Netherlands: Meeting for Peace Ambassadors – Review of the Africa Summit in Senegal
By Hans Campman, UPF Netherlands
n the middle of last week we had heard the good news from Jean François, our regional leader, about the possibility of Dr Otsuka coming to give a report on the Africa Summit. Wim Koetsier and Rita Salaris immediately took up the idea of calling a UPF-WFWP dinner meeting, which was to take place somewhere in the following weekend.
As location we chose a distinguished hotel in The Hague, the political capital of the Netherlands. Wim and Rita called around to invite those whom they could reach. In spite of the very short (2-3 days) notice a selection of 12 of our most committed Ambassadors for Peace agreed to come. They turned up indeed on that evening of Sunday 29th of January, which was a little miracle in itself. Six of our brothers and sisters made up the staff.
During the meeting in which Dr Otsuka was going to be the main speaker, we presented the recent video report (Peace TV) on the Africa Summit in Senegal. Participants carefully listened and watched; they seriously reflected on True Mother’s prayer in Gorée island, the place of pain and hurt, in connection to the history of slave trade. They followed seriously the section of True Mother’s speech at the Summit, humbly contemplating Mother’s declaration of being the True Mother of the Cosmos.
Dr. Otsuka carefully explained True Mother’s vision for Africa; her message brings real hope to the continent, which has suffered in so many ways. It was significant that the president of Senegal, the head of state, attended and supported the whole event, spoke in support and appreciation for True Mother and attended her through his presence. If the president can embrace True Mother’s vision, his nation Senegal can become a rallying point around which the whole of Africa can unite. Dr Otsuka mentioned many more points; he spoke of True Mother’s intention to help Africa not only internally and morally but also economically, through clear business projects. He also mentioned the issue of interreligious harmony. How interesting and wonderful it is that a nation which is primarily Muslim can embrace True Mother’s vision. How significant a person is such as Sheikh Mansur who is fully committed to True Mother’s cause and appreciates her deeply. The summit was truly a demonstration of interreligious harmony, Dr Otsuka mentioned, especially between Muslims and Christians. In Senegal peaceful cooperation between Muslims and Christians is really happening. Dr Otsuka also highlighted UPF’s activities to promote family values and to spread the Marriage Blessing. One of the speakers during the Africa Summit in Senegal was archbishop Ndanga, a prominent catholic. Recently he had organized a large Marriage Blessing Ceremony in his country of Zimbabwe. Just a few days later the government was changed, bringing relief and new hope to most of the population. True Mother’s work and the Blessing bring solutions in mysterious, unexpected ways.
Participants generally agreed with Mr Otsuka that Europe has a responsibility for Africa. Not primarily because of guilt feelings from past history, but because we are connected in so many ways.
Europe has received many blessings from God which it should share with its neighboring continent. Dr. Otsuka explained that some 90 Europeans, most of them 2nd gens, had been active in Senegal to support the Summit, during the preparation as well as during the event itself.
Several of the participants, such as Dr and Mrs van Eekelen and Dr. Stuyt, have lived in Africa and have a deep love for the continent. They, as well as most of the other participants, feel responsible as Europeans and are deeply inspired by True Mother’s loving, hopeful vision for Africa. They are greatly interested in the ways how UPF intends to help Africa practically and wish to give their whole-hearted support.
Dr. Otsuka gave answers to questions from the audience. Having lived in 5 continents for a substantial amount of time he has gained a deep general understanding of the human condition.
The participants were impressed not only by his message but also by the way he respected their views and listened carefully to their questions and opinions. Finally, they appreciated Dr Otsuka’s good command of the English language.
The meeting left all attendants with a good feeling. Two of the participating Peace Ambassadors will attend the upcoming ILC around True Parents’ birthday in Korea.
Dr Otsuka arrived on Saturday, he was with us in Netherlands during the weekend and left on Tuesday noon-time. He didn’t only come as president of UPF for our region, but also as an elder brother, giving us encouragement and guidance for our spiritual lives.
On Sunday we had two sessions with him in the format of the Sunday service. In his sermon Dr Otsuka reported about the success of the Africa Summit in Senegal. He covered many aspects of the Summit, the challenges, the difficulties, the lessons, the successes, the final victory. True Mother has brought great hope to Africa. She was received not only by the president of Senegal, but by former presidents of other nations such as Mali, by high parliamentarians and dignitaries and especially the spiritual leaders of Islam and Christianity. The success had come about based on the hard work and efforts of our brothers and sisters in Africa during a long period of time under their respective leaders. It was a wonderful thing that a good group of European brothers and sisters (for the most part 2nd gens) had been there to make preparations in the weeks and months –preceding the summit. (2 of our 2nd gens from Netherlands, Kyung In and Alexandra participated). For many reasons it is important that Europe helps Africa. African brothers and sisters expressed their gratitude for the precious assistance from Europe, under the leadership of Dr Balcomb and his wife. In exchange they would like to help us in Europe, for instance in the preparations for our coming up rally in Vienna.
