The Words of the Fotso Family
Growing up in Germany, Annette loved riding horses. Here, she uses horses to bring joy to blessed children; Right: Since 1975, Annette has been reaching out to African people. Annette and her husband meeting old friends in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
I was born into a wealthy family in Germany. My father was a Doctor of Science and my mother owned a factory in Nuremberg. Yet, from early childhood, I had spiritual experiences. In 1969, 1 met the Unification Church in Essen. I was only a teenager and training to be a gymnastics teacher. Paul Werner, the national leader, realized that I had insufficient patience to listen to all the lectures; he showed me True Father's picture, explaining that the messiah was on earth. Many extraordinary experiences followed which compelled me to move into the center. In those days, we were asked to leave our schooling and even jobs to work full time. This was not easy. I loved sports, especially riding horses. I loved painting and I had an ability to write stories.
Our lives were lived on fund-raising teams and the witnessing teams, and we had to hide this reality from our parents.
In my pioneer center in Freiburg, I gained a foundation to lead centers. In 1972, I was sent with Christa Rennie' to Melbourne, Australia as missionaries. In those two years of witnessing, we found wonderful members that are now blessed and are cornerstones in our church. Some young members went with me to pioneer Adelaide and then Perth.
I was called back to Germany in the great year of 1975 when the American, Japanese and German missionaries were sent to 120 nations. I volunteered for the Congo, which was communist at the time. All our witnessing was underground. Personally, I found a good set tip by studying in the University of Brazzaville (University Marien Ngouabi) while teaching in one college. Nevertheless, our Japanese member, Tsukasa Akaishi, could not stay and Pamela (Stockwell) Stein had to leave after our three-day imprisonment. One of her contacts had betrayed us.
I nearly died from cerebral malaria but Swedish missionaries picked me up. I was told that twelve of them made prayer conditions for my survival. I had been alone and the communist police were watching every step, temptations were everywhere but God himself found people to protect me. I obtained lodging from the leader of a conventional church. I had problems with his son, who wanted to marry me. One night we were fighting physically in the corridor that led to our rooms, but when I had no more strength, a vision came to him of a bright light watching us. He was never aggressive toward me again. He accused me of not being able to accept him because he was black.
In a dream, I saw a cottage full of splinters and asked, How can we prepare for True Parent to come to Africa? A voice answered, telling me I would marry a black man, but not one as black as Africans. My husband is the first African member. He joined in France where he went for studies and where European thinking influenced his mind.
In 1977, Pamela and I met again in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo), where we found the first members.
I crossed the Congo River with the last ship before all frontiers closed. The next day the president of Congo was killed.? I had been told days before through the spirit world to leave and to take my caution money from the police.
There was so much work in Zaire and so many members joined in Kinshasa. We had also contact with the Kimbanguist Church (Church of Jesus Christ on Earth Through the Prophet Simon Kimbangu) founded by an African prophet who had received all the revelations they needed to bring their 5 million followers to the messiah. Unfortunately, Belgian colonists imprisoned him for life and he died after thirty years. His sons were now guiding the church. Soon I went with a member to open a pioneer center in Kisangani. There, after trials and hard work, I received a message to come to London for the blessing.
On September 13, 1978, I took a plane to London. That very night my husband Jacob Kamga Fotso had a dream that his wife was coming from Africa, but she was not African. He had been in the matching earlier that year in London. True Father had told him that his wife was not there. Nevertheless, True Father offered to find him a Guyanese lady. Jacob refused her, thinking about True Father's first statement. The whole night, leaders told him to accept her. The next day, in the matching room, True Father asked him for his answer. Jacob was ready to say yes, but True Father told him he does not want his answer of today but the answer he had in mind yesterday. So Jacob said no. Won Pil Kim took his socks off his own feet and gave them to Jacob. They were beige.
On September 14, I was also in the matching room. Jacob was told to go out because he had been in the matching earlier that year and was over thirty-five years old. However, Won Pil Kim did not allow him to pass through the doorway. When True Father saw Jacob standing in the doorway, he called him and me and matched us as the first African and European couple.
Left: At a recent workshop in Cameroon; Right: Annette's family, while in France -- Christa, Annette, Ernst (at back) Martin and her husband Jacob Kamga Fotso; Jacob and Annette were the first African -- European blessed couple.
We were called to work in the home church providence with Won Pil Kim in London. This was the first teaching about home church with the musical festival and talk in the Royal Albert Hall.
