Fueled by the love and guidance of True Parents, Tomiko Duggan, the Director of Public Relations for Universal Peace Federation (UPF), has completed the holy juice ceremony for 450 couples in America.

LIVING FOR AMERICA FOR TRUE PARENTS

Her journey toward this achievement began when Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, the Continental Chairman of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), had told Unificationists that when 12 couples finish blessing 430 couples each in America, great things will happen to the nation. Tomiko was determined to help America reach this goal: “I just felt I owe so much to this nation. True Father invited many Japanese people to America because he wanted us live and see the world.” She continued, “Because I was here, because of True Parents, I was able to see the world.”

Her gratitude for True Parents further drove her desire to fulfill this mission. “I really had a lot to offer to True Parents because of how much they have trained me and loved me,” she said. “So that was my heart—to give back to True Parents for all they have given to me.”

Because of Tomiko’s boundless appreciation for True Parents, the announcement that True Mother will be coming to Madison Square Garden on July 15 proved to be an opportunity to give back to True Mother. “I am grateful to True Mother, who stands as a true daughter of God,” Tomiko said. “She makes me want to be a true daughter of God, so I wanted to give her good news. I wanted to finish 430 couples before True Mother comes to New York as an offering to welcome True Mother.”

Feeling the love of God once more, Tomiko began tearing up as she explained that her dedication to bring joy to True Parents was rooted in their heart for God: “True Parents were really telling me, ‘Do not start from your point of view. Live, think, and start from God’s point of view.’” She continued, “I felt God told me, ‘I trained you to live for this nation!’” With this loving guidance forever entrenched in her heart, Tomiko has continued to commit herself to America, to True Parents, and to God, who have loved her so dearly.  

UNITY THROUGH A CULTURE OF LOVE AND PRAYER

As God’s love was all around in Tomiko’s life, she was fearless in her course to help 450 couples complete the holy juice ceremony. She remarked, “I realized that God was very much alive, walking with me, side by side. So, I had no problem meeting people, testifying about my Heavenly Parent.”

Her approach in meeting strangers was also founded on God. “Before speaking to them, I would have this mentality that I should really pray for each and every one of the 430 couples.” Thus, her first question to each couple was a request asking to pray together. “Let’s create a culture of prayer for our nation,” Tomiko would suggest to the strangers. As many of them were of religious faith, they responded positively to her request and agreed to do so—even when Tomiko had stopped them in the middle of a sidewalk.

Tomiko also engaged in conversation and began to develop relationships with people through the common value of family. When she asked people about the importance of family and love, they would stop to hear what she had to say, many accepting the Holy Wine. Although there were still people who disengaged from conversation, Tomiko’s commitment to True Parents and her mission did not waver.

Tomiko recalled one recent encounter in which she had asked a woman if she could pray for her. The woman agreed, but told Tomiko, “I never stop for people, but I stopped for you because of a dream I had last night. A stranger asked if she could pray for me.” Moved by the way God created the situation, Tomiko and the woman passionately prayed for each other in front of a grocery store.

Despite these great moments and her achievements, Tomiko remains driven to give more back to True Parents: “This is not the end; I will continue,” said Tomiko, with True Parents in her heart.

Join the Blessing campaign for more inspiring testimonies and to give back to True Parents!

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An African-American Blessed couple, Rev. Elma and Rev. Jeddie King, from FFWPU USA District 5 (Florida), are pioneering their way as Tribal Messiahs and creating the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth through their home church ministry.

This couple made it on the front page of the Osceola News Gazette in an article highlighting an event they will host on June 24 called “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” at the Kings’ Home Church in Kissimmee. This event will feature a Marriage Blessing Rededication Ceremony and education on topics including marriage and the importance of raising a strong family. The event will also feature dinner, a concert, and prizes.

“Marriage is about two people, a couple. Separate, you are just one person,” Rev. Elma King told the Gazette. “We cannot find love all by ourselves.”

Couples in attendance will also be encouraged to share personal stories and testimony of their relationships.

“People often love sharing their stories of when they met, how they met, and how long they have been married,” said Rev. Elma King. “Love is a powerful thing.”

This couple, with a heart of a filial daughter and son to our True Parents, are inheriting the tradition and becoming true parents to their own tribe, which is expanding with 360 homes and 1,337 members, all of whom they have included in their Tribal Messiah Binder and who they pray for daily.

