Latest from the Tribe

The following are the latest updates from our tribal messiahs all around the nation. Visit our Share page to share about your own experiences and insights or our About page for more information about how to become a tribal messiah.


District 3: Elizabeth

The Elizabeth Family Church shared the Holy Wine and Blessing with two couples in a local Marriage Blessing Ceremony on April 30. Initially, six couples confirmed to attend the Blessing Ceremony, but only one couple could actually make it. Undeterred by this turn of events, members of the Elizabeth community took to the streets outside the church to invite passersby to attend. Read more about their exciting experience here.

District 8: Minnesota

Dennis and Mayuri Hoffman were invited by Rev. Hyungtae Ha to give a testimony on their witnessing and Blessing activities in Minnesota. This was part of a two-day experience from April 15-16, during which time participants went out with the Hoffmans to witness and gave the Blessing to 14 people.

Contributed by Tomoko Taira, District 8 Witnessing and Education (W/E) Coordinator

District 12: Los Angeles

The Los Angeles chapter of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) introduced the Divine Principle to 19 brand-new guests in April. They also ran several workshops, including a “culture war” seminar with 41 participants; a life of faith seminar presented by Pastor George Kazakos with 34 participants; and a HARP, or High School Association for the Research of Principles, workshop, which offered Divine Principle education to 66 students. The culture war and life of faith seminars were both attended by a mix of first- and second-generation Unificationists.

Contributed by Naoko Hiraki, District 12 W/E Coordinator

Hawaii

Tribal Messiahs in Hawaii started evening Divine Principle programs for guests and families at the end of March, continuing every Friday evening through April at our new center by the University of Hawaii.

We serve dinner at 6:30 p.m., prepared by volunteers, and sometimes by second-generation Unificationists or even new members. After dinner, new guests will hear an introductory lecture on the Divine Principle and returning guests will listen to a consecutive lecture. After the presentations, people have a chance to ask questions and engage in an open discussion over refreshments. An older contact who has come to Sunday service for the past few years recently started to study Divine Principle on a regular basis, and another contact who became a bit distant now comes regularly to study the Principle again. A member who has recently joined is unable to come to Sunday service due to his work, but is coming over now to study Divine Principle with other guests.

Ongoing Divine Principle education is a great activity, not only for guests, but also for those who prepare to give lectures. It has given a way for members of our community to come together, and families to support the evening programs together with their older children. We will continue to invite more people and would like to develop a good step-by-step Divine Principle education system.

Contributed by Keiko Nakama, Hawaii W/E Coordinator

Contributed by Rev. Larry Krishnek, Cheon Il Guk IW

Our small town of Ferndale, WA. (population 12,741) is big on its relationship with Minamiboso, her sister city in Japan.

Last October, after 26 years as sister cities, a delegation of guests from Minamiboso visited Ferndale. There aren’t many Japanese in our town so when our neighbors and fellow Unificationists, Arnold and Setsuko Evanson, volunteered to help, the mayor and other organizers were delighted. 
 
 
The event was great for the Japanese guests, for our local citizens, and for several of our local FFWPU families who helped prepare or attended the event. 
 
Every two years, Ferndale hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival that highlights Japanese culture. Serious fans of all things Japanese couldn’t wait for two years, so on this off year, the Taka Hashi Celebration was kicked off.  
 
 
The event was wonderful. Setsuko Evanson and Akemi Krishnek volunteered to help with preparation and at the celebration.  The turnout was great, with people of all ages coming to experience the best of Japan. 
 
It’s wonderful to be able to participate in the social life our our hometown, to make a contribution and to develop new friendships. 
 

After Famicon 2017, Masako and I were able to gather with the Reno Family Church members to supply them with Holy Wine and inspiration about the great things happening in our American Family Federation. We shared some of the highlights of all the wonderful reports and events which were shared at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC). The Reno families were excited to hear all the news and especially to learn about the families who have already accomplished Tribal Messiahship in America. The hope and belief that they gained from this gathering was reflected in the determination that they made to move forward and be victorious blessed families. The Seung family were so determined and confident that they went out immediately after the meeting and blessed a family that they know. Reno, we can do it!

Contributed by Rev. Kevin Thompson, District 11 Pastor

The North American 2017 National Survey recently concluded with over 300 entries submitted. The intention of the survey was to capture the current view of “Witnessing and Education” as well as “Community Health” in the North American movement at this time.

