After completing the 2017 Global Top Gun Youth workshop, three young Unificationists shared about their experiences with their congregation in Boston when FFWPU USA President, Rev. Richard Buessing, visited the community on August 27, 2017.
Right off the bat, when I arrived at Cheongpyeong, I was chosen among the American Unificationists to perform “Mujogeon” for True Mother the next day. The thought that I was going to be right in front of True Mother dancing really made me jump out of my skin. It was probably one of the best experiences in my life—seeing True Mother’s smile even though she was tired, having just come back from America after the Madison Square Garden event and concluding her world speaking tour. In the closing ceremony, luckily, I was able to sit in the second row in front of True Mother. I was really close and I could see her looking at me sometimes.
The theme of the workshop was to become global leaders with a hyojeong heart. This theme really resonated with me when True Mother told us that the young Unificationists are the last puzzle piece in fulfilling God’s desires. It made me feel like I have my own responsibilities that I have to establish and work hard at. I felt that I really needed to apply the Divine Principle to my life and show the world that through our lifestyles we can change the world to a peaceful one that God and True Parents desire.
I got to connect with God and True Parents through the True Parents’ life course lectures, but also through the pilgrimage and seeing all the suffering that True Father went through. I couldn’t get to know True Father too well while he was alive, but seeing True Father’s past, I could really feel his heart. This made me so grateful for having True Mother with us here right now. It made me want to embrace True Mother, make her proud, and see her smile again. That is my main motivation.
—Takahiro Kudo, 21
Two things really stood out for me during Top Gun. The first was the pilgrimage. We were able to visit many historical sites for our movement, including the Rock of Tears. When we visited Cheon Jeong Gung, we visited True Father’s grave and prayed there. It was really moving because so much devotion went into everyone’s prayers. There was also an exhibit, with two rooms that were like a museum a visualization of True Parents’ life course. It had special items True Parents used for the Holy Blessing Ceremonies, copies of the original Divine Principle, and more. I learned so much about True Parents and our movement from that. It was amazing.
The second thing that stood out was meeting True Mother. We heard True Mother speak at the beginning of the workshop and at the closing ceremony. She told us that we, the second gen[eration Unificationists] are the last puzzle piece. She told us that True Parents laid the foundation and it is our responsibility to finish the puzzle. It really inspired me to actually help with the Providence —not just by going to church and listening to sermons, but also witnessing to my friends and showing people that the principled way of life is the right way.
—Luc Jean, 14
After all the participants were divided into four tribes (Happiness, Unity, Freedom, and Peace), I was put into the “Freedom” tribe. From there, we were divided into clans and then into families. I was given the role of family leader, so I was doing a lot of translating and leading discussions. It was a leadership role. I think I was chosen as family leader because I could speak three languages and because it was something that God wanted me to do. I realized that I still have a lot to learn in terms of being a leader and having a leadership role.
Through this workshop, I made a lot of relationships from around the world. It was really eye-opening for me to see people from South America, Africa, and Thailand and to see how passionate their hearts are for True Parents. I was so inspired by their passion for the church.
I realized also that I still need to work on my vertical relationship with True Parents and that I still have a long way to go in terms of my faith. As we learned about True Parents’ life course, the Divine Principle, and how to develop our hearts of hyojeong or hearts of filial piety. Being at Top Gun, meeting all these people, learning more deeply about True Parents, made me think about our movement not just on a local level, but on a global level. It made me want to feel even more connected to True Parents.
—Reika Hiroi, 21
Click here for more testimonies from this year’s Global Top Gun Youth workshop.