The Words of the Jenkins Family after 2008
The mayor of the city of Namyangju welcomes a group of faith leaders to speak at a citizen's hall
Rev. Michael Jenkins is chairman of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC). While in Korea with 172 leaders of various faiths who had responded to True Parents' call, he spoke to us about the mission of ACLC and their experience in Korea. ACLC co-presidents Archbishop George Stallings and Bishop Jesse Edwards had written to the ACLC body of faith leaders regarding the trip to Korea: "Pastors, you are not guests, this is not a conference or convention; this is a mission. We will not be staying in hotels, but rather, we will go wherever God calls us, and we will minister to the beloved people of Korea."
True Father founded ACLC in May 2000 at Chung Pyung with 120 ministers who believe Jesus has anointed Father Moon to bring all of Christianity together. ACLC has grown. It now includes clerics from all faiths based on the idea that if we unify the body of Christ (Father's founding vision for HSA-UWC) and if the love of Jesus is strong enough, we can embrace Muslims and Hindus and Jews.
On that basis, we went to Israel and affirmed that Jesus did not come to die. We called upon the rabbis to express love for Jesus and reconciled the Jewish family, as expressed in the Jerusalem Declaration, and went on to crown Jesus with all faiths and with Jewish support.
The main purpose of ACLC is first to bring the unity of the body of Christ, and second to bring the blessing of marriage. We help to lift up the pastors to establish their own families under True Parents' blessing. And the pastors have come to feel that God is working through them as they bless couples in their churches.
We are now here at Chung Pyung responding to Father's call for forty-three American ministers each from the north, south, east and west, representing 4,300 years of Korean history and the 430 years of Israel's bondage in Egypt before their final liberation.
We are very proud of the pastors. They are studying the Original Divine Principle. They also had the mission to receive a Korean family name and engraft into a Korean family. They truly feel they are part of a Korean family. The experience they had in the churches in the cities was overwhelming. They actually could accept that God has prepared Korea as the homeland, because of the family tradition and culture, Koreans' faith in God and the incredible service and love shown them by the Korean members, the councilmen, the mayors and members of parliament....
The faith leaders testify vigorously to True Father (Rev. Jenkins, who contributed this article and his wife Reiko are in the center of this picture).
What the ministers have seen is that well-known Christian leaders, particularly from the African-American heritage, have come to believe and trust that God is working through True Parents. They also believe that Jesus anointed Father as the Messiah, or as the central person through whom Jesus is working to bring God's kingdom. They have come to understand that True Parents, as the Messiah, do not replace Jesus; rather, they expand on Jesus foundation. At first there was frequent rejection by Christians, many attacks. Many of our ministers suffered greatly. The family of one of our co-presidents, Rev. Jesse Edwards, divided over this. His brother, who is also a minister, strongly opposed him.
That all changed over the years as people saw the marriages of our ACLC members getting stronger. Bishop Edwards and his wife's marriage was strengthened. They see Father as totally consistent about marriage and family. They see the marriages of the people around ACLC getting stronger and better. That changed Rev. Edwards' family. His brother-in-law, who had not been supportive before, became a member of ACLC. Mrs. Edwards' mother also became a member. We still haven't got Rev. Edwards' brother!
Many pastors are testifying to feeling enormous holiness and the presence of God in Rev. Hyung-jin Moon and Yeon-ah nim. Hyung-jin nim stands up and says to the ministers, "I am just like filthy rags; as the Bible says:...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags." That is so true to scripture and enormously humble. That's moving them too; they feel a resonance with Hyung-jin nim as never before, which also provides them with more strength to trust True Parents.
Faith leaders fishing with True Father on a boat in waters around Geomun Island
Rev. Damon Roach
We are going up to the thirty-eighth parallel, and we're going to pray. We are sending a message to the president of North Korea, that he needs to heed what Father and Mother Moon are saying.... We believe that Rev. Moon has been appointed for such a time as this, and we do believe that he is the "God of Peace for the nation of Korea.... I'd just like say to this country, Take a look at this man, because he is more than a man. God has appointed Rev. and Mrs. Moon and their family for this time in history.
Rev. Sylveta Gonzales
ODP is another level of the Principle, preparing us for the next level, knowing the time and providing the tools to move ourselves back to our original purpose in our life with God. There was something profoundly different about Rev. Moon. I have never forgotten the feeling of being in his presence. I truly believe that he is a true messenger of God and a life-changing agent, giving God's people the power to regain their relationship with God.
Rev. James Herndon
I am honored to the point of tears for being grafted into and registered with a Korean clan, the Won family. I was so happy to meet my new family; there is a sense of belonging, of real joy in belonging to a Korean family and in belonging to the father- land of peace.
Rev. Jesse Dompreh
In 2009, I was in New York at Father Moon's birthday celebration. I saw the blessed families, and that started me thinking about getting my own family together, correcting what went wrong. We were divorced, and we have just remarried. I credit that to my involvement with ACLC marriage seminars and True Family Values seminars, and all that I was exposed to– thank God I took it seriously.
Mrs. Marsha Dompreh
You can't hide real feelings. I was overwhelmed at some points by the outpouring of love and by the feeling of peace. I made some contacts and I intend to stay in touch. Emotions overcame me on the bus on the way home. I am so enlightened by the whole experience.
Rev. David Thibodeaux
We sat down and we ate in their homes -- that was something very touching. They can meet us in a facility like this or in a church; that's okay, because we are not a threat to them. But when you invite me to come into your home, where you live, that is a personal environment. For them to offer us that honor was very touching. Some of those children had never seen people of color before. They came and embraced us both.
My husband and I had the opportunity to offer flowers [to True Parents]. Being in their presence just for a few moments, we had a feeling of oneness. And we went to Gyeongju, and the city council came out to meet us. We said how we wanted to see peace on this peninsula. We, this movement of 172 faith leaders, are part of that process; we have come to help. The city officials were so excited, amazed, that we had come and that we have an interest in something that is for them a major issue.
Dr. Tina Thomas Saxon
(Given at a testimony evening)
It was the time I was part of the twelve representatives and I had to come up and receive the certificate, the registration, from Father and Mother Moon. I didn't know I was going to experience what I did. I was not prepared to stand in front of this man. I knew he had many accomplishments, I knew he was gifted, I knew he had built things...I knew that I resonated with him as far as wanting to build a better world. But something else happened. When I walked up, immediately my eyes caught Mother Moon's eyes, or rather she took my eyes. What I saw there was something I really can't describe. All I know is that it was the best feeling in the world. Then my head seemed to be pulled toward him. When I looked at Father Moon, and
I was looking at her at the same time, they held me as if in a grip. As I stared into their eyes, it was a feeling of 150 pounds of weight being shed. And they were holding me up. I was standing and the weight that came off of me, and the love I experienced with those people! I said to myself, this is not just a man. This is not just the man! This is the man that God has sent! And I will follow him. Amen.
Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr.
This message is not just coming from True Parents, or just from Unificationists; it can be multiplied 172 times by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and members of other religions of the world. Even though we may hold onto the tenets of our faith, our individual faith systems, we have discovered someone in our world who is willing to lead all of us above and beyond that to a world of true and lasting peace.