Heavenly Africa: Graduated from A Special Leadership Training
Prepared by FFWPU Africa
Johannesburg, October 22, 2020 – 33 youths from Eswatini, DR Congo, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe took part in a special leadership training from August 13 to October 22. This leadership training was organized for seasoned youth missionaries who have been in the field for one to four years was to equip them before they can be integrated formally in the structures of the FFWPU and providential organizations.
The closing ceremony took place from 16:00 GMT with Rev. Jean Augustin Ghomsi, Witnessing and Education Department Director as Master of Ceremonies. After the Cheon Il Guk Anthem and the Family Pledge, the closing invocation was given by Rev. Kevin Meth.
Rev. Ghomsi then welcomed all the guests present, Rev. Moriba Kone, Secretary General at Africa HQ, Rev. Abdoulaye Wone of the Blessed Family Department, Rev. Moruti Ledwaba, Subregional Director of Subregion IV, Rev. Andrico Tshaba, Coordinator at CheonBo Heaven and Earth Training Center, as well as some elder members from Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. There were also the five missionaries who took part in the first leadership training program.
The MC introduced the background of this leadership training program that started in October 2015 after Rev. Bakary Camara arrived in Zambia. “In line with True Mother’s wish to train and raise future leaders, he embarked on a sensitization campaign to get young people and second-generation members, especially, to get involved in the providence,” he said. Despite the humble beginning, thanks to the steady determination to fulfil Heaven’s mandate, over the years, hundreds of young people have been offering at least one year after high school for public activities. “Since the beginning of this year, our Chairman has been pushing all the leaders to each have a second generation as assistant, and by 2023 have all national leaders from the second generation,” he continued. In May this year, Rev. Camara decided to start a leadership training program for older youth missionaries so that they can be integrated in the structures of FFWPU and the providential organizations; while encouraging the subregional directors to mobilize more youth to join public mission. The first such leadership training started with five second generation and it took 77 days. Meanwhile, Subregion II had a 21-Day workshop for new youth missionaries in June and then, all the subregions organized 7-Day workshops for new missionaries by True Father’s 8th Seonghwa Anniversary last September. Altogether around 300 youths are preparing for a 21-Day workshop to become missionaries. The 21-Day workshop in Zambia is planned for 45 youths and the Zimbabwe one is planned for 48 participants. “Now with the new restructuring that True Mother is introducing, we can see that she wants things to move even faster than what we have been doing in the regional group,” Rev. Ghomsi said. We need to encourage our youth be more involved in the providence. They are the new Joshuas and Calebs, as True Mother called them in her Memoir.
Rev. Ghomsi also took some time to advise the 33 young leaders. He said they should strive to embody the values of loyalty and hyojeong like Joshua and Caleb: They had absolute faith, love and obedience. Also learn from King David. “To be anointed yourself, start by never going against anyone who is anointed by Heaven,” he said.
Mr. Nico Kalala, as Coordinator of the workshop, gave more insight into the program of the training. Beside the advanced Divine Principle lectures, the participants had to memorize the red part of the Exposition of the Divine Principle from Introduction of part 1 to Chapter 1 of part 2. The lectures included also True Parents’ Life Course, Cain and Abel and special lectures on Hoon Dok Hwe, Time Management, Leadership, Tongil Moo Do Philosophy, etc. They had to practice TIMD, write essays and propose solutions (peace designer projects) to social problems like teen pregnancy and school dropout and street kids. They had to be challenged, spiritually, mentally and physically and yet develop resilience and endurance. He thanked the Chairman for the opportunity given to take care of these youths. He thanked the lecturers and finally the youths for their collaboration during the 72 days.
From the testimonies of their representatives, the memorization of the Divine Principle was the biggest challenge. Then came the physical endurance of the Tongil Moo Do training. Here are some testimonies:
“My overall experience over the workshop is very fantastic. I had a bit of courage because the first Super Top Gun all managed and finished the workshop. I was very encouraged by their efforts in memorizing the Divine Principle, but I found it a bit difficulty at first but after prayer and some conditions I discovered that the memorization was not much physical but spiritual. I came to understand that the more I memorize the Divine Principle, the more I become closer to True Parents and the second week True Mother appeared to me in the dream but she was not happy because of how people are suffering because of not knowing Heavenly Parents and True parents. I experienced the presence of True Father even when doing Tongil Moo Do during meditation.
True Parents’ life course really helped. They are life of perseverance and endurance for the sake of the Will. I am ready to work in any country to foster True Parents’ vision. Glory to our Heavenly Parent and True Parents. Thank you to our Chair, Rev. Bakary Camara, and all the leaders.” George Mvula, first generation from Zambia
“I learned a lot of things but the most important is that I should gain mastery over myself before mastering the universe plus we are absolutely needed in order to make the kingdom of heaven on earth a reality. We should make ourselves ready for the providence.” Kyokwon Wabulakombe
“From this training, I noticed that what we are always told with our leaders that the providence may change anytime is true, sometimes we were told to do this before we even started we are told to go another direction. As a missionary and a person learning to become a leader, I should always be ready to do anything any time.
