua Cotter, and the two Japanese sisters who originally met him while going door to door. He testified that the conference was the most moving night of his life because he felt God's presence so clearly. This man had been a minister for several years and had even worked on the streets of New York.

I would like to thank everyone who wrote me after the last time I submitted a testimony. I really appreciate all your support.

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