CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Education on Family Values in Panama
Written by UPF International
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Panama and its 3 million people are finding new energy as a strategically important nation for uniting the Americas. The Central American nation is experiencing economic growth, with its Canal as the strategic transportation link and as a financial hub which prides itself as the largest free-trade zone in the Americas. On the other hand, there is much concern because 40 percent of the population is poor, 80 percent of the mothers are single mothers, and there are serious drug-abuse and moral problems among the youth. Because of this, many government and civic leaders are inspired to become Ambassadors for Peace and work with the UPF movement.
Dr. Hyun Jin Moon arrived on April 17, 2008 at the Miramar Hotel, which is located among a forest of tall buildings in Panama City. He applauded local leaders’ hard work and talked about his father’s vision of a movement transcending cultures and religions that would fulfill the universal ideal of One Family Under God.
Roxana Mendez, who manages an educational project Casa Esperanza, to improve the lives of single mothers, paid a visit. When Hyun Jin Moon asked her opinion about the family, she described various types of households that can be considered families. He acknowledged that many different kinds of families exist and referred to traditional family values and roles that have stood the test of time, suggesting that they should not be changed. While it’s important to care for single mothers and their children, he advocates teaching a standard based on God's true love. He further stated that family values can be expanded to the society, citing examples of businessmen who uphold Christian values and contribute substantially to society.
A welcoming dinner was attended by a number of Panamanian senators, mayors, NGO leaders, and Ambassadors for Peace who have attended previous International Leadership Conferences. Fabio Perez, president of Panama’s Martial Arts Association, described how he teaches the principles of peace to martial arts students. He also said that education in family values is much needed in Panama.
Hyun Jin Moon apologized for not having time to talk at length individually with each person present. He described the vision of One Family under God, emphasizing especially the importance of education. “Panama should concentrate on education,” he said, “because education is the key to saving this nation. However, education of the mind is not enough. It is important to educate the heart. The family is the first line of defense against the destruction of society. As a father of eight children (soon to be nine), if I do not live by family principles, what will happen to my family and children? It’s time to establish the value of the family and strengthen it as the foundation of society.”
He challenged people in the audience to become the leaders of leaders, urging them to recognize that "if a nation has abundant resources but still experiences poverty and corruption, it is because of problems with the leadership. If leaders make One Family under God their platform, a completely new nation can emerge.”
About 60 people participated in the International Leadership Conference. In the keynote address, Hyun Jin Moon described Panama as a bridge that connects both East and West and the North American continent with the South American continent, He envisions Panama as a spark for igniting the vision of One Family under God throughout the American hemisphere.
“UPF was launched centered on the universal values of One Family under God. These values started with the dream of a young boy who would later become my father, and a promise that he made to God. His life was full of suffering; however, his will never changed.”
He challenged the audience to break free from their limitations and open the way for a new world beyond the walls that separate people of different religions, races, and cultures. “If Panama advances with this type of vision, then your nation can influence your neighbors, your region, and your entire continent.”
Before departing for Lima, Peru, Hyun Jin Moon visited the Panama Canal and the rainforest.
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