We received a lot of insightful feedback from the survey responses. Though some of our findings may seem disheartening, others are very encouraging. We conducted the survey to get an accurate view of where we now stand as a movement both to improve and acknowledge the efforts that are already being made. The following is a summary of our survey conclusions.

On the whole, we found that becoming victorious Tribal Messiahs is important to us, though the current environment of our movement is not always conducive to Tribal Messiahship. For instance, many of us expressed that Sunday Services, while often life-giving for ourselves, could be improved to be more life-giving for our guests, friends, and extended families. Similarly, while most of us regularly attend Sunday Service, very few of us witness on a regular basis, and we often pursue Tribal Messiahship without the involvement of our family. This has contributed to a general sense of uncertainty about our 2020 goals for growth.

Our sincere desire to become victorious Tribal Messiahs, however, is a significant reason for hope. Tribal Messiahship is one of True Mother’s foremost concerns, and it speaks volumes to the heart of the American movement that we are attuned to that concern. Tribal Messiahship is the main focus of our national strategy, hundreds of members have already committed to pursuing Tribal Messiahship with their families, and new Witnessing and Education Coordinators are being appointed in each district. These coordinators are stepping up precisely to encourage and support witnessing in their communities, not just as an activity but as a lifestyle—a holistic way for our families and communities to build life-giving relationships with everyone we meet.

Our sincere thanks to all those who submitted responses to the 2017 National Survey. We are looking forward to working together as an American family and learning from each others’ challenges and victories.

Please take some time to browse through the survey results below.

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We Can Do It – East Coast

The East Coast Can Do It workshop was the 11th in the We Can Do It Tribal Messiahship workshop series and the first regional version held in North America. This regional workshop was designed in a way that all presentations and materials were applicable anywhere in North America. People came from all over the country; five sisters even drove 20 hours from Georgia to attend the workshop. 
 
 
There were a total of 61 participants and four staff, including FFWPU USA Director of Evangelism, Demian Dunkley. Participants came from states in 7 different FFWPU USA Districts, including New York, Alabama, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Nebraska, and Texas. 
 
 
The workshop was held at the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in Barrytown, NY and was organized into two equal parts from Friday night (March, 24) to Tuesday morning (March, 28), including a Family Workshop to kickstart the Tribal Messiahship culture and activities at the family and trinity level, and a Leaders Workshop to guide and discuss the most effective ways to lead a community of Tribal Messiahs. 
 
 
“Our members are so precious, and we all stand on the incredible and victorious foundation of True Parents,” says Demian Dunkley, “but despite this, many families feel internally blocked and externally incapable of fulfilling the goal of Tribal Messiahship. The We Can Do It workshop is being developed to solve those problems and free people up to take action willingly. It is similar to acupuncture for a tired body. We don’t have to focus so much on telling people what to do, we just need to touch the points that are blocked and release the energy and inspiration that God and True Parents have already given us!”
 
 
The We Can Do It workshop is not just a paradigm shift, it is a totally new form of education as well. Participants are guided to come to their own understanding of how Tribal Messiahship is a blessing and is the most natural development for their lives. They walk away feeling free to pursue Tribal Messiahship and excited to make it a part of their everyday culture.
 
 
Many leaders and elders of our movement participated, including former FFWPU USA President Rev. Tyler Hendricks, I.W. Richard Buessing, Universal Peace Federation (UPF) UN leader Taj Hamad, District Pastor Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis, Dr. Theodore Shimiyo of UTS, Kensaku Takahashi of Ocean Church, and Masahisa Kobayashi. Several local pastors and ministry leaders also participated, including Rev. Kone Drissa, Abdou Gaye, Thomas Corely, Gavin Hamnett, Sebastian Huemer, Lowell Mitchem, Monica Vallejo, Atsushi Takino and more. A second-generation Unificationist trinity also participated–Alban Gaval, Leehee Wolf, and Mi Young Eaton, who have actively been pursuing Tribal Messiahship and were inspired to attend after Alban experienced the workshop as staff in Germany. 
 
