Germany: A New Start
By Hildegard Piepenburg, FFWPU Germany
On September 30, 2017, Forty-three representatives from the German communities gathered in Giessen to officially welcome the new president of the newly formed Region “Europe, Middle East and Eurasia” (EME), Michael Balcomb, and his wife Fumiko. To open the meeting, Dieter Schmidt, leader of the Central Region with 9 nations, asked each person to introduce himself personally. Our guest of honor was Christel Werner, currently visiting Germany from the USA.
Fumiko Balcomb remarked that she feels very much at home in Germany, because here, as in Japan, great emphasis is put on cleanliness and clear structures. She stressed that her husband Michael is very close to True Mother and his own mother and that this closeness is the most important foundation for a leader.
Michael was happy that they both could visit the Neumuehle the previous day – their first visit since they were matched there 36 years ago, in June 1981. Michael was born in Nigeria to English parents; he and his wife have 5 children and lived for 25 years in the USA, the last four-and-a-half years as national leader.
After Michael had changed the seating arrangement so that everyone sat round him in a semi-circle, he reported about the big rally in Madison Square Garden with 10,000 guests in July of this year. The American movement would have been able to mobilize 4,000 at the most, but God sent a man who organized a 3,000-voice choir and filled the stadium to capacity. This man had never be-fore been in contact with us.
Right after this big event, True Mother sent Michael to Europe. She expressed the desire to speak next year at a large event in Europe, and a decision must be made soon as to where this will take place – whether in Germany (eg the ESPRIT-Arena in Düsseldorf), in Austria (Vienna) or in Italy (Milan, Rome). “God is alive, and he has already prepared people who will help us!”, announced Michael with conviction. He himself had heard God’s call 20 seconds before True Mother unexpectedly assigned him to Europe, just as the prophet Isaiah, and his answer was: “Here I am. Send me!” Those who are simply there when God needs them, are exactly the ones with whom God can work, despite all their mistakes and weaknesses, said Michael, “God can bring about great things!” True Mother assured him: “You can do it. I trust you and I trust Europe.”
Michael also challenged us regarding our mission as tribal messiahs: „Germany should bless 430 couples before Christmas! “True Mother does not want us to make it unnecessarily difficult for couples to come to the Blessing:
“Gather your relatives, organize a party and bless them”, she said, “you can teach them the Principle later and with time, more qualified people can come.” Michael encouraged us saying that it is important to make a start, and optimally to work in teams. With time, we could then improve our approach.
Michael and Fumiko ate lunch with representatives of the second generation, whose training and education lie close to True Mother’s heart.
On 1 October, Michael & Fumiko Balcomb gave their first Sunday service in Germany to the Frankfurt community. Already on the previous day, some of the Frankfurt community had heard Michael’s inspiring talk at the city leaders meeting in Giessen, and were curious as to what topic he would chose on Sunday. The message that he delivered with great enthusiasm and authenticity, was “Send Me”.
Before he started, he asked us to rearrange the chairs in a semi-circle, near the pulpit, without an aisle in the middle and with no empty seats in the first row.
Fumiko briefly introduced herself and Michael, following which Dr. Balcomb reported from his own personal experiences:
- that the people whom God calls are anything but perfect;
- that God can only carry out his 95% when we completely fulfill our 5%;
- that things fundamentally change when the false start made by mankind is replaced by the correct one – that is through the blessing of marriage;
- that True Mother wants to keep this awareness in us alive and never to lose hope that we can do it;
- and that God is calling each one of us. Therefore, we must pay attention and be ready to follow the call.
After his sermon, Michael asked each member of the congregation to hold a five-minute conversation with his neighbor about when God had last called him.
We ended the service with our monthly birthday celebration. The newly sixty-year old Giuseppe was presented with a large bunch of flowers.