By Julian Gray, FFWPU International
Opening of the Celebration
Several hundred Korean, Japanese and International leaders of the Family Federation and other providential organizations were honored guests at True Parents’ Special Luncheon to Celebrate the Historic Victory of the Africa Summit 2018, today, January 24, 2018 at Cheon Jeong Gung.
FFWPU International Headquarters secretary general Dr. Young-ho Yoon warmly welcomed everyone, and introduced the Africa Summit’s theme of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. The Summit had attracted a number of incumbent heads of state, 17 speakers and deputy speakers, some 300 members of Parliament, and religious leaders whose congregations number in the millions.
Dr. Yoon mentioned that the Africa Summit was not just a single event but a combination of various meetings, including those that introduced character education curricula specially developed for Africa, explained the Korean Saemaul (New Village) movement, or outlined our own coffee growing venture, to leaders from across Africa. Thus, in addition to the profound spiritual nature of the event, practical interaction led to the signing of some 80 MOUs.
True Mother, whose sole initiative it was to hold such a summit in Senegal, came to Africa in person and gave a profound message of Blessing, filling everyone with grace. Mother went to Gorée island, one of the most central and infamous locations of the Africa slave trade, and offered tearful prayers to comfort and liberate those who had suffered there during four centuries of appalling cruelty and barbarism wrought by Christian nations. Dr. Yoon testified that everyone wept and then rejoiced at the liberation that came to Africa based on that day.
Our faith is going to be greater than that of David who vanquished Goliath. Father in the spirit world and Mother on earth are one. If we all unite, amazing miracles can happen.
Mother is welcomed and Heaven’s blessing asked
Mother then entered the auditorium and received flowers offered by Africa group chairman Rev. Bakary Camara and Africa special emissary Kathy Rigney. Kathy was one of the hundreds of missionaries that went out to nations of the world in 1975. And Bakary was one of the first Africans to join at that time. Congratulatory gifts were then offered to Mother from all leaders, on behalf of the providential homeland of Korea and on behalf of the Mother nation of Japan.
Recently installed president of the Family Federation for a Heavenly Korea, Lee Gi-seong then prayed in gratitude for the liberation of the unspeakable pain of Africa, that True Mother had embraced that continent and moved the heart of the president of a Muslim nation. “We bow our heads,” he said, “to those who worked hard and offered much” and paid tribute to the two African leaders who, in losing their lives, became the living offerings to protect this providential victory.
A video presentation was followed by a hoondok reading of Mother’s speech given at the opening plenary of the African Summit on January 18.
International Headquarters secretary general Dr. Young-ho Yoon added the comment that Mother’s message was not just for the members – and explained that the visiting dignitaries had responded so well to Mother’s words. Some had come from thousands of miles away from opposite ends of the continent because they knew this was an event not to miss.
The two leaders who had presented Mother with flowers then gave reports. They were two whose faith in True Mother’s vision for the Africa Summit had been the catalyst for all the work that followed to prepare for it.
[These reports are truncated and summarized. Readers are recommended to watch a video recording of the event if one is available.]
Rev. Bakary Camara
True Mother Thank you. We are grateful to have you forever! Mother said we must fulfill while she is on earth, and by 2020 we must offer at least seven nations in front of God.
Rev. Camara explained that when the leaders of the African FFWPU and other providential organizations came together in April last year to receive education, Mother blessed them and blessed Africa. Since that time, Heavenly Tribal Messiah work with tribal chiefs has led to some 120 new heavenly tribal messiahs emerging victorious. In some instances, we have worked with a nation’s government. Moreover, tribal chiefs have begun to send their children to be educated in the Principle, and so far there have been 1,700…we do not have to look for them. In addition, Archbishop Ndanga has given the Blessing to 2,000 members of his church. On that foundation, preparatory workshops are continuing.
Our own second generation members are so inspired and they are doing six-month or one-year field work in preparation for the Blessing and—at least for some—to become missionaries. So our movement was affected for the better also.
The Cheongpyeong ancestor liberation team visited four nations in Africa and liberated many spirits.
Rev. Camara also mentioned that in preparing they had met heads of state around Africa, a valuable experience in itself. These included the King of Lesotho and the King of Togo.
Despite all this, he emphasized that the holding of the Africa Summit was not due to Africa’s effort but because of True Mother’s own.
Like Dr. Yoon, Rev. Camara also emphasized that the event went beyond the plenary itself; we were able to offer our character education curricula to the visiting leaders and ministries of education signed MOUs; 100 religious leaders launched the International Association for Peace and Development (IAPD). There was Mother’s historic visit to Gorée Island, by which the door in the spirit world to a shining Africa swung open.
Dr. Yoon then invited Kathy Rigney to come to the podium and give her reflection.
He testified that Kathy had shed many tears and offered so much Jeongseong….
Mrs. Rigney began with a reverent expression of thanks to True Mother. Then she spoke:
When I joined in 1969, I secretly studied Mother. I would look at her pictures, and watched how she walked, talked and handled every situation. Of course I was working under Father’s guidance, yet as a woman I needed to have someone I could follow and understand, and that was Mother.