 
Here are some short testimonies from participants: 
 
“I see now what I need to restore within myself in order to start Tribal Messiahship and become successful at it. This workshop helped me and showed me how to go about it. It will take time, but my husband and I together will be successful. My heart will lead the way.”
~Maria P Kiely
 
“I thank the ‘We Can Do It’ workshop for unpacking and helping us to understand the tremendous grace and blessing Heavenly Parent and True Patents have given, which is Tribal Messiahship. Accomplishing Tribal Messiahship is not a way to coerce couples into participating in a ceremony they do not understand… instead it is sharing relational gifts with those that we meet and helping them accomplish the Three Blessings.”
~Thomas Baldwin
 
“I am very grateful that I attended this workshop. I could see how True Parents’ ideas and teachings can be put into practice. The idea that I am God’s hope reminded me of when I joined the church and felt that God had picked me to be part of his Kingdom building. It makes me take my journey very seriously.” 
~Marra Gaye
 
“I loved this We Can Do It Tribal Messiahship workshop; it was chock full of great material that I can use to finally really begin doing Tribal Messiahship. I loved that it included out-of-the box thinking that told me ‘This can work!’ I have felt such a heavy burden about not being able to witness. Now I see a way, a concrete doable pattern of how to begin and go step by step to achieve the worthiest goal of all goals: be an effective Tribal Messiah.” 
~Dorothy Hill
 
“Excellent presentation that addressed the exact concerns that I had as a young adult in this movement. I feel more hopeful than I expected, and will feel even more hopeful as more and more people experience this workshop. I loved the emphasis that young adults want to be a part of the building process.”
~Jessica Sattinger
 
“I kind of came to this workshop on a whim. A few friends and I are working on a project and wondering how or if Tribal Messiahship could relate to what we’re doing. For me the workshop turned out to be a ‘perfect storm’: I had a clear goal for my time here and was able to gain practical insights for my life, my family and our budding trinity(ies). There was a really natural and vibrant energy that just needed the space and ground to take root in. I hope many more people will be able to experience this and that we can find ways to share this spirit, hope, and opportunity beyond this workshop.” 
~Mi Young Eaton
 
“Demian’s approach heavily relied on guided reflections in the workbooks he made. I feel this approach is effective because it helped us destroy our own self-limiting habits and concepts. It is not an approach from above, but from below. We were able to empty ourselves to be ready to open our minds and hearts to accept new ideas and new approaches. This was a conversion experience. I am now strongly encouraged to a new level of Tribal Messiahship.”
~Theodore Shimmyo
 
“I was inspired by the We Can Do It workshop! I came on faith, not sure what to expect. I am grateful that the second generation Unificationists are taking over more in leading, and also young married couples. God bless you! I now feel I am empowered to begin being a Tribal Messiah. I will begin my action goals this week on a personal, family, professional creatorship, and Tribal Messiahship level. I really appreciated Demian’s ability to gently introduce the first generation to more and broader and better ideas of how to bring the Divine Principle and offer the Blessing to people of all walks of life. I also appreciate the Tribe Kit that was given to us, plus the flash drive of so many resources! Thanks for second-generation Unificationists who are so well-trained in developing these programs online. Now I must return home to introduce these ideas to my husband and family.”
~Linda Shapiro-Zochol
 
“I didn’t really plan to come and was nervous about it, but Friday night and Saturday morning, I got spiritual confirmation from my ancestors that this was a very important and exciting event. It was a great privilege to share this time with veteran saints and sincere, capable young people who will inherit and carry forward, improve on our foundation. There was so much challenging, enlightening and empowering content it’s hard to pick out the highlights. That True Mother is trusting America to lead the world, other countries need us to break through in Tribal Messiahship, that my commitment and ACTION can really impact the world…this was a powerful realization. Dr. Kim’s comments were so encouraging―that we have wondrous power to be miracle makers. He expressed beautifully how educating our tribe with Mother’s heart, so they can multiply, can lead to restoration of countries and ultimately salvation of humankind with true love. Now…share this with my husband, find our trinity and ACTION!”
~Jennifer Yashiro
 
“I believe the most important thing about this workshop for me is that I have to start from somewhere; is to believe that I can do a small step first by making a weekly goal towards the outcome I want to see one year from now. This time helped me to look into different things about myself, my family, my work, my mission and what can be improved, what can be done. I still don’t see clearly what has been blocking me all these years from growing more spiritually, from witnessing, from having a happier family. But I trust that God will show me what I need to do, what I need to learn and change. I like very much what I heard in this workshop and I find it very useful. I hope that all leaders and brothers and sisters will take part in this workshop.”
~Marina Falconi
 
