CARP Las Vegas Retreat Ignites Faith

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As the final event of the semester, CARP Las Vegas held their 7-Day Retreat from December 17th to the 23rd. The workshop was packed with a total of 28 students: 7 new guests, 4 new members, and 17 CARP/community members.

The retreat was made with love with many lectures and activities. The retreat was designed to help participants practice a consistent life of faith, even after the retreat finished.

The participants were blessed to have Rev. Andrew Compton as the lecturer. With over forty years of experience studying the Divine Principle, Rev. Compton passionately conveyed the essence of the Principle to the participants. Each lecture was filled with rich personal stories of discovering the power the Principle. The testimonies gave life to the Divine Principle for many of the young people and kept them eagerly engaged.

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A special treat was that some of the stories came from Rev. Compton’s personal experience working with Rev. and Mrs. Moon. Just hearing the stories gave a taste the profound and powerful beginning the American Unification movement.

After each lecture, the participants engaged in a group discussion to help them draw out what they gained. This time allowed the participants to reflect and see how the principles applied to their own life. Many participants were blown away from the lectures, especially those on Jesus, Resurrection, and the Parallels of History.

“Many people say that history is progressively turning towards goodness but they could never explain why. That’s why hearing about Parallels of History is so mind-blowing for me.” – Marcus Fuller Jr.

The participants were also were given the time to reflect each day so that they could connect to the unique message God wanted to give them through the lectures. 

“I really felt True Parents are my messiah through the lectures. They taught me God’s heart as our parent and true love, my true value and purpose in life.” – Rammi Mochizuki

Each night there was an interactive activity that helped participants connect to and digest the theme of the day. These activities included skits, brother and sister bonding, movie night, praise and worship, and a talent and testimony night. 

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Two evening activities in particular were especially meaningful for the participants. The first was a movie night with “The Shack,” a movie about a man who had a lot of resentments throughout his life, but after meeting God, he was liberated from his past. Many tears rolled down the young people’s face in resonance with the main character. We’ve all had moments where we neglected God in our lives. They felt repentful but humbled by God’s love and forgiveness.

The second special night was a celebration of praise and worship. This allowed participants a space to let go of any unresolved emotions from the past and receive the grace of God. Through the beautiful music, presented by the CARP band, many participants were captivated by the spirit and were moved to tears. Some of the participants didn’t realize how many emotions they had that they didn’t have a chance to express before. It was a cleansing evening and a new beginning for many of the participants.

“I’m grateful for the worship evening program where I was able to experience deeper prayer and sense of liberation in my heart. I had an amazing moment where I simply let go and let God fill my heart.” – Kobe Neuhaus, new member

“The seven day retreat felt like a rebirth for my life of faith. I received a lot of emotional and spiritual healing that came from the love I received from God and the members. For the first time I experienced the joy of offering my heart to God through music during the praise session.” – Marcus Fuller Jr.

On the last full day, they were also given the opportunity to visit the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) to witness the substantial effort that Father and Mother Moon made for peace by creating this conference center for this purpose. By seeing the physical results of Father and Mother Moon’s legacy of peace, the participants had a chance to connect to their longing heart for a world of peace. After the visit to IPEC, everyone came back to the workshop house where they heard testimonies from elder members, Mrs. Sera Hirano and Mr. Nate Windman. Hearing their stories were so refreshing, as many participants could relate, going through similar experiences.

“I was hearing all the lectures, but actually the lecture was inside of me. The Principle comes from the inside out.” – Nate Windman

During the final evening, the participants shared their talents and testimonies to close off the retreat. Many shared sincerely the challenges they’ve faced in their life growing up. Coming to the retreat allowed them a chance to see God in their own life.

