CARP Hyojeong Japan Trip 2019
Roughly 40 Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) members arrived in Japan on Monday, July 29 for the nine-day 2019 CARP Hyojeong Japan Trip. Participants stayed at the Isshin Education Center in Urayasu, Japan, where they had orientation and learned about the history of the Hyojeong Trip.
The next day, Rev. Soichiro Nakamura gave a one-day seminar on the Divine Principle, covering content from the Principle of Creation, the Human Fall, and the Providence of Restoration in depth. In the evening, participants experienced a War Room, where two CARP members offered a heart-felt representative prayer, followed by individual unison prayer.
“My internal goal was to unite with True Father’s heart and understand the Divine Principle on a deeper level knowing how much True Father has invested his whole heart. I was so moved during Rev. Nakamura’s lecture on the Providence of Restoration and the Mission of the Messiah. I am inspired to use my understandings of the Divine Principle in my daily life.” ̶ Yuta Horii
“I felt repentful towards True Father and True Mother because of my personal investment and heart of attendance towards them. During the lectures, I felt a deep appreciation towards True Mother and I really want to support her.” ̶ Kayun Hiraki
“I witnessed to my high school friend, Elias Monsivaiz, who came along on the Hyojeong Trip this year. I’ve been wanting to share about this experience and what I’ve learned through CARP with Elias. In 2017, I made a determination to one day bring a friend to Turning Point, one of CARP’s workshops. I was overjoyed to find out Elias wanted to attend the Hyojeong Trip, and also with my personal investment toward becoming someone who is able to teach the Divine Principle to my friends and my peers.” ̶ Ryusei Yamamoto
On July 31, the group started their day greeting Heavenly Parent and True Parents, morning exercises, and team Hoon Dok Hwe. After breakfast they split participants and team leaders into two groups: the group of participants went on a pilgrimage to Waseda University and visited Ghibli Museum, while the group of team leaders stayed at Isshin Education Center to hear Rev. Nakamura’s lectures on the topic of the Providence of Restoration. Rev. Nakamura also shared some of his personal experiences regarding his life of faith and ended with a Q&A session.
Two CARP students from Los Angeles and one from Chiba, Japan arrived at Isshin Education Center in the evening and were welcomed by the group. The night ended with singing “Light of Grace” and offering one representative prayer and one unison prayer, followed by individual reflection time.
“My goal for the Hyojeong trip was to find a type of lifestyle that allows me to balance school, work, and a life of faith. I struggled to do this the past few months and felt distant from God prior to this trip. However, I felt closer to True Father and True Mother after hearing Rev. Nakamura’s lectures, especially after taking time to reflect about what I heard today. I was able to find a lifestyle that best suits my situation.” ̶Naomi Kotani
“I felt a deep sense of gratitude for living during the same age as True Parents. I feel it is my responsibility to share about True Parents with the people in my life, especially my Christian friends. I believe my friends would want me to share about True Parents with them.” ̶Mia Windman
“I learned from Rev. Nakamura’s lectures about the heart and attitude of central figures towards God and their mission. I came to the conclusion that I need to work on my heart and attitude towards my individual responsibility as a daughter of God.” ̶Mika Miyagi
“I had a good time with Masakuni Murata and Shoma Abe while sightseeing together. I experienced a challenge today while sightseeing. A blister had formed on my foot during the pilgrimage and it was really painful. However, I reminded myself of the stories I had heard about True Father during his imprisonment and the beatings he endured by the Japanese police. Through that, I was able to endure the pain from the blister.” ̶Nico Anthony
“After this morning’s Hoon Dok Hwe session, I was inspired by True Father’s ability to forgive his enemies even after experiencing torture, even going to the “enemy country.” My intention for the day was to understand True Father’s heart and how I can practice forgiving others. I felt gratitude towards True Father and want to inherit his heart of loving others and forgiving. The experience solidified my belief in the Unification movement and the people in it.” ̶Elias Monsivaiz
“I was able to understand God’s heart. Although I didn’t see the value of having a relationship with God prior to the trip, I was moved by Rev. Nakamura’s lectures and want to cherish my relationship with God. I had a fun time with Masakuni and Nico today while sightseeing. I want to learn the Divine Principle and understand why I should study it.” ̶Shoma Abe
The next day, Rev. Nakamura explained the significance of the Holy Day Chil Il Jeol, which the group celebrated during their morning greeting. After breakfast, Rev. Nakamura introduced Divine Principle lecturing, including the heart and attitude of a lecturer. Following the introduction, they commenced lecture practice until the late afternoon, which included individual study time and lecturing in pairs. Participants also had the opportunity to ask Rev. Nakamura questions on the section they were lecturing.
