Contributed by John Mckewen
This past weekend, John and Helen Abelseth came to Alberta to share their valuable information, knowledge, and wisdom on matching preparation with the families here. We met at the home of Randy and Leah Quiazon in Camrose on Saturday, June 23 and 24. On the 24th, they guided a Matching Supporter Training.
The meeting was well attended as most Alberta families were able to attend. Many of the older second-generation youth were in attendance as well.
Using an easy-to-follow presentation of slides, John gave us a fairly comprehensive explanation of the process for members to join the matching process: make a matching plan, read the Matching Handbook, create and add profiles to matching websites, become qualified candidates, understanding the different websites that are available, and how to get active by beginning conversations between candidates.
John shared that the most important points to always keep in mind were:
1) Unity—set conditions
2) Listen—cannot be emphasized enough!
3) Never, never give up
He also explained the importance of Matching Supporters to assist the matching process (help either the parents, if required, or the candidates). Once the conversation begins it is important to stay connected as a Matching Supporter. Keep in touch to see how things are going, and in case someone may have questions or concerns. John explained the significance of the first 3 weeks (learning phase) for the candidates to see if there is potentially something there. Then, if so, the next 25 weeks (communication phase) would be a ‘courtship’ period. Hopefully, this time period will allow the candidates to decide if this is the right one. He suggested guidelines for when candidates might meet, for how long etc. At the end of the 25 weeks, they hopefully can decide to accept each other and prepare for the Blessing.
To support the information they shared, John & Helen shared the testimonies of matching five of their children. The stories were fascinating as each had a totally different experience. It gave us a lot of perspective in coming to grips with this matching process.
Finally, on Sunday, a few couples joined for the Matching Supporter Training which covered more in-depth the responsibilities of Matching Supporters. We learned more in detail about the Matching websites, and actually signed on to them as Matching Supporters.
All in all, it was a very inspiring and informative experience. John and Helen are very warm and caring, and wonderful mentors. We thank Heavenly Parent and True Parents for this wonderful work they are doing!