The Words of the Hong Family
I set out on my journey to Africa with a heart of obedience to Heaven. It turned out to be a greater blessing and grace than I ever imagined. As I visited various countries on the continent, my heart was to uphold True Mother's keen desire... to establish the tradition of the Unification Family and build a community of Shim Jeong. It was also an opportunity to learn more deeply about the history of pioneer missions in Africa that I had let slip from my memory over the years.
In 1975, True Parents sent out missionaries from Japan, United States and Germany. I saw this time how the brothers and sisters who were sent out fought government persecution, climate, disease and poverty in their effort to accomplish their missions and how today they have become the ancestors of faith in those countries. I also saw how many members who have never been in True Parents' direct presence, or even visited Korea, believe in True Parents as the Messiah and stake their lives on the words of the Principle. They recite the Family Pledge in Korean, offer Jeong Seong of 120 bows for Foundation Day and rise at five o'clock each morning for Hoon Dok sessions using the Cheon Seong Gyeong. To witness these things made me realize once again the value of True Parents and the greatness of the Principle.
I also experienced deep respect and gratitude for their attitude of absolute faith, love and obedience toward True Parents, despite the differences in culture, language and values.
The countries and cities I visited between Nov. 9 and 25 in a private capacity were as follows: Zambia (Lusaka), South Africa (Johannesburg), Ivory Coast (Abidjan), Nigeria (Abuja) and DR Congo (Kinshasa). In addition, I had chances during my trip to meet the national leaders of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and Benin.
True Parents have given much assistance to Africa to create a foundation for mission work. The continent has also been helped by national messiahs and bun bong wangs. I could see, however, that the extent of poverty is such that it continues to require even more assistance. The rapid spread of modern civilization has brought widespread change to people's lives in urban areas, and I could see that in many countries our church facilities need to be improved so as to keep pace.
The Republic of Korea is the country that received the advent of True Parents. All countries look to Korea as the fatherland of their faith, and consider it an honor to be able to visit. True Mother's desire is that Korea fulfill its responsibility as the fatherland of faith. Kook Jin Nim has already emphasized that Korea, although it is the father country, could not fulfill its role and so it was up to Japan, the mother country, to take care of both the father and the children. He tells us the time has come when Korea must begin to act as the father and help the mother and children. In this context, my recent trip was a valuable opportunity to understand our responsibility and mission as Koreans.
During my trip, I experienced being rejected at an international point of entry over a visa issue and experienced water shortage, electrical blackout, social disorder and instability. I only regret that I could not experience directly the sacrifice by our missionaries in blood, sweat and tears over the past 38 years. In any case, this visit to Africa was infinite blessing and grace.
I offer thanks to True Parents for being my motivation to make this trip.
Sun Pyo Hong
Secretary General, Tongil Foundation
Sasamoto Training Center