European Members Visited Benin – Amy Brown
By Amy Brown
Here in Benin we have been received so warmly by the Family Federation members, CARP members and local Beninese people. In total we are 4 European members, Viktor Vanalderwelt from France, Katharina Eder from Germany, and June Darby and myself from England. We’ve been privileged to be able to get involved with the many activities going on in Benin, together with CARP and the Japanese Cheon Il Guk missionaries, and with the Tribal Messiahship department. Both are really booming with energy and have gained a lot of momentum.
CARP has been holding regular workshops; a 1-day seminar is held for new guests almost weekly, and 7-day workshops are currently happening once or twice a month for new guests to study Principle. As the European team, we have been witnessing on the local university campus with CARP members and have also been supporting at workshops. We have joined in for part of the 1-day, 7- day and 21-day workshops to support and encourage new guests and future CARP members.
CARP Benin holds one-day workshop for over 100 new guests to hear Principle of Creation and the Human Fall for the first time. CARP-Benin holds this workshop nearly every week.
Inauguration ceremony for Youth Federation for World Peace. Students and VIP guests from the government and universities were invited to hear about Vision 2020 for the social and economic development for Benin through strategic goals based on True Parents teachings.
One-day Blessing education seminar for newly blessed couples. Content included Divine Principle lectures and also talks and discussions about how to inherit the tribal messiahship mission and spread the teaching of the Blessing to their local communities.
The Tribal Messiahship team has been working extremely hard to bless and educate many couples around Benin. During the past 2 weeks we have attended meetings with 2 mayors, 2 local chiefs and the leader of a peace and family education NGO called Fiffawa, (meaning ‘peace’ in the local dialect), to discuss giving the Blessing ceremony to the local couples. The leaders have all received us very warmly and have had a very positive response to supporting Blessing activities in their communities.
The Heavenly Tribal Messiahship team also go to villages and cities around the country not only to give Blessings, but also to give Blessing education to support newly blessed couples throughout and after the 40-day separation and 3-day ceremony. Through this education, newly blessed couples receive Divine Principle lectures and also learn to inherit the tribal messiahship mission themselves, and feel inspired to spread this message to the rest of their community.
So far almost 800 couples have been blessed in Benin, and a few hundred more are to be expected within the coming months. I have attended 3 Blessing ceremonies in different locations. In the past 2 weeks alone over 90 couples have received the Blessing.
It seems like the biggest challenges the team are currently facing are financing all their events, travel, and finding enough manpower to take care of and educate all the newly blessed couples. Their teams are very small and of course most members cannot be dedicated to their mission full time. Moreover, there is a big issue with polygamy in many parts of Africa, preventing many married people from being eligible to receive the Blessing.
Despite their many challenges, I have been amazed at the incredible results of the hard work and dedication of the members here; they are in contact with many leaders, including the President of Benin, they hold a vast range and great number of events weekly, and have been giving Blessings and teaching Principle across the entire nation. I really feel that this is a leading nation in bringing about Vision 2020.
Note: They desperately need more volunteers to cope with the demand. If you are interested in the Benin project please contact Mieko Davies.