The Value of Global Experiences

Contributed by Nina Urbonya

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Part of our mission statement in CARP is to create global leaders who can lead the world to peace. From August 1 – 21, 2017. CARP students from America joined 1,300 youth from 76 countries for a 21-day training workshop called Global Top Gun Youth (GTGY) at the Cheong Pyeong Training Center in South Korea. This annual workshop, initiated by our founder, Mother Moon, strives to help youth cultivate global leadership and network with people from around the world who have different thoughts and cultures.

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Learning to Respect and Understand Different Cultures

One way to combat animosity between different races, cultures, and religions is through understanding  and respecting each other’s culture. GTGY was a valuable training ground with so many different nations and cultures gathered in one place. It was challenging bringing together participants who spoke different languages and had different cultural customs. However, as the weeks went by, their constant effort and sincere desire to want to connect and understand allowed the participants to rise above differences and really feel like a family.

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Creating a Plan to Solve World Issues

During the last week, participants were asked to think of one global issue that they are interested in and to come up with creative solutions to tackling that issue. One American team decided to focus on North and South Korea Reunification, declaring that America plays a crucial role in raising awareness on the issue, especially on American college campuses. They plan to organize rallies on campuses. Other teams tackled issues in the areas of the environmental, education, poverty, and human trafficking.

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Connecting to True Mother’s Heart and Vision

The workshop began and ended with a ceremony in which Mother Moon spoke directly to the participants. She poured out her heart, educating and loving us.

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Throughout the workshop, she treated participants to ice cream and Heaven G Burger. We also heard that she requested reports from the directors of the workshop everyday. Through this workshop, many were able to connect to Mother Moon as their mother who cares deeply for their happiness and success.

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Reflections from a few CARP students:

“GTGY was an outstanding, amazing, unforgettable experience! I gained so much, connected to [Mother Moon’s] heart, and made many great friends from around the world. It helped me to deepen my faith and become stronger in who I am and what I believe in and stand for. I came for two main reasons. First, to strengthen my life of faith and connect to God and True Parents’ heart. Second, to prepare for our CARP chapter in the Bay Area.

And then of course to meet new people from around the world and see other friends. But, I got so much more then I asked for! It was incredible! I am extremely grateful for these amazing opportunities to experience God’s heart towards myself, others, and the world! Words can’t express how grateful I am and how amazing my experience was.

Going to the DMZ [Demilitarized Zone] I really wanted to connect with True Parents’ heart about North and South Korean Unification. We arrived there and could see North Korea. When we got there, I could feel God’s pain and heart towards Korea and all the suffering in the world. It broke my heart! I couldn’t stop crying because I could feel how much God longs to unite Korea and end suffering in the world. I need to step up and do something to help end God’s pain.  

Everything we did throughout the workshop was very impactful. Being with so many people from all around the world was an amazing experience! I could really feel we are one big family and God’s love for each and every individual! We may speak different languages, but the memories we created with one another speak louder than words. I came to understand how my story and my experiences were all to help me build me strength and deepen my core.” – Gabby Von Euw

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“I attended GTGY in hope that I can find my next path in my life. The reason behind this is that I graduated from university and basically I can choose any path I would like to pursue. But I want to do things that only I can do or go to the place where I’m most needed. My time during GTGY was simply described as ‘fulfilling’. Every day was so fulfilling that I really hoped for that lifestyle forever.

In addition to the system team duties, I also did interpretation and translation of lectures and the PowerPoint slides. I was so happy to meet many Universal Peace Academy graduates and current students. I was also so happy that many staffs I respected were relying on me.

At the same time, I was reminded that there are many people out there who don’t even know what it’s like to live like this. They are in pain and agony without hope. Someone needs to extend a helping hand to them and let them feel this joy and happiness. I know that this ‘someone’ has to be us, the participants of GTGY; therefore, staff play a big role in educating and training them to be heavenly soldiers who can reach out to those people.”  – Atsuki Imamura

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“My experience at Global Top Gun Youth 2017 was truly an exceptional one. I am incredibly grateful for our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents who have made all of this possible for us. Through this workshop, the words, ‘global citizen’ has been something I’ve felt more connected to.

