The Words of the Ladouce Family
November 8, 2003
Compiled on November 28, 2003
November 8 Ė Day 2
During the Hoon Dok Hae, Fatherís words were read by Stefan Berg and Libby Henkin from Team 5. Then, Jean-Paul Chaudy (Team 5) and Pasquale Lai (Team 6) offered testimonies. After breakfast, I was very delighted to receive an e-mail from Shigeko who asked me not to worry, but to "Go Forward".
At 10:00, we went together to the Holy Ground that Father had established in 1967. We prayed to understand the mission of Japan and our own mission there and we took a group picture. We realised that we were entering a new dimension of our work. We were now 24 people, and the relationships would have to become more intimate and personal. But we were also anxious to know what our activity would be there.
When we came back from the Holy Ground, many teenagers had arrived and taken possession of the Training Centre. These Blessed Children were all HARP and CARP members and they were having a serious session of lecture practice, all dressed in their navy blue school uniforms; the atmosphere was solemn, formal and rigid. But during the lunch, we discovered that all of them have very rich personalities and are really spontaneous and joyful. They started to prepare games and songs for the afternoon program.
Meanwhile, we all went to the public bath of a golf club, 10 km from the training centre. We discovered a rural area which resembles many places of Europe, except for the architecture of the houses. The quality of the roads, of all public equipment, the abundance that we could notice everywhere were reminding us that Japan is an economic giant, the first and for the moment the only nation of Asia which has really managed to compete with the Western powers in almost every field of human activity, leaving the position of a secluded island to become one of the leading nations.
And once we were relaxed, we visited a big park where children can become familiar with nature. We all were touched by the exquisite beauty of the place. Japan has cultivated the quest of harmony for several centuries and is famous world-wide for its aesthetic achievements.
During the evening, we were happy to mix one more time with the second generation and have activities together. Team 6 held a simple and moving memorial service in the prayer room for the husband of Fumiko, who had passed away on November 8, 1999, after a long agony. He had been a professor of physics, and had gradually accepted the Principle. There was something very poignant in Fumikoís prayer. The prayer room emanated a very peaceful, quiet and motherly atmosphere and we felt very subtle vibrations of heavenly love. Fumiko was very concerned to connect her deceased husband to the mission of the 84.
After Pledge and Hoon Dok Hae, many of us had time to deal with personal affairs. As we left for the Sunday service, we felt a growing tension. We knew that we were going to see the Japanese members for the Sunday service, and that the atmosphere would certainly be tense, because of the very pressure which is made on the Japanese members to fulfil the providential goals. We were welcomed at the 5th floor of the Abeno church building by Reverend Kim, the leader of Central Osaka in region 6. In other words, he is the central figure of Mr. Hamada. Like many other Korean leaders in this position, he has a Japanese wife and speaks Japanese fluently.
He has been in Japan since 1992. A very special atmosphere was being created to welcome us. As we were in the living room, he turned a TV monitor and the picture of the Sunday service appeared. The image showed a sort of crimson room, with a very dense atmosphere of intense concentration. We realised that members were waiting for us with utmost seriousness. After a few minutes, Reverend Kim gave the signal that we should now go down and enter the arena of the spiritual warfare. When we entered the room, which was jam-packed, there were a thunder of applause, tears, handkerchiefs, bright eyes. We were told that this church gathering was very historical and would be reported immediately to Father, who was watching us. Our delegation felt very responsible to inspire Japanese members, but we also know that the pressure that they experience is by far much heavier than the one we experience. I was asked to report about our experiences in New York and Seoul, and I showed many pictures and various documents. Then, Reverend Kim awarded several members of the congregation who had recently offered donations of 14,000 dollars. They all received the book "The Moment" containing black and white pictures of True Father. The Sunday service ended at 12:15, and we walked to the Abeno training center where the young members are educated and trained in the life of faith. Upon entering the dining room, we were beautifully welcomed by a choir of young and fresh sisters who sang 3 songs (one in Korean, one in Japanese, and one in English) and later served us at our tables. "You will be served curry rice, Mr. Hamada said. This is the tradition of the Japanese members every Sunday. You can feel their heart through this food." His wife Eddie soon entered the room and greeted all of us with a radiant smile.
During lunch, I spoke with Francois, a member from Congo who lives in Osaka with his Japanese wife. Mr. Takigawa, the husband of Colette also came in and greeted us, as well as an Italian sister who knew Ferdinand very well. When lunch was finished, we visited the castle of Osaka, where the holy ground is also situated. We were welcomed in the gardens of the castle by samurais, and then took a lift to the top of the castle. We could learn a few episodes of Japanese history and have an overview of the whole city: the NHK building, the governorís office, the New Otani Hotel. At 4 p.m., team 6 arrived and joined us at the Holy Ground for a common prayer with the Japanese leaders. We were back at Takarazuka at 6:15 and could greet our young friends of HARP and CARP who were leaving the place. The Korean leaders had stayed in Osaka to discuss the plan of activities with some Japanese leaders.
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