November 6, 2020
Moriyama Training Center, Aichi Prefecture
Implement a system of witnessing to one person a month
On November 6, 2020 at the Moriyama Training Center in Aichi Prefecture, Regional Group President of Heavenly Japan of the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, Bang Sang-il and President Tomihiro Tanaka, were invited to attend the “Ceremony for the New Leadership Structure of Region 3” in which local leaders attended. Regional President Bang Sang-il stressed the importance of witnessing and gave words of encouragement to the participants. In addition, the “Ceremony for the District of West Tokyo” was held in Tokyo on November 29, and the Regional Group President’s wife, Kazuyo Fujinohara, attended the ceremony as the Regional Group President shared a testimony of her. (Editorial Department)
Living in Japan where I have no choice but to rely on my wife, I realize that my wife is my messiah.
It’s been a while. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Yoshifumi Kotoda, the President of Region 3, as well as to all leaders of the region, for being able to gather at the newly reborn Moriyama Training Center and holding the inauguration ceremony. If such a large number of people participate in training sessions every week at this wonderful training center that God has prepared for us, the foundation of national salvation that True Mother wishes for can be established.
I don’t usually talk about my wife, but today I’d like to share a little testimony.
After ten years as a pastor in Korea, I came to Japan in 1998 at True Father’s request. At that time, I was working as a district leader in Korea, and I was eager to fulfill the wishes of Heaven there. That’s why I was hesitant, in my heart, to go to Japan. Moreover, I didn’t even understand the Japanese alphabet.
I came to Japan with the heart of wanting to live up to the wishes of True Father, but because I couldn’t speak Japanese, I had no choice but to rely on my wife. I had always felt uneasy when she wasn’t by me. The members that would come up to me looked like “tigers,” and I was scared and wanted to run away. Everyone, language has that kind of power.
I had no problem living in Korea, but I couldn’t do anything without my wife, here in Japan. There was even a time when my wife had gone to the bathroom and I followed her to the entrance. I was deeply grateful for my wife’s presence that I felt, “This person is my messiah. She protects my life in place of True Parents. She is like God.”
I joined the Family Federation (the Unification Church) on October 10, 1980, and my wife also joined on October 10. The Grand Cheonbo Festival was even held on October 10, and I was very surprised by this alignment, which seemed to come from Heaven.
After the Gwangju Uprising, I began to wonder: what is life?
I was led to the Family Federation by way of the existing Christian Church. In Korea, the number of followers of the established church is 30 percent of the total population. So in comparison, the foundation of the Family Federation is very small.
Currently in Japan, it has been forgotten, but there are some negative reports about the Family Federation. Even if we demonstrate our faith, most people don’t take us seriously, and a few of them gossip behind our backs. However, when I had joined, if I had demonstrated my faith in Korea, I would have been exposed and bullied. People would say, “This man is a follower of the heretical Unification Church!” It’s changed a lot now, but there was a time when we couldn’t even say the church’s name.
By the way, do you know of the Gwangju Uprising (May 1980)?
When I was a student, I participated in these demonstrations and walked on its frontline. However, I was caught by a soldier and was beaten badly, almost killed. From that experience, I began to wonder: what is life?
I started going to a Christian Church and prayed earnestly. However, I never got a clear answer to my questions from the pastor, nor could he give an answer to my prayers. At that time, a friend, who would become my spiritual parent, came to visit. When we discussed matters like “what is the purpose of life,” I felt that he was much more philosophical and wiser than me. Later, when I participated in a training session and read “The Divine Principle,” I learned that what he said was only a part of the Principle.
Believers of the Christian churches believe the pastors’ words unequivocally.
At that time, True Father and True Mother were considered heretics in the Christian churches. My pastor unequivocally called True Parents, Satan. He told his followers that the devil had come to Gwangju and is wandering around us, and instructed us to be careful not to become a disciple of the devil.
