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International

We Will Run Toward Heaven, With the First Love and Emotion

  • Nation | USA
  • Date | October 16, 2007
ⓒ 2007 WATV
Skyscrapers! Extremely tall and gorgeous buildings are like beautiful sculptures. The Sears Tower, which is the tallest among them, is very majestic and Americans are proud of it.

The whole city is covered with tall build-ings. This is the city of Chicago, which is called “a mecca for architecture enthusiasts.” Chicago, which is located in the northeast part of the State of Illinois, is the second largest city in the United States, and the first transport city which all the main railroads pass through. Since the city is located in the inland area, it has been less influenced by immigrants than the cities like New York or Los Angeles, so it is recognized as the typical American city. It is said, “If you want to see what the United States is all about, visit Chicago.”

After doing the gospel ministry at the Church of God in Los Angeles, I was sent by God to Chicago in the latter part of 1999, where only one Korean family had been worshiping the Spirit and the Bride. In the beginning, the Chicago citizens seemed to be more conservative than those in other cities. Their minds seemed proud like the tall and huge buildings. However, God’s work was done quietly. The foundation was laid little by little, and Zion, which is taller and stronger than any other tower, has been built. Now, the heavenly family members, who have been scattered over the city, are streaming into Mother’s arms, according to the prophecies of the Bible.


Like Don Quixote, Rather Than Hamlet

Because I had some experience in Los Angeles for the overseas gospel, I thought if I preached in the same way in Chicago, too, it would go well. This was a very simple thought, and I suffered, thinking like that.

Even though I had preached in Los Angeles for two years, my English was still awkward to the Americans. Some of them told me to come again after learning some more English. They taunted me, being displeased with the fact that an Asian was preaching the gospel to them. They were deeply rooted in Christian culture and very proud that they accepted Christianity far earlier than Asians, so that they thought they knew more about the Bible than Asians did.

For all that, I still tried to preach the gospel to many people. However, the result was so miserable, and I lost heart gradually. Heavenly Mother was my only hope, and I wholeheartedly pleaded with Her. Mother encouraged me with the words, “It will be done.” I only depended on the words, repeating them again and again. Then, God began to correct my wrong thoughts one by one.

When I preached in Los Angeles, I thought it was impossible to preach the gospel to people I didn’t know. The same thoughts continued even when I went to Chicago.

One day, the General Pastor from Korea visited the Churches in the States, and advised me to follow the way of Father and Mother, who first approached Their children.

When I looked back at my preaching in Los Angeles, it was not strange for me to face many difficulties, because I was lacking in understanding their culture and language. However, I came to have negative thoughts about preaching in the States because of my failure in Los Angeles.

I repented and began to follow the way, which Father and Mother had shown us as an example. Since then, good fruits began to be brought one by one into the barn of Zion, though I did not speak English well.

They did not rush to Zion in a moment, but came quietly like a tide that comes in little by little and then fills the beach.

Putting aside the method that Father and Mother taught us, I tried to find another way with my own wisdom. Unconsciously, I had depended on my short experience and had prided myself on my language ability.

Through the process of trial and error, God allowed me to realize a very important thing: The gospel is done by the way of God. If I had not experienced a little failure, I would have spent more time depending on my own way.

I needed the spirit of Don Quixote with which I could have practiced the will of Father and Mother, rather then that of Hamlet wondering which was better, this or that. As I forsook my own thought and followed the way, which Father and Mother had planned before the Creation and had walked, I was allowed to find our lost brothers and sister one by one.


In the Name of Mother, and in the Name of Family

It was once reported that many Americans are spending their childhood or adolescence in unstable homes. For this reason, their spirits seem to long for the warmth of parents and family.

Many Americans have been led to Zion through the fragrance of the truth. However, what seizes their hearts the most is the fragrance of the love of heavenly Father and Mother and of heavenly brothers and sisters. The members of the Chicago Zion regard the existence of the heavenly family and their love as very special. It goes without saying that they love the truth of the new covenant. In their hearts they engrave the fact that the relationship between God and us is not that between Creator and creatures, but heavenly Parents and children—a family based on unconditional love.

Their love for heavenly Father and Mother is very strong. They obey everything if it is Mother’s teaching, and shed tears when they realize Mother’s love. I cannot describe their love and longing for Mother with words. When I hear their realizations about Mother, I learn much from them.

When the Preaching Festival to proclaim the glory of the new Jerusalem heavenly Mother rose from Korea like a fire, I won-dered whether the fervor would be the same in the United States.

However, the news of the Preaching Festival, which was delivered day after day, was really amazing. It was unprecedented in history on earth that numerous souls streamed to Zion day and night, hearing the gospel of the heavenly Mother. In this overwhelming Festival the Chicago Church also began to participate. The brothers and sisters began to preach our heavenly Mother whom they had always longed for with tears. Since we preached the love of Mother, the gospel spread very quickly.

When we preached the Sabbath or the Passover before, the people did not show any interest, telling us that they already knew about them. However, as we testified about heavenly Mother, they showed interest, saying that they’d never heard about Mother. We began to boldly preach that we can receive spiritual life only through the spiritual Mother like we receive physical life through physical mothers.

What was most joyful was to testify about Mother whom we loved so much. We continually prayed to God to allow us to find our lost brothers and sisters, and the souls who had been missing Mother came to Zion.

A sister had been suffering from hypochon-dria, even though she did not have any major problems living day to day. When she heard about heavenly Mother, she saw a streak of light in her meaningless life. She understood very well the principle of the spiritual world through the physical world. Now, she is full of joy, saying that she has found the meaning of life through the heavenly Mother whom she lost because of her sin.

