Turning Negatives into Positives in Georgia
Patrick Nolan, UPF-Georgia
June 21, 2006
Plans for Mother Moon's June 21 visit to the nation of Georgia went through several ups and downs. There was a power outage the week before in the theater where she was to speak, and the building was closed down until a specialist could fly in from Italy to repair it. In short order, a second location was found, but they suddenly announced that repairs to the stage were begun earlier than planned, and it could not be used. Just as a third hall was found, the radio carried a message from the Orthodox Church asking people not to attend the event. On June 18, national television also carried a message warning people not to attend. Concerned about possible protests, the owner of the hall canceled plans.
At 9:00 on the evening before Mother Moon's schedule arrival in Tiblisi, there was no place she could speak. Food, banners and all kinds of preparations were on hand, but there was no place where they could host her. "I think this was one of the worst days of my life," reported the organizer, Patrick Nolan, as he called Tajikistan to break the news.
|Guests in Georgia|
International guests from Moldova and Belarus joined the hosts in putting together a reception on the 21st to commemorate the event that should have taken place. The presidential suite of the hotel had already been rented, so the signs, decorations and informative exhibits prepared for the hall were placed in the suite.
In addition to local Ambassadors for Peace, guests included the imam of the city mosque, an official from the national committee on religious affairs, an official from the city legislature, a theology professor, and people of various faiths.
Patrick Nolan showed the video about the blessing and ideal family that should have been shown during the event and read some selections from Mother Moon's message. He also described the positive impact that Father and Mother Moon and their family have had on his life.
The guests were moved and offered their support. Other groups issued invitations to visit them and work together. "I hope we've made a substantial step towards turning this big negative into a bigger positive," reported Patrick Nolan.
|One of the banners prepared for the event
||Guests watching tour video
Patrick Nolan told the guests of his hope that the Universal Peace Federation and related organizations can help promote a lasting peace in Georgia and the Caucasus: "By promoting mutual respect, brotherhood and unity based on true love, we should put an end to the fear and distrust among the people of this region." He acknowledged that there are political forces working against this kind of unity, but expressed confidence that if people really want to live together as brothers, the love between people is strong enough to overcome barriers.
"Georgia has a beautiful culture and traditions," he continued, "especially of faith and family. Mother Moon's message is intended only to support and strengthen those very traditions. The values of the Georgians are rarely found in the world these days and I wanted her to meet people like you."