Unification News For January 1996
Father's 1995 Visit in Africa The Restoration of the Heavenly Sovereignty
by Boubacar Diallo
First of all, I want to make a special address of thanks to Rev. Kevin Thompson and especially to those wonderful missionaries who came back here to California for their hometown providence. Gary Fleischman, who worked more than five years in the Republic of Mali; Charles Kamins, the first missionary in my country (Burkina Faso), who worked there for 10 years; Justin and Patricia Fleischman, who arrived in California two years ago after 18 years in Senegal; and Jim McAn, who worked for more than five years in Niger.
It was the first Sunday of November, 1995, when Pastor Thompson announced the news that Father was going to Africa. To tell you the truth, I was totally shocked. This was the first of a series of shocks. I began to worry about this historical event. When I got home after service, I called right away to New York to ask what Father's itinerary in Africa was. Then I received the second shock when the answer came: Father is going to West Africa and the first country is Burkina Faso. I asked her three times if she was absolutely sure. My wife and I were both surprised. Later on that same day, Charles Kamins received a call from the missionaries in Burkina Faso to inform him of Father's arrival and that Charles should come and bring me with him. When Charles called me to bring this news, I felt confirmed in my heart that Father was really going to Africa and the first country was MY country.
At first I was confused about what to do-to go or not to go. I decided to call my country and tell them that it would be better for me to collect money to send to them rather than fly out to Burkina Faso. Then I would face the judgment of my conscience later. So I determined to pick up the phone and call. The leader there answered the phone. First I asked him what was going on about Father's visit. He explained that Father was invited by the president of Burkina Faso by official letter. He went on to say that Burkina Faso would be the first country of Father's visit, scheduled for Nov. 15. I asked him again to repeat the date.
He said, "It is on Nov. 15 and the airplane is arriving from Paris at 6:30pm."
This was my third shock: "Do you know what Nov. 15 is for me? The date when I was physically born!"
My leader was surprised and then his last sentence to me was: "Anyway, you plan to come or not, it is YOUR country."
I couldn't sleep the whole night. What if history asked me the question: Where were you when Father was visiting your country? When Father was talking to the brothers and sisters? So I tried to digest the idea of not going because I didn't have even one penny to go and I didn't know where to go to get started or how.
I told my wife and we both began praying and worrying. In my life experience I know only one thing I could do: a special prayer condition. For three days we prayed without limit in order to receive the right direction. I asked Heavenly Father to help me go.
A few days later, in the early morning while half-sleeping, half- awake, deep from the bottom of my heart came a voice telling me clearly to use my intelligence and a quick wit to do God's will. Then I asked myself: "How many missionaries are in this Bay Area and how many would love to be there after all of their suffering and sacrifice: the hot weather, poor nutrition, sleepless nights. How about their sacrificial life pouring tears, sweat and blood on your continent? So the right thing to do is to invite them to go together with you."
That same morning I excitedly told my wife about this inspiration and she thought it was a wonderful idea. So, I called them and explained to them. They in turn became very excited and wanted to help me go. They all gave me a hand. Even Mamoudou, who is working with World CARP, came to help me fundraise, as he was also from Burkina Faso. I received help also from Paul from Ougadan, who is a student at UC Berkeley. By connecting everyone, everything was made easier. Through unity we have the power to do God's will.
Finally the day arrived. On Nov. 12, I arrived in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. On the way there, I was really excited but at the same time I had a feeling of judgment. What have I done for True Parents to open the way for their arrival in my country? I was surprised to discover that I was to fly in together with Mrs. Kathy Rigney, the continental leader of Africa. We arrived around 11:30pm and went directly to the hotel from the airport. Father was due to arrive in just a few days. A meeting began a few minutes after our arrival at the hotel, which closed at 4am.
My dear brothers and sisters: I look back and my heart aches to tell how the brothers and sisters there prepared for the coming of Father in Burkina Faso. It was such a long time preparing with increased intensity over the last year. First, they began with prayer and then fasting and intensely witnessing. Every day they woke up at 5am and desperately prayed that God could help them to bring Father to Africa. All the anticipation brought them to witness to people from the government. Day after day some VIP was invited to participate in our different conferences, i.e., ICUS, PWPA, Council for World Peace. All those who went to these conferences had very good reports about our activities to the president.
