“On the path where no one has trod, let us work to create a victorious miracle”
The following is a letter from Dr. Young Ho Yun, Secretary-General, Cheon Jeong Gung Headquarters on November 28, 2019 about True Mother’s World Tour and the 40-Day Cosmic Canaan Course for the Firm Establishment of Cheon Il Guk, which began on Monday, November 18, 2019 leading up to the Clergy Rally on December 28 in Newark, New Jersey.
Beloved Cheon Il Guk leaders, blessed families!
May Heavenly Parent’s and True Parents’ blessings and grace be with you.
Today I want to begin this letter by giving it a title: “On the path where no one has trod, let us work to create a victorious miracle.” It has been a wonderful day, like a miracle. Looking back now, it was a marvelous day about which one can only say that miracles occurred. It was a day of laying the cornerstone for going beyond the national level to the restoration on the continental (regional) level.
On this historic day, True Mother was still bothered by her cough from early on in the day, but began her day with prayer. Mother appeared to be a little tired due to the relentless schedule of the previous day, but she welcomed the day with the brightest of smiles. After breakfast, Mother asked a few questions about Niger, then prepared for the Opening Plenary session of the historic “Africa Continental Summit 2019.”
Originally, we tried to leave for the event at 9:40 a.m., but our departure time was delayed. As it is a historic summit, security checks here in Niger are being conducted more seriously than ever. The security system was so strict that you had to pass through a triple security system in order to enter the venue. This delayed the participants getting to their seats, which delayed the start of the opening ceremony scheduled for 10:00.
After discussion and organizing with the president’s office, True Mother left the hotel under a police guard at 10:00 to travel to the Palace of Congress for the event. After Mother arrived, and contrary to the planned schedule, upon seeing her prior to the beginning of the event, President Issoufou communicated to Mother that he would like to escort her into the auditorium himself. True Mother was happy to accept. She and President Issoufou met in the Presidential Lounge and spent some time in conversation together.
Some prominent former presidents of African countries were seated on one side of the lounge. When True Mother entered the lounge, they all stood and respectfully greeted her one by one. Mother and President Issoufou then spoke together and the conversation was very friendly. Out of his concern about Mother’s late arrival the night before, President Issoufou first asked Mother whether she had slept as well here in Niger as she would have at home. Mother smiled and replied that, thanks to President Issoufou’s kind hospitality, she slept well. They talked about the historic summit for a while and then President Issoufou escorted True Mother into the event hall.
First, Mother took commemorative photographs with current and former heads of state and government and other top officials in the photo zone located beside Mother’s green room. It was truly spectacular to see people in various positions of power and influence in Africa standing shoulder to shoulder with True Mother. What was even more spectacular was the scene of everyone walking together to the auditorium. Looking at the sight of than 100 people, including President Issoufou and other government officials, generals, ministers, and their special assistants, it truly evoked in us the feeling that Mother, taking a central position, is moving the African continent in a substantial way. After all the government officials and former heads of state and government had entered, True Mother entered together with President Issoufou.
Under the strict control of the stage by government security people, official government representatives from each nation took their seats on both sides of the stage, while the key guests of honor – the heads of state giving keynote addresses today – took their seats surrounding True Mother on the upper stage. True Mother then moved to the central seat on the upper stage under the escort of President Issoufou.
A total of 2,000 eminent leaders from across Africa participated. Among participants were seven current heads of state from Niger, Libya, and others (the president of Sudan participated in the afternoon Summit program), 13 official government officials (leaders acting on behalf of their presidents, who came with letters from their heads of state sanctioning them and they are treated with the same respect that a head of state would receive), 25 former heads of state, 22 speakers and vice-speakers, 125 current ministers, 380 current members of parliament, 300 religious leaders, 350 traditional chiefs, and 750 civil leaders (president of universities, professors, woman leaders, youth leaders, etc.).
