Hyojeong Builds Youth Leaders
The Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) Los Angeles chapter organized an American Hyojeong Trip for CARP USA and Youth and Young Adult Ministry (YAYAM) members from July 6 to 18. A total of 57 participants registered and will travel to Chicago and Washington, D.C. from July 11 to 16, where they will connect with local communities and engage in activities.
Through this trip, CARP aspires to welcome youth from different churches through activities, receive guidance from local leaders, assist in preparing for upcoming rallies throughout America, invest in the development of leaders and members of CARP USA and YAYAM through education and application of the Divine Principle, support national restoration through the revival of Christianity, and inherit from and build unity with the national Christian foundation through fellowship.
At the end of the trip on July 17, participants will return to LA and officially close the program on July 18 with a Hyo Jin Moon Band concert.
Kick-Off Workshop: July 6-10
The program began with a kick-off workshop in LA from July 6 to 10. Day 2 focused on connecting with and inheriting from Christianity through church mobilization and outreach. Participants departed early in the morning for an 8:00 a.m. Prayer Service at the City of Refuge Church in Los Angeles, where Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor of the City of Refuge Church, shared a powerful message declaring that the most important mission for Christianity is to build loving relationships. A few participants shared about their first experience at a Christian church and said they wanted to inherit the passion Christians have for God and Jesus.
After splitting into teams and visiting the 12 different churches that CARP LA has been investing in for the past year, they traveled to Big Bear Lake, beginning the educational portion of the experience. Content for leadership development skills was introduced based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, two books that have been studied previously to equip CARP leaders with the practical tools they need in developing themselves and their chapters.
David Amperano, a new guest who was witnessed to last semester at Pasadena Community College, concluded the day with a representative prayer. He expressed gratitude in his prayer to “Mother Moon for spreading this message of love and unification” and for the environment here that invests in raising future leaders.
The third day focused on Divine Principle education, specifically the Principles of Creation, the Human Fall, the Mission of the Messiah and the Mission of Christianity. Lectures were given by CARP and High School Association for the Research of Principles (HARP) students who invested wholeheartedly which allowed participants to gain new insights and dig deeper into the heart of the Divine Principle and True Parents’ words.
The night concluded with Brothers and Sisters Night, a program created by John Lowen where the brothers and sisters meet separately in order to create a space where they can be vulnerable and share their hearts and better understand themselves and their struggles with their parents. Everyone shared their hearts, asked for advice, offered support and unconditional love, and encouraged each other to see the value in themselves and their relationship with God.
On Day 4, participants were revitalized and refreshed as they started the day with a morning hike to the top of Big Bear Lake mountain, and read True Father’s words for Hoon Dok Hwe on the pioneering spirit and the importance of overcoming challenges and becoming owners of the environment.
Focusing on connecting with Christianity, three students introduced the Mission of Messiah and Jesus’ Course. This was essential for participants to dig deeper into their understanding of Jesus’ situation as well as their present relationship with the Messiah.
After returning to the LA Family Church, Elder Edwin Perry from the City of Refuge Church spoke to the participants about the pride they should feel as they share their faith and the profound significance of their mission. The ceremony closed with a call from Bishop Jones who prayed for the blessings and success of the Hyojeong Trip participants.
Chicago and Washington, D.C.: July 11-16
Participants arrived in Chicago and Washington, D.C. on July 11 to begin connecting with the local communities.
The Chicago team started their morning with a Hoon Dok Hwe reading. It said, “…any era’s central figure must never think that he was chosen because he was special. The fact is that he stands in that position because of the contribution of ancestors and the great sacrifices paid.”
The youth felt humbled and grateful to witness the unshakeable history of Jeongseong which created the foundation for the Unification movement in Chicago.
Illinois Pastor, Kunihiro Sagisaka, shared about the history of the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and Christian church outreach, as well as the relationships the Chicago community built with Christian congregations over the years. He testified to the leadership of Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, and his vision for Unity, Consistency and Ownership, which are still necessary today in order to connect and work closely with Christian churches.
More than 200 Unificationists attended the Hyojeong Trip Kick-Off Ceremony held at the Chicago Family Church. Midwest Subregional Director, Rev. David Rendel, shared the vision of inviting True Mother to Chicago on October 12, which inspired the youth to spread the fire that True Mother ignited on the West Coast.