In spite of the many challenges and obstacles, Dr Otsuka mentioned, the Africa Summit had been a great success. In fact, since True Father’s Seonghwa True Mother probably has never been as happy and joyful as at this event. He spoke not only about the Africa Summit; he gave guidance and shared insights on many topics.
He emphasized the importance of finding the prepared person that God works through in order to reach many, many people. In this he confirmed what Dr Balcomb had told us three months ago. In Senegal this person, who connected us to all the dignitaries including the president Macky Sall, had been Sheikh Mansur. Dr Otsuka told us that many years ago he had found such a person in China. The mediation of this person, a personal contact of Dr Otsuka, was decisive for enabling us to organize the conference at which True Mother gave her speech in the famous “Great Hall of the People” in Beijing. Dr Otsuka had carefully built up the contact with this person, whom he felt could be of great importance. The outcome was very successful.
Dr Otsuka also explained us about True Parents and True Family. Where we thought we already understood True Mother’s heart and sacrificial efforts, Dr Otsuka gave us even deeper insights. In the question and answer session he shared profound and precious things of the true family, some of them filled with “han”.
He also shared precious things about Hyo Jin Nim, who, despite all the mistakes he made, was able to repent again and again and keep his love for True Parents. (In my personal talk with Dr Otsuka he revealed that he had supported Hyo Jin Nim in various ways, giving him the means to develop his musical activities. Music has been such an important tool for Hyo Jin Nim’s, enabling him to express his heart of deep love and dedication for True Parents.)
He has observed the situation of 2nd gens in Japan and many other nations. He is familiar with what 2nd gens are going through all over the world and is able to give profound guidance to them. Also, he can see how the generations (parents and children) can harmonize and work together better.
Because of the light and sometimes humorous way in which he conveyed his message, we all could easily understand and accept his guidance, even when serious points were addressed. For instance, he explains to us benefits of learning Korean. There is a nice story of meeting Heaven’s gatekeeper when we pass into the spirit world. That gate keeper speaks only Korean. Dr Otsuka explained how, by the use of some Korean sentences and a trick we can manage to come past the gatekeeper into heaven. We had to laugh, but of course the story makes us think.
Also he shows through practical examples that spiritual things concerning Cheong Pyeong have a real impact. He encourages us to liberate our ancestors. Once the life of his son was saved (from absolute death, impossible to be explained medically) because of the help of liberated ancestors, as a medium, outside our movement, had confirmed.
Above all, Dr Otsuka had come to encourage us. He spoke with a group of 2nd gens over Sunday lunch, He wants to hear from them, and get to know them, listen to their stories and ideals, answer their questions. He shared with them about matters not only spiritual but also practical, such as how to protect yourself against mosquitoes when you go to tropical countries.
he spent some time in Glory House. Derk van Dorsten had been encouraged last November by Dr Balcomb to set up a written proposal for restoring True Parents’ room in Glory House. Derk had finalized the proposal and presented it to Mr Otsuka, who has been truly inspired by it.
The True Parents’ room will now be renovated so that it can become a place of prayer and reflection. Members and distinguished guests can enter and read about True Parents’ life and words. A group of 2nd gens will assist Derk in carrying out the renovation activities to make this a room where True Parents can be worshipped and attended. In 6-7 months the renovation must be completed.
Dr. Otsuka supports the project wholeheartedly and he will report about it to True Mother.
the national HQ in Amsterdam is rather small, we told him about our plan to find a bigger centre. Dr Otsuka supported that idea.
On Monday he visited the Dutch national museum in Amsterdam, accompanied by Mrs Mihoko Koetsier who is a professional tour guide. Dr Otsuka has been spiritual leader in 5 continents. (Europe is the 6th). He loves the many different cultures and wants to know and understand them deeply. He seeks the unique good aspects of each culture and their contribution to God’s Providence. Before coming to Netherlands he had studied different highlights of our history, such as Dutch-Japanese relations in the 17th century and also the Russian tsar Peter the Great laying the foundation for the new Russia (and for constructing St Petersburg) through his humble time as a carpenter in the Netherlands, learning ship building.
Dr Otsuka wishes to pray for the ancestors in every nation where he comes, so as to improve the good fortune.
On the last morning Dr Otsuka met together with our Japanese sisters in the Netherlands. Eight of them were present. He listened to them as they were explaining their situations and gave them precious guidance and encouragement. It was a rare opportunity for our Japanese sisters to receive live guidance from a respected leader in their own language. Each of them felt new hope, comfort and clarity. Afterwards they all expressed their appreciation for this unique chance of coming together with Dr Otsuka.
We have all been uplifted by Dr Ozuka’s visit. We hope we can welcome him, perhaps together with Dr Balcomb and his wife, in the spring time, Holland’s best time, when all the flowers (tulips and more) will be blooming!