Confirmation of the Son of God

Barbara (left), as a very new member, with Father at a historic site in Rome, Italy during his First World tour in 1965

By Barbara Burrowes Van Praag

Barbara Van Praag (née Burrowes) joined in Italy in 1965 when Doris Orme was witnessing there as a missionary. Barbara returned to her native Guyana in South America as a missionary in 1971. She currently resides in London, England where she is still an active member of the Unificationist community.


I am quite ashamed to say that it took me one long month to read the small Principle book. At the end, I was questioned by Doris Orme as to how I felt about this truth. I made her understand that from the very preface I knew that I would be expected to believe that Sun Myung Moon was the Messiah. She again advised me to pray. She said that if I were sincere and really wanted to know, because I love Jesus, I would get an answer.

I followed her advice and prayed; on the third evening I was privileged to have a most beautiful experience. Heavenly fire began burning me up. I asked God for some relief, but the fire increased, so I called upon Jesus; the heat increased still more. I could stand it no longer and I remembered what Doris had said about Sun Myung Moon’s power. I immediately cried out, “In the name of Sun Myung Moon, take away this fire.” The heat ceased instantaneously, and the most exciting vision illuminated my room. An Oriental figure clad in gold looking like Buddha appeared on my right; this personage blessed the right side of my body. Behind me stood Moses, rod in hand. I stood up and began to sing in a strange language (today I know it was Korean). I was singing in a very high ethereal voice. St. Paul appeared carrying a silver tray in his hand and bowing in service to me. As I sang, the room disappeared and I grew infinitely tall. It was a dazzling spectacle which I will never forget. I was so excited; I could not wait for Doris to arrive. She asked who I thought the Oriental man was, and then showed me True Father’s photograph. God had shown me without any doubt that Rev. Sun Myung Moon was His son.

Barbara teaching the Principle to guests in Milan, Italy around 1970

2 Responses

  1. Grace Lee Selover says:

    That was such an impressive and profound experience. I want to remember it.

    • Julian Gray says:

      If you enjoy testimonies of spiritual experiences, the story of the beginnings of the church in northern Italy – from which the last picture was taken – is one of remarkable spiritual revelation (at first through a spiritual medium) by which people came to understand that the Messiah was on earth. This story is also in the Early Members’ series, though several months back.

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