Germany: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Giessen
Düsseldorf, at the Peace Embassy
Rev. Carlos Manuel Torres
By Gerhard Mehlis and Ulrich Tuente
Rev. Carlos Manuel Torres arrived at the Dusseldorf Airport in the morning and was welcomed by a delegation from the UPF, who showed him scenic parts in the Altstadt and along the Rhine River, concluding with a meal in a Spanish restaurant, where he was the expert at choosing the Spanish dishes. That evening the peace tour event was held in the Peace Embassy in Dusseldorf, where he gave an inspiring, authentic presentation to the audience. He considers himself to have been a Unificationist since the age of 12, because he had exactly those ideas in his mind, even though he met the Universal Peace Federation just two years ago.
An important message throughout his entire speech was that symbols in religion become reality in the hearts and minds of people; that the word of the Bible becomes substance in us. One experience he shared: a woman coming to him for counseling was extremely worried that her husband had burned the Bible; his response–to the surprise of the woman–was, that he, too, would also burn his Bible if the word of the Bible could not become reality within him! He spoke deeply of the value of True Parents for his life, and his living examples – very unconventional for Germans – inspired the whole audience. After the event he showed much interest in the young people and listened attentively to their comments.
Later that evening, other ministers of the ACLC and Rev. Michael Jenkins arrived at the Dusseldorf Peace Embassy, where everyone started sharing testimonies, conducting interviews, taking pictures, and singing songs at the top of their voices. Rev. Jenkins felt inspired by the warm welcome in the Peace Embassy, expressing his gratitude to the staff. He said he wants to gather 200 young people to attend a Middle East Peace Initiative event next summer. The ACLC ministers even offered to sponsor some young people for this tour.
Rev. Harvey Grisby Kendricks
By Agnes Spari
Rev. Harvey Grisby Kendricks, senior pastor of the First Grace Baptist Church of Harlem, in New York City, is very serious about representing our True Father during this tour. The peace tour event in Essen-Kettwig was attended by 35 people, including five Ambassadors for Peace.
At the end of the program seven new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed. Two were pastors of evangelical churches, two were their members, one was an elderly lady well known for helping old and young people in her neighborhood, and an Iranian couple. All were very happy to receive the award. As a conclusion all shared a nice buffet. It was a very joyful, harmonious gathering enriched by musical performances.
The next day, one of the pastors called and invited the American pastor to visit his church, but he was already on his way to the next nation.
Rev. Isaac William Artis Jr.
The meeting was held in a home and opened by started by singing songs representing the different nations present. The host, Mrs. Pranee Fink, performed a Thai dance together with her daughter.
Rev. Issac William Artis gave a comforting address to the small gathering. He emphasized true love and testified to Rev. Moon as a man of true love. He started his church with home meetings and now has a congregation of 250. The address was well received, and afterwards people still sat together a long time sharing some food and having a question and answer session.
He took photos with each couple and gave people his address in the States. He and even called his wife on the phone and three people talked to her. It was a nice evening. People could feel his Christian spirit as he sang a gospel song before he started.
Pastor Dr. Damon Shelby Roach
Pastor Dr. Damon Roach from America spoke at the “Hotel am Park” in Willich. This group was the biggest in the Düsseldorf community, but they split up in order to host two events with American pastors. The event was rather small, with some 13 participants, and the organizers apologized that there were so few people in attendance. Pastor Dr. Roach said it wasn’t a problem, the main thing was for the people present to pass on this message.
The event closely followed the script. The emcee was Herbert Beyer, the blessing officiators were Masae and Benedikt Schmitt, assisted by Masako Beyer and Kathrina Schmitt, and the technician was Maximilian Beyer.
Pastor Roach presented Father’s speech with great conviction and heart and also gave his testimony. After the event he filmed video interviews with the young people. His heart is beating for young people. Although the event was small, people felt that they could welcome True Parents for the first time to Willich, through Pastor Roach.
November 3, 2006
Fritz and Hildegard Piepenburg, Claus Dubisz,
Christopher and Antoaneta Marsh, Simon Hutzfeld
Frankfurt (Schmitten Seminar House)
Rabbi Mordehi (Mark) Waldmann
Rabbi Mordehi Waldmann came to Frankfurt together with his wife, Susan Jean Will Waldmann. While Mordehi is an Orthodox rabbi, his wife is of the Lutheran faith. They were blessed together in marriage by True Parents.