Upon arriving in Washington, D.C., the Maryland team was greeted by Rev. Ernest Patton, Southeast Subregional Director, Rev. Jim Boothby, Pastor of New Hope Family Church in Landover Hills, MD, and local volunteer Rex Butler. After breakfast, the group visited the White House Holy Ground followed by a tour of Capitol Hill. There they met up with Dr. Michael Jenkins, President of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) International, and his wife who introduced them to a few members of congress.
Later that day, CARP held a War Room experience with a few local pastors and community members. Participants opened their hearts through the spirit of revival in prayer and song. The day concluded with reflections and welcoming remarks from Richmond Family Church Pastor, Bayo Adrien.
“Today’s kick-off event in Chicago discussed CARP’s call to action from True Mother, the history of ACLC in Chicago, and the vision for welcoming Mother to the Midwest Region. It was a really powerful experience because I could see that everyone was so excited to respond to Mother. Something that really stuck out to me was when Joshua Holmes quoted True Mother, saying “ACLC is irrelevant without the youth.” This was something I never considered, but after much reflection, it makes a lot of sense. Without the youth, ACLC’s efforts will end in only one generation. I am slowly coming to realize the value of youth involvement in the Providence. In addition, I was moved to see how inspired many first-generation Unificationists were by the simple fact that we showed up to help work with the ministers and prepare for the rally. I felt purpose being here.” ̶ Mika Miyagi, 22
“My intention for today was to invest into the Chicago community to ignite a fire, but at the same time inherit from them. One thing that helped me was being able to share with the community about HARP and what they do. We were able to engage in that topic and at the end, the Chicago members said they felt like they were losing spirit and really yearn to bring it back. With that, they shared how grateful they are for us, and how the spirit already feels different. I was also able to inherit a lot from the history of Chicago. I felt like compared to LA, there is so much history here. I really wanted to inherit that tradition and bring it back to LA. I also enjoyed the discussions at the kickoff. It really reminded me of Hyo Jin Nim and how he always looked straight and really invested his everything to unite with True Parents. I felt the spirit of Hyo Jin Nim is also with us now and True Father’s heart as well. I really felt like my purpose in joining the Hyojeong Trip became clearer. I have a stronger and more desperate heart of wanting to support True Mother and bring hope and joy to her through supporting Chicago. The unity between LA and Chicago was prominent centering on the filial heart of wanting True Mother to smile.” ̶ Kayun Hiraki, 16
“Being able to start our workshop at the White House and Capitol building with a prayer session enabled me, and hopefully the other brothers and sisters, to re-center ourselves with Heavenly Parent and True Parents and start the second portion of this Hyojeong Trip strong. Unfortunately, we were not able to meet any of the congressmen. It seemed as if were we not able to claim victory, however Naoko-san told us that even if there weren’t any immediate results, conditions were made for spirit world to work through them when enough conditions are set. Later that day, we had another opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, and that was when we were able to meet two congressmen. Through this meeting, I understood how much the East Coast FFWPU leaders are investing into political leaders along with religious leaders and educational leaders. As we are able to inherit so much from the East Coast community, I want to invest in sharing what we can from the West Coast. I really want to spread the fire that True Mother has encouraged us to do, and become the filial sons and daughters that Heavenly Parent and True Parents can be proud of.” ̶ Suzuka Shigeta, 21
The following day, both the Chicago team and Maryland team focused on Divine Principle Lecture Training which included a napkin training session. Participants were asked to lecture as if presenting the content to a specific person in their lives. This allowed each person to apply the theoretical understand of the content in a practical, loving and caring way to their object partner.
Chicago team member, Samuel Tamura from CARP UC Davis, shared a testimony about his struggles, challenges and breakthroughs as he tried to witness to a friend. His confidence in the power of truth could overcome the negativity that his friend had towards the Unification movement and Samuel’s genuine care for this person could persuade him to continue to study the Divine Principle.
After lunch, the Maryland team headed to the Pilgrim Baptist Church where they were warmly welcomed by Pastor Louis Jones and his administrative team. Pastor Jones gave them a tour and shared the history of the Pilgrim Baptist Church. Kodai Abe and Ori Morton Rodriguez shared CARP’s mission with Pastor Jones, while Dr. Achille Acolatse, Co-pastor of the Washington, D.C. Family Church, talked about the upcoming Peace Starts With Me rally in November.
