Unification News for July and August 1998
Breakthroughs In Cameroon Through IRFF
by Michael Lamson-Cameroon
Here in Cameroon, we are doing our best as if everyone else to find ways to make our True Parents proud. We face so many problems here and getting things done will often take ten times longer and require fifty times more explanation and effort-that is another story, however. At the end of 1997, we evaluated, repented and prayed about how to break through in our blessing work and our VIP outreach. We made a new plan, and then struggled along in our normal slow start.
FFWPU was very difficult to introduce to the masses. We have blessed around 14,000 couples but contacted around 80,000, so the reception was not up to par. Of these couples we can contact around 12,000, and have started establishing family associations in all areas where there are more than 50 couples. Education is carried out through these associations and through a monthly newsletter called The Family Drummer.
Due to the social acceptance of polygamy and sex outside of marriage, the elite and most men did not want to hear our message about the value of the family and the responsibilities of a parent, so we were unable to reach the population which really moves the nation. In January we decided to build up IRFF and work through it as a door-opener for all our activities in Cameroon. Since that time, we have made all our appointments with government and community leaders in the name of IRFF, and the response has been amazing.
We discuss the issue of poverty-the results of it and the causes. When discussing the causes, the root always comes down to the family. Poverty here is caused by tribalism, selfishness, corruption and dishonesty, to name a few reasons. We ask people where these things are learned and the answer is always the family. At this point we introduce FFWPU and IRFF and the various projects sponsored by them. We explain that FFWPU focuses on the protection and the development of the family as the key to all sustainable development. The response is very positive and now people are inviting FFWPU to come and work in their villages, starting with its marriage rededication ceremonies.
As Cameroonians are never happy with mere words, we wanted to show them something which has real substance, so we sat down and looked at all the organizations our True Parents have started and all the conferences as well as projects completed. It was a surprise even to us when we looked at what has been accomplished. We tied all these projects together under the umbrella of IRFF, which provided the substance we were looking for. Each organization by itself is perhaps not enough, but together the picture is wonderful and powerful. IRFF is the best organizations to center the other projects around, as its mission does not force anyone to look at themselves. We explain how IRFF is working with WFWP, IRF, YFWP, FWP, WIDP, SCWP and FFWPU in order to build a stronger nation. IRFF can take credit for bringing the good things these other organizations have to offer, and these organizations can also be introduced and to many.
This past January, elections were held and we sent out letters of congratulations from IRFF to all those elected. After this we sent an information packet to each new minister explaining IRFF, and also a letter inviting them to join IRFF in cooperative efforts. This month we were called by four ministers to meet with them and discuss the possibilities. We have met with the Minister of Public Service, who afterwards gave IRFF a contribution of $2000. We also met with the Minister of the Environment, who offered a donation of $5000. Establishing these relationships constituted a major breakthrough for us, and these were just the first two.
God is working here. Through our experiences we are learning that all these different organizations Father has started are tools for building the Kingdom of Heaven. True Parents gave us the tools we need, but we have been siting, waiting for them to do all the work. Now we will put more grease on our elbows and see how we can use all these tools.
Reprinted from Today’s World.
Michael Lamson is the Abel National Messiah to Cameroon. He and his wife Vivika participated in the 2075 Couples Blessing in 1982. They have two children.
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