The Words of the D'Alberti Family
My father and I arrived at Incheon International Airport in the afternoon of June 26, after a thirteen-hour flight. When all the parents and candidates had gathered, a bus took us to the Youth Center near Chung Pyung. We arrived there around midnight so one of our concerns was how to get some much-needed sleep. We were told that in the morning there would be guidance in the sports hall, followed by breakfast, after which we would all be going to Chung Pyung so Father could match us.
The next morning I woke up and prepared for the matching. I put on my nicest clothes and went to the sports hall. What a surprise! The "guidance" was actually morning sports. You can imagine what it was like when two hundred and fifty candidates were stretching in their sportswear, while I was the only one dressed formally.
After breakfast, ready for the matching, we all met and took buses to Chung Pyung. Upon arrival, staff members led us to a small hall. We all felt fear and anxiety, anticipating what the matching would be like. The MC asked us to sit down. "Would it finally start? How long would True Father speak before he started matching? Would he ask someone to sing? Who was I going to be matched with?" While thinking about these things, surprising information was given to us. True Father was not there and nobody was sure when he would be arriving. Meanwhile, second-generation leaders from Korea and Japan began teaching us about the matching and blessing. They shared their own experiences -- including the situations they went through and the challenges they faced.
Having endured several hours of lectures and guidance, the time finally came for dinner, shortly after which, the MC stated, True Father would arrive. Full of enthusiasm, we went for dinner and came back as fast as possible, thrilled that finally the matching would commence. We assembled again in the hall with the previously lost feeling of fear and anxiety, waiting for further word. First of all, our parents had to leave, so they wouldn't distract us during the matching process. Not all the parents had accompanied their sons and daughters to Korea but many of them had.
Asked to sit quietly and meditate, I noticed that my heart was pounding. We closed our eyes and merged our thoughts in the silence. Eventually, several brothers and sisters were asked to sing songs. Following this, we were again asked to prepare internally, this time for the imminent arrival of True Father. This appeared to be a second false alarm and the lectures proceeded yet again. With the announcement of True Father's certain arrival, we began to prepare the hall and arrange ourselves into regional and age order. At last, True Parents entered to a powerful heartfelt applause. Father asked how the candidates were arranged in the room then asked for those twenty-six years old or older to raise their hands. 1 was surprised when twenty or thirsty hands rose. This surprise was heightened when it transpired that the oldest candidate was thirty-six. Shocked, True Father asked, "What are you doing here? You could already have children!" After this small incident, True Father stood up and the matching began.
With the completion of matching of the older brothers and sisters, I knew my time had come. The group I was in, eighteen-year-old brothers, was called. Apprehensively, I stood up, positioning myself in the last row. While True Father was matching one of my friends, a misunderstanding resulted in three sisters being prompted forward by the sisters surrounding them. Only the last sister was the correct match. Unexpectedly, True Father turned, focused, and called for the tall Western brother in the back. It was me! I passed through a wall of brothers in front and was matched to the sister prompted first in the previous matching, Dawn Haider, from the United States. We showed our gratitude by bowing to True Parents.
Upon leaving the hall, we noticed parents waiting, greeting their new sons or daughter-in-laws and taking pictures. My father is Italian, my mother, German. Dawn's father is Austrian, her mother American. While I had come with my father, Dawn had come with her mother. We told the rest of our families about our matching by telephone.
After our official photographs were taken, we had the opportunity to pray together as a newly matched couple. We were touched by the efforts of the Chung Pyung workshop participants, who formed a human corridor in front of the prayer room.
This was followed by light refreshments in the cafeteria, which was reorganized for us as a place to get to know each other in a peaceful environment. I could sense the happiness of the couples from their talk and laughter. We all had an opportunity to develop our fledgling relationships during the next couple of days.
When the day of the Blessing Ceremony arrived, we were taken to a stadium in the city of Cheonan. Couples from the first and second generation filled at least half the stadium, while guests included relatives, regional presidents and journalists. On stage were some of True Parents' children and grandchildren [Hyun-jin nim and Jun-sook nim, Kook-jin nim and Ji-yea nim, Hyung-jin nim and Yeon-ah nim, In-sup nim and Sun-jin nim and Lee Hyung-jin nim and Shin-mi nim.]
After the rehearsal, the ceremony started. Rev. Hwang Sun-jo was the MC with Mrs. Lynne Kim translating into English.
Rev. Kwak Chung-hwan spoke to begin the event. Finally the officiators' attendants entered, announcing the moment we all had been waiting for. To loud applause for True Parents, the gates on the stage opened. Amidst my joy was an underlying sense of melancholy because True Father is pushing his body to incredible limits for the providence. Observing the difficulty True Father had walking, it pained me to think about all the time he is using to help us instead of spending it with his family, and imagine the fatigue that comes with constant traveling. However, I was able to regain my focus and enjoy the drops from the Holy Water Ceremony followed by the Blessing Vows. I put all my efforts into shouting "Ye!" to the vows, and I am determined to fulfill them in the future. With this determination came a new wave of internal power, brightening my spirit for the rest of the ceremony.
When True Parents left, I could not stop myself from feeling so grateful for everything that I had received, which is how I want my heart always to remain. "
Hi-Seung lives in the Czech Republic, where his parents, Elio and Brunhilde D'Alberti, are national messiahs.