(Posted with permission)
From email@example.com Sun Feb 6 21:55:04 2000
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2000 00:56:40 +0900
From: Mike Romani firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Thank you!
I am a new subscriber to your various lists and I want to thank you from the deepest part of my heart. I know you are very busy; however, I hope you will bear with me a few moments.
I joined the Unification Church in 1977. My first 26 months I spent finishing my four year enlistment with the U.S. Navy. I spent my off duty hours at Church centers and free weekends at workshops. I was always envious of new brothers and sisters who were able to go out pioneering and I longed for the time I could do the same. I later helped pioneer CARP in the Southeast, went to Korea for IFVOC and returned to America and was sent to Saeilo. Unfortunately I was never very good at bringing successful, substantial results. I was only good at not giving up and leaving the Church. I was in the 2075 couples Blessing after having been matched, by picture, at the end of 1980 with a Japanese sister.
In 1991 my wife and I moved to her hometown in Japan with our two sons. I had never imagined that I would become an inactive member, I had never consciously desired it. I got off to a rocky start with the Japanese Church. Don't worry, I have no desire to stoke the fires of resentment.I blame myself. I created my own hell. My relationship with my wife became nothing more than polite greetings. We went our own ways, with my work schedule it was easy not to meet. My wife tithes to the Church every month and we've made a few large donations with money my wife had wanted to use to buy a house (we still live in a small apartment). My wife attends Sunday service with our sons (the children's service, so she often is unable to tell me what's happening in our Church).
My point is that I didn't pray, I didn't study the Divine Principle, I didn't read our True Parent's words, and I haven't had give and take with brothers and sisters for 8 1/2 years. Last year I had nearly lost all hope and was being torn apart by my desire for a divorce but not being able to because of our children and because I know the Principle is true. I am a sinner and I am responsible for my countless sins, I don't blame anyone else. Fortunately I didn't fall and never touched another woman, although I wanted to everyday.
Last September, in my darkest hours of hopelessness, Hope Igarashi, Valerie Shimoyama and Rev. Anslie Abraham were sent to Japan and to my wife's hometown on a mission. One afternoon we had a chance to meet briefly for just an hour or so and it was the start of turning my life around once again. I heard about Dr. Lee's book about the spiritual world for the first time and the hoon dok hae books for the first time. I ordered the books soon after. Dr. Lee's book arrived quickly and the others arrived near the end of November.
I now get up every morning about 4:30, pledge at 5:00, bow 50 times, pray and study the Divine Principle until 6:00 and then read from the hoon dok hae from 6:00-7:00. My wife and I are finding that we truly love each other and things are improving day by day.
I do love and respect our Japanese brothers and sisters; however, I'm not able to communicate with them because of my inability to speak Japanese. Teaching English every morning, afternoon and night is not the quickest way to learn Japanese. I have no brothers or sisters nearby with whom I can communicate, with the exception of a negative, blessed couple (now former members). I'm praying to find a way to help them open their hearts again.
Needless to say I don't know much about anything that's happened in our movement in the last 8 1/2 years. I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a 100 year sleep without a clue as to what has happened during my sleep. Your work, with the various lists and the Unification Church Home Page, is my lifeline to our Movement. I'm incredibly grateful to Heavenly Father working through Hope, Valerie and Rev. Abraham to get me plugged back into our Movement and to you for providing me with the means to keep abreast of things and to be able to recieve True Parents speeches.
I've yet to post anything to the Evangelism List as I only want to post what's appropriate. I'm trying to understand God's Will for me and how to bring substantial results for His Providence. I'm a sinner who's trying to return to our True Parents. I'm not looking for pity and I'm not paralyzed by guilt. I'm looking for answers to many questions so that I can move onward in serving Heavenly Father and True Parents. I'm wondering if this list is the appropriate place to post questions such as: Do we only bow one time before Pledge now, and if so , Why?. I also have questions regarding National Messiahs, the new Blessing system, and praying in our own names etc..
I'd also like to encourage brothers and sisters to reach out to any brothers or sisters they might have known in the past who became isolated and inactive. I've never been negative about God, True Parents or the Principle. I was negative about myself. I couldn't appreciate my Blessing so that made it difficult to feel close to True Parents; however, I knew that was my problem not Theirs. I walked into a hell I created one small step at a time and I wasted 8 1/2 years of my life. I now realize how precious each and every brother and sister is and I really miss being able to share with brothers and sisters. I hope you'll forgive my long-windedness, Damian.
This is a private e-mail to you, Damian; however, if you feel that there is anything in it that might be appropriate or might be beneficial to others on the list you can edit and post as you wish.