An Outpouring of Reflections from the Japanese Revivals
The following reflections were submitted by attendees of the two seven-day revival workshops for Japanese Unificationists and the fourth Ocean Summit West, held consecutively at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) in January 2017. One prominent feature of both workshops and the summit was the reunion of 43 Japanese sisters who played an integral role in advancing True Parents’ providence in the 1980s. The reflection of Susan Bouachri, director of Human Resources for the National Ministry Team, is placed at the head of the article to frame their story and the other testimonies that follow.
Contributed by Susan Bouachri
I now understand what Dickens meant when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Imagine this: hold a reunion with that group of people you worked with in the most challenging mission, at the peak of your youth, in a period of life and faith when every minute mattered and every decision felt like it led to life or death.
That’s what took place January 21-23, when 43 sisters joined the Ocean Summit at IPEC in Las Vegas to celebrate their victorious six years of devotion to our True Parents and their vision. Many years ago these sisters were called to Kodiak to support the development of International Seafoods of Alaska, a fledgling fish processing business.
I was lucky enough to be in Kodiak during that period, having been assigned by True Parents to work there as an Ocean Church pioneer just a few months before. Working aboard ship was my main mission, but I felt I was also called as a witness to my sisters’ devotion and steadfast faith. At such a reunion, you honor each other by retelling the war stories, shedding tears for our shortcomings, but mostly sharing laughter at all the wild situations and victories we wrested from that land of extreme weather, extreme work, and extremely “interesting” people. It is those tough times we endure together which create memories and connections that will last eternally.
The 43 sisters enjoyed a day of sharing testimonies and memories with brothers and sisters in attendance at the Ocean Summit, which took place simultaneously. This was followed with a special treat—a tour to Sedona to enjoy the beautiful red rocks sculpted by millennia of wind, rain and glacier activity. We enjoyed a relaxing time with more sharing (our favorite activity!), shopping, and sightseeing.
We are all grateful to Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and Dr. Michael Balcomb for their inspiration and invitation to gather and to Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshi Inose of Kodan and their team for making it happen. As we hugged each other and said our goodbyes, we’re all praying it’s not another 20-something years until we meet again!
Workshop and Summit Testimonies
“Rev. Nakamura’s Divine Principle lectures were great because he talked deeply about why the Divine Principle teachings are necessary for human happiness. I liked learning about how we are born, we live, and we die in love—that passing on to the spirit world is a potential path to eternal happiness and joy if we are able to love deeply in this world. It was also very nice to meet Dr. Kim. Great smiles and lectures.” –Airy Yeh, Second-Generation Unificationist, NY
“The greatest blessing I received was to understand the significance of the three objective loves. Everything became so clear. I felt the power of God’s word, and Rev. Nakamura helped us to understand the content of the Divine Principle in our hearts. I was so grateful for the tips and guidance he gave us to educate second-generation Unificationists and to raise our own children.” — Akira Watanabe, Director, CARP Las Vegas
“It was so great to attend the seven-day workshop in Japanese. I’ve been waiting for a Japanese Divine Principle workshop for many, many years, and I was able to attend this workshop together with my husband. Though there was not enough time to discuss everything in detail, Mr. Nakamura and Mr. Kachi were great lecturers. We learned the Divine Principle more in-depth, and also about True Parents’ heart. Thank you for organizing this Japanese seven-day workshop. Thank you to True Parents, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Dr. Michael Balcomb, Mr. and Mrs. Inose, and for everyone’s support. I hope all brothers and sisters can attend this workshop someday.“ –Aya Asanuma, NE
“IPEC was filled with God’s Spirit, just like in Cheongpyeong, Korea. I had many spiritual experiences and dreams during the workshop. I could feel that True Mother was listening to my prayers and watching my heart very closely. I could pray honestly and could call on True Mother.
“Seeing the Japanese sisters who pioneered Ocean Providence in Alaska and hearing their testimonies was so precious and made me aware that we were one. This workshop clarified the goal of my faith as well as my weaknesses that I needed to work out. Studying True Parents’ course from providential point of view helped me to understand how painful True Parent’ life was, and I sincerely felt I wanted to devote the rest of my life completely to True Parents’ work because they did for me.