“As I reflect on the past two days, I recall the saying, ‘I can give you fish for one day, or teach you how to fish for the rest of your life.’ You did the latter, for which I am very grateful.”
~Robert Standard
 
“I could see and understand the limits in myself that prevented me to become successful in witnessing. I have off and on had many attempts in Tribal Messiahship but could not bring it to fruition―it was only piecework. This workshop helped me to dig deep down, to understand it on a personal, family, tribal, and universal level. I could identify the points of obstruction on each level, identify possible step-by-step solutions for each level and then make a realistic one-year, month, and weekly plan. The key in all of this is to work together in in a trinity―create family relationship on a small and then growing level. The other key point is to tap into real love―love that involves passion and joy while doing it.”
~Barbara Stupple
 
“The We Can Do It workshop provided the information, tools, the reasons, True Father’s words and the paradigm to shift our thinking into becoming a Tribal Messiah. The workshop brought down to earth the lofty ideas of Divine Principle by explaining our fundamental responsibility is Tribal Messiahship. It reminded us who we are, where we come from, and where we are going as Blessed Central Families. The presentations were done well, the topics covered a lot of material, and the many discussions of small group trinities gave everyone a chance to share. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested, contemplating or serious about doing Tribal Messiah work. It is a mandatory course to re-engage, re-align and re-commit to True Parents’ directions to us. Tribal Messiahship is our future joy, happiness, and key to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
~Richard Buessing
 
“I am extremely grateful that I could attend this workshop. For the first time I am aware that Tribal Messiahship is indeed possible, even in my circumstances. The presentations were clear and gave me many tools and ideas on how to achieve goals. I am very grateful for that. I understand how valuable social media can be to facilitate communication and I want to make use of it as much as I can. This workshop exceeded my expectations.”
~Irene Olivier
 
“I came to the seminar thinking I would just be given tools and methods of how to do Tribal Messiahship but this approach was better because it allowed for a deeper understanding to be realized. It was good the way each exercise built on each other throughout the two days so we could come to our own conclusions and goals for the final outcome of showing us or inspiring in us the idea that Tribal Messiahship is possible and that in fact ‘we can do it.'”
~Julia Okamoto
 
“I am grateful to all involved for holding this here and now. It coincides with my own change from one seasonal devotion to another. It has helped me clarify things related to our hurdles that have kept us from tackling the public job of reaching out to our tribe. I can see how to chop those up into more manageable pieces and to get started. The time of reflection and the accent of the workshop time on defining goals, tasks and action steps is refreshing, unusual and welcome. The materials and resources will be very helpful. Now on to the task, pick some partners and start action! Thanks again.”
~Paul Stupple
 
“Dr. Kim spoke in Atlanta on March 19―the week before this seminar. He made the statement―“I am a miracle maker.”  It was this statement that inspired my final decision to attend this “We Can Do It” workshop. Four other older sisters came together. The five women aged 60 to 68 years. But you would never have known it―we were all so excited and filled with joyful anticipation about this workshop. I felt before this workshop, I had been sitting in a spiritual fog about how to accomplish Tribal Messiahship. So many self-doubts, confusion and questions about ‘how?’ So this workshop was the answer to a prayer. Tribal Messiahship is more than witnessing―Demian and his staff gave clear answers to what tribes mean, what is expected, in what ways tribal messiahs can save America and inspire brothers and sisters in other nations. It was this feeling of new purpose to break through in this gift from True Parents. The books containing step-by-step directions on how to begin, and to continue to not be afraid to fail during our attempts to reach the hearts of family, friends and community are precious indeed. Then the resources that are provided help me feel tremendous support. The heart and humor of Demian used during his lectures quietly and persistently transformed 60 of us from trepid participants to confident, hopeful, and determined to take the steps (hearts filled with love) to family and community. I came not for myself but for brothers and sisters in Atlanta who might be waiting to hear what I and what we learned. We feel that ‘We Can Do It’ and will do it! For the love of Heavenly Parent and True Parents, and the heart of True Mother has for America.”
~Lynda McKenzie
 
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The Portland Family Church held a two-day book and plant sale to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and 23 at the local church center located in West Linn, Oregon. The church center is located next to the highway, which is always busy with the vehicles of neighbors in town. The sign for sale outside of the church attracted many guests during the weekend.

