Divaldo Franco’s Second Visit to New Zealand
By Roberto Drummond
On a typical rainy Monday night Auckland received a brief second visit from great medium, speaker, educator, parapsychologist and tireless worker Divaldo Pereira Franco, one of the most important ambassadors for the Spiritist Doctrine worldwide. It has been two years since his first visit, when the seed was planted which has now become the Allan Kardec Spiritist Group of New Zealand (AKSGNZ).
The group was started in 2005 with our dear friend Eduardo Araujo from the Fundacao do Parana , who was living in NZ with his family, organizing meetings at his house in the central area of Auckland . Following the start of the weekly meetings the group had the first chance to receive Divaldo for a lecture in New Zealand . He was oriented by his spiritual guides and gave us instructions and guidelines to improve our meetings so, after the departure of Eduardo in the beginning of 2006, the AKSGNZ was motivated to keep carrying on its weekly meetings.
Now, two years after the first visit, Divaldo mentioned he found the group stronger, united and, according to his spiritual guide, “going in the right direction, with young and responsible members”. Obviously we are still in an initial “learning from our mistakes” process, so the past 2 years have been a preparation for the next step, which is the start of a Mediumship Development meeting, for mid 2008, so the group can have a practical side as well as the theorical.
The opportunity of receiving Divaldo for the second time was also due the efforts of the equally dedicated and hard worker Gloria Collaroy, from the “Casa dos Franciscanos -Fundacao Joana de Cusa” in Sydney , Australia , as she helped and facilitated his trip after a week of commitments in Sydney and Melbourne.
The theme selected was “150 years of Spiritism and Reaching the Peace and health “, with an interesting background on the doctrine, a great introduction for the kiwis and non Portuguese speakers present in the audience. One important remark is that, from an average of 100 people at least half were foreigners, showing the doctrine goes beyond the boundaries of language and culture, as it is universal.
“The quality of the questions made in the end of the meeting were fantastic”, says Divaldo, so the fact we had simultaneous translation opens doors to the dissemination of the doctrine and our group, since the meetings on the AKSGN are held in English in respect of the main language of the country.
When asked why people in New Zealand have so much difficulty in accepting the existence of God or religion itself he was very honest saying “it’s hard for Anglo Saxons to accept the concept of religion and God because they are rational and practical, therefore the existence of this ‘God made by men’ doesn’t make sense; Voltaire once said ‘I don’t believe in the God made by men, but in the God that made men’, so the spiritist doctrine opens the doors for the scientifical mind also combining psychology, philosophy and the rationality of the faith in God”.
The group is now consolidated with permanent members and after organizing key events in 2007, like the fundraising feijoada and also the expansion of its library with titles in english and portuguese thanks to the generous donations from the CEI (Conselho Espirita Internacional – International Spiritist Council), Elsa Rossi from the Spiritist Group of Brighton (UK), Gloria Collaroy, and Eduardo Araujo , amongst others, has grown in experience and determination to keep improving and learning with each other. Divaldo’s words in the end of his lecture define not only our group but most groups inside and outside our country: “In Brazil we are over 7 million, with over 30 million sympathizers, all working to build a better world. We don’t live off religion, our work is gratuitous following the steps of Jesus, who said good is good to whoever practices it’.
Meeting with the Allan Kardec Spiritist Group with Tio Nilson and Gloria Collaroy