In the afternoon, they visited the Jewish community in Mainz, a city famous for great Jewish scholars in the past. They were received by the president of the community, who was very interested in the rabbi and his connections with the Universal Peace Federation. Rabbi Waldmann testified to how he met his wife and was blessed by Rabbi Moon (at this point the lady president looked quite startled, and it was explained to her that Waldmann bestowed this title on Dr. Moon out of respect and reverence and that, of course, he is not officially a rabbi).
For the evening event in Schmitten, there were 40 participants. Before the event, Rabbi Waldman lit the traditional Shabbat candles and distributed matzo, the unleavened bread to be eaten on the Shabbat. Before reading the speech, he testified again to his connection with the movement and the greatness of “Rabbi Moon.” He described his miraculous recovery from cancer and his matching with his new wife. He then called the angels to support the event with his ceremonial Jewish shofar, and he chanted some traditional Hebrew liturgy, which gave the event a solemn character. He then proceeded to read the “holy words of Father Moon” in full length with great vigor and theatrical expressions, captivating his audience from the first to the last word. People were amazed that such a through-and-through Jewish rabbi was connected so deeply in heart with Father Moon and his vision of world peace through overcoming all boundaries, even of race and religion.
The musical program included some traditional Jewish songs, which caused Rabbi Waldman to remark that he felt like he was in his synagogue back home in Michigan. The event concluded with the performance of the HARP youth band SOM (“Sons of Moon”). The music inspired the rabbi to dance with some of the ladies, which he did very well, being a disco dance teacher as well as a rabbi!
The next morning, he offered a final blessing prayer at the airport, just before entering the security line. He put his hands on people's heads and sang out loud a blessing in both Hebrew and English. Then he turned around and quickly moved into the security area. People were reminded of how much the Christian heritage and occidental culture are rooted in ancient Judaism.
Frankfurt (community center in Sossenheim)
Archbishop Alfred Adefolarin Adelekan
The program began with a musical performance by Alisa Rauschert on piano accompanying Sorella Dubisz singing, “This little light of mine”, which brightened the atmosphere.
Archbishop Alfred Adelekan, who was born in Nigeria and speaks with a strong African-English accent, gave a short introduction about his commitment to this tour.
He learned about Rev. Moon in 1996 because two ladies came to visit his church (one was, by the way, Angelika Selle, well known in the Frankfurt community). He was inspired by the work of the American Clergy Leadership Conference and joined the organization. He worked together on several projects. He loves the mission of Father Moon and supports him. He is impressed by the work people are doing not just as passive members but putting into action what is being preached. He quoted the Bible's instruction to be a doer of the word and not just a listener. He has great hope in family values, because the break-up of families creates huge problems in today’s society.
One person presented a picture pained about three years ago showing Jesus coming down from heaven accompanied by Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, and Krishna.
Frankfurt (Marsh family, Oberursel-Weißkirchen)
Rev. Carolyn Elaine Sampson
The event in Oberursei-Weisskirchen was small, but what was missing in numbers was made up for in atmosphere and spirit.
Rev. Sampson read True Father’s speech with enormous depth, understanding and power. Everyone was spellbound by her presentation. She read the speech as if the words were from her own heart; she paused, repeated sentences, and gave emphasis at just the right points and urged listeners to understand the deeper meaning. One participant even felt that this was one of the best renditions of a speech by Father that he had ever heard! People sensed was in tune with the essence of the message.
Participants included local families and their friends, and each felt that Rev. Sampson was talking directly to him or her. In essence, it was God who was speaking to each one of us through Father’s word.
After the conclusion of the formalities, Rev. Sampson stayed to share informally. She explained: “I have to give it all to you because I see you only for one evening.” She explained how she has been the kind of person who lives for the sake of others; she gave up her job in order to focus on volunteer work and serving her community. Followed God’s call, she joined the world tour on just three days' notice. She has been offering herself for True Parents, and despite having severe pain and health problems she has vowed to go on.
She embraced everyone as a mother and gave a lot of guidance on how to connect with people, how to approach people and how to carry out activities. It was a profound and moving experience, which brought people to a new level. Based on the experiences of preparing, publicizing and hosting the occasion, organizers felt it was not simply an isolated event but rather the start of something new.
Rev. Sampson came as a stranger and left as a treasured sister linked by permanent bonds of heart. People ate dinner together afterwards, sharing precious experience of being one family.
Frankfurt (Frankfurt Am Main / Advision GmbH)
Mrs. Susan Will-Waldmann
"When we are bound together in true love, we can be together forever.“ This is just one quote from True Father's words that fit the event. On a rainy Friday evening, 25 family members and friends got together in the office of Advision GmbH (close to Frankfurt Main Station), to participate in the World Peace Tour of 120 Ambassadors for Peace.
