True Parents European Tour 2011
Thomas G. Walsh
April 30, 2011
Unofficial Notes from Spain
Father and Mother, together with Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim, are on a tour that includes 7 nations in Europe and 1 nation in the Middle East. Dr. Yang, Mrs. McDevitt, and a few other core staff are accompanying True Parents and Dr. and Mrs. Yong Cheol Song are coordinating the tour in Europe, with Rev. Tim Miller and the national leaders of the tour nations. European movement is fantastic. Mr. Taj Hamad and I are representing UPF International.
Mrs. Cotter, representing In Jin Nim’s office, is also supporting the tour, helping the care for True Parents. Mr. Tim Elder, representing Kook Jin Nim’s office, is on the tour, translating each morning at Hoon Dok Hae and also the main events.
The first program took place in Madrid, Spain. True Parents had flown directly from Korea, where they had held a program on April 24, before 12,000, in Seoul.
They arrived in Spain about midnight on April 25, then convened Hoon Dok Hae the next morning, April 26, at 5 AM. This Hoon Dok Hae went for 7 hours. Father was full of energy and dynamism, seemingly very inspired to be in Europe and in Spain, a country that previously had blocked his entry during the dark ages of the Schengen ban.
One point Father made during Hoon Dok Hae was that
“We are living in a kind of “dead end age” a time where there’s nowhere to turn; it is at this time that Rev. Moon appears as the “pillar.”
He also spoke about Divine Principle,
“Don’t think of Divine Principle in terms of lectures, but as universal education for all ages, from pre-school all the way through graduate level education and beyond.”
After Hoon Dok Hae concluded at noon, True Parents took a quick trip to Toledo [one our by car from Madrid] and had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the beautiful city below which had been a place where Christian, Muslim and Jewish people and cultures had lived together harmoniously.
The main program in the evening was very exciting. Father was full of energy and vitality, expressing himself freely, joyfully, intensely and affectionately to a responsive audience of 700. He spoke for 3.5 hours, until 11:30 PM. Please see a full report at UPF.ORG prepared by UPF Director in Spain, Mr. Armando Lozano.
Among many things he said by way of commentary,
He mentioned that he is not yet 100, and therefore he is still in his youth. He mentioned that he is excellent at wrestling, and observed that he could probably defeat 33% of those in the audience.
This brought much laughter.
Spain was so beautiful, and mentioned Toledo in particular.
He said to the audience at one point,
“I applaud you and give you my blessing.”
Although he was frequently most charming and humorous, during much of the speech, where he speaks about God’s heart and our responsibility at this time in history, he was in tears as he read, for about 10-15 minutes.
Hoon Dok Hae on the 27th was short due to the early departure schedule that morning. Dr. Song gave a very good historical overview of True Parents visits and providential activities in Europe over several decades. Father and Mother were clearly pleased with their time in Madrid, and appreciative of the great effort made by the brothers and sisters of our movement in Spain.
On April 27, True Parents travelled to Rome, arriving around noon. In the afternoon, Father and Mother had a few hours to go sightseeing and to have dinner in a humble cafe on the street in central Rome. Father shared his plate of food with all those gathered.
Kwon Jin Nim and Hwa Yun Nim also arrived in Rome to be with True Parents.
On April 28, Mrs. McDevitt read the Hoon Dok Hae reading about Father’s teaching on the ideal family. He also asked her to sing two songs that Father likes very much. He then asked Hyung Jin Nim to sing and he sang “If I Can Dream”, a song made famous by Elvis. Hyung Jin Nim was then asked to give his testimony. He gave a remarkable and beautiful testimony about his life and the development of his love and appreciation and respect for Father and Mother, not only as his physical parents, but as his spiritual parents, the True Parents.
He shared a lot about his love for and closeness to his older brother, Young Jin Nim, who passed away. In some ways, Young Jin Nim’s passing led to his searching and deepening of his relationship with God and his deepened understanding of True Parents. [I hope everyone will one day have the chance to hear Hyung Jin Nim’s testimony directly.] It is very wonderful to see True Parents together with Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim. They are continuously together, and Hyung Jin Nim is always service Father and Mother so well.
In the afternoon, True Parents visited Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica. At the present time there are many Catholic pilgrims from around the world who have gathered in Rome to witness the beatification [a final step toward sainthood] for Pope John Paul II. About 52 heads of state, primarily from Catholic countries, are also in Rome for this same occasion.
On April 29, at Hoon Dok Hae Father spoke about his experience being at Vatican City.
His primary concern was about the heart of Jesus. He spoke about how Jesus, during his life, had not place to lay his head, or to have a meal or even a drink of water. Was it any different now? There are many pillars in Vatican City, but where is the one true pillar?
Father spoke about the value of the Blessing and said
Each blessed couple has the responsibility to “become one.”
Father said that
Even God, at times, marvels at the content of Divine Principle.
Hoon Dok Hae concluded with singing, first from Mrs. McDevitt who was asked to sing first a Japanese song, then and American song, then Korean.
Mother was then asked to sing. She sang “Santa Lucia” and then sang together with Father. Father kissed Mother. They looked like true lovebirds together. Everyone was dancing.
Today, Ye Jin Nim and In Jin Nim arrived to be with True Parents. Rev, Joshua Cotter also arrived today.
Thomas G. Walsh, Ph.D.