By David Perry FFWPU Europe
On August 26th, 2017, Dr. and Mrs. Balcomb were welcomed to France at the Paris Education Centre. Representatives of all the nations in the Western Region, as well as many French leaders and 2nd gen members were present for this event.
Everyone was asked to briefly introduce themselves and as there were 50 participants present, this took some time.
Dr. Balcomb then shared about some of his experiences this year, such as the challenge of organizing the Madison Square Garden event on July 15th. Through that event he felt that True Parents are challenging us break out of our limiting concepts to discover how God and spirit world are waiting to work with us.
That experience gave him the capacity to accept the challenge of taking on the expanded region of Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Rather than seeing it as too big, he sees it as an opportunity to expand our way of working together. And the participants were struck by this positive, hopeful vision of seeing opportunity.
After lunch, we began a session of reports by the nations of our region and the federations. The first report was given by Western Region President and French national leader, Jean-François Moulinet, followed by Wim Koetsier representing Holland, the national leader of Belgium Hugo Veracx, the national leader of Luxembourg Brigitte Sillitoe and the national leader of Monaco Claire Koyama. Jacque Marion, Vice-President of UFP Europe, gave an overview of upcoming UFP Europe projects, then Brigitte Wada spoke about European and French Women’s Federation projects and Sung- Min Barje shared about some Youth activities in France.
We then broke into groups based on common activities and shared on what we had heard from Dr. Balcomb and how we want to move forward.
While the first part of program with Dr. Balcomb was very appreciated, participants expressed a desire to have more discussion time in future meetings. But the overall feeling was positive with hope that we can more closely together as a region on projects such as workshops for guests and Peace Ambassadors.