The following is a testimony from Caleb Boucher, 25, from New Brunswick, Canada, about his experience completing a 1,200-bow condition to support the recovery of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who is currently hospitalized with pneumonia in Seoul. Since the age of 19, Boucher has been working on oil rigs to make a living. Out of a desire to find others who share the Unificationist faith, he enrolled in and graduated from Lovin’ Life Ministries’ (LLM) Leadership Program this past summer.
I grew up in the Catholic faith. When I asked questions, my spiritual father, Arnold Steever, gave me answers that made sense. I didn’t know it at the time, but those answers were from the Divine Principle. When I was 17, he told me about the Divine Principle and True Parents. I made some prayer- and fasting conditions and found True Parents for myself. As I got more and more into the faith, my spiritual father did too. He actually was matched recently.
My mom was an alcoholic; she made things difficult while I was growing up. Because of True Parents and the Divine Principle and my spiritual father, I learned the importance of forgiveness and love, which strengthened my faith even more. At one point, my mother found a copy of my Divine Principle in my backpack and destroyed it. She still doesn’t know that I joined the Unification Church.
1,200 Bows for Rev. Sun Myung Moon
My friend from the Leadership Program, Noah Trimble, was the first to tell me about Father's health. At that time, I had already completed the Leadership Program and was working at the oil rigs again. Noah told me a lot of people were doing a three-day fast or a 1,200-bow condition over three days, and I wanted to be a part of that for Father's sake. Since I was working, I didn't think fasting would be the best idea, so I decided to try the bowing condition. I have never done a bowing condition in my life and didn't really think it would be all that difficult. I told my co-workers the next day that I was doing this condition for my Church, and they were very supportive.
I completed my 400 bows the first day, which was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I woke up the next morning and had a hard time walking. I couldn’t even do one bow. At that point, I said to myself, “There is no way I can do this.” When my co-workers and I all got to work, they asked me how I was doing and I told them that I didn’t think I would be able to finish the condition. One of my co-workers said “Yo, dude, if you can’t do the 400 today, I’ll do them for you.” All five of my co-workers were very supportive throughout the day saying, “Yeah, yeah, Caleb you can do it!” It really inspired me. During my breaks at work, I managed another 80 bows.
After work that day, we all went to the gym and played a little basketball. At one point, I pulled out a yoga mat and said that I was going to try to get some bows in. To my surprise, two of the guys grabbed yoga mats as well and asked me to show them how to do a bow. I showed them, and all three of us did 40 bows! I took a small break before doing another 40, which one of the guys did with me. I was so moved and quite shocked. I really felt that God was with me and working through my co-workers and helping me finish my condition. I felt that the guys must really respect and love me. Because of that experience, I was so inspired that I managed to finish the 400 bows that day.
The next day I was still very stiff. But the guys continued being very supportive and kept asking me throughout the day how I was doing and how many bows I got in so far. I was very moved and I finished the condition on the third day.
Doing this condition really helped me see more and more how our Heavenly Parent is watching over us all the time. I really feel that our Heavenly Parent is there with us every single step we take and is guiding us and using us for His Providence. I really feel His love coming down into all of us, and we have to open our hearts up to Him and work hard for the Providence. It’s not an easy path, but in my experience, it’s the only way you can go.
Life after the Leadership Program
My experience on the Leadership Program was a life changer for me. I have accepted True Parents since I was 17, and my faith has never wavered since then. Not even a flicker. However, I haven’t been living an ideal life. I haven’t been moving towards what True Parents and our Heavenly Parent has in store for me. Although I had the faith and acceptance of True Parents, I was dead on the inside. I was living a secular life very selfishly.
Upon coming to the Leadership Program, I had a lot of internal baggage I was bringing to the table. Physically, I have a very demanding job, working 8-14 hours a day in the harshest weather conditions you can imagine. The Leadership Program, however, was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I can honestly say that I have never cried that much in my life. My experience on the program really liberated me from my past mistakes, and I hope I have made bonds there that I will keep for the rest of my life. I gained real leadership skills that I can apply not only in the church community (which hopefully I will get to do someday), but also as a leader in my current job. It truly was the hardest and most rewarding experience I have ever had in my life.
Being back at work with my oil-rig team is definitely an adjustment. I don’t know whether this is the right way to look at it, but I really feel like being here is a test to see whether I can stay strong spiritually while surrounded by booze, drugs and other things. Looking at my workers now, I still have the same respect and love for them I had before the Leadership Program, but now I listen to them with a more open and sincere heart. I can feel sadness in them; they are all amazing people, but they are trying to fill up their lives with sex, drugs, booze and things of that nature. I just try to be as happy as I always am and try to show them that I am happy even though I’m not into any of those things.
People are usually very fascinated about hearing that I am a Unificationist. They are baffled at how I am now saving myself for the Blessing and are just very curious about a lot of things. They know about my belief in True Parents. I have never been self-conscious of my identity. I haven’t always been living a Principled life, but I was definitely proud of myself and True Parents! I have never shied away from telling anybody about my faith, except for my mom. She is probably the only one who doesn’t know.
As for the future, I wish I knew where I wanted to go. I had originally planned on going to the oil rigs for about eight months to pay off some bills, but now I’m going on five or six years. Since I have left the Leadership Program, I have been praying and really trying to open myself to our Heavenly Parent to see what He wants me to do.
Thank you for taking time out of your day and reading about my story. I hope it can inspire you in some small way. Remember that God and True Parents are with you always, even in the most desolate situations. It was truly an honor to spend time with True Family and all my brothers and sisters in New York. I really felt blessed to be there with all of you. I love you all.