I’d like to share on why this year’s Africa Continental Summit 2019 is a continental-level summit. There are three reasons:
The first reason lies in the fact that the Africa Continental Summit 2019 is co-hosted by the African Union (AU, composed of all 54 nations of Africa), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, composed of 15 member states with President Issoufou as its current chairperson), G5 Sahel (composed of the five Sahara Desert nations), and UPF. This is has gone beyond the level of a summit meeting hosted by one country, but one that is co-hosted by groups such as continental-level unions. The Africa Summit held in Senegal last year was a summit where heads of state of other countries were invited by the government of Senegal. This summit, however, is officially co-hosted by institutions representing Africa such as the African Union, ECOWAS, and G5 Sahel. This is why this summit is a continental-level summit, a wonderful miracle that we have never experienced in our movement before.
Second, this summit featured assemblies on the continental level for the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), International Association of Traditional Rulers for Peace (IATP), and the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). These organizations have been established in many African countries centered on True Mother’s vision of peace. This opened the way for some 30 current and former heads of state (ISCP), 302 speakers and parliamentarians (IAPP), 300 religious leaders (IAPD), and
350 traditional chiefs (IATP) to participate in this continental-level summit. According to a participant, the summit was amazing and the great diversity of sectors represented was on an unprecedented scale, that would be hard to find either in the past or the future.
Third, a substantial leap as Heavenly Africa was taken through the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the continental level for the “Blessed [Heavenly] Africa” Project (10 separate projects, introduced by True Mother at the First African Summit in Senegal, based on the ideals of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values). I will explain more about this later.
For these three reasons, this summit was held on the Africa continental level.
The summit began with the opening declaration by Dr. Paterne Zinsou, Secretary-General of UPF West Africa, followed by the national anthem of Niger. There then followed interfaith invocations, which is a unique tradition of our summits, from Sheikh Djabiri Ismail, President of the Islamic Association of Niger, Archbishop Laurent Lompo, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Niamey, and Sheikh Soufi Bilaly Diallo, a religious leader based in Mali who has tens of millions of followers. They offered prayers for the success of this historic Africa Continental Summit, particularly for the True Mother, the Mother of Peace. Listening to their amazing revelations from Heaven and sincere prayers, I was greatly moved.
Welcoming remarks were given by Africa representative Mr. Issaka Hassane Karanta, Governor of the Niamey Region of Niger, and by Mrs. Katherine Rigney, Chair of UPF Africa, representing our side. It was especially inspiring to hear the governor of Niamey say, “Africa has to join hands with UPF to achieve peace in Africa and that’s what we have done.”
Then, representing Africa, three heads of state gave keynote addresses. First, Mr. Emmanuel Okechukwu Ibe, Senior Advisor to African Union Commission, gave a keynote address on behalf of the African Union. The President of Libya and the President of Comoros also gave keynote addresses. All three speakers spoke about Africa struggling with poverty, civil war, terror, human rights issues among others, but all asserted one common goal, peace. They emphasized that the African Continental Summit 2019 marks a great beginning with regard to achieving that peace. Participants warmly responded to this message. Emmanuel Okechukwu Ibe, Senior Advisor to the African Union Commission, in particular, received enthusiastic applause from participants after his statement that: “The African Union sends its deepest gratitude to True Mother and fully supports this African Continental Summit. True Mother’s amazing vision of peace will contribute to achieving peace not only in Africa, but also throughout the whole world.” He also said, “The IAPP, IAPD, IATP, ISCP assemblies of UPF held within this summit will present a way for Africa to move forward.” This was a moment when I was once again inspired by the amazing strategy and leadership of True Mother who has founded ISCP and other organizations under the umbrella of UPF, an organization with the status of the Abel UN.
Following the video introducing True Mother, True Mother gave her historic message. She spoke for 21 minutes without a prepared script. Her speech at the continental-level summit held in a Muslim country was truly “kerygma” and a proclamation.
The following is True Mother’s speech in full:
Heads of state and leaders who love true peace from different nations, and particularly the President of Niger who has hosted this conference, the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet! Yesterday, when I was saluted by the military guard of honor, I marveled at how handsome, good- looking and manly the young people of Niger could be. As God’s Only Begotten Daughter and the True Mother, I wanted to make them my sons.
