Kenya: Dreaming Big
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
July 18, 2006
The Africa leg of the World Peace Tour began on July 18 with the arrival of Mrs. Sun Myung Moon and several members of her family in Nairobi, Kenya. Their welcome party included Rev. Eiji Tokuno, chair of UPF-Africa, Rev. Mwalagho Kililo, secretary general of UPF-Africa, national leaders, and several Ambassadors for Peace.
The following morning Mrs. Moon spoke of witnessing the power of God as she traveled throughout Asia, Eurasia, the Middle East and Europe. "Such incredible grace and blessing is coming through this speaking tour," she said. She described the messages that she her son Hyo Jin would give throughout Africa as "a textbook of life," and encouraged people to study them daily. "There is no liberation through ignorance. You have to expand the realm of truth and blessing."
"We know Africa has suffered so much," Mrs. Moon continued. She recalled the great suffering of the Korean people because of the war in the 1950s. In the early years of the Unification movement, the nation and the movement were very poor. But Rev. Sun Myung Moon inspired the youth to go throughout the country and spread the "New Village Movement," which contributed to the miracle of development that has taken place in Korea.
At the beginning of this her fourth visit to the continent of Africa, Mrs. Moon urged people do something similar in Africa: "There are many challenges -- family breakdown, political instability and economic challenges. This is a great opportunity for yourselves, your families, your nation and your continent. This is the great moment for Africa and a time to rise up. Do not envy developed nations. The last shall become first."
On the evening of July 19, Mrs. Moon and her son spoke at the Grand Regency Hotel on the themes of God's ideal for a peaceful family, nation and world. The audience of 700 people included government ministers, members of parliament, professors, religious leaders, and NGO heads. There was a delegation from the transitional government of Somalia and also the Minister of Youth and Sports from Burundi.
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak gave the chairman's address. Hyo Jin entered looking most handsome and distinguished as he delivered Father Moon's words with great skill, spirit, heart and passion, to a receptive, attentive audience, setting the stage for Mother Moon's presentation that followed.
After Mother Moon and Hyo Jin officiated at the prayer for blessing of marriage, there was a banquet during which two Members of Parliament spoke. Hon. Raila Odinga said, "The UPF principle of living for the sake of others which we heard tonight, is so precious and valuable. If we emulate the UPF principles we can change our nation. Rev. Moon teaches interracial and interreligious marriage as a way to peace. This is a great teaching, and opens the way to creating one universal family." Hon. Chris Okeno stated: "What we have heard tonight can transform our nation. These are the core UPF principles: one God; we are spiritual beings; marriage, family and blessing; living for the sake of others; and overcoming all barriers."
There was a joyful spirit, with lots of good entertainment, singing and dancing. Rev. Kwak sat at the table with the two Parliamentarians, and at one point all three of them were on the stage dancing to African music.
Other speakers included the Minister of Finance, who stated, "This message of peace is one we need here in Kenya," and the Minister of Science, Technology and Education, who added, "Education begins in the family. With these principles Kenya can truly be the hub of peace for Africa and the world."
The woman who serves as Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports said, "It is so wonderful to have a woman, Mother Moon, present this message on marriage and family. All of us go home from this meeting as changed people. Women especially need to lead the way to peace, just as we have seen with Mother Moon."
Mrs. Ida Odinga, who joined her husband for the welcome party at the airport, said: "I do not ordinarily speak, but am very moved tonight. I really appreciate the message that there is truly one God, and we are all His sons and daughters and thus brothers and sisters. Also, we learned that we are spiritual beings and we each can distinguish between right and wrong. God's ideal is a family of three generations -- grandparents, parents and children -- representing ancestors of the past, as well as the present and the future. With this teaching we can put an end to violence, and especially the defilement of women and other evils."
The following morning, Mother Moon continued speaking about her vision for Africa: "Many of you may admire the nations of the world. But from God's perspective, you in Africa have made more conditions of sacrifice that can be accepted by God. In a desert, when rain comes it disappears quickly. In Africa there is great hope, because you can see the value of God's word and the opportunity we have at this time. You may not have many external treasures or worldly possessions, but you can understand God's word and your faith is mature, so you can build a movement for a new heart and a "New Village Movement" in Africa. Have a big dream. Be a totally different person from yesterday. You should be the most developed continent in terms of heart and spirit."
The time of sharing in the morning concluded with singing. A youth choir sang "Hakuna Matata," based on the Swahili saying meaning "no worries," and "Saranghae," a popular Korean love song. Mother Moon named the choir Sun Hak and encouraged the children to study and develop their musical and language skills for future international performances. The word Hak, part of Mother Moon's name, means crane, a bird that flies high and travels to many places.
In the spirit of dreaming big and flying high, Dr. Thomas Walsh sang "If I Can Dream," and Hyo Jin sang "Over the Rainbow." The Japanese women also offered a song.
Mother Moon had breakfast with Ambassadors for Peace from Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda and then left for Tanzania, Kenya's neighbor to the south.