“I believe I was able to make my intentions clear through the napkin lecture practice. Though I still struggle to find what my purpose is or what kind of characteristic God has given me, I was able to make a conviction that when I go home I would go straight to one of my friends, talk about my experience and lecture her on the Divine Principle. I am determined to tell her about my beliefs and my love for God. The internal guidance we received about habits and leadership made me feel that I need to change the way I live my life and to center myself with the Principle. I made a mission statement where I act with sincerity. I believe that I prepared myself internally and that I want to work harder.” ̶ Lisa Oya, 16
“I was very thankful for intensely study the Divine Principle. I grew up in an inactive church community in Wisconsin. My life was centered on the default and I never thought about designing my own life. I felt like I have allowed myself to become a victim to many things. While giving Divine Principle lectures for the first time in my life, it felt very profound to share my struggles. One thing that I need to work on is to become a calm person when it comes to presentations and studying, and to keep practicing it.” ̶ Nara Ferch
“Today was another amazing day for me. In the beginning I felt like I lacked preparation for the internal guidance that I needed to give about leadership. I felt that all the exhaustion was distracting me from focusing. What really helped me was the prayer room that the Chicago church has. It really helped me because the spirit there was very calm and peaceful. I felt like, through the prayer, I was desperately asking for God to work through me to share what He wants to and not what I want. I felt that that prayer was heard because I was reminded of Yeon Ah Nim and how she was saying we cannot waste any time and the heart that she has is a living offering to God and True Parents. Through that, I felt like God, True Parents, Hyo Jin Nim and Heung Jin Nim were guiding me and giving me strength to connect back to the intention I set up for this Hyojeong Trip, which was to offer myself to God and True Parents. I was filled with the desire of wanting to offer whatever I had to God and True Parents and really share God’s Heart. During the actual talk, I got really emotional when I was sharing about True Mother’s leadership and the heart she has for all of humanity (about her tears that she continues to shed every day). I really hope the participants were able to understand the kind of heart Jesus and True Parents have as leaders. In addition, I feel like I was able to grow more in my life of faith today through the napkin lecture training. I was using that time to really invest in my friend. During the first portion of the training, I feel like I wasn’t able to fully invest and become a vessel for God, but after hearing Sammy’s testimony about witnessing and his perseverance, and listening to prayers and the sincere devotion of others, I felt like I was lacking something in my heart towards my friend. During the 7-minute prayer, I realized what I was missing was the heart of what I really wanted to share with her. And that was God’s True Love. I realized how all this time, God wasn’t able to share His Love to her and how much pain He was feeling. I was filled with a repentful heart because I feel like I have been missing many chances to share God’s Love. I desperately was asking for another chance, and when I reflected on my relationship with my friend, it felt “strange” that I became friends with her in the first place because she had different characteristics than me in the beginning and I wouldn’t have imagined that we would become best friends. Through this, I felt God wanted to use me as a vessel to reach out to her; that there’s no one but me who can reach out to her now. With this kind of determination, I felt like I was able to move forward. I will reach out to her after this trip. I’m motivated to fulfill my individual purpose that I will offer for vision 2020 (which is to offer 1 spiritual child). Thank you so much True Mother for your strong leadership and your unconditional love to all humanity! Now, we will take on the responsibility as filial sons and daughters and become great leaders like Jesus and True Parents! We love you!” ̶ Kayun Hiraki, 16
