OUR side: In Defense of our Faith, Family, and Lifestyle, Part 5
FSM 356 CM/FM 09/00
Our Queen and King of Humility
By Dora, Family Care
I’m reminded of a project we recently worked on for
our children: “Mama’s Childhood Memories.” We had asked Mama to recollect memories
of the time she grew up, so that our Family children would have the opportunity
to get to know how she was as a child growing up, and thus relate to her on that
Mama dictated quite a few stories, and just days ago
we sent the project to Thailand so that it could be printed there for our children:
a beautiful volume of Mama’s childhood memories, decorated with beautiful art
matching the time period Mama describes. I think it will be a treasure for our
In the last story, titled “A Cemetery Story,” Mama
tells how when she was about 11 or 12, she liked to go to an old cemetery, a favorite
spot where she would take some books with her and read. She tells how she enjoyed
being alone with Jesus in her “magic garden,” as she called it.
Mama says: “One time when I was in the cemetery reading
and thinking about things, Jesus told me that I was someone special to Him because
I liked to be alone with Him. I had no idea that I was going to become Mama and
lead the Family! Isn’t it amazing how God can even use little people, little children,
and help them to be someone special for Him? You’re special to Jesus, too, and
He loves to talk to you, too. So keep listening to Him, and keep reading His Word
so you won’t miss anything that He has to say.”
I think our kids will really enjoy that book of her
childhood memories, and of course it’s meant for them. I enjoyed it too, and the
above paragraph is my favorite part, I think. For two reasons, one because I like
how Mama takes the focus off of herself and instead reaches out to help others,
even with the things she’s experiencing. I like how she tells these stories in
this volume and yet she thinks of the kids who are reading them. She doesn’t tell
the stories to glorify herself or draw attention to herself; she wants it to be
of help to others. The other reason why I really like what Mama says in that paragraph
is because it reminds me of when I was younger and having that “feeling” of doing
something special when growing up.
At age 26 I joined the Family, and two years later,
in August 1978, I met the Folks and began living with them for the next nine years.
Mama and Dad shared their daughter with me and let me experience loving a child
as if it were my own. But this is not really a story about myself; I just wanted
to give the background picture.
Back to the cemetery story: Mama looks at herself
as a little one, but her love for Jesus is what makes her great. The first time
I saw her she was walking next to Dad, coming towards me across the big back yard
at the Swiss house in 1978. I thought she was so young, so bouncy and bubbly,
and not really as shy as I imagined her to be. Knowing of her shy side, Mama makes
herself be outgoing, which is quite humbling for her. Dad and Mama greeted me
and just took me into their personal family circle, and I lived close to them
I got to know Mama as a mother, wife, shepherdess,
work overseer, manageress, and as a friend. I treasure and respect her as our
queen and I hold her dear for the sample she has been to us of someone who’s given
her life to the One she is in love with, to let Him be the One leading and directing
the Family. I would describe her as very focused. I liked that about her. At the
time I lived with the Folks, Mama oversaw much of the publication side of things.
Dad had trained her in that area. Mama is a hard worker and a good manageress.
I’ve often admired her for how diligent she is with details.-I’ve sometimes even
felt impatient, thinking she was too into getting it “just right!” If she wouldn’t
have answered the Lord’s call in her life, I could imagine her as a directress
of a great successful company, very much interested in making sure her employees
fulfilled their obligations. And so, as head of the Family and as head of WS,
dear Mama likes to see her “employees” (if you will) fulfill their obligations:
our Family’s obligation to be missionaries to the needy world, and WS’s members
to fulfill their obligation to serve our Family missionaries! We can see from
the recent GNs and moves of the Spirit that Mama and Peter, as present-day heads
of this Family, are very much interested in helping us be what the Lord wants
us to be: to service this dying world, to break the box and let the gold of His
treasures flood the world, to seek out the lost and feed them with His Word.
My personal goal is to continue to follow where the
Lord is leading dear Mama and Peter. I know He’s using them, and I know He speaks
to them, because I know they’re very desperate with Him. They are small in their
own sight, but they know they have an amazing God by their side Who shows them
As for Peter: I always liked him as a person and a man,
and I really like him being our king! I know what it costs him to fulfill the
responsibilities the Lord is asking of him! Thank you, Peter, for your yieldedness
to Jesus which is rooted in your love for Him, to be by Mama’s side and spearheading
this work. It must not always be easy and I am sure you have your share of trials,
but I thank you for giving them to the Lord and seeking Him for the solutions.
I’ve lived with Peter for many years in the Folks’
house and have experienced some of his ups and downs. It was always extremely
easy to talk to him and discuss things with him. I would often think of him as
my “big brother,” because I felt whatever I was going through-lessons the Lord
was trying to teach me or mistakes I had made and needed help with-he had been
there, he’d understand and be able to help me. Peter wasn’t lofty or up on a pedestal;
he was “one of us” on the staff doing his job and being a help to Dad and Mama.
There’s a beautiful picture in a HTK Jeremy drew of
Peter sitting with Jesus enjoying a glass of wine-I think it’s in “Peter, the
Water-bearer!” Peter looks so good, hearty, kind of rugged, and very human! That’s
what he is, a man touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and that’s why
I’m happy he’s our king, and a mate, counselor and helper at Mama’s side!
I love you, Mama and Peter! Thank you for following
Jesus in your personal lives and giving your lives daily to hear from Him and
help show the way!
Interview with a Victim
By Kevin, 27, WS
James Penn’s letter is intriguing and well written.
In fact, if I were the editor of a newspaper I might even consider publishing
it. Of course, my newspaper would be a tabloid, and his article would reside adjacent
to other literary works with titles such as “Woman Gives Birth to Two-Headed Alien”
and “Dog Eats Dynamite and Explodes when Hit by Car.” Much like the tabloids,
while James’ letter may contain some facts and figures to supposedly back up what
he’s expressing, they have unfortunately been twisted, exaggerated, and arranged
in such a way as to conjure up evil and sinister images in our minds.
It seems that ever since man has had the ability to
put pen to paper (or chisel to stone), the world’s leaders and celebrities have
consistently become victims of character assassination. Regardless of their brave
acts, triumphant victories, or selfless, world-changing actions, there always
seems to be a cynical, hard-boiled detractor who feels it is his duty to wade
through the sewers to collect the largest amount possible of hearsay and unfounded
accusation. Then, in the name of “truth” and “freedom,” he or she finds it necessary
and noble to line us all up and hose us down with the goop, all the while proclaiming
that our lives will be all the better for it. How brave.
For example, most Americans will admire Christopher
Columbus for putting behind him the scoffs and doubts of the masses, to brave
the seas and discover a whole new world of opportunity. In spite of his vision
and courage, he is now being accused by a minority of historians of being an evil
and depraved person, being directly responsible for the death, rape and torture
of thousands of innocent people. Oh, yeah, and he apparently didn’t really discover
Most people don’t take that at face value, due to the
lack of evidence; nevertheless, due to the nature of rumors you might still wonder
what he did with those naked natives. Poor guy.
Mother Teresa, who gave practically every second of
her life for the poor of Calcutta, was said to have “earned her halo through relentless
self-promotion, abetted by various sinister interests.” I didn’t make that up;
that’s an actual quote from one of the aforementioned sewer junkies. I mean, think
about it! What sort of “sinister interests” could an old woman have as she lived
amongst the disease and squalor of one of the poorest locations on the planet?
Maybe it was those naked natives again.
Pope John Paul II is regarded by many to be none other
than the Antichrist himself. It must be that fierce countenance. “Worship me!
I am God! (Now where did I put my false teeth?)”
Then there’s Moses, who may have been hiding hideous
sins, and Jesus was considered a drunk and a devil. What’s next? Was St. Paul
Sad to say, our small Family of believers has not
been exempt from the same sort of attacks on its leadership. So what can one do
to stop this? Probably nothing, and that’s very unfortunate. It is therefore up
to the reader to be careful not to take such slanderous material at face value.
