Zimbabwe: Hyojeong Cosmic Blessing Ceremony
2018 Zimbabwe 4,000 couples hyojeong cosmic blessing ceremony officiated by the true parents of heaven, earth and humankind
by George M. Ogurie – FFWPU Africa
On Saturday June 9, 2018 some four thousand (4,000) couples – members of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) under the leadership of Archbishop Johanes Ndanga – participated in the Hyo Jeong Cosmic Blessing of the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind. The Blessing ceremony was held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), Harare, under the direct watch of our beloved True Mother who was represented by Dr Young Ho Yun, Secretary General of FFWPU International. This Blessing marked the first stage in the accomplishment of the 40,000 Couples Blessing proposed by Archbishop Ndanga during the True Parents’ Birthday in February this year.
As early as 4:00 am, ACCZ members who had travelled overnight from faraway places such as Bulawayo, Rutenga, Gokwe, etc, began arriving at the Blessing venue. Due to the national spread of membership of ACCZ, many participants from very distant places could not arrive at the venue on time. From 10:00 am, preliminary entertainment had begun with singing and dancing by various church choirs. They sang mostly in their native languages and sometimes the dances were quite acrobatic. Until after lunch time when the Blessing ceremony eventually started, those singers and dancers had ample time to perform.
When it was time to begin the ceremony, a twenty-man band of drummers and trumpeters escorted Dr. Yun, the Heavenly Africa Regional Group Chairman, Rev Bakary Camara and the Officiators’ couple, Archbishop and Mrs Judith Ndanga into the hall where participants were already seated, well arranged as couples.
Rev. Mwalagho Kililo, Regional President for East Africa, who served as the Master of Ceremony asked everyone to rise as the Officiators were ushered in. Everyone remained standing while the Zimbabwean National Anthem and the Cheon Il Guk Anthem were played. The invocation was given by Bishop Masumbikwa. And then Archbishop Ndanga gave the opening remarks.
The Archbishop’s address was a profound explanation of the Blessing. He started by pointing out the benefits of the Blessing – protection of family from harm, establishment of happy family; bringing good fortune to the family instead of misfortune; fidelity and trust between husband and wife; assurance of future generations’ eternal joy, happiness and blessings. He also explained the meaning of the Blessing with Biblical verses such as Genesis 1: 27 and 28 as the re-enactment and recovery of the original blessing given by God to the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve. And with more Bible passages he went further to explain the process of the Blessing which consists of five steps. Throughout his presentation he was full of praise and acknowledgement of True Parents as the ones who bring the Blessing to humanity.
After his address, the Archbishop himself administered the Holy Wine to twelve representative couples on stage, while the rest of the participants received theirs at their positions with the assistance of senior blessed couples – all members of ACCZ – in 40 locations.
The ceremony flowed smoothly to the end with the Holy Water Ceremony, True Parents’ Blessing Invocation, Blessing Proclamation and presentation of flowers. Congratulatory remarks were given by Rev. Camara and Dr. Yun who expressed in their own ways the hope that this is the beginning of a massive spread of the Blessing in Africa. Ms. Wija Ghomsi gave a beautiful rendition of “Song of the Banquet” as congratulatory song. Zimbabwe’s National Leader, Rev Bosako Iyolangomo, led everyone in four thunderous cheers of Eog Mansei ending the ceremony. After the MC had declared the Blessing Ceremony officially closed, the ACCZ choir quickly found their way back on stage and began another round of singing and dancing which brought many people on stage for a free for all dance. This crowned the whole ceremony with excitement and happiness.
BLESSING OF FIVE BISHOPS AND ONE CHIEF
While waiting to begin the main Blessing ceremony, Archbishop Ndanga had requested that some of his church leaders be blessed separately and privately in a small ceremony. And so at about 9.30 am a Blessing Ceremony was held in the Archbishop’s Rainbow Towers Hotel suite. The following persons participated: 1. Chief and Mrs. Njelele (Chief of Gokwe District); 2. Bishop and Mrs. Sibanda; 3. Bishop and Mrs. Matenda; 4. Bishop and Mrs. Matanhike; 5. Bishop and Mrs. Masumbikwa; 6. Bishop and Mrs. Mabhena, all of ACCZ.