During this workshop i got a deeper understanding of the Divine Principle and realize that what I thought I knew was just a foundation. This also helps me to be able to go out and witness other people and be able to teach others. I have also realized that I am not that good at memorizing things. This was a big challenge for me because i even exceeded the given time. This workshop taught me how to be responsible. I was chosen to be a lecturer but was doubting if I can do it but from this workshop where we taught about Cain and Abel relationship I came to understand that I have to do what is expected of me with my leaders. I told myself that I have to go out witnessing and lecturing so that those who have not yet received new truth can receive it. By doing this I will be able to turn hearts of people and change their lifestyles and come back and realize the Heart of God. When people changed and receive education slowly the Cheon IL Guk will expand.” Vimbai Chiroho, First Gen from Zimbabwe
“My experience throughout this training has been about constant learning and viewing everything from a leader’s perspective, even though the lecture were same but I was able to learn something new with every lecture. What stood out for me was True Parents’ life course and all the sacrifices they made for us to be here today and that you can only succeed if you align with Heavenly Parent. Also, Cain-Abel relationship and what is the right approach to deal with certain situations. I would like to make a substantial difference in the providence. Hence, I will try to increase my leadership skills and work in a providential organization.” Suji Grace Rangala, second generation from Kenya
After the testimonies, Rev. Moriba Kone gave the keynote address on behalf of the Cheon Eui Won Chairman, Rev. Bakary Camara who was busy in another meeting. Rev. Kone started by congratulating the 33 participants. “This closing ceremony is actually the opening ceremony for the real workshop that will start in the field. There, Rev. Ghomsi will not be there to guide you but you will have to rely on your own inner foundation. It is not like you are going to be abandoned, but you need to develop a certain degree of self-motivation.”
He went on to explain how for long time Rev. Camara has been investing in the education of the youth in order for them to be part of the providence. “To have young people and especially second generation who are ready to participate in the providence gives hope,” he said. He went on to contextualize it with the new restructuring that True Mother is engaged in since October 11, promoting a greater need for synergy between the first and second and third generation to perpetuate the legacy and ensure continuity.
“When you go in the field, while face with challenges, think of what you have learned during the leadership training. This should be your anchor. Unfortunately, the providence is moving very fast. There is no time to wait for people to mature enough. True Mother is desperate to see a lot being accomplished by 2023. If True Mother is asking to go in a particular direction, we must just follow. There is no time to have our own thought. Please be a plus wherever you find yourself and be an inspiration to others. Think always how you can put a smile on True Mother’s face, how you can relieve her of her pain,” Rev. Kone said. He concluded by advising the National Leaders who will be receiving these youth to be parent figure and do their best to help the youths in their mission.
This was followed by the handover of the certificates of participation to the representatives. And then the congratulatory addresses. The first was from Mr. So-sheloba Houngbedji, Youth Envoy at Africa HQ. After congratulating all the graduates, he said, “True Mother is truly desperate concerning the destiny of our Movement and the destiny of the world. As we go on, we need to pass on. I my lecture, I spoke of alignment and true subjectivity. If you want to succeed in your mission, alignment to True Mother is the key.”
Then came Youth Special Envoy Kenta Kishi. “In preparing for this workshop, I can imagine how anxious has been through Rev. Camara. He is preparing you to be leaders by 2023. True Mother is desperate to see that even earlier. It is important to follow Heaven’s plan for us. More important than skills, your attitude and alignment with Heaven is critical. I hope that each one of you can help to change this continent. Please do your best to inherit the tradition from the first generation and do better.”
The last congratulatory address came from Rev. Moruti Ledwaba, Subregional Director for Subregion IV. In his congratulatory address, he spoke on two points: Leadership and Truth vs. Heart. On leadership, he gave the example of the first missionaries who came in 1975. They came on virgin lands. They had no one else to go to. They had to rely only on each other. Today, your circumstances are different. You have elders who have laid the foundation for you. Your leadership ability will be tested on how much you have inherited that foundation and expanded on it. If your results are manifold bigger than that of your predecessors, then you would have succeeded. “A community that does not have a succession plan is a dying community,” he said. He told them to be bold and courageous. Further, “Do not think that you are young. True Mother started when she was 16 years old.”
On the second point, he said, “Always make sure you wrap the truth with a parental heart. The truth alone is a double-edge sword. It can save or it can kill. Develop your parental heart so that you can always give life.” He gave the general motto as stated in the beginning, “Walk in the shoes of a servant with the heart of a parent.”
Mrs. Katrina Ghomsi offered a congratulatory song. She gave a beautiful rendition of “You Raise Me Up”.
The program ended with a closing invocation by Rev. David Isaac Phiri, National Leader of Zambia and four cheers of Eog Mansei by Rev. Andrico Tshaba, Coordinator at the CheonBo Heaven and Earth Training Center.