European Members Visited Benin – June Darby
By June Darby
I have just found out that I will be going to the mayor of Cotonou office this afternoon at 3pm to get final permission for blessing every single district in Cotonou. It has been verbally agreed but needs to become official, papers to be handed in and plans, programs submitted. So I WILL BE WORKING WITH THAT Blessing Program Amazing, it will be an incredible experience I am sure.
We will be doing a blessing and education program this coming Saturday 6th August. The blessings in Cotonou begins 11th Aug until 13th Aug. It will be mainly for the district leader and his counsellors. That will be done in each district. Those leaders will be educated then later they will follow up with doing more blessings in each district.
Thank you for your prayers. Yesterday ‘a meeting was cancelled due to an emergency meeting with a government minister, so we went again this morning. He was positive about supporting the family and will give us written authorization. Also, there was someone present who has responsibility for villages outside the city limits who promised us authorization.
We will go to visit 2 of the 9 district leaders from Calavi, where we were this morning. There we will discuss with them about how and when to bless in their districts. First the district leader and his counsellors are blessed and educated. Then they help with blessing the people living in their district.
The members are all very kind and heartistic. I was dropped straight into the Blessing programme, that is being done in the Cotonou area by a very capable and hardworking couple, Pascal and Olive Degbey, who fortunately speak English.
On my 1st day we visited the Mayor of Cotonou ‘s office to submit the plans for the Blessing program. Amazingly the 2nd Gen said that we should spend 3 days, not 1day, in each district to give more people time to be blessed! The city has 13 districts and a population of 1 million. The District chiefs and their Counsellors and wives are blessed first and educated. Then they bring their people to be blessed. We begin this on 11-13th Aug. Next we visited the Mayor of D’Abomey-Calavi, Mar George Badas. He used to be an M.P. and is a dignified, impressive figure. The city has a population of nearly 1.5 million, with 9 District Chiefs. He had given permission to bless in his city but some District Chiefs require the Mayor’s written authorization, which he willingly gave. Evidently all the City Chiefs are moved by seeing a delegation of foreigners and become more open to our proposals. Last night a couple came to hear about the 3 Day Ceremony and received their pack- holy handkerchiefs, candle, matches, holy salt.
Today we visited the District Chief of Zinviev, in Calavi city travelling along a bone shaker of a road. Mar Christophe Avissi was very welcoming, he is young, a programmer as well as chief. After expressing his views and support for the program he promised to bring 100 couples to be blessed next Saturday, 6th Aug! Then he took us to his luxurious home and showed us the upstairs balcony. It has a shelter and a huge open tiles expanse. He said that it would be perfect for the Blessing! Better than the Community hall. Then he took us to meet the Chief of the next District, Mar Ettienne Boyle. We sat outside under the trees while Pascal explained what we were doing. Mar Ettiene was also very encouraging and supportive, promising to bring another 100 couples to be blessed in the afternoon of the 6th Aug! Neither Chief would be blessed because they are polygamous, yet they are helping so open heartedly.
And so the Blessing program which started here in April is gathering speed and beginning to gallop along. Last Sunday 100 couples we’re blessed in village and one Blessed member couple is blessing people every day. 32 couples around the country are focusing on Blessings and to date 700 have been blessed.
Tomorrow there will be a blessing here at the HQ Peace Embassy. It is a very exciting and inspiring being here!
We all arrived before important meetings with 2 Mayors who were not being so co-operative, but when they met with a foreign delegation their hearts were opened and they agreed for us to bless their cities, one has 2 million the other one million. So more foreigners are needed to help do blessings, there aren’t enough people Here to do the work and money is badly needed, to pay for transport, pictures, 3 day packs, refreshments. Also the young people here are having so many positive experiences and their faith is being strengthened.
Today we visited 2 more district chiefs to arrange dates for blessing their people. These chiefs and their counsellors have been blessed and are finishing their 40 days. The one has 11000 in his area. He was very positive, wanting to cooperate and work with the FFWPU on future projects. I wonder how they are going to cope with all the blessings waiting to be done.