The Words of the Okamoto Family
A member of our Japanese Church in New York City, Katsuya joined our family four years ago, and has been working actively in Home Church.
I am so grateful that I have received the providence of Home Church. Through serving 360 homes, I am living with utmost joy by experiencing internal growth day by day. Even though my accomplishments are not enough compared with the standard Father expects of us, I have been given a chance this time to share my experience in Home Church.
I think that it is very valuable to meet good people and to have them hear Divine Principle, but beyond that it is very significant for me to experience the course of True Parents through Home Church. Therefore, I want to give one small testimony from this viewpoint.
After finishing 40 days pioneering last summer, I made up my mind to start Home Church more actively again. I received a telephone call from my Home Church guest. It was Mrs. Parno (not her real name), who was not the best contact from before. She asked me to come as soon as possible and pull some bushes out. Since it seemed a very easy job, I answered that I could do it right away. The same day I began to do it, and finished it all within a half day.
After a while, Mrs. Parno asked me to do another service -- cutting down the huge tree in the garden. When I saw that tree in the yard, it seemed an impossible task, for it looked too big to cut and would take too much of my time. Therefore, I did not accept her request in the beginning. But because she never gave up and continued to ask about it, finally I agreed to do it. I had to climb to the top of the high tree and work at the risk of my life in order to cut it down.
While doing this service, I began to question whether I should spend such a long time for one person. Actually, I did not have time to visit another Home Church for two weeks, and I saw many problems that Mr. and Mrs. Parno had in their home. Their relationship as husband and wife was not so good. Even during the time when I was working, they had several arguments. Mr. Parno has high blood pressure and therefore cannot work so hard. Mrs. Parno is always frustrated about it and accuses her husband at times. She is such a self-centered person and always forces other people to do her will.
One time she accused her husband of being lazy, and Mr. Parno became upset and left his house. I heard later that Mr. Parno had opposed cutting down the tree, but she had me begin cutting it down while he was out. I started to think that I had been used by her to fulfill her self-centered purpose.
One week later, after I finished cutting down the tree, Mrs. Parno asked me to put insulation in her daughter's room. I was hesitant in the beginning, because it was a very professional task and would take a lot of my time. But again, she asked me very strongly and finally I accepted her request. I asked my friend who is a construction worker to help make the estimate. When we were going to purchase wood, trouble again developed between the husband and wife. Mr. Parno was against insulating the room because it took too much money. But Mrs. Parno purchased $400 worth of wood while Mr. Parno was out. After this, she asked me to take their car in to be fixed, saying she would tell her husband it would cost $25 instead of $50, the actual price.
When I heard this, finally I could not control myself and said to her, "I cannot help you any more. It is very bad for you to tell a lie to your husband. My conscience can never allow me to help you. If you tell a lie, I can no longer help you." Suddenly she began to get terribly angry at me and screamed, "Don't say anything about the problem between husband and wife. You just do whatever I say. Even the priest in church never spoke to me the way you did."
At that moment, I made up my mind and said, "Okay, I will not help you any more." When she heard this, she started to cry like a child and complained, "My husband is so weak. You can never understand the feeling of a wife who has such a husband."
When I heard this, the words, "Be the servant of servant" rang in my mind. Then I thought, "The servant of servant of should follow whatever the master asks. The servant of servant does not have the right to criticize the master."
Struggling in my mind, I finally promised her I would do what she asked me to do. She also promised me that she would not tell a lie to her husband.
After I faced those problems, some questions came to mind. "Should I continue to serve her? It seems impossible to restore such a person, whose family situation is very terrible and who is very self-centered -- even if I could serve her enough. If I continue to serve her, I will become like a tool. It might be better to serve another good family who is more public minded, rather than this family."
While I was thinking about such questions, Rev. Won Pil Kim gathered about 40 members who had been doing Home Church comparatively well. I had a chance to attend that meeting and to give a short testimony. Then I talked about Mrs. Parno and the questions which I had been turning over in my mind.
