West Africa: 2016 Regional Leaders’ Assembly
By FFWPU West Africa, Kelly Pwaty-Solo: Twenty nations out of twenty-five nations of Africa West Region gathered under Special Emissary Rev. Kathy Rigney for the 2016 Regional Assembly and Regional President Rev. Dr. Dong Ho Cho and of leaders. This Regional Assembly was held on April 3-6 at the Peace Embassy in Cotonou, Benin.
The main purpose of the first of such regional assembly was to enable all the nations of Africa West Region to understand the directions from the World Assembly of leaders of CIG in Korea in order for the nation of the region to be fully equipped for Vision 2020.
A regional Sunday Service was held in the morning to welcome the 100 delegates from the respective nations. Regional President Rev. Dr. Dong Ho Cho gave the sermon in which he emphasized on the need to secure a clean environment externally to guarantee prosperity.
At the opening ceremony of the workshop, Special Emissary Rev. Kathy Rigney explained to the 100 workshop participants the main content of the mission she was assigned by True Mother: bring the members closer to Mother’s heart by providing reports from all nations in order to enable True Mother to see which nations are developing good strategies for the Vision 2020.
Lectures and Reports
Rev. Kathy Rigney mentioned that True Mother has asked Regional President to mainly focus on three nations in the region: Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and DR Congo. And she is particularly focusing her mission on Nigeria. She also exposed the Tribal Messiah’s activities that are getting great results in Nepal and Thailand. In Asia, members are strongly thinking, dreaming, believing, praying, investing, declaring and advancing for the Trial Messiaship. Likewise, according to Special Emissary, African nations should be able to bring more results to True Parents.
Regional President Rev. Dr. Cho gave the main directions for the churches in Africa West. Churches infrastructures will be built. Practical activities for Tribal Messiah activities will be done by categorizing members and working with countryside community leaders. He also mentioned that in the era of women, nations should support activities of WFWP. There is also the need to strengthen business activities for a great economic foundation for supporting activities. Regional President also talked about the need to make more Ambassadors for peace who are members of parliament. Education of 2nd generation children is also a great issue to be dealt with.
The Assistant of Regional President Mrs. Catarine Brou also reminded important elements to enable each national HQ to be more efficient. She emphasized on issues like monthly reports, Blessing applications, donations and ancestor liberation and Blessing.
Some National Leaders were selected to present reports on specific advancement in heir nations. National Leader of Nigeria Rev. George Ogurie mentioned that with the coming of Special Emissary to Nigeria, seminars were held to boost Tribal Messiah’s activities. As a result, from November 2015 to January 2016, 3 726 couples were blessed. This has changed the spiritual life and the engagement of members in Nigeria. Concerning hosting nation Benin, National Leader Rev. Emmanuel Allognon talked about the witnessing activities being done by CARP with the Cheon Il Guk Japanese missionaries. So far, 650 students have attended a 2 day DP workshop, 139 students have attended a 7 day DP workshop and a “Festival for Students” has been initiated. Cote d’Ivoire as the hosting nation of the Regional HQ mentioned that a regular program of DP workshop is being held every month with two 7 day workshop and one 21 day workshop. They have also started building a primary school. In DR Congo, National Leader Rev. Jean Pierre Kadima reported that they have launched a communication department working on a TV programs and paper magazine.
There were also reports on Global Top Gun workshop in Korea attended by Rev. Konan Jean Marie Brou. He said that one of the key point of this workshop was True Mother’s meeting with the workshop participants where she said: “If you are proud of your parents, you talk about them everywhere you go. Likewise, if you are pride of True Parents, you should talk about them as well.” Rev. Brou also reported Witnessing and Education at the Mission Strategy Center Seminar he attended in Korea during Foundation Day Event. Rev. Paterne Zinsou Hiroki Matsuoka respectively in charge of Blessed Family Department and in charge of Youth and Students Department for the Mission Strategy Center reported and gave practical strategies for the development of providence in the region. UPF Secretary General Rev. Adama Doumbia mentioned the necessity for UPF to focus on members of parliament, religious leaders and traditional leaders. WFWP Regional President Mrs Mau Ngoma Ilboudo also reported and had exchanged with leaders on how women can be more active and can bring more results for Vision 2020 in each nation. Other elder members and leaders like Rev. Eugene Ahondjo, Rev. Edwin Ondoua National Leader of Cameroon, Rev. Michel Futila Sub-regional leader of central Africa, elder member Mamadou Gaye and more also gave some practical guidance.
Discussions on particular issues
All leaders present, especially National Leaders were very glad and relieved to have such a platform discussion for sharing about major concerns their respective nations are facing. Particular attention was put on education of Blessed Families, matching for 1st generation and 2nd generation members and adoption. They also took time to discuss on how to set up a strong economic foundation in each nation and in the whole region to support providential activities and families as well. And representing all youth in Africa West Region, delegations of CARP and YFWP from Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, DR Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo resolved to witness to 10 000 students until the end of 2016 and to take care of all the youth of the Unification Movement in the region.
This Regional Assembly was a great opportunity to offer new Holy Wine, Holy Water and Holy Salt. Regional President Rev. Dr. Cho offered them to each National Leader or representative present.
The 2016 Pyeongae Scholarship money (local scholarship) were also given to the National Leaders from the selected nations, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Gabon and Togo. Back to their nation, the money will be given to the selected students.
Finally, all leaders gathered into four teams for a warm and friendly Yut game. The winner got $ 400, the second $200 and the third and fourth won $100. At the end, the 100 participants to this first such regional assembly in Africa West Region left with much hope for a new start.