Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak
"True Family And I World Tour" True Parents' Ministry to the Nations
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak
It was my great honor to join True Parents' world speech tour. Father and Mother departed from Seoul, Korea last November 4th and began a 16-nation speech tour. Yesterday, Toronto, Canada was the last, the 16th speech. They returned safely to East Garden today.
Father and Mother visited more than 16 nations, but official public meetings were held in 16 nations. Related with Parents' speech tour, five nations had meetings centering on the national leader: England, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, and Swasiland. Altogether 21 countries. But there were 16 nations where Parents' held meetings and visited presidents and other officials. This was Father's original plan. Altogether this year Father and Mother's world tour included 36 nations. South and Central America--17 nations. Additionally they held speeches in the three major nations, Korea, Japan, America. And this time 16 countries, so altogether 36 nations. Also, In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim visited and spoke in six nations in Central and South America. If we add these six nations, then 42 nations. This was True Parents important lecture tour of 1995.
Even externally this 16-nation tour was a hard schedule for Father and Mother. Five times the flight schedule was a night flight. Also, in Europe they visited a different country almost every day. To pack up and travel to a new country every day is a hard schedule. Furthermore, in some countries they arrived at the hotel after 3 a.m. Also, there were not only time-zone differences, but also extreme weather conditions, sometimes summer, sometimes winter.
This time the content of True Parents' speech was historically and dispensationally very important. He spoke about the progress of restoration centering on True Parents, the first stage for restoration of elder sonship, then the era of parentship and the era of kingship. Father's world tour this time was linked with transition from the era of parentship to the era of kingship. Because of this dispensational meaning, Satan attacked this tour in many ways.
I divided the sixteen nations like this: The first stage, formation stage, was the five nations of the European continent--France, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary. Then the growth stage was the African countries--Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zaire and South Africa. Of course True Parents visited Swasiland for a short time also. The next five countries, the completion stage, were in Asia and Oceania--India, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. The final nation was Canada, in North America.
Exactly during the formation stage so many struggles took place. In one country, just one or two hours before Father and Mother's arrival time, the immigration office decided to cancel Father's visa to enter that country, and they sent a message to the airport desk. Our church leaders had negotiated with airport officials and arranged a reception for True Parents at the airport. No one knew of the cancellation until after plane arrived. That kind of thing happened. Also, there was not only government-level negative reaction, but some immigration officers or certain general home affairs directors or other persons reacted negatively. But that kind of result made True Parents' tour schedule very difficult, because before departure, the entire world schedule is settled, with the halls reserved, the invitation letters sent, everything. So there was no flexibility. This made it very difficult. Father's time schedule itself was already decided. One example, in Spain, on the national level they prepared to welcome us and all was proper, many kinds of VIPs and top leaders were waiting for True Parents. But the airplane connection process was blocked at a transit location. What could we do?
Not only was there this kind of visa-related negative reaction, but even on the mechanical side, in one instance there was just one hour and fifteen minutes to get a connecting flight, but our departure had been delayed, so we missed the connecting flight. So we had to wait at the airport seven hours. Another time, there was a mechanical problem, and we had to stay over one night in an African airport. Unfortunately, that airport was very substandard. These kinds of things surrounded Father's trip. Under these difficult conditions Father and Mother really sacrificed. Furthermore, Father and Mother staying in an airport the whole night? Really difficult conditions.
Once we got over this formation stage, things became freer. Father's foundation is very important. Because this foundation already existed, we could continue to work. Because such serious obstacles continued, we asked Father is there another method, is there another way? But Father never accepted that kind of idea. The believer's way of restoration is just go to straight, never try to find an easy way or give up. Father never gave up under such serious environmental conditions. Father's mind never wavered and his plan never changed.
