The Words of the van der Stok Family
Exactly 40 days ago, we started our journey to Germany. It was the first of April and, of course, a rainy morning. We felt sad and happy at the same time, sad because it meant leaving our brothers and sisters who had grown so dear to us, and happy because our Father's Kingdom would become stronger than ever in Germany.
We followed Highway 40 throughout the States to make a condition. But Satan seemed to stay closely with us, as we drove through rain, fog, a hailstorm, and finally a snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains. The roads were icy and many vehicles had to stop along the snow banks. It seemed that nothing could stop our car as it safely climbed higher and higher. However, Satan was still after us, -- we ran out of gas and waited until the next morning in a cold and frosted car. We did not warm up until we came to Galen and Patty in Denver who received us as true brothers and sisters with joy and happiness. Our second stop was Greeley where we talked with Elke's folks who gave her up as one who was "ruining her life."
Our third stop was Bonners Springs, Kansas. We visited Galen's parents and Homer Fleming, one of our dear brothers who is spreading the Principles in that beautiful corner of the world. The trip was smooth, even though Cristel suffered from an ear infection and dark, strange clouds were constantly following us and sometimes coming from all four directions toward us. We visited altogether 48 churches and claimed them for our dear Father. In every church we read part of the Divine Principles and prayed aloud. At night, we would usually stay at a cheap motel and sleep on the floor in our sleeping bags.
Our fourth stop was Cleveland, where we gave the Principles to Paul's brother. We celebrated Parents' Day in Cleveland and felt the tremendous spiritual power all day. Then came Pauline and related to us more of the festivities going on in San Francisco. We helped her to find a place to stay. May she find many of those who are ready.
A special treat awaited us in Washington, DC at Col. Pak's wonderful group, where we shared the love and happiness we felt for each other. Finally we could meet and talk with our true brothers and sisters there personally. It became obvious to us, the larger our family is, the more wonderful it will be.
We arrived in New York after exactly 21 days. By this time, Paul's illness which had already started in Cleveland, was getting serious. We went to a doctor who almost put him into a hospital. Satan really took his last stand just when we left for the ship. The attack was so strong that there was just time enough for Paul to go back to the hotel room and he blacked out. But somehow we made it to the "Berlin" in time, and things began to look brighter. However, when we look back at New York, we can only shudder, since the spiritual pressure is so strong, that it takes a very powerful person to remain calm.
The passengers on the ship consisted mainly of old people who had visited their children in America and were now returning. However, we did speak to several people and ran into two old missionaries whose philosophy was only three words -- "are you saved?" We had wonderful weather while on ship, although almost one-half of the passengers became sick with flu, colds, and other irritations.
Finally we arrived in Bremerhaven on May 7th on the "Ascension" which is a holiday. There are many, many towns and villages along the highway, and we saw that much work had to be done to spread the Divine Principles everywhere. On the way, we visited several relatives and arrived in Frankfurt on May 11th.
It was a wonderful reunion of joy and we exchanged ideas and talked until late into the night. We are truly proud of our brothers and sisters here who have so faithfully paved the way and are eager to take part in the restoration of Germany.
Let us follow our Lord and walk with Him wherever we go. May His blessings and love spread to each and every one of you and fill you with new power and determination to do the will of our most loving and gracious Father.