Unification News for October 1996
True Mother's Speech in Chicago
by Bruce Sutchar-Chicago, IL
Mother's visit to Chicago on July 27, 1996 would be the first campaign for our new Regional Leader Rev. Ki Hun Kim. Rev. Kim had recently graduated from UTS and had been the National Leader of Canada until Father had appointed him to be the Regional Director of Region #5. In fact, Rev. Kim still had great concern for Canada as he realized that True Mother would be speaking in Toronto the day after leaving Chicago.
Rev. Kim had been the leader of the KEA in Chicago about 10 years earlier, and he had maintained many of his relationships throughout the intervening years which gave him the absolute confidence to know that we would bring a great victory for True Mother in Chicago.
As soon as Rev. Kim had come to Region #5 he began to tour the entire region, giving a sermon entitled "Forgive, Love and Unite," in every state. He was reaching out to all of the Blessed Couples and members offering them love, reconciliation and brotherhood. In Chicago Rev. Kim would continue Father's direction of working through the departmental leaders that Rev. Jong Bok Hong had initiated. Rev. Kim wisely understood that if he could unite the leaders and members of Region #5, we would be able to welcome True Mother not only with open arms, but with an open heart.
There are about 100,000 Koreans in Chicago and therefore we set forth a strategy to mobilize the Korean Community. We would hold our event in the heart of the Korean Community at the Radisson Hotel in suburban Lincolnwood. We would reach out through the media, including television, radio and newspapers. We sent out a letter of invitation from our AFC President, Major General Ted Sorensen, who himself was a decorated Korean War Veteran. We utilized our WFWP office and mobilized a daily calling team as well as developing a series of mailings.
Many of our members visited Korean store owners and we established teams of western and Korean members to call and visit.
We also visited the leaders of the Korean-American Association. The leader of our ICC ministers, Rev. A.I. Dunlap accompanied Rev. Kim and Rev. Michael Jenkins, as they visited the Korean media which resulted in articles and pictures being published in the Korean daily newspapers.
Our goal was to bring 500 guests and we invited about 40 western VIPs as well. Our plan was to copy the Women's Conference and offer simultaneous translation in English to these guests.
Through our political connections we were able to receive Proclamations directly honoring True Mother and declaring Family Federation for World Peace Day from the Governor and the Mayor.
Our State Treasurer sent her Korean-American assistant to give greetings in Korean and read the Treasurer's kind words. Our city councilman read the proclamation which he himself had introduced into the city council. Finally, the Mayor's assistant arrived with a beautiful plaque for True Mother with greetings from the Mayor of Chicago.
The event went quite smoothly as the audience, itself was quite impressive (they filled the banquet hall holding 560 as well as the overflow room). The Korean Daily Newspapers put the total number at 750 or 800 in their articles the next day.
In retrospect, I have to believe that the ability of the departmental leaders in Chicago to unite together under Rev. Kim's leadership was the glue that held our efforts together. Everyone was working together for the good of the entire event. This could be felt very strongly, just before the guests began to enter the banquet hall. At that time, two groups of our members were gathering in the foyer just outside the banquet hall. One group consisted of all of the ushers while the other group was made up of the security people. As one walked between these two groups, you could feel the incredible energy being exerted by our brothers and sisters. It reminded one of the campaign days of IOWC, Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument as you could feel the incredible power of our membership when it united on a single cause.
Mother expressed very clearly her amazement that this tour was taking place. She asked us to imagine this tour taking place 20 years earlier. Knowing how much the Korean community and especially Korean Christians had opposed us, it was amazing that 500 - 780 Koreans were now sitting together hearing Mother speak so intimately about the details of Jesus' life on earth. Yes, our audience was quite diverse. It included 4 former Presidents of Chicago's Korean-American Association, leaders from every realm of Chicago's Korean Community and our friends, from ICC ministers to AFC and political guests. The security people told us that Mother went skipping down the hallway as she entered her hotel room after our victory celebration.
The next morning was Sunday, and we had the blessing to be able to have Pledge Service with Mother in her suite. We heard reports from Peter Kim and testimony from Rev. Kim as well as a deep sharing from Mother herself. As we sat with her at the airport, she shared with us that she felt that Chicago's good fortune was due to the humility and cooperation of the members and leaders in the different departments. We felt that success had come due to our experience of working together for Father's Tours, Mother's Tours, the tours of the True Children, and our monthly experience with the Women's Conference. Mother told us that the road ahead is flat--there are no obstacles to bringing success, if we can continue to unite together and work together to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth, with all of our hearts and all of our energies.
As Mother's plane took off for Toronto we prayed for her safe and successful journey and we stood in awe and amazement, knowing that as we began to recover our energy, she was off to speak in Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia and New York with a short interlude in Washington D.C. for the Family Federation for World Peace Conference. And we reflected on her incredible drive and commitment to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth in her own lifetime.
And the drive has not diminished one iota. Mother has just completed speaking tours of Japan and Korea and is now speaking in every major country of South America. And we are preparing, with prayer, fasting and mobilization preparations. For True Mother will be speaking in one of the largest and most prestigious churches in Chicago on October 19th, just 21 days from today.
This article was compiled from the testimonies of several members of the Chicago community.
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