Prepared by UPF Samoa
On July 26 and 27 2018, Rev. Park Shang Son, Dr. Robert Kittel and Rev. Greg Stone held an Oceania Leadership Conference in Samoa at the Samoa Ecumenical Center in the capital Apia.
Divine Principle was taught to Ambassadors for Peace and guests as “Christian Principles” stated in the constitution of four Pacific island nations. A total of twenty-one people were taught over two days including a sitting MP of the Samoan Government three religious leaders and a professor from the National University of Samoa.
On the second day, senior and youth leaders for The Samoa Victims Support Group (SVSG) which deals with Domestic violence and family breakdown in Samoa participated with great interest. A senior leader cried as she digested the lectures reflecting on issues she was going through in her marriage.
Five faith representatives symbolically poured water into one bowl and prayed for World and National Peace and cooperation among Religions. Participants then signed the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) Resolution to launch the Samoan chapter of IAPD and then PAarticipated in the Interfaith Family Blessing to conclude the two days seminar.
A total of four couples represented by one spouse received Holy Wine Blessing.
Long time Peace Ambassador Dr. Vaa Unasa and his lovely wife travelled from afar to participate in the Holy Marriage Blessing ceremony including the indemnity stick ceremony. Dr. Vaa had previously translated the One hour lecture and the Level 4 Divine principle in to Samoan Language. They were visibly overjoyed to receive the blessing. Dr. Kittel was interviewed and TV, Radio and Newspaper media reported on the event.
On Saturday 28th July Rev. Park insisted to have a lunch meeting with Samoa Victims Support Group leader Lina Chang. He listened patiently to details of SVSG operations in Samoa, Sydney and Auckland and the sad underbelly of Domestic issues in Samoan society. Lina and a youth leader Manuia revealed the challenges to handle the myriad victims of rape, incest and domestic violence unemployment and poverty brought to them. Opposition from Police, lawyers,judges, religious and cultural leaders who preferred to sweep issues under the carpet to “ save face “without addressing the rot were some of the challenges which moved the OLC leaders.
Later Lina and Manuia invited our leaders to tour the SVSG “Campus of Hope” in Tuanaimato, a safe haven for the various victims and a place to try and re-couperate their lives. They met victims including a girl whose healing involved training in weightlifting. She had literally lifted herself out of her troubles with the help of the Samoan Weightlifting Federation and had won a gold Medal at the recent Commonwealth Games in Queensland Australia. Another 18-year-old, a victim of incest by both father and brother, initially didnt speak for many years until recently she took solace in a beautiful peace garden she tended.
Possible projects Unification Movement could do together with SVSG were discussed. It was decided that “Tong Il Moo Do Mind and Body Health Support Group” could be implemented immediately led by Tongil Moo Do Master Seti Suafa and his senior students of Samoa Tong Il Moo Do. Lina indicated a place for training and Rev. Park immediately asked Greg Stone to provide AUS$2000 to spark the “Mind and body health and happiness Support Group”. It will buy a new Banner, Logo printing and T-shirts for the House of Hope children and youth.
In the evening dinner was arranged with the Head of State Tuimalealiifano couple and new Ambassadors for Peace Hon. Taefu Lemi Taefus couple – to celebrate OLC sparking of IAPD and Peace Blessings in Samoa and for the OLC leaders to speak with the Ambassadors for Peace.
Copies of Dr. Kittels “Four Family Loves” were given to all the leaders couples. Her Highness was particularly interested and added that if they had been invited they would have attended the OLC which had been targeted for Religious leaders only.
In summary; although the OLC participants were few, the Samoan leaders sincere interest in Divine “Christian” Principles sparked further ongoing study and several opportunities for cooperation with our unification movement. Like minded leaders hopefully can cooperate to create better environment in Samoa,multiply the Interfaith Peace Blessing for families and surely build a heavenly nation.
The SVSG espeacially provide an opportunity to help and serve the hardworking carers and the variety of victims from dysfunctional families. Certainly sharing “the pillars and beams” of Christian Principles will help. One of the Pastors graduating the 2 day OLC Seminar is chairman of the newly formed SVSG Advocacy and Alumni “Be the Change” group consisting of over 90 families.
Samoa Unification Movement is grateful to True Mother and the Asia Pacific regional leadership for the OLC in Samoa, promoting a new vision for peace and development and helping to bring light and hope to the Pacific region. We hope to hold more OLCs and Interfaith Peace Blessings soon.