As future leaders of the world, we are responsible for understanding and caring about the world’s problems. CARP students got to do just that by going to the Korean Congress building to rally for unification of North and South Korea. Joined by Korea or K-CARP and political leaders in Korea, CARP America represented by Jermaine Bishop, Joshua Holmes, and Naomi Froehlich, offered a speech about the need for this reunification and how it can happen.
Their speech was followed by a speech from a J-CARP and a K-CARP member. This was symbolic to represent the unity between the three nations in a rally for peace specifically on the Korean peninsula.
After the rally, CARP America joined K-CARP in an exchange program involving testimonies and presentations from the K-CARP President who is also the first woman to witness to 430 people in CARP. The K-CARP President opened with remarks about how vital Korea was and how Americans can support.
Then, a K-CARP member gave a testimony about a condition the members are doing together – proclaiming True Parents on the streets. She explained how at first she was scared, but she overcame her fear through the realization that True Parents need her and that she loves them. There was no room for shame in this context. Through these presentations, CARP America was able to inherit the heart and the strong determination that K-CARP embodied.
Afterwards, the two CARP groups ate together and performed for one another, making everyone laugh and cry and experience one other as one family. In true CARP fashion, it was loud, rambunctious, and full of love.
“Language was a big barrier for me, but meeting with K-CARP made me realize that our hearts are connected and that made us a family.” ~ Shinha Tsuchida
Today’s activities took us on a pilgrimage of the True Father’s humble beginnings as he was growing a movement. We went to the Beomnaetgol holy ground where we entered the museum with the rock upon which Father Moon built his mud house – the very first church where he wrote the Divine Principle.
We heard a brief explanation from the guide about Father Moon’s journey as a refugee from the north. We leafed through pictures of the mud house, met some early members, and glanced at copies of the original Divine Principle.
Then we took pictures and headed up to the “Rock of Tears,” named so because of how many tears Father Moon shed in prayer for God, the world, and his country. There, we touched the very rock where Father Moon offered so much devotion and prayed alone for the salvation of humanity.
“It was a very deep experience thinking about the investment that True Father put into those places and seeing now how all his visions are coming true. People from all over the world are now coming to see [the Rock of Tears]. It is his devotion that really moves these people, and it’s something that’s really inspiring. It gives me hope for the future. Back in those days, Korea was underdeveloped. Busan was a small town, and now here we all are from across the world. It’s really beautiful to think about.” – Mika Miyagi
Starting today, we embarked on the second leg of this international trip – Korea! We said our goodbyes to the Japanese CARP students and flew into Seoul and from there took buses to Sun Moon University. Once we arrived, we received a very warm welcome by students and the CARP staff.
There was a banner that said “Sun Moon University warmly welcomes CARP USA!”
We gathered in the meeting room on the 5th floor of the main building. There, we met the President of Sun Moon University who spoke to us about True Father’s vision in establishing this university.
“True Father always told me, ‘you have to make this school into the Harvard of Korea!”
He turned to the American students and said,
“If you come to this school, I have no doubt that we can make it into the best school. So please consider attending classes here.”
Following these remarks, there was an impressive presentation on the reforms that the university undertook in order to ensure that it is not cut by the government. Sun Moon University has been rising in the university rankings over the years.
“It made me want to go to Sun Moon University to learn Korean language.” – Jennifer
Each participant received a gift – a shampoo set and a handy pamphlet explaining everything about Sun Moon University.
Lastly, everyone was treated to a delicious Korean dinner before heading out to Busan.
Today, CARP America chapter leaders gathered together with CARP Japan President Mr. Katsumichi Montoya and five CARP Japan Tokyo center leaders to share about activities during the past year. Japan, being much more experienced, had a lot to share, and America gratefully took in their presentations. America offered a fresh perspective.
President Motoyama gave some opening remarks.
“Even though you are very young, I see you as comrades in realizing the vision of CARP. I encourage everyone to be curious and ask many questions so that we can learn from each other.”
First, each CARP chapter leader gave a personal introduction and shared about their CARP chapter. Then, there was a presentation by CARP America and CARP Japan on the basic activities each organization held during the first half of the year.
The CARP Shibuya center leader presented on CARP Japan and spoke about the “International Borderless Conference” held at Waseda University with CARP Japan and CARP America just a few days ago. He explained that this was the first CARP event in 10 years to be held on a Japanese university campus and thanked the American students for helping to create momentum.
“I feel hope. I have gained conviction that we can bring back the campus to God and become a campus that can raise true leaders.”
Afterwards, participants from both sides asked questions about the presentations. Then, CARP Japan treated everyone to a wonderful sushi lunch. Following lunch, each chapter wrote down a 6-month goal and a 1-month goal to work towards until the end of the year.
The meeting was short but very instrumental in learning about each other’s activities and understanding that we are all striving for the same goal and vision despite working with very different circumstances and cultures. It put us on the same team and gave us hope.
After a few days at the Japanese Education Center, the participants dispersed into eight groups visiting different CARP houses in Japan to experience CARP life and Japanese culture up close. Through this experience, we were able to create a bridge between CARP America and CARP Japan and solidify camaraderie between members.
In the morning at the CARP houses, American members participated in Sunday Service with the Japanese or J-CARP members. Sermons were given by J-CARP leaders and, even with a language barrier, everyone was inspired.
“I stayed at the Waseda house. When we went to the house, we had an okonomiyaki [Japanese fried pancake] party. It was really cool.”
“This morning, the biggest thing that I learned was from today’s Sunday Service. Before this service started, [the J-CARP members] practiced the song ‘You Raise Me Up,’ and they only had 15 minutes before the start. At the end, they sang so beautifully. That shows me that that cannot happen without an insane amount of unity.”
One service was delivered by Kenryu Kageyama-san. He shared a personal testimony about his difficulties in middle school and high school, and even though he was born into the Unification Church, he couldn’t find what the purpose of his life was until he joined CARP and could experience the heart of Father Moon and God.
Father Moon told him ‘I love you,’ and that hit him really hard. He also had a dream where he was carrying Father Moon on his back on a long journey. At the end of the journey, Father told him, ‘I couldn’t have made it this far without you.’ It was really touching.
“All in all, today was about family and unity and also the understanding that everyone has a sense of urgency for faith and for God and True Parents. That was really inspiring. They got me to feel their heart and their love for True Parents.” – Kenshu Tanaka
After the service, the J-CARP members gave the American CARP participants a tour of Tokyo. They went to a variety of places including Shibuya, Sky Tree, Harajuku, and Meijingu Shrine. The American students were really excited to be experiencing the city while sharing love with their CARP brothers and sisters. They tried new foods and went out of their comfort zones to have a good time together.
As part of CARP’s mission to develop global citizens, these participants could discover the true meaning of a family without borders and strengthen those relationships. Upon returning to the Japanese Education Center, one participant reported that she misses the J-CARP brothers and sisters. We hope to see them all again soon! We love you, Japan!