Until the early 19th century, European immigrants had settled down on the east coast of North America, and they moved west into the wilderness—an unknown land and a land of opportunity as well—across the Mississippi River, driving their wagons with minimum loads. While cultivating the wilderness, they discovered gold deposits, and as the Gold Rush began, it resulted in rapid industrial development.
Many historians and scholars say with one voice that the frontier spirit is a driving force which has led America to develop into the most influential and powerful nation. Without the existence of the pioneers who went into the west while fighting against fear and uncertainty, America would not be what it is today.
The pioneers who are armed with the frontier spirit exist today, too. They are the workers of the new covenant who are powerfully preaching the truth and proclaiming the glory of Elohim, crisscrossing all regions of America where the light of the gospel has not yet reached.
According to Mother’s words rather than grandiose plans
ⓒ 2012 WATV
It was in August, 2008, that I came to Orlando, Florida, a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Unlike the Church of God in Chicago where I had served the gospel for three years according to God’s will, there were not many members who were keeping their faith at Zion in Orlando.
In order to fill the big temple which had just been granted by God, I had to accelerate the spread of the gospel. However, I had no idea what to do or how to do it, so I often asked Mother for wisdom. It might be annoying, but Mother always comforted and inspired me with a smile and words of encouragement. She repeatedly asked me to give much love to each and every member.
According to Mother’s earnest request, I tried to help the members feel the love of God and of the heavenly members even when they dropped in the Church for just a short while. I also tried to talk with them often while eating meals together although the food was not special, sharing something delicious with them even though it was not enough for us all. And I would greet them so warmly and gladly—even those whom I met every day—as if I had met them for the first time after many years. I didn’t do that deliberately, but I was really glad and happy whenever they came to Zion.
As you know, there is a strong sense of individualism in American society. In Orlando, the houses in residential areas stand apart from one another and the residents rarely get along with each other. When children become independent adults, they grow distant from their family members. After leaving their family, they seem to be living comfortably alone, but it is not always the case. They often have a hard time because they have no one to talk to about their worries and problems and just keep to themselves. So, there are actually many people who are longing for love and affection, knowingly or unknowingly. Our brothers and sisters are greatly moved when another member listens to their stories and takes care of even the smallest things for them.
At the beginning, I hesitated to approach them first because I was afraid that my hasty words and behaviors might cause misunderstanding between them and me. However, my sincere desire to give love to them was fully conveyed to them, beyond the barriers of culture and language. As they experienced Mother’ love, they grew in faith and began to put into practice the love they had received from Mother, whether at home or at work. That love helped many people open their minds and come to Zion. As the new members preached the Word to their family after receiving the truth, their alienated relationship with their family members became restored. “Love” was truly the universal language just as Mother said.
The master key to the gospel
ⓒ 2012 WATV
When I came to Orlando, I often heard people around me saying that Orlando is part of the “Bible Belt.” The Bible Belt refers to a region in the southeastern and south-central United States, which is characterized by strong evangelical Christian sentiment. As a part of the Bible Belt, Orlando is strongly Christian-based, and the city is very proud of its strong Christian faith. So at first I was a little bit worried that there would be severe opposition and hindrances to the spread of the truth.
This was the strategy of God. The people here read the Bible often and they usually like to have a gathering for Bible study as well. So, when we preached the Bible to them, they willingly listened to us. Once we opened the Bible and started to preach to them, our Bible study continued for hours. Moreover, since they had already recognized the Bible as the “word of God,” we didn’t need to explain to them in detail what kind of book the Bible is and why we should follow everything in the Bible.
Of course, there are also many people who try to refute the truth and insist on their own opinions, pouring out their knowledge of the Bible which they have learned, when we preach the truth about the Sabbath or the Passover to them. However, there is the truth which no one can refute.
That is the truth about Heavenly Mother.
If we tell people that the Bible testifies about Heavenly Mother, many of them open their eyes wide in surprise and ask us back, “Is that really true?” It is because they have never even heard of the words “Heavenly Mother” before. On the contrary, most of them know the word “Elohim,” but they mistake it for the name like “Jehovah” or “Jesus.” So, when we let them know the true meaning of Elohim and the existence of Heavenly Mother, they are very surprised and accept it. Even those who confidently say, “Heavenly Mother does not exist,” cannot say anything when we
open the Bible and show them convincing evidence for the existence of Mother.
There is an elderly member in our Zion, who lived according to the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for decades. He and his wife were led to Zion through their daughter who received the truth in New York. At first he was very stubborn. Whenever we showed him verses from the Bible, he kept on asking us random questions as if he was trying to find fault with our message. Even though we explained everything to him very carefully and calmly, he just kept saying that he couldn’t understand it. However, he changed completely after he realized Heavenly Mother. He became eager to preach to his family as well as to attend worship services, and he led two of his relatives to a new life, after leading his daughter and daughter-in-law who were living together with him in Orlando.
This miraculous work, which Heavenly Mother Herself accomplishes, is occurring not only in Orlando but all other parts of the world; the gospel is spreading like lightning everywhere, including in Nepal where Hinduism prevails, in Europe and South America where Catholicism is deeply rooted, and in Korea where Confucianism is very strong.
A key that can open all locks is called a master key, unlike most other keys that are designed to open just one lock. The truth about Heavenly Mother is indeed the master key to the gospel, which opens the doors of the hearts of people all around the world.The things that I can see only when I give up my own standards
One of the things that have surprised me in America is that the lives of people here are actually quite different than I imagined before; I used to think that every American would be living a rich and easy life, because the United States is one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world. Especially in Chicago where I previously stayed, the skyscrapers have been considered to be symbols of success. Whenever I looked at people there, I felt that their lives were so hard. However, the situation is not so different here in Orlando, which is a world-famous tourist city with a variety of attractions such as Disney World.
