Hope for the Homeless in Indonesia
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
May 29, 2006
From the largely Buddhist mother island nation of Japan to the largely Christian daughter island nation of Philippines, the Asian leg of the tour continued to the largely Muslim island nation of Indonesia and later to the Buddhist and Hindu island nation of Sri Lanka.
On May 27, an earthquake struck Indonesia. Nearly 5,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 made homeless. The epicenter on Java was the Jogjakarta area, which is the primary base for H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid, the former President of Indonesia and a UPF Ambassador for Peace. During the flight to Indonesia, some discussion took place about how UPF might respond to this event. Tents were needed, each tent housing 40 people would cost $1000. A suggestion was made to donate $10,000.
At the Jakarta airport on May 29, the welcoming party included former President and Mrs. Wahid and other dignitaries, including Dr. Lalu of Indonesia’s National Family Planning Program, the primary co-sponsor of the main event. Dr. Habib Chirzen and Mr. Taj Hamad, UPF’s Deputy Secretary General for Interreligious and International Relations, were also present.
A press conference was held at the airport with President Wahid, Mr. Hamad and Dr. Thomas Walsh discussing the purpose of the UPF, the peace tour and Mother Moon's visit to Indonesia.
Mrs. Genie Kagawa, Regional Secretary General for UPF-Asia, had come to Jakarta in advance. Ambassadors for Peace, UPF leaders and volunteers from Singapore assisted with preparations for the main event. Their preparations were masterfully done.
That evening, 600 assembled, filling 62 banquet tables in the Ritz Carlton Hotel ballroom. The stage was spectacular and the room looked like a palace. Following a performance by a traditional Indonesian dance group, Dr. Chirzen, Dr. Lalu and President Wahid all offered welcome remarks underscoring the significance of the visit of Mother Moon to Indonesia to bring a message of peace, interreligious cooperation, United Nations renewal, and the importance of building God-centered families. Hyun Jin Moon presented the Founder’s address with great dignity, nobility and power—a real prince of peace.
Mother Moon, looking radiantly regal, came out onto the stage, and on her behalf Dr. Walsh read the following statement:
“When Father Moon heard news of the earthquake, and knowing the suffering of the people of Indonesia, of their hospitality toward him in the past, particularly President Wahid, and because of his love for the Muslim people, he felt moved to offer some offering of support. As such, he asked Mother Moon to offer $200,000 to be used for humanitarian relief for the victims of this tragedy. This fund will be available for programs and projects that bring immediate and direct relief to people, working through an alliance of NGOs, faith-based organizations, religious communities, governmental agencies, etc. As Co-Founder of UPF, and as the Chair of both IRFF and WFWP, Mother Moon, and Hyun Jin Moon, Founder of Service for Peace, will encourage these organizations to lend support to this effort.”
Dr. Hyun Jin Moon immediately set up a fact-finding task force comprised of Mr. Hamad, Mrs. Kagawa, Mr. Massimo Trombin, and Mr. Tigor from UPF Indonesia to go to the affected area and report within 48 hours of their findings.
Mother Moon’s speech was presented with grace, beauty and oneness with the word. The prayer for marriage blessing was joyful, and Dr. Christopher Kim, regional chair of UPF-Asia, closed by leading three cheers.