International Peace Education Center is Now Open
The banquet for American donors to the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) took place on the evening of Friday, May 29, 2015. The event has been three years in the making, and the room filled with cheerful, excited chatter, as attendants, who made great offerings of heart, gathered to celebrate the sanctification and opening of the education center.
In her welcoming introduction, Mrs. Alexa Ward, Vice President of Family Federation For World Peace and Unification, thanked the attendants and expressed her hope that the evening would be a warm, celebratory, fun evening.
The evening began with a video of the Las Vegas providence, where True Father chose to spend the last five years of his life. The video outlined True Parents’ vision to turn the “sin city” into the “shining city,” and some of the projects that were begun in Las Vegas by True Father and True Mother.
Mrs. Ward introduced Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of North America, who gave the welcoming address. She told the audience that Dr. Kim has a single-minded focus on attending True Parents, and representing them here in the United States. He does so with great heart, she said, and often with tears.
Dr. Kim addressed the attendants warmly, and thanked them for their generous, heartfelt support. He also took a moment to thank the 40,000 Japanese church members who contributed to the building of the IPEC. He expressed how touched he was by their support. “We have each other, we are united for the sake of True Parents.” Dr. Kim encouraged the audience to work together, to “build the American family church to be strong.” True Father may not be here physically, he said, “but we have True Mother here, so let’s unite and build up America again, through True Parents.”
Japanese sisters in attendance offer a song.
Rev. Levi Daugherty gave the invocation for the dinner, and then the donors enjoyed good food and good company. As the desert was served, there were several musical offerings from donors. The program was followed by three couples, who shared about the circumstances that allowed them to contribute to the IPEC fund.
Pasquale and Aiko Santoro from Los Angeles spoke about tithing and studying the Word. Pasquale shared about his family’s consistent Hoon Dok Hae condition that they have been consistently practicing since 1997. In 2007, Pasquale said that he was hit by a car, and was waiting on a stretcher in the hospital, and his main concern was that it was nearing 5am and he wouldn’t be able to do Hoon Dok Hae! “When I do Hoon Dok Hae,” he said, “I feel God’s presence every day. We were very clear about wanting to give to the IPEC effort. I really feel we can build God’s kingdom together.”
Otmar and Marie Wienmann also gave a testimony, about tribal messiahship. Marie Wienmann shared about how she felt that the money that allowed her family to put a downpayment on their new home, and allowed them to give generously to the IPEC effort, was a direct result of God’s guidance and love, and the couple’s investment in the relationships with their family. “Why IPEC? Because it is a place where we can learn and pass on the wisdom and principles of True Parents, and it’s right here in America. I learned to trust, and to always be grateful. Just say yes, say thank you. We didn’t work for the money, but we were so happy that it was able to go to the highest purpose,” she said.
Reverend Jeddie King and Reverend Alma King shared the final testimony. Something had come up that caused them to sell their house. When the money was in the bank account, Reverend Alma said,
“I went to my husband and told him that I promised God that if he gave us that kind of money, we would donate it to the Peace Center. And he said, ‘Well, if that’s what you told God, I guess we’d better do it.’ I understand now why God wants us to be owners. Because owners take care of things.”
Alexa invited Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of Family Federation in America, to give the final remarks. She called him “a man of deep faith, and a broad, caring heart.”
In his final remarks, Dr. Balcomb said, “Two days ago, Dr. Kim really moved us. He said, ‘Do you know what True Mother is doing now? She’s out shopping for new shoes and clothes for True Father for the Peace Center.’ Because she really feel like it’s his home. Yesterday, she was very sad, because she knew that he wanted to live in the Peace Palace during his lifetime. So it was kind of a bittersweet dedication for her.
“But I really feel like True Father is there.
“This house is God’s house. When we go there, I hope you feel the spirit of True Parents there. And I hope that when you go there, you don’t feel like guests, you’ll feel like hosts. I hope you feel the privilege of being the co-owner of the house of God.”
IPEC Under Construction
True Father’s Vision for Building America’s Most Heavenly Place
Most of us only have 20/20 vision when it comes to hindsight. In stark contrast to this, it seems that Father had 20/20 vision, looking into the future. He always had the end in mind and was busy strategizing, never resting, even for a moment.
In looking back we realize that Father had everything mapped out all along, even down to the details because he was following the big plan, God’s plan.
An example of this is the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas. This city seems an unlikely place to have a national center where people will be educated about God, but in reading Father’s words on the subject, spoken more than two decades ago, we are reminded that for Father there were no random acts. He doggedly pursued God’s blueprint of restoration, no matter how arduous.
We are fortunate to have his insights to guide us, as we work together to complete the providence, including the building of the International Peace Education Center.
“Why did The Israelites perish after they entered into Canaan? As the Israelites wandered around the wilderness in exhaustion for 40 years, they envied the customs, possessions, and environment of the Gentiles who had settled and lived in Canaan. They should have built the Holy Place of Israel going beyond these conditions. The Tabernacle is the house for the Israelites. It would be the Heavenly Palace which would be able to dominate Heaven and Earth. Before they settled themselves or before their sons and daughters settled themselves, they should have built their lost Holy Place of Israel by welcoming God and taking dominion over the nation. Then, they could have settled themselves.
Do you still want to settle yourself first in spite of losing your own nation and abandoning the Holy Place? What is happening now is just the same as in those days. Therefore, I have come here now, and what I am trying to do is to build the Holy Place.
