The Words of the Schmidt Family
A joyful, unified "family" gathers after a lecture for the group picture
Introduction: The project "Mit Gottes Hilfe -- Deutschland einig Vaterland" (With God's Help -- A United German Fatherland) was started at the beginning of 1990. In Father's God's Day midnight speech, he said: "My idea for German unification is easy -- the people from the East just come and live with families in West Germany. This way, the country can be united in 18 months." Following Father's guidance, sister cities were made and West German members went into East Germany to initiate friendships between families. The people in East Germany responded very positively and many East-West friendship meetings were held, where people from the East were invited to come and spend a weekend together with families in the West. The following article describes one such meeting. This Friendship Meeting was held in Hurlach, West Germany, the hometown of the four Schmid brothers. Three of the brothers are church members and the fourth owns the restaurant where the seminar was hosted.
On May 19-20, 1990 we organized a Friendship Seminar in our home town of Hurlach, West Germany, for 25 East Germans from our sister city of Jena, East Germany. We decided to hold the workshop in our brother's restaurant. At first, our physical parents didn't want my brother to provide us with the restaurant for this church conference. But he stood firm and told them: "They are my brothers so I want to help them."
The blessed wives in our region did a chain prayer condition all day, Friday, the day we picked up our East German friends. We met the guests in Jena. The age of the group was well balanced with 12 students and 13 middle-aged adults.
We travelled together by coach, provided by a West German coach company from the neighboring village. He charged 1000 DM less than any other company because he heard we had organized it by ourselves for people in East Germany. While travelling, we served fruit, sausage, drinks and sweets, quickly breaking the ice between us. Most of them were aware of the controversy around our church as a result of a door to door campaign of a local church group. But their comment was: "We have listened to others long enough -- now it is time to check it out for ourselves."
When we arrived in Hurlach, all the guests attended the Seminar; no one took off to do their own thing or take a holiday. The Creation lecture began at 9 a.m. and was given by Mr. C. Hausmann who commented: "I've taught many seminars for East Germans, but this one was the most intense and responsive one." We distributed notebooks to the guests and talked with them during the two breaks given during the four hour lecture.
After a delicious Bavarian lunch called Schweinshaxe, we took our friends on an outing to Schloss Neuschwanstein. One guest, Andreas, commented: "I was taken by the landscape and the villages. It was absolutely fantastic."
At 7:30 that evening we returned to the inn for a cold buffet followed by a Family Evening complete with skits, band music, songs and dance. Alfred Waldmann from Regensburg had given us musical support throughout the day. As the day drew to a close, our brother accommodated three of the guests, our parents offered to host two other guests, while the rest of us gave up all of our rooms for our guests.
We met in Munich on Sunday for a 10:30 a.m. service, which we had organized. The sermon was given by Mr. Otto Wilhelm. After the sermon, each guest received a gift of Mr. Wilhelm's book: "Gedanken, die das Herz Bewegen" ("Thoughts that Move the Heart"). All of the participants wanted their book signed personally by the author. A long line developed at his desk after Sunday Service.
Afterwards, a Korean lunch was served, lovingly cooked by the Munich center. A school teacher, representing all of the participants, thanked us for everything and volunteered to take responsibility for keeping all the Seminar guests together by acting as a mediator, organizer and central point between the sister cities of Hurlach and Jena. After lunch, the guests willingly offered reflections about their weekend:
"Our meeting from east and west
was great. We were received with kindness and warmth."
Angelika and Sandra
"I believe in the Unification
Church because from the first moment I noticed the family-like and
loving care for each other. We are not used to this."
"Our attitude and understanding
of God was significantly expanded. We felt like part of one large
family. That feeling grew through the very good and loving care of
Kathrin and Frank
"I need to digest all I have
experienced up to now. May Heavenly Father help us to meet each other
more often. Thanks to all of you and God's Blessing."
"Interesting and new for us were
the goals and ambitions of the Unification Church, explained through
the Seminar, as well as the practical application seen in the
families, whom we got to know during the weekend."
Christel and Martin
"In these past days we came
nearer to God thanks to your help and instruction....We are convinced
that we will work on winning more people for such a great project and
teach them the thoughts of the Unification Church, which we ourselves
still need to know more deeply."
Marie Luise and Steffi
The guests offered to organize a hall and accommodations whenever we want to call a meeting in Jena; some even promised to help establish the Unification Church there.
After reflections were handed in, we joined our guests on a sightseeing tour through the Munich Pedestrian Area. We left Munich at 3 p.m., boarded our coach and arrived back in Jena by 8 p.m.
We are planning to meet our friends again in Chemnitz for a musical evening. We will invite them to an advanced seminar in the future and meanwhile we will concentrate on raising a central person to lead our growing Jena community. We have pledged to visit Jena once a month.
In conclusion, our guests summed up everyone's feelings in their reflection: "Of course this is just the beginning. We need to learn to care for each other, and to solve still existing resentments. Many things are still new to us. In order to digest all of this, we need quite a bit of time. The 'Unification Church' was previously just a word, but now we know what it is. We don't want to miss this." I
Since this meeting, six of the guests attended a special 7-day workshop in Austria and signed church membership.