When we visit residential areas during the day, it is so hard to meet people because the houses are empty. Most people spend each day busily working so hard from early morning till late night, and many of them have two or three part-time jobs. When they return home at night, they feel so tired that they go to bed in a hurry. The shops normally close by nine in the evening and the street lights are turned off.
In spite of these hard living conditions, the members continuously devote themselves to the gospel. They stop by the Church even late at night to read at least a chapter of the Bible before they go back home. One brother drives for a couple of hours from work to Zion every day.
Their fervor does not cool down even on holidays. They think of a day off as a golden opportunity to preach the gospel and gather together in Zion every holiday. They preach the gospel fervently during the day and practice preaching the Bible or share the fragrance of Zion together until late at night. It seems that their hearts are filled only with hope for heaven. They all work so hard that I even wonder if they can afford to take a break.
Despite such difficult circumstances, they are so eager to preach the gospel; how beautiful and precious they are! Nevertheless, there were times when I paid more attention to their shortcomings, forgetting my first love. Although I thought that I was always understanding Mother’s will and obeying Her words, I was still insisting on my own way. I had to take into consideration the differences between them and me in ways of thinking because we were all from different cultural backgrounds. However, I just tried to judge them by my own standards, thinking, ‘Why do they act like that?’ ‘Why don’t they do this?’ They were all doing their best in their given circumstances, but I didn’t try to understand them and just kept asking them to follow my thoughts and to fit in with me.
It took so long to see the plank in my own eye instead of just trying to see the speck of sawdust in their eyes—they didn’t actually have any faults, but they were just different from me. If Mother had not patiently waited for me and the members had not covered up my faults with love, I would still have been unable to recognize my shortcomings. As I got rid of my prejudices and wrong standards, I was able to feel a fearless pioneer spirit from the members who just seemed weak before. They were truly the pioneers of the gospel who continued to devote themselves to cultivating the gospel in America all the time—when I first came to America and even now; I just didn’t realize it.The land of opportunity that is waiting for the gospel pioneers
2,000 years ago, the apostles received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and began to spread the gospel from Jerusalem to Europe and all over the world. This amazing work still repeats itself also in America in these days—the age of the Feast of Tabernacles when God pours out the latter rain of the Holy Spirit abundantly upon us.
One of the important factors that has greatly contributed to the rapid spread of the gospel in America so far is the help of the Korean mission teams that awakened the American members to a sense of frontier spirit. The short-term mission teams flew in from the opposite side of the world and preached the gospel with great fervor even in unfavorable conditions—they didn’t speak English well and they were not aware of the culture, either. While they were working so hard, the house Churches were established here and there and our lost brothers and sisters were found one after another. As the local members joined the short-term mission teams in preaching the gospel, they experienced the power of God and achieved much growth in their faith as well. Meanwhile, the seed of the gospel was sown in many cities of the state of Florida. Now there are two Zions in Orlando and Miami respectively, and a house Church is being run in Jacksonville. Besides, there are many other cities where the house Churches are planned to be established.
Now the members are trying to pioneer the gospel by themselves. This summer, they are planning to go on a short-term mission trip to Tampa; this is the first mission trip that the members of Zion in Orlando have organized by themselves. They are full of great excitement and expectations for their upcoming short-term mission trip. They come to Zion every day, and the first thing they ask when they come is how the plan for the short-term mission is going on.
There is a reason why they can’t wait for their mission trip. There are many members who have received the truth through their family, relatives or friends but most of them are keeping their faith alone or with another member because there is no Zion in their regions yet. That is why the members are so eager to establish Zion in their cities as quickly as possible. They are also planning to go to an unknown land—the land of opportunity, beyond the border of the state of Florida.
Not only in Orlando, but everywhere in the United States, the workers of the gospel who have armed themselves with the frontier spirit as the pioneers did in the early 19th century are now continuously going to unknown lands in the east and the west to cultivate the gospel. The manager of the house Church in Jacksonville is from San Diego, located on the opposite side of Florida. Before, there was a shortage of gospel workers, but now many brothers and sisters are devoting themselves to the gospel. So, people from all sides are continuously trying to force their way into God’s blessings.
Since the members are so fervent and zealous for the gospel, I even feel afraid that I may lose all my blessings if I just keep hesitating. I truly thank our Elohim for granting me this opportunity to devote myself to the gospel together with the members who have such great confidence and passion in their hearts.
I remember when the General Assembly was held last year. At that time, Mother asked us to help the members feel God’s love and sacrifice in everything they do and in every single verse of the Bible when they practice preaching the truth. From the beginning until now, Mother has constantly showed us the example of love and has also always asked us to love. While preaching the gospel with the words of Mother engraved in my heart, I have learned so many things.
These days, I feel deeply that the mission of preaching the gospel is a process for me and everyone else to be fully born again. I always teach the Bible to other members, but actually I feel like I am learning together with them rather than teaching them. I think that God has sent me here and has allowed me to meet the brothers and sisters who are full of love and grace, because I am lacking in love and there are some aspects of my life that I have to recognize and change here in Orlando.
We, the members of the Church of God in Orlando, will always love and serve one another and continue our voyage of spreading the gospel to unknown lands. May the overflowing blessings of the Holy Spirit be upon you, all our heavenly family members, until the day when the flag of Zion will flutter all over America and the whole world through the love of Mother!