True Father’s Hoon Dok Hae in Abuja, Nigeria
Sun Myung Moon
July 15, 2011
True Father is welcomed by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. At the invitation of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, True Parents came to the Nigerian capital of Abuja on July 15, 2011 after an 18-hour flight. True Parents were accorded the treatment of guests of state – given access to the president’s private airfield, received in the airport VIP reception hall and afforded a police escort to the Abuja Hilton Hotel.
After arriving at the hotel at 9:30 a.m., True Parents immediately began Hoon Dok Hae. When one of the staff reported to Father that much preparation was needed for the 1 p.m. meeting with the president and asked for a quick conclusion to Hoon Dok Hae, Father responded, “Before meeting the president, we have to hear the words of Hoon Dok and prepare our minds.” Thus, Dr. Jun Ho Seuk and Rev. Sun Jo Hwang who had come from Korea to attend the event, Rev. Yeong Seop (Yeong Seok) Song from Japan, Dr. Chang Shik Yang from America, Rev. Yong Cheon (Yong Cheol) Song from Europe, Rev. Hui Seon Ji from Africa, Rev. Dong Mo Shin from South America, Dr. Thomas Walsh and Dr. Taj Hamad of UPF, Nigerian church representatives and missionaries from Japan, a total of more than 30 people, attended Hoon Dok Hae. The reading was a section from the speech, “Flowerlike Youth,” from the Collection of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Speeches series.
As True Father gave his words during Hoon Dok Hae, Father especially remembered and blessed sister Kathy Rigney who has worked in Africa for thirty-five years. Ms. Rigney had at one time caught malaria but she did not even go to the hospital. Instead, she continued her mission with only True Parents’ providence in mind.
While Father introduced Ms. Rigney to everyone at Hoon Dok Hae, he gave her these words of blessing, “Through True Parents’ coming here to Nigeria, today for the first time this lady could be called the best of the Unification Church and someone who can remain in the mission history together with True Parents. I’m saying that it’s possible for a Unification Church missionary to be the best in the world when Father comes to his or her mission nation.”
Also, Father knew that Awako Sasamoto, daughter of a missionary who had worked for a long time in Tanzania before passing away, had come to attend Hoon Dok Hae, so he called her up to the front, closed his hand over hers and talked to her. The Hoon Dok Hae lasted an hour and ten minutes.
After the Hoon Dok (reading of Father’s words) was complete, Father asked for a song connected to a new ceremony that he had created but has yet to be formally announced or explained. “If you have received grace, then you must be grateful and sing in unison,” he said. “It is through harmony that unification is attained. Unification does not come first. Harmony is first.” Father asked the following leaders to sing in the given order: Dr. Chang Shik yang, Rev. Sun Jo Hwang, Rev. Yeong Cheon (Yeong Cheol) Song, Dr. Jun Ho Seuk, Rev. Yeong Seop (Yeong Seok) Song and Dr. Dong Ho Cho. Finally, True Parents gave a song of gratitude and concluded the one hour-and-ten minute Hoon Dok Hae.
True Parents left for the president’s palace at 12:30 p.m. President Jonathan, who was inaugurated on May 28, 2011, was busy because his cabinet had been announced the previous day. This was a time when he had to appoint and educate ministers to guide the cabinet.
President Jonathan’s parents gave him his name with the intention that he would live a life that is always lucky. His political life has indeed been a history of “good luck,” reflecting his name.
President Jonathan majored in zoology in college and later worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer before entering politics in 1998 and being elected deputy governor of Bayelsa in 1999. He took over as governor when the former governor was impeached on corruption charges. In 2007, then-president Olusegun Obasanjo picked him to run as vice-presidential candidate for the ruling People’s Democratic Party alongside presidential candidate Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua. With the victory of their campaign, Jonathan became vice president and served in that capacity until the president’s death on May 5, 2010, when Jonathan was sworn in as president. He was then elected president by a landslide on May 28, 2011.
True Father comforted Awako Sasamoto, the daughter of a Tanzanian missionary who had passed away.
On April 28, 2006, True Mother began a 180-city world tour on the theme of God’s Ideal Family and Nation, and His Kingdom of Peace. Governor Jonathan donated $70,000 for the sake of True Mother’s speaking engagement in Nigeria.
It was through President Jonathan’s respect for True Parents’ peace ideology that it became possible for True Parents to visit Nigeria. True Parents arrived at the president’s palace at one o’clock and returned to the hotel after conversing with the president for more than 40 minutes. During their conversation, Father spoke to the president about lineage, harmony and tradition.
As is their usual tradition, True Parents held Hoon Dok Hae the next morning before the main event later in the day. During Hoon Dok Hae, Father asked, “How can the five oceans and six continents become one?” He answered, “The beginning point and ending point should make the central point the nucleus.” Father said that once you make the central point the nucleus and you come to understand the truths of life such as going and coming, eating and sleeping, and good and bad, then you become one with your partner. He added, “The purpose of the existence of man (beginning point) and woman (ending point) is to raise the middle position.”
True Father told the gathering, “If you have received grace, then you must be grateful and sing in unison.”
True Parents concluded Hoon Dok Hae by 10 o’clock in the morning, and after taking time to prepare, they left the hotel at 4:20 in the afternoon to speak at the Abuja Convention Center at 5 p.m. Father finished his speech to 3,800 people around 10 p.m. During his speech, Father said, “Between the visible and the invisible, the invisible is central. God is invisible (God of Night) yet he exists (God of Day). In order to know God, you have to enter him, live within him and touch him. All 3,800 people in attendance today should unite by creating a model of one common tradition and lineage centering on God.” In this way, Father repeated what he had told to President Jonathan.
Moreover, True Father said, “I will not go to the spirit world before I am 120 years old unless I choose to do so.”
According to Rev. Ken Doo, assistant to International President Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, True Parents’ speaking engagement in Nigeria and the president’s invitation of True Parents as state guests signifies that all 54 nations in Africa received True Parents.
Rev. Doo says that True Parents’ visit to Nigeria was not to negotiate for economic rights as may be the case if a government VIP or president of a corporation paid the president a visit. He says that True Parents went to Nigeria to embrace the 54 African nations with God’s heart, to teach about God’s will, and to convey God’s blessings.
Article and photos courtesy of Rev. Ken Doo, who is International President Hyung Jin Moon’s assistant. Translation for www.familyfed.org by Tossa Cromwell