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“After experiencing such a loving environment, a place where I felt that I was able to let out real emotions, and actually enjoy my time with people that I’ve known for only a few months and already feel like a family; it was well worth it.” – Joseph Salvador, new student of Divine Principle

The retreat was an transformational one, thanks to all the support from everyone that made it happen. Supporters from across the nation, such as Mrs. Sharon Pace from North Carolina and Mrs. Robin Schwyter from California came out to help with meal preparation. Throughout the 7 days, the young people were often stretched out of their comfort zone, confronted by their own limitations, and yet undoubtedly opened a new chapter in their journey of faith. What a way to end the Fall 2017 semester and launch into 2018!

Check out more photos and a video of the retreat by going to the CARP Las Vegas Facebook page. 

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Turning Point 2017

We are in the middle of the CARP Turning Point workshop at IPEC taking place from December 26, 2018 to January 1, 2018 but we are preparing daily reports so you can get a taste of what it’s like here! For more photos, check out our Facebook album. 
 
DAY SIX – DECEMBER 31st

On the last full day of the workshop, the participants were determined to end strong, so, despite being tired from a rigorous schedule, they came in this morning ready to “cut the dove,” a reference from the story of Abraham meaning to finish an offering.

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After the morning session, we launched into our final day of lectures. Rev. Yang went over the final stages of True Parents’ life course. The morning session covered the years between 1953 and 2000, most of which Father and Mother Moon spent in America, and the afternoon session covered 2000 to the present and Mother Moon’s life.

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What really stood out from the lectures was how Father Moon and Mother Moon built their foundation starting from nothing. After fleeing North Korea from a concentration camp, Father Moon’s first official “church” was a hut made out of cardboard boxes that also served as his house. From there, he built up a worldwide foundation with churches in over 100 countries.

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Mother Moon was equally amazing in her attitude and faith as she continued to follow and support her husband who was living for the world. Her strength led her to attain equal status as that of her husband and as a public figure.

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After the final lecture and discussions, participants reflected about their entire workshop experience. This allowed them to digest everything that they had gained.

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The evening program for tonight was an exciting Open Mic where participants could show off their talents and offer that to God and the workshop.

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After the final performance, the LA Family Church Band, christened Apple Heaven Hollywood by Mother Moon, came and led a praise and worship service that included pieces from True Parents’ eldest son and previous World CARP President, Hyo Jin Moon. Arranged in his favorite style, rock ‘n’ roll, his songs expressed a deep heart of loving and wanted to live a life of service to God and True Parents.

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After joining the band in the performance of MuJoGeon, the participants reflected for 20 minutes about their year and made resolutions. We then closed our year out in prayer and ran outside to watch the New Year’s fireworks.

Our resolution is to not let this Turning Point begin and end at this workshop but rather to follow through with our Turning Points and make real change in our lives, starting with this year!

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Happy New Year, everybody! Stay tuned to what light, bright, and exciting activities CARP has in store for 2018!

DAY FIVE – DECEMBER 30th
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The morning started with a yoga session where we stretched our mind, body, and spirit to prepare for the day. Since today’s content will focus on the life of Father and Mother Moon, participants ended the yoga session with the song “Crown of Glory” based on a poem Rev. Moon wrote when he was young. This moving poem captures the heart of love that we try to practice in CARP. 
 
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Rev. Young Tack Yang, the Pastor of the Los Angeles Family Church, began lectures on Father and Mother Moon’s life, also known as True Parents. Through understanding the life of True Parents, we can get a deeper understanding of how the Divine Principle was written and also how True Parents have applied the Principle throughout their life. They are incredible role models of being a true son and true daughter of God and as we develop in our life of faith, we look to these spiritual giants. 
 
Today, Rev. Yang talked about Father Moon’s childhood, his experience with Jesus, and his early ministry. He especially emphasized how Father Moon’s life was difficult and filled with persecution. Enduring a communist concentration camp in North Korea where most inmates lose their faith and, very often, lose their lives, Father Moon maintained his faith and determined not to die. Through experiences such as these, the participants could understand Father Moon’s heart and determination toward heaven. 
 