On top of all this, the brothers and sisters decided to do a special condition to protect their wishes. I was totally surprised. All of them did a seven-day fast (I also participated in this condition in California). Not only that-some of the members did 12 days, and even 21 days, of fasting. In addition to the fasting, they were bowing in from of True Parents' picture 120 times every day at 5am. This condition was done month after month. When I was there, the condition was only 40 times bowing, but even this condition was a lot for me. Seeing such heavenly faith and dedication in my brothers and sisters brought me to tears. The amazing thing about all these conditions: they were done in order to meet with Father for just a few hours. I was and am still so moved by such an example of life of faith.
On Nov. 15, all the preparations were done. True Parents were supposed to arrive at 6:30pm, just enough time for Father to shower and dine before his 8pm speech, where 2000 people were waiting for him. Included with those waiting were the government minister, the National Assembly delegate and religious leaders. Then, the following day, Father would meet the president at 10am.
Suddenly, we received a phone call that Father's plane couldn't take off because of some technical problems. The company didn't know when it would be ready. Around 5pm, the brothers and sisters came to know that Father might not be able to speak. You could see the brokenheartedness in their faces. They were so sad and depressed. Some of them began to blame themselves: because of their sins or because of not enough conditions. I myself blamed my own past dirty life. To tell the truth, it was a time of repentance and review of our entire life. The deep question of brothers and sisters was: why, after all the sacrifice of True Parents and the missionaries, were there still barriers and obstacles to meeting with True Parents for just a few hours? Everyone was in tears, blaming themselves.
By 6pm we received another phone call that Father would definitely not make it that day. We decided one brother could give the speech. Our last hope was that Father could come the next day to meet with the president. For brothers and sisters, it was another sleepless night of prayer to meet with their Parents.
The next day, Nov. 16, early in the morning, we received a call that Father and Mother were on their way. Our meeting beforehand heard nothing but talk about the worries that Father would miss his meeting with the president. When Mr. Ito, our national leader, called the president to express his regret about the delay, the president answered, "At any time the flight arrives, please send Rev. Moon directly to my office." We were all pleasantly surprised.
Father landed at 12:30pm and we prepared everything. The government provided two cars, four motorbikes and police everywhere. Father received the welcome due a head of state. Everything went through the airport, to the palace and from there to the hotel and finally back to the airport. I was chosen for Father's security and I was there watching True Parents. It was so exciting!
After the first meeting with the president, Father and Mother went to the hotel where brothers and sisters were waiting. They were all so happy to see True Parents coming, escorted like heads of state. This was the most precious time, the most unexpected time. Father and Mother went straight to the room prepared for them. Afterwards they came quickly back down looking for the members. That time I saw True Parents looking desperately to meet their children who have been waiting for 20 years. I put two chairs for Father and Mother and immediately I opened the door of the ballroom. The members waiting for this moment all ran to True Parents, hoping to be closer to them. The whole room was in tears of joy, so happy to meet with their Original Parents. Everybody was so happy, crying and sometimes laughing.
Father spoke for about an hour. His first words were: "I didn't know that black people are so beautiful. I don't know, maybe because of the temperature you are dark like this and we can see more your white teeth like that and your shining eyes." Everyone was laughing and applauding. Each sentence they wanted to applaud more and more. Finally, Father had to ask them to sit on their hands so Father could say more. Father spoke on about relationship between man and woman and between Heavenly Father and us. He spoke with a lot of action, kicking brothers and sisters. It was an unforgettable moment in the history of their lives.
After the speech, Father cut the cake and wrote a beautiful sentence in Chinese characters:
"In the entire world we can find a place of fidelity and loyalty."
Then Rev. Kwak led us in three screams of Mansei.
Father left around 4:30pm the same day to go to Ivory Coast where the government was waiting for him.
The experience I had with Father went deep into my heart and I felt Father's agony to see this suffering continent. Father is really working on another level. I saw the need for us to wake up and to follow his standard. He is totally pushing himself, and totally dedicating himself to save this world in a short time.
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