Today, we are longing for peace. Unfortunately, the world is getting more immersed in war, conflict, and confusion. This means that peace cannot come about through human-centered efforts, ideologies, or regulations. In order to achieve true peace, we must know the essence of the Creator, the owner of this universe. Our Creator created this universe, and all things on it, in His image. At the end of His creation, He created a man and a woman as the first human ancestors. He gave them responsibilities they had to achieve through a period of growth. However, when we look at the world today, we have become a fallen people, who do not live up to the Creator’s expectations and hopes.
Our Creator is omniscient and omnipotent. His beginning and end are the same. He is unchanging and eternal. Hence, the issue lied in the fact that God gave man responsibility. As a result, a man and woman who have completed their responsibility as ancestors of humanity must emerge from among fallen mankind. God, therefore, could not but conduct His providence of salvation. From among fallen humankind, He chose a nation that at least loved God, and conducted His providence of salvation of restoration through indemnity until the people could grow from mere individuals to tribes, ethnic groups and finally form a nation. Finally, after 4,000 years, God could send His Ony Begotten Son through the Israelites. Unfortunately, humanity did not know the essence of God’s Only Begotten Son. Even Mary, who gave birth to God’s Only Begotten Son, did not know it. As a result, God’s Only Begotten Daughter could not appear next to God’s Only Begotten Son, whom God sent after 4,000 years of much effort. Jesus ended up going the way of the cross with the promise to return. This led to the 2,000-year providential history of Christianity.
Christianity began after the Pentecost, when the apostles waiting for Jesus experienced rebirth through the Holy Spirit. After being acknowledged in Rome in 313 AD, Christianity set off from the Italian Peninsula, spread out to the European continent, and reached the island nation of Great Britain. Great Britain was also called an empire on which the sun never set. It headed out to the world holding the Bible. Unfortunately, they also did not know the essence of Jesus. Jesus taught, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Instead, they prioritized their national interests in the mission countries they went to, and came to an end as a civilization that took away from those nations.
God chose a people through whom He could send His Only Begotten Daughter amidst humanity. God conducted His providence through the Korean Peninsula in Asia and His Only Begotten Daughter was born within the Christian foundation in 1943. A new providential history began through the birth of God’s Only Begotten Daughter.
In the beginning, the Creator gave man a period of growth. God’s Only Begotten Daughter was born in 1943. Korea was liberated in 1945. With liberation came the division of Korea into the North and the South, between Communism and Democracy. The Korean War, however, broke out in 1950 when South Korea had yet to establish its democratic system. Back then, Korea was a country that was barely known around the world. How then could the 16 member-nations of the United Nations come to the support of South Korea? To bring about the completion of the last providence, God had to give a growth period to His Only Begotten Daughter.
The Christian foundation, or Christians back then, did not know of Heaven’s providence. Even though God’s Only Begotten Daughter had finally been born after 6,000 years, and emerged next to the returning Messiah whom they so longed for, the Christian foundation remained asleep. Knowing Heaven’s circumstances, I could no longer wait for them, and rose to the position of True Parents in 1960.
Throughout history, humanity has lived like orphans who lost their parents. As a result, not once have we been able to enjoy an era of peace, though we earnestly long for peace. The 6,000-year history was a series of war, conflict and much bloodshed. Since God’s creation was to last for eternity, God could not do anything until victorious human ancestors emerged. As the True Parents, we had to guide fallen humanity back to Heavenly Parent even in the absence of a supportive environment. How did we do it? Without being reborn through True Parents’ Blessing of rebirth and resurrection, humankind cannot become children of our Heavenly Parent and Creator. Next year marks our 60th anniversary. The now 60-year Blessing history, which began from three couples, has given birth to many blessed families across the 190 countries in the world.
To find and have all of humanity, who are about 7.6 billion in total, become Heavenly Parent’s children is actually no simple matter at all. I am already looking into my eighties, and there is a limit to how much can be done during our lives on earth. However, as God’s Only Begotten Daughter, and the mother of this universe, I go wherever I am needed.