Just because a tabloid says that Brad Pitt has a tail, you don’t have to fall
prey to their trickery and begin checking his butt during the Oscars.
Following is a question-and-answer survey that I put
together from my personal, real-life experiences. This test is designed to help
you measure how affected you are by groundless gossip and slander. Each question
has multiple answers, but only one represents a real-life account, so choose your
During a meeting in which Peter discussed
the Family’s most pressing problems and needs, his speech consisted of (please
choose the correct answer):
a. He laid down his and Mama’s solutions to the problems,
backed up with reams of confirmatory prophecy received by hand-picked WS prophets
who have recently had their brains scooped out and replaced with an electronic
b. He began railing at WS leadership, placing the blame
on them and the rest of the Family while he was at it.
c. He proclaimed that the only way to overcome these
problems is by having more Loving Jesus and Praise Time, and to make it mandatory
12 times a day. This was to apply whether or not you would be evicted if you did
not raise your rent that day.
d. He said that the reason there are problems is that
he and Mama do not have enough control over the lives of Family members, and that
they planned on investing WS funds into a computerized bar code system and a homing
device for each member. (This was accompanied by a sinister “muahahahahaha” laugh.)
e. He chuckled and said, “Aw, it doesn’t matter,” Jesus
is coming back in a few years anyway.
f. We were told that no one person, not even he or Mama,
is smart enough to come up with a solution on their own, so they wanted us to
put our brains to some serious thinking and praying in order to come up with solutions.
If you chose a, b, c, d or e, you should refrain from
reading stories about multi-headed aliens and detonating canines. If you chose
answer f, then you are absolutely correct. Congratulations! Not only do you have
a correct understanding of how the Folks work, but you probably don’t believe
Brad Pitt has a tail.
During a casual conversation, Mama
asked me what I think of movies that are considered “foolish” and are not particularly
hurtful, but have no real value except for entertainment. She did not seem to
like them very much. My answer was that I actually like them; I occasionally enjoy
“foolish” movies, as long as they don’t poke fun at the Lord or serious situations.
The result of this differing opinion was (please choose the correct answer):
a. She yelled, “You stupid, worldly idiot! You’d better
get back on board or we’re going to take the board to your back!”
b. Having never heard a differing opinion, her head
began to spin and her outer hull cracked.
c. Six men wearing immaculate black suits and dark sunglasses
jumped out of the closet, nabbed me, and began dragging me away, saying, “Looks
like we need to put another bug in your bellybutton and take you through another
d. She answered with, “That’s very interesting. Thank
you for your opinion.”
Was your answer d? If so, then you are correct again!
If not, then you probably have deep suspicions regarding the Pope, Moses, or St.
My experiences after having first
arrived in WS were:
a. I was placed in a dark cell for three months to
cleanse my brain of opposing opinions. The only activity I was permitted to engage
in was prophesying.
b. I was forced to engage in sexual activity with partners
chosen by Mama and Peter, and was required to participate in strange sexual rituals
involving dozens of people and an assortment of tropical fruits.
c. I was forcibly placed on a chair in a cold, dank
room with a single flickering light bulb, where I was repeatedly read the voluminous
and bizarre rules of WS, interspersed with mafia-like threats.
d. Upon entering my bedroom I found a tastefully decorated
appreciation basket complete with goodies and encouraging prophecies. All throughout
the next week I was asked by several people, including both Peter and Mama (more
than once), whether or not my room was adequate.
The one and only answer here is d. The others, as intriguing
as they may sound, are drawn from a variety of movies with traumatic subject matter.
My wife and I were going on an extended
trip, which would mean being away from the Home for some time. Before taking this
trip, Mama and Peter did the following (please choose the
a. Every day for two weeks prior to our departure we
attended a continual stream of meetings with them, in which we were browbeaten
and threatened to tell no one the truth of the harrowing experiences while at
Mama and Peter’s house.
b. Trick question! Once a member of the WS cult, always
a member of the WS cult. Most people who have been caught attempting to leave
WS, even temporarily, met with an “unfortunate accident.”
c. Mama and Peter invited us to a simple meal in their
room, at which we engaged in enjoyable get-to-know-each-other-better conversation.
If you chose answer c, you got it right! If you chose
answers a or b, you’ve probably been watching too many B movies.
Now for something truly juicy. Following is a fictional
interview with a former member of WS, who, unlike James Penn, has actually lived
with Mama and Peter recently and had frequent contact (well at least I, the writer,
have). He has now broken out of this WS cult in order to break out of the Family
cult, in order to get a job and make lots of money for himself and perfect strangers.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the inside scoop on what it’s
like to be a WS member, and who the Folks really are.
Interviewer: We have here with us in the studio
a true former WS Victim. Thanks, Vic, for your participation in this interview.
Say hi to all those people out there.
WS Victim: Hail Queen Mari ... Oh, I mean,
Interviewer: Tell us a bit about yourself. We
understand that you were once part of not only a cult called the Family, but a
cult within a cult called WS. Tell us a bit about this cult-cult.
WS Victim: WS is an elite group of weirdoes
who all have one thing in common: they forgot to grow a brain. Since leaving the
WS and Family cults, I have faithfully nurtured this brain by daily doses of “Baywatch,”
several cases of Diet Coke, and a computer game called “Granny Squish II.” I’d
say my brain is at about 30% now.
Interviewer: Well, that’s really good news, Vic.
How do you feel now that you can actually think for yourself?
WS Victim: It’s just wonderful. When the boss
tells me I have to “go ahead and come in for work on both Saturday and Sunday,”
I can think up for myself all kinds of evil things I want to do to him, and can
even tell my friends about it. Before leaving the WS cult, I was constantly told
to “ask the Lord if it’s okay” when I had questions or needed some time off. WS
leadership must have had some kind of psychological powers, because these “prophecies”
would seem to answer my questions and tell me things like “you’ve been working
too hard-why don’t you relax and have a beer.” That’s just so strange.
Interviewer: How did you escape? I mean, escaping
a cult is one thing, but having to escape from a cult-cult really takes the cake.
WS Victim: Oh, it was just a horrible experience.
When I made the decision to leave, everyone acted like they still loved me and
Interviewer: That’s interesting, but it sounds
to me like they were just being friendly, sort of like loved ones saying good-bye.
WS Victim: I knew there had to be some sort
of pernicious intention behind those smiles and sweet words of encouragement,
etc. I suppose they were trying to brainwash me, but I held out, and now I can
eat all the junk food I want.
Interviewer: So tell us a bit about “Mama and
Peter.” We’ve heard they are some kind of abusive despots who habitually lie and
try to force people into submission. If this is true, then you who lived with
them recently should be able to share some stories reminiscent of the Holocaust.
WS Victim: That’s right, it was a living Auschwitz!
We engaged in hard labor on a daily basis, and were subject to all kinds of psychological
Interviewer: Can you give us some examples?
WS Victim: Well ... uh ... for one thing we
had to do dishes more than once a week. If we forgot to do the dishes, then someone
else would often do it for us, maybe even let us know about it later. Though nothing
physical happened as a result, I seem to remember abnormal amounts of psychological
vibes from Mama and Peter when that happened, that seemed to say, “If you do that
again we’re going to tie you up and throw you into a dark, wet cell full of rats
the size of Godzilla.” I seemed to feel these vibes on numerous occasions.
Interviewer: We also heard that Mama and Peter
do not tolerate dissenting opinions. How was this manifested?
WS Victim: While it’s true that Mama and Peter
spend a great deal of time counseling with other members of WS, and arranging
delegates meetings with dozens of Family members on the field, in reality these
policies are undermined by bizarre novels laced with the evil intentions of Mama
Interviewer: But from what we heard, these novels
are written by all types of people within the Family, both in WS and out, and
that Mama and Peter have little to do with their content.
