The Words of the Perry Family
Mr. Paul Perry lectures on Unification Thought.
The International Cultural Foundation sponsored a Divine Principle seminar for professors in Canela, Brazil, from January 22 through 28, 1984. The week long program included Divine Principle lectures, Unification Thought, Victory over Communism Theory, and special topics, such as the Blessing and Unification Theology, the participants, numbering 160 (122 professors and 38 spouses), came from 14 of the 23 Brazilian states and five neighboring countries, namely Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Venezuela. It was the third ICF seminar held in Brazil, but only the first that Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak was able to host personally. The seminar was a complete success -- even an exceptional success -- showing that our movement has now entered a new era in its development, the era of the victory of love.
The lectures were delivered in Portuguese by Liberto Silva (Portugal), Waldir Cipriani (Brazil), Fatima Silveira Balfour (Brazil) and myself, who was acting as special assistant to Rev. Kwak. Discussion groups gave participants an opportunity to express their views and to clarify points presented during the lectures.
Brazil -- sometimes referred to by Brazilians as "the sleeping giant" -- is larger than the United States without the state of Alaska. The seminar was held at an idyllic location in the mountains away from major cities, which enabled the participants to put their personal concerns aside for a time and to focus on the message presented to them. The Brazilian Unification family has over a thousand full-time members, with almost ten thousand home members. At the seminar, 19 leaders of the Brazilian church comprised most of the staff; they worked sometimes literally without any sleep for days to make the third ICF seminar of Brazil an exceptionally successful and very important event.
What was most inspiring about this seminar was to see how completely the participants changed in the short period of seven days. The activity of the spirit world was almost visible to the naked eye. Our members made strong spiritual conditions, praying all night and during lectures, desperately trying to move the spirit world. We indeed saw many miracles occur. The professors acquired very quickly a wonderful attitude of cooperation and discipline. There was no problem of tardiness or absenteeism. After breaks, participants would naturally return to the lecture hall, even without being called. They seemed always anxious to participate in whichever event would come up next. When problems occurred, the participants themselves would rally around to try to find a solution. For instance, one participant was unusually strong in his effort to convince others of his views during a question and answer period about Unification Thee-logy. Several professors took it upon themselves to point out to that individual that he was going too far in pushing his own view. After the session was over, about ten professors came to our lecturer to apologize for the behavior of their colleague. Because the atmosphere was so harmonious and united, they didn't want anyone or anything to disturb it.
Deep internal changes also occurred. One lady, for instance, was initially rather defensive and a bit negative. She exerted a strong influence on several other participants, so that the staff became concerned about the situation. We reminded ourselves, however, of what Father had said about the victory of love and decided to love the group that was having the problem and to pray for them deeply. Three sisters volunteered to set a nighttime prayer condition for that purpose; the next day there was an amazing change. The ones who had been having problems became sincere and open. Even their style of dress changed. At the end of the seminar, that formerly negative lady became an associate member and wrote in the membership form that she wanted to continue to study the Principle. This was something that only the spirit world could have accomplished.
One of the most significant aspects of the seminar was the presence of Rev. Kwak. He was busy every minute during the whole time he was in Canela. He met the professors individually and in groups, giving them guidance about sensitive topics in our Movement and answering questions. On one occasion he spoke to a group of 15 professors. Rev. Kwak spoke openly, as if he was speaking to our own members. After he finished his talk, he asked if there were any questions, and the first question was, "Rev. Kwak, how can we best accomplish our work here in Brazil?"
Furthermore, Rev. Kwak was able to deliver the concluding speech himself, whereby he introduced Father's life to the participants. At the end of his speech he received a standing ovation. Then he continued to talk from his heart, sharing with the participants his own experiences with Father. He introduced the various projects that Father has initiated and will soon initiate. The response was enthusiastic and joyful.
After Rev. Kwak's concluding speech about Father's life, the participants were given the opportunity to become associate members of the Unification Movement. Very quickly 82 of them signed associate membership forms. Considering that about 15 of them were members already and a few participants had to leave early, it was an incredible result.
One group of participants also had the idea of writing a letter to Father. A letter was drafted, and input from various participants was included. After the closing ceremony the letter was read in public and participants were given the opportunity to sign it, if they chose to do so. We expected that a few would sign; bit in fact, virtually all of them signed. We had to make several copies of the same letter to accommodate all the signatures. It was an unprecedented and spontaneous tribute to Father; it was an explicit declaration by everyone that they recognized that Father is indeed the hope of the world!
At the closing ceremony, participants presented songs and poems that they had written about Divine Principle and the ideal world. A true feeling of fellowship had grown among them. As they said good-bye, many pledged that they would continue to study the Principle and would get involved with our movement in their areas.
The seeds that Father has been sowing for such a long time have produced wonderful fruits of life and resurrection. Indeed, our Church is now at a different age, the age of the victory of love. The smiles mixed with tears of the departing professors signaled that the tide of Father's new hope has reached Brazilian shores.
Our group of 160 Latin-American professors, that is just ending this INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR ON UNIFICATION THEOLOGY, cannot leave the city of Canela without thanking you for this opportunity to get to know your doctrine and your revolutionary and revealing way of understanding and communicating to the world the thought of God, 4s Creator.
We found out, during six days of conferences and debates, that your message brings to our disturbed world of today perhaps its last solution, since all other messages, tested and retested through centuries, were not able to take the world out of the quagmire it is sinking into year after year
That is why your message of faith seems to us to be our last hope.
On the other hand, if we know the tree by its fruits, we must tell you how deeply we admired the life style of the Moonies who were here with an These young people witness how faith and good works can change human beings. You made a new human race appear among us, enlightened by its love for man, purified by its dedication to the family, perfected by the ideal life it leads.
We were also greatly pleased by the presence among us of Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak whose brilliance thrilled all of us.
For all that, we thank you heartily, Reverend Moon.
Canela, Brazil. January 28, 1984.
Signatures on the letter to Rev. Moon