We were happy to hold an African regional summit. We thought of the easy way to make victory – in a developed nation such as South Africa, with one or two heads of state. but Mother asked for us to bring all heads of state, the highest level national leaders possible, from 54 nations, not to South Africa but to Senegal.
I was nervous and afraid, but since Father’s ascension in 2012, Mother stood up and said we are not going to stop. For me that was a pivotal and life-changing moment. I was determined to follow Mother, even if that meant dying. I felt that to disappoint Heaven would be worse.
Every day Mother pushed us. Her HQ staff pushed us in firm, loving and kind way, to strive for the Summit’s objectives. Their guidance made it possible to do things we would otherwise not have. I have learned so much from Mother.
I learned about courage
When I meet a head of state I think of what to say so that he we can be friends and that he will welcome me back another time. But when Mother met President Macky Sall of Senegal on January 17, after he welcomed Mother to the presidential palace, Mother graciously responded and then asked, “May I speak?”
President Sall replied, “Yes of course.”
Then over some 40 minutes Mother explained to the Senegalese president about the providence from beginning to end, about True Parents and about God’s only begotten daughter. Mother had come not just to make a friend but to teach this person who was like her son; she treated him with the heart of a True Mother.
After Mother concluded, President Sall said that for peace we need people who believe in God. He thanked Mother for her teachings. His attention and that of his staff (who were taking notes) had been unwaveringly on Mother’ face as she spoke.
So the lesson is that we cannot just seek to make friends, we have to explain to people about God’s providence.
On January 18 in front of 1,200 of the highest leaders who ever gathered in one meeting in Africa, Mother again proclaimed her position as True Mother. I wondered about the Muslim leaders there and afterwards I went round asking them. They all said, “Mother Moon’s speech was so moving.” They did not just say it was a good speech. Wherever Mother goes she is not afraid and she does not hesitate to proclaim.
I have to learn about courage from our True Mother.
I also learned about true love.
Since I became a missionary (and before the church I worked with Martin Luther King for black civil rights), I felt, as a white person, I had to repent for the suffering of black Americans and Africans. Why has Africa had to suffer so much?
We never suggested to Mother to go to Gorée Isaland; this was Mother’s idea. “I have to liberate all the people who lost their lives.”
I believe Mother when she says that we must find those prepared, righteous people all over the world. Mother herself has found them: at the 2017 world summit, one minister from Senegal saw Mother onstage. The minister asked me, “Who is she, that everyone loves so much?” I explained; he took us to meet Sheikh Mansour Diouf, and through him we could meet the President and overcome the opposition.
I learned about follow up
Mother is not just thinking, “What a great victory”; she is thinking what to do next, how to explain our principles to prominent people, how to inspire those who already understand in what they can do next—and how to keep running faster. That is how Mother is thinking and feeling.
An important figure in another African country is one example of someone who was so inspired he wants to invite Mother there and wants her to have the use of existing foundations that would allow her to receive the goodwill of many people.
I am grateful to have a loving Mother who puts her life on the line to bring glory to Heaven.
Dr. Yoon offered further comment at this point:
After Mother’s speech the following day, President Sall said that a new Africa would begin from that day.
We know if we attend Mother at the center there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
Dr. Yoon mentioned the many people who had made special effort to support: European STF members built a road on Gorée Island for Mother to walk along; the leadership of the project, including Sheikh Mansour, who overcame so much persecution; the African leaders. Saying that the preparations for the Africa Summit began and ended with jeongseong, Dr. Yoon tearfully spoke of the two leaders who had lost their lives and asked everyone to remember them, as they were the living offerings for this providential breakthrough.
Before lunch was served, International FFWPU Vice President Dr. Kihoon Kim offered a victory toast. Toward the end of lunch, the UPF chairmen for Japan and Korea each gave their impressions as they had brought with them to Africa prominent politicians from their own countries.
Dr. Yoon then read out letters to Mother sent by Archbishop Johannes Ndanga and Sheikh Mansour Diouf, both very touching. In his letter, Sheikh Mansour said, “Mother, I pray for your good health. Please live long, so your beautiful light can shine throughout the world!”
Dr. Yoon also read out the prayer of liberation Mother had offered at Gorée Island [This will be available through our church media in due course].
The event concluded with entertainment, led off by Hyo-jin nim’s daughter Shin-yuh, who sang a song that her father had written and played, and then followed that up with a charming version of “You Are My Sunshine” accompanied by Shuji Hata, a Japanese member who has become famous in Korea as a jazz guitarist.
Other beautiful musical renditions followed, including energetic song and dance by the youthful participants in the Asia Top Gun workshop, and by Apple Heaven, some of whose members had just returned from security duty in Africa with Mother (but showed no signs of flagging!).
The members of the audience, lifted up by the amazing testimonies they had heard, and by the beautiful singing and dancing that followed, joined in three thunderous shouts of Eok Mansei to conclude the occasion with joy and hope.
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