The ceremony was coordinated by Rev George M. Ogurie, Regional President of West Africa (South) who gave a 15 minute explanation of the Blessing; while Rev and Mrs. Bosako Iyolangomo administered the Holy Wine.
Rev Ogurie emphasized the 40 days separation as a critical component of the process of the Blessing. He described it as ‘sexual fasting’, an important condition for God to unleash His blessing upon their families. He enjoined the Bishops to take the 40 day separation and 3 days ceremony seriously and accomplish them, as this will give them the moral authority to guide their members to do the same.
They pledged to follow through on all the steps of the Blessing. Afterwards, Peace TV interviewed four of them and they all expressed profound appreciation to God and True Parents for the opportunity to participate in the Blessing. They also pledged to spread the Blessing of True Parents far and wide in their nation, Zimbabwe.
Sunday 10 June 2018, FFWPU members gathered at the Peace Embassy for Sunday Service. Dr. Yun and Rev Camara were in attendance. It was an opportunity for members to share testimonies and reflection on the Blessing just held.
Rev. Kililo reported that the church leaders he spoke with all confessed that it is only through the True Parents’ Blessing that salvation will come to the nation. They want to move fast in bringing many couples to the Blessing.
Sumi Wakasaka – 2nd Gen from Zambia, serving as Youth Missionary in Zimbabwe – requested Dr. Yun to convey the gratitude of second generation members in Africa to True Mother for liberating Africa in Senegal. Through that liberation, doors are opening up. And through the Blessing of yesterday, more doors will open up in other places, she said.
Rev. Bosako testified about how much True Mother loves Zimbabwe. He explained that the venue where the Blessing was held is the same that True Mother spoke at in 1999 during one of her world tours. At that time True Mother expressed the wish that a big Blessing be held at that venue. It was very touching for him to see that wish coming true and therefore he attributed the victory of the Blessing totally to the prayers and efforts of True Mother.
Pastor Mulenga – from Zambia, who was involved in mobilizing the ACCZ church members for the Blessing – recounted the challenges faced in arranging transportation to bring people and noted that it was a miracle that that number of couples could make it. He thanked Dr. Yun for coming and stated that meeting Dr. Yun was like meeting True Mother.
Sermon for the Sunday service was given by Dr. Young Ho Yun. Introducing Dr. Yun, the Regional Group Chairman, Rev Camara, said from what happened yesterday, he expects the fire of the Blessing to burn widely in Africa. He was grateful that True Mother had sent Dr. Yun to light up that fire.
Upon taking the podium, Dr. Yun shared with everyone a message from True Mother saying that she was very happy with the Blessing. Nothing can be a more profound testimony to True Mother’s immeasurable grace, mercy, kindness and love. This brought tears to the eyes of everyone present.
Dr. Yun went on to explain about all the amazing things happening in the providence around the world and how True Mother has been on top of everything. He testified that true Mother lived in total attendance to True Father throughout her life. If True Father slept for three hours a day then True Mother even slept less because she would wake up an hour earlier to prepare for him. And after True Father’s ascension True Mother offered sincere devotion to True Father for three years on behalf of all humanity. Dr. Yun testified that once he asked True Mother why she is pushing herself so much and working so hard. “True Mother, you should take a rest,” he had told her. But that True Mother said, “I am the Mother of all humanity. I cannot rest until the foundation for the salvation of all humanity is firmly established.” Her driving force is the fact that she is the Mother of Humanity. Come what may, Cheon Il Guk nations will be realized according to True Parents plans. We should be confident and proceed with our duties diligently.
At the end of his speech, Dr. Yun presented a cash gift from True Mother to the Zimbabwean Mission. A group photograph was taken to conclude the service.
Although the Blessing was completely centered on Archbishop Ndanga and the ACCZ, FFWPU leaders at the Regional Group HQ such as Rev. Abdoulaye Wone and Rev. Jean Augustin Ghomsi and their wives, Rev. Moruti Ledwaba, Mrs. Evelyne Chimfwembe, Zimbabwean members and other members from Zambia including the Youth Envoy and Youth missionaries worked so hard behind the scenes to make the event a success. Everyone’s sincere input was highly appreciated.