Return of the Jedi

Gunnard Z. Johnston
Abel National Messiah to Lithuania
Thursday, 18 November 1999
Lithuania Family Church

Like an old penny, you can't get rid of me so easily. Thanks very much for your warm re-welcome, dear brothers and sisters.

Our nation of Lithuania was given certain goals for the Blessing, and we have been investing all our energy to meet these expectations of True Parents and Dr. Seuk. The entire Northeast Continent has the goal of 50,000,000 Blessings; our country has the goal of 700,000.

We have four full-time native members, plus myself and my wife and our seven year old son (he's given Blessings, too!). We did a forty-day witnessing campaign this past summer where we went to the busiest town in the country on the coast of the Baltic Sea. We all did street lecturing and witnessing for twelve hours a day! (Summer days are LONG in the Baltics!) We used a portable chalkboard and placed it right on the busiest road leading to the beach. The mayor told me to move, and I said if he made us move I would have no choice but to contact my Senators, Congressman, and the US State Department section on Religious Freedom. The mayor gave us an even BETTER place to witness and lecture.

About 10,000 people a day would pass by. Many would stop and listen for a few minutes, some for an hour, some sat down on the street and listened for three days! Our members are three beautiful young sisters and one brother. The youngest sister joined only seven months ago. She is strong and comes from good stock: her mother is a local judge (!), and her dad is the headmaster of a school (they do all 12 forms -- or grades -- over here) which just became a "gymnasium", which is the top level of school; most graduates go on to college (has nothing to do with sports). They have been to our center several times, at first with very stern and worried looks on their faces, since their only daughter had just committed to joining our movment. But now they have seen their daughter giving lectures on Pure Love and True Family, so they are very relieved. They understand we doing good things, but they still think we are maybe "too idealistic"! We tell them that the "ideal" is becoming "reality", don't worry.

Since September we've been completely focused on making our rather substantial goal of 700,000 Blessings. With our limited number of workers, it has required some creativity, and long steady hours of time invested. We now give the Blessing Certificate -- Four Blessing Vows plus the Pure Love Pledge, with an introduction that this comes from True Parents, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. We put this in every mailbox in the country. We also mention that the Family Federation was founded by True Parents in Washington in 1996, with Presidents Bush and Ford with their wives in attendance. So far so good. Some negative newspaper articles and twisted television has appeared, but God's power is stronger than Satan's.

Behold! God's Kingdom is at hand! Rejoice!

With hard work, faith, and God's love power we shall overcome and build His Kingdom onn this earth at this time!

Warm regards to all,

Gunnard Johnston