The Words of the Stantchev Family
Universal Peace Federation Inaugural World Tour - Sofia, Bulgaria
October 27, 2005
The preparation for the event was organized under the guidance of the Scottish team with Robert Williamson as leader. In the very beginning we were a handful of members but with time more and more of the local members joined in to help. The preparation for the event created a wonderful atmosphere where every one could share the spirit of excitement to welcome True Parents to Sofia.
Our programme started every day with HDH at 5:00 am and a short briefing for the coming day. In the evening we reported our achievements as well as our ideas and plans for the next day.
More and more as the event was approaching greater was the excitement. The Bulgarian institutions were very calm and for us this was a sign that the event would go smoothly. But four days before the event very suddenly started a negative media campaign against True Parents and the Unification Movement as well. As a result one after another different governmental institutions connected to the Home Office and Internal Affairs started calling us for further explanations. So, finally representatives of the State Security confirmed that True Parents could not enter. The shock was big for all of us, but we had to continue to make the event successful even though Father and Mother would be represented by Pres. Song and our Korean elder sister, the National Messiah to Greece.
On the 27 of October, the day when True Parents were supposed to come to Bulgaria, we welcomed Pres. Song with flowers offered by the Bulgarian second generation dressed in traditional costumes.
The event started at 18:00 at the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia, with a wonderful performance on piano by a professional pianist form Greece who came together with a group of Greek Ambassador for Peace representatives especially for the event. They also had a one-day seminar.
At 18:30 the National Leader of Bulgaria, Radomir Stantchev, opened the event officially by welcoming the audience. He officiated afterwards at the Holy Wine and Blessing Ceremony as well. It was standing room only and with the overflow room more than 350 guests attended.
A congratulatory address was offered by Prof. Dr. Kaltchev, chairman of Unification Thought Institute- Bulgaria and ex-chairman of PWPA-Bulgaria. In his speech he truly recognized Father as a champion for world peace. In fact the day before the event Prof. Dr. Kaltchev was speaking on the national TV passionately defending True Father in a debate with a representative from the nationalistic party. From the stage he strongly accused the authorities in Bulgaria for not allowing an 86 year old man to come and give a speech in front of people who want to listen to him.
The speech of Pres. Song touched the heart of the audience. He spoke with a clear and deep voice, sharing also his personal experiences during his life of attendance of True Parents.
A plaque was offered by Prof. Strigachev, chairman of PWPA-Bulgaria and the flowers by another Ambassador for Peace couple.
The event finished officially by a classical piano performance. Later on Pres. Song spent time to meet personally with some of the local members and give encouragement for their mission.
The next morning HDH was conducted by Pres. Song showing to the members the classical style of a victory celebration gathering. Many Bulgarian members for the first time could experience the atmosphere of HDH that is according to the original Korean tradition.
On behalf of all Bulgarian members I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the people who contributed for the success of the event-EU-HQ, the volunteers from Great Britain, supportive team of STF and all the people behind the scenes who wholeheartedly supported the preparation.
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