Seonghwa Ceremony for “Jan van Winden”

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FFWPU Europe: Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 26. September 2014


Jan van Winden joined the then Unified Family in 1970 and was blessed in the 1800 Blessing, 1975, Korea. He was 70 years of age at his passing on Monday, September 22, having collapsed at home when he was supposedly recovering from a serious operation.

He was always a major support to everyone in the Dutch church and also served in Hungary, Romania, the USA and New Hope Farm in Brazil in addition to supporting events in Korea and other countries.

His Seunghwa Ceremony was also attended by family and friends who are not Unificationists, who were given a full experience of True Parents’ culture, with full mention of True Parents, Lord of the Second

Advent and so on. Two of his eight siblings also spoke about their brother, including their difficulty when Jan joined the Unified Family and how they became reconciled over the years.

Including reflections by National Leader Hans Campman and other Unificationists who are close to Jan, messages from European FFWPU President An and spiritual son Bob Exler, now in the USA, were read out during the service.

While the suddenness of Jan’s passing was a shock and a sorrow, the atmosphere was upbeat and joyful, celebrating and reflecting Jan’s positive attitude to life.


The Life of Jan van Winden

Joannes Michael Maria van Winden was born on December 19, 1943 to Arnold and Gre van Winden. He was the eldest son of this Roman Catholic family and has 9 siblings, 5 brothers and 3 sisters.

As a young man he searched strongly for God and desired to live a life with Him. Jan joined the Monfortanne monastery in 1964 and lived as a monk for several years. After some years he resigned from the monastery, as he felt his calling was elsewhere. He had a hard time finding his way in society in the years after he left, missing the orderly and devout life in the monastery. In 1970 Jan met the movement and found an end to his deep spiritual suffering and loneliness.

Jan’s main passion was – and has always remained – to share God’s love and His truth with other people. Witnessing was a joy, a lifestyle which quickly became second nature to him. He participated in intensive witnessing campaigns in Hungary, Romania, and the USA, giving valuable contributions to world restoration.

Jan was blessed in marriage to Ingeborg Eisner in 1975 as part of the 1800 couple Blessing on February 8th. Together they lived 28 years in Nijmegen and built a wonderful family. They raised two sons, Constant and Stephan. Constant married Esther Bessell in 2003 and Stephan married Miki Nakai in 2009. Stephan and Miki’s son, Lucas, was born in 2011 and brought Jan, dearly called “Opat”, much joy.

Jan can truly be considered a founding member of the Unification church in the Netherlands. He found three strong spiritual children and was actively engaged in teaching young members and new guests. He had a very big heart in caring for members and giving them inspiration.

Until the very end Jan has testified to God’s truth and love. After his successful heart surgery in September 2014, two weeks before his passing, he expressed his gratitude towards the doctors and nurses in the hospital, but also shared his heart with them about God’s ideal and His love for mankind.

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Message from European FFWPU President, Rev. Young Shik An

Dear Jan van Winden and your Dear wife Inge, As the European representative of our Founders,

I want to express Father and Mother Moon’s deep appreciation to you for your many years of dedication to God expressed through living for the sake of others.

Your life was transformed by God, our Heavenly Parent, through meeting the teachings and example of Father and Mother Moon in 1970 and, five years later, through receiving the Blessing as one of 1800 Couples in 1975.

Since then your unchanging commitment to True Parents and love for brothers and sisters, who you visited and took care of, has led to you being respected as grandparents for our precious faith community in the Netherlands. You also participated in challenging campaigns in foreign countries, wherever True Father called you to attend. Because of your parental heart others testify that you embraced many people and had many friends and played a significant role in the joining of many of our first generation members.

Through these words I want to join with those gathered for your Seonghwa Ceremony at which we celebrate your earthly life, because it is a joy to leave behind a legacy of serving God our Heavenly Parent and of contributing so sincerely to the establishment of a world destined to become ‘One Family under God’.

As True Parents teach us: When we are bound together in true love, we can be together forever, continually rejoicing in each other’s company. The attraction of true love brings all things in the universe to our feet; even God will come to dwell with us. … A life lived for the sake of others, a life of true love, is the absolute prerequisite for entering the kingdom of heaven.

I have no doubt that you will continue to be connected in heart with your beloved family: your wife Inge and your children Constant and Esther, Stephan and Miki and your grandson Lucas and all our FFWPU community in the Netherlands, as you continue to watch over us from the next world.

May God bless you on your way to His Kingdom, Cheon Il Guk.

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