Reports by ACLC Women in Ministry
Sister Ethel Hayes, Houston, Texas
We had five teams of eight people each, traveling in different parts of Africa. My team was unusual because we got a chance to go from the northern to southern parts. We flew into Ethiopia and then went to Johannesburg, South Africa.
We stayed in people’s homes. People opened their homes to us. We saw from the richest to the poorest of situations. People received us well. We were treated like royalty. It was an awesome experience I will never forget.
As a black American, it was special how we were received. I felt like I was a daughter coming home. We saw the places from which our ancestors were sold into slavery. We were received like daughters coming home.
They looked at us in awe, and we looked at them in awe. They were thirsty for the word. People are turning to Christianity. People are so thirsty. They received Father Moon’s words so sincerely.
I was mostly in the cities and at universities. Others went to villages and met kings. Most of the places where we went, people spoke English. In other places we had to have an interpreter. But words like Hallelujah are an international language.
In Zambia we met quite a few dignitaries. They rolled out the red carpet for us, escorting us from the plane to the VIP waiting room. Some people were concerned about safety, but there was never a moment when we worried about our safety.
When you go abroad you appreciate your nation. Some people do not have running water or lights. We can be grateful.
One night I looked up and saw the stars of Africa. I wondered what would happen if I couldn’t get back to America. But the next morning I woke up with a song. I thought of our ancestors being loaded into ships with shackles and sent to a foreign country. They couldn’t get back. We thank Father Moon for sending us. I was with some powerful men and women of God on that trip. I will never be the same for those experiences with men and women of God.
Rev. Betty Tatalajski, Tucson, Arizona
My experience in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, was like the signing of the Jerusalem Peace Declaration, forever etched in my heart. I will forever be telling the story.
On the day of our event, the first election in 40 years was being held. Many U.N. troops had been in place for a long time, cruising the country and preparing for civil war. Rev. Eiji Tokuno and Mishel, his assistant, had prepared an incredible event. It was held in a government building and attended by a thousand people. They were well dressed, well mannered and patient. We and the message were enthusiastically received. At the end of the day, the election was contested, and no winner was announced.
Our team went across the river the next day. When we returned, we were invited to meet with the Vice President of the country. He sent several vehicles with military personnel to escort us to his compound. He spoke to each of the five clergy individually. “Why are you here?” he asked. “You are from different religions, from different parts of your country. What brings you together here in Africa?” We told him it was to read the message of the Peace Kingdom that Rev. Moon had received from God.
“I was out of the city on election day,” he said. “I was preparing for war. I am a warrior, I have thousands of soldiers ready to fight. I do not know peace. I do not know what peace looks like; but on my plane back here I heard the word ‘peace’ in my mind. I didn’t know what it meant. It confused me. When I arrived here I turned on the television set and saw your gathering about peace. I wanted to meet you. I heard you speak. I have decided that I will not fight. I am going to stand for peace. I want my children to know peace. I want my country to know peace.”
He stood in front of me, and a golden light shone through his eyes. “He is a good man,” I could feel in my spirit.
Dr. Gilda Price, Brooklyn, New York
There was a lot of tension and talk of war in the air after the election in the Congo, as there was disappointment on the losing side. However, the vice president told us he constantly heard the words “peace, no war” ringing in his thoughts and as a result determined that there should be no fighting. My conclusion is that the peace tours are having a great impact on the world and that Father Moon is doing a great work. God bless Rev. Moon for sending this message for a time such as this.
With the seed of peace planted in the heart of the Hon. Vice President Roberto Maniwa by the blessed Holy Spirit, I firmly believe that he will remember this encounter and stand bravely, with his face to the foe, and declare "Peace, be still."
There was a gentleman in the congregation in Limbe, Cameroon, who after I read Father Moon's Peace Message, stood up to speak. He gave the impression that his words were going to be critical. However, he uttered a profound statement, which I think the world should note: "Mahatma Gandhi came with the peace message, he was assassinated; Jesus Christ brought peace and the message, he was crucified. Well, whatever happens with Rev. Moon's peace message, the seed has been planted." I think that was so awesome.
There are times when I sit back and wonder why I was not more involved in this movement earlier, having known it from many years ago. However, there is a time for
everything under the sun, and now with a little more understanding and wisdom it is
time for us to pick up the cross.
I trust that I will be able to serve God in every way possible to implement His purpose and His plan by and through the servants that He has chosen to do His will.
