As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 33
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 4: Launching Our Global Mission
World Tour, pg 117-118
From childhood, my mind has always yearned for faraway places. In my hometown, I would climb a mountain and long for the sea. When I arrived in Seoul, I wanted to go to Japan. I have always dreamed of going to places larger than where I was.
In 1965, I embarked on my first trip around the world. My suitcase was filled with soil and stones from Korea. My plan was that, as I traveled around the world, I would plant Korea’s soil and stones in each country to signify Korea’s linkage to the world. For ten months, I toured forty countries, including Japan, the United States, and the nations of Europe. On the day I left Seoul, hundreds of our members came in buses to see me off, and they filled the departure lounge at Gimpo Airport. In those days, going overseas was a significant event. Our members thronged to the airport on that January day with a cold strong wind blowing out of the northwest. No one had told them to do this. They did as their hearts told them. I received their hearts with deep gratitude.
At that time, we were carrying out mission work in ten countries, and it was my plan to increase that to forty countries within two years. It was to lay the foundation for this that I decided to visit forty countries on my trip. My first stop was Japan. I received a tremendous welcome there, where Bong Choon Choi had risked his life to start our mission.
I put the following question to the Japanese members: “Are you ‘of Japan,’ or have you transcended the state of being ‘of Japan’?”
I continued: “God doesn’t want that which is ‘of Japan.’ He doesn’t need that which is ‘of Japan.’ He needs people who transcend Japan. You need to go beyond the limitations of Japan to become Japanese people who love the world if you are to be people who can be used by God.” It may not have been easy for them to hear this, but I made myself very clear.
My second destination was the United States. I entered the country through the airport in San Francisco, where I was met by our missionaries. From there, we toured the entire country. During the time I was touring America, I felt strongly, “This is the country that leads the whole world. The new culture that will be created in the future must rise up with America as its foundation.” I set a plan then to purchase a facility for workshops in the United States that would hold five hundred people. Of course, this would not only be for Koreans. It would be an international facility that would receive people from over one hundred countries.
Fortunately, this hope was soon realized. Many countries sent people to this workshop facility, where they would study and debate about world peace for several months at a time. Race, nationality, and religion made no difference.
I believe that the world will develop better societies when people who have transcended race, nationality, and religion and hold a wide variety of opinions come together and candidly discuss world peace.
During my tour of the United States, I visited every state except Alaska and Hawaii. We rented a station wagon and drove day and night. One time when the driver looked so tired, I encouraged him, saying, “Listen, we didn’t come here for sightseeing. We’re here to do important work. We need to go carefully.”
We didn’t waste time sitting down to eat. If we had two slices of bread, a piece of sausage, and some pickles, then that was plenty of food for a meal. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner like this. We also slept in the car. The car was our lodging; it was our bed and our restaurant. We ate, slept, and prayed in that small car. There was nothing we couldn’t do there. I had a particular purpose to accomplish, so it was easy for me to endure minor inconveniences to the physical body.
After the United States and Canada, I went to Central and South America, and then on to Europe. To my eyes, Europe was in the cultural sphere of the Vatican. It seemed to me that we could not succeed in Europe without understanding the Vatican. Even the Alps, which were supposed to be so difficult to climb, seemed of little significance in comparison to the Vatican.
I went to the Vatican, where European Catholics gather to pray, and prayed with such fervor that beads of sweat ran down my face. I prayed that Christianity, which had become divided among so many denominations and groups, could be unified quickly. God created one world, but people have divided it in ways convenient to themselves. I became more convinced than ever that these divisions must be erased and the world unified as one. From Europe, I went on to Egypt and the Middle East and completed my tour after ten months.
When I returned to Seoul, my suitcase was full of soil and stones from one hundred twenty locations in forty countries. When I planted the soil and stones I had taken from Korea, I took soil and stones from each location and brought them back to Korea. I connected Korea to these forty countries in this way to prepare for the day in the future when the world of peace would be realized centering on Korea. I began preparations to send missionaries to those forty countries.