Florida Unificationists Meet with FFWPU USA President
Unificationists throughout Florida spent the first weekend in May in the company of FFWPU USA President, Dr. Michael Balcomb, who met and spoke with families about their Tribal Messiahship and about True Mother’s heart at this time. The following report was contributed by various members of the Florida Unificationist community.
District 5 received a great blessing this weekend by the arrival of our national President, Dr. Michael and Mrs. Fumiko Balcomb, arriving first in Orlando, Florida on Friday afternoon, May 5, 2017.
It was a clear and bright sunny spring day full of life and energy. Unificationists from the different communities of Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and from other parts of the state, came to the Golden Corral near the airport. The restaurant had set aside a room of their own for the occasion.
There was a spirit of celebration, not only because it was Cinco de Mayo, but because it was a family reunion of True Parents’ family, with some members who hadn’t seen each other for very many years.
“All the way from Atlanta, Georgia, Rev. Tom Cutts came with his wife, Angelika, in order to visit a mega church minister the next day,” shared Rev. Gary Chidester, District 5 Pastor. “Unificationist Sumy Schick came all the way from Dallas, as he had a conference to attend in Orlando as well. So we had quite a crowd.”
After dinner, several people testified about their tribal messiah work. Richard and Barbara Sapps from Orlando talked about a Marriage Course they are holding at the Riverside Baptist Church, and about the importance of keeping in contact with all members, including those who have distanced themselves from our movement, and holding meaningful events that attract many kinds of people.
Megumi Ojeda, also from Orlando, testified about witnessing through her home-based business by developing relationships with her business contacts. Her business partner is participating in Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture study) and doing a second 40-day condition.
Jerry Parks of Orlando described how he set up a MeetUp group to study Divine Principle and now sends out videos to over 100 people who signed up.
Donna Mason and her husband, from Tampa, told about bring their 40-foot boat from St. Louis to Tampa, where they now invite couples to spend time together with them on the water.
Jeddie King testified to the dedication of his wife, and described how they witness every day. Elma King reported that they spoke to 704 people during their 40-day “shout out” condition. Emmanuel Souck from Palm Coast told how his family and the Kings provided financial support to build a church building in his hometown village in Cameroun, so that members of a local Christian church no longer have to walk six miles to attend their Sunday service. This has given our movement prestige in his village, and created a strong bond with the church members and Emmanuel’s family.
Rev. Tom Cutts testified how he, Rev. Jesse Edwards, and Jeddie King once prayed during an ACLC visit and were led to meet a pastor whose church had just finished a 40-day condition to find new direction.
Dr. Balcomb then talked about his recent experiences with True Mother at the anniversary of True Parents’ wedding in Korea, and about how True Mother always wants to hear what members are doing, rather than give speeches. He encouraged everyone to build the Kingdom of Heaven right here, just as True Mother is building an ideal city in Cheong Pyeong. He also shared about True Mother’s recent message to some of the eldest Unificationists in Korea, in which she told them to continue to work hard, not dwelling on the past and thinking they are too old, but constantly doing more. Finally, Dr. Balcomb suggested that everyone write down their experiences with True Parents and submit them to be added to a book, hopefully by Mother’s Day.
On Saturday, May 6, the local council of the Family Church of South Florida had a rendezvous at the Quarterdeck Restaurant on the Dania Beach Pier. Dr. and Mrs. Balcomb treated them to a dinner of fish and sushi.
Pastor Simone Doroski opened the meeting and each shared about their roles in the council. Mitsuko Poletti, as Council Chair, reported on the various activities of the countil. Mihoko Usui, overseer of the Financial committee, shared of her visits with ministers and witnessing home church activities.
The second generation members expressed their excitement about the continuing youth activities. Shin Young Llopiz talked about the many Blessed second generation Unificationists who are active in the community. Leilani Llopiz (Blessed to Shin Young’s brother, Hyo Young) acted as youth pastor for the past couple of years, and recently has lined up young people to attend workshops in Las Vegas and the Global Top Gun workshop in Korea.
On Sunday, May 7, Dr. Balcomb spoke to a full house at the Family Church of South Florida in Plantation, Florida. The members of the congregations of the Miami Cheon Il Guk Church of Miami Dade, the Beacon of Hope Ministries of Pompano Beach, and even representatives from the Cuban Mission were in attendance. He shared about True Mother’s heart.
Florida Unificationist Elma King shared, “We just wanted to extend our deepest gratitude to be graced with [Dr. Balcomb’s] presence at our Home Church. This weekend has been a weekend that we will forever treasure.”