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The afternoon was divided into brothers and sisters. The brothers played charades, acting out a specific part of the Divine Principle without speaking and having the audience guess. The sisters heard a moving testimony from Naoko-san and held a discussion. 
 
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The evening brought a close family atmosphere with testimony night. Participants huddled to the front of the room, some sitting on the floor in front of the stage to offer their support. The testimonies were authentic, real, and demonstrated the real transformation. 
 
Woojin
“My goal in coming here was to experience God’s heart. I’m more intellectual so I can’t connect so well emotionally. I know it to be true but I don’t always feel it. My goal here was to feel it. At first I wasn’t feeling anything and it was frustrating. But then, the lecture about the Second Advent by Rev. Compton caused me to shake. I couldn’t stop. I was shaking out of happiness. It was an incredible feeling. And I realized I met my goal.
 
I thought God’s heart was only about sorrow and pain but I experienced God’s heart of joy, too. God was happy because He found someone He could love again and connect to with Jesus and True Parents. Through the parallels of history, God was just trying to find someone whom he could love.
 
CARP is how God can receive joy and happiness. We can give the same joy as True Parents gave to God as we stand with True Parents.” – Woojin Suina, Texas
 
Takafumi
“I feel so loved. Coming to this workshop was really a blessing. I’ve never felt so loved through lectures before. From the beginning, God has been knocking on our doors and heart trying to say ‘I love you.’ Before this workshop, I struggled with my value. I constantly told myself I wasn’t good enough and compared myself to others.
 
I asked God, ‘Why am I feeling this way? Why am I so terrible?’ The answer that came was that I was judging my value based on myself. So I asked God, ‘how do You feel about me?’ God said, ‘I love you. I love you so much that I would be willing to sacrifice my only Son. No matter the pain or sacrifice, I will love you.’ I remember that every time I feel not good enough.” – Takafumi Mashiko, New Jersey
 
New Student to the Principle
“When I came to New Jersey [from India] last year, one semester was really hard for me. I was missing my family and everyone back home. But in the spring, I met in the cafeteria a Kodan mom and she offered me free food. I have to thank everyone because they supported me. At first I rejected their offer to send me here but my [CARP] brothers set so many conditions to help me to come. They’ve shown so much love. These guys have done so much for me.
 
So many things have made me change the approach I take in my life. This has been a turning point in my life. I was an atheist before. I never thought from God’s point-of-view. I never thought of God in any aspect of my life. I’ve been moved through Gerry Servito’s lecture to think in a different way. Some changes from this workshop are looking from God’s point-of-view and show love to others. It’s been 7 years since I actually prayed…I was a little rusty but I’ll start doing it again.
 
I also never believed in the Messiah. One person can’t save the world. Even Gandhi tried but was killed. It seemed crazy. But I will live according to the Principle. I will continue to support NJIT CARP.” – New student to the Principle, New Jersey
There’s no doubt that everyone felt something at the workshop today. Love. We are loved. We are so grateful CARP can be a community where we can discover and share God’s love with others.  
 
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Kelley
“First, I want to say thank you to Yuka who introduced me to CARP. When I came to this workshop, I noticed the way we all cared for each other. The lectures were moving. They showed how people had struggles but ultimately succeeded because of their faith of God. It was weird being here because I never thought I could be here. I also experienced being a team leader and saw how hard it was. But I also experienced how comfortable we got with each other. I didn’t know many people at first but as the days went on, we were all comfortable with each other. It was awesome! I think I will never forget about this because I’ve been ‘turned’ at this turning point.” – Kelley
 
Daniel
“I didn’t believe in Jesus, even though I grew up Catholic. I was a relatively good boy but I didn’t like going to church. When I thought of God, I thought of something really powerful watching me. I was a God-fearing kid. When I was little, I was really close to my dog. Because I forgot to bring her back inside the house one night, I woke up the next morning and found out she died. I cried so much then. I tried to talk to God saying, ‘why’d You do this?’ I thought God was so powerful and wouldn’t talk back to me. That pain of feeling I caused my dog to die made me rebel and become a bad kid. I eventually turned my life around after reading ‘Mastery’ by Robert Green and pursuing my passion. I started to get my life back on track but I still didn’t believe in God. 
 
