The Words of the Kamga Family
I am so glad to have this opportunity to share what I am doing and experiencing with brothers and sisters. I am twenty-nine years old, Africa's second oldest second-generation member. My parents are Jacob Kamga Fotso (the first African member; he joined in France) and Annette Kamga Fotso, the German missionary sent to the Congo in 1975.
I have just returned from Korea, where I experienced God's grace through a forty-day Chung Pyung workshop and a Vision 2020 workshop. My life has been one of service, from when I was very young, but I am not going to make it look as if I never struggled -- far from it. I did in very many ways, including matching procedures that never blossomed.
However, I was guided in the five years that I lived in Korea before coming to Europe. I went through Korean Special Task Force (STF). I was part of the Group of Missionary Students (GMS) that studied at Sun Moon University. I worked with UNESCO. I won a Korean language contest as the best foreign speaker of the Korean language in 2004, and I worked for the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the government television and radio broadcast company.
Throughout my whole life, I have always felt some sort of calling. I know I have been guided. If not. I would not be sharing this today. Looking back at my diaries and other reminiscences on various workshops, I seem to have always gotten inspirations on how to bring change, how to support others in my generation and how to bring the "old Moonie" back into existence. We love to see those in the older generation that are willing to die for their cause. I know how much my parents have invested and how much many others in the first generation have. I look for that and try to nurture myself with their testimonies and to understand True Parents' hearts.
As much as I have wanted to do something, I just did little bits, drops of kindness here and there -- supporting my parents, my family, in their tribal messiah mission and other mission work and in their daily lives (life in Africa is not easy). I would help my family and maybe people around me. I would give, care and do as much as I could, and that was what I saw as enough.
I worked hard, more than eighteen hours a day. I had three jobs, because I did not want to be idle and I wanted to make an impression on as many people as possible, even if it was by being an exemplary worker, because True Father told us to do our best and shine wherever we are.
Christa working as a translator in the days before she rededicated herself to church activities.
I returned to Korea in February 2013 for True Mother's matching, but ended up being a translator for a few the Western people there. I helped matching candidates as they conversed. I did it with joy, but my heart was crying out, Father, when will my turn come? True Mother began her speech to us by saying that as a mother her greatest wish is for all the older ones in the second generation to be blessed. That touched me.
I trusted God. When he believes the time is right, something will happen. True Father said that in this era good things will happen to each one of us as we step up and achieve our responsibilities. If we do not falter... This is hard, but we need to be people God can trust. I asked myself repeatedly, am I changing because of the circumstances? Is the environment pulling me, or am I pulling the environment? A voice, stronger than my conscience, was telling me, I feel "down," I feel like giving up.
Over the past two years, I had often translated for the church, with Rev. Jin Hun Yong, as he travelled throughout Europe to tell Father's life story. I had enjoyed being a vessel through which God's heart could be channeled. I next worked for the UPF World Summit, where I was the interpreter for the First Lady of Mali for the duration of her stay. I was escaping again, keeping busy and making some money. Then I went to Chung Pyung, where I met a few African brothers and sisters, many from Congo, many in our second generation.
All of a sudden, God spoke to me. I feared writing that last sentence. That is exactly the kind of stuff we hear from those in the first generation -- it is not our kind of talk. But he did.
I prayed in the hall, asking for direction and all I could hear was "Stay, make the most of this opportunity. Liberate all your ancestors, and offer your services; translate for the French team."
So I registered with the Korean team and did just that. After liberating all my ancestors in Chung Pyung and completing the Foundation Day forty-day workshop, my third forty days -- on the Korean Team) and for the French and English-speakers, I translated Dae Mo Nim and all the lecturers. I felt so good. As I left, I had plans, which I Mote down -- about how to move forward, inspirations came and came. I couldn't stop myself. It was as if I were overflowing.
During my last days in Korea, I met some people I knew from living there before, such as a strongly Christian couple that calls me their daughter, who told me, "You will do great work. When you go, please see if it works out. Give your all. You will have to go back to Africa and work there; they need you. But if Europe doesn't work out, come back to Korea. We know you are connected to Rev. Sun Myung Moon. He is a good man." That I had never expected.
In my bag, I had two gifts, one was a beautiful clock and one was As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen in Korean. I gave them both presents. I stayed overnight at their house in a beautiful room they had prepared for me.
In the morning, they introduced me to their larger family and the dad spoke even further with me. I knew at that time that what he said came from God. "Look into the mirror each day and ask yourself if you are on the right track. Are you doing the right thing to this or that person? That's what I do," he said. "I know you have to do something, but your daddy (as he calls himself) does not know all of it. I should tell you, though, the meaning of your name is to earn (save) people, and then a lot will come." He had written my name in Chinese characters to explain it. I could gather only a little, but I was in tears. I hugged them both and my Korean brother and the parents gave me a $300 saying that I should have it.
On the plane back to the UK, after feeling low over not get-ting blessed, it all changed. I was so happy, on a high. In my excitement, I walked around, talked to other passengers and shared the autobiographies on the plane. Then I watched the movie "Les Miserable." I couldn't hold back my tears. The songs alone urged me to make a change, to be a sacrifice. This was exploding out of my chest. In the midst of sleep after the movie, before I awoke completely, I knew I would not work any longer. I knew it. I was going to make Vision 2020 a reality. I was going to light a candle in other people hearts. I was going to do something different.
