Cameroon: Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival
By FFWPU Cameroon: On May 15, 2016, the Tiko council Hall opened its doors to welcome one of the first big events to be held in its premises. This was the Interfaith Peace Blessing Ceremony for previously married couples. We had 65 participants which included 25 couples and 15 individuals who came alone representing their families.
Among the participants there were Christian pastors, a Muslim Imam, municipal councilors and others. Some of the participants had already completed the 3-day workshop on the Divine Principle while others had received a one-day lecture.
The program began officially with welcoming remarks given by Mgr. Mkamngo Rose, the State council for the town of Muyuka and Southwest regional coordinator for UPF. She praised the participants for respecting the time and giving this program a priority in their lives reminding them that “many are called but few are chosen. . .” She then presented the MC of the event, Rev. Fongoh Innocent Ndasi (the S.G. for UPF Cameroon) who coordinated the event. He began by explaining the significance of the gathering and introducing True Father and True Mother who inaugurated the blessing ceremony and went on to explain why they are called the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind.
Rev. Edwin gave a 2-hour lecture on the Divine Principle. He presented the ideal of creation centered on the three great blessings. This was followed by the fall of man where he explained the origin of sin and conflict stressing on misuse of sex and the corruption of the lineage with original sin by our first Then he systematically explained the necessity of the Messiah who comes as the True Parent to restore the lineage of mankind back to its original state ancestors.
At the conclusion of the first lecture he asked which couples are ready and willing to receive the blessing. They were sent to the new registration table for the blessing. After that, the second part of the lecture began with those couples who had registered to receive the blessing. There were 20 couples who registered to receive the blessing. Some of the individuals wanted to receive the blessing but could not because they didn’t have their spouses present. Some were from neighboring towns. One of the participants said I thought it was a joke “and promise to never leave his wife home next time.
Rev. Edwin explained the process and 5 steps of the blessing, this time in a more serious tone explaining each step with deep seriousness. After the lecture, they lined up to receive the holy wine, the holy wine ceremony was done in a holy atmosphere with a background music moving the heart and soul of all participants including those who came alone.
The officiator was was Mr. and Mrs. Akele, an elderly blessed couple from Buea of the 1992 blessing. They were accompanied by Mrs. Njuh Marie Louise, leader of FFWPU in Douala, 1992 blessing, who carried the holy wine tray.
Then we had Holy Water Ceremony, where Pastor Njie Benjamin Christian Reviver Church of Christ, Imam Shitu of Tiko Mosque and Rev. Edwin Plekhanov of the FFWPU joined together for a important ceremony as an step for the unity between Christianity and Islam centering on True Parents. Each of them was given a class of water to be poured in one single transparent bowl where all participants could see how amazing will it be to see all races and religions be mix and became one center on Only One God. Then the 3 of the Religion representative was given 2 minutes of invocation started by Christianity, Islam and at the end Rev Edwin Plekhanov offer a deep prayer ask for this water to give new life by cleaning all those water will be sprinkle.
The officiator started sprinkle holy water on the participants and one of them ask to put more holy water on him as this is the time he is baptize. During the Holy water as well we could feel the seriousness of the participants even if this even was done on a short notice to them as they needed to prepare internally and externally according to some of them.
After the Blessing Ceremony Rev Edwin Plekhanov took some time to explain about the Holy Indemnity Stick to allow the participant to understand the meaning and to do it immediately. He also explains about the 40 days sexual fasting and the deep meaning of renewal of their relation as husband and wife. after the first couple did the Indemnity stick all those who were reluctant line up and did also. And they promise to never fight no matter what.
At the end we had entertainment where participants listened to the songs prepared by our team members. First performance was a song “one family under God,” presented by Ndum Stancia and Dorine. This was followed by another song “the Sound of silence” presented by Nchia Kamran.
Those who could not receive the blessing the blessing due to the absence of their partners, were asked to register on another list for the next blessing to be held in Buea.
Couple 1: … this is the best thing that has ever happened in my life since I was married to my wife. We thank all the members of UPF and FFWPU for giving us such an opportunity to renew our marriage. We shall do our best to complete the 40 days successfully.
Couple 2: … we are very happy that finally we could receive the blessing. We have been attending UPF lectures since last year and we did a three-day seminar. Since then we have been waiting for such an opportunity in which we could receive the blessing. Now we will complete the 40 days and 3 days. We shall bring all our children to this movement and speak to many more people about Divine principle and the blessing. It is such a wonderful event.
Couple 3 (Youngest couple): … since we were engaged, we had decided to keep our chastity until we are married. We did so without knowing how important it was. After listening to the lecture today we have come to understand the deeper importance of keeping our purity and we are really proud to have done so. Now that our marriage is blessed by God, I think we shall complete our 40 days without any problem. We have understood how important it is to be sexually pure. Also as the youngest couple, we will try to bring many young people to the blessing through living an exemplary life as we heard in the lecture. Also, we want to be the first to be called Tribal Messiah here in Tiko. So we will not sleep.