At the final stage when we must see the completion of the providence, the only way to solve all together the different conflicts we face today, including the religious, ideological, and racial conflicts, is through the emergence of the Parents in front of humanity. If the 200 or more countries worldwide can inherit the Parents’ tradition as sibling nations, then the world will become the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth that Heavenly Parent and humanity have so longed for. In order to do so, just as our Creator created one man and woman as the human ancestors, the men and women of this fallen world must be able to be reborn as couples through the True Parents. This is the way to becoming children of Heavenly Parent. Only when the dream of One Big Family under Heavenly Parent becomes true, can true peace come about. There can be no more conflicts and wars among children attending Heavenly Parent.
I understand that several chiefs are attending this conference. If you go back down your family line as chiefs, you will find out that we all have one parent. Living as fallen humanity, not attending Heavenly Parent in our lives has resulted in the formation of national boundaries and many barriers that prevent us from becoming one. However, the time has changed. It has been seven years since new history commenced from God’s Only Begotten Daughter, the True Mother… seven Cheon Il Guk years. If all people worldwide become Cheon Il Guk citizens who attend Heavenly Parent, all the problems that we worry about will be solved. I particularly know the hard work of Prophet Mohammed of Islam. That is why I have many sons from among top Muslim leaders.
This movement is a movement that truly attends Heavenly Parent. It is a movement that seeks to bring about Heavenly Parent’s dream and humanity’s hope of One Big Family under God. From such a perspective, the President of Niger is a wise president. I am confident that many great leaders who truly love peace and their people, will emerge from the continent of Africa. We may see out there in the world, some children trying to maintain some distance with their fathers, but they are one body with their mothers. Therefore, please remember that the way to receiving eternal blessings from Heavenly Parent is by having your nations or all of you here today become one with God’s Only Begotten Daughter, who is the mother of the universe. I sincerely pray for the eternal development of Niger and the rest of Africa. Thank you.
Mother’s speech was an amazing proclamation. In the heart of Niger, an Islamic nation with fundamentalist elements, and in front of Africa’s movers and shakers, without wavering in the slightest, True Mother declared the truth that our Heavenly Parent could not speak of freely for six thousand years. Her declaration that the path to receiving Heavenly Parent’s eternal blessing is possible when they unite with her, the Only Begotten Daughter, rang out like thunder. As a gesture of gratitude toward True Mother and for her message, former Prime Minister of Togo Edem Kodjo offered flowers to True Mother with all his heart. Kodjo is a blessed family member and one of the most renowned leaders in West Africa.
Afterward, in response to True Mother’s message, President Issoufou spoke. He based his speech on how complete and perfect True Mother’s message had been, so much so that he could not believe his own ears. Notably, he testified that True Mother was the “Mother of Peace” and he expressed his sincere affection and respect toward her by saying that since the Mother of Peace was born in Korea, he wanted to advocate for the Republic of Korea. In particular, he wished to take the leap toward the 2030 [UN Sustainable Development Goals] centering on True Parents’ values of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universal values. Centering on True Parents’ vision, he expressed his hopes that the African continent will become a “shining” and “hope-filled” continent. This drew a big round of applause from the participants.
Next, True Mother presented H.E. President Issoufou with a certificate. The certificate is an invitation for H.E. President Issoufou to serve as the President of the African Commission of Invitation of Heads of State and Government to the historical “World Summit 2020,” which will be held next year, in commemoration of True Parents’ Centenary and 60th Holy Wedding Anniversary. During this time, His Excellency conveyed his determination to contribute to the success of the historical World Summit 2020 by bringing Africa’s heads of state and government to Korea. The presentation of the certificate revealed the President’s amazing filial heart.
Following came the presentations of Medals of Honor for the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). First, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of UPF International, introduced the Summit Council. Then Medals of Honor were presented to current and former heads of state and government in Africa. Eighteen individuals were awarded a medal including H.E. President Issoufou of Niger, President of Azali Assoumani of the Comoros, and Representative of the African Union Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu, a former president of Madagascar, and a former president of Tanzania. It was a truly historic and remarkable moment. It was especially moving to witness Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria and Chairman of ISCP-Africa, assist True Mother in presenting the medals.