“I also gained confidence. Because of this workshop, I have a new start now as I welcome. I would like to bring results to True Mother now, because I love her from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for everything.” –Ayako Heller, NY
“I am grateful from the bottom of my heart that I listened to the Divine Principle presentations, which fully convinced me intellectually and spiritually. After taking in this truth deeply, I would like to share it with others, because my heart is telling me to do so.
“Because of my strong nature, my body moves along only when my heart is moved. In this workshop my heart and spirit absorbed the Divine Principle just as dry soil takes in water. Thinking of the principle of origin-division-union action, I would like to use my heightened conviction in the Divine Principle to create action plans through the heart of heavenly filial piety. I also should set my goals through applying my earnest desire to form some kind of trinity. I ask God to not worry about me. Yes, no need to worry about me, because I can move forward for victory, together with True Parents and my brothers and sisters. Thank you.” –Chizuru Quigley, IL
“It was a powerful calling for me to come here to IPEC. I am deeply grateful to Heavenly Parent and True Parents. This is such a peaceful and beautiful place.
“Before this seven-day workshop began, I was able to talk to many of the 43 sisters from Kodiak. Each one of them is deeply grateful to be invited to IPEC and start a new chapter of life with stronger connections with Heavenly Parent, True Parents, and each other. I am very, very happy for them.
“I miss True Father very much, but over the last two days I could see True Father through the lecturer, Dr. Soichiro Nakamura. Our Hoon Dok Hwe, or scripture reading, was True Mother’s very first public testimony at Belvedere in 1977. Until today, my understanding of True Mother was that she is a champion of patience and love, but True Mother didn’t only endure; she took it as a test and overcame with a faithful attitude, again and again. How amazing that as just a young girl, she had such wisdom and unchanging determination and focus for the life mission as True Mother.
“I listened to the lectures with a feeling of embrace by the love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents. We all understood more deeply about IPEC from words by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and my husband, Michael Balcomb.” –Fumiko Balcomb, NY
“Listening to the reports from CARP [Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles] and the Evangelism Department today, I feel that America must lead the way to substantiate Cheon Il Guk. The Elder Son Nation of America has grown up by receiving unconditional love from the Mother Nation, Japan, which constantly has carried the burden of indemnity. Now America as a mature son is standing up and leading the world in the direction of God. Cheon Il Guk will blossom if we love our family and tribe with the heart of filial piety.” –Fumiko Inooka, MD
“I was blessed throughout the workshop. I could substantially feel the love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents during the seven days. Now that I understand that True Father wishes us to wipe away his pain through our Tribal Messiahship, I am determined to work hard. I also enjoyed the trinity activities. I am grateful for my renewal and new beginning together with the brothers and sisters who are here. Thank you very much.
“I would like to convey this blessing of the workshop to many brothers and sisters in my region so that they can participate in the same way in the future.” –Hiroko Sato, WA
“We had a shower of blessings every day. I gained a deep, deep understanding of Divine Principle and True Father’s course. I felt these three years before 2020 are very crucial, and we need a stronger determination than ever before. Thank you very much for preparing this workshop. I wish all Japanese Unificationists all over the world could attend.” –Izumi Bonhagen, LA
“I felt deep grace and love while being here at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC). From the room where I stayed to the lecture hall, the lobby, and more, I could feel how much love True Parents had invested into IPEC. I’m so grateful to be here.
“I was especially inspired by Dr. Kim’s lecture about True Parents’ love for Las Vegas. I am thinking to bring more people to come study here.” –Ju-ju Yang, NY
“Dear True Mother, I am grateful to study Divine Principle again. I had a dream about a white lily representing True Mother and gentle purple lilies representing us, the Japanese sisters at the workshop.” –Kazuko Walton, NV
“I haven’t attend a seven-day Divine Principle workshop in Japanese in more than 40 years. I felt True Mother’s love and hope for us to revitalize and realize the deeper meaning of Divine Principle content and True Father’s course.
