Transforming Las Vegas into a Mecca of Forgiveness, Love and Unity
Yesterday the participants of the 14-day witnessing team in Las Vegas were joined by 13 young Unificationists from throughout the states. Together, they spent time completing housekeeping errands and following up with guests such as Crystal, who was on her coffee break. She only had a short amount of time but they introduced our movement to her and invited her to the CARP center where she was introduced to the activities happening there. They then met up with Juanita, another guest, for coffee and discussion. She has already heard some of the teachings from the Divine Principle and met some of the local Unificationists. She feels very good when she is with us. However, when she saw and heard True Mother speak last weekend, she thought "I think I should join this church."
What had previously been a 36 Korean and 18 local Japanese missionaries witnessing team is now the miracle team! Thirteen American Unificationists, most of whom are college-aged, joined the ranks via a humorous ceremony, showcasing the love, support and close bonds already created among the Koreans, Japanese, and Americans.
With the 2015 Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony just around the corner, news of a "matching" catches quick attention in our movement. In light of this, the witnessing team decided to conduct a light- hearted "matching ceremony" that took place this morning at the team headquarters. Before dinner, the Americans who had come to support lined up in a row facing the six team leaders to be “matched” to a team. Other team members gathered around to cheer on and support the possible new recruits.
The team leaders were instructed to pick which of the American recruits would best complete the team based on their fluency in Korean or Japanese, their enthusiasm, and possibly even other factors like athletic performance (part of the fun behind the ceremony). Each of the six teams received two American recruits and celebrated over a special dinner.
With an intense schedule and with the surprisingly cold weather in Las Vegas, several team members were beginning to get colds and even became homesick for their beloved homelands. In response, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and Dr. Michael Balcomb graciously sponsored a traditional Korean dinner to be catered to support and thank our hard working team. The American team also wanted to show their unity and support and prepared beautiful decorations and lights to foster a warm atmosphere.
The language barriers mattered very little the rest of the night as each team bonded and continued to stay together even after the close of the program. The beautiful harmony and support among all the team members brought forth a new wave of determination as the newly engaged English-speakers became a cultural and translational bridge for the deep hearts of the Koreans and Japanese to communicate to the Las Vegas population.
Local Unificationist missionaries and church members continued to stop by throughout the night including Akira and Makiko Watanabe, Directors of CARP Las Vegas, and local Unificationist Mimi Morse, who brought with her fresh fruits.
The energy here in Las Vegas is palpable and we know it is because of all the support and prayers we are receiving directly from True Mother, our leaders, and all of you from the country and world. Thank you for being part of our experience here in transforming Las Vegas to a Mecca of forgiveness, love and unity.