Fighting Thunderstorms and other Obstacles
Home town activities during summer holidays
By Barbara Grabner
Four years ago I started to hold public lectures in my home village south of Salzburg (Austria). When my first lectures met good success, I set the goal of holding ten lectures with Principle contents there. The number 10 is a symbol of “return to God”. Since the owner of the lecture facility is 77 years old, I frequently prayed for her good health. But then it happened that my health suffered gravely preventing me from outreach activities. In May, I broke my ankle and could not walk for two months. Despite my pains I decided not to change plans for summer activities, in the worst case I would invite people walking on crutches. God has nobody working south of Salzburg, so I cannot vacate. Before leaving Bratislava where our family resides most of the year, I phoned a lady who brings often guests.
Within a few days, Martha had secured a place for the lecture Maria Theresa and the female aspect of dominion in my mother´s home village. An established educational institution prepared a hall for 20th July and sent invitation leaflets to all homes, distributed posters at various locations. But the devil used the weather as a deterrent – before the lecture a thunderstorm hit the region. Most villagers dwelling on the surrounding hills did not risk driving in heavy rain, so the audience was smaller than expected (total of 11). I was happy to greet my oldest cousin who has been a school teacher. Another special guest was a lady who celebrated her 70th birthday same date. Our member Friedrich had called her in the late afternoon to congratulate her. She told him that the party was over, and so she was willing to come with him. The lesson of the day was that I must pray hard for good weather.
The next lecture was held in my home village on 9th August. The philosopher Herbert Giller from Vienna would talk about Islam. The lecture was titled Children of Abraham. The cause of conflicts between Judaism, Christianity and Islam from the beginnings until the present. I put up posters in the village center and sent announcements to the press and radio. I handed out leaflets and placed them in shops and at the hairdresser´s.
Everyone showed great interest. But what about the weather? All effort would be in vain if the devil sends thunderbolts! My daily prayer was – Let the angels make sunshine! Every day there were thunder storms but on August 9, the angels dominated the evening sky. We cleaned the museum from dust and spider webs and established a small book table at the entrance with our literature, including the new DP booklets. Amazingly already one hour earlier the first guests arrived, soon the parking lot was filled. The broad advertisement resulted in many first-time guests. Quickly we established a notebook in an adjunct room so that all 40 participants could view the presentation. The lecture lasted from 19:30 to 22:00.
Some impatient persons left the crowded conditions, but most listened carefully. Shor time after we had returned home a terrible thunderstorm broke. Sitting on the terrace we sighed “Thanks, that it came so late….”
The third lecture took place in my home village on 1st September. This year we celebrate three anniversaries which relate to the preparations for the Second Coming: 500 years since the Reformation, 100 years since the Russian Revolution, and 100 years since the Revelations in Fatima.
After some brainstorming I found the fitting title Reformation and Revolution. The struggle for freedom and social justice, from Luther (1517) to Lenin (1917). Again, I put up posters and distributed flyers; the local tourist agency and the Farmer´s Weekly advertised the event. After the Sunday service in the local church I witnessed several church goers. Again, I worried about the weather. All week was sunny, but according to the weather forecast on Friday it will be rainy and cold. Desperately I prayed that the angels make the weather better two hours before the lecture when people make the decision – go or not go. All day the clouds hang low making a gloomy mood. But my desperate prayer was answered! Late in the afternoon the rain stopped and spots of blue sky appeared – enough to cheer up potential guests. But the devils had another obstacle prepared. A prominent farmer had died and the mourning prayer was held on that same evening! As a result, from my home village only few people showed up who were not obliged to attend the morning prayer.
Thanks to guests from surrounding villages and from Salzburg most seats were taken (we were 19). As conclusion, I read an article about the third secret of Fatima which one UTS graduate had written some time ago. It illustrated how the Vatican prevented the third part to be known. I informed the listeners that the Return of Christ most likely happened after World War. I distributed the booklet “New Light on the Mission of the Messiah” and copies of the time parallels from the Divine Principle book. One lady recently visited her daughter in the United States. One early morning at 4:00 she awoke and saw a huge white cross appearing in the sky. She woke husband to witness the phenomena too. She told us that right now in America many believe that Christ returns. Considering all the obstacles I had to overcome the reaction of the listeners was rewarding. One man from Salzburg said with a bright smile:” Oh, I could listen another two hours. I simply cannot get enough of this stuff.” I promised more of it during my next stay.