Early in 1979, we had to prepare all our official marriage papers to get a visa for the United States, where we were to meet the Kimbanguist Church leaders and accompany them throughout America and finally to meet True Parents. Unfortunately, fearing that we would attempt to convert them to our faith, they did not come. While we were attending a forty-day workshop in the U.S., True Father introduced us in Belvedere as an African -- European couple. That was a privilege. At the New Yorker Hotel in a thirtieth-floor apartment, True Father asked me to give my testimony. Later Jacob, gave his in front of the missionaries who attended the workshop.
We were sent to Cameroon, Jacob's nation, in 1980. From there, I was called to Zaire to teach the home church providence. We divided Kinshasa into many zones with two team leaders, fifty pioneers and a trinity leader for every three pioneers. Day after day, the pioneers and I visited the responsive families in the 360-home areas. Great success occurred, hundreds of members joined. Jacob came only once when I had severe hepatitis.
In 1982, Jacob and I were invited to a 120-day workshop in New York. After that, we went to Germany to speak to my parents. My mother paid for our tickets and my dress and Jacob's suit for the Blessing Ceremony in New York's Madison Square Garden.
We settled in Cameroon, where Jacob was national leader. When projects in Central Africa were closed down, much money came to Cameroon in CFA francs. Jacob used it in spite of my warning to open centers in different towns in Cameroon and the members did not reimburse the money. We took responsibility to give all the millions of CFA back, which took us several years. We had the happiness of raising our three blessed children Christa, Ernst and Martin, who later all studied and worked overseas. Ernst came back to work with us in home church and tribal messiah activities in Cameroon.
In ton, we went to France for an operation on Jacob's foot. Christa, who had studied in Korea and London, came to support us. On my birthday, an unknown black man offered to pay a large supermarket bill that Christa and I found we were unable to pay because Christa suddenly forgot the number of her credit card, which she was using every day. When we paid back the man in our apartment, he showed us a tiny picture of the late Prophet Simon Kimbangu of the Kimbanguist Church and asked us, who were nearly suffocating and sweating in a cold flat in winter, to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire). Some spirit in his mind had told him to pay for us, follow us and tell us that we have to go to the DRC, but he did not know why.
We travelled back to Cameroon. Christa took three jobs to send us the money for our tickets and we went to DRC with Ernst. We had to witness once more to the Kimbanguist Church leaders in Nkamba, where they had constructed a holy city, New Jerusalem, 500 km. from Kinshasa. They now have 22 million followers. They were shocked to be reminded of Simon Kimbangu's original mission, to witness to the Messiah. Now they have no excuse because they had to be informed before Foundation Day.
A black man called Simon carried Jesus' cross, but if those spiritual leaders that were prepared do not take responsibility, we as tribal messiahs in home churches and our family tribes, can make up for this. We can play the role of thousands of Simons helping to carry the cross.
After this, the regional leader, Rev. Futila, came to Cameroon and I was given the title, national home church leader for Cameroon. We believe that if we distribute True Father's autobiography and establish the home church with 360 homes, naturally, our clan tribal messiah work will be successful. I am trying to involve all members in one-day seminars about Vision 2020 centered on home church, and to follow up in each home church area with my assistants and all my family members. In addition, it is important to create events.
Our family had created several events using our horses and musical dance performances for the benefit of orphans and street children. In this way, we had a chance to talk over national television about our morals and goals. We are planning this year to make a musical festival with all the talented members to honor the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the proceeds of which will benefit a very important orphanage in Yaounde. This will give even to the most timid home church pioneer the opportunity to visit his homes and explain who Rev. Moon was and distribute his autobiography.
There is a message to the African people. We missionaries went through so many trials because of the African conditions. These are not limited to malaria, strange food and dirty water. They include polygamy, tribalism and witchcraft, which creates immense confusion in African society.
When I was a simple missionary I used to ignore those facts, thinking those who live the Principle will naturally overcome them. However, once I became blessed to an African and went to live in Africa again. I felt that all those are problems for me to deal with. The African spirit world forced me to feel, through visions and emotions, what it means to be haunted by tribal wars and slavery.
