Trials strengthen faith, persecution brings great blessings


On January 26, the closing ceremony of inaugural UPA class of Heavenly Japan’s Special Course (December 26, 2023-January 26, 2024) was held at Isshin Special Education Institute in Urayasu, Chiba. President Tomihiro Tanaka gave a message of appreciation and encouragement to the graduating students who will be sent overseas for missionary work later this year.

Editorial Department

Trials strengthen faith, persecution brings great blessings

Thank you all for your hard work over the past month. Thank you very much.

I have received many encouraging e-mails from members around the world.

Many of them say, “I’m praying that all members do their best in this difficult situation in Japan,” or, “Please do your best and do not succumb to these trials.” I am very grateful and thankful.

No religion has ever been destroyed by trials or persecution. No, rather, we know that trials strengthen our faith, and that persecution is God’s preparation of greater blessings when we come out on the other side.

True Father’s word tells us that if you want to restore a family, you must go through the trials that are appropriate to the value and worth of that family.

It says that if you want to restore a people (tribe), you must go beyond the persecution that is appropriate to the value and worth of that people.

It says that if we want to regain our nation, we must transcend the persecution that is appropriate to the value and worth of that nation.

Now, in the midst of a national ordeal, Japan’s members are forced to become more aware of the national level, whether they want to or not. Therefore, great blessings befitting of a nation await us on the other side.

There is absolutely no way that these trials will cause the faith of Japan’s members to collapse.

There are many Japanese members in this (inaugural class) who will be sent overseas, but there is no need for you to feel like you are turning your backs on your Japanese counterparts who are in a difficult situation. Rather, they will become stronger, and will be transformed into an elite heavenly unit, worthy of fulfilling heaven’s hopes.

A request for a dissolution order has been filed by the Ministry of Education, and a court case is underway, but whether or not (the government) orders the dissolution, that is just as a juridical entity. The Church will never be dissolved. Whether we are a corporation or not, we will continue to advance God’s will. Therefore, the faith of Japan’s members will remain unchanged. It will grow stronger and more robust.

Therefore, go out to your missions with peace of mind. When you return to Japan two years from now, I’m sure you will see a Japan that is reborn.

Natural disasters and persecution are not the things we should fear. What we must fear most is that God will say, “Stop. You are not needed to do God’s will anymore.”

It is the greatest blessing to have heaven ask you to “do this.”

You are all going on overseas missions. This is a tremendous blessing. You can start your journey receiving heaven’s mandate.

In that sense, you are in the midst of great blessings and grace to be able to participate in heaven’s will on a global level and with a global consciousness.

A period where True Mother has special interest in Japan

I just asked (the staff at this closing ceremony), “What kind of speech should I give,” and they replied, “Please give words of encouragement,” but that is not something I feel I can do.

If I were asked to say something right now, I can only say thank you. Thank you so much for being here in Japan for the last month.

There are many things I would like to express gratitude towards, but I would like to focus on three things.

My first appreciation is, “Thank you for attracting heavenly fortune to Japan.” I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. As I said at the opening ceremony, heavenly fortune comes from the Heavenly Parent (God) and True Parents who have become one with the Heavenly Parent. Therefore, if we attract True Parents’ attention, that is where heavenly fortune will be focused on.

The secret to victory for the believer is how to attract God’s attention.

True Mother showed interest in you and that is why she sent you to Japan. Every day during the past month that you were here, she listened to your activity reports.

Therefore, at the least, True Mother continued to pour her deep concerns and interests into Japan during this period.

Of course, she was concerned about us before that, but it was as a parent and out of a painful heart of concern regarding the legal issues and the great crisis that members in Japan are facing.

However, the depth of her interest has changed since your arrival.

There is no doubt True Mother has been able to face the daily reports of you, the youth, working together with the members of Japan with hope.

True Mother’s heart was heavy every time she received reports about the trials that members of Japan were going through, but for the past month, her heart has been uplifted and she is able to face these reports with hope.

I am truly happy about this.

My second appreciation is for the hope for the future that you have shown to us here in Japan.

Without hope, believers will suffer. In particular, the older, senior members loved heaven and loved God’s will, risking their lives to go abroad, leaving their beloved husbands and children in Japan, leaving their beloved families and relatives behind.

Many senior members who have such faith always wonder, “Will the second and third generation inherit this spirit of faith?” Even if they do not say it out loud, they wonder, “Who will carry on the tradition of faith that we have established before Heaven?”

