A Letter from Dr Michael & Fumiko Balcomb
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings from London as we conclude this month of October! Once again, we offer our thanks to True Mother for the grace and blessings bestowed on us all throughout this month. Thank you everyone for your hard work and dedication.
As we are all aware, our Europe and Middle East Region is currently in the midst of a “2nd Wave” of Covid-19 infections, and several nations have already reintroduced partial or total lockdowns. The situation in the United Kingdom is also becoming increasingly serious.
While there are different opinions about the best way to cope with the pandemic, our Holy Community in Europe has already been much affected. Many of you know about the good news of the recovery of Carolyn Handschin, our EUME WFWP President following urgent hospitalization. However, in another incident, a fairly young Russian sister, Olesya Bogdanova (48) passed to the Spirit World from Covid-19 last Friday. Our prayers are with her family, and with all those who are sick at this time.
Elsewhere, we recently held a HARP workshop at the Camberg Training Center in Germany that unfortunately led to a number infections. Even though we prepared the facility well according to German government guidelines, in the end the young people were not able to adequately maintain social distancing measures. As a result, more than 20 contracted Coronavirus and in some cases, they spread it to their families when they returned home. The organizers did their best to track and inform everyone, and at the time of writing, luckily, no one has become seriously ill.
In light of the above, I am again reminded of True Mother’s guidance to us back in March. It is my recommendation to all members to exercise great caution. Even in those locations where local regulations may still permit gatherings, we must consider very carefully whether safety can be maintained. Consequently, most programs until the end of the year and beyond will have to take place online.
This implies that for the upcoming Rally of Hope on November 22, it may not be possible to host in-person gatherings or “watch parties” in our region. In particular, we will not be able to gather Korean War Veterans, as has been proposed by IHQ. Due to their advanced age they are in the most vulnerable category. However, we are thinking of other creative ways to acknowledge their service and sacrifice.
I know that all families around our region will as always support True Mother’s events including the Rally of Hope by attending the live broadcast on PeaceLink, and we will again produce a regional version to be shown later the following day, as we have done previously. Everything goes well!
Michael & Fumiko Balcomb
Regional Group President, Europe & the Middle East