In the evening, Rev. Katsumi Otsuka arrived at Isshin Education Center to meet the CARP members and to share his testimony about how he joined the Unification movement and other various experiences he’s had with True Parents, including some of the spiritual visions he had of them during his early years in the Unification movement.
After dinner, three CARP members shared testimonies about what they gained through listening to Rev. Nakamura’s Divine Principle lectures over the past few days
“So much has happened today. I studied the Divine Principle Chapter 2 Section 2 more deeply. One main thing I learned is that there is no room for hate in any form in our hearts. Only have room for true love in all forms. By being able to forgive the people who have wronged us and our enemy, then we can begin to truly understand what true love means. Hearing everyone’s questions was amazing, as I learned more from them. The spiritual experiences we heard today were very interesting. It makes me wonder how it feels to have a spiritual experience like the ones we heard.” ̶Humberto Acoste
“Today we had Divine Principle lecture practice as well as a talk/testimony from Rev. Otsuka. I renewed my belief that lecturing is the only way I really understand the Divine Principle and I hope I can become a better lecturer in the future. As a Sunday School teacher, I want to be able to convey the Divine Principle in a way that the middle schoolers can apply it to their lives. I also enjoyed having the Q&A session about the chapter I lectured on and the focus of being able to teach it to someone. I had many questions answered and confirmed with Rev. Nakamura. The lecture from Rev. Otsuka also really inspired me. The little things we do in LA really led to a big result on the world-wide level. Even hearing about the creation of the Korean Clergy Leadership Conference really surprised me and confirmed the importance of uniting with Christianity. His stories with Mother and Father were impactful. I hope I can keep my spiritual antennas high and stay alert on what God is trying to show me.” ̶Mia Windman
“Today, I gained 3 things: 1) From the Divine Principle lecture on Chapter 2 Section 2, I was able to connect to God’s Heart. After a while of studying, I started to wonder what God was doing at this time and where He was. In the Divine Principle there was no mention of God in that section. And that’s when I noticed how during that time, God must have been praying so hard for His children’s safety and hoping that Adam and Eve would report to Him even if He doesn’t interfere. Even after the Fall, it is written in the Bible that God asked Adam and Eve what happened. Adam and Eve did not explain but rather blamed each other. I realized through this, how much pain God was in. Even though He was the Parent, Creator, and owner of True Love, He was the one that was kicked out and left alone. I was able to feel this kind of pain of God. 2) From listening to Rev. Otsuka, I really liked the spiritual experience he shared with us, especially the experience of going to hell. When I heard about how the Messiah is the one that goes down to hell to save all humankind, I really understood how much True Parents really cares about each person as their child. I was also able to understand what True Parents said about how before you go to Heaven, you need to go through hell. Before, I didn’t really understand the situation of going to hell, but hearing Rev. Otsuka share with us, I felt like I was able to understand what kind of pain True Parents passed through when they indemnified all the past failures (especially True Mother having to indemnify all the past mistakes of women). 3) Another thing I gained from Rev. Otsuka’s testimony was when he mentioned KCLC. When I heard about this, I was in tears because of how hard True Parents worked to have this kind of foundation/victory possible. For his whole life, True Father has been putting his whole effort to unite Christianity with True Parents and I still have this regret of not being able to show True Father this amazing foundation that we have now, but I am also at the same time glad and happy that we were able to show this to True Mother on earth. In addition to this, I really felt connected to True Parents’ strong desire of wanting to build the Kingdom of Heaven in Korea. Remembering about True Father’s heart of wanting to share Divine Principle to his mother, I felt True Parents are always ready to connect the foundations made around the world to Korea to influence and revive Korea as God’s nation. And this made me happy that America was able to fulfill even a bit of its responsibility as the eldest son nation where it was able to influence the world and Korea in reviving Christianity. So, I felt a strong determination of wanting to do even more for God and True Parents so their dreams can be fulfilled as soon as possible.” ̶Kayun Hiraki
On August 2, the fourth day of the Japan Hyojeong Trip, CARP went on an outing to the Digital Art Museum in Odaiba. CARP members had the opportunity to experience colorful lights and interactive art, while given the task of photograph something that represented God.