Afterwards, Rev. Kim said, "You met a wonderful person, didn't you?" When I heard this I thought, "Why did Rev. Kim say this is a wonderful person? I feel that she is terrible."
Rev. Kim continued, "It is not that person who is asking you to do so many services but the spiritual world is using this person to make you serve her. You should do your best to do whatever she asks. If you do more than her expectation, she will change completely at some moment. Father also passed through the same course that you have experienced. When Father served the woman founder of some spiritual group, she asked him to wash women's underwear, and Father followed her completely."
When I heard this, some impression remained in my mind. Even after returning home, I kept thinking, "What does it mean that the spiritual world is using her?" After I while, I concluded that Mrs. Parno must be the representative of 360 homes. The spiritual world might be letting me pay indemnity for this entire area by using Mrs. Parno. Serving Mrs. Parno must be the same as serving the whole area. If I can get the victory with
Mrs. Parno, at the same time I can get victory in the entire area, spiritually. Our True Father also got the victory over the whole by getting victory over the one selfish person. This must be the formula course, through which we can pass through all the steps in the process of restoration by paying indemnity: the steps of servant of servant, servant, adopted son, true son and parents. "I must be going through this course substantially," I reasoned.
Through these experiences, I started to realize more realistically the significance of the Home Church providence and even more, the course of True Parents, which I had not understood so clearly. For example, I did not comprehend why the victory of True Parents at the Washington Monument was the worldwide victory. But I think through this experience my understanding deepened.
True Parents had held a rally in the United States. Although the whole of the world population did not attend, the victory must have been equal to winning over the spiritual world and the entire universe, because those who gathered at Washington Monument were the representatives of all nations, all religions and all races. Therefore, the victory of the Washington rally was the worldwide victory, and the spiritual world was completely united in this sense. Because the spiritual world is the world of cause, if it is united, it is just a matter of time until this physical world, which is the world of result, will also be united.
In the same way, because the 360 homes are the microcosm of the world, those people in each house must represent all races, nations and religions. Therefore, if we get the victory in one home, this must be the same as getting the victory over one nation.
Furthermore, because a person like Mrs. Parno represents the indemnity for the whole area, if we overcome such a person, this will become the spiritual victory for the entire area. It must also be a matter of time until I can win the entire 360 homes substantially, after getting the victory of the spiritual world of this area, since it is the world of cause.
Once I started to understand these contents of Home Church, it became a real joy for me to visit Mrs. Parno's house from that time on. When I thought of this home as the representative of this area and imagined that it was like the Washington Monument rally on a small scale, I stopped feeling that it was a waste of time spending many hours serving this house, and I started to long to see Mrs. Parno.
It took me two entire days to finish insulating the child's room. When I accomplished this service, I felt a comfortable satisfaction of victory, but it was just the beginning. After that, she started asking me to do many big jobs, and I spent most of my time in her house every weekend. But still I am filled with the desire of doing whatever she asks me to do.
Another thing I began to realize is that the neighbors have changed their attitude towards me. They are very close to Mrs. Parno and they as well as the Parnos support me very much. One day the neighbor said in a joking way, "You will be the adopted son of Mrs. Parno sooner or later." It was a symbolic statement, and I was so happy inside.
Home Church is like a bucket into which wt can pour water from any direction, in order to fill it. Likewise, serving one house in one's area is the same as serving the entire area, and it will change another family as well. By seeing the neighbor change in such a positive way, I really understood that the entire spirit world is connected to our work in Home Church.
I strongly feel that Home Church is the most precious gift from God and True Parents. I am experiencing every day opportunities to pass through the historical worldwide course of restoration by paying indemnity -- the course through which True Parents passed. I really believe that we can embody the words which have been given us by True Parents only through the course of Home Church.
I have just started, but I have a strong conviction that we can solve all problems that we will face in the future through the formula of the victory given by True Parents. Moreover, I am so grateful that we can receive the direct guidance of Rev. Won Pil Kim, who embodies the words of True Parents.
Finally, I pray for the victory of all brothers and sisters in the world Home Church.