Unification News for September 2003

Peace King Cup Kodiak Fishing Tournament

by Rev. Bruce Sutchar

It all started with my trying to give my wife a little R&R before her new teaching year began.

I thought Labor Day was perfect, and when my attempts to take her to the upper peninsula of Michigan did not work out, I remembered my AFC brother Eugene Harnettís pleas, always trying to get me to come up and visit the beauty of Alaska. My frequent flyer miles would even cover the cost. Then, Eugene mentioned the Kodiak Peace Cup Fishing tournament in Kodiak -- but that was another $400 and it didnít start until I was to already leave Anchorage.

BUT -- God was intervening. When I told him that I was going to Alaska, Bishop Kim asked me to go and help represent America and represent Chicago at the tournament. Amazing, how it feels when you know that you are in sync with the will of God and True Parents.

So my wife and I left and spent an incredible whirlwind 2 days in the Kenai Peninsula just below Anchorage. The following is from my correspondence with the Chicago Church:

I came up early to meet some of our members and see the beauty of Alaska for the first time. Today I am in Homer. Itís called the end of the world. Itís at the end of the Kenai Peninsula, between Anchorage and Kodiak. I am looking at snow capped glacier mountains. I have seen sea otters, bald eagles and even 1 real live Moose! We have 2 families who live in Homer. One was with me in Wyoming in 1986. The other was fundraising with me in 1982.

Not many people her, but very beautiful. We will fish from Kodiak from Wednesday. Rev. Ernie Ho, who used to be in St. Louis and Chicago, is the Church leader here. Today I witnessed to a Greek Orthodox priest who is from Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago.

His name is Father Leo. I asked Rev. Ho to take care of him, since he now works in Anchorage. Please pray that I can catch a Giant halibut and some huge Silver salmon for Chicago. God Bless you all.

So after 2 days in Alaska, I put my wife on a plane back to Chicago and headed for Kodiak and the World Peace Cup Fishing Tournament September 5, 2003 - Kodiak, Alaska

I arrived on Tuesday morning and orientation began that night. Here is some of my correspondence with Chicago of the tournament:

This is the first activity of the age of the 4th Israel. Today, the western brothers all fished in the Olds River for Silver Salmon. Many were caught weighing 20-25 lbs.

They are beautiful and they fight nobly. My team includes Rev. Hun Suk Lee from Seattle.

There are 90 members here. 21 Western, 38 Korean and 32 Japanese. Rev. Hwang is here to officiate as the chairman of the tournament. Today he caught a King Salmon & 4 Silver Salmon on the ocean. For the next 2 days all Western members will fish on the ocean.

Today, the mayor of Kodiak, Mrs. Danielle DuVois, attended our opening ceremony at Angel Garden. I was asked to be the MC.

Mr. Oyamada (President of HSAUWC-Japan) spoke, as did Rev. Hwang (President FFWPUI-International). Mr. Sato (President of Ocean Church) is organizing everything. We are blessed with beautiful weather (60 degrees, clear and no rain). Our river was nestled in between green hills covered with pine trees. It is so beautiful.

Our community has a new Japanese Restaurant in Kodiak (the Power House Restaurant-across from the Kodiak power company). It is beautiful and the most popular restaurant in Kodiak). All I can say is that you can experience every ounce of God's creation here in Alaska; mountains, oceans, glaciers, forests, pure air (no rush hour and hardly any cars at all; Kodiak is like a Northern Garden of Eden.

We pray for True Parents and all that they are doing for the United Nations providence. Thursday and Friday we will be fishing for King Salmon. First prize is $2000 in each category. The halibut can be up to 500 lbs. Our brothers are working so hard. Everyone fell asleep immediately after dinner!

Day Number 2 started out with Hoon Dok Hae. It was wonderful to have Rev. San Jo Hwang (President FFWPUI) and Chairman of the Tournament here to give internal guidance.

There are but a few teachers who can lecture the providential significance of True Parents activities quite a thoroughly as he does via PowerPoint. He was wonderful in Chung Pyung! He shared that the tournament was not just set up for us to catch fish, but that through our participation, we were meant to catch the meaning of the providence.

He explained the providential meaning of the last 3 years and stated that this tournament was the first providential activity of the age of the 4th Israel. He also talked about the significance of the name, "Peace King Cup Kodiak Fishing Tournament.

Our team got the blessing to go out with Hyun Jin Nimís boat captain, Jim Hamilton on the Krystal gale.

It was a wonderful day. We caught 11 significant fish, including 6 King Salmon 4 Silver Salmon and 1 huge Halibut.

We celebrated with pictures on the dock after our 12-hour day.

At the end of the day the Americans had first place in 2 of the 3 categories.

Then came Day#3. We almost did not go out on this day. The skies turned gray, the winds picked up to 15 knots and there was serious thought of doing only river fishing.

But then the word came down from on high -- Go for it! We (the 4 American teams) would be going out on the Good Goís. I was on Captain Megumiís (the only female captain) Good Go #309. Megumi-san is a young Mother of 2 small children, but I have seen few women work so hard in my life. She guided us, through the choppy waters to the best fishing and we returned home with a good catch.

On the way home, the Sun came out for the first time all day. Then we saw a humpback whale and when he saw us, he shot off his spout and flew up into the air, to the applause of our tired, exhausted, cold and happy team.

We returned home and after another incredible "fishermanís meal" we celebrated during the awards banquet.

Amazingly, Day #3 (the most difficult day weather-wise) would decide all the winners. The top prize winners were as follows:

King Salmon: President Hideo Oyamada, President of HAS-UWC/Japan: 31.90 lbs.

Silver Salmon: Won Myung Lee, 18.36 lbs.

Halibut, Kazuo Nakagawa, 127.70 lbs.

(President San Jo Hwang received 5th place with a King Salmon of 24.15 lbs.)

All top prize winners received $3,000 and everyone (7 winners in each category) received a trophy.

Top American winners included, Thomas Topp (Minnesota) who lead after Day#2, a 29.75 lb King Salmon, good for 3rd place, Guillermo Martinez (Denver), who also caught a huge Halibut got 7th place with a 32.20 lb King Salmon, Rev. Weon Geun Kim regional Leader from Alabama who was leading with his 104.50 lb. Halibut (thatís a big Halibut!) finished in 2nd place (they had to haul the winning halibut in out of the boat with a crane; and 14 year old Yuri Nagle from Homer Alaska hauled in 5th place with a 50.75 lb. Halibut.

The celebration ended with concluding remarks from president Hwang and photos of all the winners and all the participants.

Post Script: On the last morning of the tournament, I checked the Chicago email which always begins with True Fatherís words. This dayís quotation was incredibly significant as well as consoling to many of the tournament participants. It reads as follows:

" One time we caught a lot of rotten, dark fish. The smell was like ammonia. I seldom feel seasick, but when I smelled that my stomach began to turn. I first thought, "Iím no good, because Iím feeling so bad over the fish." Then I began to think differently and said, "I have to pay indemnity." When I realized that, the sickness disappeared, because I could love that smell. It meant I could pay indemnity for something, for someone. I could have a sense of gratitude for that smell and with that, I overcame any feeling of sickness." Rev. Sun Myung Moon, "Ocean Church and America"

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