My husband, Harumi Take, is from Gifu, Japan and joined the Nagoya Church in 1969. I joined in Los Angeles in 1967.We were matched and blessed by True Parents in 1975 as part of the 1800 Couple blessing. We live in Gaithersburg, Maryland and have five children: Shuichi (34), Kiichi (33), Kimiko (31), Koichi (28) and Yumiko (26). We completed our 430 distribution of True Father's autobiography on Thursday, February 21, 2013.
When I read True Father's 2010 announcement regarding the mandated distribution of 430 books, my initial reaction was, I can do this…this is easy. The only hardship was purchasing the books, the stationery and vellum, the bubble-wrap mailing envelopes, and the cost of mailing each envelope. But I was compelled to do it no matter how difficult it was financially.
As a young member, I never forgot True Father's comments that we should witness to people better than ourselves. Those were words that left an indelible impact on me over the years. I have never considered myself very articulate, but I understand well the power of the written word from my experience of working at The Washington Times, and more importantly, the power of speech. They are powerful tools in witnessing and in the art of moving people's heart and spirit. So in my witnessing attempts, I always sought people who had the potential to do so much more for God's providence in an articulate way.
Therefore, I didn't want to randomly give the books to anyone. So, after giving the autobiography to relatives, a few friends and neighbors, I felt strongly to send the books to the people of God's first choice, Christian ministers as I knew full well that we, who responded to God's calling, were part of His “Contingency Plan.” With an enclosed introductory letter, printed in a professional manner, I mailed the autobiographies to ministers of all denominations throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland and then expanded it to up and down the east coast. I mailed them to ministers, rabbis and imams on the west coast as well, and to one important religious leader in Dubai. All information about religious leaders, college professors and professional organizations was obtained by googling.
Then one day, while driving in Maryland with my son, Kiichi, I saw a church building with a name that I had never heard of—the Mar Thoma Church. When I arrived home I immediately googled the church and discovered that it is a Christian denomination based in the state of Kerala in southwestern India and is an Eastern Oriental Church. The Mar Thoma Church, meaning "Church of Thomas", was founded in 52 AD as a result of the missionary efforts of St. Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples also known as Doubting Thomas. He also passed through Armenia where my mother’s ancestors came from; and it is believed that he died a martyrs' death on the east coast of India. This was fascinating information! So I mailed True Father’s autobiography to all the Bishops and Vicars of the Mar Thoma Church throughout America and to the Mar Thoma Churches located in other countries.
Before mailing the autobiography to rabbis, I consulted with local Jewish members and decided to use an academic approach in my introductory letter. I did the same with the Imams, people of the media and other VIP's.
One VIP whom I mailed the book to was Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I had always liked Mr. Blair's upbeat, positive demeanor whenever he spoke. It just rang something true within me. So, around the same time True Father's book was being promoted, Mr. Blair was also promoting his book "A Journey, My Political Life" and again I received an inspiration to mail the autobiography to him in London, England. I was particularly surprised to also learn on the internet that Mr. Blair founded the Tony Blair Foundation in America, "to promote respect, friendship and understanding between the major religious faiths"... sound familiar?
I mailed the book to David Souter, retired Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, and to Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States who responded back with a "grateful" thank you note from her office in Washington, D.C. I also mailed the book to Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. Then at the suggestion of a local member, I mailed the book to college professors of Religion, of Asian Studies, and the Humanities from various colleges and universities throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area as well as throughout the east coast.
In an attempt to emulate True Father, I included with one autobiography a small donation addressed to a young Korean-American minister whom I read about in The Washington Post who felt called by God to minister to the African-American community in northeast Washington, D.C. And while watching a television interview with the CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, D.C. (BGCGW) and the wonderful deeds they perform to keep troubled children and young adults off the streets, I was inspired once again to send True Father’s autobiography with a pittance of a donation wishing that I could send more .
I gave the autobiography printed in Mandarin to a few of my Chinese friends and neighbors and mailed the book to Sung Y. Kim, Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Korea, both in English and in Korean, and in the Thai language to Dr. Chaiyong Satjipanon, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States.
In the midst of all this busy-ness, I had a deep realization that wherever we are or wherever we go, no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we must not be deterred: Our first and foremost responsibility is to restore humankind and to witness to True Parents. In fact, we "are" the True Parents to those around us—at least that is the mentality we should all have. We represent them, and people around us will judge True Father by what they see in us and how we treat and communicate with one another. Think about it. If we behave with the dignity and confidence and the self-respect True Parents have taught us, others have to be moved by that, even if they don't understand why. They will feel it in their hearts. I have experienced this personally in the work force. As True Mother recently said, we were chosen by God for this time.
Last, my deepest and heartfelt thanks goes to the brothers and sisters throughout the world who assisted me with my personal quest to obtain True Father’s autobiography in various languages: in Hebrew (Hod Ben Zvi in Israel who, to date, still refuses to tell me how much I owe him), German (Maria Pammer by way of Austrian sister, Julia Hess), French (Denis Rioux of Quebec by way of Nicole Aroche), Arabic (Hermine Schellen in Lebanon), Chinese (Suju Yang-Miyamoto), Japanese (Keiko Burton), Korean (Mr. Young Chul Jang), in Thai (Wonporin Udhaikanchana in Thailand), Polish (Beatrice Clyburn in Poland), Russian (Konstantin Krylov), Italian (Antonio Ciacciarelli by way of Ennio Garau), Spanish, Portuguese and in the Azerbaijan and Georgian languages (Konstantin Krylov and Feruza Mursalova), for my personal library. When I received the books in Hebrew and Arabic, I was so happy; I placed them side by side and prayed for peace in the Middle East.
Through email I befriended and bonded with brothers and sisters whom I never met, but feel so very close to because of this book distribution. I am so grateful to them for going out of their way to help me obtain these books in their native language. I don't know what possesses me to want these books, but this much I do know: Because of our common bond of heart with True Parents, we are forever brothers and sisters, and with all of you, Harumi and I continue to pray that True Father's precious autobiography will have a positive and meaningful impact the world over, in this era of Cheon Il Guk and Foundation Day.
God Bless Us, Everyone!
Harumi and Lisa Take