Afterward was the truly historic signing of the Niamey Declaration Implementing the Blessed Africa Project. To be honest, as I planned this summit I was not certain that possibility of this Declaration was realistic. However, I trusted and took action; therefore, it happened. The declaration was itself a tremendous challenge, yet it will be a cornerstone for the realization of continental restoration.
The first continental- and national-level summit was hosted on January 18, 2018 in Senegal. At the Senegal Summit, True Mother proclaimed a “Heavenly Africa.” On the basis of her declaratory speech, I researched and organized ten projects to be part of the “Blessed Africa Initiative” (IAPP, IAPD, IATP, Universal Health, Hyojeong Character Education, the True Family and Blessing Movement, etc.), and beginning in June, I visited various African nations and challenged myself to have declarations signed on the national level. In Africa, it would take at least three to ten days to schedule a meeting with one government leader, and often they were unable to meet with me at all. Countless days, I would miss meals and wait for 12 hours or more to meet them, dressed in my suit. However, we stood steadfast. We did so with the “Native-American spirit” that True Mother taught us about. It is said that when Native Americans perform a rainmaking ritual, it will rain without fail. This is because they will continue the rainmaking ritual until it actually rains. With the same spirit, I toured to some ten nations of Africa with our African leaders to enter into a “Blessed Africa Initiative” Memorandum of Understanding with these nations. In 2018, we entered into such an agreement with Niger on the national level with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Last September, we were able to establish São Tomé and Príncipe as an exemplary nation because we entered into a Blessed Africa Initiative agreement. The Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe signed the Declaration last May, and later in September, we were able to hold in São Tomé and Príncipe the Africa Summit 2019, the 2019 True Family Hyojeong Blessing Festival, and the Youth and Students for Peace Festival.
However, today’s Declaration has transcended the national level and is now on the level of the African continent. It was a remarkable challenge. We knocked and the door opened; we sought and it was found. Representatives of the African continent participated in signing the Declaration: Representative of the African Union Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu, Representative of ECOWAS – Prime Minister of Niger Brigi Rafini, Representative of G5 Sahel – Niger Minister of Defense Issoufou Katambe, and myself, as the representative of Cheon Il Guk.
The reason we used the name “Cheon Il Guk” up front is because the goal of the Blessed Africa Initiative is to build Heavenly Parent’s nation, Cheon Il Guk, through True Parents’ vision for peace. Moreover, we are moving past only using the name Cheon Il Guk internally and instead are placing it at the forefront of today’s continental-level summits with the intention of creating an environment for a substantial Cheon Il Guk. I was truly grateful at how joyfully each of the other representatives signed the Declaration. Two days before, I had already had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Rafini (ECOWAS representative) to explain our vision, and especially True Mother’s vision for peace. Therefore, today he shook hands with me and was overjoyed to sign the Blessed Africa Initiative to build Cheon Il Guk together.
If there is such a thing as miracles, this was certainly one. The providence that we had planned to complete by 2027 was made possible seven years ahead of schedule. I could not hold back the tears that flowed from deep inside as I witnessed this wonderful and historic sight.
Afterwards, I offered some Remarks of Appreciation for the leaders having entered into a continental- level agreement for the Blessed Africa Initiative. At the same time, I also introduced True Mother as the national founder of Cheon Il Guk. As the founder, she was carrying out the Blessed Africa Initiative on the continental level for the establishment of the era of the Pacific Ocean Civilization for the sake of the providence. I encouraged the participants to build a Heavenly Africa, which is a “shining Africa,” a “Blessed Africa,” and a “Hope-filled Africa.” Along with that, since the signing, the African continental-level Blessed Africa Initiative had taken place, on its substantial foundation I invited True Mother, the true, holy and virtuous Empress of Cheon Il Guk, and His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, the President of Niger and Chair of ECOWAS, to sign the Africa Continental Summit Declaration.