Therefore, it was a great blessing to be able to meet with the young people who have the ambition to go out into the world and do missionary work.

A new generation is beginning to sprout up, harboring the same feelings and determination that had led the senior members to leave for the world after receiving their heavenly calling. I received many messages of gratitude from the senior members because of this.

I’ve also received many emails. You can feel that each one was filled with tears.

In that sense, hope has been given to Japan as the fruit of the senior members’ faith will undoubtedly be passed on to the future through this movement.

My third appreciation is that you have shown us the goal of what faith is leading to.

On a somewhat internal note, the Family Fed in Japan has been built up by many senior members who risked their lives for the sake of loving heaven and loving True Parents.

What is at the core of their faith? It is a heart of gratitude to True Parents for loving and forgiving Japan, the enemy that persecuted the Messiah of humankind and the chosen people, as well as being moved by the Word of God.

Therefore, the view of faith developed by senior Japanese members is slightly different from members of the world. On one hand you have those that were moved by the word, and on the other, you have a view of faith based on forgiveness. This has become a strong force to respond to True Parents’ wishes.

However, being moved by the word and having gratitude for forgiveness are not enough if we want to build heaven. The purpose of the Word is substance, and the purpose of substance is heart.

Heaven is not a world built by faith alone. Heaven is a world built on substance.

The senior members, as well as the members of Japan, are feeling this, even if they can not express it in words. I can feel that you all are determined to do missionary work springing from True Mother’s heart, without trying to theorize or explain your reasoning through logic.

If it weren’t for True Mother’s wish, you probably wouldn’t go on overseas missions. Because of Mother’s heart and because of her wish, this realm of heart, which you have entered in by deciding to risk your lives to go overseas, is a goal that the first generation must also strive for.

Through all of you, we can feel the dynamic of this new history. It is like an embryo that will be birthed into a new history.

It is precisely at this time when True Mother is alive, that the embryonic movement of a new history is taking place and we can feel a sense of dynamism. In this sense, I would like to express my sincere gratitude that we are now living in this miraculous time.

I urge you to do your best, no matter what happens in the world, to take pride in the fact that you were born out of True Mother’s realm of heart.

There will always be those whom heaven has prepared, there will always be the righteous

Finally, I would like to say a few words as someone who is sending you off. Through the past month, I have come to the conclusion that I would like to send all of you out into the world as children of Japan, the Mother Nation.

I want to support you in every aspect of your victory, but there are three things I would like to ask of you.

First, come back alive. DO NOT DIE.

It won’t matter if your faith is torn into tatters, you might not bring back tangible results, but at just come back alive. This is the first wish seen from your parents’ eyes.

You may have to take on debts, but you must definitely come back alive. You never know what will happen in the world. I know that True Mother is looking at all of you with the heart of sending you out into such a situation, even if she doesn’t say so.

Therefore, please make sure to come back alive. You must protect yourself. No one will do it for you. Please be aware of your safety first.

Second, Japan has been sending Cheon Il Guk Youth Missionaries overseas for ten years. As I looked over the situation these past ten years, the most harmful thing that hindered the overseas missions was the lack of unity among the members who went.

Since the members standing in the Abel realm are not united, the local churches cannot be united either. Under such circumstances, witnessing is not possible.

When you enter a new setting and jump into a completely new environment, everyone has different ideas of what to do. Some people will say, “We should do this,” while others will say, “We should do that.”

However, unless the Abel realm is united, Cain will not want to live with them. The way to becoming an Abel that makes the Cain realm want to be with Abel is to show them the radiance of being united centering on Parents. Unless you do that, it is impossible.

So it is really important how the team is united. This is the conclusion over the course of the past decade. Please keep that in mind as you share your thoughts and feelings with each other.

The third and last point. Earlier, I said that even if you don’t bring back tangible results, you should come back alive, even if you are in shambles. But you still need achievements. (Laughter) Since you are going out to do missionary work, you must sow the seeds of missionary.

The seed of missionary work is nothing other than to keep lives alive (spiritually). Therefore, when you go out into the world, please come back having raised at least one person who is independent in faith. If you don’t raise up at least one person who can reproduce the seed of faith that you planted, you will end up just saying, “I had a good experience.”

True Mother says there will always be a righteous person. There are always people whom Heaven has prepared. There are always people who cannot be saved without you.

Therefore, please come back having planted the seeds of faith (where people) absolutely love the Heavenly Parent and love True Parents

Thank you very much.