Because of Father's determination we overcame the formation stage five nations, and then we were liberated. The five African nations gave Father a very good reception and many VIPs, cabinet ministers and national leaders welcomed True Parents. But at the last part of the growth stage, South Africa, the tenth meeting, once again Satan attacked. But with Father's strong determination and through mobilizing Father's existing foundation, we ultimately overcame. Overnight, they changed their decision and welcomed Father . They made us wait overnight and then they gave up and permitted everything. This is a very shameful situation for their country. But, True Parents got wonderful victory and had an amazing meeting there. After we passed this growth stage then everything went smoothly and we had a very good journey.
Father gave the direction that within this year, before the end of this year, 160 nations have to give this speech publicly, just as Father proclaimed this message and educated VIPs and other people all over the world. All mankind has to hear Father's proclamation. Because this is the transition period to kingship, this means the era of God's direct dominion work. Representing God, True Parents, in the position of the Abel-side king, had a world tour, so Satan's side, including the Cain-side king, had a final reaction. But Satan's negative reaction never goes over the growth stage.
Father's activities on this world tour can be divided into three kinds. First was Father's official public speeches. Second, Father and Mother educated our members. And third, Father met presidents, VIPs and top religious leaders. This agenda took place in each nation.
There were three types of official public speeches. First, people and VIPs gathered in a room such as a grand ballroom or a lecture hall and heard a lecture. 1,000-3,000 guests came on the average. A unique one was the open-air meeting in Zaire, where Father spoke to an audience in the garden in front of the Parliament building. There were close to 20,000 people in the audience. Three nations had a banquet style meeting: Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Top VIPs gathered and the audience was 400-500.
Generally, they were shown a video introducing Father and a welcoming address was given by a leader in that nation. In the Philippines the speaker of the National Assembly welcomed Father. In Taiwan, the minister of political affairs welcomed Father. Or some eminent scholar or religious leader welcomed Father.
Generally on this tour the audiences received True Parents' message very well. The speech Father gives is long, with a deep message, but the audiences were very sincere and listened well. Because of Father's attitude, he proudly and so confidently approached them, no one had any negative reaction. On this trip Father visited so many continents, each with a completely different environment. Also the audiences' religious foundations were completely different. Some had a Christian foundation, some Buddhist, some Hindu, but the response was always the same.
After Father's speech someone would give a response. Usually they praised True Parents, shared a flag, or gave some comment. Most of them spoke of their appreciation for True Parents' efforts regarding the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, PWPA or Women's Federation, and in many cases, especially in Africa or Italy, the IRFF, the International Relief Friendship Foundation.
This time almost all the nations' news media--TV and newspapers-- reported and printed a very objective, positive view. Even this morning, Canada reported objectively and well. In some countries, especially in Africa, the entire front page of the newspaper was devoted to Father's visit and lecture.
At the members' meetings on the average Father spoke until 2 a.m. But in two countries, Father spoke to the members the whole night. Even though the general schedule itself was too hard, Father spent that much time speaking to the members. Father really worked hard. Also each country had Japanese missionaries, so sometimes Father met with them separately, which took more time out of the schedule. For example, in India, the official meeting was at 11:30 a.m., daytime, because it was Saturday. After that meeting was finished, then there was a VIP luncheon meeting with representatives of each religion, where Father also spoke. Then the members' meeting started in the late afternoon. Then after a late dinner, Father educated the Japanese sisters. Near midnight, Father departed to the airport for an overnight flight to the Philippines. Father had that kind of demanding schedule, lecturing continuously.
To the members Father spoke mostly about the inner content of the Principle, life of faith and true love. He continually spoke and educated the members. You don't know how the African members felt when they met Father. They were anxiously awaiting Father. This was the first time Father and Mother together visited those six nations, so members were crying. In many countries it was difficult for Father's car to move because of the members rushing to say something, praising Father, thanking him or just saying goodbye. It was impossible for all the members to gather together in one place. In Africa they have no money to pay for transportation. Only those who lived near the city where Father spoke could come. Others could not come. In the Ivory Coast, even though it was late evening, more than 1,500 members gathered for the members' meeting. In the Philippines, almost 3,000 members came; in Zaire, a little more than 5,000 members, and in Taiwan, 1,500. Especially in Taiwan only a small percentage of members are over 30 years old. The others are in their 20s. Father felt they were like fresh air and he predicted a bright future for their activities.
