Unification News for April 2001
March 27 - Cheyenne, Wyoming
Wyoming was a miracle, but that miracle came with a price. Our sister, Olebpina Ogai, gave her life there in Wyoming, and as we did her seung hwa ceremony just one hour after True Parents landed, and placed in her coffin Fatherís signed program and prayer with her name on it, we could feel that she had a destiny for Wyoming, that God had used her for this purpose.
Her family was Korean and lived in the part of Russia that borders North Korea. At the direction of Josef Stalin, the Korean families were broken up and sent into exile. Her family was sent to Uzbekistan with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Under these circumstances, she was born. She was a wonderful member, who joined in 1995 and served True Parents with very sincere dedication.
She came to America on March 5th, hoping to be blessed by True Parents. She volunteered to support our effort in Wyoming for the We Will Stand tour. True Father even considered her to be taken to Korea and placed in the Won Jun where Heung-jin nim is. During the seung hwa ceremony everyone could feel an overwhelming spirit of holiness and sacrifice. Dr. C.K. Brown, who is also a city councilman, and assistant pastor of a Church of God in Christ in Cheyenne, was moved by her efforts for the We Will Stand tour. Their church donated money for her grave, and their church also volunteered to take care of the grave in Wyoming from now on.
The Christian church knelt down to this sacrifice, and we could feel at her seung hwa ceremony that Jesus was present there. This sister gave her life for the sake of America, to protect our True Parents, and also to stand in our place.
The bond between Christianity, the second Israel, and True Parents is profoundly deep, as we know that Jesus and the 106 saints have been asked by Father to concentrate all their spiritual power on America. We could feel the presence of Jesus around us there. Only sacrifice can allow the Christian family to really feel the movement of the holy spirit in such a way that it causes a binding together heart to heart.
Thatís why we believe that, combined with the sacrifice of the Denver and San Francisco regional members, a very special victory was gained in Wyoming. The city of Cheyenne only has a population of around 50,000. Every single minister was contacted, and the banquet was full with over 500 people. Many clergy, several professors from the University of Wyoming, and also many white brothers and sisters and Indian brothers and sisters shared in the program.
Father gave the longest address that heís given on the tour thus far because he truly felt welcomed. There was something special in the air. Two hours and 41 minutes was his address. I saw in the end one Indian crying and holding hands with a white person. Truly heaven and earth were moved, and all the pain of past history is now being resolved.
One Indian leader told me that they had never witnessed anything like Father and Mother Moon. All past efforts at reconciliation always fell short. But they feel hope that this time will succeed. Also, Father announced in his speech in Wyoming that he feels that he is a cousin to the American Indians because they came through the Bering Strait from Asia. Father also highlighted that the idea that somebody discovered America was foolish in light of the fact that the American Indians were already here. Father stated that if there were white Anglo-Saxons already living in America, that Columbus would never have been cited as the one who discovered America. However, Father also called upon the Indian family to forgive and love, that we were all children of God, and we must go beyond the past by serving one another.
In our press conference, a minister from San Francisco, who is one of the 120 Christian leaders, stood strongly with us, professing belief in Father and Mother Moon because their life work is focused on the family and reconciling the races. Rev. Jesse Edwards was touched by God that night. He has been through so much persecution. The national head of his denomination called and questioned him about what he was doing. However, Jesseís conviction is so deep that his denomination cannot stop him from going forward.
Rev. Edwards is going through a course that we now see other white Christians going through. At first theyíre shocked to hear Fatherís speech. Rev. Edwards testified in Wyoming that when he first heard Father speak and say "I am the true father and the True Parent," Rev. Edwards confessed that when he went home that night he was so angry, thinking, "Who is he to think heís the True Father?" But always when he struggles, Rev. Edwards takes things to God in prayer. He testified that when he prayed that night and the answer God gave him was very clear: "Jesse, Iíve been trying to tell you this for 30 years. You must become a true father also. You must become a true parent." From that time his heart opened. Slowly but surely he has seen that each time he hears Fatherís speech, he gets a new revelation. He also says very clearly that he always believed that the fall of man was not a literal fruit, but rather had to do with the misuse of love. He said itís widely understood in the Pentecostal movement, but nobody could pin it down like Father did, with specific Bible verses.
He testified that night to the Wyoming audience, "I believe that Rev. Moon is anointed by God. Youíd better believe I do. Every single prophet that has come in history has been bitterly persecuted because they always bring some new teaching that breaks down some of the barriers from the old teachings. Thatís why people get angry and thatís why they persecute. Iím telling you that God is in this thing. God is moving through this movement. We are binding together as pastors, as Christians, and as men and women of God of all faiths, and we are going to bring healing to the family and to this nation."