“I was able to gain a better understanding of the Maryland community. I thought they would be overwhelmed by all that we were doing and not enjoy it so much, but actually they seem to love it. Everyone was saying their community was a lot different, however, I felt we were more similar than we were different. I was able to offer an inclusive testimony about CARP LA that I felt most people in the room could appreciate and feel a sense of connection with. Many of them spoke with me about it afterwards to say ‘Thank You’ for the inspiration. I hope that going forward, East and West can become one massive force. In an exciting way, these rallies are foundations for national unity starting with the youth. There are boundaries between the youth of the Unification movement outside of the ones we ourselves dream up. Kodai and Ori shared some very inspiring testimonies about their first encounter with CARP and the difference they felt in their outlook on life, their futures, and their relationships with others throughout their involvement. They expressed their journey of experiencing God’s love and living for the sake of a higher purpose for the first time in their lives and the profound sense of joy that came along with it.” ̶ Jermain Bishop, Jr., 29
“We started the day off with Divine Principle Lecture practice on the Introduction, as well as topics of universal prime energy and the four-position foundation. The practice helped me to really understand the Principle personally and taught me how to teach it thoroughly to people I may meet. After that we traveled to Pastor Jones’ Pilgrim Baptist Church. We learned about the history of his church as well as the ways he is involved with his local neighborhood and community. He really explained to us how the power of grace and faith helped him to be able to purchase land to support his local church and neighborhood to get away from drugs. It was quite amazing to mobilize within the D.C. community for the first time as we had been doing in LA. It was really touching to see what Pastor Jones was doing for his local community and it felt very sincere. After that, we visited the New Hope Family Church. We played games and got to meet everyone. During dinner, we heard two amazing testimonies from Ori and Kodai. We could feel a lot of heart from both of them as they talked about their experiences joining and being inspired by CARP. We finished the night with a War Room experience with the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) community. It was quite deep and meaningful for all of us to bond with the community strongly. Today had many beautiful moments and challenges and we had an amazing time partaking in them and learning from them. I feel very grateful to be a part of this group.” ̶ Joshua Cunningham, 21
On Saturday, July 13, the Chicago team went on a pilgrimage of places in Chicago True Parents invested their time. Rev. David Rendel, Midwest Subregional Director, shared the meeting between Heung Jin Nim and Dr. Kim at Michigan Lake and the unwavering promise to serve True Parents even at the price of one’s own life. This recounting allowed participants to reflect upon their own commitments toward True Parents. They prayed to have unchanging determination as they strive to become filial sons and daughters in front of Heaven.
In the afternoon, the team had the opportunity to bond with youth in the community through sports. Around thirty young people from the Midwest Region joined in an energizing and competitive game of volleyball.
During the evening program, Joshua Holmes gave a brief introduction on the Mission of Christianity and a personal testimony on how it has transformed not only his relationship with Jesus, but also his relationship with his own parents.
The Maryland team continued the second half of Divine Principle lectures and napkin lecture practice in small groups. For lunch, they celebrated National Parents’ Day at The Washington Times and sang “Generation of Righteousness” for the attendees. There were musical performances and awards for parents who were selected for being “Parents of the Year.”
After the celebration, the team headed back to the New Hope Family Church to practice the “Mujogeon” dance in preparation for Sunday Service at the Washington, D.C. Family Church. That evening they received a lecture on Jesus’ Life Course from Kodai Abe, followed by internal guidance from Pastor Adrien to understand the mission of Christianity, and Naoko Hiraki chimed in to illustrate the attitude to encompass while visiting other churches.
“Today was powerful, reflective, and very confronting. Powerful and reflective in the sense that we had a chance to go see significant locations in Chicago, particularly the lake shore location that Father loved visiting. Rev. Rendel shared with us Heun Jin Nim’s words to Bishop Kim during that time. It struck my heart deeply thinking of my older brother Heung Jin. We had a chance to spend personal time there. I took my shoes off and stepped into the water and felt like Father was talking to me through the waves. I also thought of Father and imagined him having conversations with God here. After the pilgrimage and receiving so much of Rev. Rendel’s heart towards Chicago, I gave a talk about the Mission of Christianity to the participants and local members. I was not prepared, but somehow, I felt God tug on my heart and I broke down in deep repentance minutes before giving the talk. I repented for the pain of my own parents, how they gave so much towards God’s Will through years of ACLC work, but