WS Victim: Well, I have a feeling that they
somehow manage to sneak into the computer files when no one else is looking and
place subliminal messages. It’s not immediately apparent, but every time a child
reads “Juanito’s Christmas Tree,” vile subliminal messages are being transferred
to the innocent young reader’s brain, such as, “You will be run over by a steamroller
if you leave the Family when you grow up!” It’s just not right.
Interviewer: Since as you claim, the WS cult is
so weird, how do Mama and Peter keep them in line?
WS Victim: Through tactics that cause a great
deal of fear. People in WS live in a constant state of fear that if they were
to burn down the house or dump all of the computers into a nearby river, they
will probably be asked to leave. Proof? On numerous occasions I noticed WS members
typing at their computers at 1:00 in the morning, and I can only assess that
fear robbed them of their sleep.
Interviewer: Tell us a little about these cult
leaders and some of their supposed high levels of weirdness.
WS Victim: That’s easy, because I was faced
with it on a daily basis.
1. They both spend an amazing amount of time working,
when they could be viewing “Baywatch” or shopping for Pokemon toys.
2. They call themselves a king and queen, yet live
as frugally or more than an average Family community. If that’s not eccentric,
I don’t know what is.
3. They try to relate to young people and understand
what they’re going through, when at their age anyone in their right mind would
be spending their precious time watching reruns of “As the World Turns” and yelling
at kids who are playing on their lawn.
4. They believe in Jesus way too much. It’s just not
right that they should be dedicating their lives to the cause of Christ, while
encouraging others to do the same, including young people. Once you leave the
cult and have the opportunity to step back, you realize that a missionary life
is simply ludicrous when there are so many malls, yet so few young people to hang
out in them these days.
Interviewer: We’re almost out of time. In a few
sentences expound upon why you feel Mama and Peter are the selfish, manipulative
and egotistical leaders you make them out to be.
WS Victim: From time to time they discuss their
own shortcomings and weaknesses with those around them, and act in what appears
to be a humble manner, speaking very highly of Family members on the field. They
weep for lost sheep or the problems the Family is facing, such as persecution
by disgruntled former members. They spend time praying for individuals who they’ve
heard are having battles, and do all they can to help. They appear personable
and engage in casual, friendly conversation. However, under all those loving actions,
that dedication to the Lord, the immense sacrifices they make on a daily basis,
and their desperation to lead the Family in the right direction, there lurks a
dark, creepy plot to “earn their halo through relentless self-promotion, abetted
by various sinister interests.”
(End of interview.)
Seeing that both Mama and Peter are open-minded and
dependent upon the Lord and the help of others gives me solid faith in their leadership.
I’ve been in the Family for a long time and have had a lot of shepherds, and from
personal experience, can smell a hypocritical, egotistical leader from a mile
away. But here’s the inside scoop: I have no doubt in my mind that both Mama and
Peter are competent, loving, and very sincere leaders. I say this not because
of any secret coercing WS force, but because I have been personally convinced
though critical observation.
A Letter to Our Wonderful Family
By Joan (Endureth), CRO, ASCRO
I have been in the Family for about 27 years. Sometimes
it even surprises me how long it’s been! I am now basing out of the Middle East
and am helping to minister to the many precious people here. As many of you may
be aware, different things have been circulating from former members of late-letters
that have not been the most inspiring to read. What burdened me the most was feeling
that our shepherds were being put in such a bad light and made to look like unfeeling,
uncaring, and downright bad shepherds. From knowing Mama and Peter personally,
having visited their Home on several occasions, and having spent hours and hours
with Peter over the last 10 or 12 years, I felt burdened to at least share with
you my personal perspective of Mama and Peter, and those who work closely with
First of all, before I ever met Mama, I grew quite
close to Peter, who has always been a help and blessing to me. I wondered whether
I could meet a sweeter, more kind-hearted person than him. He seemed to have such
a tender heart, even though he is a big strong man. He is highly talented and
gifted by the Lord, yet the thing that touched me the most about him was his simplicity
and his willingness to be weak and to let the Lord’s light shine through. He would
admit that he was weak and in need of the Lord, always giving the Lord the glory.
One of the main things that made me feel so close
to Peter was his love for other people, his willingness to lay down his life,
to go to the nth degree even when he was tired or weary, to be an encouragement
to others. He seemed to know when I needed a little word of love and encouragement,
a pat or a hug to lift my spirit. I would see him being exactly the same to everyone
else that was around, male or female, always willing to lay down his life.
As I said, Peter has a tender heart. I have seen him
cry time after time when singing songs to the Lord. I have seen him touched to
the point of tears when talking about the sheep or Family members who were going
through trials or battles. These things touched me deeply, as I know that those
feelings or emotions are not something that can be worked up in the flesh nor
put on. These shows of emotion weren’t in public, but just in times of talking
together about certain people, situations or sheep, so I know with all of my heart
that Peter is an unusually loving and caring shepherd. I don’t think it’s because
he’s any better than anyone else, but just that he was called by the Lord and
he said “yes.” Because of this, the Lord has been able to make him into a special
instrument, a tender, loving, and sweet vessel of the Lord’s love.
I feel very honored to have visited Mama’s Home on several
occasions, spending about a month there each time. All I can say is that each
visit changed my life for the better. I think the times I went were usually times
when I was going through particularly big battles and needed a fair bit of help
and encouragement (though I was never told this, ha!). Mama and Peter took me
into their Home and showed me personal care, gave me a lot of love and attention,
showered me with His Words, and helped me through my battles. I always went home
strengthened and, I believe, closer to the Lord and with more faith that He could
again use me, more connected to Jesus and with a greater desire to serve our wonderful
When it comes to Mama, it becomes a little harder
for me to explain the qualities that I have seen in her. In some ways she is rather
special and unique, and that’s why she’s been called by the Lord to be a special
instrument in His hand.
Mama’s love for the Lord is so obvious. When celebrating
her last birthday in our Home, I was sharing a few tidbits from having been around
her. One is the way that she constantly acknowledges the Lord, how she brings
the Lord into every conversation, how she thanks Him and praises Him for everything,
how she asks for His help in whatever matter we may be discussing, and how she
prays and asks Him to help people that we may be talking about. She doesn’t want
to do anything without the Lord and His presence and Spirit. It’s a wonderful
sample. I always envisioned our shepherds to be like that, and they are!
Another thing that has touched me about Mama is that
she talks about her weaknesses; she shares the areas that she feels she needs
to grow in. She has shared with us about her need to be more loving, giving, and
sacrificial. But honestly, her loving and giving puts me to shame each time I’m
around her. She’s so sacrificial. Every time I was around her, she seemed to sense
my needs, even my desires, and wanted to meet them in any way that she could.
I find it amazing that with all that she had to do-the
multitude of work, all the Family mail coming in, the GNs to work on-she still
had such a personal loving concern for me. After being around Mama I wanted to
do more for the Lord. I wanted to please the Lord more. I wanted to make Him happy.
I wanted to serve Him and love the sheep, and I especially wanted to love Family
Mama speaks highly about each Family member. No matter
who they are or where they are, she really does look at them like they’re tops,
because they are. She says she could probably never do the job that they do, have
the faith that they have, or accomplish what they accomplish, and she means it
with all of her heart. It has always helped me as a shepherd in the Family to
see Family members through her eyes in that way.
Mama and Peter are constantly trying to help us, your
shepherds in the Family, to do a better job of loving you, caring for you, and
serving you. They constantly remind us that we are supposed to be servants of
the flock, that we’re supposed to be there to serve you, to take care of you,
to love you and to sacrifice for you, and not to be as hirelings or as some of
the bad shepherds that we’ve had in the past.
I’ve heard quite a few of the comments that have been
floating around-negative things that the Enemy has inspired concerning Mama and
Peter-and you have most likely heard them as well. One is how Mama and Peter are
trying to manipulate people and get everybody to do what they want them to do
through prophecy. Well, my experience is somewhat the opposite, as although they
do pass on the Lord’s Words, whenever they gave counsel, and even when they have
heard from the Lord-I’d say almost all the time, they would still ask me to pray
about it. They would encourage me to take into consideration the things they were
passing on and use them if they applied, but if the Lord led or showed me differently,
then they’d encourage me to follow how the Lord was leading me personally.