The church I attended was one of the largest churches in Gwangju, with more than a thousand members. Moreover, the chief pastor was a celebrity who served as the president of the Korean Pastors Association. I went to church every week because I wanted to hear his sermon. Because he had called True Father, Satan, I completely believed those words.
In the established churches, the pastors are treated like messiahs by their congregation, so I thought of my pastor as a god and accepted all of his words. I never doubted him. If the pastor called this white wall “black,” we would all believe it.
In Korea, pastors are still in an absolute position. I think that is the reason why the established churches grow in Korea.
Then, how about Family Federation? After a sermon, I have seen members say, “Today’s sermon was not enough.” This is like judging the pastors. Don’t you feel sorry for our leaders who preach desperately to them?
None of you would doubt the words of True Parents, would you? If you doubt, the providence will not progress. Similarly, if you do not believe the words of your leaders, our churches will never grow.
Therefore, the leaders and the women representatives must be completely united. Even if you think the leaders may have said something wrong, but if you accept them, then, that is when God’s work can begin.
I was moved by the tears of my spiritual parent and participated in a week-long workshop.
Let me go back to the story about when my spiritual parent visited me. This is something that I often talk about when I visit the churches, but I’m sure there must be those that do not really know me since I have just assumed the position of Regional President, so please allow me to introduce myself.
My spiritual parent cried and pleaded with me, “Sun Myung Moon is not a devil. He is a great teacher. Since you are a university student, please participate in the workshop and judge with your own eyes.”
If he had tried to beat me with logic and theory, I wouldn’t have gone to the workshop since I would have refuted him completely. But he cried and begged. I was moved by his sincerity. So I promised to attend the workshop, but only on one condition.
At that time, a pastor at one of the established churches said something like this.
“There’s a reason why those who went to Unification Church cannot come back. They have a mysterious cushion and if you sit on it, it is said that you won’t be able to stand up.”
So I asked my spiritual parent that I’d go to the workshop, but I wanted him never to take out a cushion. He insisted that there was no such thing, but I said, “Don’t lie to me!” and he promised me not to take out a cushion. Still, I was worried, so when I asked him if I could take two friends with me, he happily replied, “Three or four, or more.”
I asked a friend of mine who attended a Christian church and a Buddhist friend to come with me, and the three of us participated in a week-long workshop. Looking back now, I witnessed to these two before even knowing the words of the Unification Church.
I was deeply moved from the first day of the workshop. In three days, I had reached Abraham’s Course (in the Divine Principle), but I had never heard such a wonderful story in the established church. I was moved beyond surprise, and all of the questions I had had were all answered.
When I talked with my two friends that night about our thoughts, we all had become 90 percent “people of the Unification Church.” Then, we looked at each other and said, “The cushion might come out tomorrow, so be careful,” but we were already preoccupied with the word.
Until the very last day, no cushion had appeared and there was nothing for me to criticize about the word so I filled out the application form to become a member.
Only through the word can you truly understand the value of True Parents.
The day after the workshop was a Sunday and I attended the service of the established church that I had been attending. When I listened to what the pastor said, I was stunned and couldn’t believe I had been moved all this time by his sermons. I felt like it was a sermon for elementary school students. I felt the greatness of the Principle immensely.
After the service, I told the pastor that I had participated in a workshop by the Unification Church for a week and that Reverend Sun Myung Moon was not a demon, but the Messiah. All he would say is, “What are you talking about? You idiot,” and he would not listen at all.
I begged the pastor to go to a week-long workshop and if I was wrong, I would (forget the Unification Church) and follow him. But I was restrained by three assistant pastors who rushed to the scene. They said, “We thought there was a spy from the Unification Church, but it was you!” and they threw me out of the church.
I became furious and shouted, “You can’t even convince a single person such as myself, and you call yourselves bodies of Christ?! I will come back and witness to you all, so just wait!”
There is a heavenly weapon in the Family Federation and that is its word, which is just great. If you were to talk about the “True Parents of Humankind” to the general public, they would not understand what you mean. But it is only through the words can we know the Messiah of humanity—the True Parents who came as the Second Advent—and understand their worth.