also remembered their joy in seeing the younger generation join them on the front line of working with clergy. I realized deeper than ever that when young people move, the rest of the world will follow. Over the course of these last few days, one thing has become clear to me; It was never New York, or Los Angeles, or Las Vegas, but it was always Chicago that God has been waiting for. The foundation built by so many is unparalleled, and I cannot imagine a place where Father felt more excitement. My intuition is telling me that this HJ Trip is more important than ever. Chicago must rise up. There is no other location that True Mother needs more. That is my realization. And in that comes a clear action, we have to give all thanks, all praise, and all of our energy and love to this place. And I am determined to do so!” ̶ Joshua Holmes, 23
“Today I thought the lake, sports, and Joshua’s testimony were very special. They all connected to the purpose on reigniting the fire in Chicago. At the lake, I saw how large the community was through all the historical buildings the Unification movement has used. I also saw how beautiful the lake was and can only imagine how True Father looked upon it. While playing sports, I had lots of fun playing with and meeting new people. We connected and learned a little bit about each other before we played. I thought it was awesome being able to connect with the Chicago members, and I was jealous how athletic their members are. Back at LA, not many people will play that hard and well, so it was a great challenge and refreshing to play as hard as I wanted to. It was also interesting to note how well the members knew each other. My CARP chapter is not very good at connecting horizontally. Josh’s testimony really emphasized the youth getting involved in the production of CARP Chicago. With such a large foundation it may seem overwhelming to take on that responsibility, but I think it’s a team effort to build off the foundation they have.” ̶ Brandon Taga, 22
“Today was an amazing day. I was grateful for the opportunity to see the different sights that True Parents have invested so much into. The Ba’hai Temple was such a beautiful and profound place because of the unity it spoke about for all religions. I felt that it was really in line with True Parents’ vision. My highlight was hearing one of the Chicago members say, “Why is LA doing more for Chicago than the Chicago people are doing for Chicago?” That felt like we were fulfilling our mission to be a servant of servants. I think in a way it helps lift the spirit and hope of the Chicago people and ignites a desire for them to do more for their city.” ̶ Mika Miyagi, 22
For both teams, Sunday’s focus was church mobilization. Participants were looking forward to mobilizing with the expectation and genuine desire to learn and inherit from Christians.
The Chicago team had the opportunity to visit five Christian churches who have been working with ACLC for the last 15 years. Through the “Mujogeon” dance, they wanted to bring a youthful spirit and spread the fire that True Mother ignited in Los Angeles. A member from the City of Refuge Church joined them when visiting the Greater New Hope Church and Monument of Faith Evangelistic Church Apostle where they sang and danced together.
Everyone was immersed in the Christian spirit and were humbled by the love, compassion and forgiveness they experienced during the services. Despite never having a physical encounter with Jesus, Christians have such a yearning to serve and walk in Jesus’ footsteps. Their faith transcends time and overcomes the challenges that life might bring. This reminded participants of their own relationship with the Messiah. Their hearts were filled with repentance and a new determination to carry on True Parents’ vision and build themselves as living testaments of True Parents’ legacy.
After the Maryland team received guidance and inspiration from Pastor Bayo and Mrs. Hiraki the previous night, CARP enthusiastically visited several Christian churches in the DMV area including New Dimensions, Temple of Praise, Revelation Church, Rehoboth Church of God, Star Church as well as the New Hope Family Church and Washington, D.C. Family Church.
The team split into small groups to mobilize and invite Christian pastors and congregation members to a Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday, July 16.
After regrouping in the evening, Takayo Hiraki shared a personal testimony concerning the formation and early years of CARP LA. She spoke of her journey in overcoming many obstacles as a leader by trusting in God and through the support of friends, family, and community. Ori Morton Rodriguez shared the purpose of the Hyojeong Trip, along with his personal testimony about reading the Divine Principle for the first time as a first-generation Unificationist, encouraging the young Unificationists in the audience to share the Divine Principle with their friends.
