Montana

June 17 - 23, 2001

We had a very exciting week as the flames of the Holy Spirit continued to be fanned here in the Big Sky Country.

We had two major events this week. The first was our participation in the Western Days Parade Celebration hosted by the Billings Jaycees. Under the banner of "The Family Church" and with the theme "Families on the Frontier", we participated in this parade with our own float (a car pulling a trailer decorated in the theme of the parade). We had about 20 youth and 10 adults participating. One member of our church, a retired city bus driver, was the driver for our float. We had youth and some adults under the leadership of Chad Martin, on the trailer, singing Christian songs, dressed in western cloths, wearing cowboy hats, sitting on hay bales and saddles on top of hay
bales with a beautiful backdrop of a country scene with the top stenciled The Family Church, Families on the Frontier (painted by our UTS intern Manabu "Mark" Yamashita).

Other adults and youth, dressed in cowboy hats and other western cloths, walked in the parade handing out over 6,000 pieces of Holy Candy. The crowded was huge and lined up on both sides of the streets greeting ours and other participates in the parade. It was a wonderful opportunity to witness to the whole city (since it also was on TV) about our church. Secondly, in the spirit of the 40 days witnessing condition, we prayed that this external blessing of Holy Candy could internally bless the people of our city and the many other people who traveled from other cities to view this parade.

We heard many wonderful comments like "That is a good idea", "Good job", or even a mother nudging her daughter and pointing and saying "Look at that neat Christian float" to friends, home church members and associates applauding from the sidewalk. There is not a better feeling for God and True Parents than to walk down the main street America and have people applaud the Family Church (which is in my heart applauding Heavenly Father and our True Parents!). Indeed, I am proud of all the members young and old who worked hard for this to come about

Our second event was our 4th revival of this 40-day condition. In the spirit of the day, we helped host the Juneteenth Revival Celebration on June 23rd. As a member of the Billings Black History Coalition, we had the opportunity to help coordinate this event in the local South Park. Three clergy and an evangelist along with over 50 participates sang and celebrated this date in American History when African Americans were officially freed (in Texas) under the emancipation Proclamation. The newspaper did a great job in covering the event. Our church worked hard in the background helping
to coordinate this event and was very happy to have the other community
leaders, especially African-American, lead in the revival celebration and jubilee. As several leaders stated, "Your church is so much a part of our community family. We are so happy to have you part of our celebration." Since our local church is mostly white, Asian, Native American and Hispanic, this was a wonder compliment to our entire church.

In this report and reflection, I have thought that perhaps in these 40 days it is not necessarily that we see the vast spiritual phenomena (although very important and special). Rather, I see the great power of the Holy Spirit guiding us in different ways as to be able to testify to the community in joy and applauds our church on Main Street America or to be able to share in revivals in local parks and churches being accepted and loved beyond race, color and creed. Perhaps, we must look deeply and maybe
not always overtly the wonderful power and spirit of the Holy Ghost!

We feel that Paul and Kimiko DiLorenzo, who just recently arrived back from Chyung Pyung, also brought back with them more of that precious spirit to help and aid in our success.

With gratitude to the local members and to the great leadership of our Regional Leader Bishop Kang and Vice Regional Leader Rev. Wiesinger, we praise God and True Parents and say, "Come Holy Spirit Come!"


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