The Words of the Bowman Family
This is my testimony of distributing 430 books. To begin, I'd like to share why I wanted to accomplish the number 430:
1. To me, I let the number 430 represent the National Level and I wanted to accomplish something on that level beyond my small town where I live.
2. My spiritual daughter's husband, who lives in Korea, related to me that True Father had said that if you didn't do it, you might not like where you end up in the spiritual world. So he right away bought 430 books and made a determination to give them out within one month, and that inspired me.
In each book I put my card and signed my name with all the love in my heart. I did this just in case people wanted to contact me, and many did.
I started with my own family and my brother and his family in Japan. Next I gave books to all the contacts that I have known over the many years in Aiken [South Carolina]. I even gave books to the UPS deliveryman and the car repairman and literally every body who came to my house. I used the pictures in the book to give them a lot of insight whenever I had the time.
In the beginning I decided that I wanted to visit all 51 counties in South Carolina, however as things went along I changed my plan. In all, I visited 10 counties and many of the towns and cities within those counties. Beginning in June when school let out, as I traveled I visited many churches because in summertime they are open for vacation Bible school and other summer programs. As a result I was able to meet many pastors and talk about the book. In one of the outlying counties I met a minister who was once a pastor in Aiken. I had missed visiting him when he had a church in Aiken. I felt so good about kind of tracking him down and finally meeting him out in the hinterland and giving him the. As I traveled the scenic rural roads between cities and towns I would often stop at the little country stores where the clerks and owners always seem to have a lot of extra time and were grateful to receive the books. I also visited the libraries and the small towns and gave them books.
Next I made a condition to visit three churches as part of my hometown providence. I regularly attended Sunday service, Bible study and other programs. I would give the book to the pastor first and after that I would ask the pastor it would be alright if I could give the book to his church members. Usually he would give me the chance to introduce the book at Bible study sessions. One person who read the book said it was such a wonderful book that she was going to show it to her daughter and recommend that she read it. It inspired me to begin to suggest to anyone who received the book that once they finished it please pass it around to other family members and friends.
In one case a man was really excited to receive a book when he heard the name Moon. In reality, he thought he was going to receive Kook Jin-nim's book. He said he understood Kook Jin-nim to be a very great and famous businessman. Then I explained to him that this was the autobiography of the father of Kook Jin nim and he was eager to receive a book because if the son is great the father must also be great.
From my past experiences there were many pastors who showed interest about True Father. I looked in my records to find out where they were. Some of the pastors were retired, however whenever I could find the address I sent them a book. I thought it was so important to follow up with these ministers. Among them was a pastor who had written a research paper on the Unification Church when he was young and studying in the seminary. He was very, very happy to receive the book.
I attend a physical exercise class two times a week. I gave books to all my classmates. One of the women in the class said that whenever she reads the book she feels very peaceful. Another class member said that she wanted to introduce it to her church women's group, however when she presented it to the group one of the members said that Rev. Moon is a cult group leader. So she was not able to share the book with her friends and I was not able to come and talk about it... not everything was easy.
I visited the neighbors all around me because in some cases I have not introduced myself as a member of Rev. Moon's group officially. It was a good way to let them know who I am and what I represent. In some other neighborhoods, I specifically targeted homes in which they had left the front door open with the glass storm door in place. I felt they had done this to welcome me, and that they were more open than the homes in which this was not so.
I looked through my records from the 1990s when we gave the blessing in front of Wal-Mart and also door-to-door and visited their homes. Although some were already in the spirit world, most of the living ones remembered me and welcomed me into their homes. I really felt that whenever you put the seed it will stay with the people.
At one home a person started talking about his life of faith when I visited. Among his ancestors there were many Native Americans who are very spiritually open including him. He told the story how one of his ancestors was a woman who was made to go on the Trail of Tears. She felt that she would not make it so she gave her child to someone she didn't even know... a white couple. The left behind child was one of his ancestors. While I was talking to him I felt the pain and sadness of the Native American mother's feeling when she was leaving the child without knowing really whether they would take care of the child or not. My tears came down so much. I want to explain why I had those tears... along with my empathy for that woman, that poor mother, I felt I don't know who I am meeting or what kind of ancestors they actually have, but somehow they all have made conditions to receive True Father's autobiography.
Father requested that we give Korean language autobiographies to the Korean people who live in the United States, so I bought 25 Korean autobiographies to give to the Korean people around my area. I visited Korean churches. At one of them I had a very painful experience: such a wonderful, peaceful looking minister transformed into a monster when he found out that I was a Moonie. Another Korean woman said to me because of my church her mother was dead. I wanted to find out her story but she just pushed me out of her church. I felt so sad because they should be proud of father as a Korean hero and more than that, if they would read the book they really might understand that he is the Messiah. Instead of reading it, the monster-Minister just ripped it up and threw it at my feet.
On a more positive note, I visited many Korean businesspeople in the Augusta, Georgia area. Their businesses are typically beauty supply stores, mini-marts, and liquor stores in the poorer sections of Augusta. In most cases these Korean merchants accepted the book with gratitude. A Korean man I met in Allendale, South Carolina was very excited and interested. He said he came from the same hometown as Dr. Bo Hi Pak. He said that he had visited Sun Moon University three times when he was in Korea. When I looked at his face it was like looking at the face of a very young Bo Hi Pak. He said, "I'm a Christian and I am proud of Rev. Moon but I'm afraid I will find it difficult to pass around the book to other Koreans because I know I'll receive persecution."
In the last two weeks of distribution, I sent the book to many politicians in the state and local area. I received a thank you letter from the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. And an Aiken City Councilwoman called to me and said how great it was to receive the book. I talked to her about how important it is to have women as leaders. She said she was very much looking forward to meeting me and having a discussion after she reads the book. I attended a meeting held by Congressman Joe Wilson. I gave him a book and I said to him that I was very grateful for his support for the Japanese church members who have been the victims of kidnapping.
I visited all the principals of the schools in my area (elementary, middle, high school, college and private). I also distributed books to lawyers and doctors in my town. Some doctors called me and asked, "How do you know me." I replied that I have lived in Aiken for 25 years so I know many doctors. I sent the book to the leaders of many groups and organizations in my town. As a result one lady called me. She broadcasts a show on the radio and after she reads the book she wants to interview me on the radio. Of course I sent the book to the editors of the two local newspapers.
I benefited in many ways through the experience of distributing the books:
1. I can say to anyone now who I am and what is Rev. Moon's teaching without fear.
2. I experienced the value of reconnecting with old contacts and I'm determined to keep up some form of communication with each one of them.
3. I know I will get many new contacts through this book because this book is the best witnessing method and I'm going to keep giving the book whenever I meet good people.
4. I have been doing flower sales for 25 years and I'm feeling that God is giving me the money whenever I need to do the mission.
At the conclusion of my distribution of 430 books I bought two fig trees. I love fig trees and their fruit. I want to grow my spirit with the two fig trees.