Local Unificationist Richard Stumpf said, “It’s spring time, so a lot of the neighbors stopped in to buy plants.  We had an assortment of flowers and vegetables including tomatoes, kale, beets and cabbage.”  

Opening the place to the community is a way of natural witnessing, which Portland Unificationist families are pursuing regularly. In fact, the Portland Family Church also partners with the Church of the Small Voice to hold meditation service on Saturday morning, and their partnership with the Dances of Universal Peace provides an hour of worship dancing after service on the first Sunday of the month.

On Sunday during the Earth Day celebration, Rev. Eric Sylte, Portland Family Church pastor, gave a sermon titled, “The Cosmic Center” related to Earth Day. In his sermon, Rev. Sylte emphasized, “We are grateful to God, our Heavenly Parent, who gives us life, love, and stewardship over the creation.” Afterward, a number of families joined the sale and enjoyed the moments filled with plants and books.

On April 30, 2017, we held a half-day Japanese Tribal Messiah workshop at the Clifton Family Church in New Jersey with 89 people in attendance. We held the We Can Do It workshop three times before, but over 50% of the Clifton congregation is Japanese, so many of them could not participate because of the language barrier. I heard some Japanese members wished for Japanese version of the We Can Do It workshop, so Demian Dunkley, Family Federation USA National Witnessing and Education Director, Mr. and Mrs. Inose, President of Kodan USA, Pastor Manoj Jacob, District 3 Pastor, Kodan Regional Leader Mrs. Yoko Burns, and I decided to have a Japanese Heavenly Tribal Messiah workshop.

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We spent many hours thinking about what kind of program would most support our members to move forward as Tribal Messiahs. We also provided English translation for Western members of the Clifton community because we wanted to share the workshop content with everybody.

The Japanese brothers and sisters in Clifton, inspired by the Kodan leaders who attended a prayer workshop with Mrs. Onni Durst in San Francisco one month ago, created a prayer chain and prayed to God and the spiritual world for the success of this workshop for two hours each day for seven days leading up to the workshop. I felt that God and our spiritual ancestors are telling us to testify to the living God, the grace of True Parents and the good spirits who are supporting us around the whole world. From this experience, once again I realized the importance of prayer and of unity, especially among leaders, and felt that my prayer was reaching God and the spiritual realm. On the day of the workshop, 89 Japanese and Western members of our community participated. We learned from Mr. Inose about the importance of having the heart of filial children as tribal messiahs and the opportunity for husband and wife to grow and complete each other more through Tribal Messiahship. On the foundation of that spiritual guidance from Mr. Inose, we picked trinities by lottery for a three-month trial of Tribal Messiahship.

Demian held a Q&A session regarding the activities of witnessing and the Marriage Blessing and we had witnessing practice. He also demonstrated how to bless our guests as a trinity and we all practiced officiating a simple Marriage Blessing Ceremony. Lastly, we had offering time as Tribal Messiah before the True Parents.

Because we want to preserve the spirit of this workshop, we plan to gather once a month and discuss our Tribal Messiahship activities for the next three months. Some of the workshop attendees said afterward that through their experience practicing the Blessing, they now believe they can do it, too. At first we were anxious about choosing our trinities through the lottery, but God had already pushed me to take a step forward and so I felt God was working with us.

I can’t forget True Mother’s commitment in front of True Father. She will complete the providence of restoration and build Cheon Il Guk. We will stand for True Parents.

Thank you.

Contributed by Atsushi Takino, Witnessing and Education Coordinator, District 3

My 40 Days in Thailand

During the Famicon conference that was held at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas from April 3 to 6, 2017, Friederun Abrahams from Tennessee gave a testimony about the 40 days that she spent in Thailand from January 8 to February 27, pursuing Tribal Messiahship together with Sukhont Convery from Philadelphia. The following is a written report of that testimony.


Our planning started one year ago, when Sukhont and I started making prayer conditions and Hoon Dok Hwe conditions in order to prepare ourselves for our trip to Thailand. Our goal was to give Divine Principle lectures and the Marriage Blessing to Sukhont’s many relatives and friends and contacts in Singuli, her hometown in Thailand.