I was touched to experience being with my global brothers and sisters, realizing that we all have a common heart. We all want to become filial sons and daughters who can substantiate God’s dream. I want to thank [Mother Moon], who expressed her love countless of times to us. I can feel how she wanted to just simply love us, over and over again. Being in GTGY, it was difficult not to feel God and True Parents’ love – it was everywhere, all the time!

I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to do anything to understand more of my Parents’ heart. I’ve made a commitment to learn Korean because I want to understand my Parents’ heart more. I can feel being in GTGY helped to unlock a deeper level of Hyo Jeong [filial heart], in so many of our hearts. I truly hope that everyone can experience the power of Top Gun and Cheong Pyeong. Heavenly Parent and True Parents!” – Ryota Naito

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Becoming a Global Leader

In a world teeming with conflict and disaster, retreats like GTGY give us a chance to experience the world and meet people from different cultures. THIS kind of experience moves us in the right direction towards peace. Education in the culture of heart helps us go beyond the status quo so we can be peacemakers in our families, schools, nation, and world. 

Mother and Father Moon were champions of the culture of heart and thus participants were able to learn so much from their example at GTGY. We share Mother Moon’s belief that young people are the key to leading the world to peace. According to the Divine Principle, we can understand who we are and what kind of culture we are meant to create by understanding where we come from. Participants took the time to reflect on God, their purpose, and their own contribution to the world through this incredible global workshop. 

We thank Mother Moon for this opportunity to experience these fundamental core values in such a short amount of time and for the opportunity to strengthen our convictions to share them. 

That’s what we do here at CARP. We invite you to join CARP and be a part of the global movement. 

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21 Days with CARP Los Angeles

Carina Mendez from CARP Uruguay spent 21 days with CARP Los Angeles as an international student sponsored by FFWPU USA. Read our first interview with her before her stay and now the following interview after completing her work with CARP LA.

What are three takeaways from your 21-day stay with CARP LA?

The most important takeaway from this experience was realizing the importance of witnessing. I learned that witnessing is not just an activity to push people to become a member. In our daily lives, we are always trying to share God’s heart with others. Through actually doing outreach, we learn and experience deeply God’s heart. So we’re feeling in practice something that we knew by theory. By doing that, we can find real happiness.

The second takeaway was learning that the kind of heart with which I do outreach is the most important. It’s not the amount of time or how I do the outreach that matters but the attitude with which I go out to reach out to people. Some days, I would go out for just one hour but if during that one hour, I could make the right condition with the proper heart, then God could work through me.

The last takeaway was that I needed to work on myself and overcome some challenges. For example, for the first two weeks that I went out to do outreach, I could not create any substantial results. I would invite people and they would agree to come but eventually they never showed up. But during my last three days, I was able to talk to one student who came to study Divine Principle with us and became very interested.

God always prepares some challenges for me that turn into opportunities to learn and become stronger. In the end, he gave me an amazing experience like this. Thank you, God!  

How was the experience of doing outreach on campus? Was it different from outreach back on your country’s campuses?

The experience of doing outreach on campus was so good. People here are so kind and friendly. I also learned a lot of things from working together with the Japanese mothers on the Pasadena Community College campus. They have a lot of experience!

Witnessing in Uruguay is done in a similar way; with a survey and one-on-one Divine Principle study.

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What are some ideas you are excited to take back and implement in CARP Uruguay?

I would like to start doing outreach with CARP in Uruguay just like I did in Los Angeles. It would be nice if we can inspire our older members to go out with us as well.

During my stay in Los Angeles, we also had a big Karaoke party with all the guests and CARP members. I really liked it! I would love to organize a party like that back in my country, too.

What was your greatest challenge during these 21 days in LA? How did you overcome it?

My greatest challenge was getting adjusted during my first week and overcoming a culture shock. America is very big so there are always people coming and going. So it’s natural that if you are new, you have to introduce yourself and try to find your place. But because of this, at first I thought, “Nobody cares that I’m here.”

However, things became a lot better when I stopped thinking about myself and started to take care for people. I started to feel less like a guest and more like an owner.  

I learned that I have to give love first, and that I shouldn’t wait for love. Through this, I have come to value this experience a lot more.

Have you had any change in perspective after completing these 21 days?

Yes, first of all, I came to see that God can work through everyone, everywhere. So it doesn’t matter if God sends me to another place in the future. Wherever I go, I can work for God.

