On September 16-18th, 2016 CARP Cambodia held a three day education workshop. There was a total of 10 participants. When the participants first arrived, they seemed nervous and quiet.
80% of the Cambodian population is Buddhist so they were curious about the new ideas and concepts taught during the workshop. The lectures throughout the workshop focused on Unification Principles and how they are relevant to our everyday lives.
“On the second day, they observed and listened carefully. The participants probably had questions running through their heads; who are they? Why are they trying to teach me these concepts?” –Roth Thavret
Participants of the 3-day workshop carefully listening to the lecturer
In the beginning, there was an air of anxiety but as the days progressed, the participants became more relaxed and open. The MC engaged the participants in some fun games and tried his best to enlighten the atmosphere; to make everyone happy and comfortable. “I could see the participants started to open up and enjoy the lectures.” – Roth Thavret
Some of the participants were very interested in learning more so we let them stay at the CARP center for a longer period of time to study in more depth the teachings of our founder, Father Moon. We also welcomed participants who wanted to become CARP members to stay at our center.
Participants pose for a group photo at the end of the workshop
CARP’s Office Administrator, Takayoshi Sugawara is celebrating a birthday today! Here is Taka’s ten-year-long journey with CARP. This Renaissance man has fundraised, filed, and forged ahead for CARP at different times in his life.
A Calling to CARP
In 2008, Taka was studying Economics and Multimedia Arts at Tufts University in Boston. It was at that time, months away from graduation, that he suddenly quit school, unable to continue due to personal circumstances and depression.
During this dark period in his life, he recalled how CARP had been positive, supportive influence while on campus. He felt God’s call to become a full-time fundraiser for CARP America and deepen his relationship with the Heavenly Parent. The hours were long and humbling, but Taka saw the power of God within everyday human interaction.
After devoting a full year to fundraising for CARP in the New York area, he returned to care for the Worcester community as their Youth Minister in 2010. The following year, he became the co-Youth Minister for New England. Throughout this time, he wanted to serve and uplift ordinary people to make extraordinary differences in their loved ones’ lives. But, Taka needed to find his truth first.
Open Doors and Open Arms
In 2013, Taka enrolled in Barrytown College with a major in Theology and Philosophy. He spent two years seeking and studying the absolute truths within himself and others.
After graduating in the spring of 2015, Taka sought out an honest perspective of the work culture at Family Federation.
Within a few months, Taka was invited by CARP to attend the Top Gun workshop in South Korea and test his leadership abilities.
“I wanted to meet True Mother, and see who she really is with my own eyes.”
Seeing Mother Moon’s expansive heart towards the youth, Taka was energized for his work as CARP Office Administrator and his role in improving CARP America nationwide.
“I believe this is where I am meant to be.”
Since October 2015, Taka has been keeping the books updated, designing merchandise, and maintaining the CARP website. The dozens of tasks that arise during the average workday are often passed to his capable hands.
In his free time, Taka can be seen exploring nature, vibrant cities, or the worlds of music and film. Among other cool hobbies, Taka carves pumpkins and watermelons into exquisite designs and has a Facebook page displaying his beautiful craft.
“When I was a kid, I lived in a cul-de-sac (dead-end street). It was the perfect place for a kid to grow up. Neighbors looked out for each other. This is how I would like to feel around the world, like everyone is a neighbor.”
We are indebted to Taka for his consistent presence at CARP Headquarters; we have progressed closer towards a global family thanks to him. Taka’s daily efforts, though not always glamorous, are vital to CARP America’s functions throughout the country. We wish Taka well on his continuous journey to becoming a true leader who raises up all those around him.
After much paperwork, on September 26, CARP was officially registered as a campus club at the Technological University of the Philippines. This was an exciting step forward for the CARP chapter, and they jumped on the opportunity to promote their club immediately.
With special permission from the school, CARP TUP set up a booth on campus to inform students about their activities and to invite them to an orientation later that week. Several CARP members also went around to various classrooms to briefly introduce CARP and invite them to the orientation.
CARP members at the booth on campus promoting CARP with their smiles
Poster welcoming students to the orientation at TUP campus
On the day of the orientation, 155 students showed up!They all seemed curious to know what CARP was all about. The session began with cultural dances and origami making led by the Japanese missionaries. Then the goals and vision of CARP was presented and students were invited to sign up if they were interested in becoming CARP members. In the end, 78 students signed up to become members of CARP TUP.
155 students showed up for the orientation (some even had to stand in the back) to find out more about CARP
One of the Japanese missionaries who helped out with promoting CARP on campus said, “It was my first time coming to this university to promote CARP but the professors and students welcomed us and treated us very warmly.” She went on to express surprise at the overwhelmingly positive response from the students, “So many students showed up to our orientation!”
Shelaine, one of the CARP TUP members shares her experience, “It was great because we had our Japanese missionaries and one brother from Albania, which helped peak interest in CARP. Filipinos love to meet foreigners.”
Shelaine posing with the posters used to promote CARP
CARP TUP is in the process of carrying out their next event. We will keep you updated!
Here’s a student highlight story on Joshua Holmes from CARP L.A.
Meet 20-year-old Josh. He’s in his freshman year at California State University, Long Beach pursuing a degree in Business at this time. Coming off two years in the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) program and hailing from the vibrant CARP L.A. community, Josh participated in a CARP Momentum workshop this past summer and launched his first year as a college student with determinationand positivity.
As a contemplative, passionate, and loyal young man, Josh expresses a lot through his words. His love for public speaking is intertwined with his enthusiasm for studying and applying Unification Principles in creative ways.”