“I had the opportunity to visit four churches today. I didn’t have the time to stay long for the first and second church, but I did get to spend time at Chance Ministries and Monument of Faith. I was so amazed by their praise team and both churches were so welcoming. What was interesting for me was when they asked for testimonies from the congregation at the Chance Ministries church. Then people and even kids started sharing their appreciation for God and said even though things were tough, they were grateful and praised God. At the Monument of Faith church, there was a lady who lost her daughter to a train accident, and her granddaughter was killed a week later. She has just gone through the harshest tragedies and yet still came to church and praised God. It made me wonder how she had so much strength and faith in God and Jesus? These churches are changing and saving people’s lives. All the churches seemed to emphasize that they are grateful for God even through their hardships. True Parents talk about it a lot, and these Christian churches are practicing it weekly. This is something I can inherit from them. They tune into the spirit so quickly and genuinely. I want to learn from them. I feel like I have to work hard to get into the spirit, but they just plug in and let God and the Holy Spirit take over. I could see the great Christian foundation Chicago has today. The Unification movement is connected with so many churches and instead of hearing about it, today I saw it and felt it. It was an exciting day!” ̶ Jasmine Santoro, 21
“Today, we went mobilizing and I really felt the spirit. At the Monument of Faith church, the pastor really reminded me of Bishop Jones. You can say that for many of the churches we visit in general and that’s because they have the Holy Spirit flowing through them. When I performed “Mujogeon,” I felt really good and I was showing my spirit. The people at these churches are always very loving and they just want to share their wisdom with us as well as their love. In the teachings, a lot of the topics were about the things we learned like living for the sake of others. One said that giving is better than receiving. We also learned that we need to let God enter our lives and listen to His word to understand what we should be doing rather than living a life following someone else‘s thoughts and living a life without God. I saw that the leaders in the churches we visited today are really helping the members like holding a graduation ceremony, giving scholarships, and helping a family in need. I can see the many principles they follow are very similar. What I can do when I go back to LA is to start reading the Divine Principle and understand it so I can build a stronger vertical relationship with God. I can change that connection from a string to a bridge to receive God’s love and words to fulfill His Will. The dinner was amazing and I can’t thank the people who made this event possible enough. I pray that the churches we visited will go to the rally in October. Lastly, what we, the youth, need to do is to bring people back to God. This is specifically targeted to the youth because, as the lady at the Monument of Faith church said, only the youth, the soldiers of God and Jesus, are the one who will be able to reconnect young people back to God. This is the mission for us youth.” ̶ Bryan Lakin
“Today I had a great experience. What stood out most was meeting with the youth pastor, Sean. I meet three Christian siblings from Chicago. What was really awesome was that we were able to connect almost immediately. We talked for a bit to get an understanding of each other, and once we were able to connect on a topic, it was chains loose from there. They had amazing personalities and seemed like they had a great relationship. I was amazed how they considered each other best friends, because at home, I don’t consider any of my siblings my best friends. It makes me wish that I was able to grow up just like them. What also stood out with these three was that they came to look for me after I had to leave to help present flowers to the pastor. When they found me, they told me their mom wanted to congratulate me and everyone else on the dance. I went back to the cafeteria and met their mom and really felt connected to their family. I invited them to try some of our Japanese lunch. They took it surprisingly well. Before we parted, they shared with us how large the youth community was and showed us all sorts of fun events they participate in along with doing their own church outreach. I thought it was very special to meet this family. From this experience, I was able to practice my intention on this trip by sharing my heart with others. I thought sharing my heart would be more like opening up about my feelings, but today I learned it can also be learning to love others and share my love to them. I hope they were able to experience something similar. The youth pastor Sean is also a very relatable person and is the best at encouraging the youth to do better in their lives. To see their struggles as a way of growing and how God is planning on giving us something that we can’t even imagine. I pray for the youth to be able to grow and build off the foundation they have.” ̶ Brandon Taga, 22