I have to say, though, that the counsel they gave
was very helpful and almost always applied. Still, I always felt the freedom to
be led of the Lord on the spot, and knew that if the Lord led in a slightly different
direction or slightly modified the counsel that they passed on, I had the freedom
to follow that. I didn’t feel that I was failing the Lord or going against their
desires or wishes. In fact, I felt that they were happy that I prayed about the
matter on the spot and received direction from the Lord, since that’s what Mama
has been trying to teach and train us all to do-to hear from the Lord ourselves
personally and be led by Him.
Some former members have stated that our more radical
doctrines aren’t really of the Lord and that they’ve gotten us into a lot of trouble
and are being forced upon us. One example they give is the Loving Jesus revelation.
God bless Mama and Peter!-I don’t know if it was any
easier for them to receive that revelation from the Lord than it was for
us. They counseled with us CROs about it and asked us for our thoughts,
feelings, and reactions on the material before sending it out to the Family. It
was difficult and it seemed pretty wild and unusual.
Of course there were the fears that we could get into
pretty big trouble for this, being that it was a pretty radical doctrine. I’m
sure a lot of CROs and other people expressed these feelings and opinions, yet
the Lord encouraged them to go ahead in giving this revelation to the Family.
Although it took a while for us to absorb it and begin putting it into practice,
I personally would like to testify that I am so very thankful for Mama and Peter’s
conviction and their desire to follow and obey the Lord’s words.
There are times when the Lord specifically shows them
something that they should do as shepherds of the Family and they do it, no matter
what we the people say. For we the people aren’t always right, and sometimes we
lack in faith and trust.
It’s true that we’re out on the field and we know
and experience certain things from being out here, but just the same, in the spirit
they are on the mountain, and because they are not so influenced by their surroundings
or what people say, they are able to hear quite clearly from the Lord on matters.
In the case of the Loving Jesus revelation, although it was pretty meaty, I can
testify that it has completely changed my life. Sometimes I wonder if I would
have made it this far without it!
So I’m thankful that Mama and Peter have obeyed the
Lord even when we might have thought it was a little bit too radical, or a bit
too much, or that maybe they were going off the deep end, so to speak. If you
want to look at it like that, Dad didn’t hold back in giving the radical revelations
either, but I’m thankful that we received each revelation that Dad gave. I believe
that the Family is what it is today-a wonderful missionary group around the world
in many countries, reaching many people-because we followed what the Lord gave
Dad, and now Mama and Peter.
Thank the Lord we didn’t solely follow our own
faith, as for me personally, I wouldn’t be what I am today or be able to accomplish
much for the Lord if it wasn’t for the Word that is being poured out, even the
more radical Word. It spurs me to action. It makes me want to serve the Lord more.
It makes me want to be more dedicated, more sacrificial. It makes me want to give
more and not live so selfishly. It makes me want to witness more and get out there
and do the job.
I don’t believe we’ve been led astray, not even a little
bit. I believe we’re on the straight and narrow for the Lord and we’re heading
into this Endtime period determined to be witnesses for the Lord to the very End,
determined to help people to know Jesus personally so that they don’t have to
live lonely lives without the Lord. Some people have left the Family and dislike
the Family. Well, that’s their choice, but my choice is to continue serving Jesus
in the Family, to continue witnessing, to continue living a life of sacrifice
in taking up my cross and following Jesus every day. I pray I won’t be satisfied
until the world has been reached for the Lord, and I’m thankful that we have such
a dedicated, free, exciting, and wonderful Family which surrounds us and helps
us to do the job, and such precious shepherds.
Every time I get hit with battles, read distorted
stories that former members have told, or read something that puts the Family
or our shepherds down, I get the verse, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
I look around and I see our wonderful Family. Of course we’re not perfect, but
I see people going out witnessing every day, souls being won, lives being touched,
and I know that it’s because of the Word that we read and the shepherds the Lord
has given us.
I pray that no matter what battles and trials the Enemy
brings along our way, no matter what attacks of the Enemy we have to fight, no
matter what anybody else says, each and every one of us will continue serving
the Lord to the best of our ability. I feel privileged to be fighting side by
side and hand in hand with all of you in this Endtime battle.
For the Record
By Pearl, Mama’s Home
Recently there have been things said about Mama and
Peter that have been untrue. Because these things were written by someone who
has lived with Dad and Mama and Peter (though not recently), and because the accusations
were well written and seemingly “factual,” they have hurt some people’s faith,
and caused others to doubt or become confused.
Presently I am one of Mama’s personal secretaries.
I have lived with Dad, Mama, and Peter a long time, going on 20 years now. I’ve
not just lived nearby or visited occasionally or met them in a passing encounter,
but have lived almost all of those 20 years in their Home, sometimes in the bedroom
next to them-interacting with them daily, talking with them almost every day on
the intercom, transcribing many of their meetings, discussions, their daily prayer
times, and times of hearing from the Lord. There was a short space during this
20-year period when I didn’t actually live in the same house with them, but was
a five- or ten-minute drive away, but I was still in communication with the Folks
and transcribed their personal tapes and letters.
I have traveled with them, lived with them, cleaned
their room, and can say I’ve known Dad, Mama and Peter very personally and intimately
for the last two decades. I can confirm that they are everything the Letters say
they are. They are the most loving and concerned shepherds the Family could have-unselfish,
sacrificial, honest, humble, yielded, upfront, hardworking, anointed leadership
who love Jesus with all their hearts. Their only reason for living is to bring
His love and message to you and the world.
There is no doubt in my mind about this because I’ve
seen them in action, not just for a visit, but consistently and constantly. They
seek the Lord and His highest will for the Family daily, and are consistently
loving, prayerful, living the Word, sacrificing, working on the Word, and doing
everything in their power and strength to promote and give the Lord’s love. They
eat, live, and breathe to serve the Lord and the Family. I know that sounds vague
and general, but let me give you a few examples.
Some have said that Mama and Peter don’t listen to
people or that they’re close-minded and determined to have their own way no matter
Sometimes I make Mama personal tapes, and many times
I’ll have ideas or suggestions. Some of the ideas are pretty wild and I’ll say,
“Mama, this is from the wild ideas department. I don’t know if it’s from the Lord
or not, and I may be really off.”
Mama has told me many times when I’ve said that, “Don’t
ever hesitate to share your ideas. I like to listen to them all. Of course, they
may not all hit the mark, but we need to get everyone’s input so we don’t miss
anything. One of your ideas could be very important.” I can personally testify
that Mama is very open to ideas and suggestions and takes them seriously. She
prayerfully considers them and implements many of them, including the ones you
send in to her in your letters. And that’s what the Summit meetings are largely
about-discussing how to implement the many ideas people bring up.
Recently I had more to do than I could handle, and prayed
about my workload-what work I could do and couldn’t do. I basically presented
to Mama what I could handle and what would have to be delegated to someone else.
Basically I was saying, “I can do this, but not that. I’ll be able to do this
and not that,” and she was fine with it. Of course, I asked the Lord and got a
confirmation from Him. But Mama is definitely not a “control freak,” otherwise
she’d be ordering me around and not considering my feelings.
Mama really does let people work according to their
faith and abilities. She isn’t standing there breathing down your neck. Whenever
I begin to feel pressured or overloaded, I just say so. I’m not afraid to speak
up, because I know she wants me to, and I know she’s not going to think I’m a
dummy, incapable, or that she needs to get someone faster or replace me; I’m not
afraid I’m going to lose my job if I can’t keep up or someone better comes along.
Mama and Peter don’t work like that.-If they did, I wouldn’t be here, that’s for
sure! They are extremely patient and forgiving.
