Spain: Family Festival for a Culture of Peace
By Maryvonne Jamois, FFWPU Spain
For a few months we had been preparing a blessing event with the Thai community in Barcelona. We have three Thai sisters Mai, Kanyapat and Darune) in Barcelona and one Thai sister in Andorra (Chatiboot). As Chatiboot spent time in her own country she was very inspired to do something in Barcelona and so we began to work together as a team with Barcelona community.
Kanyapat and Mai who were already in contact with the Thai Association in Barcelona began to look for some support. They contacted the monk from Norway who is already known from the Thai association and the event was planned for December 10th. We were thinking to do it in our place, but we thought it´s too small. So, we began to look for a hotel or a place to rent, and we finally find a nice room for 140 people, for a reasonable price.We worked on the invitation and began to contact and to prepare so that the event could be really attractive for Thai and for other people too.
A few days before the event, the Thai Embassy in Madrid also supported us putting our invitation in their web page. The Ambassador could not come but she said she will send somebody from the Embassy as representative.
On Friday a team came from Madrid to bring the beautiful banner made by Armando and to help and support the event. On Saturday in a few hours we could transform the room as the scene was prepared beautifully by Jose Manuel.
The expectation was great on Sunday morning; little by little guests were arriving. Around 50 guests came, 18 couples received the blessing. All together with members we gathered almost 100 people. At the entrance, the couples were invited to make a beautiful picture near the heart of flowers prepared by Jose Manuel and Antonio.
The program was in two parts. After welcoming remarks by Maryvonne, we had a presentation made by Manuel Campillo about “The family is the school of love”. A coffee break and we began the second part. The monk guided everybody in meditation and gave his blessing for this ceremony. It was followed by Holy Wine, Holy water, blessing prayer.
Manuel as MC did his best to create a very nice atmosphere and conducted the ceremony of forgiveness and invited all couples to make a new beginning. They all embrace each other in a very loving way.
We invited then a Thai Singer who delighted us with a Spanish song and a Thai song. Words of congratulations were given first by Giuseppe Cali, President of South Europe followed by some words from Mr Bancha Yuenyongchongcharoen representative of the Embassy, who received a certificate of appreciation for the Ambassador for her support to this event.
As there is no celebration without cake, one representative couple was invited on the stage to cake cutting. Everybody then enjoyed the Thai food for lunch, and was then invited to participate in the lottery conducted by Luis and Chatiboot. Jose Antonio and Kali had prepared games for the couples to enjoy together.
It was almost 4.00 in the afternoon when guests were living, all of them expressed their appreciation for the event and the desire to meet again. One of our Thai sisters published pictures in Facebook and the persons who participated said : “Thank you for your invitation and organization. It has been a wonderful day and some people who did not participate are interested to participate next time.
True Mother said recently: “What is God´s dream? It is one human family. If you cannot perfect your family, you cannot go to Heaven. The Family Federation is a religion of True Parentism.” God´s love embraces everybody beyond our differences. To bless people is to make them feel that they could experience God´s embrace and that we are all members of the same family
When all our guests left, we gathered together with Dr Michael and Fumiko Balcomb. He asked everybody to express very quickly some impressions of the day. It was a very emotive moment as many members were really thankful and impressed by this event and this gave them a lot of hope to do much more in the future. The success of this event was the cooperation and unity of all brothers and sisters from Barcelona community, Madrid community as well as Andorra community, as everybody is needed in his own area, and we need so much each other.
I want to express my gratitude to all brothers and sisters especially our Thai sisters and Hector and Dulce , city leaders in Barcelona who worked very hard in the past weeks. Thank you also to Dr Michael and Fumiko Balcomb (Chairman of Europe, Middle East and Eurasia) who take time in their busy schedules to come to Barcelona and give us their support, as well as Giuseppe Cali, Regional President from South Europe.
Thank you Heavenly Parent and True Parents for your guidance to make this event a beautiful event!