“Today we went mobilizing to three churches in Chicago. To be completely honest, because I was mobilizing so much in LA, I fell into a routine of: show up at the church, listen to the pastor’s sermon, sometimes fall asleep, greet the pastor, and then go home. And I fell into that routine today when I was going around Chicago’s churches. I was just there for the sake of attending and dancing. Sure enough, I was falling asleep during the third sermon. But, when I noticed Miguel crying, I just snapped out of it. I saw that Miguel was opening up his heart and receiving everything the pastor was saying. I felt very repentful in that moment for not making the effort to open up my heart and being lazy. Even though I was able to receive the last 10 minutes of the sermon, I was still able to gain something. One thing I noticed was that in the Unification movement, we tend to focus on ourselves a lot. We find it hard to forgive oneself when we make mistakes, we criticize ourselves a lot and we become very conscious of our fallen nature. Whenever I made a mistake, I felt like I disappointed God or let God down. But what I noticed about the Christians was that they are confident they can do anything because of their faith and trust in God. They are convinced that victory is already on the way. Trusting God that it’ll all work regardless of their past experiences was an amazing mindset. I realized that it’s not just repentance that will liberate me from my mistakes and pain, but it’s also forgiveness that will truly liberate me. The pastor mentioned that we should be thankful that God helped us get through our struggles when we are at our lowest. I thought about my own life and struggles wondering if God actually helped me. After reflecting, I realized, that God has been watching over me through my own struggles. When I didn’t like the church, or didn’t understand True Parents, He used CARP to reach out to me. He used Motoe, Naomi, and other people to reach out. When I was struggling to resolve my Han towards my dad, God used the Brother and Sister Night to help me open up to my sisters about it so they can help me overcome it. When I was struggling to know my own value, God used Reimi to show His love for me. When I was debating whether I should share the Divine Principle with Michelle or not, God used the napkin lecture to push me to share with her, and to help me prepare for that. God used the pilgrimage to help me redetermine myself for God and True Parents. When I was scared to take responsibility, when I was running away from leadership, He used this workshop to convey His wish to be a leader to others. God used the pastor to tell me that as long as I trust in Him, as long as I know that I’m doing things with Him, that He’s walking this life of faith with me, it’ll all work out. I know that that I can forgive my dad because God is with me. He’s going to help me. I know that I can be someone who can love like God, because I’ll be doing it together with God. During this trip, I realized that I’m a really selfish person. Due to the lack of love I felt from God and my parents, I realized during the workshop that I was constantly craving and seeking love from my elder sisters. I wanted to be loved. But, also during this workshop, when I saw Mika, Motoe, and Jinka investing their whole hearts and love into taking care of their younger brothers and sisters, I felt like a selfish person for trying to take all that love. I was just trying to receive love, keep that love to myself, and not give that love to anyone else. So, I want to become a person that can give love and invest in other people.” ̶ Akane Hori, 19
“Today, we mainly focused on church mobilizing. Listening to the sermons, I was able to gain two main things; One was God’s Heart. In one sermon, the pastor was talking about how God provided us with promises and how in addition to that, God is a Being who always stayed by our side when we were down, protected us from the world, loved us unconditionally, encouraged us, etc. From this message, I had a realization where I noticed how in my life, I haven’t been able to be on God’s side when He was in pain. When True Parents were in pain, I wasn’t there for them but rather I realized how I was the one putting them into a situation of pain, when I was the one who had to comfort them as their child. I felt how God and True Parents have been giving me everything, but I am not yet able to even give my everything. And I know in my mind that God still feels happy even from my offerings, but I felt really repentful for all the mistakes I made. This connected with the second portion of my day because when I was in the prayer room reflecting on my day, I asked God, “Why do you love me so much? Even if I am so unfilial and deserve nothing, why do you love me so much?” I felt like God was telling me that it was because I was His child that He loved, and that it is because I am also a child whom True Parents would die for. When I felt this, I couldn’t stop my tears. I was reminded of another pastor who shared about how if our parents are still alive, we should show our appreciation. And I felt again, how unfaithful I was and how I wasn’t able to give my love and show my appreciation while True Father was alive. It reminded me of when I started my life of faith. When I heard about True Father’s Seonghwa when I was 9-years-old, I truly felt that it was my fault that True Father ascended. The reason why I thought this was because when I heard about how True Father was sick, I was really selfish and thought that he would be okay because he is the Messiah. And as time passed, I saw True Father’s vision when I went to visit his grave during the 2017 Hyojeong Trip. During that time, I saw a vision of True Father so excited to see us coming, and I thought he was just happy to see the youth coming. But as I heard Rev. Kachi’s lecture, I realized that it wasn’t only that. Rev. Kachi shared how he thinks True Father ascended with the hope that in the future, through his sacrifice, his children can return and realign with God. I felt how True Father was happy to see the youth that rose and his hopes came true. This experience came to my heart today. I felt like in my mind there was a small part of me that still thought how it’s because I was still small and young that I don’t have to worry so much. But when I thought about it and reflected on my experience today, I was confident that even if I wasn’t able to prevent True Father’s Seonghwa through my actions, that if I was even a bit more worried and sought for True Father’s safety, that I could’ve comforted True Father even a little bit. Knowing how much pain True Father was in, I really wished I could’ve been that person who brought a little