November 5, 2006
On Sunday, November 5, there were 23 events that took place in Spain as part of the 4th World Tour. This was a formidable challenge for the 40 families across the nation and an incredible opportunity for growth and meeting new friends.
Four events took place in Madrid and seven others nearby. Two of those events had to be cancelled due to a delay in the flight from Paris.
The main event with Archbishop George Stallings took place in Hotel Jardin Metropolitano. This turned out to be a fantastic trip into the realm of the spirit. The audience was enraptured by the speaker. The 180 people in attendance responded to the rhythm of Archbishop Stallings' words. Priests and nuns in the audience also seemed to enjoy it.
The two ministers whose flight was late, Rev. Andre Jackson and Rev. Damon Roach, gave their personal testimonies at the end of the program. The spirit was getting higher and warmer, so it seemed natural to ask Archbishop Stallings to come to the stage and sing a song as a finale. He has a powerful and beautiful voice. Then Rev. Alain LeRoy also came to the front and sang a traditional Christian hymn, “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations.” The hotel became like a church, and people felt part of the family of God gathered under the wings of True Parents.
Two other events took place in the city: “the Jewish event” was in Hotel Zurbano and “the Hispanic event” at the UPF headquarters. Rabbi Mordehi Waldmann and Rev. Victor Sanchez were the speakers. Both programs were scheduled to start at 5:00 pm but because of flight delays, the speakers did not arrive until 6:20.
Rabbi David Elzami, a cantor in a synagogue, sang Hebrew songs while the audience waited. Finally Rabbi Waldmann came. One of the Jewish women was very touched that Rabbi Waldmann spoke highly of one of the members of her family without knowing she was a relative. He gave a beautiful testimony about his blessing and his wife, whom he found through the mediation of True Parents. He prayed and then blew the shofar. The audience was touched by his sincerity.
At the Hispanic event, people had prepared enough food to feed the entire neighborhood. It felt like a “fiesta,” a celebration of the Latin community in the city. There was a Peruvian singer and a packed room, but for a long time no speaker. Finally Rev. Sanchez appeared one and a half hours late, but when he spoke, people were moved to tears by his testimony.
The only event in the city that went on schedule was the 12:00 one with Rev. Debra Lajimodiere at the UPF headquarters. Rev. Lajimodiere was very sincere, and she explained how she came to know the Unification movement and what moved her to work with it. She has difficulties walking and brings a wheelchair with her, but her faith is strong. The tasty typical Spanish rice dish called "paella" had been prepared for her enjoyment and also for all participants, and they stayed for a long time after the event talking and sharing.
She was asked to speak at a second event in the afternoon since the scheduled speaker would be arriving too late. She agreed and traveled to the historical town of Chinchon. There a friend in the City Council arranged for the meeting to take place in the city hall.
One event took place in Hotel Galaico in the city of Collado Villalba, with Rev. Julia Mae Horton. It was a joyous event with a men's choir from the university singing typical songs. In the audience were staff members from Vomade, a women's NGO from the Dominican Republic. Ambassador for Peace certificates were given to 22 special participants. People reported being very moved by the speaker's message and way of speaking.
In Madrid area three more events were held.
In Colmenar, Rev. Damon Roach spoke at a gathering at a New Age center. The director of the center was present as well as a local politician.
In Guadalix the event took place in the city's Cultural Center. The main speaker was Rev. Carolyn Lincoln. The Family Federation for World Peace has official permission to use the Cultural Center, but a letter was circulated days before the event warning people of the “Moon threat” in town. The controversy was good. Many friends of the movement spoke in support of the event.
In the town of Aravaca a family hosted the event in their home, with Rev. Richard Sapp as the guest speaker.
In the rest of Spain there were five events in Barcelona, three in Malaga, and one each in Valencia, Zaragoza, Sevilla and Pamplona.
In Barcelona, thirty-five people came to hear Rev. Greg Odlin speak in Sant Cugat. It’s interesting that Rev. Odlin’s wife is from Barcelona.
Two events were held at Hotel Universitat in Barcelona’s downtown, one at 5:00 pm and the other at 7:30. Elder Kay Anderson spoke at the first event and Rev. Fermín Bocanegra at the second.
In the IIFWP Headquarters building in Barcelona, two more events had been scheduled: one at 5:00 pm and the other at 7:30. At the first event the guest speaker was Mrs. Margaret Bocanegra. Among the guests were 7 nuns. At the second event Rev. Marilyn Kotulek was the guest speaker.
In Valencia, the event was held at a centrally located hotel with Rev. Moses de la Rosa as the main speaker. The audience included the head of the Central Mosque of Valencia and the head of Ananda Marga in Spain, France and Portugal. Interestingly, their philosophy, which originated in India, teaches that a person can develop completely only through meditation combined with active service to the community.
In Pamplona the event took place in a meeting hall of the Catholic parish. Several evangelical ministers invited the speaker, Rev. Nagi Yousef, to have lunch with them at a local evangelical church. Two of them came to evening program.
The Zaragoza event was held at a cultural center. Pastor David Scholet arrived at Zaragoza later than expected due to a delay in his flight. Twenty-seven guests came, including people from the nearby city of Huesca. David Scholet gave his personal testimony, and Marisa Boldova translated. He was honest and at the same time very supportive of Father Moon's contribution to world peace. At the end everyone sang "Universal Love" in Spanish, followed by a social hour with coffee and cakes.
In Sevilla, Rev. Carolyn Parker spoke at a community gathering. She laid hands on several people and prayed for their spiritual and physical health. They were very moved by her humble and serving spirit.
In Malaga three events were organized. Rev. Carlos Torres was scheduled to speak at a family's home in Torremolinos at 6:00 pm. The plane was delayed, and the driver waited several hours at the airport to bring him to the event. At 10 o’clock Rev. Torres arrived. To make things worse, the airline had lost his luggage and he had to leave early in the morning. He had an enjoyable conversation with his hosts.
In Estepona, a beautiful town in Costa del Sol, Rev. Harvey Kendricks spoke at a local cultural center.
In the city of Malaga the event was held in the home of Jose Manuel Zuñiga and Catherine Noël. The speaker, Mrs. Sharyn Bebeau, arrived earlier than scheduled and spent the whole day with this family and their friends. It was a big one-day family reunion. At 5:15 pm the official event started. A singer from Paraguay offered some religious songs, followed by a video presentation about the third World Peace Tour. Mrs. Bebeau read the speech in English, and the translation into Spanish was done by volunteers of the audience. Mrs. Bebeau was thrilled with the audience participation. The event ended officially at 9:00 pm but ten guests stayed talking with Mrs. Bebeau two more hours.
Overall, this Fourth Peace Tour was a great opportunity for the Spanish families to take care of these faithful ministers and connect their foundation to the large providence of True Parents. It was a moving experience filled with the spirit of God.