We are all aware that the white men who bought the slaves and treated them with cruelty are guilty. However, I feel that Joseph, who was sold in Egypt, was more hateful to his brothers who sold him than to the people of Egypt who bought him. Perhaps the slaves sold and sent all over the world must have cursed their black brothers who had sold them. If there is no repentance, there is no new start. Did we Africans repent for selling our brothers? If we did not, it is natural that there is no progress. We still live amongst tribalism witchcraft and polygamy. (My husband's father was a Christian but had eight wives.) When social help is given, the tribe in power gives to his own tribesmen. In universities and hospitals, you always pay to get special favors or you find your tribesmen to help you.
Now we have to make a new start. I believe in home church, we find all tribes and all conditions we need to restore. After the victory within our 360 homes, we will find approval when we go to our ancestors in the villages.
However, the liberation of Africa may depend as well on our Diaspora, those that have their roots here and need to return (even a symbolic number) and forgive. Their tribes are in Africa. There is no restoration without redemption. May our Heavenly Parent and True Parent's victories inspire all of us to create the substantial Cheon Ii Guk.
Letecia Cueme-Langtangar and her husband were blessed among the 30,000 couples. Ile is from ('had, she from the Philippines. They have one child named Wonyeon, and have been living in Chad since 1999.
Since Foundation Day, our families are focusing to work as tribal messiahs. During a church elders' meeting, one sister suggested that we educate our second-generation children. So, we gathered some blessed wives and one young woman from our second generation, Eunhwa Nekar. We named our group Organisateur, meaning simply "the organizers." Mrs. Herminie Hell Tarndolemhaye was our leader. Together, we set up a schedule accompanied by spiritual conditions.
We divided our children into three teams. The first and second teams arrived at our church on a Saturday afternoon, so that they had a chance to eat and sleep together, a time for bonding. They need to feel that we are indeed one family. They had their education session the following day before the Sunday service began. The third team was optional. Whether or not we would be able to meet depended on if and when we could get together on a holiday. My experience lies with the third team, comprised of twelve- to eighteen-year-old members of our second generation and some from our first generation. These are younger physical family members living with our blessed families.
Our Organisateur leader told me two days before May 1, which was a holiday (Labor Day), to do something for this third team. Since I am a fulltime working mother, I tried to use my spare time to prepare what to teach. Chad's hot weather and the scarcity of electricity hinder our daily activities in so many ways. Eventually, I remembered a booklet of a forty-day workshop for international youth that I brought from Chung Pyung when I was there during True Father's Seonghwa Ceremony and the liberation of our ancestors in September 2012. Memories came to my mind when I got hold of this booklet. I was thinking at the time that this would be useful for the education of both those in our first and second generations in Chad.
One of my prayers has been to contribute to the education our young generation. It was a blessing for me to have the wife of our national leader, Mrs. Beatrice Kunda Nekar, whose assistance was truly valuable especially in translation and internal guidance and also the contribution of Mrs. Lily Abaza Gogo, the wife of our assistant national leader. We had twenty participants. I picked the topic "Find your true self," because I believe finding one's true self is a necessary task for those in this age group among our children. This is the age wherein outside influences are very strong.
Through the result of this one-day workshop, we discovered that our second generation struggled a lot to show their identity in society -- they are mocked by their schoolmates for having Korean names, which serves as a door for persecution.
Korean names sound strange to those in a French-speaking African country. For example, Ki-yeon in French sounds like kwee-yer, or cuillêre, the word in French for "spoon." Daekook, when pronounced by French speakers, sounds like deukok. The French term, deux cogs, means "two cocks." Wonyeon becomes "oignon," meaning "onion." The oldest female second-generation member in the workshop shared the experience that her name Kayeon became "coiner," which means "notebook." To stop being persecuted over this, she hid her Korean name and named herself Estella. What a pity!
The children cooperated in the discussion. At the end, each one of them wrote their resolution and read what they have learned as they better understood their identity as an Unificationist, regardless of generation.
They pledged to maintain their purity, and understand the four types of love (four great realms of heart). That each person's resolution was exactly what he or she needed was amazing. Heaven moved this workshop! Our Heavenly Parent wanted to speak to each child through this workshop. One of them said, "I will testify to True Parents through my Korean name." Aju!
Nearly every second-generation Unificationist in Chad proudly wears a necklace with a pendant containing True Parents' picture. Many in our first generations want to wear one, but we do not have enough. We procured them from the Benin FFWPU.
Words are not adequate to express our experience, but three of us (mothers who were present) felt that this was education from Heaven.