Since February 18, tribal messiahs from all around the world have gathered at the Cheongah Camp in Korea for the Heavenly Tribal Messiah Academy workshop. The workshop has been an opportunity for tribal messiahs to connect beyond the national level, while reminding them about the essence of tribal messiahship: blessing 430 couples is just the beginning, and the work of the tribal messiah does not stop until the entire world is freed from suffering.
Day 1 – Opening Ceremony
The workshop kicked off on Sunday night with an extensive opening ceremony. Rev. Yong Jin-Hun, the Heavenly Tribal Messiah Academy President, emceed the program.
14 regional directors were appointed for the HTMA (Heavenly Tribal Messiah Academy). Though he could not be there in person, Demian Dunkley, Evangelism and Education Director of the Family Federation for a Heavenly USA, was appointed as the director for HTMA of North America.
The official awards ceremony for all those who had officiated the Blessing for 430 couples, including 12 American couples, was also held. Revs. Jeddie and Elma King served as representatives for the American team, receiving the award presented by Wonju McDevitt, Chief of Staff for True Mother’s Secretariat, and Yoon Young-Ho, Secretary General of FFWPU International, on behalf of True Mother.
Rev. Ken Sudo, highly respected Unificationist elder and a long-time teacher for the movement, was also recognized as a tribal messiah.
Mrs. McDevitt delivered the welcoming remarks to the hundreds of tribal messiahs who had gathered that night: “Tribal messiahship is the cornerstone to build a heavenly nation, a heavenly world, and a heavenly cosmos. It is the essence of our movement. Congratulations to you all and thank you for your dedication!”
Rev. Chung Sik Yong, regional director for FFWPU in Asia, then gave congratulatory remarks. In his address, Rev. Yong spoke about True Mother’s words: that the next two years are the time for the greatest results for filial sons and daughters. “Once we bless 430 couples, we realize that we cannot rest. This is just the starting point. Being here gives us a higher motivation to continue to expand our tribes. Because without multiplication, there can only be stagnation.”
Hori Masaichi, an older second-generation Unificationist from Japan probed into how to witness: “An exchange of heart needs to come first, then spiritual transformation, a shared culture, and Divine Principle study come naturally.”
He also said rather than focus on numbers, transformation, or membership alone in our outreach, we should be focusing on raising owners, sharing our faith, and “spreading” our faith to our own families first.
The night closed with a banquet and entertainment: two second gen vocalists, “Musica Eterna,” sang as well as Apple Heaven. Claudette Kambara, one of the American Tribal Messiahs who was recognized at the workshop, said she was crying as she ate because she felt so much love in the food, the venue: in everything that has been prepared and given by True Parents.
Day 2 – What is Tribal Messiahship?
On the second day of the 2018 Special Workshop for Heavenly Tribal Messiahs, the participants began to delve into the main content of the workshop.
Professor Oh Taek Yang presented on the theology and the meaning of Heavenly Tribal Messiahship, providing insights based on True Parents’ teachings on the subject, touching on such topics as our human destiny to resemble God’s creativity and become qualified to govern the created world as true owners.”Heavenly Tribal Messiahship is not about witnessing, increasing the quantity of our members [or the size of our church]. It is about creating a Godly nation, a nation centered on God….We have to become true parents, [ourselves]. This is the key of True Parents’ words,” he said. He also emphasized, as others before him, the theme that once a Tribal Messiah has Blessed 430 couples their attitude is not “now it is finished” but “now it is beginning.”
Next, Professor Yoon Do-Young highlighted the underlying principles of the success of Tribal Messiahs around the world. Rev. Yong Jin-Hun, director of the HTMA International Headquarters, offered the final presentation for the day on the lifestyle of the Heavenly Tribal Messiah. Both presentations were very practical in nature since the content was derived from the experiences of Tribal Messiahs themselves.
Interspersed between these three presentations were testimonies from successful Tribal Messiahs from Brazil, Thailand, and Zambia. Particular attention was given throughout the day to one of the testimony givers, Mr. Ronachit Phutthala, a government official in Thailand who has conducted many Marriage Blessing ceremonies and freely testifies to True Parents now that he has inherited their heart and accepted their vision as a Tribal Messiah himself. “By helping each other, we can create even more warmness and understanding. Then we can also improve the efficiency of the economy, not centered on money or addictions to material things but based on the philosophy of sufficiency in life advocated by the King [of Thailand] and of love and philosophy advocated by True Parents,” he said.
The Tribal Messiahs also participated in two significant exercises today. The first was an hour-long group discussion in which they discussed one of two questions on current issues facing Tribal Messiahs: how to raise up tribe members filial to True Parents and what kind of education would be most supportive for Tribal Messiah activities.
The day then concluded with the second exercise in which the HTMs were invited to express their longing for True Parents in letters to True Father and True Mother. Candles were lit throughout the room to set the atmosphere and roses were passed out to each participant as an expression of love from True Parents, in turn. They sang “Saranghae Dangshineul” (“I Love You”), a favorite of our True Parents.
Stay tuned on heavenlytribe.org for more from the Heavenly Tribal Messiahship Academy!