Here’s a typical note from Peter, “Hi Honey, I love
you! Would you mind putting this on tape for Mama? Thanks. You’re really looking
nice! Love, Peter.” Isn’t that sweet? Having your boss call you “honey,” and “would
In our work, Mama and Peter trust that we’re hearing
from the Lord. They trust our judgment and what we have the faith for. Mama has
asked me to receive prophecies sometimes when I haven’t felt up to it, and I just
say so, and I know she’s not going to think that I’m “not on board.” She
doesn’t order or pressure. Sometimes if she knows she’s going to have timely work
for me later on in the day, she’ll call and let me know ahead of time.
Both Mama and Peter are very considerate. In other
words, they’re not dictators or overbearing generals. There has been many a time
when Mama was going to ask someone to do something, and if they had a headache
or weren’t feeling well she’d ask them first how they felt, if they felt up to
doing it later or if she should ask someone else. I could write a book on Mama
and Peter’s love and the thoughtful things they do every day.
As you know, recently Peter had a heart attack and was
very weak, but despite that, they decided to go ahead with some meetings with
a few of the CROs about how to better the Family, asking for ideas and how to
implement them, how to spread out the responsibility more. That’s another story
in itself-how they listen to others and ask others to help in making the decisions.
It’s definitely not Mama and Peter running the whole show, taking credit to themselves,
or manipulating things.
Anyway, Peter had just had a heart attack some days
earlier and a leadership meeting was about to begin the next day. We had CROs
visiting and there was a lot of work. Peter has an extremely heavy workload and
carries many responsibilities, and there were the meetings to pray about, topics
to cover, the keynote, how to go about the meetings, and many important things
and details to attend to. But that morning Peter and Mama in their personal prayer
time asked the Lord for an encouragement message for me. They didn’t have to;
they had many other things they could’ve asked the Lord about.
They are always willing to help someone, are open to
their needs, opinions, ideas, and most of all they’re open to the Lord and the
leading of His Spirit. So you know if they would stop to hear from the Lord for
me despite Peter just having had a heart attack, and preparing for very important
meetings that would affect the future of the Family, I know they would pray for
you too, if you needed the help and the encouragement.-And they do! That’s how
much they love each and every person in the Family.
Also about being open with others, Mama has at various
times asked me to pray about her NWOs. In fact, I don’t know anybody as open,
honest, and humble about their personal NWOs as Mama is. On a regular basis she
asks not only me but others to check in with the Lord as to how she’s doing.
Specific things that she has asked me to pray for
regarding her personal life have been (taken from her personal dictation), “Am
I being affectionate enough or should I be more affectionate, and how?” “How can
I improve in my marriage?” “Sometimes I take too long or can’t make up my mind,
or when I talk I tend to get into too many details. Ask the Lord if that’s ok
and how I can do better.” “I have no sense of direction. I’m uncoordinated. Can’t
follow exercise. I feel a little handicapped and have to have things very simple.
Could you ask the Lord about that?” When Mama was battling jealousy she was very
open and honest about her tests and trials. She would frequently ask for prayer
and ask the Lord specifically how she could be less jealous and more loving and
how she could get the victory.-You’ve read her story in the GNs.
This definitely isn’t the person I’ve heard about
in some of the things that talk about Mama and Peter covering up. The truth is
this: There are no secrets, no hidden agendas, no cover-ups. In fact, even in
the tiniest things, which are really insignificant, she’s honest and open. For
example, occasionally she may think she has given me a tape, but she forgot it
in her dictaphone. She’ll call on the intercom and ask about the file, and when
I say I haven’t received it she’ll say, “Oh dear, maybe I forgot to give it to
you. Ooops, I did! Sorry about that!” She’s so sweet about it and she doesn’t
try to cover it up and say, “Well, somebody called and distracted me.” You know
how we kind of “wiggle” out of things sometimes? She probably was distracted,
as there are always problems, emergencies, timely messages to go over and important
business, various interruptions, etc., but even with the tiny “human” boo-boos
she’s open and honest.
Not long ago when Mama and Peter were traveling, she
got up to leave and forgot her purse for a moment, and also forgot to lock the
suitcases. She shared her lesson and asked someone to pray about why she forgot
those things. I’ve never known Mama to try to cover up, but to the contrary, she
will share her mistake or lesson and ask for prayer. And when she asks you to
pray and ask the Lord about her personal life, in her explanation she’ll say,
“Now ask the Lord to clear your mind of any opinions and to give you a clear channel
and not be influenced by your own thoughts, even if it comes out to be a correction.
I want the Lord to correct me if I need it. I need to know the truth and I want
to be open to anything He has to say.”
On another subject, if anyone thinks the Family has
changed in its original fire to witness, or in its original goal to reach the
world with the Gospel or get out the message, it sure hasn’t changed as far as
your top leadership-which is Mama. If you go out with her, you had better be prepared
to have plenty of tracts, and know how many you have and what kind and in what
languages, and that they’re folded nicely as a good sample-and how many you’ve
I have a file of the names and addresses of sheep that
Mama has personally witnessed to and who have received the Lord. Right now in
my “approval” subdirectory is a letter and prophecy that needs to go off to a
dear man that Mama and Peter witnessed to, prayed for and Peter received a personal
prophecy for. Even if they’re traveling, tired, busy-it doesn’t matter-if they
meet a needy sheep they’ll do whatever the Lord leads them to do to witness, encourage
or help them.
Peter and Mama, no matter how busy they are, do not
start their day without asking the Lord for His agenda and what He wants them
to do. They also ask for the Lord’s blessing and approval on their work and any
and all activities. You can be sure, dear Family, that there is nothing that comes
out in the Letters that Mama and Peter ask the Family to do that they don’t do
themselves, or have received the Lord’s confirmation on and have asked others
to pray and receive confirmations on as well.
Some time ago when Trevor and Olivia were living in
a unit nearby, the Folks were in the midst of a lot of work-they had pubs to finish,
some emergencies had come up that they were having to attend to, and they were
about to go on a trip as well-but they wanted to see the children, who were living
at a nearby unit, before their trip, so they asked the Lord about it.
Mama prayed: “Lord, we really need You and we need Your
strength, we need Your help. We need to be a good representation of You to Trevor
and Olivia when they come over, even if we’re only with them for 10 or 15 minutes.
So please, Jesus, do help us and show us what we should do and how we can be what
You want us to be.”
Isn’t that precious? Even though Mama and Peter were
extremely busy and about to make a business trip, they took time with the children
and took time to pray that their sample would be the right sample-to 4-year-old
children. That’s an example of how much they pray and ask the Lord about the littlest
When someone is going through a rough time or needs
some correction, it’s very difficult on the Folks as well. Their heart goes out
to people and they pray for people having a rough time and ask the Lord to encourage
their hearts. They also ask us, their staff, to pray for the person. If someone
goes through a rough patch, the Folks do not say icky things about them. I could
give lots of examples about this one, but because they involve personal details
of others, they’re a private matter.
Mama and Peter don’t go into their room and talk behind
people’s backs and badmouth them. They’re just not like that. And they don’t take
advantage of people.
Unless you have lived with the Folks and have been
privy to their daily prayers and conversations, it’s hard to grasp how much goes
into each and every thing they do-how much prayer they put into things, how much
love and concern, how much they try to be everything the Lord wants them to be,
how they try with all their heart to please the Lord, to please the Family, to
witness, to get the Word out, to feed the Family.
I could fill a book with Mama’s private prayers-her
prayers for people who write her from the field, her prayers for people in our
house, for people going through battles, her personal prayers for victories and
help in her personal life.-And, by the way, if someone is having a tough time
with something that comes out in the New Wine, she doesn’t belittle them or look
down on them or think they’re weak, or decide that they’re an “old bottle.” The
first thing she does is pray for them. Then she asks someone to pray about how
we can make things easier, clearer or better explained.
Here’s an example of a prayer request Mama asked me
to pray about, which she asks from time to time-for her and Peter’s strength because
they’re pouring out and giving so much for the Family. She said, “Please ask the
Lord why Peter is so tired. He’s really, really tired. I keep telling him it’s
just that everything has caught up with him, especially that meeting. It was such
a terrible strain. He says, ‘I don’t like being tired.’ At dinner he’s almost
ready to go to bed for the night. Anyhow, I’m sure the Lord’s going to strengthen
him, but there’s an awful lot to do and he’s very tired. Thanks for your prayers.”
