Unification News for June 1999

Report on True Mother's visit to the Dominican Republic

by Matthias Weisner—Dominican Republic

While five days have passed since True Mother was here. I'm still feeling completely exhausted but I try to find some energy to write a reflection about that special visit from the beginning. When I heard that True Mother was coming to the Dominican Republic. It was clear to me that this was not just a visit to our country but to the whole Caribbean region. Soon afterwards we send invitations to all the 15 nations which belong to our region. I felt that this was a special opportunity for all the National Messiahs to meet True Mother in our region, a total of 60 National Messiahs maybe 120 together with their wives!

Our invitation was for three different events. First for a VIP conference for religious and political leaders in order to inaugurate IIFWP. This was the afternoon program, just before True Mother's speech. Second for the evening program culminating in True Mother's speech and the victory celebration or family celebration as we called it. Finally we invited all National Messiahs to stay for a 2 Day conference starting directly after True Mother's departure. Our Abel National Messiah Rick and Lourdes Swarts helped us to organize a VIP conference by putting us in contact with Dr. Frank Kaufmann and Rev. Jesse Edwards from Philadelphia. David Stuart came from Venezuela as another guest speaker and together we could make a nice presentation of Mr. and Mrs. Moon’s life and ministry. Projects for world peace, and a session on the purpose of IIFWP. To conclude the conference we had a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially inaugurate the Caribbean Chapter of IIFWP. We had expected a maximum of 80 participant, but finally we counted 120. A good problem, only we had to quickly inform the kitchen to prepare some more food for the evening buffet, and stretch our budget.

Among the participants we had: one President of the Senate, one Speaker of the House of Assembly, two former Presidents, six former Cabinet Ministers, the leader of a national Hindu Association and about fifty Christian Pastors. From the VIP conference everybody was then directly escorted to True Mother's Speech.

In the front rows we had about 200 chairs reserved for all our VIP guests. As the Hall was filling up we realized that we hadn't prepared space for all the special guests. We simultaneously held the inaugural meeting of the World University Federation with 17 Rectors and Vice Rectors of the main universities in Santo Domingo -- even they were not able to be seated at the main ballroom. They were having trouble getting through the doors because of the large number of people standing in the doors to get in. The hall had a seating capacity of 650 people but we managed to squeeze another 300 plastic chairs into the rear as people continued to arrive. Together with those who were left outside we must have had well over a thousand guests.

Most of our VIP guests came out of respect for True Mother, having participated in some previous conference or learned directly from our members or their National Messiah about True Parents' activities. As True Mother approached the podium all the guests in the front rows rose up first to welcome True Mother with a standing ovation. The same happened at the end of True Mother's speech and at the end of the victory celebration. Many of our VIPs seemed to be more exited about our True Mother than our members. Especially the lady who introduced True Mother. She spoke with such vigor and excitement, I never saw anybody before getting emotionally so carried away introducing our True Mother. I think even Dr. Bo Hi Pak would have been impressed. It seemed almost like a pentecostal sermon urging everybody to put their differences aside and embrace each other because the Messiah had come.

That lady actually is a very prominent figure in the political field of the Dom. Rep. In the last election campaign she was running as a presidential candidate for one of the major parties. Because of her powerful introduction the atmosphere was really loaded and when finally True Mother appeared on the stage everybody felt they were welcoming a truly heroic woman. But then, how different was True Mother's speech! She spoke so soft and calm, without many gestures. Talking so gently so as not to frighten anybody but creating an atmosphere for everybody to feel at home. The following victory celebration was for all of us new. On the big video screen suddenly True Father appeared cutting a huge celebration cake in Jardim. He was surrounded by the Korean National Messiahs and western members. The picture motion was abrupt like in a slow motion movie but True Father's voice was loud and clear.

We took turns in presenting songs to each other and at one point True Father must had asked our Korean National Messiah Rev. Ra to sing. We saw him on the big screen. He was beaming and looked so happy as he was presenting one Korean song. Then True Mother sang two songs. One dedicated to the Caribic, Santa Lucia, which is the name of one of our Islands. The other song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in Korean must have been dedicated to the Christian pastors. Well, that's my interpretation. True Father then gave his version of Umaya right down from the belly and ended in shouting "Dominican Republic, Mansei, Mansei, Mansei !!!" On our side we joined in, Alejandro translating mansei into "Viva la Rep. Dom." and everybody, including our VIPs were throwing up their arms, absorbed by that expression of happiness.

