New Jersey Holds CARP Appreciation Night
Report submitted by District 3 Representative Atsushi Takino.
On Friday, August 3 the New Jersey Family Church held a Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) Hyojeong Trip Appreciation night. Participants from the Japan and Korea Hyojeong trip, as well as their families were invited to join the celebration. Approximately 24 young Unificationists and 32 first-generation Unificationists gathered for the dinner meeting.
Many of the New Jersey CARP members shared their experiences with honest gratitude and tears which moved the listeners. Ten of the CARP members participated in the True Parents’ Life Course Hyojeong Conference in Las Vegas in July, which they said was a very educating experience. Through their words, everyone could feel the strength of the Hyojeong spirit. After the testimonies, each table joined in a group discussion between parents and children. The appreciation night concluded with a “War Room” prayer, where everyone shouted their prayers together. The guidance and love of God and True Parents was noticeably present.
“I wanted to express my utmost gratitude for the Hyojeong Trip, for Cheongpyeong coming to Belvedere, and the Hyojeong Trip Appreciation Night. I was reflecting on what it means for my whole family to attend the Hyojeong Appreciation Night. I truly believe this was a miracle because it is rare for all of us to be available. Being able to hear my younger brother’s testimony was very special because it is not often that he truly shares his heart openly, and I could feel that he was genuinely able to experience Heavenly Parent’s and True Parents’ love. With hearing all of the testimonies, and doing War Room prayer as a community, I felt that all together we were able to bring the spirit and fire of the Hyojeong Trip back to our families. I believe this was our responsibility for receiving so many blessings through the trip. I could even see my mother’s spirit being revived as she heard the testimonies. I felt this must be the spirit and passion of my mother back when she first joined the movement. Overall, I felt this evening was a revival of families, and the revival of a community. Throughout these experiences, I truly felt God working, speaking, and sharing His love through you.” –Junta Naito
“I have been in New Jersey for as long as I can remember and honestly I never felt a united and passionate spirit here. But being here today, being with other blessed children and first-generation Unificationists, the energy and love in the air is so beautiful. I am so proud to be a part of the New Jersey community.” –Lisa Okon
“This meeting was really refreshing and empowering for me. I felt so much joy seeing the members of my community unite together in one room. Just being able to share my testimony with the people at my table, I really felt that I was sharing my gratitude to Heavenly Parent, True Parents, and all that I was able to receive from True Mother, Korea and Japan. I am really grateful that the parents of the CARP Trip participants came and listened to us with all their hearts. I am hoping that this meeting can ignite the hearts of other Unificationists.” –Keisetsu Nakamura
“Today I heard the voice of many, felt the hardships people faced, the joy they experienced and their true experience of this trip. I didn’t see it just visually, but felt it emotionally. I felt that I was connected to everyone here. That is something CARP taught me, something so important to the mind and body. I am glad and forever thankful to God for allowing me to experience something extraordinary.” –Christian Macias
“Today was a day that I will never forget. The testimonies were very touching and inspirational. I was familiar with all of the people who shared their testimonies, but I never realized they had such an experience that could make me so emotional. Just gathering here and singing and praying together allowed me to feel connected with everyone and with God.” –Yoomee Fujimura
“Thank you very much for the wonderful testimonies. I could feel so much hope. I could see that NJIT CARP is ready to bring victory. Please expand more chapters of CARP. Please show good examples.” –Masako Aull
“Thank you to the Clifton Family Church, NJIT CARP members, and especially Takino-san and Takafumi for making this all possible. Personally, I felt nervous coming to the event tonight. I had a difficult time digesting my Hyojeong trip experience due to many challenges I faced. I felt I really needed to dig in order to share a positive experience from my heart. However, I wanted to go to support my younger brother, Taichiro, who gave a testimony, and to meet with all the other fellow Hyojeong trip participants. It was a miracle too, because all six of my family members were able to attend. Keisetsu Nakamura gave a report on the overview of the Hyojeong trip. Hearing the report helped me recollect all the precious and beautiful experiences we had during the trip. One testimony from a participant that resonated with me was Lisa Okon’s. She shared her experience of being challenged while taking care of a guest. The guest was sharing her negativity about the trip and she wasn’t having a good experience. One night, Lisa decided to call her mom because she was struggling with caring for her guest. Her mom told her how God is rejected in the same way, many times. Then it made Lisa reflect on her own relationship with God and how she has pushed aside God and faith in her own life. She felt repentful but also recognized how God still continued to love her even still. As she was sharing this, it made me realize that God gave her that experience to build her own relationship with God. Though it is unfortunate that the guest had a difficult time, the whole experience was not in vain because it allowed Lisa to experience a deeper aspect of God’s love. During the War Room session, I felt first-generation and second-generation Unificationists has united as one through heart and spirit. Everyone was shouting their prayers with sincerity. Thank you so much once again for this experience and I want to offer all of this to God and True Parents.” –Ryota Naito