National Ocean Challenge Dives Deeper
Contributed by Naria McGee
The National Ocean Challenge Program (NOCP) is now rolling into its second week with full force. 2016 has been a monumental year for NOCP thus far. We have an amazing group of 36 participants—our largest group by far—from all over the United States as well as Japan, Korea, and Russia, who are all sincerely trying to grasp and understand True Parents’ vision for Ocean Providence. Five teams were created and each team chose a team name, accompanied with an entertaining chant.
During the first week all the participants earned their CPR certifications and are now ready to save lives. At the U.S. Coast Guard base the Coast Guard Auxiliary was very welcoming and educated the participants in depth about the safety rules and regulations for boating on ocean waters. A tour of the Pillar Creek Hatchery taught everyone the life cycle of salmon and the impact the hatchery has on the local economy’s fishing industry.
The participants also had the opportunity to explore North Garden in Kodiak, a historic location in True Parents’ ministry in America. They were able to see how valuable the ocean was to True Father with their own eyes as they looked through pictures and monuments that were displayed around the property.
After a few days in the city of Kodiak, the group travelled to a beautiful property called Chiniak. There they experienced God in many ways as they explored the diverse landscapes on the property with its black sand beaches, ocean-side cliffs, large open field, and berry-filled forests.
The first day was difficult with rainy and soggy weather, but we were greatly blessed with bright, sunny weather for the remainder of the week. The participants got their first taste of Alaskan river fishing and discovered an assortment of fish in addition to salmon, learning about the importance of high and low river tides. After undertaking the challenge of starting a fire, they cooked up and ate their catch on the shore. The Chiniak experience concluded with a joint Sunday service with the Kodiak Family Church, followed by a delicious barbeque and many interactive sports and activities.
Each day, we start our mornings as a group with inspirational, ocean-related readings from the Cham Bumo Gyeong, the third book of the Holy Scriptures of the Unification movement. We have also been blessed with many wonderful and inspiring speakers thus far, who have shared their experiences and knowledge about their passion in the oceanic field, moments with True Parents, and previous NOCP experiences. Guest speakers such as Takeshi Yashiro of Ocean Providence LLC and Kensaku Takahashi, Director of Ocean Church USA, were able to come and speak to the participants about their area of work connected to Ocean Providence. Also, the President of Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA, Naokimi Ushiroda, has joined us with Nina Urbonya, International Liaison of CARP, to teach about student empowerment using the STEP UP program.
This year we are undertaking a major boat restoration project, which would not have been possible if not for our amazing contributors, and the accumulated support from our staff, captains-in-training, lead mechanic, and the Kodiak Family Church community.
Currently, we are looking forward to hosting and hearing from the North American Continental Chairman of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, and the President of FFWPU USA, Dr. Michael Balcomb, during our final week of NOCP.
Please stay tuned for more exciting updates as we dive deeper into the ocean-fishing segment of this amazing program!