During the continental summit, establishing a substantial basis for Cheon Il Guk, which True Mother has opened the doors to, was an important concept. Among today’s participants, there were formal delegates who were attending in place of government leaders. Therefore, I presented them each with a Cheon Il Guk certificate as Cheon Il Guk delegates and sat them in the front row. I had them sign the Blessed Africa Initiative as Cheon Il Guk delegates and introduced True Mother as the Founder of Cheon Il Guk. In addition, an internal goal for this summit was to lay the cornerstones to reveal True Mother, not with the status of that of a nation’s government leader, but with the status of a continental leader, and furthermore, her original status as the true, holy and virtuous Empress of Cheon Il Guk.
With this internal significance, today’s signing of the Declaration was, in short, a moment at which we testified to True Mother with our resolution to achieve a Heavenly Africa (Cheon Il Guk) that attends Heavenly Parent substantially on the continental level.
True Mother and President Issoufou represented the 2,000 attendees when they signed the Declaration. The current heads of states and acting government officials lined up on that stage as representatives of the 54 African nations. To celebrate the great victory of the continental-level summit, the gong was rung to rally the crowd to build a substantial Cheon Il Guk Africa. It was quite a historic moment.
Next, President Issoufou escorted True Mother to the presidential lounge where they talked for a little while waiting for their cars. President Issoufou dedicated the great success of this summit to True Mother by saying, “Thank you for trusting me.”
Once True Mother returned to the hotel, she had lunch and expressed how she created paths that no one else has gone and that no one else will have the heart to walk them him or herself “for the sake of Heavenly Parent and True Father.”
I have summarized the providential significance of this summit into four aspects:
First, as the first continental-level summit within our movement, we have established the cornerstones for a model of continental restoration.
Second, we have consolidated support for the settlement of the Pacific Ocean Civilization and the Asia-Pacific Union on the continental levels.
Third, we have consolidated support and cooperation on the continental level to build Cheon Il Guk in substance.
Fourth, we have achieved the substantial launching of the “Blessed Africa Initiative” on the continental level, which is the cornerstone for the building of Cheon Il Guk.
The Peace Starts With My Family rally in Niger has been a grand challenge to lay the foundations for continental restoration and to create a model for national restoration. I will share in a later report about why we decided to make the decision to do so, even if we had to force it.
In the afternoon, current and former heads of states gave keynote addresses. Participants were particularly interested in and engaged in commentary on the Africa drinking water project by Cho Dong-moon, Chairman of the Hyojeong International Foundation for the Unity of the Sciences (HJIFUS) and Kim Jin-chun, Chairman of the Hyojeong Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Tomorrow there will be individual sessions in 11 areas of discussion. The sessions will largely fall under organizations such as the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace, the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development, the International Association of Traditional Rulers for Peace, and the International Summit Council for Peace. Participants in each session will engage in eager dialogue aimed at building a Heavenly Africa. Each group will create its own written resolution. These resolutions will be proclaimed at the Africa Continental Summit and Continental Marriage Blessing Ceremony that will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 7.
Tomorrow, we will hold the Blessing Ceremony for the continent (region) and the country. Here in Niger, where there are very few Family Federation members and almost no mission foundation, we are laying the foundation for moving the nation, as well as for the continent. Tomorrow is a historic day with the highest level Blessing Ceremony.
I ask all leaders, indeed all family members, to offer their sincere prayers and devotion. In addition, I would like to ask for your sincere prayers for the victory of True Mother’s “40-Day Cosmic Canaan Course for the Firm Establishment of Cheon Il Guk” and for True Mother’s long life and good health. Thank you.
After tomorrow’s Blessing Ceremony, True Mother will travel directly to the airport and fly to Tanzania. She will arrive in Tanzania at about 2:00 a.m., and the Summit and Blessing Ceremony will begin at the National Sports Stadium at 10:00 a.m. It will indeed be a challenging schedule.
I will send you a letter about the Blessing Ceremony after the event concludes tomorrow.