Articles From the August 1995 Unification News
Father Comes to Costa Rica
by Roshan D'Souza-Costa Rica
I came to Costa Rica just over two years ago to work with my husband while preparing him for the Blessing. I was one of those ladies who was told to find a husband and bring him to the Blessing. When it all started I never imagined it would be so exciting. I come from India which is wall-to-wall people and have lived for years in the United States. Moving to Costa Rica was more of a cultural shock than I could describe. I have to thank Father's training.
Costa Rica is considered the "most democratic country in the world," a thought expressed by Father and applauded by the audience. Costa Rica has only about 3 million people. It has become a retirement haven for many North Americans and is often referred to as the Switzerland of East. There is no standing army and violent crime is minimal. Panama is immediately to the south and Nicaragua to the north. This is one of the few places Columbus actually visited in his attempt to find my homeland of India.
I have been working with the Women's Federation for World Peace for more than a year, and when we were told that a banquet was being organized for the Association for Latin American Unity, I was only too anxious to help. People who have not seen the reality of how unique our Church and its programs are would be amazed to see a woman from India speaking Spanish with some Japanese women. We managed somehow to get our thoughts out and programs organized. This through English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and of course sign language. The organizational office should have been called the "Office of Babble."
When I was in New York City, I faithfully attended Father's speeches every Sunday and everybody who knows me knows I sat prominently in the front row. It was such a joy to know Father was coming here. I have been practicing Spanish since I came and it took every bit I could speak to invite those from my neighborhood to attend. My husband and I have been attending the Unity Church here and we invited many of the congregation to attend as well.
We invited about 40 people ourselves and were reluctant to invite more, as we knew that there were only 400 seats. The day Father arrived, he insisted we invite however many the hall would hold, which was 500 souls. I spent most of the day on the phone as did all of the other members, and that evening we all showed up at the Herradura Hotel banquet room to see what the results would be.
We were not surprised that the room was filled, but it was filled with such a diverse group of people that it was a pleasure to be there. My husband and I had invited bankers and business professionals as well as our butcher and my hair dresser, as did everyone else. It turned out to be an event of unequaled proportions. Father, long known by people here as everywhere, could easily have charged a great deal considering the amount of interest. People wanted to see for themselves the Reverend Moon. They were not disappointed.
The event began a little after 7pm and we saw the video explaining Father's lifetime achievements. The minister from Unity Church of Costa Rica said, "I never knew he (Rev. Moon) had done so much, I mean so many programs." Many of my contacts were happy to attend because it is the nicest hotel in the country. People mentioned that if we had not invited them, they would never have had a good enough reason to be there. One person even admitted that he and his wife had wanted an excuse to have a night out together and had never experienced anything like what they got from Father.
It came as a real shock to people that the few Japanese Women's Federation members here could afford to put on such a lavish banquet. It gave them a whole new perspective. When the Women's Federation began inviting people, they were concerned that they would not be able to afford the expense, as the average income here is a little over $10 a day. Imagine finding you were invited to the nicest banquet hall in the country for a steak dinner, and to hear the world-famous Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Your only responsibility was to actually get yourself there.
Father began by expressing how beautiful the countryside was, and how wonderful it was to find such a democratic country. To these people it was such a compliment to hear from a man who had spent his life traveling the world. It was not hard for them to listen to his speech concerning the mission of the Messiah and how we could come to God only through the Messiah. I was impressed to hear from my contacts after the message and banquet that two of my contacts who had been reluctant had decided to go to the next Blessing. I was further warmed by Father when after giving his speech he invited us up to his hotel room and spent almost three hours more comforting us and expressing his interest in blessing the members and all the people of Costa Rica. If anyone had doubts about what Father came to do it is clear now. He came to bring the Blessing to everyone. I was deeply moved.
The press as usual was not positive, which is not surprising, since the country is 90% Catholic and the Roman Catholic Church has a great deal of influence. There are three English language papers here; two said nothing, but one had to make some comments. They included the fact that the North American guests were not told that Rev. Moon was the main speaker, but we had only had invitations in Spanish, so I am afraid many did not know. The paper made note of this as well as Father's claim that because of his (Father's) influence, atheistic communism failed. My husband helped me out to get a response that showed how Mother Teresa in India, now famous throughout the world, had been badly shunned and scolded for her efforts, and that Rev. Moon received the same unjust treatment. There were no further arguments against Father's visit and those who know us and saw the letter agreed that it was the best way to stop any negative responses.
I enjoyed pointed out to the English reading public that Father is 74 years old and though he may be a bit eccentric, he is not now nor has he ever been a threat to those who love and live for God.
This was Father's first visit and I hope not his last. It is a miracle that, at his age, he can still speak to us with such vigor, and that he can perform with such stamina covering over 20 countries in his Central and South American tour. I have always admired Father's way of doing things and was not disappointed nor were any of the others who attended True Parents on their visit here.
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