Witnessing isn’t just for full-time members. Witnessing is for everyone; myself included.

I also changed my perspective about the USA. Here, I saw an active community and many young first generation members. That makes me very hopeful because the US is like an older sibling for us. So being able to see and be a part of such an active community made me feel so happy and inspired.

Do you feel like you were able to contribute to CARP LA in some way? How? (it could be a small thing)

I think so. I brought three people to study the Divine Principle and hopefully they will continue to do it. And I tried my best to create the best environment possible in every activity. But I think I was able to learn a lot more things from CARP LA and the members there.

Would you recommend international CARP students to spend some time with CARP America? If yes, why?

Yes! Of course! It’s a very good place to learn how to do outreach. There are many members who know how to take good care of everyone. They have a lot of experience and LA people are so kind, too!

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Christian and Muslim Youth in Nigeria Experience True Love through CARP Workshop

Contributed by Godson Ogurie, CARP Nigeria

Nigeria, with a total of over 250 ethnic groups, is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in Africa. Despite this ethnic diversity, it is mostly bi-religious, where its people are either Christian or Muslim.  The remaining four percent comprises of other indigenous religions and non-believers. Due to this, we have given much thought on how to bring people of these two major religions together and convey to them the ideals of true love and unity with the hope of improving our nation. In taking a bold step to this endeavor, CARP Nigeria held its 2nd 7-day Divine Principle workshop where participants from both Christian and Islamic backgrounds were invited.

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The workshop was held at the Peace Embassy in Abuja from December 18th to 25th, 2016 with the theme, “Become Global Leaders who are Representatives of True Parents.” The workshop had a total of 25 participants which included 17 students from the University of Abuja community and eight core CARP staff. The workshop was organized for CARP members who were unable to participate in the previous 7-day workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to get participants fully acquainted with the Divine Principle and the role of young people in building a new Nigeria centering on the teachings of Father and Mother Moon as the True Parents of humankind. Another major intention of this workshop was to raise up core members from various religions who could work together. We tried to do this not only by educating them with the Divine Principle but by encouraging experiences of sharing, working together, and fostering an attitude of acceptance towards one another despite individual, religious, or ethnic differences.

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During the workshop, participants were grouped into four teams, each bearing a letter in the team name from the acronym C-A-R-P.  A typical day included morning devotion, exercise, cleaning, 3-4 lectures and recreational activities. We had great lecturers like Rev. Moses Akaahan and Rev. Sunday Uke who gave insightful presentations on the Principle as well as Rev. Shang Seong Park who taught Father and Mother Moon’s  life course and the significance of the marriage blessing in unifying the world. Recreational activities in the evenings offered time for fun after listening to lectures all day and included indoor games, team sport activities, movies, A STEP UP session or family night with Open Mic and team entertainment performances.

The success of this workshop did not come without its own share of challenges. Raising the necessary funds for the workshop to run successfully took a great deal of investment on the part of the core staff who began fundraising for the workshop a month in advance.  It was not easy to fund an entire seminar like this especially in a nation currently faced with economic recession. But through the determination and dedication of our core staff headed by Mr. Bok Jin Lee, Nigeria’s Youth Special Envoy, we raised enough funds to make this workshop a reality. It was also challenging to create and plan a workshop that would be meaningful to everyone and bring unity regardless of religious background.

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One of the highlights of this workshop was the ‘True Love Sharing Ceremony’ that was held on the final evening of the workshop. Half of the participants sat on the floor with their eyes closed and the rest of the participants stood around and proceeded to show love to the seated participants through non-verbal gestures such as hugs, pats on the back and brief shoulder massages. The participants then switch so that everyone gets a chance to be appreciated. The participants were moved by the love they were receiving and many tears were shed. It was a beautiful moment.

This workshop showed us that there is no better time than now to spread positivity and true love to young people around the country. Many participants expressed interest in learning more so that they could also reach out to other young people of both Christian and Islamic backgrounds and work together to bring hope to Nigeria.

