Unification News for October 2003
World Peace Task Force: 840 from 7 Nations Providence
by Mr. Jim Flynn
I am sure you have discovered in your path of faith: It is always very valuable to understand and recall where we stand and where we are headed providentially. As you know, an incredible foundation was prepared at the end of WWII. God's hope at that time was for key leaders, especially Christian leaders, to recognize God's plan and unite with the Messiah. Because that did not happen, a long course of restoration through indemnity was begun centered on True Parents. More than 50 years later, True Parents have come full circle back to that foundation of preparation similar to the end of WWII.
If we look at our world situation today, many key dimensions of world conflict harken back to decisions made right after WWII. The United Nations, the central body for building peace in the world, was formed right after WWII. The decisions to exclude any dimension of faith or religion from the UN were made then. The nation of Israel was created in 1948, and the Middle East has experienced conflict ever since. The nation of Korea was divided along the 38th parallel, also soon after WWII. Clearly the decisions and choices made at that time have significantly impacted the course of history and the providence of God.
In this context, True Father directed that representatives of seven nations join together to make a condition of indemnity, to restore the failures from the time period immediately after WWII, and to lay a foundation for the creation of the "Abel UN". These included six nations who played a key role in the WWII era - USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy - plus Korea (the father nation should be the center of making unity.) Each of these seven nations was asked to send 120 representatives to New York (home of the UN; a city that represents a microcosm of the world) for 40 days for a special campaign. The campaign was undertaken from September 13 through October 22.
I would like to share at least some highlights of this most significant campaign. Obviously an endeavor involving 840 volunteers is a major undertaking. The campaign HQ and center of activity was established at the New Yorker Hotel, at Father's specific instruction. A large part of the New Yorker is now dedicated to the hotel business, so only a few floors were available for this campaign. The main floor available had been used primarily for storage space. As you may know, management of the New Yorker is one of Dr. Yang's many responsibilities, and he made great effort to prepare for the arriving volunteers as much as possible. Still the practical reality for all participants was a real campaign situation - sleeping bag accommodations, with maximized use of every inch of space. Suffice it to say that the externals were challenging. The first victory was the amazing heart of brothers and sisters to live and work together under challenging circumstances without complaint. It was quite moving to see the members streaming in from around the world, some truly "old warriors" and some energetic 2nd gen, joining in with sincerity and commitment.
On the first Sunday of the campaign, True Father called all participants to a special meeting at East Garden. EG was packed with the representatives of seven nations, and all were blessed by a nine hour meeting with True Parents. At one point in the meeting, Father asked the volunteers from each nation to stand. When Father saw the Korean delegation, he asked how many were over 60 years old. The vast majority in fact were our elder members, all of whom responded to this call because of their strong desire to attend True Parents in this most important time. Father called them all to the front of the EG meeting room; among them were many leaders known to us here in the US because of their roles over the years as regional directors. The oldest participant in the 40 day campaign was Rev. Yo Han Lee, who is legendary for his deep internal guidance for all members. He is 89 years old.
The Korean elders became a central part of the success of the campaign. All members were organized into teams for daily activities. Each team was made up of members representing all seven nations - 2 Koreans, 2 Japanese, 2 Americans and 4 Europeans. With a Korean elder leading each team, the first task was to make unity as they worked together in assigned areas around metropolitan New York. Not only were the teams making the condition of unity among nationalities, but also among generations, since many teams had senior Korean elders plus young members and even 2nd generation participants. In addition to team activities, the Korean elders also contributed greatly to the spiritual atmosphere of the campaign: each morning as part of our HDH service, we would hear a testimony from one Korean elder. This was a wonderful source of inspiration to all participants.
