A Turning Point in Jerusalem
By Rev. Michael W. Jenkins
June 29, 2006
In Jerusalem, we just concluded a beautiful event on June 29 at the Regency Hotel.
Due to the recent kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, the military incursion into the Gaza Strip, and the arrest of members of the Palestinian Parliament, many people advised True Mother not to go to Israel. Certainly security is high priority. Information was gathered from the best sources on all sides for True Parents' consideration. Father said, "Mother should go." True Mother said, "I must go to Jerusalem." She has been welcomed by Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze in the Holy City.
True Mother is accompanied by Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, chairman of the Universal Peace Federation; Dr. Sang Jin Lee, chairman of UPF-Middle East; and Dr. Thomas Walsh, secretary general of UPF. In this region, her son Kook Jin and his wife Ji Hye are traveling with her.
Mother wanted to bring love to Jerusalem, where the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac are in conflict. We truly believe that True Mother's presence here will be a turning point. In Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East, God has been blessing the work of the sheikhs, Druze leaders, Christian leaders and rabbis as they demonstrate their acceptance that the God of their faith is working through the other faiths He created.
The various Middle East Peace Initiatives of UPF benefit from the local leadership of Dr. Masatoshi Abe and Mr. Hod Ben Zvi as well as the outstanding support from many key Ambassadors for Peace, including Dr. Eliezer Glaubach, Abouna Hatoum, Sheikh Abdel Aziz Bukari, Dr. Shuki Ben Ami, Mr. Baruch Shalev, Mr. Walid Sadiq, Mr. Ali Birani and their wives as well as Ms. Shelly Elkayam and Mr. Kamal Thabet. A beautiful cross-section of all faiths filled the Grand Ballroom of the Regency Hotel.
One of the rising classical performing artists in Israel, David D'Or, partnered with Mrs. Seiko Lee to present a diverse, classical music program that created a beautiful atmosphere to start the event. Shelley Elkayam opened the program, and Mrs. Sheila Shalev gave a welcoming address as the chairwoman of the Women's Federation for World Peace of Israel.
The Master of Ceremonies for the program was Dr. Walsh. He is a universal leader who has demonstrated the special gift to become one with Rev. Kwak in working through the UPF to lead the highest levels of scholars, heads of state, religious leaders and people of all professions and cultures in the work of peace. He introduced Mr. Shimson Nir, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, who offered the invocation, reciting a beautiful prayer for peace in Hebrew and explaining it in English.
Couples stood together and shared a toast with their spouse, dedicating their marriages and families to God. It was beautiful to see all these religious people in Jerusalem affirming their sincere commitment to family.
Rev. Kwak introduced the world tour and Universal Peace Federation. He said that God has been working through these speeches to affect the direction of history. I thought about the great moments and many very sad moments in the history of Jerusalem. True Parents have fulfilled the ideal that Adam and Eve were to achieve and are proclaiming that peace will definitely come. They are being welcomed by people of all races, religions and cultures in their travels around the world.
Kook Jin spoke with eloquence and conviction. He has the ability to move the heart and soul of the audience. With each section of the speech he gained momentum and spiritual power. There are few such situations in which families from the three Abrahamic faiths come together for the sake of God and family.
The video presentation featured the Middle East Peace Initiative, North-South Korea unification, the blessing of marriages, and the Bering Strait project. Mohammad Jodeh, an Ambassador for Peace with homes in both America and Ramallah, mentioned, “We must get that CD multiplied and get it into the hands of every single person. With this, people will come to understand.”
True Mother took the stage with grace, strength, and beauty. There is no setting or time in which God's Word is delivered without some period of challenge. However, she kept on smiling and giving God's word. Suddenly the atmosphere became harmonious, and people followed the text with her, paragraph by paragraph. Applause began to break out. Finally it was as if a dam had broken, and the Holy Spirit poured down like a waterfall. She spoke with the cadence of an orator. Afterwards, the audience stood up in applause.
Dr. Joshua Ben Ami and his wife, Shosh, gave the congratulatory flowers to Mother. On stage for the prayer of blessing for marriage there was Abouna Hatoum and his wife from Nazareth; Dr. Dov Noi and Dr. Naomi Voglemann, scholars at Hebrew University; Sheikh Bukari and his wife; and a second-generation couple. How profound to see the breadth of God's family together on stage!
Mother is truly radiant. No one can imagine the burden of going to war-torn nations to bring hope and healing, but she doesn't show any exhaustion. Everywhere she goes, she is constantly giving, attentively listening to every report, and praying about the things that God and True Father are inspiring her to achieve.
Representing God's motherly love, she embraces, encourages and strengthens every person that comes through the gate. The nations she is touching are being blessed through the people sent by God. Father and Mother have promised not to stop until the boundaries and borders blocking relationships among religions and nations are resolved and the ideal world is realized.
The Bible prophesied that the "lion will lay down with the lamb." As the Psalmist instructed, let us "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, 'Peace be within you.' For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity." (Psalm 122:6 NIV)