Sunday morning, we woke up in Morning Garden with a beautiful breakfast. Straight after breakfast we made our way past Boston and went to Worcester for Sunday service. We were honored that we could share about True Mother's vision for 2020 and beyond as well as our call to action to help us build a new nation as the main Sunday service presentation. We were especially moved by the support of the young Unificationists.
The team continued on from Worcester to Providence, Rhode Island, where Pastor Mark Beaudoin and the families there were gathered to greet us outside the building along with six Japanese second-generation Unificationists who were touring America. We went to the prayer grounds behind the building to pray. After our prayer, we came inside to share some time together with tea, fruit, and cookies. We heard a little bit about the pilgrimage that the Japanese blessed children are on, and their plans for the future. We also heard a few tribal messiahship testimonies and shared the presentation with them like in all of the other locations.
What really moved us about our experience there is that it was truly an international meeting because of the Japanese second generation. It was also an opportunity: these are the children of first generation parents who gave their lives to the mission, gave a lot of money to the cause--a lot of which came to America--which we’ve all benefited from. Many of their parents never came to America, despite what they’ve given to the growth of the movement here. Not only that, but their children are not entirely in touch with the church, so for them to come here is a real revival experience for them, too. So when we get the chance to meet them, it’s always an opportunity to say, “Thank you.” It’s a total honor that we could make this part of the Northeast Harmony Tour because the northeast has inherited and received so much from True Parents.
This was truly an opportunity to show our gratitude and that America wants to stand up—America wants to get to the point where Japan can finally say, “Don’t worry. we got this.” This was the spirit in Rhode Island.
After Rhode Island, we got to Bridgeport, Connecticut. We got to connect to 20-25 key members of the community. My wife Yumiko and Miilhan’s wife Sayaka had driven out to Bridgeport from New Jersey this day to meet us there and support us during the tour. They brought our kids with them, stayed up with us, and I felt so grateful being able to publicly acknowledge their contributions to and relentless support for this tour.
We presented late into the night and we could see that there were many pieces already in place to implement True Mother’s strategy in Bridgeport. There is firepower in terms of connections and a wealth of members that have a lot to offer. We’re always moved to see the young leadership of Pastors Mika and Abe Deshotel. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our friend Chris Hempowicz who had joined us for our tour in New England communities. Why? Because, after finishing up our visit at Bridgeport around midnight, we needed to go back to one place on the tour that we weren’t able to stop by: the Poconos.
We were originally scheduled to stop at the Poconos on the first day of our tour, but we didn’t have time because we were going to be late to Philadelphia. We realized we were called to be there, however, when earlier this morning, Miilhan had woken up at 3:30am from a dream. It was an intense spiritual experience that made him realize we need to go back to the Poconos. He texted his parents, Jim and Hiromi Stephens, asking if we could visit their home in the Poconos.
“Yes, we’re here. We welcome you,” they had responded. So, we left Bridgeport at 12am. William, our driver, drove our RV through the night, with Miilhan keeping him up. Finally, at 3am, we had our last stop of the day at the Poconos with Jim and Hiromi. We were up until 4am, sharing tea and gladly receiving all that the Stephens had prepared for us on such a short notice.