Unification News for February 2005
Community of Faith in Memphis, TN
by Gary Abrahams
It was a great day to be alive in Memphis Saturday January 22, 2005. The TN ACLC, TN Family Church and the TN AFC sponsored a seminar and luncheon. This was done to bring our current Memphis contacts and new contacts together in the spirit of God's embrace and to enlighten them about the activities and the responsibilities of Heavenly Father's providential work at this time and age.
The turnout was nothing short of phenomenal, especially for the time and effort that we were able to offer for this event. There are only 2 BCFs in all of West Tennessee (Memphis area) with neither being able to offer themselves full-time to this event. We had one week to prepare. Similar efforts and programs in the past have brought meager results to add to the current foundation. But, this time a great and miraculous outpouring of participation occurred.
In all we had 26 guests in attendance, split equally between alumni and new guests. 15 preachers were in attendance with 12 of those being church pastors. We were happy to see both old and some new pastors in attendance. Additionally, there was a seminar staff of 7 if we include Bishop C. Philip Johnson, who attended as the Keynote speaker. The 3 from Nashville were Rev. Nishikawa, a revered older member from Japan, who brought a powerful spirit of God's love and truth; Rev. Saito, TN Family Church pastor, and Rev.Serge Mondesir, TN Family Church assistant pastor. Memphis staff members were Mr. Gary Abrahams ---TN AFC coordinator and program emcee, Mrs. Friederun Abrahams and Mrs. Geralda Shiroshita who were hostesses and prepared food.
The night before this seminar Dr. Dannie D. Holmes, Rev, Nishikawa, Rev. Saito and I welcomed Bishop Johnson and took him to dinner. As I listened to his many experiences and long support of our True Parents I felt very repentful worrying about the probability of a small turnout for this great emissary of God. God and Bishop Johnson have prepared a large load of hay for only a few cows. I repented that I could not do more and bring larger numbers for this wonderful opportunity of blessing which would happen the next day.
On Saturday morning as we prepared to go to Greater Hope Baptist Church for the event my wife and I went over our lists of anyone we could call to attend at the last minute; anyone we may have overlooked. We arrived at the church and began final preparations for the day. As the clock ticked toward the 10 am opening I was amazed to see so many guest arriving; both new and old including a couple of older contacts who had recently been a bit distant. In particular Rev. Van Ford, who had backed out of several commitments to attend earlier MEPI conferences. He was very happy to be with us and apologized deeply for not keeping his commitments in the past.
He was able to stay for the whole program seemed to be very inspired with a new commitment.
The program began on time with us adding tables to accommodate the larger than anticipated crowd. The spirit of God was evident in the room from start to finish. After a short introduction we went right into the video presentation of, "Path to Peace". This was followed by host Dr. Holmes' testimony of his attendance at 2 MEPI conferences. Mr. Gary Abrahams read Father Moon's speech from the Dec. 13 Coronation Ceremony in WDC, "Our Mission In The Last Days Of Providential History". After a tasty lunch with lively conversation, Rev. Serge Mondesir then offered the new PowerPoint presentation, "Faith Leadership for a Fractured World". Bishop Johnson suggested that the pastors get a copy and use this "powerful" presentation to help them to build stronger families in their churches.
Bishop Johnson then gave his Keynote presentation. He has created his own PowerPoint presentation, "Mission of the Messiah" in which he prepares a strong biblical foundation to tell all of those in attendance that "Father Moon is my messiah and that Father and Mrs. Moon are my True Parents!" I was in deep heartfelt tears at the conclusion of his presentation. What a great, gifted and powerful brother and voice for God.
Evidence of the heart and power of this program was that it took over an hour for all the guest to leave. Everybody wanted to linger for fellowship and several new attendees asked me how they could make a stronger connection to this movement and what could they do to help. It was as though they were saying, "If the Messiah is on the earth and he has called me to be God's emissary, what can I do, now?" Praise God.
I have had the strong feeling since True God's Day 2005 that the promised Pentecost which will come on TP's birthday has begun to seep out bit-by-bit. This seeping out of good spirits as warned me of the need to be as well prepared as possible in order that we are not overwhelmed by the events soon to come. Recently, incredible and miraculous things have happened not only in terms of this event but also in my business activities and in my family.
My entire family feels very blessed by this opportunity.
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