Our daily activity focused on distributing the messages from spirit world. Over the course of the campaign, our volunteers distributed one million copies of the spiritual messages (including the messages from the US presidents) to people throughout the New York area. Just to provide some perspective, the literature distributed by the campaign comprised approximately 7 tractor trailer truckloads. Our first mission was to inform NYC about the important news from the spirit world, and all our volunteers put their sincere effort to do so. We employed many strategies, even holding many rallies on the streets of Manhattan to proclaim the good news. (You may have seen photos of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln joining our rallies - they are posted on the familyfed website.) We even had one 2nd gen brother (Gabor from Germany) make an entire website of the content that we were directed by True Father to distribute; you can view that at http://truthfromheaven.org <http://truthfromheaven.org/> .
One major source of inspiration for campaign participants was the investment of True Father himself. Our first main target in the campaign was to make conditions for the October 3rd launch of the Interreligious and International Peace Council ("Abel UN"). One week before, Father came suddenly to the New Yorker to meet our volunteers for HDH. From then he made the condition of meeting us at the Manhattan Center every day leading up to October 3rd - truly a blessing and inspiration for all. Father also directed our top leaders to guide this campaign - Rev. Kwak, President Sun Jo Hwang from Korea, Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Mrs. Erikawa, Rev. Jenkins, etc. They all invested themselves completely in making this campaign a success. Also Rev. Mike Leone, our elder brother AFC alumnus, provided crucial leadership and was a vital anchor for this endeavor.
The launching of the IIPC was a watershed event in True Parents' ministry. That was accomplished on October 3 at the final session of a major IIFWP world conference held at the New Yorker Hotel. Father's speech from that event is truly historic - you can read it at http://www.unification.net/2003/20031003_1.html. The launching of the IIPC was then sealed with an incredible rally at Dag Hammarskjold Park at the UN. Many of our AFC leaders on the East Coast supported the rally as buses came from throughout the Eastern US from Boston to DC. You can find detailed reports of that victorious rally on the familyfed.org website.
It is important to understand that True Father has launched the IIPC as the "Abel UN" to model and lead the path to peace. The IIPC should love and serve Cain. Ultimately the Abel UN and Cain UN should unite to form the Peace UN. Immediately after the October 3rd launch, Father directed that representatives of this new "Abel UN" undertake special missions. First, seven representatives of each of the 7 nations (84 total) were selected to go on a special mission to Korea for the month of October. Their task was to reach out to the diplomatic community in Korea in preparation of special events there. By bringing these representatives to Korea, Father brought the foundation he laid on the world level to the 3rd Israel. In addition, Father gave a major direction on October 8th to Dr. Yang and Rev. Jenkins to organize a third pilgrimage to Israel and hold a major rally in Jerusalem no later than October 22 - the fortieth day of the condition.
October 8 was the day that True Parents left America to return to Korea. Dr. Yang and Rev. Jenkins attended HDH at East Garden on that day, expecting only to see True Parents off for their journey. Yet suddenly Father gave such a major direction for these events in Jerusalem. This would be the third pilgrimmage, but unlike the previous two Father directed that it should be based on the foundation of the seven nations unity, and representatives of these nations should all participate in Israel. Organizing such a major trip and activity in the midst of other major campaign activities was a daunting task, and much credit goes to Dr. Yang, Rev. Jenkins and the key leaders of the Israel IIFWP and ACLC for an incredible success (Rev. Hod Ben Zwi, Dr. Abe, Rev. Phillip Schanker, Rev. Levy Daugherty, to name a few key leaders.)
While preparations for Jerusalem were underway, we still needed to complete significant activities for the 40 day in New York. Volunteers continued distribution of the spiritual messages, plus focused on the finale program for Ambassadors for Peace (107 new APs were appointed at the final seminar in NYC on October 18). Mrs. Erikawa provided amazing heart and leadership as the mother figure for the campaign, working hard every day in New York throughout the entire time period. Many elders showed such an example of perseverance and focus, and I particularly was moved by Rev. Ahn. Many of you know him from his 40 day workshops; he is one of the 36 couples, and is now in his late 70's. Every day, without fail, he went out to the streets of Manhattan to share the messages from spirit world and guide the rallies. When some key leaders had to leave for assignments in Korea and elsewhere, he volunteered to personally lead the rally team, keeping the standard we had set at the beginning of the campaign until the very last day. His efforts were truly moving. Special appreciation is also due to Rev. Song, the Continental Director for Europe; under his leadership, over 350 European members joined the campaign in NYC, and later nearly 250 traveled to Jerusalem from Europe to support the rally there.
