The Words of the Wilcox Family
Photos by Demian Dunkley -- ACLC/WFWP
At 8:30 am. on Saturday, May 31st, members of the Family Church of San Diego started to gather with their guests at the local church in La Mesa. This event was sponsored by ACLC and WFWP. The weather was picture perfect and the women reflected this in all their beautiful outfits. Of course men were welcome at this day honoring mothers, and many husbands and sons were also in attendance. Everyone enjoyed refreshments and visiting with one another before the main program began at 9:00 am. Walter Frank, our local pastor, opened the program with welcoming remarks. He emphasized the importance of not letting race or nationality become a barrier to relating to other people. He talked about our all belonging to one world family. He shared some stories from his own life when he had to endure racial attacks because of his brown skin and mixed Hispanic/Native American ancestry. Surely it must have been a comfort to God to see this peaceful group of different races religions and nationalities all gathered together.
Entertainment was provided by the Family Church's two musical groups, the rock band "All the Above" and youth choir, "One Voice Choir." The audience was serenaded by a new version of the song "Amazing Grace." And Mai Thurston offered a beautiful solo of "The Rose." Sydelle Enyeart, one of the main organizers of the event, introduced the first guest speaker, Rev. Abigail Albert. She gave a testimony of gratitude to her birth mother and adoptive parents. She expressed love for the birth mother she never met, who chose to preserve her life, even though she wasn't able to raise Abigail. And she paid tribute to her adoptive parents who gave her a secure and happy childhood. She related how her mother always wanted to be a missionary. Clearly this had an influence on Abigail, who decided to enter the ministry.
Mrs. Darleen Fardan gave a moving testimony and tribute to her mother who she had lost recently at the age of 64. She became tearful, and implored us to love our mothers while they are alive. She reminded us that if we wait too long, we might miss the chance. Mrs. Claudelina Smith gave an introduction to Women's Federation for World Peace, sharing about some of its projects. One of these activities is for women to save their loose change to donate for Africa. Many of the women present today brought piggy banks, provided by Women's Federation, and emptied them out so the donations could be gathered. Next, Monica Ishioka gave an introduction to four women who were receiving framed certificate awards from Women's Federation. They were honored for their contributions in the community and as mothers. These women were: Mrs. Barbara Louise, Mrs. Maria Thomas, Mrs. Jacqeline Nichols, and Mrs. Anita TwoBears.
Things were really warming up in the room as we prepared for the final event of the day's program, the Bridge of Peace Ceremony. For this, the women were divided up into two groups, lining up on opposite sides of the room. The first two, at the head of each line faced one another and bowed. Then they walked towards each other and exchanged flowers and embraced one another. This was the first step for the women to make a new friend, a "sister." Phone numbers and other contact information was exchanged and we promised to stay in touch. When the women were finished crossing the bridge, some of the men also lined up and were matched up with a new "brother." Throughout this whole event, the One Voice Choir sang, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," creating a truly heavenly atmosphere. We closed the program and enjoyed a bountiful lunch buffet, prepared by the San Diego Family Church. Most of us sat with our new "sisters" and started to get to know each other better. Special thanks go to Toshiko Modesitt, who worked very hard behind the scenes to make this program happen. Also thank you to Suyapa Frank, Solange Weiss, Hiromi Thurston and all the other sisters who cleaned, cooked, and brought guests.