Unification News for February 1999
Blessing '99 - The Completion of the 360 Million Couple Blessing
February 14, 1999
Rev. Joong Hyun Pak
True Parents have fulfilled the Blessing of 360 million couples worldwide. Some couples attended the Blessing in front of True Parents, some couples attended in front of a satellite screen, some attended in front of an internet and there were some couples who were being blessed in their homes or their hometowns. Still yet there are probably some among them who received the Blessing somewhere, somehow and they don't even realize that they are blessed! One way or the other, incredible history was made.
But wherever they were in the world, 360 Million Couples have been blessed! Blessing '99, centered on February 7, held in Korea, was truly a historical occasion, totally fulfilling the 360 million couple goal. You and I became co-partners for this great victory and for this we have to appreciate God and True Parents.
The Associated Press (AP) news agency carried the story about Blessing '99. And it was quite detailed. They reported about Reverend Moon starting the Blessings in 1960 with the first three couples and that today, 1999, he blessed 360 million couples. The news media is more and more respecting Father's history and his efforts and victory to arrive at this 360 million couples Blessing. This brings happiness to True Father.
Just for us to organize a small number of people for the Blessing is not an easy task. So even now with the 360 million Blessing completed, we still cannot believe that such great numbers have received the Blessing.
The World Culture and Sports Festival officially opened with a banquet on February 4, held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul. General Alexander Haig, former Secretary of State in the United States, and former supreme commander of NATO forces, introduced True Father.
Also, on the day before the Blessing ceremony, a Reception was held. A thousand VIPs from all over the world attended and were very inspired. General Haig and other worldwide figures joined True Father and Mother in the reception line to welcome the many VIPs.
On February 1, another celebration was held--the tenth Anniversary of the Segye Times. Korean President Kim Dae Jung attended and offered a 15-minute congratulatory speech. Father gave a concise talk on God's Providence. President Kim participated with True Parents in cutting the cake as well. It was a very meaningful day. All the political leaders of South Korea were there. President Kim knows True Father's value and he respects True Father very much. Some years ago, when President Kim was temporarily removed from his country because of political
misunderstandings, he was welcomed and hosted by True Parents' representatives in America. So there is an interesting bit of history going back quite a few years between Father and President Kim.
The WCSF this year had a victorious foundation behind it for many different reasons. To develop this foundation, and bring in important world leaders, many of True Parents' organizations held a three-day Convocation just prior to the Blessing, with participants representing all parts of the world, to discuss how to bring about world peace through religious unity. Among these organizations were: Women's Federation for World Peace, the Summit Council, the Inter-religious Federation for World Peace, the Professors World Peace Academy, International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, and others. Actually, all these organizations met in one major hotel, holding their various seminars in separate conference rooms. It was a very economical, efficient and convenient way to do it. It was like one great multi-conference.
On the afternoon of February 6, True Father gave the inaugural speech for the newly-formed "Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace," centered on Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak. (Father made the announcement in Uruguay during the God's Day meetings of his intention to inaugurate this new organization.) True Father's inauguration speech was so meaningful. This new organization signifies a great victory for True Parents. There were so many important, well-known people in attendance February 6 for this inauguration.
But of course the greatest victory of all was Blessing '99 itself. Incredibly, Korea had 33 days' notice to prepare for this event. About 20 days before the actual day of the Blessing, I was in my office in New York when I received the news that True Father announced that Blessing '99 would be held not in the Seoul ChamShil Gynasium as planned by the Korean Church, but rather at Seoul Olympic Stadium!! Outdoors! In February! Wintertime! I remembered how shocked leaders were when they heard in 1997 that we were going to use RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, also an outdoor stadium! In November! Wintertime! The weather at RFK on the day of the 1998 Blessing turned out to be quite good for a November day--not bad at all. The same thing happened in Seoul at Olympic Stadium. The weather was quite good. How come? BECAUSE GOD AND TRUE PARENTS ARE IN CHARGE. WE CAN TRUST THEM. THEY HAVE CAPABILITY.
The seating capacity at Olympic Stadium is 130,000. It is huge. Our Korean Church Headquarters organized 3,000 buses from all corners of the country to come to the stadium. The greatest distance was Pusan, five to six hours away. Three hours before the Ceremony, practically all seats were filled. I was responsible for seating 30 ministers from North America. Some came late; it was a very difficult task.