Background music set the atmosphere, and Mrs. Tonoko Yoo sang an Italian song.
The representative clergywoman from the United States was Mrs. Susan Will-Waldmann. She is married to Rabbi Mark Waldmann, from Congregation Beth Tephilath Moses. She impressed people with her down-to-earth, friendly and open-minded personality.
She expressed admiration for the work of True Parents and especially for the love True Parents give towards the whole mankind without making any distinction of country, race or religion. “The opportunity to travel around the world and reading the heavenly message to people in cities, countries and nations, is a gift," she said. "Of course it is a lot of work and effort, but when you look at the outcome, the people you meet and the love you share and receive, it’s all worth it and even more.“
After the official part of the event, Mrs. Will-Waldmann shared some personal experiences. In such a short time, strangers become friends and friends become family. Mrs. Will-Waldmann seemed comfortable and happy.
The Yoo family and everyone who supported and hosted this event made this day special.
Frankfurt (Bürgerhaus Harheim)
Mrs. Carolyn Lincoln
We were 19 participants at the event with Carolyn Lincoln at the “Bürgerhaus Harheim” neighborhood center. Mrs. Lincoln gave it a very personal note by proposing to start reading the speech on page 19 in order to allow more time for questions and answers. She was inspired by the young people in the audience to speak more about questions pertaining to the purpose of life. Rev. Kwak’s speech was read in German and Father’s speech was read in English, with translation during the last part when Mrs. Lincoln was sharing about her work. This openness towards the audience made a very positive impression and broke the ice.
Although the blessing vows are quite serious and far reaching, the atmosphere was bright by the end of the event. People talked together over dinner, enjoying each other’s company in a relaxed setting.
Sarah Zimmermann and Christian Claus
November 3, 2006
Rev. Calvin Louis Kelly
At a wonderfully warm event in Linden, Giessen, Rev. Calvin Louis Kelly gave an honest testimony about his appreciation of Father Moon's, he talked about how after some hesitation he came to hear about and take part in it, and now he believes it is anointed by God.
He read Father's speech powerfully and with conviction. At the end of the event his audience sang a couple of Christian songs in English with him, which really inspired him.
Peter Valenta stood up and expressed his feeling of an impossible dream coming true: a Christian minister coming to us and teaching us Father's Words! Rev. Kelly then expressed his heartfelt appreciation of all those following Father Moon and what a unique love he experiences in every community of his followers that he meets. Wherever he goes in the world, our atmosphere of love is the same. He emphasized how unique this movement is, we are!
His audience was inspired by him and he by them. It was a wonderful heavenly give and take.
Rev. Alain LeRoy
In Hüttenberg (Giessen) five families and friends gathered in a private home to welcome Rev. Alain LeRoy from California on this 4th world speaking tour. Rev. LeRoy gave a powerful, inspiring presentation which had even the younger members of the audience listening attentively. He started his presentation of Rev. Moon's address with a song and personal testimony of how God has been working in his life. During the speech he also shared his personal insights at several points, stimulating the audience to reflect more personally on the key points of the speech. The event was concluded with an Ambassador of Peace award for an Ethiopian Christian, who was very moved to receive the award. After a short, uplifting prayer breakfast the next morning, Rev. LeRoy was off to his next destination in Paris, France.
Rev. Marilyn Kotulek
The atmospheric Hotel Blankenfeld at the outskirts of Wetzlar was the venue for Rev. Marilyn Kotulek, who is president and founder of International White Eagle in Ministries, Inc. and is based in Oklahoma City. The ministry conducts outreach on Christian radio and television programs and works with children who have been put in jail. Rev. Kotulek has a weekly prayer group with ministers from the Oklahoma City area. Along with a team of many people, the ministry is building an international Peace Center. She is a member of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, is an Ambassador for Peace, and serves on several boards of Christian ministry. Rev. Kotulek often speaks at different churches. She says she is advancing the “Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.”
She delivered True Parents’ message with a clear voice and much spirit. Three guests received Ambassadors for Peace certificates at the end of the event.
Rev. Kotulek, who had visions and spiritual experiences when meeting and working for our movement, confessed that Father Moon is the one whom Jesus anointed, chose and approved. At dinner after the event she said that going from country to country she feels like True Mother Moon investing everything to create a pleasant atmosphere for the guests. When it was time to say good-bye, people were sure that she left as their sister and will advance the Kingdom of God in many more countries.