Rev. Elma stated, “We are co-creators. Being Tribal Messiahs allows us to show our own creativity to the God who created us. He didn’t make us cookie cutters. We don’t wait for others to tell us what to do. We have the Word, we need to live it.”

As a tribe, the Kings have made their private home into a public home church where workshops, services, weddings, Blessing Ceremonies, marriages, birthday celebrations, and family meetings are held.

Rev. Elma shared, “A world full of home churches is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This is why True Parents visit us so much. It seems as though their presence is with us at times. I am taking the lead, as they told me to do.”

Rev. Elma added, “I want us to be a couple that True Mother brags about when she reports to God. We bring others into the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth by giving, and giving again; this is Tribal Messiahship.”

Latest from the Tribe

The following are the latest updates from our tribal messiahs all around the nation. Visit our Share page to share about your own experiences and insights or our About page for more information about how to become a tribal messiah.


District 3: Elizabeth

The Elizabeth Family Church shared the Holy Wine and Blessing with two couples in a local Marriage Blessing Ceremony on April 30. Initially, six couples confirmed to attend the Blessing Ceremony, but only one couple could actually make it. Undeterred by this turn of events, members of the Elizabeth community took to the streets outside the church to invite passersby to attend. Read more about their exciting experience here.

District 8: Minnesota

Dennis and Mayuri Hoffman were invited by Rev. Hyungtae Ha to give a testimony on their witnessing and Blessing activities in Minnesota. This was part of a two-day experience from April 15-16, during which time participants went out with the Hoffmans to witness and gave the Blessing to 14 people.

Contributed by Tomoko Taira, District 8 Witnessing and Education (W/E) Coordinator

District 12: Los Angeles

The Los Angeles chapter of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) introduced the Divine Principle to 19 brand-new guests in April. They also ran several workshops, including a “culture war” seminar with 41 participants; a life of faith seminar presented by Pastor George Kazakos with 34 participants; and a HARP, or High School Association for the Research of Principles, workshop, which offered Divine Principle education to 66 students. The culture war and life of faith seminars were both attended by a mix of first- and second-generation Unificationists.

Contributed by Naoko Hiraki, District 12 W/E Coordinator

Hawaii

Tribal Messiahs in Hawaii started evening Divine Principle programs for guests and families at the end of March, continuing every Friday evening through April at our new center by the University of Hawaii.

We serve dinner at 6:30 p.m., prepared by volunteers, and sometimes by second-generation Unificationists or even new members. After dinner, new guests will hear an introductory lecture on the Divine Principle and returning guests will listen to a consecutive lecture. After the presentations, people have a chance to ask questions and engage in an open discussion over refreshments. An older contact who has come to Sunday service for the past few years recently started to study Divine Principle on a regular basis, and another contact who became a bit distant now comes regularly to study the Principle again. A member who has recently joined is unable to come to Sunday service due to his work, but is coming over now to study Divine Principle with other guests.

Ongoing Divine Principle education is a great activity, not only for guests, but also for those who prepare to give lectures. It has given a way for members of our community to come together, and families to support the evening programs together with their older children. We will continue to invite more people and would like to develop a good step-by-step Divine Principle education system.

Contributed by Keiko Nakama, Hawaii W/E Coordinator

Contributed by Rev. Larry Krishnek, Cheon Il Guk IW

Our small town of Ferndale, WA. (population 12,741) is big on its relationship with Minamiboso, her sister city in Japan.

Last October, after 26 years as sister cities, a delegation of guests from Minamiboso visited Ferndale. There aren’t many Japanese in our town so when our neighbors and fellow Unificationists, Arnold and Setsuko Evanson, volunteered to help, the mayor and other organizers were delighted. 
 
 
The event was great for the Japanese guests, for our local citizens, and for several of our local FFWPU families who helped prepare or attended the event. 
 
Every two years, Ferndale hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival that highlights Japanese culture. Serious fans of all things Japanese couldn’t wait for two years, so on this off year, the Taka Hashi Celebration was kicked off.  
 
 
The event was wonderful. Setsuko Evanson and Akemi Krishnek volunteered to help with preparation and at the celebration.  The turnout was great, with people of all ages coming to experience the best of Japan. 
 
