by Rev. Reiner Vincenz
Peter Koch, the first missionary to Europe, had arrived in his native Germany in 1963. Reiner Vincenz, his spiritual son, was the first member to join in Europe.
This is Rev. Vincenz’s story as told to a congregation at Sunday service at Belvedere, New York, in March 1984.
Then toward the end of 1975 Father wanted to build new things in America. So we prepared to hold the Yankee Stadium campaign in New York. It was such a tough campaign as many of you know-long and very, very tough. Even though we invested so much, it rained as it had done in Seoul the previous year. And again there were so many negative people, so many threats. Still, 45,000 people came. [The stadium’s capacity was 57,000.]
However, I watched Father in this situation. Members came and said, “Father it may be impossible to gold the event today.”
But Father said something like, “This is just the beginning, not the end!”
I saw him just before he went out and up onto stage to speak. He was really God’s son. The moment before he left the green room for the stage the picture of True Parents on the wall there fell off its hook. Despite the challenges, he just kept going. This moment gave me so much confidence, and once again made me realize how much we are indebted to Father.
If Father had not had his own inner security, if he had God had not been dwelling within his heart, I believe that even though we were singing, “You Are My Sunshine,” the rain never would have stopped. It is only because of Father’s determination and prayer that the rain stopped and the rally became a success.
After Yankee Stadium, as you may remember, we all came here to Belvedere, and Father declared that we were going on immediately to Washington Monument! I remember what many leaders felt inside: Everybody is exhausted. I am sure that Mr. Kamiyama thought, “But we have no money!”
We wanted to tell Father, “Didn’t you say you wanted to do this in 1977?” Yet nobody had the courage to say it. We all felt, “Father, we are willing, but. … “
There is this big “but,” you know? And who works through this big “but”? None other than Satan, who is always trying to stop us.
Just last Sunday Father spoke about the history of the struggle of good and evil. He explained that the Third World War is not the important war; it is a small war compared to the war within ourselves, the war with our own “buts,” which we can never speak about, but which we must overcome. Surely, that is our real situation! So it was also at the time of Yankee Stadium. However, Father with his great love was able to melt these “buts” away. Therefore, I am indebted to him. He knows about our struggle, but he helps us while acting as though he doesn’t. That is the greatness of our Father. So at the beginning of the Washington Monument campaign there were still some “buts” in our hearts, but we went forward because of Father.
All those years up until 1981 Father gave his time to this country of America. Father came in 1971, because God had ordered him to spend three and a half years in America. Then God prolonged the time from 1975 to 1978. You remember that nearly every other speech here on this stage was about bringing 30,000 people by 1978! We are still trying to fulfill that goal.
In 1981 America still didn’t have the 30,000 people God had requested to save this country. Many of us were praying desperately: “God, give us some other way! If Father has to leave America and go to other countries and start all over again, then what a great and difficult new mission will lie ahead of us! How much will be lost! What about your expectations of America?” All the members and all the leaders were so worried; we wondered what God was going to do.
Then on January 2, 1983, we had a meeting here in New York. You may remember that on January 1, Father was already speaking about how we may have to go to other countries. “We may go to South America,” he said. I even polished up my Spanish in order to be ready, just in case. Who could know where God would lead us? January 2 was such an important day for me, and also for my relationship with Father. He suddenly said to us: You have all lost your jobs now! Go to lunch!
I was walking down the stairs of the New Yorker hotel when another leader, my spiritual son, told me, “Well, it looks as if Father has put all of us out of a job.”
But I answered him, “I don’t think so. Just wait an hour, and you will see; God is preparing something great.” I didn’t know what I was saying.
One hour later Father came back and told us that we had to go out for three more years. God had granted us additional time to conclude our course in the wilderness. However, now God would request 60,000 people, not 30,000 as He had the three times before. Brothers and sisters, I can tell you that at that moment I was deeply moved by the greatness of God and our True Parents. It can only be because Father was somehow able to move God’s heart. We are all most deeply indebted to our Father. So no matter what Father may demand, we must respond immediately, because our debts are so big.
That is why I quoted this passage from Luke in the beginning. There are two kinds of people: those who have small debts, and those who have big ones. The Messiah forgives both, although we are more like those who have many debts. And what about this woman? Everybody was astonished that Jesus could forgive her. Even Simon asked him, “Why are you doing this? I don’t understand. What did she do that you can forgive her?” Jesus explained that while she had committed many wrongs and many sins, there was one thing she did right that was greater than anything else: She loved Jesus with all she had. That could overcome everything.
Now we are involved in this campaign to wake up the nation of America. Even if we are totally indebted to our True Parents, there is still one way we can be forgiven. That way is to love our True Parents from morning to night with our whole hearts, even more than this woman loved Jesus. We must love True Parents this way in order for them to be able to forgive us and one day bring us to God’s Kingdom.
Let’s go forward powerfully with our True Parents. And when you struggle with your weak points, then remember some of my little stories or create your own from the experiences of your own life. In this wilderness there are some dark times, and there are times of sunshine. In dark times you must be able to pull out of your drawer the little stories about the sunshine that can help you. Such stories as the ones about the McDonald’s parties with True Parents, for example, help me very much. The more of these little stories you can build up and utilize for inspiration, the more you have a chance to grow and reach our True Parents.
The title of my talk this morning is, “Why I Am Indebted to True Parents.” I hope something I have said has allowed you to renew your hearts and rededicate yourselves. Hopefully when you leave Belvedere today you can take along a little inspiration and say, “God, let me think one more time. I also have many reasons to be indebted to our Father.”
We can all be successful and hopeful if in our hearts we feel deeply indebted to our True Parents. If we fully offer our victories to our True Parents and completely liquidate any personal feeling of credit or ownership, then, I think, total victory will come.
Reiner Vincenz was born in East Germany in 1939. As a teenager, he defected to the West then met his spiritual father at their joint workplace. Rev. Vincenz was the first member to join in Europe, and he spent 7 years pioneering the movement in France. He was blessed with Barbara Koch, the sister of his spiritual father Peter Koch. After a long life dedicated to God and True Parents, Reiner Vincenz ascended to the heavenly realms in January 2015.