The Words of the Walther Family
A parents' weekend had just finished when Johann and Traudl Ebi, our leaders, called all brothers and sisters together to announce the most exciting news in a long time: A call had come from Rev. Kwak saying that all our European leaders from the 120-day training in America would return, plus that all European members 22 years old or more with at least two years in the family were invited for a "special workshop" in Camberg. Guess why?
Quickly, preparations were made. Some 600-800 brothers and sisters were expected. The final count was 1000. Since they would be staying for an indefinite time, where would they all sleep? Outside? Well, no problem; well organize big army tents, just like six years ago when True Parents were in Germany the last time. We also have some big trailers which will serve well.
For such a long time, we had been waiting to see our Father and Mother again. We had been hoping so much that they would come. For years, there has been a deep hunger and thirst in Europe to see the True Parents and learn from them directly. Soon the tents were set up, creating a pioneer-like or even vacation-like atmosphere. Everybody worked around the clock to make the place as beautiful as possible.
On Thursday noon, June 11, the first bus from England arrived, loaded with brothers and sisters. More cars, buses and trailers kept coming with more "heavenly loads" until late at night. I was in the reception area taking down all their names. Looking into their bright faces was a real delight! They seemed so young to me. Their excitement and joy soon filled the air even more. Two days were set aside for a workshop; Rev. Byung Ho Kim and Mr. Abe arrived from England to give special lectures on the subjects of Blessing, purity, repentance and forgiveness. This really helped most of the members to understand many things and get into the right spirit.
The whole scene was very harmonious and peaceful; the weather and nature as well seemed to participate in that preparation. Many different languages could be heard, but there was only one spirit. Banners proclaimed "Welcome True Parents to Europe." For sure, they couldn't come in the clouds, because there weren't any.
On Saturday afternoon, we heard that all the previously married couples eligible for the Blessing should prepare their white robes. In only a few hours, live Parents would arrive. Where to get all the white robes, pants, etc., so quickly? They came somehow, from England and from France; good cooperation among everybody made it possible to provide everything on such short notice. Some hems had to be adjusted, the clothes pressed, etc. Kneeling on the floor, the wives did everything themselves in a hurry. In the midst of all this, suddenly the national leaders arrived. Word was then passed around that our True Parents would come in two hours. Will they really come? Still it was hard for me to believe it.
Then we were all called to the main yard to greet them as soon as they appeared in the driveway. One sister pointed up to the sky; a most beautiful rainbow had appeared in the middle of the blue sky. Incredible! Just as if Heavenly Father was smiling from ear to ear. "Peeep, peeeep," the walkie-talkie of the brother next to me sounded. Then a voice said, "A big car is coming! But wait, oh, no, it's not them." But finally they did come: three dark blue Mercedes pulled up the driveway and out came Col. Han and other Korean leaders, and in the next car we saw our Father and our Mother. What a great moment of joy to see them!
Even three of the children had come along with them: Heung Jin Nim, In Jin Nim and Un Jin Nim. Some brothers and sisters next to me cried.
The Blessing candidates were summoned to the main hall. Father wanted to give the Blessing right away. He took no rest. That's our Father! That was how he "worked" those three days he spent in Camberg: from his arrival on, there was not one minute wasted. True Parents hardly ate a thing before they went to the main hall, the former barn of the farm. Everyone else waited in silence in the area. The 40 Blessing candidates were seated inside, and the rest of us watched from the windows or the open door to see what would happen inside.
Father spoke briefly to them, and soon they put on their white robes and received the Blessing. It seemed like a dream to me. A holy atmosphere filled the air; the day slowly waned. Over mountain, fields and trees, dusk settled down, peace was everywhere, and inside the house our True Parents were giving the greatest Blessing on earth to European couples. I felt so much hope and gratitude.
Father had hardly finished the ceremony when he announced a matching for all the younger candidates, about 600 of them. They all packed themselves into the main hall. There was scarcely room to breathe. The joyful atmosphere from the Blessing was still in the air. Father, Mother and two of the children came in again. Father began joking around, uplifting everybody in a very personal, familiar, family-like gathering. It was sheer pleasure just to be together with Father, just to watch him.
