The Words of the Fortune Family

Reflections From The Time Before And During My Israel Trip (May 21 Ė 28, 2004)

Cecilie Fortune
June 9, 2004

My whole experience with Israel started seven months before I came here. When the first European mobilization started, my husband participated and I was quite happy for him to go, and not me. Instinctively, I felt fear coming up in me and whenever I thought about Israel, uneasiness and conflict arose. Soon after the tears started to flow. They flowed any time, while driving in the car, doing the washing up, during Hoon Dok Hae. Sometimes for a long, other times only for a short while. In myself, I felt fine during these months, then suddenly this other person in me broke out in tears. I prayed every day to try to understand what was happening. I was overcome by some incredible deep pain and fear, which I felt went back a very long time. At times my whole face was quivering. I knew, that one day I would have to go to Israel.

The next mobilization came up in December 2003 and I was preparing to take the big step. However, from our South London region nobody was free to participate in the 3-weeks task force leading up to the event, so my husband volunteered to go. I was so relieved. I felt I had been spared once again. From this time on, I knew that I had to come to a point of completely denying my life and be ready to give my life, before I could go to Israel. It was a somehow bizarre situation: I was happily and energetically going about my mission and daily activities, with daily outbursts of incredible pain and lots of tears. I felt Godís love and presence very close to me during this time.

There was a period at the beginning of this year when Israel wasnít much spoken about and I could put the painful emotions aside for a while, knowing that the time would come when I would have to deal with it again. When the womenís "Heart to Heart for Peace" rally came up, it was clear to me that I could not escape any longer. I prayed every day for strength and readiness to give my life. More and more I felt that one of my very distant forefathers had not been ready to sacrifice his/her life, and omitting to do so caused so much pain for the descendants. I was determined to go, whatever might happen, but wondered how I would even get on the plane as I felt I would cry non stop, even for the whole 7 days I was going to be there.

The week before leaving I spoke to our national leader and he suggested to offer some extra condition. Straight away I could unite with this and that week, day by day, I felt I overcame the fear of dying more and more. On the morning of leaving I was completely peaceful and relaxed, very happy and full of anticipation. By now, it was my husband who was anxious.

The week in Israel was absolutely great. I enjoyed every minute of it. It has been extremely enlightening and meaningful. It felt like being in a melting pot of history and people. I felt deeply connected to Christian sites as well as the Muslimís 3rd Holy Place, the Al Aqsa Mosque. I was very surprised to experience how strongly I felt rooted to this place. Literally I felt roots going deep down into the soil and that this is home. With that I realized how much the people of this land, the Israelis and Palestinians, are brothers and sisters. But not just they, but all of us originate from the same roots. Any time I witnessed Israelis and Palestinians embrace each other, I was so moved. Any time I heard testimonies when both sides expressed a desire to work together, to love each other and a desire to live together in peace, I felt great hope. And I met a lot of people like that and felt deep love for both the Israelis and Palestinians alike. We truly have to go with the heart of a mother, to embrace, to love and to forgive, in order to bring the brothers together. All we can do is to listen and let them express their hearts. Teaching and preaching will not bring anything; the situation has become too complex. Nobody I shared these ideals with opposed me. The time is ripe for wondrous things to happen here. Instead of loosing my life, I came back with more life. The feeling of being rooted is very strongly with me and has given me a security and connectedness I have never experienced before. My hope now is to develop my relationship with the people I met and get some real co-operation and bridge building going between them and us.

Again, I am amazed at the incredible vision and understanding of our True Parents and the only thing we would ever have to worry about is if we were not united with them.

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