Can we testify about True Parents only with our power alone? We can only testify about them through the word, but if we don’t even try, that means we are dead or sleeping.
Also, even if members passionately do hoon dok hae, it is still difficult to understand the words of True Parents without knowing the basis, which is the Principle. I think that the Family Federation will not grow unless Divine Principle education is thoroughly implemented for the members.
Unless you have the ability to draw out Divine Principle content from your own accord, you won’t be able to become a leader. And we won’t be able to do so unless we educate the members.
The Divine Principle was originally written for Christians. The “Principle of Creation” may be understood as a general theory, but everything after the Fall is basically content which clarifies the Bible.
Christians have waited for the Second Coming for 2,000 years at the cost of their own lives. They’re still waiting. The Bible says that the Second Advent will descend on the clouds and send angels with trumpets (Matthew 24:30-31). When I was a child, every time I saw a beautiful cloud, I was excited that Jesus just might come riding on that cloud. All the members of the established church are like that.
Then, since Satan was a serpent, when Sunday service finished, he would go out to exterminate snakes with a big stick. If we had killed even one snake, we would be praised for it.
My heart aches when I think that Christians, who long for Jesus’ return and purely believe in the teachings of the Bible, still live without knowing the True Parents.
Witnessing is as essential an act as eating.
What I am going to tell you is something that I have been telling you, but this was given to me by Heaven when the new leadership structure started, so I would like to share it with you.
On the morning of October 29th, 2020, the day of the “Inauguration Ceremony for the New Leadership Structure of the Family Federation for a Heavenly Japan,” while we were on the way to the venue, I received a message of encouragement from True Mother through Yun Yong-ho, Director of World Headquarters. Do you know how happy I was?
It was a short letter, but when I read it, my whole body was shocked like being struck by lightning. I realized how little importance I had placed on the word during hoon dok hae, and I clearly realized the significance of the following Bible verse.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Ladies and gentlemen, the word found in the Divine Principle is the word of life. With this, we can save people if one person can witness to another every month. If a church has a hundred members, it can witness to a hundred in one month. If that can’t be done, can you call that a church? We must deeply reflect on the path we’ve walked until now.
There are about 300 churches in Japan, so even if one church witnesses to a young person every year, the number of young people will increase by 300 every year.
The Moriyama Training Center has been rebuilt to become the most equipped training center in Japan. In Korea, we say, “No matter how great a house you build, if no one lives there, a demon would.” So let us hold workshops every week with about the same amount of people gathered here today. Witnessing is as essential an act as eating.
Japanese members are also aging. Some have already ascended while others have exhausted their faith and stopped coming to church. There are second generation that are not connected with the church. If things go on like this, I think our religiosity will deteriorate.
If 50,000 regular worshippers of the Family Federation cry out and inspire the other members around them, and if they witness to one person a month, our membership would increase by 50,000 per month, 600,000 in one year. As my friend led me to tears, there is no future for the Family Federation if the pastors and women representatives do not cry out and the members do not pursue witnessing.
True Parents’ life is something that all humanity should know.
How precious is the current moment that we can walk with True Parents? History will continue to go on. Japanese people study Japanese history, but even if they don’t know it well, they can still survive.
But if True Parents are the Messiah of humankind, is it even possible to live without learning about their lives? Jesus’ life is recorded in the Bible, and even in China—a communist country—they know about Jesus. In the same way, True Parents’ life course is a history that all of humanity must know.
True Fathers raised three miracles in human history.
The first miracle was that 2,000 years after Jesus died on the cross, True Parents descended to earth.
True Father mentioned that neither Napoleon nor Alexander the Great can even compare with True Parents. They are the True Parents who God was fully invested in, who is omni-benevolent, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Humanity must know how great True Parents are.
The second miracle is the Holy Wedding of True Parents.
The Unification Church was founded in Korea in 1954, and True Parents married in 1960. True Parents, who have become True Parents of humankind, have the authority to convert human lineage from Satan’s lineage to God’s, and they have given the Blessing to save all of humankind. Therefore, it can be said that the history of human salvation started in earnest with their Holy Wedding.