The crowd jumped to its feet, both Indians and whites and Hispanics, with overwhelming response. Thatís why when Father came to the stage he could feel the love of God emanating from the people. He felt extremely comfortable in Wyoming, where there was a great deal of suffering.
The next morning when we left Wyoming, we could feel a sense of deep inner peace. We could imagine the struggles that Rev. Lee and Rev. Jim Flynn were going through, doing six events in their region, which only has 75 families. Wyoming itself has only 10 families listed on the register of the Unification Church national headquarters. Michael did a wonderful job, the Casper Star-Tribune headline was "Moon cites lifeís work, blessing marriages."
Other ministers, including city councilman Rev. C.K. Brown, encouraged people to be open to listen. The Wyoming paper said, "Moon captivated much of the audience with a combination of humor and thunderous declarations and repeated phrases like `life, love, and lineage.í His message to support families and against racism was well received. During his talk, Moon revealed his anti-racism views using examples of polar bears, brown bears, and black bears as representative of the different races. He said the bears had all different colors as a reaction to the environment and were not made that way by God."
We sincerely thank the Denver region for carrying such a heavy cross through six states, but every state in the Denver region has been a victory. Especially we are grateful for the sacrifice of our sister, Olebpina Ogai, who Father declared was a martyr.
Rev. Michael Jenkins
The "We Will Stand" interfaith tour rounded up the faithful and curious of the "Equality State" at a "Little America" banquet hall in Cheyenne on a brisk Tuesday evening.
This was the 30th stop along the trail winding through America at breakneck speed.
Reverend Michael Jenkins, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) was the evening's emcee. The idea for the tour started in Korea with 150 pastors, and has since attracted the support of 12,000 clergy, according to Jenkins.
At a news conference just prior to the evening event he stated: "The entire effort depends on the sanctification of the family, which began as a formal movement in 1995 with Father Moon's mass weddings of millions of couples. We do believe a new age has dawned. The "Stand Together" movement does not discriminate against single people, who can be blessed by God."
The invocation was given by the Reverend Louis Johnson of the New Beginnings Christian Church of Casper.
Several other ministers preached, including Reverend Jesse Edwards of Philadelphia. His simple message got the crowd excited and in the spirit.
Elder C.J. Brown, a Cheyenne city councilman and associate pastor of New Kingdom Church of God in Christ came to hear the message of unity and reconciliation as did the Reverend William Ephriam of Colorado Springs.
The Reverend Vic Walter of the Evangelical Free Church in Cheyenne said he attended the event out of curiosity.
Former Natrona County Republican Party Chairman Marvin Emrich and his wife Maureen came because of an invitation by Michael Hentrich, of Casper, a member of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
Maureen Emrich had recently received the American Century Award presented by The Washington Times Foundation at an inaugural prayer luncheon in January.
The keynote speaker for the evening, Father Sun Myung Moon, 81, addressed the more than 300 people assembled with warmth and righteousness.
With Mr. Peter Kim giving simultaneous translation, Father Moon captivated much of the audience with his extemporaneous humor, provocative declarations, and a simple, yet profound message.
"Life, love and lineage, these are the most important values. Am I right? "
"Don't you think Jesus would have wanted to marry if he found a holy bride? If a holy bride sent by God was there, and they were together, don't you think Jesus would have functioned like a man, like between a husband and wife?"
"If Jesus and his wife had a family, their descendants would have been able to conquer the Roman empire and establish a political kingdom that would endure. Then, there wouldn't be George W. Bush as president of America, but one of Jesus' descendants would be king."
Using the examples of polar bears, brown bears and black bears as representatives of the different races, he said, "Bears developed different colors as a reaction to the environment and were not made that way by God."
He also spoke of his life and ministry and the years of persecution endured and overcome.
John Kambutu, a professor of educational studies at the Casper College Center for the University of Wyoming, spoke in favor of the tour sponsors stated views against racism.
Gail Ridgely, president of Wind River Community College, told the crowd that American Indians need more equality in the "Equality State."
John Redmond of Arvada, Colo., brought his family to Cheyenne for the talk. Arvada is a 20-year member of the Unification Church (now Family Church of Colorado) and attributed much of the controversy to a distrust of foreigners.
He stated to the media: "Our society's social problems can be traced back to the breakdown of the family. It is best solved by a connection to a religious entity."
"He (Father Moon) is saying challenging things, but in America a lot of people don't know what he thinks or believes. I think he provides a way of making the races work together to restore the family."
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