Afterwards, Rev. Eiji Tokuno, Continental Chairman of FFWPU Japan, and Rev. Katsumichi Motoyama, President of CARP Japan, visited Isshin Education Center to speak with the CARP members. Rev. Tokuno shared on the importance of globalism and setting high goals as future global leaders.
The night ended in prayer, individual reflection, and team sharing.
“It was difficult to grasp/understand God’s heart through watching the beautiful interactive digital art works. But I recalled a moment when Kazumi-san explained how every artwork and man-made creation has to be created in a principled manner to touch people’s hearts. Listening to that explanation allowed me to think of what the artist might have been thinking when he created his artwork rather than simply seeing the artwork. Because of this, I was able to receive so much more joy from interacting with the artwork and understand a little bit about what kind of heart God must have had when He was building the universe for Adam and Eve.” ̶ Yuuki Homma
“I enjoyed seeing the incredible art at the Digital Art Museum in Odaiba. One way that I experienced God was when our team created our own sea creature, which was projected onto a screen, and it came to life as a digital sea creature among others. To my surprise, I felt a lot of joy through the creature we made and was excited to see it come to life as an animated creature on the projector screen. For some reason, I felt a lot of pride in what we created as a team and our team went so far as to film it on our phones. I reflected about the experience later on and I realized that feeling this way about a drawing must mean that God feels tremendous joy and pride through each one of us as His substantial creations, as His sons and daughters. I’m grateful to the mothers and everyone who planned this outing for all of us to enjoy and to experience God. I also appreciated the message we received from Rev. Tokuno because it made me think more about the importance of being global-minded and taking action towards building God’s Kingdom on earth.” ̶ Harumi Muranaka
“My day today was really nice because I got to bond more with my leader and also my entire group. We usually don’t get too much time to talk together and hang out during group sessions because we’re busy with lectures. However, today was different because we were all supposed to find God together. I thought I was going to find God by admiring the heart and strength of the Japanese, but that wasn’t it. I found God today by the close ties I made with my group. Every conversation together and the journey through the Digital Arts Museum brought us all closer. I can feel the energy of a family when we’re all together. Forming bonds with my brothers and sisters today was exactly how God wanted to be found. We didn’t have to search for God in a museum. We just had to look for God watching us journey together. Watching us bond and form true relationships as brothers and sisters. A good first step as part of a bigger plan. In the moments we were exploring, laughing and talking together, I could spiritually see God.” ̶ Elias Monsivaiz
Saturday’s morning program had a representative from each team share about their experience at the Odaiba Digital Art Museum and present the picture they took as a team that represented God.
After the morning session, participants practiced the “Mujogeon” dance routine in preparation for their performance in front of the CARP Japan members during the Cultural Exchange Program. The Cultural Exchange consisted of dance and music performances as well as presentations and testimonies given by all participants.
Following the Cultural Exchange Program, participants split into groups according to the CARP Japan house they would be staying in until the following evening. While visiting the CARP houses, CARP USA members had the opportunity to experience how CARP Japan operates by praying and reading God’s Word together, sharing meals, and sleeping under the same roof. CARP members were able to create deeper bonds through getting to know one another despite language and cultural barriers, building the bridge between the mother nation of Japan and the elder-son nation of America.