I would also like to thank all of our AFC leaders - first to all of you for pushing forward in your states on the crucial Ambassadors for Peace work during this time. In addition, some of our field leaders were inspired to come to NYC to join the campaign. Special thanks to Howard Self for helping during the October 3 rally, then joining our leadership team for the last 10 days to "bring it on home." Also thanks to Mark Hernandez, Bruce Biggin, Sharon Pace, Alan Inman and many others who contributed to the success of the campaign in New York (please forgive me if I do not mention everyone by name.)
On the morning of October 20th, some 140 American representatives left from New York for the journey to Israel. These include Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy and other leaders, as well as representatives from the 7 Nations World Peace Task Force. AFC was represented on this pilgrimmage by Richard Buessing, Carl Swearson, Mel Haft and myself. The American delegation was joined by representatives from Europe, a large percentage of whom had just returned home from the NYC campaign and then mobilized to Israel the very next week! Based on True Father's inspiration and direction, the spirit of unity created by the 7 former enemy nations in NYC was carried to the First Israel.
The situation in the Middle East is desperate, as violence continues nearly every day. The hope in the "road map" - promoted by the leading political powers of the world (USA, UN, European Union and Russia) - is crumbling. Tourism, the economic lifeblood of Jerusalem, is nearly non-existent. In this context, True Parents are investing and leading toward a spiritual transformation. Again I highly recommend that you read the inspiring reports from Rev. Jenkins at www.familyfed.org <http://www.familyfed.org/> . He describes in detail the Peace Walk and Rally for Peace held in the heart of Jerusalem on October 22nd. Please pray for Rev. Michael Jenkins - he is pouring his whole heart into leading American members to unite with True Parents, and deserves our deep appreciation and sincere support.
The events in Jerusalem, all organized on the theme "Peace Under One God", made a significant impact. Some 2,000 people joined the Rally, including over 400 who came from USA, Europe, Japan and Korea and the rest who came by bus from towns and cities throughout Israel. There was an incredible spirit of hope as people of diverse faiths came together with conviction that now is the time to tear down walls and eliminate the boundaries that separate us. Please read the UPI article that I forward to you for a media account of this most significant rally.
On the day after the rally (October 23), a small group of us centered on Dr. Yang and Rev. Jenkins set out to visit Gaza. We traveled to the Israeli checkpoint crossing into Gaza, even though we knew the border was essentially closed. A significant investment for peace was made the day before in Jerusalem, and it was important also to invest for peace in the Palestinian territory. Though almost no one travels into Gaza right now, after nearly three hours of checking, we were finally granted permission to enter. We visited five locations in the Gaza area, concluding at the youth center where our movement has donated 60 computers for training labs (a similar donation is being made for Israeli youth.) Our visit to Gaza provided a stark view of the desperate situation in the Middle East, where the cycle of violence continues day after day.
Please pray for peace in the Middle East! Please pray that God will guide us, that we can take responsibility in America and guide America in the right direction. The only hope for a solution in the Middle East lies in the work of the living God. People of faith must come together, reaching beyond the limits of their own faith traditions to find the path to peace prepared by God. Just as the Iron Curtain fell without a literal WWIII through the work of the living God, so also we must find and unite with God's plan to solve the Middle East crisis. This is what True Parents are now focused on, and all of us have a part to play. That is why the Ambassadors for Peace foundation is so important now - please work hard to solidify and expand the AP network in your state.
Now is really a time when tremendous breakthroughs are possible, with results that are concrete and substantial, not merely symbolic. We must start with strong unity within our entire movement in America, centered on the leadership of our Continental Director and AFC Chairman, Dr. Chang Shik Yang. Let us recommit ourselves to focus, work hard, and be the instruments of God's will to lead America to fulfill her responsibility as the elder son nation.
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