The Words of Won Pil Kim
Seminar participants, led by President Won Pil Kim, gather for a group picture
Under the 1989 European motto, "Triple Up and Welcome True Parents" (meaning to triple our membership), given by President Won Pil Kim at the start of this year, a European-wide Blessed Wives conference was held in Camberg, West Germany from May 23-25,1989. It was the first of its kind here. Sisters from 21 nations and 6 continents gathered in order to lay a foundation whereby True Parents could be greeted in Europe, after an eight year absence.
The inspiration for such a seminar came from Mr. Masatoshi Abe, Regional Leader of Northern Europe and National Leader of Great Britain, who forwarded the suggestion to President Kim. Later, President Kim said that when he heard Mr. Abe's proposal he felt as if God were speaking, and that it was crucial for the elder blessed wives of Europe to gather.
Therefore, the ball was set in motion -- phone calls were made and faxes were sent, and by Monday afternoon of the 22nd, the first participants from England and Ireland had arrived. Sisters flew, came by train, or drove to Camberg that evening to attend this very special seminar.
On Tuesday morning seven groups were made from the 73 sisters in attendance. Each group was given the task to ponder two questions: 1) What is the most difficult point in your Blessing? and 2) Can you create a balance between your family and mission? The remainder of the day was left to discussion and on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings there were testimonies from a few elder sisters, including Elke van der Stock, a 43 couple, and So Young Kim, wife of Dr. Kae Hwan Kim.
All day Wednesday and Thursday were spent under the tutelage of Mr. Abe. Booklets were passed out entitled Blessing Seminar Notes, from which each sister could clearly follow his lectures. He began with "The Family of Original Value", speaking about how the family, as a heavenly institution, was destroyed, and how it can be restored. The family's position in providential history, as well as a clear explanation of the way in which we are grafted onto our True Parents' lineage by means of the Blessing, were discussed in depth. Ending this portion of the seminar, Mr. Abe stressed that we should not forget the priority of this special event and eternal activity and that we must be conscious of its importance in our daily lives.
Most assuredly, the highlight of the entire workshop was the continual presence of President Won Pil Kim in Camberg. He was able to assist sisters on an individual basis, and to share with one group every mealtime, being introduced to each participant.
Moreover, he could give substantial internal guidance to the sisters on three occasions during the workshop. He first spoke on Tuesday morning, stressing the importance of expressing what is within oneself, sharing with one another and clarifying any sort of situation. Camberg was a place to be of one heart, he emphasized, and strongly suggested that this same type of seminar should be initiated in every country so as to include all the blessed wives of Europe.
Early Wednesday, President Kim spoke once again, pointing out that as blessed couples we must face up to all difficulties, continually overcoming our fallen nature and always sacrificing for others. We must repeatedly offer the most important part of ourselves.
As the three-day seminar -- drew to a close, he gave again of himself, touching each sister's heart at this last moment. He reiterated the necessity of loving others before one's own family, and went on to say that our lives are to be constantly public, based on the tradition given by our True Parents. Drawing special attention to the national leaders' wives, he comforted them, stating that he fully realized how difficult their situation was and the extent each one had suffered.
Yet this was not the final chapter of the seminar, for the power, strength and vitality exhibited by these European wives was enormous. It is through this kind of heartistic activity that families are bonded together within the true lineage, physical and spiritual children are given new life, once-divided nations are restored back to God, and a multicultural, multilingual continent can truly lay out the red carpet for our True Parent's coming to Europe.
Ann Schaffner is a 1988 UTS graduate, and presently a city representative in Freiburg, West Germany. She works with her husband in the hometown providence.