“It was such a wonderful time to listen to Divine Principle in Japanese. Mr. Nakamura has such rich experiences teaching second-generation Unificationists. He taught us how to approach them and explain Divine Principle, emphasizing the value of family. Mr. Kachi shared the True Father’s life course and God’s providential timeline. I understand True Mother’s absolute faith to unite with True Father to accomplish his mission.
“We were filled with laughter and tears. The lectures were so sincere and the lecturers were experts to share about True Parents’ heart. Our goal is clear and hopeful for these three years leading up to 2020. I like to focus on Tribal Messiahship to spread truth and share the Blessing.” –Keiko Foss, MN
“When I came to IPEC, I was so amazed because of the high spirit here. I felt the Holy Spirit, guiding me to a higher spiritual level. It was pure and sincere, comforting and loving. I felt so much hope that we can solve all our struggles if we connect with this spirit. I strongly felt that we are focusing on the problem too much. We have a heart to love and support and to sacrifice.” –Keiko Loew, CA
“We had a closing ceremony full of hope and love. Everyone looked so youthful because they were determined to march forward. Thanks to the two wonderful lecturers, I was able to regain myself and make new determinations….Also, Dr. Balcomb’s talk and two second-generation Unificationists’ inspiring presentations helped me understand clearly what I should do now. From now, I would like to carry on True Parents’ tradition and live a life of true love together with my family.” –Mary Hirakami, Second-Generation Unificationist, MN
“The Unification movement is filled with hope, absolutely. Participating in this workshop really moved my heart. I want to leave all my anxieties behind, because I worry too much about many things and I fear too many things. I need to push myself forward from now. I won’t be the person that I was in the past….I don’t know exactly what I can do right now, but I am determined to inherit True Mother’s heart.
“I am grateful for the blessing I received here. I would like to thank everyone who made this workshop possible.
“I am studying at school because I want to make movies in the future. But I am also passionate about my Tribal Messiah mission. I don’t know how to balance life with two goals, as both require much from me.” –Michael Hirakami, Second-Generation Unificationist, MN
“Our goal for this Ocean Summit was to inspire and revive people so that they would leave with a desire to do something and take action, and I think we were able to accomplish that. Many of the 43 [Japanese] sisters are planning to compile their testimonies into a book with photos at the request of Dr. Kim; youth have expressed wanting to create fishing programs; and others who I spoke to have learned many new things they didn’t know and want to learn more….
“At the end of the second day the energy and conviction I felt from everyone there were amazing, and hearing people give their goals on how they want to support Ocean Church, especially Dr. Jenkins, made me feel so grateful. I felt that God and True Father are really helping and want us to make things happen. It really was a victory, but it’s also the beginning. All the aspects of the Ocean Providence have so much potential and possibilities. I get excited just thinking about it!” –Naria McGee
“True Father told us, ‘Go to Alaska and work at the seafood company.’
“Alaska? I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I was in shock for a while. True Father told us to ‘be like True Parents’ hands and legs, and work together as one body.’ These words stayed in my heart and gave me strength to go through some difficult times.” –Noriko Chapital
“I am grateful for all the love I received. I received so much love from Heaven, True Parents, the staff, and brothers and sisters.
“As for the future, I will continue to work hard until the entire spirit and physical worlds are restored.” –Onni Durst, CA
“I think the headquarters staff successfully conveyed to us their zeal for witnessing. Their presentation was appropriately given at the closing of this workshop. During Dr. Balcomb’s prayer, I sensed the presence of True Mother. I am convinced that the seriousness of the Family Federation leaders and staff makes such a phenomenon possible. During the unified prayer my heart was burning and my legs were shaking. I think this prayer solidified my resolve to serve True Mother with the heart of filial piety. Thank you so much.” –Theodore Tadaaki Shimmyo, NY
“Each word the lecturer, Mr. Nakamura, spoke was important and a treasure to me. Each word soaked into my heart. Without True Parents’ love, there is no salvation on this earth. Especially at this time I deeply understood True Mother’s heart. True Mother is taking responsibility for the 7.4 billion people of the world. How big a heart and what seriousness she has. I want to help with part of True Mother’s responsibility.” –Toshiko Wildman, CA