Another time Mama asked for prayer for herself: “When
I went to visit some of our loved ones, it was good and I was glad I went, but
I was so tired. I mean, I don’t know when I’ve been so tired. When I got back
I could just hardly stay awake even during dinner. I wonder if that was just to
show me how weak I really am. Of course I got cold and I was fighting a cold,
but still I wondered if the Lord was trying to show me how weak I am, and either
nudge me to do more as far as exercise and eating better to get strengthened,
or just show me what a miracle it is when I don’t feel like that. Maybe you can
ask Him about that.”
So, dear Family, please do keep both Peter and Mama
in your prayers. They really do give it all they’ve got every day and they don’t
take vacations. I’ve accompanied them on a couple of “work-cations” when they
have to take a break from the constant press, but these are for short time periods
and they usually work in the mornings all the way through the afternoons, and
then around dinner time knock off, go for a walk, eat, and many times, if the
Lord brings a sheep, they witness to them, and of course they pass out tracts.
I’ve practically grown up with Mama and Peter and I
can personally assure you that you couldn’t have shepherds that are any more dedicated
and loving and honest and sacrificial than Mama and Peter.-And that’s exactly
the reason the Lord has made them our shepherds, because they are the most
loving and best there is. If they weren’t, He wouldn’t allow them to be our shepherds,
I’m sure. Do you think the Lord would give you less than the best, or put hirelings
as your shepherds? No way! And I know if you were to meet them personally and
live with them you would have a book that you could write too about their love
for the Lord and this wonderful Family and for you personally!!
Letter to a Young Person
By Robin (formerly Keda), Japan
I sure love and appreciate you and all the times you’ve
worked hard, given it your best, and stood fast through difficult squeezings and
tests. These aren’t the simple days of yore when we used to go out witnessing,
taking one or two kids with us, talking with people here in Japan about the Lord
and helping them learn that there actually can be answers to their lives. Things
used to be much less complex, not only for us, but for the world as a whole.
You’ve read how amazingly things have changed since
Dad’s life started compared with ours.-Well, they sure have changed amazingly
in the last ten years in society, as well as our communities. Whereas we used
to be fairly cut off from the world around us, and isolated, especially when you
were younger, as you know, as the years have been progressing, we’ve been opening
up far more in our thinking and relations with others.
I know recently you’ve read some material that talks
about Mama being a “control freak” and how her and Peter’s “overuse of prophecy,”
etc., has caused them to have a very strong rein on the Family. Well, I totally
disagree. But I know for me, having had many chances over the years to live with
Dad and Mama and Peter, in some ways I have a real advantage in having seen and
experienced them in action in all types of ways.
I know you have read the writings of someone who has
left, expressing his view of life and expounding on his personal reasons for leaving.
I’m not perturbed about his leaving, as that’s totally his prerogative, nor am
I so concerned about his reasons, as every individual is of course free to have
whatever reasons he perceives as being important. What I am concerned about, though,
is the very unbalanced statements and what I believe to be unfortunately critical
and inaccurate conclusions that were drawn, because there is some degree of power
when someone says “I was there.”
I’ve been able to visit Dad and Mama and Peter numerous
times over the years, and have lived with them for several months at a time on
different occasions, so just to balance things out, I felt I’d like to share a
few of my personal experiences. Ultimately, what you believe is entirely your
prerogative, but to have unbalanced input before you make your decisions seemed
to me to be unfortunate. I actually have literally hundreds of incidents and things
that impressed me whenever I was with them, which cause me to feel entirely different
than they have been recently portrayed, but I’ll limit my points to just a few
that you possibly know about or at least would find relatable. I have no hidden
agenda here. I simply felt that after having read a lot of what I feel is personal
perceptions, which I certainly don’t agree with, you might appreciate hearing
some of the other side of the coin.
My decision to send my kids to System
One initial example of Mama not being a “control freak”
centers around the fact that for years and years, the Family had almost exclusively
home schooled our children, but then I personally decided that I felt mine would
benefit more if they did differently.
I’m so glad my kids went to public elementary school
here in Japan for three years after having been home schooled up until that point.
It wasn’t easy for them, as you know, learning the language and the culture, but
we had chances to reach out to people in the community around us and to be much
more in sync with their lives and to understand the difficulties they face daily,
which in some ways we’d been protected from. I remember having wrestled with the
fact that my kids didn’t speak Japanese very well all the years we’d been here,
wondering what the solution was.
At the time, I and the Japanese family I was working
with heard from the Lord together, as since the Charter we felt the freedom to
really decide what we felt would work in our situation. It was a fairly radical
stance at that point in time to step out and say we were going to send them off,
after having been very protective in the care of our kids up until that point,
but I’m so glad I did. At the time I communicated with Mama, as she and Dad had
been encouraging us to home school our kids to help them not fall prey to adverse
influences, bullying, violence and overt materialism, etc. We felt a peace that
the Lord was leading us this way, though, so I was very encouraged when I saw
her response. She printed my letter to her, which expressed some of the pros and
cons we were experiencing, along with our conviction that this seemed to be, at
least in this time and place, the best option for us, along with balancing views
on sending kids to school.
I felt at that time that our situation, being in a mission
field with a difficult culture and language to learn, it could be perhaps considered
differently than someone who was still in the U.S. or Australia, in that putting
children into a regular public school in that situation would expose the kids
to a far greater level of negative influence than was the case here in Japan.
Nevertheless, Mama’s openness and even passing on the option to others, to me
was a very real indicator of her openness to alternatives.
When I didn’t agree or go along with
Dad and Mama’s suggestion
I first met Dad and Mama in Madrid, 1978, at the time
of the RNR. At the time I’d been a “chain leader,” and was actually wondering
if I should try Africa or Asia, when I was asked if I would like to pray about
helping out in the Pacific. I’ve been asked a number of times by the Folks if
I would like to try a certain ministry or not. Because I have trusted their leadership
and know their motives and love, I have usually felt good about going for the
option they suggested, but not always.
There was one time when I was in Singapore, when Dad,
Mama and Peter were there with their staff for a time. They had been praying about
the oversight of the Homes in the Pacific, and one afternoon on a walk in a park,
Peter suggested the possibility of a traveling partner I could travel with from
Home to Home. This traveling partner was a very precious man, loved the Lord,
and had a lot of gifts and talents that they thought might complement my own.
I thought about it and just didn’t have the faith that it was what I would feel
comfortable to do. So I told them I thought I’d rather not.
If indeed they were “control freaks,” I would have certainly
noticed strong coercion, displeasure, disapproval or whatever at my resistance
to their pretty reasonable suggestion, but that was not the case. I considered
the matter many years later and wondered in my communications with them if I had
perhaps missed an opportunity for the Lord to have blessed my work more, but not
once have they told me that their opinion or suggestion was definitely the Lord’s
will if I didn’t feel comfortable with it.
Dad’s attitude after correction
As you know, I needed and received a pretty big correction
from Dad back in ‘85, when I’d been traveling the Homes as the main shepherd for
the Eastern Hemisphere. At the time, Dad discerned that I not only had a very
self-righteous spirit, but that actually I had other spiritual problems, that
if I could receive deliverance from, it would indeed clean up my spirit and I
would regain my usefulness for the Lord’s service.
At the time, I’d been welcomed into their Home in the
Philippines, where I lived for about eight months. I’d been working as a traveling
shepherd for years, but enjoyed working on pubs and helped with editing a number
of publications at the time-Daily Breads, Daily Mights, etc. The
Folks had had me visit a number of times and I’d helped them here and there since
they’d come to the East, but this was the first time I’d lived for a longer period
of time with them since Madrid.