I had managed to get a good spot by the open door in order to watch a little. Father distributed his famous clouts and hits in order to establish a more close relationship with the brothers and sisters. When he asked who had met him before, half of those present raised their hands. He then spoke about the meaning of the matching and how he was the all-time matching champion. "If you were to take all your life to choose," he said, "you would not find your match: for me it takes less than one minute."
A few times he asked them whether they wanted him to match them and whether they would trust his choice. "Yes, of course." So after some time, he told one brother to stand up, and another brother, and so on until a line was formed. He did the same with some sisters. Suddenly he just pushed them together as they stood in front of each other! "Oh boy, what's that?" we wondered. But wait, he pulled them apart again and matched them in all directions, smiling broadly. A big round of applause greeted each couple. It was an exciting experience to see the new couples coming out. Many resembled each other externally. During that first night, Father put together about 150 couples, continuing without pause until 5:00 a.m.
At 10:00 the next morning Father continued matching. Already-matched couples walked around talking and enjoying together the beauty of nature and the preciousness of that day. That morning Father spent much time speaking to the older Blessing candidates, asking them about their lives, their dreams, their desires. He also told them about their strong and weak points and outlined the kind of partner they would need as their complement. Some chose their eternal mate themselves. He really is our Father. It took a long time that morning until the first matched couples emerged; but then many, many burst like bubbles out of the hall.
Such a joy and happiness Camberg hadn't seen in a long time! At that moment, a united Europe didn't seem to be far away at all. As I heard from brothers and sisters, Father also had explained in detail the importance of matchings between Italians and Germans and between each different European nation. For such a long time in history they had been separated, often waging wars against each other. The only way to really unite them forever is through marriage. Also, this is the key to restoring the mistakes in history.
Around 2:00 p.m. Father finished matching. There were about 302 couples in all. The holy wine ceremony was announced for after lunch. Quickly, lunch was served. In the meantime, Father went to another area to speak to some brothers and sisters who had refused the matching. Two black couples had wanted to be matched with white persons, but Father explained to them very deeply why the time for interracial marriages had not yet come. Only now and then could he match couples of different races, but the foundation is not yet strong enough to do it on a large scale. He also told those couples why he had chosen that particular mate for them.
Father's way of thinking is so different from ours, so wide and beautiful. They all had some time to think over Father's words and reach a final decision. All except two couples eventually accepted Father's choice, and two new couples were matched as well. As Rev. Kim told us later, Father was very happy that almost 100 percent of those he matched accepted the match. Surely the days of preparation had contributed to that.
It may be interesting that Father himself has usually prepared the candidates for matching, but this time his first followers took that position. Most likely it was Ye Jin Nim's marriage that brought a change to that tradition.
About 100 brothers were left over from the matching, so Father consoled them with quite a long speech about Cain and Abel, which he repeated in a way in his engagement talk.
Then the holy part -- the wine ceremony -- began, and afterwards Father spoke. Father then asked who would like to sing a song. An Italian sister and a German brother presented two deeply touching pieces; Father was delighted. As usual, of course, he and Mother sang some traditional songs, such as "O Maya." But the time was getting short and Father had to leave. Rev. Kim then instructed the engaged couples on their new mission. "How to move Europe is now in your hands," he said.
That night was spent in talk, rejoicing or meditation. There was a Kingdom of Heaven-like feeling in the air.
The following day, Father called together all European leaders as well as their assistants and gave new directions and guidance for the coming years in Europe. From now on, there will be only a united Europe, he said. He announced a great witnessing and prayer-campaign and emphasized the necessity of establishing a tradition here, something lacking so far.
In the meantime, since Father's children were around, we asked them how they viewed their parents. They gave the most moving testimony I have ever heard.
Then the moment of departure came. Our True Parents again had hardly eaten or rested when they got back into their cars to take off. Many tears rolled down our cheeks, tears of love, longing to be with True Parents longer, hope to see them again. We all waved and waved until the cars had disappeared behind the curve.
So, now they were gone. We still waved. They were gone, but still they were here, I felt. We didn't quite know what to do now So Rev. Kim began to speak, expressing his feelings about The Parents. He cried and many of us did likewise. Such a deep feeling of unity. All brothers and sisters from different nations in Europe -- only through True Parents was this possible. We felt so much hope for the future. We ended with a deep common prayer and determination to help True Parents in Europe. We know it is now up to us. Well bring the victory with His power, but with our own hands.