On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the International Peace Education Center had its Grand Opening and Sanctification as a new beacon of hope for peace education. Leaders of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) from Korea, Japan and America, as well donors to the Peace Center, members of the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) and Universal Peace Academy (UPA), several news teams from around the world and onlookers from throughout the states welcomed Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-Founder of the Peace Center, and members her family for the sanctification ceremony for the Peace Center.
Mother Moon gave a prayer, and after the ribbon-cutting everyone entered the peace center for the first time. In the main entrance hall, cake and songs were shared.
Many of the leaders and donors gathered today have travelled long distances for the events to follow with several events planned for this afternoon.
After the opening festivities, everyone was invited to explore the peace center at their leisure. Refreshments were provided and people took to busying themselves exploring the main hall on the second level.
Large screens were set up on walls and free standing in the main entrance hall with looping Thank You’s in all languages.
An entire stretch of wall displayed the names of donors from Japan in Japanese, and a lounge set off to the left served iced tea, coffee, water and a variety of hot teas. The energy was high, the atmosphere relaxed, with everyone excited to be there. Friends and groups spread out and took group photos inside and outside of the building. Everyone was happy be able to say they attended this important occasion.
In the afternoon, the Peace Center’s first official program was held in the main hall. Over 50 donors, lifetime service awardees and leaders gathered in the main hall of the Peace Center for a presentation on the life of the founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, given by Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of FFWPU North America, and Dr. Michael Balcomb, FFWPU USA President.
Dr. Kim began by relaying Mother Moon’s thanks for everyone who made it out to the grand opening of the Peace Center. He shared the story of why Father Moon came to America from Korea many years ago, and why he chose to work for peace in Las Vegas—to reawaken America to lead the world toward God. He encouraged everyone to read study Father and Mother Moon’s work in America.
Dr. Balcomb shared his personal insights into the life, legacy and vision of Father Moon with a presentation called “Global Citizen of Peace: the Life of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.” He began by reading of an excerpt from True Father’s autobiography:
“My encounter with Jesus changed my life completely. His sorrowful expression was etched into my heart as if it had been branded there, and I could not think of anything else. From that day on, I immersed myself completely in the Word of God. At times, I was surrounded by endless darkness and filled with such pain that it was difficult to breathe. At other times, my heart was filled with joy, as though I were watching the morning sun rise above the horizon. I experienced a series of days like these that led me into a deeper and deeper world of prayer. I embraced new words of truth that Jesus was giving me directly and let myself be completely captivated by God. I began to live an entirely different life.”
This is the defining moment in Father Moon’s life when God called him to serve. Everyone read this section in pairs as Dr. Balcomb read it aloud to start. “This is my favorite part of the book,” he said.
He discussed Father Moon’s family in Korea and his experience growing up, until he met Jesus. Jesus asked Father Moon to unite all Christianity and other religions, heal the divided human family and comfort the grieving the heart of God. This was eye opening for Father Moon, as he learned that God is not some king on a throne who is in charge, and that encountering Jesus was actually very scary. Jesus was not meek and mild; he was troubled and very serious. “My encounter with Jesus completely changed my heart,” said Father Moon.
From then on, he spoke strongly and clearly about God’s will. A man of great determination, Father Moon didn’t give up in moments when others would. It is with this spirit that the FFWPU national ministry team and Unification family members, alongside Father and Mother Moon, hope to fill the new International Peace Education Center.
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