It’s wonderful to be able to participate in the social life our our hometown, to make a contribution and to develop new friendships. 
 

After Famicon 2017, Masako and I were able to gather with the Reno Family Church members to supply them with Holy Wine and inspiration about the great things happening in our American Family Federation. We shared some of the highlights of all the wonderful reports and events which were shared at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC). The Reno families were excited to hear all the news and especially to learn about the families who have already accomplished Tribal Messiahship in America. The hope and belief that they gained from this gathering was reflected in the determination that they made to move forward and be victorious blessed families. The Seung family were so determined and confident that they went out immediately after the meeting and blessed a family that they know. Reno, we can do it!

Contributed by Rev. Kevin Thompson, District 11 Pastor

Join the Blessing America Campaign

Every day before July 15 is an opportunity to build your tribe and bring a substantial offering for True Mother’s arrival. Join the team, participate in support calls, gain access to resources and hear inspiring stories from around the country. Be a part of a network of committed Tribal Messiahs who are actively pursuing their mission to bless one million Americans. 

At heavenlytribe.org, you can gain access to new resources, inspiring stories, and promotion materials such as banners, logos, certificates, applications and more to help you thrive in your Tribal Messiah mission!

This week’s Blessing America Campaign conference call featured Claudette Kambara, an accomplished Tribal Messiah, seen in the picture below. Claudette has a tribe of 430 families who has now entered the stage of tribal care.

Join the campaign for more inspiring testimonies, including the incredible story of a sister from Hawaii who is actively pursuing her role as a tribal messiah, which will be featured next week.

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The Marriage Blessing is a beautiful gift that is meant to be shared. That is why Unificationists often feel called to spread the values of the Blessing to their families and communities, both locally and globally. The process, known as tribal messiahship, can be a challenge. This is especially true in Ghana, where cultural factors and competition with other, more widespread religious groups make Unification evangelism difficult.

For years, Unificationists in Ghana have promoted their message with little success. That all changed when Rev. Georges and Josefa Tegha, a New Jersey couple who received the Marriage Blessing in Korea in 1989, decided to visit. It is the mission of Rev. Tegha, who is Cameroonian, and his wife Josefa, to bring Unification family values to as many people as they can. During their recent two-month stay in Ghana, the Teghas met with village leaders, tribal chiefs, and government officials to discuss marriage and family values. They also blessed a record 45 couples.

To offer ongoing support to the recently blessed couples, the Teghas and other Ghanaian Unificationists have created an educational program that promotes Unification family values. The Tegha’s son, Itia, is among those who will be there for Ghana’s newest Unificationists.

Find more resources and support on heavenlytribe.org 

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The Portland Family Church held a two-day book and plant sale to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and 23 at the local church center located in West Linn, Oregon. The church center is located next to the highway, which is always busy with the vehicles of neighbors in town. The sign for sale outside of the church attracted many guests during the weekend.

Local Unificationist Richard Stumpf said, “It’s spring time, so a lot of the neighbors stopped in to buy plants.  We had an assortment of flowers and vegetables including tomatoes, kale, beets and cabbage.”  

Opening the place to the community is a way of natural witnessing, which Portland Unificationist families are pursuing regularly. In fact, the Portland Family Church also partners with the Church of the Small Voice to hold meditation service on Saturday morning, and their partnership with the Dances of Universal Peace provides an hour of worship dancing after service on the first Sunday of the month.

On Sunday during the Earth Day celebration, Rev. Eric Sylte, Portland Family Church pastor, gave a sermon titled, “The Cosmic Center” related to Earth Day. In his sermon, Rev. Sylte emphasized, “We are grateful to God, our Heavenly Parent, who gives us life, love, and stewardship over the creation.” Afterward, a number of families joined the sale and enjoyed the moments filled with plants and books.

On April 30, 2017, we held a half-day Japanese Tribal Messiah workshop at the Clifton Family Church in New Jersey with 89 people in attendance. We held the We Can Do It workshop three times before, but over 50% of the Clifton congregation is Japanese, so many of them could not participate because of the language barrier. I heard some Japanese members wished for Japanese version of the We Can Do It workshop, so Demian Dunkley, Family Federation USA National Witnessing and Education Director, Mr. and Mrs. Inose, President of Kodan USA, Pastor Manoj Jacob, District 3 Pastor, Kodan Regional Leader Mrs. Yoko Burns, and I decided to have a Japanese Heavenly Tribal Messiah workshop.

