Unification News for January 2003
Guyana Extends Great Hospitality To The ILS
by Megan Anderson and Sheila Chapman-Wong
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Georgetown, Guyana, on the morning of Friday 25th October 2002, hosted a beautiful and moving Civic Reception welcoming Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, who came to Guyana to hold the International Leadership Seminar.
Among the overflowing audience were Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, Religious leaders, City Councilors and the City Council Steel band, which added a special melodious touch to the welcoming ceremony. Hon. Hamilton Greene, Mayor of the City of Georgetown, and frequent speaker at IIFWP International Conferences, in his welcome address emphasized the importance of having strong families and thanked Rev. Dr. Kwak for awakening Guyana to the significance the family plays in relation to the well-being of the nation.
Dr. Kwak, in responding, thanked the Mayor and City Council for awakening the nation to the importance of the institution of the family and its significance to the well being of the nation. He thanked the Mayor and City Council for his warm welcome to the city of Georgetown and was then presented with a golden key to the City. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Kwak, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Secretary General of IIFWP and Rev. Kim, Regional Director for South America signed the Visitor’s Book and were introduced to the City Councilors, Ambassadors and other outstanding citizens present. The reception ended with a rendition by the City Council’s Steel band.
International Leadership Seminar
The main focus of Dr. Kwak’s visit was to convene the International Leadership Seminar under the topic, "Renewing the Nation: An Exploration of Principles and Practices that Strengthen Families, Educate our Youth, and Rebuild the Society." It was scheduled to take place at the Ocean View Convention Centre on Friday, 25th October 2002 at 10.00 a.m.
There was a delay in the beginning of the day’s proceedings because the National Leader, Pastor Ronald McGarrell, was awaiting the arrival of the Mayor who had been inadvertently delayed. Other dignitaries present included representatives of the three major religions, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam; there were also lawyers, teachers, social workers and businessmen. One hundred and fifteen persons participated in total.
The significance of this Seminar for Guyana is that it comes at a time of civil unrest. Some newsmen, having heard what the theme of the Seminar was, asked whether Rev. Kwak had come to Save the Nation? How remarkably significant this was! His coming to Guyana and holding this Leadership Seminar was indeed good news, as Guyana is struggling to set itself free from the shackles of racism and all forms of prejudice and immoral behavior.
The participants were hungry for spiritual food and enjoyed the presentations very much; in particular the presentation by Dr. Kwak on the ‘Spiritual World’ was very well received. Individuals were mesmerized by the consistent and smooth flow of spiritual energy he exuded and remained in rapt attention throughout the entire two-hour lecture.
Prior to the World Peace Blessing, Rev. Kwak proceeded to educate the audience about the meaning and practice of ‘True Love.’ They cheered when he said that parents must become the first teachers of their children, even before nursery and primary school, parents are to nurture and educate children in the ‘family school,’ which is the first school of love. Parents are meant to be the first teachers of true love to their offspring. From that point, teachers are supposed to practice upright behavior as moral examples to children in their care. If changes in our lifestyles are not made, there will be no hope for the future. Rev. Kwak adjured the audience to become men and women of true love, representing their clan, tribe, nation and ultimately become citizens of the world.
After lunch Dr. Thomas Walsh gave an illuminating presentation about the HIV/AIDS virus and epidemic. The Guyanese know full well that this nation has the second highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. Dr. Walsh also gave a brief lecture on the International Educational Foundation who specializes in Character Education and its necessity for a balanced education. The present situation in which character building is neglected is not acceptable. Consider how many persons are academically very highly qualified, yet lack a moral will and exercise selfish and manipulative minds. Dr. Walsh then gave the audience a comprehensive overview of the programs of IIFWP and its outreach to all walks of society. He charged the audience to take responsibility for their patterns of behavior, for to whom much was given, much will be expected.
Mrs. Beverly Chan, Director of the Social Impact Amelioration Program, (SIMAP) and Social Worker, gave a spirited presentation and charged parents to encourage and give moral support to their offspring. Children need the connection to their parents. Men, though present in the home, are often intellectually absent. Mothers too, are present, but emotionally absent. Where then could children connect? They will be drawn towards anyone providing the emotional support they need so badly, if that support was lacking in the primary group of the family. She said that values were not taught, but ‘caught’. The problem with the youth was ‘us’ – the adults. The young need to be connected to our hearts. It is ‘what we do’ not ‘what we say,’ which will make all the difference in their lives.
A group of four young persons presented a short skit depicting a comparison between a life style that was unstable and in comparison, extolling the virtues of a healthy and clean pattern of behavior.
Another Social Worker, Ms Pamela Nauth and Dr. Martin Boodhoo made presentations expressing their sentiments about the day’s proceedings. Pamela praised Dr. Kwak for his excellent presentations, which opened new avenues of thought in her mind and answered many questions.
Dr. Boodhoo, lecturer at the University of Guyana, and President of the U.N. Association of Guyana, referred to Dr. Kwak’s lectures as scholarly, philosophical, pragmatic, provocative and enigmatic!
Eight individuals were given Certificates signed by IIFWP Founders, Dr. Moon and his wife, and were appointed Ambassadors for Peace.
In his closing remarks Rev. Kwak spoke about Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s vision for world peace. He spoke of Rev. Moon’s concern for people, and how he was constantly leading, teaching, guiding and gradually building a strong foundation for building a Culture of Peace. Rev. Kwak said that Guyana was a blessed land, with the same land space as Korea, which had a population of 70 million.
In expressing his appreciation for the warm reception and his happiness at being in Guyana, Dr. Kwak asked the participants to build a society of true love across the barriers of politics and religious considerations and to help the youth avoid the pitfalls of a decadent lifestyle.
That evening Rev. Dr. Kwak visited members at the Unification Chapel and also chatted with children at the adjoining orphanage. Rev. Kwak gave valuable internal guidance to members and motivated them to work harder in witnessing to young people. The members were grateful to this great man, Rev. Kwak for his loving spirit and deep heart, which he expressed towards all.
The National Leader of Guyana, Mr. Ronald McGarrell and the Mayor of Georgetown accompanied Dr. Kwak and his party to the airport for their departure.
The Japanese volunteers visited the New Hope Primary School at Bamia on October 30th and were greeted by the children (42 registered) who sang lustily and joyfully for them. The volunteers sang for the children as well, and also taught origami to the teachers and students.
The Japanese volunteers and missionaries were concerned about the state of the building, which was being attacked by termites and offered financial assistance to help restore the building. On the evening of 30th October, a farewell ceremony was held in the Chapel for the Japanese volunteers who were due to depart Guyana on Thursday, October 31st.
The entire IIFWP Guyana Family extends gratitude to Rev. Kwak for coming to Guyana at a time when the country needs words of reconciliation and healing. Many persons are now requesting copies of Rev. Kwak’s lecture on the Spiritual World, the Fall and the World Peace Blessing, which so richly inspired everyone. His visit will be remembered and cherished for a long time to come.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents