Welcoming True Mother Back to Korea
By Julian Gray, FFWPU International
True Mother arrived safely back from the United States in the early evening of July 31, looking remarkably fresh after her long journey. Many staff members had waited into the evening to see her, and when her car pulled up they greeted her with applause and a loud shout of welcome.
Today, August 1, a luncheon with the title “Special Gathering to Celebrate True Parents’ Return to Korea and the Victorious Rally for the Hopeful March Forward of America” celebrated Mother’s return and gave those who had worked so hard to bring prominent guests to the New York events a chance to share their testimonies.
After introductions of prominent guests, a video was screened to show the highlights of the event that featured True Mother’s speech at Madison Square Garden on July 15 and the events that both preceded and followed it. This included excerpts from Mother’s speeches that, as always, challenge those listening to do their best to help advance God’s providence, and inspire a serious response. The video notably featured Mother’s meeting with three leaders of very large religious movements in Africa. They had attended the Madison Square Garden event, and Mother had invited them to East Garden.
Flowers were offered by FFWPU North America Chairman Rev. Ki-hoon Kim and International HQ General Director Sung-il Cho, and Mother then cut a traditional victory cake.
Korean FFWPU President Rev. Yu Gyeong-seok offered an opening prayer, which was followed by Mrs. Wonju McDevitt’s reading of True Mother’s speech from the Madison Square Garden event.
Rev. Ki-hoon Kim then gave a report about the event. He began by stating how successful the events centered on Mother had been. He outlined how Mother had decided on Madison Square Garden as the venue for the event, and how he had realized what serious conditions Mother herself was laying for its success. He said that he had spent many hours in prayer himself, and testified that all the members had invested themselves to offer many conditions, and done an enormous variety of outreach; and that this was the reason for its success.
Many Christian leaders and congregants participated and the event was reported as the leading article in a prominent Christian newspaper, the Christian Times.
Rev. Kim reminded the audience of the successful launching of IAPP in December last year. This time, various events brought government representatives together, including an IAPP meeting of lawmakers from Korea, Japan and the United States who were doing a reciprocal fact-finding tour in Washington, similar to the one organized for US lawmakers in Japan at the time of other’s event in Japan earlier in the year.
Japan UPF president Mr. Kajikuri Masayoshi mentioned in his testimony that being welcomed by the president of the Senate, Orrin Hatch, was meaningful for the Korean and Japanese congressmen, for whom such a meeting is not easy to arrange. He said the atmosphere in Japan has changed with the launching of IAPP, and Japanese Diet members feel more free to attend events such as this.
The Diet members had assumed that the Madison Square Garden event would be a gathering for members, but they saw that Mother gave a message for all humanity, not just for her own disciples and followers. Because they wanted to understand what Father had taught, they expressed gratitude at receiving Father’s autobiography.
There was also a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters Building in New York. Korea UPF president Mr. Song Gwang-seok explained that it is not often that lawmakers from these three nations sit down together, and they could naturally discuss, for example, the situation of North Korea.
Mr. Song mentioned that the Peace Road project will begin at the provincial level in Korea this year. Forty riders from Japan will also come to Korea and ride from Busan to Imjn Gak (near the demilitarized zone) as they did last year. He also mentioned True Mother’s help for North Korean refugees by helping their children with scholarships.
International HQ secretary general Dr. Yoon Yeong-ho explained about one African religious leader who had had revelations about receiving the Blessing and ultimately had received it. Moreover, he had even spoken with the highest leadership in his country about it.
Indeed, the events of July 15 and the surrounding days included many of an interreligious nature. For example, religious representatives, many of whom would go on to participate in the July 15 event, also participated in an ACLC-led prayer breakfast at the New Yorker Hotel a day or two earlier.
The Madison Square Garden event thus spawned good opportunities to for interaction between many influential people, and surely opened ways for them to work together with the foundation True Parents have created, with True Mother presently guiding the way on earth—and to work with each other to solve the problems in society and to bring the United States back under the love of our Heavenly Parent.