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Testimonies from participants:

“People might think that the Divine Principle is some kind of religion but what I understood about it is that it is much closer to peace than religion and it tries to bring religions together to achieve  global unification. It should be spread around the world. When I came here first, I just expected some activities about youth empowerment and normally I don’t get emotional. But the people I met here made me feel the relationship as brothers and sisters. Even though we come from different religions and cultures, there was no fighting and everybody understood each other like one family. Yesterday, when we had True love sharing, I shed tears. They really touched my heart. Now, I’m going to try my best, not just keep this experience for myself. I will share it to other people and try to bring them closer to CARP and make them understand Divine Principle. It tries to bring all religions together because there is no religion to teach about what is True. So with True peace and True love, that’s what we are going to use to bring everyone closer to the Divine Principle.” – Abduljaleel Abdulkarim

“Wonderful always, but this particular 7-day workshop actually changed my life completely. I think I have been able to make the right decisions, having seen, listened to, read, and watched True Parent’s life history. Honestly, Father Moon is a great and true leader to follow and work with. Also his life is a history lived just for the sake of others. Not for him and his family alone. Nobody can do that like him. Thank you True Parents. I promise to follow your path.” – Joseph Nkwo

“I learned many things during the last 7 -days of this workshop and in this workshop, too. In fact during this workshop I learned how to appreciate God and all  He created as well as how to show love to others. I had the was privileged of teaching Divine Principle to other young people prior to now. I felt right and I am so happy about it. I always reflect on my biggest dream which is to serve God and work for Him and to also make Him happy. I don’t regret studying Divine Principle. I want to be a global leader and live a selfless life. Also I want to teach people the Divine Principle.” Miracle Moses

For more information, photos, and details of CARP Nigeria’s recent and past activities, visit and like our Facebook fan page at “CARP Nigeria.”

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CARP Toronto Steps Up

Contributed by Nina Urbonya

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Twenty participants from Toronto, Windsor, Quebec, and Montreal gathered at the Toronto Family Church from January 28 to 29, 2017, for the latest STEP UP (Student Empowerment through Unification Principles) seminar organized by the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP).

STEP UP was launched one year ago at the national CARP Momentum workshop, and since then the two-day experience has been held in several local communities. STEP UP is a student empowerment seminar that focuses on CARP’s seven core Unification Principles, defined as “principles that can bring about unity on all levels.”

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The sessions were facilitated by David Young, a CARP student coach, and Nina Urbonya, CARP’s international liaison. They led the participants through different interactive activities to get them to apply these Unification Principles in a practical way to their life. The seminar included many “pair shares,” in which participants communicated their thoughts on each principle with each other. 

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Testimonies from participants:

“I know things that I need to change for the better about myself and have practical steps to move in that direction.”

“I have found out more about myself and have noticed that I am becoming more confident. I also started to realize how much of an impact I can have on people by just being present.”

“It was amazing. I really feel like I changed in one day. This workshop has inspired me to go to more Second Gen workshops around the world, learn more about myself, True Parents, those around me, and try to better understand the DP and build a close relationship with my family, friends, myself and God.”

“Writing down my complaints really helped me see how much I was complaining about my dad. This insight is going to be something I think about for the rest of my life, because I don’t want to live on complaints; I want to solve them and live on joy instead.”

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CARP’s mission is to inspire and empower students through the study and application of Unification Principles. Over the weekend, participants were encouraged to be open to discovering new things about themselves and to take action to create the life they want using Unification Principles.

After the last session on Saturday, everyone went out to eat poutine, a Canadian dish made up of french fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy.

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Overall, 95 percent of the participants reported feeling more validated and confident in themselves after the seminar .   

The CARP team and local staff thank all of the participants for an amazing experience and for investing so much time and energy during the weekend together. CARP is looking forward to the next STEP UP seminar and to implementing feedback and new ideas to continue elevating the STEP UP experience.

Many thanks to the all those who helped make this seminar a success! Thank you to CARP, Koshin Young, and Nathan Bellow for hosting and organizing this seminar in Toronto. 

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More reflections:

“Like my seat-mate said, ‘The world is mine.’ If I have the freedom to actually make an impact, WHY NOT! Because the universe gives you what you ask for. So just keep asking for it! I personally look forward to more seminars and, in time, to be a part of the staff. Because I can do it.”

“I enjoyed it overall, I truly did. There was a great, big atmosphere of just general companionship and friendliness; everyone was happy. My only real complaint is that this workshop was too short-lived. Make it longer, please!”

“I like how you make us answer different questions and surprisingly bring all our answers together to form one sentence that really shows what you want out of life. For a visual guy like me, it was eye-opening.”