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We spent many hours thinking about what kind of program would most support our members to move forward as Tribal Messiahs. We also provided English translation for Western members of the Clifton community because we wanted to share the workshop content with everybody.

The Japanese brothers and sisters in Clifton, inspired by the Kodan leaders who attended a prayer workshop with Mrs. Onni Durst in San Francisco one month ago, created a prayer chain and prayed to God and the spiritual world for the success of this workshop for two hours each day for seven days leading up to the workshop. I felt that God and our spiritual ancestors are telling us to testify to the living God, the grace of True Parents and the good spirits who are supporting us around the whole world. From this experience, once again I realized the importance of prayer and of unity, especially among leaders, and felt that my prayer was reaching God and the spiritual realm. On the day of the workshop, 89 Japanese and Western members of our community participated. We learned from Mr. Inose about the importance of having the heart of filial children as tribal messiahs and the opportunity for husband and wife to grow and complete each other more through Tribal Messiahship. On the foundation of that spiritual guidance from Mr. Inose, we picked trinities by lottery for a three-month trial of Tribal Messiahship.

Demian held a Q&A session regarding the activities of witnessing and the Marriage Blessing and we had witnessing practice. He also demonstrated how to bless our guests as a trinity and we all practiced officiating a simple Marriage Blessing Ceremony. Lastly, we had offering time as Tribal Messiah before the True Parents.

Because we want to preserve the spirit of this workshop, we plan to gather once a month and discuss our Tribal Messiahship activities for the next three months. Some of the workshop attendees said afterward that through their experience practicing the Blessing, they now believe they can do it, too. At first we were anxious about choosing our trinities through the lottery, but God had already pushed me to take a step forward and so I felt God was working with us.

I can’t forget True Mother’s commitment in front of True Father. She will complete the providence of restoration and build Cheon Il Guk. We will stand for True Parents.

Thank you.

Contributed by Atsushi Takino, Witnessing and Education Coordinator, District 3

My 40 Days in Thailand

During the Famicon conference that was held at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas from April 3 to 6, 2017, Friederun Abrahams from Tennessee gave a testimony about the 40 days that she spent in Thailand from January 8 to February 27, pursuing Tribal Messiahship together with Sukhont Convery from Philadelphia. The following is a written report of that testimony.


Our planning started one year ago, when Sukhont and I started making prayer conditions and Hoon Dok Hwe conditions in order to prepare ourselves for our trip to Thailand. Our goal was to give Divine Principle lectures and the Marriage Blessing to Sukhont’s many relatives and friends and contacts in Singuli, her hometown in Thailand.

One-third of the town’s population is made up of her cousins from a family that has lived there for at least four generations, is very well known and respected, and has donated and contributed to the community and local Buddhist temples. Sukhont has eight siblings, and her parents and grandparents as well had at least that many siblings on both sides. The name of her grandmother is written on a school which she donated and built near her ancestral home. Sukhont has gone there repeatedly to witness to her friends and family, and 10 years ago she gave the Holy Wine to at least 500 people in the town. Some of her cousins are teachers, and many others are business owners and are very wealthy.

Sukhont trusted me as a lecturer and invited me to join her in Singuli so that she could focus on each person as she translated the lectures for them. Also every day Sukhont coordinated our activities as I focused on studying the Divine Principle and True Father’s speeches. Therefore we really experienced the spiritual world very actively helping us!

Sukhont has long been very active in the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and other related activities, investing her whole heart. So I respected her a lot and felt honored to help her with this. Honestly, I had felt like a dry desert, unable to find even one person who was interested in hearing the greatest truth that humankind had ever heard, the Divine Principle. For over 20 years I hadn’t brought even one person to be active with our movement. I felt I could not face our Heavenly Parent.

Our first step, after arriving in Thailand, was to meet with the national FFWPU leader. After many years of heavy persecution and three years of imprisonment, this brother accomplished the goal of giving the Marriage Blessing to 430 couples in his own tribe, working together with some of his spiritual children and another Thai leader who had been imprisoned with him.

He described three types of Tribal Messiahship:

  1. an established tribe of relatives in one area, which is how Sukhont was working,
  2. the relatives of one’s spiritual children, and other people in their area, which is how this leader was working,
  3. home church-type areas that we build up.

