Prepared by UPF Oceania
This 2-day Oceania Leadership Conference (OLC), June 20-21, 2018, was the second in two months. There were about 70 guests the first day and 80 guests the second day. Approximately 35 people were completely new and most were Christian pastors. At the conclusion of the conference there was an “Interfaith Peace Blessing,” followed by the launching of the IADP in Vanuatu.
An opening prayer from Pastor Solomon Vanuaroro, a Presbyterian Senior Pastor, was followed by a welcoming address from the Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs and IAPP Vanuatu, Chair, Hon. Andrew Solomon Napuat. The Hon. Minister stressed the importance of upholding the traditional Melanesian values, faith in God and Christian principles as proclaimed by the founding fathers of Vanuatu and enshrined in its constitution.
An open-minded, enthusiastic appreciation for Rev. Moon’s universal principles of peace was prevalent throughout the program. Christian leaders especially liked True Father’s explanation of the fall. These insights were seen as essential to addressing current critical problems, namely, the lack of moral education, the need to protect young people and the urgency to teach married couples the value of a God-centered marriage.
This particular presentation on the Fall of our first human ancestors included the do’s and don’ts in the Garden of Eden and how a godly family would have been established. First, God’s instruction to Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (Gen. 2:17) was obviously temporary. This is clear because Gen. 2:24 outlines the proper use of human sexuality. These two directives were prior to the Fall and complementary. Linking them together also makes common sense; the best preparation for being faithful in marriage is to maintain purity prior to getting married.
In addition, one whole lecture was dedicated to explaining why Jesus should have been married and, because he could not marry, why the cross was necessary for God’s providence to continue. It was a condition of greater indemnity needed to protect the 4,000 year foundation upon which Jesus stood. As the Divine Principle explains, “Without the cross, Christianity would not have brought forth its illustrious history.” Rev. Stone, the Secretary-General of UPF-Oceania, co-lectured as well as emceed the marriage blessing and IADP launching. Dr. Robert Kittel was the main presenter.
In all, one former Head of State (who was the founding President of the country), one former Head of Government, two State Ministers, 32 religious leaders, 20 traditional leaders, along with leaders from government, civil society, women and youth attended these programs.
Prior to the OLC many VIPs were contacted personally, including: the current President of the Republic of Vanuatu, political leaders, religious leaders, women leaders and youth leaders. The meeting with the President was especially heart felt. Several times he said he was sorry that he could not accept our invitation due to a prior engagement. Equally importantly he promised to come to our next event if given the invitation in advance and his schedule permits. He also said he would like to come to the Asia-Pacific Summit in Nepal in November, provided that he be given an official letter of invitation from the Nepalese government.
Sincere gratitude also goes to Dr. Yong Chung-sik, Greater Regional Chairman for the Asia-Pacific Region, for his earnest prayers and whole-hearted support. Rev. Park Shang-seon, the Regional Chair for Oceania, spent nearly two weeks in Vanuatu to help prepare for the program. His encouragement and continued guidance was deeply appreciated. Rev. Park spoke both at the opening session and after the Blessing offering congratulatory remarks to the newly blessed couples. Finally, the Vanuatu Family, under the leadership of Rev. Peter Onis, played a vital role in preparation before the program as well as staffing during the event.