A few days later we heard that on this same day True Father had held an important liberation ceremony in Jardim for which he had called all Korean National Messiahs of Latin America to come (never mind their preparations to welcome True Mother into their country.) We heard it was a ceremony to restore Lucifer to his original position, giving him now the responsibility to help True Parents in the restoration work. I don't know if there was any connection to this, but True Mother could meet the same day at 6 pm the President of our country at the presidential palace. We had prepared for this meeting more than three months ago but the confirmation for this meeting came only the day before True Mother's arrival. At that stage we had already given up hope, well at least most of us. Now listen to that, one of the first words True Mother said after greeting our President were: "Mr. President you are more handsome than I have ever imagined". I was not there but I was told that the President was so surprised about this unexpected compliment that he almost turned red, he was caught completely off guard, and didn't know what to respond to such a compliment. By the way, our President has been divorced a few years ago and has since that time remained single even he is only 46 years old.

With that opening True Mother was clearly in charge of the conversation, which she finally guided to the point that if the President wanted to find a good wife, she and her husband were able to assist him. After this ten min. talk by True Mother the President finally asked if he could also say a few words. He then commented about True Parents' world wide effort to achieve world peace and then gave a moving testimony about two Japanese sisters who had followed him around for more than a year. Every day he saw them standing at the same corner near the presidential palace. Every day they were waving at him when he arrived for his daily work. This small daily gesture meant so much to him. He felt those two sisters were every day waiting for him to give him support and encouragement. Many times they went to see his mother and brought gifts to her. Because these two Japanese sisters had caught his attention he insisted that they too had to come with True Mother to meet him at the presidential palace.

When hearing this testimony some of us had to do some repentance, because not everybody had appreciated the two Japanese sisters' effort. We thought it was a waste of time, a ridiculous way to get the President's attention. They rather should have done some witnessing or fund raising. But strangely enough the President appreciated their effort and understood their heart more than their own brothers and sisters. Actually three months ago one of the two Japanese sisters had a serious car accident on her way to the presidential palace. For more than a month she couldn't do her daily duty to wave to the President. She felt so miserable. The car was a complete write off. When she finally had recovered and returned to her spot to wave to the President something unusual happened. As the presidential convoy was passing, suddenly the President's car pulled out of the convoy and stopped right in front of her. The sun tainted window opened and the President looked out and asked her, "Where have you been ?" "Oh, I was sick, I had a car accident", she answered. "Do you need any help ?", the President inquired ." No thank you, I'm much better now," the Japanese sister responded, although that was not completely true. Until that moment she must have doubted herself many times. Was she really doing the right thing, how come she had that tragic car accident.

Shouldn't she go back to Japan to get proper medical help ? The President's testimony must have been an amazing comfort to her heart. Finally when the talk of the President with True Mother came towards the end he mentioned, like in a self reflecting way, "The next time I'm going to get married I probably have to go through Korea". We don't know how serious he was about this, but somehow it seemed that he got the point. Another honor was bestowed upon True Mother at the evening victory celebration. The city council declared True Mother an honorary citizen of Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the new world. In this way True Mother could conclude her ten nation speaking tour of Latin America. The next day was already time to fly to Europe, the old world, 12 more countries were waiting for her.

Finally a last point. After the victory celebration True Mother invited all the National Messiahs up to her room. Everybody gave a short report. Most of the National Messiahs were not able to get into their nations or to work openly there. True Mother felt sad about that because True Parents gave so much blessings. One tiny island had received the same number of National Messiahs and 120 Japanese sisters as big countries like Brazil or Argentina, but they rejected the blessing not realizing what heavenly fortune they were about to throw away. She asked us to deepen our heart and understanding of True Parents through this kind of experience. To feel how they had suffered, especially during the early days. Then True Mother explained that we are now entering a time when we can become very close to the spiritual world. Now after the heaven and earth blessing and the liberation of ancestors up to the seventh generation. For a long time I will have to digest and reflect what really happened during True Mother's visit. Something is very different now. I can feel it, but it is very difficult to describe.

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