This leader gave us all the details of how to facilitate a Marriage Blessing in Thailand, including having a Buddhist priest present to sprinkle the Holy Water. We also had 10 VIPs present, three of whom gave a speech. One cousin made a flyer for us to give out, which invited people to the Blessing, described as “a celebration of marriage and family.” We also had a banner made (Sukhont’s cousin, a teacher, freely offered to do this for us!).

A Thai sister and her husband, who also had fulfilled the goal of giving the 430 Couple Blessing, came freely to officiate for us. This sister gave a speech clearly explaining the meaning of the Blessing, the Holy Wine, and Father and Mother Moon as our True Parents. They also brought a screen with True Parents’ pictures, since I had only a small photo with me because of traveling.

The Blessing ceremony took place on our last day in Sukhont’s hometown, with 57 people attending the ceremony; unfortunately more than half of them did not bring their spouse. But most attendees were very educated people. There were two school principals (one of whom was a PhD), teachers, a lawyer and his wife, the second-in-command to the governor and his wife, and several village leaders.

The room was the largest air-conditioned room at one of the local schools. We spent a lot of time, at the request of the principals and teachers, teaching character education. In addition, in the evenings some children came to the house of Sukhont’s sister, where we were staying, to practice speaking English.

From the first day in Sukhont’s hometown we spoke to several people a day and could teach Divine Principle, which was received with enthusiasm and interest. Usually it was a relative and his/her spouse or a group of 10 or more. On Saturdays the village leader gathered the villagers, and there usually were 40 to 50 people. We taught them Divine Principle three times.

Another group to whom we taught Divine Principle were 60 people of a volunteer group of wealthy retirees who teach poor villagers skills to earn a living. This group was headed by one of Sukhont’s cousins, who introduced us to them. After that, they continually wanted us to visit them, and several of them came to the Blessing. There was one top government official with who heard all of the Divine Principle over five evenings, as well as a testimony of True Parents’ life. He invited his sister and her husband to the Blessing ceremony, and he also volunteered to be the photographer.

The first week we were there, we also were asked by one of Sukhont’s cousins, a teacher, to present the first chapter of the Divine Principle during an awards ceremony at the town high school with about 100 people present, including all the teachers.

We also went several times to the “coffee shop” where Sukhont’s dad went for 50 years every morning. Everyone there remembered him. We met a policeman there to whom we gave the Divine Principle. A top community leader and former principal, after hearing the introduction to the Divine Principle, promptly called his successor, who wanted us to give a lecture on the environment (the Third Blessing!) to 25 village leaders a week later. Each time, of course, we gave the participants the Holy Wine.

We also had no transportation in very hot weather, so we either walked or else rode in a Tuk-Tuk (auto rickshaw).

We met the acting minister of the only Christian church in the area, who told us about her feeling God’s heart and her difficulties in bringing people to the church. It is a new and big church, which Sukhont’s cousin helped build with his money after converting to Christianity. But only eight or 10 people attend it; they are simple people who have had healing experiences.

We gave the pastor the Divine Principle, and she was grateful and very receptive and also very sad when we said goodbye. We also gave the lecture on the Three Blessings to the small congregation.

Sukhont always gave donations to religious groups, schools, volunteer groups, and the two of us gave a lot of little presents to people we met. Sukhont also broke down barriers by always laughing with anyone!

One thing that moved me very much is the traditional greeting that all Thai people give each other: praying hands over your heart and a slight bow. There is still respect shown toward each other, especially children toward the elders!

It reminded me of True Father’s explanation that God equals two that have become one (two hands put together vertically).

In conclusion:

  1. Both of us felt the key is to make heartistic relationships that are eternal.
  2. I am all in, no holding back. Giving up my comfort zone.
  3. True Father said: prayer and commitment.
  4. We had the approach of “promoting the family” and “establishing the culture of heart” through the FFWPU, not another religion!

Thailand does not have the divisions in religion that we have in the United States. People there have an Old Testament faith with five commandments (Buddhism) and a visual faith (the bigger the statue, the more faith!). Many do not think about life after death, so talking about the spirit world really brings out their interest.

So for us here in the United States, our all-out efforts, working together with commitment and follow-up and investing all our heart, should bring what we have been waiting for: results in Tribal Messiahship.

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