Make Way for Africa – Part 3
In 1975, Father asked trinities of one member each from Japan, the United States and Germany go out and work in some 95 countries received missionaries. Rudolf Faerber was a young member when he left for his assigned country of Zambia, in southern Africa. He is still there today. Zambia is now one of the nations in which our movement shows significant growth, and the story offers ideas to those pioneering anywhere in the world. We are presenting it in three parts.
In December 1980, we received the shocking news that our brother Masaki Sasamoto was dead. At that time, Chieko, his wife, was staying with us in Zambia, waiting to join her husband in Tanzania. We prayed into the night, and then left together for Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian capital. Japanese embassy officials met us there. Other brothers and relatives arrived. Mr. Sasamoto was laid to rest in Kinondoni Cemetery. True Father declared him a Unification Church martyr. It was a painful loss for all of us.
At the end of that same month, Robert Williamson was matched to Heidrun Manger from Germany, and I to Hildegard Gross from Austria. A new stage in our lives began. We attended the 6,000-couple Blessing Ceremony in 1982.
In 1984, we launched and financed Barlastone Park School as a project to provide education for underprivileged orphans. It soon became so popular in the area that we offered education to the general public. It became a fee-paying school, while still enrolling disadvantaged children free of charge. For genuine development, training and education are needed. Zambia today
At our Peace Embassy, with the support of brothers and sisters, Gen. Malimba Masheke, chairman of IIFWP and of the Peace Council in Zambia, we have focused on educational seminars for young people, clergymen and ambassadors for peace from all backgrounds. We have held seminars — at which we have welcomed many government ministers as guests of honor — on peaceful elections, good governance, overcoming corruption and other useful topics.
We are teaching True Family Values to clergy members and introducing them to Divine Principle lectures. To balance views of different faiths, we have both Christian ministers and the secretary of the Islamic Council on our IIFWP Peace Council. The Women’s Federation feeds malnourished children with soya meal and educates mothers at several clinics around Lusaka.
Some years ago, I was elected chairman of Lusaka West Farmers’ Association and organized meetings with farmers, government officials and so on. I was more recently invited to sit on the Lusaka City Council’s district development committee. These have been avenues to meet new people and to serve Zambia.
As national leader — a position I slipped into in May 2007 when the leader at the time resigned — I had to be a pastor, which means taking care of people’s spiritual lives. I focused on Sunday service, on faith and on understanding people and their problems more deeply. Couples, especially those with spouses of different nationalities, may have conflicting viewpoints, and families face difficulties, financial demands and other stressors. As a church leader, many of the issues I deal with are internal ones.
Whereas in years past we focused on ambassadors for peace, we now put greater emphasis on witnessing. In this manner, we are looking to the future. After all, the future leadership of our church will come from its core membership. Our witnessing results have recently improved. For example, some brothers from our education department recently spent a month pioneering the city of Ndola, a mining town in the copper belt. Five of those they witnessed to have attended seven-day workshops in Lusaka; from that workshop, one brother from Ndola and two from Lusaka joined. This past weekend, we had nine guests at the weekend workshop.
This testimony up until now was written in 2011. I would like to share briefly about some of the developments that have happened since.
International Headquarters sent out several itinerary workers to visit African nations. We were privileged to be one of them. Dr. Yong accompanied by the regional president, Rev. Ji Hee-sun and other staff members visited us at the beginning of the year of 2012. The families benefited greatly from the lectures presented at a workshop. Fifteen pioneers were inspired to go out for a 40-day condition to various towns, among them Chipata, Kabwe, Ndola and Sesheke.
True Father’s Holy Ascension
Later in the year we received news about True Father’s health and became very concerned, making conditions, when the news of True Father ascension came it was a great shock, we could not even believe it. However, it proved to be true. Many people knew about Father as the founder of our organizations and Blessings in Zambia. News appeared in the local media. Many VIP’s came to the Universal Seong Hwa ceremony to our church hall in Barlastone Park. The deputy minister of agriculture, Hon N. Banda, gave a eulogy.
In October we had a meeting in Nairobi with Kwon Jin Nim who visited Africa with his wife, telling us more about True Mother. The following forgiveness ceremony let us all feel the deep love True Father had for all of us, such an incredible grace and powerful forgiveness: it was an unforgettable experience, the farewell gift of our beloved True Father, our savior.
We continued our monthly program for religious leaders with Principle lectures, which helped us introduce heavenly tribal messiahship (HTM) to other churches later on. Father’s prayer touched us and reminded us about HTM activity: his last instructions.
We undertook several trials to find out the best method. Some of our leaders attended a seminar about HTM in Johannesburg with Rev Camara, which made us even more earnest about tribal messiahship. We then had meetings with Blessed couples and divided the cities into zones. We had follow-up meetings to discuss our progress. However, in spite of our determination, we could not really make a breakthrough at that time.
Then all national leaders from Africa were invited to a 40-day special workshop for African leaders at Cheongpyeong which was deeply inspiring and educative. We received tremendous grace, an immense treasure of information and experiences from True Mother and the staff members which enabled us to make a new start.
A few months later in the year we could launch with new HTM strategy, with the help of regional director Rev. Camara and the Mission Deprtment; it was a new start. The regional president from Asia together with the national leader of the Philippines came to teach us how to do it. True Mother said that it is good to learn from those who are successful.
With several teams we tried together with church leaders, government officials, and traditional leaders to find out the best method. It was not always a smooth road. At times, when we were promised that a great crowd of people were prepared, we traveled hundreds of kilometers to remote areas and addressed hundreds of people, yet we could not report any substantial result. One time, at the Olympic youth center in Lusaka, a charismatic church invited thousands of couples through preaching, radio announcements and invitations. We waited for the couples to arrive in the evening at the prepared venue. All of a sudden, a tremendous rainstorm broke out which lasted for hours and made it impossible for many to come. The result was around sixty couples. At other occasions church leaders discouraged people to take holy Wine. We were misunderstood, and we had to learn the right approach.
A breakthrough finally came when we were welcomed by chiefs, who play an important role as community leaders in Africa. They command respect in the position as the sovereign leader of their tribe. Since they have also judicial rights, they have to deal with the numerous family issues that cannot be resolved by their sub-leaders. They understand that the Peace Blessing program of the Family Federation founded by Rev Moon is the key for resolving sin, marriage problems and development as God-centered families. We teach them key points of the Principle: the purpose of creation, the Fall, restoration through the Messiah and the Blessing initiated by Rev. and Mrs. Moon to save the family with the prescribed five steps. After 3-day ceremony, leaders attend a 7-day workshop for further education.
We encourage the chiefs to be the first to be blessed.
At last, it was like a miracle that thousands of couples came forward, even wanting their children to be educated in the Family Federation youth programs.
Scientists call Africa the cradle of human civilization. The deeply religious nature of the people gives them a sense of God’s existence and of man’s dependence on Him. In Africa, we need to take responsibility for ourselves, experience the true heart of God and walk the way of restoration with attention and care.
Even so, we can never do enough, with our limitations, to fulfill Heavenly Parent’s desire and to lift the heavy burden from True Mother’s shoulders as she carries the entire Providence. We have received tremendous grace from True Mother and we are determined to do our best to fulfill her expectations with gratitude.
Rudolf Faerber has spent most of the past 43 years of his life in Zambia, where he has worked to develop the movement there and across the entire continent. He is now a regional leader of one of five regions newly-established in Africa by Mother’s direction.