“Today was really amazing! From the interaction with CARP Japan, I was able to gain many things! During their testimonies, I really liked the last two because I felt the spirit of each presenter and there were many things I learned. For example, about the sandstorm and needle that True Mother mentioned in her speech, I also really felt that needle was me. And it reminded me of when I saw True Mother’s speech and how she was saying after True Father’s Seonghwa, it took around 5 years to just revive the members of Unification Church and it was as if to fix the mismatched buttons on our clothes. And at that time, I felt like the life that True Parents walked was to find me. To save me. And I felt deep repentance for not realizing this earlier and for being unfilial. I also felt a great sense of gratitude to Heavenly Parent and True Parents. Another thing I really loved about today was the performance that CARP Japan prepared. Listening to Hyoshim, which was really good, it reminded me of last year when we were able to sing in front of True Mother. From the beginning of the song, I was crying so much. At first, I didn’t even know why I was crying, but I realized that it was because CARP Japan had the same heart of wanting to serve God and True Parents. The feeling and desire of wanting to really serve and attend True Parents welled up inside of me, similar to what I experienced last year during the banquet with True Mother. And in addition, the more I listened to the lyrics of Hyoshim, I realized that this really portrays the path the Japanese members were going through and it really showed me what kind of faith they have. This made me cry so much and really felt grateful to be able to experience this and it really encouraged me to work even harder in HARP and to never give up. Even in the CARP house that I visited, I thought that behind these joyful expressions they make as they welcome us, inside their hiding their pain or struggle they have especially living in an environment where religion is not easily accepted. I feel like although its less intense compared to the pain that True Parents felt, I thought that it was similar to how True Parents really hide their pain in their hearts and just always welcome us for no reason and love us for no reason. So, I am very grateful today that I was able to gain that determination to want to inherit from them and be able to encourage them and give back to them tomorrow as we spend time together. Thank you!” ̶ Kayun Hiraki
“Today, I quickly had to learn a dance to show our Japan family. It was a great time learning something for others. I was barely able to keep up with the dance. From what I can tell CARP Japan enjoyed our dance and song. It was a very interesting experience to meet CARP Japan. The song they sang was beautiful. The ice breakers from both sides were fun activities. Going to the CARP Japan chapter house was a very unique experience and still is. I’m learning how they live and how they look like a big family with helping each other out. I noticed they have a schedule they follow and a set time for prayer. I helped a little by cleaning up. When I realized our time with CARP Japan was over, I was sad to hear that I had to say goodbye to my new brothers. I hugged all my new brothers goodbye until next time.” ̶ Humberto Acosta
“This morning, I really aimed towards preparing my heart to leave a good impression on the CARP Japan members. Remembering last year, they gave and sacrificed so much to the American CARP members and there was so much we could inherit from them. I felt that with the performances, our heart of attendance, and our ability to really share our experiences with them, we could really offer up something for them to inherit and to truly share the elder son nation experience. As the exchange occurred and we split off into our designated CARP houses, I really just felt an overwhelming love from each CARP Japan member. They all were such bright and energetic spirits. You could see their sincere desire to connect with us. My favorite thing about the Sousei CARP house was their attitude of “first penguin,” which is essentially the concept that the “first penguin” that dives into the ocean to catch fish is the bravest as they are pioneering the path for other penguins to fish. It’s this intention of maintaining bravery in the face of their mission and pioneering a path to really guide others that inspired me to want to invest in my own ability to take initiative and consider from the wider perspective (God’s perspective). Despite the language barrier, they made such a huge effort to communicate with us. It made me think a lot about God’s heart of unconditional love for each of His children and how desperately He tries to establish a connection with us. Just from their spirit and lifestyle of living in the CARP houses and prayer, I knew that God was truly residing in these CARP Japan members. They cooked and cleaned for us, offered up their sleeping spaces, guided us around the city, and still maintained this attitude of wanting to give more and to make us feel comfortable. I really want to repay the Sousei CARP house for doing so much for us, and, for me, this directly translated to me wanting to do the same with God for all that He invests into each of His children. They truly embodied an aspect of God’s loving nature and I’m very grateful towards them for really initiating that standard of love, especially as the mother nation.” ̶ Sammy Tamura
On Day 6, August 4, participants attended Sunday Service with CARP Japan at their respective CARP house or local church center. After a little bit of sight-seeing, participants returned to Isshin Education Center where they had time to reflect on their overall experience during the Hyojeong Japan Trip and shared their testimonies with the entire group. The night ended with a powerful War Room experience.