Dad sensed that something wasn’t right in the spirit
about me, and as they counseled and asked the Lord, it became clear that indeed,
through my self-righteousness and other areas I was rebellious in, I had become
a vehicle for the Enemy to come into their Home. Dad corrected me seriously one
evening and said that it’d be good that I get a solid prayer of deliverance. Most
folks have read the story in old Letters, but perhaps there are a few aspects
at that time which weren’t so clear to the reader.
The very day after I received the correction, I was
out in the yard exercising, when I met Dad. He came up and gave me a big hug and
said, “You did good, Honey! The Lord just wants you to do better!” He was so encouraging
and warm, and I have to say that throughout the entire time of my being there,
that was the case. In praying about what course of training would be good for
me at that time, both Dad and Mama felt it’d be helpful for me to have a time
of penance. This is a fairly normal Catholic concept, wherein someone makes some
gestures to in a way pay for their sins and mistakes.
All throughout the day, everyone around me was cheery,
positive, helpful and bright as we went about our work, and the evenings were
the same too. The only thing that changed in that period of time was that during
the time when everyone would get together to relax and have dinner and dance,
I would relax upstairs in my room watching the “Garden of Eden” videos, which
I greatly enjoyed, since I’d never had a chance to see them before. In other words,
I certainly wasn’t sent to my room by angry people at any time.-Folks were incredibly
understanding and positive.
Peter at that time mentioned that although I had lessons
to learn, since my prayer, I was a “new creature in Christ, old things were passed
away and behold, ALL things had become new.” He and Sara went over a number of
Word classes with me to help me learn some key factors in considering the feelings
of others around me. One of my weaknesses, amidst many, was that I’d been pretty
pushy and opinionated and not very circumspect in decision-making. This was very
far from the way either Dad, Mama or Peter had been with me, so they felt that
reading some good solid Bible and Letters on these subjects would help me to move
at least a few more steps towards being more like Jesus. I can’t say that it worked
in that I achieved at all, but I do know that I’m most grateful for the Lord pulling
me up in my tracks at that time and many other times before and since, as my earnest
desire is to please Him and to be a vessel of His love to others.
The tape of everything
At the time of my being in the Philippines with Dad,
Mama, and Peter, there were a few incidents which left an indelible impression
on me. It was a time of learning for me, and the Lord was putting me through the
squeezes of His love to help me be more useful than I had been.
One evening, Mama popped into the room and was talking
about how things were going and she asked me if I would mind doing something for
her: It was to dictate a tape of all the bad things I’d done before joining the
Family and all I could think of after joining. Well, since I had a natural bent
of being self-righteous, this was hardly the thing I’d relish doing. However,
I sensed she had some good reasons, and decided that I may as well.
That night I popped the small micro tape under her
door with a note, and despite a thought halfway through the night of getting a
coat hanger and fishing it back out, I decided to leave it. Ha! The next afternoon
she popped into my room as warm and fun as always and asked me if I knew why she’d
suggested making that tape. She said, “It’s so that you can know in your heart
that there is nothing you can ever do to make Jesus or us not love you!”
Having been guilty of trying too hard for years, or
at times doing things in the energy of my own flesh instead of letting the Lord
do it, etc., this had a tremendously touching impact on me, just realizing over
again the incredible love that our Lord has for us, and it was Mama who helped
me really grasp it in a far more profound way than I had till that time.
It’s up to you
At the end of last year, I had been thinking of my
daughter’s exciting work in Zimbabwe, of the wonderful work our folks were doing
in Kosovo, and of plans to open up Ethiopia, and I started to wonder if it might
be time to consider a change of field, to move to a place where I’d get “more
bang for my buck,” since working in a non-Christian field like Japan all these
years at times can be a bit wearying to someone yearning to bear more fruit in
the long term as an effective missionary.
I help to do some work for WS, taking care of some
of their mail, passing on communications to the field, etc., so I wrote Mama and
Peter and expressed my question about a possible change of fields, wondering if
they would have any suggestions. Their answer totally put it back in my court,
saying that they know I love the Lord and that He wouldn’t fail to lead and provide,
and that they would support my decision, whichever it may be.
As it happened, I heard from the Lord personally and
a number of ways to witness effectively locally opened up, and my mind was made
up. The Lord did give me a choice, but His highest seemed to be for me to stick
here where I have learned at least a lot of the culture and language. Lord knows
I’ve got a lot to still learn, but I’ve felt so much challenge here since stepping
back and reconsidering and reconfirming that that’s where the Lord wants me. But
I must say, to me again, Mama and Peter were very open and in no way dictated
what they felt would be politically the best option. They just don’t work that
Respect for young people who choose
a different lifestyle
Contrary to what has been written recently, it’s clear
that both Mama and Peter have taken a lot of time to encourage the Family to make
sure that those who choose to not continue in the Family are helped to get set
up in their new life, are kept in good communication with, and are encouraged
to get established in situations that will help them continue being useful citizens.
To me it’s a little odd that anyone would take issue
with this, considering the lack of wisdom we had towards those who chose to leave
the Family in years past. If anything, it’s been Peter’s encouragement to be a
lot more open, apologetic, and to have listening ears to those who have left and
who had perhaps had less-than-positive experiences with shepherds from the past,
that made a key difference in our present attitudes.
Dad was sold out for the Lord, and in our younger years,
I would say we were definitely guilty of being rather polemic and having tunnel
vision-lacking awareness of the difficulties those who chose to leave the Family
were facing. It’s been precisely because Peter listened to so many former members
as he traveled, and both Mama and Peter took note of things that were written
them, that they have encouraged us to be far more conciliatory in our relationships
with those who choose to not continue on as Family members.
Questions and differing opinions welcome
As a young person, one thing that’s unfortunate is
that at times over the years, it’s possible that you may have come across some
leadership in the Family who weren’t close to the way we’re all supposed to be.
At times, I’ve personally been a considerable distance from the way Dad, Mama
or Peter are, and regret that. If you read in the Word about consideration, giving
people freedom of choice and a real gentility in shepherding, yet at times you
find you’re under the leadership of someone who doesn’t listen to you as a younger
person or who has an opinionated way of working with others rather than being
simply a team member, I find this very unfortunate, as it leaves space for you
to think that Mama and Peter may well have the same weaknesses.
I have experienced time and time again over the past
22 years since I met them, an amazing openness and sincere desire to learn how
other people feel. Mama has a fascination for people and spends a lot of time
trying to understand, to listen to them, and I know I have never felt more at
home than I have in their company. Contrary to what has been written, I have found
they encourage individual talents, different types of personalities, and have
been far from restrictive in their dealings with people. Mama has continually
had the attitude that if some mistakes are made, to not focus on the blame, but
focus rather on finding the solution. She’s preached “don’t cry over spilt milk”
and lived it time and again in counsel she’s given to different ones on the field,
co-workers in WS who make mistakes, in my life personally when I’ve come short
of the goal, and in her writing.
For me, perhaps one of the most endearing qualities
of both Mama and Peter has been the way they’re so simple, down to earth, and
are so ready to confess their weaknesses. I used to always feel that if people
would just meet Dad, by seeing the clear warmth and light in his face, they would
know that he couldn’t be evil. I have always felt the same regarding Mama and
Peter.-”Beholding the man,” what can you say?
You can tell by their writing that they are constantly
fighting for the good, for love and consideration, for gentleness and unselfishness,
while at the same time opening up about their own personal lessons in such matters.
I have worked for a number of different bosses, but to me Mama and Peter are unique
in that they don’t “pull rank,” but are very much as dear friends who I know have
stuck with me through the good times and the bad.
Prophecy-ultimate preparation for
I can understand anyone finding prophecy a little
hard to take. I know that it’s stretching the faith of a number of people. But
on the other hand, to me there is almost no greater proof that the Family is indeed
everything the Lord has said we are destined to be-leaders in the Endtime. Were
we to simply cling to every word Mama and Peter said after Dad had passed on,
or were we to get tighter and more restrictive leadership, then I would understand
feelings that Mama and Peter were controlling things too much. The fact is, though,
and to me this seems the most obvious of all facts in the whole picture, they
have done exactly the opposite of what they’re being accused of! They have set
us all free to follow according to our faith.
