By Stephan Schmid
Stephan Schmid joined our church in Austria in the late 1960s. Later, other members of his family also joined. Here he describes how, one day, his whole family met True Parents during one of True Parents’ global speaking tours.
In 2005, True Parents visited cities around the world to found national chapters of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). My wife, Jae-sook, who is Korean, had the opportunity to cook for them in their hotel several times. The continental leader’s wife, Mrs. Song, introduced her to True Parents. She said we had come from Germany and have seven children. My wife said, “We are sorry for not fulfilling our mission, but we accomplished the task of having seven children.” Father and Mother laughed loudly, and Mother asked how many are boys and how many are girls.
Our next cooking appointment was Zagreb in Croatia. After six hours on the road to Croatia, Peter Staudinger from the European Office telephoned to say that True Father had decided, just ten minutes earlier, to speak in The Hague instead of Zagreb, because the Schengen treaty ban had been lifted. We turned the vehicle around and drove for twenty-one hours straight to the Netherlands with all the children and the food for True Parents!
At the Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague, we were appointed to present flowers to True Parents at the end of Father’s speech. I was told that we were selected to because we are an interracial couple. Father was speaking about international, intercultural marriage in every city. When we went onstage Father received us with a big smile and asked my wife, “Are you a couple?” My wife answered, “Yes, Abonim, we are from the 6,000 couples.” Father said, “Wow,” and hit me on the forehead. After the event, my wife went to True Parents’ hotel suite to serve them dinner. When Father saw Jae-sook again, he said to her, “Yaaah… Your husband is very handsome, and I can see he is taking very good care of you!” Father asked many questions about our family life, such as where we live, how we live in my hometown, and how it is with children. He was interested in everyday things, such as eating, laundry, schools and so forth.
Jae-sook answered all of his questions and told Father, “My husband is a musician and every child is studying two or three instruments and they are singing in choirs.” Father suddenly said, “I will make you famous!” Jae-sook was surprised and replied, “Maybe our family can play for your birthday or at a celebration in Korea one day.” Father said: “Yes, sure, that would be great, wonderful!” Then my wife asked Abonim, “Can I introduce my children to you? They came all the way to the Netherlands to see you.” Abonim replied,
“Of course, please come with everyone for breakfast tomorrow morning.” The next day at breakfast, Father’s first sentence to me was, “You’re very handsome, but your children are even better looking.” Everyone was smiling. He wanted us to sing for everyone, so we sang a song together. Father then asked some of the children to sing. He spoke about every child’s character and their abilities. When True Parents left for the airport, True Mother wrote our family name on a white envelope and put some money in it as a gift.
We were so happy to have experienced True Parents so intimately.