Many members and those in the second generation are going through a lot. We can't have half-hearted minds. If I had a job from morning to evening, my only time with blessed children would be nighttime. My time with new people, with others, would be very short, limited. So I went back and didn't call any of my work or job sources. I just went straight to the headquarters and my local church.
The Youth Panel at a European Leadership Conference on November 22, speaking is Bhikhu Parekh, a Labor Party member of the House of Lords. Christa is in the blue jacket.
I am very much interested in witnessing; I have a burning desire to revive the church and especially the second generation. I realized that through UPF, it is possible to do all that. The realization came after hearing about Vision 2020 in Korea in June. Now with Youth-UPF, of which I am a co-director, we can create momentum and copy UPF's good practices. We create events with young people as well as join in the main UPF-UK events. I invested the $300 dollars, my money from translation jobs that I had in Korea, plus some savings from previous jobs -- everything.
I have so many testimonies of the young people that are coming to the movement via the UPF channel. They are so interested. In the last couple of months, we had some of them go to a seven-day workshop, just because they wanted to know more about us, after seeing how we work and dedicate our lives to good causes. I just returned from a seven-day Divine Principle workshop with a young person of that type and I have another two asking me when they can go next. God is sending such people.
True Mother inspires me, and I took events that transpired in Korea as a sign to just start something. So I create activities, witness to young people, do projects with them and testify to True Father. They are so inspired. This time, two or three might be going for a seven-day workshop, and three want to get matched.
So much is happening. I run out of money and sometime just raise hinds for a day to have a meal for these young people. As I invite them out, our second-generation members also become encouraged and begin finding ways to be active again. Youth UPF is great, with new young people joining us from outside, so much is happening.
I don't even know what to say but I welcomed True Mother's initiative of wanting us in the second generation to be active again. So, instead of just studying, I decided to be out there, to leave my comfort zone, to talk, to do some tribal messiah work, to live in True Father's shoes for the first time and in Jesus' shoes. It was scary, but now people are coming. I \yin be teaching in schools soon; I cannot believe myself. I am taking care of the Youth-UPF, missionary style. People are having dreams and calling me to discuss them. They are singing out, Praise the Lord! in the office. Others are praying aloud for God to protect the work that is happening for her food and transportation. She asked me just for a place to stay. She wants to help me and learn more about UPF and the founders' vision. This is a plan for near the end of the year. I still don't know where she will live, but I told her we have a place for her after consulting the UPF office.
Such awesome things are happening. I am not poor; I am rich in spirit -- very rich. If I had more money I would do much more, but I think all will come in time. It does come! Oddly, when I wanted to give up one day, I had three phone calls from people saying they want to help and support me.
Christa speaking at an end-of-year UPF event at which they strategize for the coming year and share a Christmas meal
At the same time, I am taking care of second-generation members in Africa. We have Skype meetings. I also e-mail them and help them create forums with guidance materials and themes. Some African church leaders gave the go ahead, which made me busier. Others in the second generation just ask, contact me for support. I do what I can at night to support various initiatives.
Why Africa? I feel it is my duty somehow, as their older sister. It has not been easy for me or for my younger brothers -- Ernst Paul and Martin Luc, who lived their whole lives without workshops. We were older; everyone after me was a minimum of four to five years younger. So workshops happened in our house, but they were for those in the second generation. These young people need care, love and support in their lives of faith, as we all do. After connecting with many of them in various African countries, I realized I could give hope, I could support them as a big sister in their journey, with their issues. I have created a network through which we can inspire each other. I am so glad. This is very little, but I do pray for them, and for all the effort they make in their lives. To some extent, they go through more trials than their counterparts in Europe, the U.S. or Asia; yet, I am amazed by their will and their standard.
If I can inspire our young people, I know we can turn the world around and love our own young brothers and sisters as they were meant to be loved. We can remind them who they are and why they matter, why they are important and why they are going through so much. This has got to happen. Each and every one has gone through something, and should share, but sometimes there are not enough trustworthy people that will listen, without judging, just guiding or embracing them. We need to do this not because we need something from them, but because they are God's children. What I learned over the years, thanks to my parents, is to remain true to what you know. We cannot expect more of others but we should expect more from ourselves. If we practice that, we will naturally be less judgmental and achieve more.
For the coming New Year, I hope we can make more effort in that area with our brothers, sisters, friends, children and parents and that we can learn to love. True Father asked us to be such people. It fits in with breathing air in the physical world and in the spiritual world breathing love.
We in the second generation rarely have had chances to follow our hearts, or to do something for which we could be recognized. We have not often been appreciated for who we are, the focus remains on our parents or others in the first generation. In turn, we are looked down on because we are different. Why we are not like our parents? That hurts, and it has alienated many. At the same time, doing something because your hearts tell you to, when you have not been appointed to some position is sometimes treated almost as if it is a sin.
It hasn't been easy for True Parents, for the True Children, for elders, for the first generation or for the second generation, but we still have the opportunity to heal one another and create the world of which we dream -- what God originally planned. I believe in that.
Such chances are given to us on earth. People are slowly feeling it, they are slowly looking for direction. In Youth-UPF, while teaching young people, we can help them exercise their heart muscles, melt the old history and create a future on the pillars of our True Parents, the first generation and our own hard work. Such a beautiful time is coming.