In the Chicago Zion, the Korean and the American brothers and sisters are united with each other in lovely brotherhood, and make every effort to find our lost heavenly family members. And the new members, who have heard the truth and come to God, grow to be good fruit. When we share the love of Mother, the preachers and the listeners are all joyful, forgetting all the worries of this world.


With the Spirit of the Youth

ⓒ 2007 WATV
In the Chicago Church, there are many adult members who are between 40 to 60 years of age. However, their fervor is not less than that of younger members. Even the name of their group is “Morning Dew.”

After finishing work, each of the adult members gathers in Zion to preach the gospel, and also does not neglect studying the words of the truth. They try to be an example to the younger members, taking the lead in serving brothers and sisters with the love of Father and Mother.

Brother David had great interest in religion; he attended various churches and even a theological seminary, but doubts about reli-gion were in his mind for 50 years. Then, he came to hear about the new covenant from one of our brothers he met in his line of work. He visited Zion to learn the truth. As we testified about Father and Mother confidently, he asked us many questions with a humble mind. He really wanted to know the truth and was eager to solve his questions. Over a period of time, we shared the truth together and he was given clear answers about his questions and received the true God right away.

After that, he always tries to come to Zion which is three hours away from his home, and boldly preaches about Father and Mother to whomever he meets, though he is under-going difficulties because of his family and acquaintances who do not know the truth.

Deacon Alejandro, who plays a key role in the Chicago Church, preaches God’s words in a nearby library during his lunch time for 30-40 minutes. A couple of weeks ago, he led a man to Zion. The new male adult member led his wife into the truth, and through his wife, ten people came into the arms of Mother.

The members of the Chicago Church usu-ally live a very busy life, so it is not easy for them to be all together. But, they meet together and preach whenever possible.

Brother Alonzo, who works at night, rests in the morning and comes to Zion in the afternoon to preach until he goes back to work. Being moved by his sincerity, God allows him precious good fruit continually. After visiting Korea, he said that he received so much love from Mother and learned how to love from Her, and boldly preached about Father and Mother to the people around him and his co-workers, so that he led many people to Zion.

Like this, the male adult members, who are the pillars of the Church, diligently preach the gospel to the people around them. Female adult members and young adult members also preach hard in their own places: at home, at work places or at colleges. When the brothers and sisters see the sacrificial path of Father and Mother through videos, they are determined again to follow the path of love. Whenever they have time, they go out to preach and return with great confidence. They are very enthusiastic to preach the love and truth of Father and Mother anytime, anywhere. They try hard to be the youths like dew, who are prophesied in the Bible, believing that whoever is ambitious and passionate for the gospel is the youth.


With the First Love

In the beginning, there were only a few Korean members in the Church. A line of chairs was enough for us. Even though we sat with lots of space between each other, the worship hall looked vacant. However, now the Church has become too small to accommodate all the members, so we put portable chairs on both sides of the hall. We are asking God to expand our Church.

Whenever I see the worship hall full of brothers and sisters who are different in appearance from me, I’m overwhelmed with emotion. While preaching in a foreign country, I’ve come to have a loving heart toward our brothers and sisters.

In Korea, there were always many brothers and sisters around me, and I did not know how important each of our heavenly family members is. Now, I can’t even begin to explain how lovely and precious each of our brothers and sisters is. When I see them, my heart is always overwhelmed.

There was time when the American brothers and sisters hesitated to go to strangers and deliver the truth to them, lacking in courage. Then they saw the Korean brothers and sisters leading many Americans by preaching earnestly, even though they could not speak English well. The American brothers and sisters realized many things from them and began to preach even though no one told them to do so. By their devotion, many people are coming to Zion now.

I have one thing to chew over and over: “Never forget the first love.” Now, the number of the members of the Chicago Church is 200. Even though the number grows to 500 or 1,000, I will never forget the overwhelming moment when I first found my lost brother in Chicago. If I forget that moment, I will fall into mannerism and it will hinder the growth of the Church. So, I’m always careful not to depend on my experience and thought.

It was very touching and beautiful when we found a soul after a long time in waiting. The first fruit was given to us when we were going through a very hard time. We knew nothing. We only depended on God and earnestly preached the gospel with one mind. How joyful we were when we found a soul! We will keep on working for the gospel, cherishing the joy and excitement of the moment.

Now, the Chicago Church is going to preach the gospel to the near cities and the nations where Zion has not been established and we have not experienced this overwhelming first love yet. Chicago, which is the main city in the middle part of the United States, is surrounded by many states such as the Indiana State and Michigan State. We are diligently preaching the gospel so that Zion will be established in all regions of Middle America. Also, we are putting all our strength in establishing Zion in Panama located in Central America.

The Chicago Church is not content with the present status, but goes toward the future, without losing the love we experienced when we first bore fruit.

Wherever we may go, the experience we can have is limited. No matter how much knowledge we may have, it is not easy to apply it to reality. So I made an error with my own opinion, trying to go beyond the teachings of Father and Mother. Fortunately, I began to follow the path that Father and Mother walked to show us an example, then the door for the gospel was opened wide in a moment.

When the Chicago Church was stagnant, Mother encouraged us, saying, “Be patient a little more. If you do diligently as you have done until now, God will give you fruit.” Since we worked diligently, believing Mother’s words, we have become what we are today. When we only depend on Mother, believing Her words, everything is accomplished. From now on also, we are going to pray to Mother earnestly.

Now, the members of the Chicago Church are preaching the gospel more diligently with unity in love and consideration, in order to repay Mother for Her grace. We will present good fruits to Mother as gifts which She will be pleased with. With the faith, “We can do it with the power of God,” we preach the gospel anytime, anywhere. As if we are preaching for the first time, we always go out with a fresh and passionate mind. The Chicago Church will follow the will of Mother to the end, with overwhelming excitement to seek a soul with the same kind of emotion.
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