Also in the Philippines there are many members. Most of them are college students and college graduates. 3,000 members gathered there in a big convention hall. Father enjoyed his time with the members. In Zaire and other African nations, members came to meet Father at the airport. They have a New Hope singers in Africa. A crowd of people were dancing and singing, with tears in their eyes. Really their shared their pure heart with Father. Father and Mother were deeply touched.
Through this kind of education of the worldwide membership I believe the level of their faith and their heart was raised. Also, because they met True Parents substantially, they were really moved, with a deep determination and a new start for the next goal.
Father met many important VIPs. Originally, Father wanted to meet with the presidents of the various countries privately, and meet other VIPs only at the official meetings. But in special cases, Father made an exception. One example, the Zaire general meeting was held near the border of the neighboring country of Congo. Representatives of that nation, including their minister of state, three cabinet ministers and one former cabinet minister, came to the general meeting, which was held outside. Father invited them for breakfast. I was so moved by their attitude toward Father. They were so respectful and listened well. They returned home and the same day they sent a state level of invitation letter, signed by the president, to True Parents saying, next time, any time please visit our nation.
In another instance, at the South Africa meeting, the vice prime minister of the neighboring country of Malawi came and many of the neighboring countries' ministers came. Among the audience, the first four or five rows were all VIPs, including ambassadors. Their attitude was so humble and they completely received Father's message, without the least bit of arrogance. They were just like our members, an exemplary audience. The cabinet ministers from the neighboring countries had no chance to meet Father personally, so only on that occasion Father made an exception and after he finished the speech he came down to the front row and shook the hands of the representatives, including the vice prime minister of Malawi. From this tour Father received an official state invitation from four nations.
A leader of the opposition party in Equatorial Guinea who is running in next year's presidential elections arrived and asked Father for his prayers and spiritual support. That kind of person had only a short time to greet Father, because of Father's tight schedule. Even a leader of Australia's opposition party visited Father and asked for guidance and spiritual support.
In India, the top leader of the Sikh religion, Singh Shahi, had personally attended Father's inter-religious congress. Already he knew something about Father's activities and ideas. This time he came just to meet Father. He took a 4 a.m. train for a seven hour train ride and arrived in New Delhi. He came to Father's luncheon meeting with his six assistants, all top Sikh leaders. Only these top Sikh leaders Father met personally and spoke to directly. I was so moved. After Father's speech was finished and before they departed, the top leader, Singh Shahi, greeted Father. He accepted Father's viewpoint about history and contemporary society. He called Father, "Man of God." _Because of your efforts and your teachings,_ he said, _All mankind who has conscience must assist and support and follow you. I myself, with my position, I will cooperate with you and support you." Father asked him to cooperate and join with us for the upcoming 3.6 million blessing. So he agreed and promised.
He was internally, heartistically moved. I went to the lobby to say goodbye to him as he was leaving in the car, and he had tears in his eyes. I believe Heavenly Father and the spirit world are now working. Their followers now number 50 million. Of course, in India it is a minority group, but still it is a large group. I expect a lot for the future blessing. To have them come and listen to Father's speech was a very important opportunity for them and for us.
In India there are many religions. The audience was colorful, wearing all kinds of fashions. Our church's foundation in India is weak, so the regional leader, Ursula, using Father's Inter-Religious Foundation, linked all the top religious leaders together and made a welcoming committee for True Parents. The committee numbered 35. They brought their spouses, so seventy VIPs gathered for the luncheon. After the luncheon Father asked them, "Do you want to listen more or not?" They accepted; they wanted to listen to Father speak more. Father did not stay behind the podium but took the microphone and walked between the seats, touching the guests. Later Father commented to me, because they are so strictly linked with tradition and they are proud of their long history, Father wanted to break that kind of routine and give them fresh ideas. So Father lectured like this.