The third miracle was the Coronation Ceremony of God’s Kingship (held on January 13, 2001).
True Father said, “A new era started after the Coronation Ceremony of God’s Kingship. This is the greatest thing in human history.” He then explained that God had worked so hard, and He was finally able to come out of the darkness to a place where the sun shone. He turned one year old (that day) but when He becomes 13, that’s when Cheon Il Guk would begin.
The fourth miracle was something that True Father did not accomplish on earth, and that is the declaration of the Foundation Day of Cheon Il Guk by True Mother, and we all witnessed that moment. I believe that the miracle of human history that will remain in history is the foundation of God’s nation, the substantial Cheon Il Guk. Let us become one with the members of the world and become the bearers of that miracle.
Become one with True Mother’s heart that devoted cheongseong to Father’s grave
Finally, in order to share the heart of True Mother with all of you, I would like to talk about the Korean tradition of “shimyo (mourning of parents at their graves).”
My father passed away at the age of 75. In Korea, when a parent dies, there is a traditional custom where the sons call out “Aigo, aigo,” for three days in front of the parents’ body. They reflect on their inability to protect their parents. My hometown is in the country, so the village elder strictly watched my brothers and I perform this ritual. If we took even a tiny break, he would scold us, saying, “What are you guys doing, you unfilial sons?! You need to mourn more!” We had to hold a pole, which was about waist-length from the ground, with both hands to support our bodies, and we would bend forward to do this ritual, but the angry elder cut the poles even shorter. So we had to bend forward even more and keep our backs bent at a right angle. I think you can understand how difficult it is to keep this position for even ten minutes.
After the funeral, we had to follow behind the hearse that carried our father’s body to the cemetery, all the while crying out, “Aigo, aigo.” Even during this walk, you cannot straighten your back. This is what “shimyo” is.
When I returned home from the cemetery, I had one earnest request for my mother: “Please don’t die. I’ll protect you for a hundred or even two hundred years, so please don’t die.” My mother is currently 95 years old and, fortunately, in good health. I believe she will live to be over a hundred.
True Mother has even a greater heart than this and did this for more than 3 years after True Father’s seunghwa. Originally, the children are supposed to offer cheongseong and shimyo, but Mother did it in their stead. And what she displayed to everyone was “consistent advancement.”
Have you inherited this kind of cheongseong as you walk on your paths of faith? The church must be revolutionized. We need to establish the foundation for the second and third generations that True Mother hopes for, but are things all right as they are now?
We should hold workshops every week and set fire to witnessing all over Japan.
I am confident because Japanese members are serious, and they have the hyojeong to meet the demands of True Parents. Therefore, if you face the members sincerely and tell them the importance of the present time with earnest, they would work harder than any other group of members in the world.
As True Father taught us, we should witness to one person every month. There must come a time when the Moriyama Training Center, alone, is not big enough (to hold all of the witnessing candidates).
As the scriptures say, “Everything was made by this (the word).” Therefore, if you do not deliver God’s words, people will not be given life. Humanistic thought can be taught for 20 or 30 years, but it would be difficult to save people from Satan’s bondage.
The membership in Taiwan is small compared to Japan. However, they mobilized more than ten times the number of followers in 130 days.
At present, we are in the middle of a 100-day course (from November 1, 2020 to February 8, 2021) in Japan, but considering the power of the Japanese members, isn’t this actually too long of a period for us to achieve our goal? The battle will be decided in the first 50 days.
Members should become one centering around their church and church district leaders. Please consider developing a system where one member will bring one candidate every month and set a weekly schedule of workshops. The members just have to bring guests to the training center. Let us create this momentum of giving life (to others) by bringing them (to the center).
When District 3 becomes the model for this, we will be able to witness to at least 50,000 people nationwide, every month. Japanese members have that kind of power. I would like you to initiate God’s works from the Moriyama Training Center and set fire to witnessing throughout Japan.