There was a very noble and holy feeling throughout the stadium. Everyone had on their white scarf. The stadium was magnificently decorated, gorgeous actually, as many of you saw by satellite. Using all their previous experience, one could see that the organizers put everything they had into this event. It was like a final climax of all previous events and experiences. This was a great offering to God.
Before True Parents entered--in their traditional fashion--9 world spiritual leaders, representing the major religions of the world, came on stage and gave their blessings to the assembly: Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) Judaism, Buddhism, Shikhism, Confucianism, Islam and Hinduism. Representing Catholicism was a top leader from the Vatican. Our own Pastor T.L. Barrett from Chicago so proudly and loudly proclaimed the True Parents in his presentation and in his prayer on stage. And most interesting of all was Rabbi Herzel Kranz of Washington, DC, representing Judaism. For Madison Square Garden's Blessing '98 Rabbi Kranz offered a video blessing address. But for Blessing '99 he appeared in person to give his blessing to the assembly. He became ill after arriving in Seoul but bravely chose to appear on stage with True Parents nevertheless. The Rabbi paid quite a price to be there. History itself will reveal the results of his courage.
During the Blessing, True Parents displayed expressions of happiness, victory and peace. This is our greatest reward. Praise God.
At the victory banquet on the night of the Blessing, held at the Little Angels School, True Father gave a very special message. Following that, the Universal Ballet Company gave a performance, starring Hoon Sook (Julia) Moon. Primary dancers from their many productions were chosen to perform as well. All those visiting leaders in the audience were so fortunate to be watching a part of many famous ballet programs, all in one evening. What a special treat.
As usual, True Father's stamina through all of these many days of activities astounded us all. We never cease to be amazed at how Father can keep the schedule he does and still appear alert, fresh, handsome! True Mother as well. So beautiful and radiant all the time. Morning, noon and night, they didn't rest. There was not a moment that activity was not going on.
Following this Blessing '99, True Parents will not be officiating for previously married couples--only for matched couples. How fortunate are those already-married couples who received True Parents personal blessing. From now on, we, you and I, as Tribal Messiahs, can bless married couples. Let's quickly bless 185 couples or even 1,850 couples as the beginning of our newly assigned responsibility.
The Philippines was the nation that brought the greatest number of Blessing candidates to Seoul: 14,000 in all! What an amazing heavenly harvest. In America we have blessed many married couples and will continue to bless many families. Now the fruits of these families, their young people, can be matched.
There were so many young matchings to be done this time that we can imagine that even for True Father it must be a difficult task, even time-wise. We must develop the spiritual skills for the future. At one particular breaktime during the matching in Seoul, Father directed Continental leaders to exercise their skills and do some matchings. When True Father resumed the matching process himself, the leaders found that they had been 70% correct! Not bad! We were very happy to discover this.
So we can see what the future holds for all of us. As Tribal Messiahs, we will become more and more empowered with the Spirit to carry on this heavenly task. We will be co-partners with God, to perform and fulfill the most noble and precious heavenly act. True Parents trust us. They are sharing their heavenly mission and role with us. We have inherited this.
True Father said we have inherited seven generations. Centered on us, our families of seven generations can be immediately blessed.
True Mother has already begun her speaking tour in Japan. As we know, she will begin her tour in America on March 21. Mother will continue her world tour following True Parents Day in New York. For Mother's speech in New York we can plan to hold it banquet-style at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
During this same period of time in America, Dae Mo Nim, working through Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim, is planning a short visit, hopefully meeting with members in four cities: San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC and New York. As soon as a definite schedule has been worked out, we will make an announcement so that members everywhere can plan to see her. Even if the second generation has school scheduled, some arrangement should be made so that they too can attend. It is important and it is a tremendous opportunity that none of us should miss.
Well, following all the victory of Blessing '99, practically speaking, what do we have to do?
(1) We must launch and begin activities for the newly inaugurated "Interreligious International Federation for World Peace." This very year we must bring results.
(2) As Tribal Messiahs we will continue the Blessings and educate young people for the next matching, especially those in our own physical family, solidly building up our tribes.
(3) We will plan to go as couples/families to the Jardim 40-day Ideal Family workshop.
(4) We will accumulate as quickly as possible during this year, our "Living Offering" Family Fund.
Let us be grateful to God and True Parents everyday for their True Love and their many victories, in which they allow us to be co-creators and partners. Amen.
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