more hope and a little more love to him. The fact that I couldn’t do this really made me repent, but when I was praying, the view of True Father that appeared in my heart filled me with God’s unconditional love and I felt like God and True Parents are truly my parents who love me and trust me so much. When True Father knew that he had to sacrifice even himself, I felt like he trusted me and everyone, and that one day we will realign and rededicate ourselves. Suddenly, I felt like there was this strong desire inside me that didn’t want to repeat the same mistake as before and that I will fulfill my responsibility and not only be me, but together with my brothers and sisters, to build the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven while True Mother is still on earth. I really want these words that I pledge and promise to not be just words, but actually be able to substantiate this through practicing True Love! I just wanted to say to True Mother, that I am, we are, truly sorry for having to make you go through this path where you had to be alone and how you had to wait for us to rise up. We are truly grateful for the love you continuously pour unto us and your leadership as the Mother of humanity and peace. I will, we will offer our entire lives to you, and we love you so much!!” ̶ Kayun Hiraki, 16
“We had the opportunity to partake in church mobilization with the Chicago community. It was honestly falling into another day of mobilization like back in LA. I started to become desperate by returning to my intentions for the trip. One way I felt love was the last church we visited at Pastor Henten’s. He kept repeating, “We will leaving,” but kept talking. I saw God’s divine hand behind this because I could feel Him desperately trying to answer my prayer of inheritance. What actually struck my heart was the confidence my pastors exhibited; this confidence stems off the foundation of receiving the grace from Jesus. This establishes the heavenly authority within one’s self which my pastors had. The way they spoke of not being defeated, and shooting for the stars, and actually landing on the stars by the dissatisfaction of landing on the mere moon. Maybe I am learning so much about heavenly authority to prepare myself to go to the next level of leadership which involves candor alongside care. I have to learn from someone who can already balance both sides of the relationship in the principles of elevation. The elder who graduated with his doctorate also mentioned connecting to our parents. That definitely made me think of my own parents. I am determined to keep strengthening my relationship with them. If there is anything I take away from this trip, I will make this an actual fruit. Still that does not mean I am giving up on my original intention of understanding Jesus’ heart. I know for a fact God would not fail me in teaching me some shape or fashion. Allow me to look deeper. What could I gain from visiting these churches where otherwise I could not gain outside on a normal day? Based on what I saw today in service as well as other churches before, the brothers and sisters in Christ sit apart from each other. Why would they need to that? Why do they not sit altogether? Is service a time for them to individually connect to God and Jesus and then only after they join in fellowship? Yes, maybe that is the reason. I would imagine Jesus took his time with God very seriously, the way he prayed in the garden.” ̶ Kengo Kawa, 21
“While I was super tired and irritated at sometimes, I felt so much love and humility throughout this whole mobilization experience. The first time we danced “Mujogeon” I was put in the front middle, but when we danced nobody was next to me. Glancing at the camera recordings, it was just empty space and me dancing in the front center. It was embarrassing, and I was angry at the end, but the more I think about it the more I accepted the whole situation. Even now, I feel so grateful I was able to test and push my own ability to convey the heart behind the dance, since I was so arrogant about my own ability to dance the night before. Then we moved onto the next church to dance. During worship, I felt so connected with the music for some reason. Singing my heart out to the songs I don’t fully know, and felt a bit of the spirit through all the fatigue. When we finally danced, I didn’t get the memo that the positionings were the same, and just went with the people, and danced deep in the aisles. While I wasn’t in the front, it was a really humbling experience. I was dancing my heart out, and was recognized by the people around me. I felt so much love and humility, I just couldn’t feel arrogant in that moment. After that we attended the youth service with the youth in the church. It was so much fun, and I felt so connected with them. After that we went to another church and attended their service. I don’t know the names of the pastors, but the one in LA we were connected to and the one in Chicago became friends because we were there. One thing I want to remember was the HDH. I was able to discuss with Sammy, and had a great conversation. It was about how we can inherit from Christianity. The culture, the power, the spirit, everything about Christianity that the Unification movement can inherit. Then it came to how we can inherit the traditions from our parents so we can fulfill our dreams of doing those same traditions with our parents, and that if we want to do that, we have to seriously invest into each tradition, no matter how it seems. Overall, the conversation was about how much we can invest, and how we can act now to really build the families we want to build for the future. Even if it is decades from where we are now, we can still prepare the atmosphere for the families we want to have. Overall, I think I could’ve had a more powerful experience, but I think it was still a great day overall, really starting from that HDH.” ̶ Sooyoung Kawasaki, 19
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