If some felt they like some aspects of the Family
but couldn’t really hack the close leadership, they have made working in the capacity
of an FM member a very acceptable alternative. They have led us away from asking
them or other leadership a whole lot, but have been training us to reach out to
Jesus and the help He has given from the spirit world. If this thing [the Family]
be of man, it will come to naught, but if it be of God, it will stand-as a testimony
of those who didn’t claim to be strong, but who admitted they were weak and in
need of Jesus. It will be a ringing testimony that none of the persecutions and
attacks against it over the years have prevailed. None!
Personally, I’m convinced more each year that what Jesus
has said in the Word all these years is being fulfilled more than ever. I expect
there will be more false witnesses and character assassination attempts. I expect
there will be more who scream “Sex cult!” or whatever the latest rage is, but
I can attest of this one thing: I believe I could never have come to know Jesus
as I know Him now, if it wasn’t for the faithful sample and teaching of Mama and
Peter, after Dad had passed on. I could never have been motivated to want to have
a passion to learn, to reach out, to want to give, if it wasn’t for the training
and Word that we receive each week. Because of all I’ve received and continue
to receive, I wake up with something to live for, something to give to people,
in and out of the Family, a real sense of purpose. No matter what anybody tries
to say, I know what I have seen and nobody can pull the “I’ve lived with them”
phrase out and have any effect on me, because I have too, and I thank God for
all I’ve been able to learn and see, and I wish I could live closer to it myself.
I love you tons and pray for you during this difficult
time. I know Jesus has His hand on you and your sweet mate and kiddo, and always
will. You’re special to Him.
Let’s stay in touch.
They Took Me Into Their Home
By Ezra, Japan
I love Mama and Peter dearly. I not only consider
them to be my king and queen; they are also my friends. They helped me at a time
when I was really going through it, when I had made a lot of mistakes in a leadership
position. Despite that, they took me into their Home to help while they were here
in Japan, and that was certainly “Days of Heaven” to be living with Dad, Mama,
Peter and their sweet household. I lived with them for a couple of months, which
were some of the most rewarding and memorable of my life.
I haven’t read the letter that James wrote, and I don’t
plan to. There is just something that is not right about someone trying to “get
even.” I don’t know James, but I do know Mama and Peter, and I had the wonderful
experience of getting to know dear Dad as well. I treasure that time, and I’ll
try and paint a picture of the Mama and Peter that I know.
Mama ... well, from the moment we met at the airport
she tried to make me feel at ease. She was always concerned about my health and
how I was doing. I always felt sincerity from her. We lived in a very small house,
and I was so impressed with how little they would get by with-no luxuries, just
simple accommodations. I would see dear Dad every day for a few moments or together
on walks, but it was Mama that I spent hours with-on the intercom! I was set up
comfortably in a little room downstairs, and Mama was faithfully next to Dad upstairs,
while carrying on lengthy conversations with me over the house intercom.
Mama was searching desperately to try to help the work
in Japan. She wanted to glean every drop of information that she could get from
me and others who had been on the field here, for the sole purpose of trying to
find ways to get the Japan Family back on its feet and bearing fruit. I clearly
remember that I could freely express myself and my opinions, and Mama really encouraged
me in this. It was no holds barred, because she was after information. Mama was
gathering info from other sources at the time as well. She would ask me questions
on these other points, then listen, then give her opinion, and then ask me what
I thought. It was very definitely a constant, ongoing, two-way conversation. I
never felt stifled in my opinions. I never felt that I had to be careful about
how I said things. I in no way felt intimidated to follow some “party line”; in
fact, Mama wanted to cover any and all ground, which to me seemed so radical and
free! The fruit of that time was some very helpful advice and guidance for the
Japan Family, and it was a privilege to be part of that.
It was always very clear to me that Mama was concerned
about the “littlest” person in the Family, and that love and concern was clearly
manifested to me. At one point I was faced with some very serious battles about
my visa and whether I would stay in Japan or not. I was secretly worried that
my situation might cause some serious problems, but I wasn’t confessing my fears
about it all. It was then that I got a sweet note from Mama asking me 10 different
questions about why I would be putting in a request to leave Japan. Each one of
the ten questions was valid, and could have been a possibility, but I was touched
that she knew so much about me-enough to ask me all those very pointed questions
about what might really be on my heart. Actually, it was the unasked 11th
question that I confessed and got the victory over that kept me here serving the
Lord in Japan, and I cannot thank the Lord enough for that.
I owe my service here over the last 10 years to Mama’s
loving persistence, but that’s our Mama! That’s what makes her so special-she’s
always striving for the best and highest, and she has great expectations for us
all, and at the same time, great understanding and sympathy for us.
One time I made a serious mistake with our Home’s
central heater. I was leaning to my own understanding and had gone against Dad’s
careful and prayerful counsel on how to set the thermostat. The result was that
the house got extremely cold in the middle of the night, and Dad woke up freezing
cold and could have caught pneumonia. Dad came down and saw that I had moved the
setting too low, and soon after that, he was on the intercom giving me a much
needed rebuke. Boy, did I deserve it! Mama came over to me in the middle of it
all, and put a blanket around me and said, “Join the club!”-meaning the club of
those that had learned a good lesson directly from dear Dad. She looked like an
angel, so very tender and understanding and not condemning at all.
A few weeks later at the New Year’s celebration that
we had, Dad was going around the room, making sweet comments about each one in
the Home. When he came to me, Mama pointed out that I had learned such a good
lesson recently after Dad’s good bawling out that I needed. Referring to my mistake,
Dad quickly replied, “Ezra could never have done that.” In other words, Dad was
publicly forgiving me by just letting it pass. That’s the way it was living with
them. Even with our mistakes they were so generous with understanding, sympathy,
Mama was super concerned about my back, as I had a back
problem at that time. She was insistent that I shouldn’t overdo or strain myself,
no matter how insistent I was that it was “all right!” I can’t help but feel a
warm and loving memory come over me of the wonderful time I had living and working
with her. I’ll treasure those memories forever.
Now, Peter, here’s a great guy. He always had a magical
way of making you feel very comfortable and at ease, but at the same time, you
knew just where the line was between when it was time to play and time to work.
I got to know Peter through meetings and times of serious discussions regarding
problems in the Family. It was a very difficult time, and sometimes the conversation
had to be about people and situations, but I was always clearly impressed that
Peter wanted to hear all sides. He didn’t go for putting fingers on the scale,
and he wanted to give everyone a fair shake! Look at me! It was a real gamble
for them to have me come to live with them, as I had been generally only on the
field, and had been recently in an office situation that had turned out to be
a real problem. But they obviously had the faith for me, and it pulled me through
some rough times in my life. The Lord’s love really shines through Peter. You
can see that he really loves Jesus, and he really loves the Family.
I feel so very sorry for James. I have been serving
the Lord for 27 years now-25 of those years in Japan-and I’ve been through thick
and thin. In all those years I’ve had the blessing of seeing things through rosy
glasses, and I believe that it’s a pure gift from the Lord. I’ve had to battle
with bitterness and negative thinking very little in all of those years, and I
really thank the Lord for that. The few times I’ve entertained bitterness it has
just about destroyed me, as it only brought me deep sadness and loneliness. Bitterness
separates, isolates, destroys the one who entertains it, and does nothing but
terribly hurt the ones around it. I feel so very sorry for those who have not
been able to look at life through those famous Romans 8:28 glasses. I do all the
time. I couldn’t make it otherwise.
Hail to our Queen Maria and King Peter! I love them
both, and I hope that this little personal testimony will help someone else, especially
if you’ve had to wade through James’ letter. I didn’t read it because I know it’s
not necessary. My suggestion is to do the same. The Mama and Peter that I know
in the flesh are the same Mama and Peter that I read about in the Letters, and
that’s enough for me!
(End of file.)