Many elements go into producing and executing the Peace Starts With Me events. One important element is the collaboration of various Christian churches in the dance performances, which breaks down barriers and builds relationships and demonstrates the Peace Starts With Me movement is effective.
The following is a testimony from Luke Higuchi, the Peace Starts With Me Dance Choreographer, and his experience working with Christian communities at the latest Peace Starts With Me Unity Festival in Las Vegas.
Since the Madison Square Garden event in 2017, my mission for large events has been to organize the praise dance performances with youth from Christian churches and second-generation Unificationists.
A. Curtis Farrow, Choir Director, invited me to attend the first 500 Voice Choir practice at Mountaintop Faith and Ministries in Las Vegas on June 4. There I met Sister Kellarice Rayford who has been leading a praise dance group in local communities and invited me to her dance practice the next day at Unity Baptist Church. The morning before practice, I received a phone call from Mr. Farrow. He said,” Hey Luke, you better to be careful. I received a text message from Sister Kellarice. She said she’d heard negative information about the Unification movement.”
I was a little hesitant but didn’t cancel my appointment to join her dance practice. There were about 10 people waiting for me when I arrived. I introduce myself and testified about how the Peace Starts With Me movement has been effective with the involvement of Mr. Farrow, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Bishop Noel Jones. After my introduction, I taught the group the dance choreography for “Every Praise.” They all opened their hearts and smiled with their bright spirits.
Afterwards, I asked Sister Kellarice to recruit more dancers. She immediately spread the word on Facebook and emailed her friends. As a result, over 30 people came for the third dance practice at Mountaintop Faith and Ministries on June 16.
People from different churches gathered together at a local dance studio and practiced both the “Every Praise” dance and “Mujogeon” dance. When I was teaching the “Mujogeon” dance, I explained the meaning of Hyojeong and the vision of Rev. Sun Myung and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. This was well received by everyone. At the Unity Festival, a total of 70 dancers from 15 churches participated.
I met with Sister Kellarice after the event on June 26. We had an honest conversation about how she overcame the negative information she received about the Unification movement. She said she prayed and followed her original mind which is always connected with God. During the Unity Festival, she was so inspired by True Mother’s words and what True Mother has done to build a peaceful world. Sister Kellarice is looking forward to working with us in the future.
“The Peace Starts With Me: Unity Festival was an awesome experience. I am so grateful to have been a part of the event. I believe in the vision and purpose of the Peace Starts With Me movement. I am humbled to have been the Las Vegas Dance Coordinator under the direction of the PSWM Dance Choreographer, Luke Higuchi.
I am especially thankful to my dance team who was able to participate in the Festival. We also formed new relationships with other dancers from other churches and dance teams that joined in on the festivities. Everyone had an amazing time.
I love praise and worship dancing to a live choir and band. The energy level was high throughout the whole room. To see the audience enjoying themselves and praising the Lord brought joy to my heart! The children dancing and waving colorful flags and ribbons was breathtaking! Thanks again for the opportunity to be the Dance Coordinator for such a great cause, bringing people of all beliefs and cultures together for peace, love, and unity.” ̶̶Evangelist Sister Kellarice Rayford
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