“I already believe that this is true, and I’m working toward creating my reality. It was very liberating to even think that we can achieve so much as long as we can see and believe in that happening.”

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CARP America Hosts International Students

Contributed by Nina Urbonya, CARP International Liaison

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CARP seeks to raise up students to be global citizens. We believe that one way to do that is through experiencing another country’s culture and meeting with fellow students in that country. CARP America was delighted to help host numerous students from abroad during their stay in America.

Sixteen Korean students from the Sunhak Elite Scholarship Program visited America for 10 days from January 5-14 as part of their “2017 Winter Sunhak Academic Camp”. The Sunhak Elite Scholarship, founded by the Wonmo Pyeongae Foundation, is awarded to model students who have shown excellent academic records and good moral character.

IMG_2028(1)In front of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly hall at the UN Headquarters, New York City.

The theme for this year’s winter camp was “The United Nations and World Peace.” The Wonmo Foundation hopes that through this trip to America, students will be able to better understand the UN and the foundation and the activities of Father and Mother Moon, promote networking among future global leaders, and provide an opportunity for Korean students to meet and discuss various issues with American students.

First, the students toured the United Nations building in New York and then sat down to meet with Keisha A. McGuire, the Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations, a representative from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a representative from Unification Peace Federation (UPF) to talk about the ongoing refugee crisis.

“It was nice to come to the UN and be able to tour and look around. But it was even more meaningful since we could seat down with the Ambassador and discuss current issues affecting the world.” – H.L 21 yrs old Yonsei University student

IMG_2052Students engaging in a discussion on the Refugee Crisis with the Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations and a representative from the IOM.

The students also visited East Garden and Belvedere where Father Moon and his family lived during their time in America. They then went down to Washington DC to visit The Washington Times, the National Monument, and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hall.

Finally, the highlight of their stay: they gathered at the Clifton Family Church to hold a seminar on the role of the UN in the refugee crisis and the reunification of North and South Korea. A total of 40 people came out to listen to the three presentations prepared by the Korean teams. The Korean students seemed nervous at first, having to present in English, and not their native language. However, they did an excellent job of presenting the content that they prepared so diligently.

UNF20170108-002One of the Korean students presenting on the Role of the UN in the Refugee Crisis.

Everyone was impressed by the quality of the presentations. After each presentation, there was time for questions and then a 30-minute discussion in groups. It was a great opportunity for participants from America and Korea to share their opinions and perspectives and gain a deeper and broader understanding on these issues.

“I’ve always had an interest in North and South Korea Unification, it’s something that I’ve heard a lot about growing up in the Unification movement. Because of that I feel very connected to Korea. We should spread this kind of mindset to people of all countries, that they don’t just belong to one country but to think of themselves as global citizens. They need to think of the prosperity of all people and nations, that is the start of peace and unity in the world. If North and South Korea can unite, it can be a model for the world and bring a lot of hope to countries that still have war and conflict. Thank you for coming all the way from South Korea to meet with us and discuss these things.” – Naria McGee, participant from New Jersey

UNF20170108-041Students and adult participants engage in enlightening discussions after the presentations.

“It was a very good experience for me to widen my perspective and views. It is a very rare opportunity to be able to listen to the opinions of people from other countries. We had a good discussion and many good ideas came up. I think it will bear good fruit if we continue to keep an open mind and share ideas and solutions.” – Yongsu Seo, Seoul National University student, Political Science Major

“Thank you everyone for coming out. We prepared very hard for these presentations. We had a good time.” – Korea University student, Media Major

UNF20170108-070All the participants who attended the seminar at the Clifton Family Church in NJ. 

A few days ago, we welcomed another group – six CARP Korea student leaders – who came to do a similar pilgrimage by visiting all the places that Father Moon invested in during his stay in America. On the first day, they met a few of the CARP America staff members. They also had a chance to meet and get to know fellow CARP students in Boston and Bridgeport.

1D3A3567CARP America and FFWPU staff welcomes CARP Korea at the FFWPU Headquarters in Manhattan, NY.

We hope that these are the first of many such trips to America. We are glad to help in hosting students from other countries visiting America for tours, pilgrimages, exchange programs, and training sessions.

If you are interested in bringing a group of students to America, contact Nina Urbonya at nina@carplife.org 

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