Unification News for December 1996


Khabarovsk: A Spiritual Treasure In Far East Russia

by Carmela Lim-Khabarovsk

As this year comes to an end and the new year is soon to begin, we families and missionaries of Khabarovsk, Far East Russia wish to extend our warmest holiday greetings and heartfelt prayers to our worldwide unification community. We especially want to express our appreciation to those who have generously and prayerfully supported our mission throughout this year, helping to make it possible for us to go forward in God's providence.

Since the blessing of August l995, we have been working to further develop our unification foundation in Khabarovsk which also serves as the regional headquarters of six other cities in Far East Russia. In preparation of the recent blessings, many seminars, lecture training sessions and blessing workshops followed by a satellite blessing have been held in Khabarovsk in spite of rigid regulations regarding public events.

In the International Blessing of l995, historical frictions between the borders of Russia and China were transcended as Khabarovsk's first Russian-Chinese blessed couple pledged to realize a God-centered family of true love.

Working in Khabarovsk is very much of a challenge. First, the harsh winds and below zero temperatures during the freezing winters and the very hot humid summers take a while to adapt to. Then there are the rigorous regulations , restrictions and requirements placed upon all religious and cultural organizations other than the Russian Orthodox Church keeping us always on the alert and to work with courage and wisdom. Just before the presidential elections held earlier this year, there was uncertainty as to whether foreign religious and cultural organizations, including ours, would even be allowed to remain in Russia.

These internal and external circumstances motivated us to deepen our commitment to God and True Parents. Someone once said, "Khabarovsk is a hidden treasure in Far East Russia." If this is so perhaps it is because our brothers and sisters who are working there are absolutely determined to bring a victory for God and True Parents.

Khabarovsk, a port city on the banks of the Amur River, is known as the stepping stone from Russia to Asia being located close to Japan, China and North Korea. Because of this strategic position it is so vital to establish a lasting and invincible foundation for the greater providence. The missionary families and members work with this awareness in mind and heart.

When the Chungpyung providence began to call the missionary families from Khabarovsk and the Far East region, our regional director, Mr. Nate Windman, his wife Mieko and the two Japanese missionary sisters, Mikako Miyazaki and Hisami Umeno were both happy and deeply concerned. Communications from Chungpyung stated that the missionaries were to prepare for new mission countries after the forty day workshops in Chungpyung. What would now happen to the missions in Far East Russia?

Renewing their strength through prayer, indemnity conditions and loving service to the members and families, a new plan of action was soon devised. Efforts were consolidated by calling some responsible members from neighboring cities to work together in Khabarovsk. As the missionaries left for Chungpyung , the Russian brothers and sisters united closely with the regional director and missionary sisters from Japan. A small and bright-spirited IOWC team arrived from Moscow to join them and the summer witnessing program began with eager anticipation.

Thanks to their concerted dedication and efforts and to all of you who responded to our special request made earlier this year, Khabarovsk mission has been able to maintain the witnessing center near two important universities, a teachers college and a medical university. Another timely opportunity arrived to acquire an actionizing center located in the heart of the city near the famous Lenin Square.

Once the actionizing center was freshly painted and the witnessing programs set up, spirit world could be mobilized. Many new quests came daily to hear the lectures. Those who completed the initial 2l day study program graduated to a second 2l day seminar of deeper education and actionizing experiences of a life of faith.

By the end of the summer and early fall the Khabarovsk mission grew threefold in numbers. The new members gleamed with bright enthusiasm and the older ones were reborn as they took on greater responsibilities upon themselves.

It had always been the desire of the previous missionaries to serve the community in substantial ways. The first missionary couple, Ronald and Friederike Buzyck laid an impressive foundation with the "My World and I" curriculum working with hundreds of professors and students on moral and ethical issues.

The following missionary family decided to expand the community outreach through IRFF related projects. In autumn of this year with the encouragement and able support of Kathy Winings, executive director of IRFF, children's clothing were collected in N.Y. for orphanages in Khabarovsk. For a population of 560,000 the city has 8 main orphanages and about 20 more children centers with many basic needs.

On October 25th IRFF representatives presented the donation of clothing to the president of the Russian Peace Fund. A visit to one of the city's orphanages was arranged. On October 28th IRFF representatives and Mrs. Galina Potava, president of the Russian Peace Fund presented the clothing to more than l30 beautiful children at the Northern Regional Orphanage in Khabarovsk.

The children smiled with joy as they tried on their new outfits. A new friendship was born as well as a commitment to deepen our relationship through future visits and continuous service with love.

October was also the month of the C.I.S leader's meeting in Moscow with the continental leader, Dr. Seuk. Mr. Windman was happily surprised when it was announced that Khabarovsk won first place as the top city for the "Summer Witnessing Campaign" in the C.I.S., and second place as the region with the best results. Mikako Miyazaki also was recognized for her outstanding dedication and witnessing efforts .

There have been and there will be many more challenges, hardships and difficulties to face and overcome in Khabarovsk and the far east but now there is an unwavering bright light as God's and True Parents victorious foundation is here to stay!

Thank you all for sharing together with us Khabarovsk's important year in God's providence. Have a Happy True God's Day and may God bless you and your families!


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