Minister Carolyn Parker, Atlanta, Georgia
When I read Rev. Moon’s speech, I feel like fire is shut up in my bones. I am especially moved by the part of the speech where Rev. Moon talks about his mission and the suffering he has endured. In the speech it mentions how his was incarcerated in the United States. As an American citizen I feel so ashamed that we did that to Rev. Moon.
When I was in the Pacific Islands, there was a news reporter who was interviewing the Ambassadors for Peace. There was some kind of bubble in his eye that looked so strange, and I wondered what it was. I finally realized it was caused by a tear: the man was crying about what we were doing and about our peace mission. He said he never felt so moved in an interview before. He saw people of other races coming to his country, and all were Americans reaching out to bring hope to people. He was unbelievably moved.
Everywhere I went I met Rev. Moon’s blessed families. It was a surprise to me to see how much alike they were. It was like looking at the same spirit. Rev. Moon has duplicated himself all over the world.
Bishop Shirley Wright Cotton, Atlanta, Georgia
I love reading Rev. Moon’s peace message. Every time I read it, I am touched by the spirit of his words. Rev. Moon is like a wonderful father who wants only the best for his children. His peace message reminds me of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, especially the Beatitudes. The peace message is like Rev. Moon talking to his children and telling them how to make a good and happy world. I feel like he is talking personally to me in his message.
When I get to the part about Rev. Moon’s suffering course, I cry. God has given Rev. Moon this great vision, and now we have to continue to spread the word. May God bless Rev. and Mrs. Moon forever, as he has blessed us with his life, love and lineage. I am really learning from Rev. Moon. I love the idea of “living for the sake of others.” Whether or not people treat us right, we just have to love them, regardless. Rev. Moon has demonstrated that in his own life.
Everywhere I went I told people about how the Lord told me to work with Rev.
Moon and his people. Jesus told me, “They have something you need, and
you have something they need.” From that day forward, I have been happy to
work with the Unification people, and my own life has been richly blessed. I
have learned to love people I would never have even met had I not been with Rev.
I was especially grateful to work in Israel for forty days in 2003. When we honored Jesus the King of Peace in the heart of Jerusalem, I could not help but cry tears of joy and gratitude. Only Rev. Moon would of thought of taking care of Jesus in that way.
Everywhere I went, people were hungry for the Word. They loved Rev. Moon
and wanted to know more about him and his message.
In the Dominican Republic I addressed a crowd at a university. Professors and members of parliament were in attendance. They loved hearing Rev. Moon’s speech and were eager to hear more about him.
Rev. Sylvia McConico, Tucson, Arizona
We gave up our lives in America and whatever it was we were doing to do, in order to accept the call and go to deliver the message that Rev. Moon wanted delivered. People really appreciated our willingness to do that..
In Japan, so many people were at the airport to greet us with flowers and banners that it was overwhelming. After my first experiences traveling in Europe in the 1970s, when I got back home I asked myself, “Why do I have to leave my country and go to some other country to be treated like a human being?” This was another such experience of being treated someone special. People who are not African-American may not totally appreciate what this means to me.
In Cote d’Ivoire, I went to a Pentecostal church that holds 1000 people, and there were at least 600 to 700 people present. The minister gave a testimony that seemed straight from the speech. While talking to the church, he said directly to me, “I am apologizing for the actions we Africans took when we sold our brothers and sisters into slavery. Because you are the product of that action, you have been separated from your ancestors and from your homeland. So take this to the African-Americans in America and let them know that we miss them.”
The impact of what he was saying did not hit me until a couple of days later. African-Americans have been told that Africans did not want us. It is the age-old issue of divide and conquer. That division, that separation, does not have to continue. This trip was one of renewal, reunion and reconciliation for a lot of us.
Rev. Marilyn Kotulek, Oklahoma
I want to express my appreciation to Rev. Moon for all the work that he does for the
Lord. I also want to express my grateful appreciation to God for allowing me to be a part of the movement. I have truly given my life work to the Lord, and this took me to a higher level. We are the body of Christ, working hand in hand together for his purposes, establishing the Kingdom of Earth on earth as it is in heaven.
One of the outstanding moments was in Japan, sitting next to a Japanese brother and a Korean brother. Despite a legacy of past conflicts and bloody wars, we came together as brothers and sisters in Christ and broke bread together. Through this fourth UPF Peace Tour and the Middle East Peace Initiative that I have taken part in, my life’s work of reconciliation has moved to an international stage. The greatest fulfillment that I have is to be in the center of God’s will, to carry out all my assignments for His glory.