Getting Involved to Stay Connected
For many transitioning students, whether from high school or a gap year to college, it can be challenging to start this new chapter in life. Keeping this in mind, Josh was determined from the start of this school year to maintain an energetic and positive attitude toward his future and his passions.
“This past half year has been one of the most impactful in my life.”
What’s the secret to feeling this impact? Josh gets involved – in his community and on his campus. Once a week, Josh helps with the CARP L.A. witnessing initiative at Pasadena City College (a successful project spearheaded by a wonderful sister of the community, Naoko Hiraki). With his community’s youth ministry, he takes on an active role in facilitating weekly Principle study with the youth while also helping to host monthly 3-day workshops called Junction.
Josh (in the middle) with the youth at a Junction workshop
On campus, Josh is seeking out opportunities to become active and vocal. He speaks up in his classes and in his extracurricular activities, such as in his theater pursuits, with the intention of expressing his voice at the table and introducing even a fraction of the Unification Principles. Next semester, Josh will be joining the debate club on his campus to specifically present a case against “Christian stigmatism toward cults in America”.
Getting involved challenges Josh to put into practice what he loves and knows to be true – Unification Principles. He especially loves to practice public speaking as a form of educating.
“I want to always be someone who educates. That’s what connects me to God and to the Principles. I want to be someone who can be called on to teach. Any chance to practice and express this, I jump on it. It’s what drives me.”
Josh practicing public speaking to a youth audience
Josh has a passion. His goal is to harness that passion for teaching in public by developing creative and compelling strategies in his public speaking for different audiences.
Coaching Is Not About the Coach
In an effort to stay even more connected to his goals, Josh has been undergoing CARP’s coaching program for the past two months. A scheduled weekly appointment with his coach has helped Josh to stay focused on his goals as he redetermined to achieve them every week with the benefit of an accountability factor.
“Coaching has helped me to not get lazy, lost, or confused and to stay on track in the direction I want to go in.”
Another benefit of coaching for Josh has been the emphasis on building habits. Simple habits like exercising daily and practicing public speaking are essential for Josh to maintain a healthy lifestyle and pursue his passion. However, the most important habit-building has been to consistently be honest with himself by communicating honestly with his coach.
“The coach is there to help me be objective. I have to look at myself objectively and be honest with where I am and what I have done. It’s sad sometimes, but it’s a beautiful habit that actually helps me grow and improve.”
The coach doesn’t tell you what to do. The coach doesn’t even need to have experienced the same things as you. Instead, the coach is there to ask the right question over and over again. This coaching pushes Josh to extend himself and “hit the wall” rather than go around it so that he can learn, grow, and improve.
Attitude Makes All the Difference
Josh is a rock star who strives to speak the truth to the public and to himself. By seeking out opportunities to get involved, Josh is putting in the hours of practice it will take to become a skilled public speaker as well as a student of the Unification Principles. Coaching is helping Josh to stay focused as he monitors his development in an honest and constructive way.
CARP is inspired by Josh’s positive and determined attitude toward his own development. Finally, it’s this attitude that has spearheaded Josh to practice and share Unification Principles with any audience he encounters.
Josh with his sister and parents
We reached out to Josh’s parents for their input on his awesome growth and they expressed gratitude and support for Josh’s activities.
“Thank you for the kind words and great program. Yes, we want to support him in his desire to be active with CARP and guiding younger members of the community. While we are investing much more into academics, we would say the CARP mentoring is of even greater value.” – Josh’s parents
CARP Czech Republic co-hosted a local event titled “Experience the City in a Different Way” last September 2016.
This event is part of a broader national project, organized annually, which includes hosting various local street festivals by local individuals and organizations, in cooperation with NGOs and state institutions.
The main objective of this national project is to bring local people and communities closer together. It creates a space for people to meet and get to know each other’s skills, talents, and businesses. These events also aim to raise awareness about current issues faced by the communities and the world at large.
CARP Czech Republic helped organize one of the local festivals in Prague in collaboration with the locals. They participated in the initial planning phase, actively contributing in the organizing committee’s strategic meetings. They also played a major role in inviting and informing locals about the program, organizing parking and finalizing other details related to the event.
President of CARP Czech Republic, Veronika Trinklova, informing members of the community on the day’s events
“All this gave us very useful insight on what it takes to make such an event happen.” – Czech Republic CARP President, Veronika Trinklova
On the day of the festival, CARP volunteers turned up early in the morning to help with all the necessary preparations.The program started at noon and was packed with music performances, workshops, theatre performances, sports activities, and delicious foods prepared by local individuals and companies.
Throughout the event, CARP volunteers served the locals by welcoming them, offering basic information on the program to the newcomers, and organizing the festival raffle and orientation. They also sold special maps and eco-cups called “NICK-NACK”. The occasional wind and rain made the experience a bit challenging at times but the CARP volunteers’ determination and heart to serve never wavered.
CARP & HARP members welcoming people to the local festival
A few volunteers from HARP, a high school sister organization of CARP, also came out to help, turning the event into a bonding experience for all. It was nice to see different organizations coming together to create this event for the community.
“It was a very nice experience meeting and serving different people of varying ages, cultures and nationality. Overall, we learned a lot from this experience, not only in practical terms but also on a more personal level. It challenged some of our limitations and awakened in us a passion to strive for greater things. It felt so nice to be a part of such an amazing team and serving our community together. It was a great adventure and I look forward to experiencing another one soon!” – Veronika Trinklova
If you have a recent story from your CARP community to share, please send it to email@example.com and we will share it with the world!