Unification News for November 1996


True Children's Day 1996

by Dr. Tyler O. Hendricks-NYC

Our True Parents celebrated True Children's Day of 1996, the 37th anniversary of the Holy Day, at the Hotel Victoria Plaza in Montevideo, Uruguay. The official celebration began at 7 a.m. on the 11th of November, on the second floor of the "new" side of the hotel. This is a 24 story addition to the existing 17 story hotel, an addition built from the ground up on a piece of property adjacent to the existing hotel. The two buildings are connected by a spacious, glass-enclosed atrium. Resplendent with marble and chandeliers, the new addition is five-star quality, enhancing what was already Uruguay's premiere hotel.

Montevideo was enjoying the first days of its springtime, and fresh cool breezes were continually blowing through the streets of the city and its central square. The square is a bright green park for children, older folks and pigeons, guarded by a squadron of young soldiers honoring the sepulcher of the nation's liberator, Artigas.

High in the hotel we can view the entire harbor and surrounding landscape: flat as far as the eye can see, which on this clearest of days is far indeed. Across the mouth of the harbor is a hill, about 50 meters in height. It is the highest peak in the country, challenged only by heights rising to 30 meters. From there, the city was once defended, and the national museum crowns the height today. It was the landmark first sighted by Portuguese explorers, so the story goes, and they cried out "montevideo" which means, "I see a mountain." Hence the name of the city; and as the city is crowned with the mountain, so the country is crowned with irony. In a flat land, a 50 meter rise is a mountain and is honored as such; such is the beauty of relativity. This is why everyone can be an absolute hero and queen of beauty, to their children. The world's only 50 meter mountain, after which the capitol city was named.

Some one thousand representatives of the Unification community around the world gathered on the second floor and made offerings to God and True Parents. Many of the foreign delegates had arrived the day before. After checking into the hotel, we gravitated toward the Reverend and Mrs. Moon's suite. By 5:00 p.m. there were over fifty people crowded in, and we heard reports on the Ilhwa Chunma ("Heavenly Horses") soccer team, owned by Reverend Moon, and the Little Angels Folk Ballet, and the WFWP of Japan, and more. Chocolates and coffee were distributed, and it was truly a wonderful time.

The following morning we gathered for the Children's Day Pledge Service. Guided by Family Federation International President, Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak, representatives of the continents, nations and groupings bowed humbly in front of God and True Parents, and shared together the "Family Pledge" of purity and devotion to the ideal of creation given by God, not just as individuals but as families. This was followed by the tearful prayer of Reverend Moon.

A large celebration cake was cut, and Dr. Bo Hi Pak, Senior Director of the church activities in Japan, led us in four rousing cheers for God, True Parents and godly righteousness forever for all humankind. Food from the Offering Table was distributed by the officiators to all present.

President Jeong Og Yu, leader of the Unification activities in Uruguay, read a report of True Parents activities over the past several months in South America. His spirit was one of sincere repentance for his own and our shortcomings in taking responsibility for the shape of this suffering world. "It has been sixteen years since the work in Uruguay started. If the persons who carried out the mission had fulfilled their responsibilities, True Parents would have had a much easier and shorter time to do their work. Yet we see them again on the front line with the responsibility on their shoulders." (See speech excerpts)

The way Satan uses to separate human beings from the truth hides from us that the problem is our ignorance. He rather compels us to feel that the truth is ridiculous. Then we laugh at it as ineffectual. Meanwhile, a few try to make money from the truth, and others mock them for it. At the same time, we are making tremendous plans, programs and technological processes, while our families, our streets and our nations are collapsing in crime, suicide and perversions. Thus is the arrogance of the human race taking us to death.

Thus the key point, the most important point, is humility. This is the position of children, and this we celebrate on True Children's Day. Children are fascinated with their parents plans and dreams, and true children want to participate with their parents absolutely. The parents' love is the absolute starting point; it is the point from which and by which everything emerges. It is not to be evaluated from any "objective" position, for there is no such "objective" position; everyone is standing in the position given by their parents. The satanic world's position for evaluation is satanic parents. So we must change parents. This means to be reborn.

Father spoke to Korean members at the Pledge service.

Evening entertainment was a home-grown affair, ably guided by American missionary to Uruguay, Steve Boyd. The first two performers were local musical groups: a choir led by a professor of music, and an Uruguayan version of country music, a five-piece band with an energetic female vocalist-guitarist. The latter group had a great rhythm and spirit, and truly raised the atmosphere, connecting us to the South American countryside.

Performers from Asia followed, a Mr. Yap Jhau Hwang on the ancient Chinese stringed instrument, the pipa, and Rev. Byung Wooh Kim, who represented a number of performers from southeast Asia who were unable to gain visas at short notice. Rev. Kim's famous rendition of The Lord's Prayer, as usual, brought down the house.

There followed Ms. Alina Sanchez, an operatic soprano living in Spain, originally from Cuba. He crystal-clear voice was very impressive. Mr. Alexander Yetchov, President of CARP in the C.I.S., and Moscow State University student in Oriental studies, follow Ms. Sanchez. He delivered an impassioned message from the Russian membership to True Parents, in an emotion-packed Korean. His three songs were equally moving, in particular the finale, a deeply moving rendition of a Korean popular love song.

Several performers from the United States closed the show. Sandra Lowen, National Messiah to Argentina, sang two American songs, moving the house with an American spirituality and rhythm. Sandra was followed by a blessed child from Alabama, Margaret Hill. Margaret's family has performed together in musical productions in Alabama, and they sang for True Parents when True Mother spoke in Miami last month. True Parents were impressed with Margaret's voice, to the extent that they provided her a grant to pursue voice studies at the University of Bridgeport. Margaret gave a vibrant, youthful performance of three selections from the musical, Oliver! -Consider Yourself, I'd Do Anything, and Where is Love? Dressed as the boy Oliver, Margaret really conveyed the heart of that musical.

Joshua Cotter followed with an original composition, Love is Born Anew, and a traditional South American number, which rang everyone's bell, Des Colores. Tokiko Richardson shared two operatic numbers, a gospel ballad and a Korean song. The show closed with Jeff Benson, who inspired all the Korean members of the audience with a rousing Korean pop song, and everyone in general with his rendition of Sinatra's My Way. It was the only song which inspired applause while he was still singing it.

At True Parents' request, Jun Sook Nim, the wife of their third son, Hyun Jin Nim, and recipient of a Master's Degree from Juilliard, gave two improvisations on the piano. The first had a lively, baroque style, the second a more nineteenth-century, brooding sense. It was quite lovely, more her style, more heartfelt, it seemed to me, than the first offering. It transcended the moment.

The grandest finale of all was True Parents themselves responding to Mr. Boyd's invitation to the stage. They receive lei's and offered two traditional Korean folk songs, sharing their deep camaraderie of love with each other and everyone. The photographers-heavenly paparazzi- crowded the apron of the stage, and everyone had a most exhilarating conclusion to the 37th True Children's Day celebration with True Parents-the first ever to take place with True Parents in Montevideo, Uruguay.


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