This kind of religious leaders' meeting in a certain sense is like the realization of a dream. Leaders of Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism in India are close to Father; they respect Father. Because of Father's more than twenty years of interfaith giving, now the result is coming.
Furthermore, in Ghana and the Ivory Coast top religious leaders and ministers gathered, wanting to greet Father and show appreciation to Father. Especially in the Ghana meeting, a Nigerian Christian association representative and the president of a Ghanan Christian association officially praised Father's effort and content. Especially the Nigerian representative praised Father and shared his determination, to a greater extent than even our church members and church leaders. Father listened and then he once again guided them and talked to them. So top worldwide religious leaders are close to Father.
Another special occasion was in the Philippines. The meeting was banquet style, with many VIPs at the head table, such as the speaker of the National Assembly and senators and representatives of the House. They each greeted and welcomed and praised Father. Later one VIP commented to our leader, Rev. Byung Wooh Kim, that in the country's entire history never have so many high level VIPs gathered in one place, so heartistically close. In the Philippines, because of our church leader's effort, a very high-level person joined our church. Also one brother is now president of the daily newspaper and president of the Catholic University. He is a very well-known leader in the Philippines. He has been connected to our church for a long time, but even though he is a Catholic leader, he really heartistically respects Father. With that kind of leader working, many areas of leaders in that country can become much closer to our activities for purity and family values. There is a lot of potential there. Father met President Ramos. Not only the president but also other high-level national Philippine leaders are now close to us. The general atmosphere was like a revival meeting.
Also Taiwan. For this last blessing, a government cabinet minister, Hwang, worked to help Taiwanese young people make strong families. Because of his intitiative, almost 10,000 couples received the blessing. Really he is a righteous person. He received tremendous persecution because he stood on the front line and prepared for our blessing. Father sent me to greet him after the 360,000 couple blessing ceremony. When I met him I really thanked him and greeted him, and I comforted him. Because Taiwan is so close to Japan, all kinds of negative magazines or newspapers from Japan arrive the same day in Taiwan. And because of his dedication, a negative Korean minister flew there to try to influence him. With that kind of reaction from overseas, and even in Taiwan some existing churches negative reacted to him, he continued to stand firm. This time I once again deeply thanked him because in front of an audience of 3,000, including the Korean ambassador Han and cabinet ministers and congressmen and many kinds of leaders. He welcomed Father and until the last moment attended Father. He is really a righteous person.
Father met one archbishop in Zaire whom Father invited to luncheon. He has one million followers. Because of the interfaith movement he is very close, and was one of the welcoming address speakers. Another one was the secretary-general of the Kimbanguist movement. Both gave a welcoming address at Father's public meetings. At the luncheon time also, Father urged to him to dedicate more for God's will. Such well- known religious denominational leaders worldwide are now close to True Parents. This means next time they will join the blessing together with us.
Burkina Faso, one of the representatives of hungry and poorly developed countries, is just the middle of Sahara Desert. There is no water. We are freely drinking water, how happy we are. They have no water. So when Father met the president, a very handsome young man, Father guided him as a father to a son, teaching him. Then Father urged him with hope, "You should educate the younger generation with Divine Principle." So the president promised 10,000 youth, basically college students and college graduates, to participate in youth education. Father visited western countries and also other African nations. Because of our African or underdeveloped countries' members' heart and their faith toward True Father and True Mother, restoration of the country itself in the near future is possible in this era.
Father's speech is very important. All blessed couples please keep this speech in your home, and if possible distribute this speech. If this speech stays in the home, then already Heavenly Father's and spirit world's good spirits can work in that home. We have to distribute this speech even by advertising in the media. All blessed couples will live centering on this speech.
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