Germany: Family Blessing Festival
By Mathias and Begona Monzebe, FFWPU Germany
On Saturday, January 20th, the communities of Berlin and Hamburg hosted a Family Blessing Festival in the Friedenau Neighborhood House. This event attracted over 90 participants, 24 of whom -including one couple and one other guest – had made the journey from Hamburg to attend.
It was truly wonderful to witness the support of all our members from the North Region, amongst them many young people. We were wordlessly united!
Even though not all had arrived, we started punctually at 16:00. However, almost miraculously the room filled up to capacity, creating a festive atmosphere. There was a total of 7 couples present, the remainder attended without their partner.
Achim Pock was the moderator and the majority of those present joined in a quiz, ‘wedding traditions around the world’, and a game, ‘husband-wife – who does what better?’
An award was then presented to three couples in recognition of their mutual fidelity and love.
The first couple was from Cameroon; Bernd Flieger commented thus: “It was a deep experience for me to see the first couple coming up to the stage, and to hear them both expressing how they maintained their love for each other, especially in times of difficulty, and how they wished to be a good example for their children’.
The husband of the second couple is from Syria, his wife from Yemen. He said that his life had changed since meeting his wife in Yemen, and that it is love which binds them together.
The third couple was Ulli and his wife Hilke who have been married for 36 years. Hilke spoke first: “I have learnt to accept my husband as he is, and not as I would like him to be. Fidelity is of prime importance, come what may. In this way, I can set an example for my children and teach them chastity before, and fidelity within, marriage.’’ Two of their four children are already married.
Ulli then came to word and stressed the importance of „honesty, mutual trust and open communication. I am still in love after many years and this makes me feel young. “
A highlight was a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, presented by two Japanese women from Hamburg, and our festivities were greatly enriched by the wonderful Afro-Gospel Bona Deus Choir whose musical contributions helped to create such a spirit of joy and camaraderie.
Then followed the Blessing ceremony, with Reinhold Merta setting the atmosphere with “the Wedding Song”. Achim Pock explained the significance of the Blessing and greeted UPF Germany representatives Karl- Christian Hausmann and his wife Kathy, who had travelled from Stuttgart to officiate.
Now came the cutting of the Blessing cake by three representative couples: the officiating couple, a couple from the Berlin community, and an inspired couple from the Afro-Gospel Choir.
The African choir then burst into: „Oh Happy Day“to which all sang and danced, creating a fantastically lively and enthusiastic atmosphere!
Congratulations were offered to the couples and participants and the buffet was declared open.
The table was colorfully set and laden with an appetizing mixture of international dishes such as sushi and other delicacies, in an expression of the love that had been invested in the preparations.
The sun was shining especially in Berlin on this day. I think that we are just beginning to understand the spiritual consequences which will follow this World Peace Blessing. The room was full of the most wonderful angels. How happy must our Heavenly Parents have been to see the couples drinking the Holy Nectar. The spiritual world was surely rejoicing!
We would like to thank all who participated and supported; the members from Hamburg and Hannover, who offered financial and spiritual support and all others who prayed for us. We would especially like to offer thanks to our Heavenly Parents and True Parents of Heaven and Earth that this World Peace Blessing could be held here, moving Berlin a step forwards in the Divine Providence.
True Parents´ Victory Celebration for Africa Summit 2018 in Dakar, Senegal, has given us courage and we hope that the success of our first World Peace Blessing in Berlin can be a good foundation for the upcoming Blessings in Stuttgart (04.02.2018) and Camberg (17.02.2018).
Reflections (By Mathias Monzebe):
For me, our faith was the key to success in Berlin, and I was especially impressed by two experiences.
The first was when I offered thanks to the leader of the African choir (who had also participated in the Blessing). He commented that he had attended many other large events, but this was the first time that he could attend something as special as our Family Festival. He thanked me that he could participate in the Blessing. He was truly moved and grateful.
The other was an experience with a couple from Sri Lanka. The husband is a driver for the Kenyan Ambassador in Berlin and saw no way that he could be free to attend because the Prime Minister and another minister were travelling with a delegation of von 49 people round Berlin. Nevertheless, he made a lot of effort and was able to attend the event. He was very happy to have made this decision, and grateful to have participated in the Blessing ceremony.