One-third of the town’s population is made up of her cousins from a family that has lived there for at least four generations, is very well known and respected, and has donated and contributed to the community and local Buddhist temples. Sukhont has eight siblings, and her parents and grandparents as well had at least that many siblings on both sides. The name of her grandmother is written on a school which she donated and built near her ancestral home. Sukhont has gone there repeatedly to witness to her friends and family, and 10 years ago she gave the Holy Wine to at least 500 people in the town. Some of her cousins are teachers, and many others are business owners and are very wealthy.

Sukhont trusted me as a lecturer and invited me to join her in Singuli so that she could focus on each person as she translated the lectures for them. Also every day Sukhont coordinated our activities as I focused on studying the Divine Principle and True Father’s speeches. Therefore we really experienced the spiritual world very actively helping us!

Sukhont has long been very active in the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and other related activities, investing her whole heart. So I respected her a lot and felt honored to help her with this. Honestly, I had felt like a dry desert, unable to find even one person who was interested in hearing the greatest truth that humankind had ever heard, the Divine Principle. For over 20 years I hadn’t brought even one person to be active with our movement. I felt I could not face our Heavenly Parent.

Our first step, after arriving in Thailand, was to meet with the national FFWPU leader. After many years of heavy persecution and three years of imprisonment, this brother accomplished the goal of giving the Marriage Blessing to 430 couples in his own tribe, working together with some of his spiritual children and another Thai leader who had been imprisoned with him.

He described three types of Tribal Messiahship:

  1. an established tribe of relatives in one area, which is how Sukhont was working,
  2. the relatives of one’s spiritual children, and other people in their area, which is how this leader was working,
  3. home church-type areas that we build up.

This leader gave us all the details of how to facilitate a Marriage Blessing in Thailand, including having a Buddhist priest present to sprinkle the Holy Water. We also had 10 VIPs present, three of whom gave a speech. One cousin made a flyer for us to give out, which invited people to the Blessing, described as “a celebration of marriage and family.” We also had a banner made (Sukhont’s cousin, a teacher, freely offered to do this for us!).

A Thai sister and her husband, who also had fulfilled the goal of giving the 430 Couple Blessing, came freely to officiate for us. This sister gave a speech clearly explaining the meaning of the Blessing, the Holy Wine, and Father and Mother Moon as our True Parents. They also brought a screen with True Parents’ pictures, since I had only a small photo with me because of traveling.

The Blessing ceremony took place on our last day in Sukhont’s hometown, with 57 people attending the ceremony; unfortunately more than half of them did not bring their spouse. But most attendees were very educated people. There were two school principals (one of whom was a PhD), teachers, a lawyer and his wife, the second-in-command to the governor and his wife, and several village leaders.

The room was the largest air-conditioned room at one of the local schools. We spent a lot of time, at the request of the principals and teachers, teaching character education. In addition, in the evenings some children came to the house of Sukhont’s sister, where we were staying, to practice speaking English.

From the first day in Sukhont’s hometown we spoke to several people a day and could teach Divine Principle, which was received with enthusiasm and interest. Usually it was a relative and his/her spouse or a group of 10 or more. On Saturdays the village leader gathered the villagers, and there usually were 40 to 50 people. We taught them Divine Principle three times.

Another group to whom we taught Divine Principle were 60 people of a volunteer group of wealthy retirees who teach poor villagers skills to earn a living. This group was headed by one of Sukhont’s cousins, who introduced us to them. After that, they continually wanted us to visit them, and several of them came to the Blessing. There was one top government official with who heard all of the Divine Principle over five evenings, as well as a testimony of True Parents’ life. He invited his sister and her husband to the Blessing ceremony, and he also volunteered to be the photographer.

The first week we were there, we also were asked by one of Sukhont’s cousins, a teacher, to present the first chapter of the Divine Principle during an awards ceremony at the town high school with about 100 people present, including all the teachers.

We also went several times to the “coffee shop” where Sukhont’s dad went for 50 years every morning. Everyone there remembered him. We met a policeman there to whom we gave the Divine Principle. A top community leader and former principal, after hearing the introduction to the Divine Principle, promptly called his successor, who wanted us to give a lecture on the environment (the Third Blessing!) to 25 village leaders a week later. Each time, of course, we gave the participants the Holy Wine.

We also had no transportation in very hot weather, so we either walked or else rode in a Tuk-Tuk (auto rickshaw).

We met the acting minister of the only Christian church in the area, who told us about her feeling God’s heart and her difficulties in bringing people to the church. It is a new and big church, which Sukhont’s cousin helped build with his money after converting to Christianity. But only eight or 10 people attend it; they are simple people who have had healing experiences.

