Albania: UN International Day of Families 2016
By FFWPU Albania: Regional President, Rev. Jack Corley of FFWPU Europe visited Albania from 12th – 16th of May 2016. During this period, we had a very intensive agenda, trying to use the opportunity and have Rev. Corley attending national level events, visiting local communities, and meet with brothers and sisters as well as Ambassadors for Peace.
On May 12th, right after he arrived from the airport, Rev. Corley went to the Albanian National Historic Museum to attend the event held on the occasion of the International Day of Families entitled “Families, healthy lives and sustainable future”. Rev. Corley was the key note speaker along with Former President of Albania H. E. Alfred Moisiu and many other prominent people. Around 200 people attended the event.
Early next day, we traveled to Durres city, about 40 km from Tirana, to meet brothers and sisters there. Rev. Corley shared with brothers and sisters his life testimony, of how he met the Principle 43 years ago and how his life changed 180 degrees since he got to know True Parents.
After lunch we departed to Elbasan city, 90 km far from Durres, to meet with brothers and sisters there. Including STF team, over 35 brothers and sisters gathered to meet and listen to rev. Corley’s massage. It was a very warm and family atmosphere. Many brothers and sisters asked questions to Rev. Corley about his experiences with True Parents, how he did overcome challenges in his life of faith and so on. At one-point Rev. Corley said “…deciding to follow True Parents and dedicate my life to God’s Will since then, was the best decision I could ever take in my life…”.
The next day, on May 14th, we had a meeting with Tirana Community members at the HQs building. Over 50 brothers and sisters gathered together with the desire to learn from the experiences of our Continental Leader with True Parents. The feeling conveyed during the meeting was Inheritance & Development. We have so much to learn and inherit from elder brothers and sisters who lived and worked directly with True Parents on the front line, building the foundation for the CIG era to come. Some of the stories sounded not real, like fairytales, but because those first generation elders went through so much and had a life or death determination centering on True Parents, we can be able to live now at the era of CIG. Based on the sacrifice of our True Parents and elders, we now have to develop and substantially build CIG on earth and in heaven.
May 15th was the day of the Family Festival and Cosmic Blessing Ceremony. Actually, the main reason we had invited Rev. Corley to Albania was participate & officiate the Blessing Ceremony on May 15th. We chose the International Family Day to hold the Blessing Ceremony in Albania and among 215 participants we had 40 couples who received the Blessing. It was a wonderful event & Heavenly Parent’s love was there.
On the afternoon, Rev. Corley had a meeting with all community leaders and department leaders and expressed his appreciation for their hard work and asked them to convey his heart of gratitude to all brothers and sisters who worked very hard to make the Blessing event a success. Again, rev. Corley shared with leaders his heart and experience of working with so many people and different leaders during his 43 years of public life and how important is to nourish your own spirit everyday with True Parents words and lead a life of prayer. He mentioned that “many times the challenges and difficulties you face in your life of faith, become the best fertilizer for your spirit to grow. But of course it is up to you to make it happen, by having the right heart and attitude. And True Parents are the best example for us to learn from…”
After all the events finished, Rev. Corley wanted to meet with all STF teams who are witnessing in Albania at this time. Five teams are working hard every day to witness about True Parents in 5 different cities. They all attended the Blessing ceremony and also performed 3 songs for all the participants. At the evening, Rev. Corley met with them at the Training Center and thanked them for working hard. He then asked each one of them to introduce themselves and surprisingly for many of them, Rev. Corley knew their parents and worked with them. Afterwards, he answered many questions they asked with a parental heart.
We felt embraced, and encouraged by the presence of Rev. Corley. Many brothers and sisters had important realizations and cherished the time we spent together. Through his visit and presence, we felt True Mother’s direct love and care for us and we felt empowered to work harder to bring victory for Vision 2020!