Returning to Cheong Pyeong, the Top Gun participants dispersed among of a sea of Unificationists and guests attending the Cheong Pyeong Works event and Global Youth Assembly. Due to the dramatic increase of people here, we all were a bit intimidated by the crowd. I realized we were really fortunate to have our own sleeping area and phone-charging stations. We now have to strategically approach finding a place to sleep and using the restrooms. The long lines have become a new norm.
We received a new schedule in alignment with the Global Youth Assembly and material for activities in the Cheong Pyeong Works event, which is happening in conjunction with the youth assembly. Along with a new t-shirt and pen we were given two postcards – one to write to ourselves in a year and another to write to True Parents. The theme for the Global Youth Assembly is devotion and the slogan is, “Here we are!” It’s well crafted in that it relays the heart of all the youth gathered in supporting True Mother.
Outside there are many event banners, tents and tables set up. Inside there are lines of banners highlighting Unificationist activities and organizations all around the world. One cool activity is the Holy Ground Pilgrimage Stamp Event. At ten different landmarks in Cheong Pyeong, participants stamp their stamp card. Once collecting all the stamps you are given a prize.
For the opening ceremony of the World Youth and University Assembly we recognized all the continents attending this event, including North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Sun Jin Moon, International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and her husband, In Sup Park, International Vice President of FFWPU, joined us for this event. Naokimi Ushiroda, President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA, offered a representative prayer. We then heard inspiring words from President of World CARP, Kwon In Sung and his hope for us to be future leaders. Also, he asked for us to work together and realize a world of peace with True Mother.
With a warm round of applause we welcomed to the podium Sun Jin Moon for the commemorative speech. She formed a shape of a heart with her hands to show her love to all the participants in the main hall. She shared, “As we gather here tonight, let us not forget who we are. We are blessed central families because of True Parents’ absolute and complete attendance and their absolute true love for all humanity.” It was late at night and while bringing her grace, she also brought energy. Right in the middle of her speech she took a pause and looked to the room; she acknowledged it was getting late, however she asked if we were tired and if we could listen just a bit longer. We gave her the biggest cheer in support and she responded, “Now that’s the power I needed.”
She invited us to all hold hands, close our eyes and focus on our breath. This simple moment made us feel this instant international connection. In this hall we were brothers and sisters from various countries. The simple action of holding hands made me feel like we are willing to be vulnerable and be builders of peace. We are in this together no matter what. We can contribute to building a peaceful world together with our Heavenly Parent and True Parents. As Sun Jin Moon left the stage we chanted altogether, “HERE WE ARE!”
With this conclusion we then entered into the musical festival. The highly talented Little Angels came to Cheong Pyeong to perform dances and songs. Their elegance and precision astonished the audience and led to many cheers and applauses. We received performances by groups from nations including Japan, Korea, Thailand and America.
Four of our Global Top Gun participants representing America sang, “Marching On” by OneRepublic. They were able to get the audience standing on their feet and jumping to the rhythmic music. It was a long musical festival; I believe the event went way beyond midnight. Yet everyone was very satisfied, and the stage itself had professional lighting and stage effects to create a concert-like atmosphere.
So here we are! We are here True Parents!