We gave the pastor the Divine Principle, and she was grateful and very receptive and also very sad when we said goodbye. We also gave the lecture on the Three Blessings to the small congregation.

Sukhont always gave donations to religious groups, schools, volunteer groups, and the two of us gave a lot of little presents to people we met. Sukhont also broke down barriers by always laughing with anyone!

One thing that moved me very much is the traditional greeting that all Thai people give each other: praying hands over your heart and a slight bow. There is still respect shown toward each other, especially children toward the elders!

It reminded me of True Father’s explanation that God equals two that have become one (two hands put together vertically).

In conclusion:

  1. Both of us felt the key is to make heartistic relationships that are eternal.
  2. I am all in, no holding back. Giving up my comfort zone.
  3. True Father said: prayer and commitment.
  4. We had the approach of “promoting the family” and “establishing the culture of heart” through the FFWPU, not another religion!

Thailand does not have the divisions in religion that we have in the United States. People there have an Old Testament faith with five commandments (Buddhism) and a visual faith (the bigger the statue, the more faith!). Many do not think about life after death, so talking about the spirit world really brings out their interest.

So for us here in the United States, our all-out efforts, working together with commitment and follow-up and investing all our heart, should bring what we have been waiting for: results in Tribal Messiahship.

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Pastors came together as neighbors at our church-sponsored prayer breakfast on Saturday, April 1, at the Rhema International Church in Warren, Michigan. The program was initiated after an article appeared in The Detroit News titled, “The Forgotten Neighborhoods of South Warren.” The article outlined the difficulties the area is having. Since our church is in South Warren we felt the best way to respond was to bring the pastors of the area together to pray for the city and see what we might do to help. We have been visiting churches all over the city of Detroit for years but it was clear that it was now time to take care of the community where are church is located.

As we thought about the churches of Warren it seemed best to begin in our own backyard. There are five churches within walking distance of our church. Over the years we have visited each of them individually. Maybe now is the time to get them together. We sent a note to each of them and invited them for coffee at a local diner.

Of the five, one pastor came for coffee. It was a start. We shared about our ministries. The pastor, Bishop Eric Lloyd of Rhema International Church, just moved into the city three years ago from Detroit. He explained his ministry and the work he is doing with young people and his outreach through social media. I suggested a prayer breakfast for pastors in the area would be a good next step. Since he liked what we were doing he offered to use his facility.

We were on our way. Since the article focused on South Warren we decided to invite those pastors to attend. Warren is cut in half by a freeway so the “south” and “north” are clearly delineated. We found there are 42 churches in the south. We set about to visit each church personally with an invitation. It felt great to get to know the city from the viewpoint of its churches. On Wednesday nights our two church visitation teams each visited a church bible study to meet the pastors, check if they had received their invitation, and see if they would be able to come. We also invited our pastor friends from around Detroit that we have gotten to know over the years. And, we invited the faith-based liaison from the mayor’s office to attend.

For the main speaker we invited Rev. Gregory Guice of Unity Temple in Detroit. He is quite active in his neighborhood and with other churches as well.

The day of the program, six new pastors from Warren attended, six from our mailing list and several of their church members, members from Bishop Lloyd’s church and from ours as well. The faith-based liaison for the city of Warren came as well and gave greetings on behalf of the mayor and the city. All in all, 30 people attended.

To begin the program Rev. David Kasbow held up the newspaper article and explained how the prayer breakfast came to be. After breakfast a round of prayers were said for the neighborhoods, the city, the state, and for our nation.

Following a musical offering by the Metro Detroit Family Church International Choir, Rev. Kasbow gave a presentation stating that the key to restoring the neighborhood is by first restoring its families. Next the faith-based liaison from the mayor’s office, Ms. Kelly Colegio, gave greetings. She related some of the good work being done in the churches in both the south and the north parts of the city. Rev. Kasbow then introduced Rev. Guice who spoke on his work around his church neighborhood centered on Isaiah 61:1.

After the message, we offered pastors a time to respond. Several of our old friends shared their experience with our movement. This made a nice bridge between our pastor friends and the new pastors who attended. We decided to hold the next prayer breakfast in two months. Based on Ms. Colegio’s report, we decided to invite pastors from both the south and the north sides of the city next time.

Contributed by Rev. David Kasbow

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