Unification News for January, 1997
Brazilian Church Preparations for True God's Day 1997
by Michael Kiely, Redhook, NY
On December 16, two weeks before the event, the Unification Church of Brazil received word that True God's Day 1997 would be celebrated in Sao Paulo. In just 14 days, True Parents and True Family plus some 200 church elders, continental leaders and national messiahs were to need accommodation, food, transportation and security.
Also, a gala evening of entertainment would need to be prepared, the new six-story headquarters building and adjoining sanctuary and other buildings would need to be cleaned from topped to bottom, and all the details of appropriately attending True Family and caring for church elders and leaders would need to be organized. In addition, funding for all of this would have to be arranged.
Though time was quite limited, "we put our heart into it," said National Church President Samao Ferabolli. "We knew that in following the way of heart everything can become better."
He said that in particular they sought to maintain a high "standard of serving True Family and elder brothers and sisters."
To meet the challenge, 120 Japanese missionary sisters and many of the 1600 Brazilian blessed couples, 300 single full-time members and 10,000 home members were called from other Brazilian cities to help the Sao Paulo church family with the four days of events. They swept, mopped and scoured the spacious six-story headquarters building, a former medical laboratory bought in 1985 and completely renovated by Brazilian family members. They decorated the newly built marble and mahogany sanctuary with Unification Church flags and flowers and carefully constructed an offering table with towers of fruit, cookies and other food in the magnificent wood-paneled fifth floor conference room. According to Rev. Heung Tae Kim, the Korean national messiah for Brazil, there was only one Korean restaurant in Sao Paulo where members learned how to prepare kimchee and other Korean delicacies for True Family and more than 100 other Koreans who would attend the celebration, and they cooked nearly two dozen gourmet meals in two kitchens for True Family and some 200 other participants. Finally, they manned the reception desk to welcome participants and give them individually prepared name badges for security and identification and staffed the dozens of security posts around the headquarters compound.
Members even produced a twenty-minute video for True God's Day evening entertainment and sang in Korean, Brazilian, Indian, Caribbean, New Age and classical choirs for the three hour celebration. They also danced in costumes as resplendent and colorful as a peacock and, with their high spirit, inspired True Children to come down on stage and perform as well.
After the festivities and marathon meetings when True Parents had departed and buses and cars had ferried scores of national messiahs to the airport, Rev. Ferabolli said with an air of relief, "We were happy to see that True Parents and True Family appeared to feel good about the holy day when they left. They had had no trouble while they were here." In fact, True Father had expressed satisfaction with the headquarters building by recommending to national messiahs that they take ideas from the Sao Paulo headquarters building as they prepare blueprints for their own national headquarters churches.
In summing up the impact of the holy day, Rev. Kim said, "Through this True God's Day celebration we in Brazil have received a great blessing from God and True Parents. It was a significant opportunity for us."
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