Success in Cote D’Ivoire Despite Missed Flights
November 7, 2006
On less than two weeks notice, we prepared for eight Ambassadors for Peace to arrive, but at the last moment, unfortunately only 3 of our 8 honorable guests arrived on time, with the other five having missed the flight due the short connection time in France. Even if we were all surprised, the show must go on, and we had another great challenge to organize 5 rallies with only 3 key speakers.
The welcoming party took place in Mr. Gbocho Emmanuel’s residence. He is the chairman of UPF in Cote D’Ivoire. As it was late, the next day’s schedule was given by Mr. Doumbia Adama, West Africa Sub region II. It appeared that two of the three AFP would have to hold two rallies each on the same day.
As Divo City was expected to gather more than 1000 people, Archbishop Adelekan was assigned there with the key staff to insure a total success. Mr. Greg Odlin was sent to Yamoussoukro and Dimbokro, only 60 km apart, and Mrs. Sylvia Mc Conico was guided to the nearest venues, Abobo area – a suburb to Abidjan - in a Pentecost Church, and Agboville, a near city, distant only of 68 km.
It was the first time an evangelical church held a UPF event in their sanctuary, thanks to the local pastor, Rev Vako Michel. During the reading of the speech all the audience of 800 people followed very carefully. The entire congregation was overwhelmed when the Pastor of the church was appointed as AFP. He himself admitted that he has received a new mission from UPF, to reconcile where there is conflict. As soon as Rev. Mc Conico gave her speech she had to leave for Agboville, where the event was held in the city hall.
The temple of the Celestial Church in Yamoussoukro was packed with the 300 people. The evangelist in charge of the church has been a peace ambassador for a year now, and he mobilized his supporters who came that day at 10 AM to receive the blessing. It was the first established church in the country to conduct the World Peace Blessing Ceremony.
The Dimbokro ceremony included at least 200 people from the city’s Muslim community, Christian pastors and some political leaders and administrative authorities of the city. The ceremony was delayed for one hour until Greg Odlin arrived there at 11 PM at night!
In Divo, Archbishop Adelekan got the chance to speak to an audience in the presence of the Mayor, the secretary general of the Prefecture and the 1st Deputy President of the General Council of Divo. The Archbishop spoke with a great conviction about the need to break all barriers and to end religion and nation divisions and he gave a powerful prayer. This all took place almost 4 hours later than the settled schedule, but the Mayor himself promised to organize and invite the Ambassadors For Peace within 3 month to correct that situation. He was moved by the message given by Archbishop Adelekan.
Everywhere the Ambassadors for Peace have passed, the seed of love and peace have been planted. They are so inspired and the words coming from them are like fresh water which washes away the evil in people and opens a way for peace to come on earth. They have really given hope to Ivorians who are passing through a time of unprecedented crisis. Hopefully they can come again and again!!!! Through this special experience with ACLC members, we got a way to continue the Tour in more cities. People are so concerned about peace that they are more receptive to the message The way has been opened to breakthrough.
On Nov. 9, we were hoping that the Ambassadors for Peace could meet with President Gbagbo. But due to his busy schedule it was not possible. However the special counselor of the President for religion promised that when AFP will return in Cote d’Ivoire on Nov. 20, they will be received by the President.
However, the appointment with US ambassador Hobray Hooks took place as planned at his residence. We were 16 in number to meet the Ambassador, including the eight US Ambassadors for Peace and eight Ivorian representatives. It was the first time the Ambassador could meet with UPF members and hear about the UPF vision.