The next day, they spent the morning hearing testimonies from first-generation CARP members over breakfast. Nico Anthony and Alice Dong shared about their determination for when they returned home, how they experienced God during the trip, and the challenges they faced. Participants spent the rest of their day at Tokyo Disneyland!
August 6 was the last day of the CARP Hyoejong Japan Trip. Participants heard testimonies from all the team leaders: Sammy Tamura, Motoe Hiraki, Karen Tsuchihara, Takayo Hiraki, and Kodai Abe. They shared about their experiences with God during the trip, challenges and victories, as well as determinations and goals for when they return home. The Kodan mothers also shared what they gained through this experience as staff members and parental advisors.
“I felt God through my interactions with the people of this trip. Everyone was ready and willing to learn more about their studies, which was interesting. I also felt God from the small interaction with CARP Japan as well, they were excited to take us in and wanted to know about why we joined. Like any child of God, they are always willing to show hospitality towards anyone. One challenge I faced was the language barrier. I had many thoughts I wanted to convey but couldn’t seem to because I didn’t know how to say it. On Day 5, heart was something I wanted to implement in my life. I need to work on myself and improve before I connect with other.” ̶ Sebastian Youngblood
“On the last morning, we had a morning service where we shared our life stories in five minutes in small groups. After that we had unison prayer for the people who shared and I really felt God when I was praying and listening. My Japanese isn’t very good, however the CARP Japan members could still understand my heart as we cried together. I really felt the love through our unity. We also sang “This is Where Peace Begins,” and it was really moving for many of the brothers and sisters. No matter where we are, second-generation Unificationists really have an amazing bond as God’s children. Even if we don’t understand it, we can subconsciously feel it when we are with each other. I was so grateful for the honest sharing and prayerful time. My biggest struggles were really with my mind-body unity, like trying to stay awake during talks and lectures. Towards the end I was really trying to listen to each speaker with God’s heart of interest and love rather than apathy. I feel like I was able to get a little better but I am not anywhere close to where I want to be with my mind and body unity. I really realized that everyone is struggling with the same things and so many people are really working to overcome their struggles. I want to implement a wake up regimen, even during summer break, where I plan my morning and Hoon Dok Hwe the night before. I want to implement this because I know the importance of starting your day with God and I feel as though getting closer to God will help me overcome my struggles, and I just want a better parent-child relationship with God as a daughter having a heart of Hyojeong.” ̶ Mia Windman
“I was able to feel God through the testimonies that were given by the first-generations. Their growth from Day 1 to Day 6 was amazing, and I believe this was only possible because of God’s desperate heart and investment to save each and every single one of us. Through Rev. Nakamura’s lectures, I realized the value of studying the Word and truth. Being emcee was a great challenge. At one point, I wanted to run away from this responsibility. But I felt the urge to read God’s Word so I took time to do it during break. Then, the words that I read was exactly what I needed to hear. It made me realize that I had a self-centered mindset and gave me encouragement to continue. I, myself, was surprised by the quick change in heart I was able to have. From the CARP Japan members, I felt that their unwavering faith comes from the consistent life of faith habits they have. I want to be able to have a God-centered priority in my life and base my decisions and actions off that. To be more specific, I want to achieve this through daily prayer and study of God’s Word.” ̶ Takayo Hiraki