The Words of the Ladouce Family

Witnessing in Lyons: really "cool"

Laurent Ladouce
May 7, 2003

Dear brothers and sisters,

I would like to make a brief report about the Easter activities of HARP in France during the month of april. This posting is divided into 2 short parts.

Part 1 - Overview Of Easter Activites

France is divided in 3 zones for Easter vacations, so that the students have their 15 day-break stretching throughout a whole month: when Zone A resumes the school, Zone C starts its holidays. And zone B overlaps. The advantage is obvious: provided you have a central figure who is available for one month (for instance myself), you can mobilize people for one month, who take turns. That is what we did.

Our motto was "Spreading God's Blessings", and we kept in mind Father's tradition of loving Cain first, loving the people out there more than we love our own brothers and sisters. This revolution of heart is now accepted by more than 1/3 of the French HARP members, who feel that HARP should not be a "Moonie" youth club, but should be a Unificationist organization responsible to guide the youth toward the Principle.

We held our regular workshops in our sanctuary of Chamarande. HARP members organized a 5-day Principle workshop for the younger ones (aged 10 - 12) and then had their own 5-day Principle workshop for the year 2003 (for those who missed the first one). We considered these workshops as being part of the 1st Blessing activity.

Those who had already attended the Principle workshop in February were encouraged to join activities relating to the Second and Third Blessing respectively:

Fundraising in the North mobilized 8 people for 6 full days. For 5 of them, it was their first experience. Their age is between 14 and 17. Their result was 3.200 dollars, which were very helpful for the witnessing activity. - We had two fishing sessions in the Atlantic Ocean mobilizing 9 HARPies and then 7. The money for this project had been raised in February by 12 people.

Fundraising and Fishing were introduced as relating to the Third Blessing. Furthermore, the restoration of all things is the foundation to restore human beings.

Witnessing was the main program, relating to the Second Blessing. In my mind, however, witnessing cannot produce any results without the spiritual foundation brought by other activities. Our common motto created a unified spirit among all HARPies nationwide. We kept phoning to one another till the end.

Would you like to know how things developed in witnessing? Please read the second part of this posting.

Part 2 - Witnessing In Lyons

1. The "Praying Hil" and the "Working Hill"

Lyons (Lyon in French language) is the second city of France. The cradle of Christianity in our nation, it was also the capital of the French resistance against Nazism. The city is famous for the junction of its two rivers (Rhône and Saône) and also for its two hills : Fourvière and Croix-Rousse. The "Praying hill" of Fourvière hosts the huge basilica of Notre Dame, from which one can see the Alp Mountains, 100 miles ahead. Besides the basilica, there are many convents. The spiritual activity is still strong. We have our witnessing center there. The "Working hill" of Croix-Rousse is the symbol of the working proletariat which was somehow neglected by the Catholic church in the 19th century. As the Introduction of the Principle says: "When ecclesiastical love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slulms, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth ..."

Despite a potential for class struggle and bitter antagonism between two worlds, the modern city of Lyons has kept its reputation of being blessed, plentiful, prosperous. It is less affected than other big cities of France by social problems, it is also less arrogant than many other cities in advertising its good points. A Unificationist would call it an Abel-type city.

2. Results of witnessing

The regional leader of Lyons received the revelation that a center should be open in Fourvière during the "Four Position Foundation Blessing" in Chung Pyung Lake in 2000. Two brothers of the same region received the same message very clearly. The HARP occupied this center on 3 occasions in 2001; in april 2001, we could restore a Cathoic seminarian who was in his 4th year at this time. He is now Blessed, and has started family life. His spiritual father was 15 in 2001.

In 2003, we mobilized about 20 people, aged 14 to 21 in order to witness to the people. In 28 days, we gave 155 Divine Principle lectures. 48 people heard the Introduction, out of which 16 also studied chapter 1 and chapter 2. Ten people studied until the Principle of Restoration, and 6 graduated the level 1 of Principle study (studying until Second Coming. We now have a potential of 5 to 10 spiritual children. Well, it is a just a beginning, I am going back to Lyons in a few days to follow up these people.

The HARP members can grow a lot through this kind of witnessing activity. Again, witnessing should come on the foundation of regular attendance of HARP workshops and a steady life of faith. Not any HARPie is able to witness. Yet, sometimes, even "cool" and "just for fun" HARPies can get results, if they follow the right tradition. They can be captured by heavenly joy and happiness, even if they make almost no effort, provided they serve in the center, go out with somebody who is really motivated and try to embrace the guest. Let us be honest: you cannot expect a teenager to be desperate for the eternal life of a person. This realization often comes later, and not always. But HARPies are so fresh and really cute when they witness. the most amazing scene to behold recently in Fourvière was to see 15 or 16-year boys teaching Eschatology or Christology to 40-year old people and bringing them to tears. That is really "cool".

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