What is the desire in the New Testament Age? It was to meet the Lord. What was the desire in the Old Testament Age? It was to meet the Messiah. What did they want to do by meeting the Messiah? They wanted to unify the world centering on the nation. The desire of Judaism and the nation of Israel were to receive the coming Messiah. In order for them to receive the Messiah, they had to prepare the Holy Place. Their desire was to have the Holy Place.
From the time of the Babylon exile to the time of the prophet Malachi, what the Israelites should have done after returning to Israel, was to work on the restoration of the Holy Place. They should have done it. They had to restore the ruined Holy Place. They had to erect the Holy Place as the subject of the spirit of their tribes, and establish the independence throughout the nation completely, centering on the Holy Place that served God. God wanted them to establish it as the subject of independence not only throughout the nation but also throughout the world. That was the way of hope for God towards the Israelites who were in the realm of the revival ideology.
The time has come.
From the providential view point, today is the same as when the Israelites returned to Canaan. It is just like when the exiles returned from Babylon to their nation. My position is like that. Centering on the new current of Christianity, I came back to Korea by establishing the new direction. Then, what should we do? We should rebuild the ruined Holy Place.
Everything was taken away from God and He lost everything. Therefore, He had to start building a nation from a ruined place. I have to build the Holy Place with my own hands. We should reconstruct this ruined Holy Place, and build the nation. The time has come to do so.
Where will the Heavenly Kingdom be built? It will not be built in the Heaven, but here on Earth. The Earth is the producing district. Since Adam and Eve were born on earth, the heavenly people will emerge from here and the Heavenly Kingdom will be built here.
What should we do now?
When the Israelites returned from Egypt, they built the Holy Place to receive God who is the internal parent. Then, they built a school for children, and went on to build their own houses last. In this nation of America, what did the pioneers do first? They built the Holy Place to welcome God, after that they created a school. By living together under a tent, they built a church, a school and their own houses, and then they moved out and started their family branch.
In offering our sincere effort to build the Holy Place, we can build the three central Heavenly Places, which will become central to the building of twelve Holy Places covering all corners of the earth. The first Holy Place is the Cheong Jung Museum which was built centered on the model of the Heavenly nation. We announced that we would build the second Holy Place in Switzerland that would be able to rally all religious realms. The International Peace Education Center is the third Holy Place that represents the ocean.
We can unify the world by building these three international Holy Places and offer it to God. We have to offer it to God. There should be one nation that we can offer to God as the fatherland. That ideal was there before Adam. Therefore, the unification of the world, which falls in line with that ideal, can be done only when the settlement of all the Holy Places is completed centering on the first Holy Place in Korea.”
We are just $105, 781 short of our goal. We hope every family has a chance to help build the Holy Palace. Even the smallest of donations is significant and can connect us personally to Father’s legacy.
The Big Picture
In the final years of his life True Father initiated a project in Las Vegas aimed at offering a new vision for peace and human development to world leaders. He sometimes called this vision the “Shining City” project because he hoped it would change the reputation of Las Vegas from “Sin City” to a city of educational enlightenment.
He proposed the realization of a major educational institution where world leaders would be inspired by the worldview of Family Federation and its associated organizations while enjoying the region’s natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon as well as monumental achievements of human ingenuity such as Hoover Dam and Las Vegas itself.
Where We Need Your Help
True Father was filled with the vision to make Las Vegas known as a center of God’s love and truth, not as it is now—a city catering to the physical and selfish desires of human beings. In 2011, he personally directed the purchase of the International Peace Education Center site.
When purchased, the site was a 135,400 square-foot warehouse at 6590 Bermuda Road situated on six acres of land near McCarran International Airport. True Father guided the architects to create a monument in the style and tradition of the Cheong Jeong Gung palace in Korea.
The steel framework is already complete and the roof, framing, and exterior will soon be finished. We are now working hard to complete the project.
Our goal is to raise $5 million and finish construction in time for a grand opening ceremony. All contributors will be listed on the “Giving Tree Wall,” which will be housed in the International Peace Education Center. Your name will also appear on the opening ceremonies program and on our virtual “Giving Tree Wall” on our website. But most importantly, for your contribution, you will receive our eternal gratitude and a sense of ownership of what can and will become one of the most influential buildings in the country.
When complete, this will be our church’s flagship facility in the United States, as well as an educational, workshop, training and education center for the world. With the steel framework and exterior almost finished we need your help with completing the interior. Here are the various components the facility will feature:
A large digital sign in the lobby
A showcase of True Father’s life as a peace-loving global citizen
Restaurant and cafe
Serving both attendees and locals.
A meeting space with 1,200-person capacity
Temporary rooms for guests attending conventions or conferences at the International Peace Education Center.
The impact of the International Peace Education Center
Though Las Vegas is often viewed as “Sin City,” this city is precious to God because it has the potential to become a thriving center for families seeking entertainment and the riches of ecological wonders nearby.
Las Vegas has changed its vocation from that of a simple vacation getaway to the world’s most popular convention and event venue; every year the city hosts over 21,000 conventions and events. Major corporations hold expos and trade fairs there to show off their newest products, and more than 40 million visitors stop in Las Vegas annually.
True Father saw this as an ideal environment to bring leaders of the developing world for a chance to study the Family Federation and the Universal Peace Federation’s world vision and mingle with people who have the heart to share the prosperity and technology of America with those who have the greatest needs.
How wonderful would it be if Las Vegas was known not as a city where people go to grab money for themselves, but as a place where finance could be harvested for great works such as peace education.
Other Ways You Can Help
- PRAYER. Never underestimate the power of prayer!
- SHARE. Please share as much as possible, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Emails, or word of mouth!
Thank you all so much for listening to our hearts and partnering with us on this amazing project.