Unification News for September 2004

Ambassadors for Peace from Africa and Oceania Bring Hope in Ramallah

By Rev. Greg Stone
August 19, 2004

A bus of 50 participants from Oceania and Africa along with Dr. Antonio Betancourt and Mr. Bill Selig departed Jerusalem for Ramallah at 9:00 am, August 19. The bus was packed, and there was a great sense of excitement and anticipation for the day ahead.

The first stop was the Khalil Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center for the disabled in the Palestinian community specializing in spinal cord injuries. After a formal welcome and introduction by the director and staff, we visited the patients bearing gifts, smiles, love and songs. The patients broke into song and joy with us as we sang, "We Are the World" and other beautiful and joyful songs of peace and brotherhood. Patients were clapping, rocking and swinging in their wheelchairs, some playing the guitars along with us.

One Ambassador for Peace, a Member of Parliament from Africa who himself is permanently on crutches, delivered an inspiring and spontaneous message of encouragement to the many disabled young men. "You should never consider that you are less or can do less than anyone else," he said. "Like many of you, I was unable to walk, but now I am a Member of Parliament, and my next goal is to be President of my nation. You can do it too." What an inspiration for them all! The message was perfect. As we departed, many came out and waved goodbye until our bus was far away.

Our next port of call was President Arafatıs compound. The guards welcomed us warmly. We were shown a car and buildings that were damaged in an Israeli attack two years ago. We prayed for an end to destruction. We prayed for peace and reconciliation for all sides.

From there we went on to the Greek Orthodox Church of Ramallah for an international friendship exchange with the bishop and about 100 parishioners. This was the first time our pilgrimages included such a meeting. After welcoming speeches from the bishop and parish leaders, we were treated to a beautiful lunch, which also commemorated the transfiguration. Towards the end of lunch, the African and Oceania participants stood up with guitars and bongo drum and broke into spontaneous songs of thanks for our gracious hosts. The joy was contagious, and it wasnıt long before the parishioners grabbed the bongo, joined in and made a joyful sound unto the Lord. The meeting was a great success and we were invited back for another visit.

On our way back to Jerusalem, we stopped at the Franciscan St. John Ba Harim Church. This represents the house of Elizabeth and Zechariah, the parents of John the Baptist. One of the New Zealand members, Christopher Krefft, has been experiencing vivid and powerful communications from Jesus, Heung Jin Nim and many saints from the spirit world ever since his arrival in Israel. He received guidance that in order to resolve Jesusı and Maryıs historical resentment, we needed to bury a crown of thorns, representing the crown that Jesus was given at his crucifixion. This was to be accomplished prior to the August 20 ceremonies in Korea.

At the very site where Chris received that Jesus was conceived, a moving and tearful ceremony was conducted by Dr. Betancourt and Chris. Jesus and Heung Jin Nim prayed through Chris and guided the whole ceremony. The crown of thorns was buried, resolving the historical resentment in Jesus' heart and bringing healing to the relationship between Jesus and Mary and indeed between all parents and children and men and women.

All the Ambassadors for Peace on the bus were deeply moved. Sir Toaripi Lauti, first Prime Minister of Tuvalu, said that he had had an amazing and beautiful day.

Healing, reconciliation and the glory of God are being revealed daily in the Holy Land.

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