The first time I prayed again was at this workshop with my team. Boy was I rusty! But there was so much love in this workshop. Everyone here was amazing. The sacrifices everyone made – people didn’t seem to sleep at all! This is so beautiful and I don’t know if I deserve this and all of you. You are all so committed. I’m not there yet but I’m working on myself. I know it will be good to bring God into everything I do. I know I want to be good, positive, meet good people like you. I love coming here to meet beautiful who have faith. It’s unexplainable but it’s so good here.” – Daniel, New Student to Principle
 
Darius
“First, I want to thank Angelo for inviting me to CARP. I’ve been reminiscing about where I started. Last year’s Turning Point I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go and I had a bad relationship with my father. I joined [CARP] looking for a friend but gained an entire family. CARP was a hard transition because I was going from having immature thoughts to being responsible for myself and my habits. Because of CARP, I not only reconnected with my father but we have a relationship with understanding, no longer with troubled feelings. I also made amends with my mom. Learning the Divine Principle helped me with those bonds and helped me relate better with my brothers and sisters. 
 
I’m also learning what it means to be a leader. I used to complain about things but when you become a leader you’re like, ‘ughh! this is difficult!’ It takes heart, effort, and emotional stability to be a role model to those around you. 
 
I feel I’ve been through the foundation stage after being in CARP for a year and now I’m at a point to stand up for what CARP believes in and be a role model for others. We’ve learned some excellent principles in this workshop and I feel it’s a problem that no one in my life [outside of CARP] knows it. Rev. and Mrs. Moon inspire not only a culture of family but show us that as a nation, we can come together as one family under God.”
 
Kengo
“I’m really grateful for this community of heart. As a leader, I’m learning and seeing the difference in my own maturity, how I’ve grown in this last year. I’m less worried about the external factors to take care of my team and really focused on their growth. It was amazing having my spiritual son here to experience a deeper realm of heart, the heart of a parent. That only comes from understanding God’s heart as a Parent. That was my determination in this workshop: to experience God’s heart. Especially with Rev. Yang’s talk when True Father discovered the fundamental relationship between God and us is parent and child, connecting to God as a parent made the experience so much closer. True Father embodied that heart of parent with everyone wherever he went. That’s so beautiful and I want to embody that heart, too. A turning point isn’t an end; it’s just one point in the line. When we turn, we have to think about what we want to do next. Going into 2018, I want to apply God’s heart in everything I do.”
 
Miki
“I so grateful for God, True Parents, and Jesus for leading me here. When I graduated high school, I didn’t have any doubts about God and True Parents but I also didn’t have any faith. But then I did some fundraising and started to think about who I was. I had a passion to draw but I felt stuck without many options. I was struggling through life and felt I couldn’t do what I really wanted to do. I just worked for money but it was miserable. It was a very materialistic environment and it influenced me to be that way, too. I felt I only had to worry about my appearance. But that’s not eternal and it’s not fulfilling. I kept asking, ‘what’s my purpose in life?’ I was seeking something but I couldn’t connect to God. I just did my own thing and worshiped my own idols. But I was still looking for something more divine and precious. That’s when my brother introduced me to CARP. I hated my job and I felt CARP was my last shot in life. If it didn’t work, I felt that would be it.
 
From the first day in CARP, everyone came to talk to me. From that point, I knew I would stay. I realized that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I’m really grateful I could be here and everyone could feel this welcomed. You change people’s heart. I had a rock hard heart and felt I would never trust anyone. But you melted my heart into something pure and bright. Now I can love God and True Parents with all my heart. Thank you so much! You can save people’s lives by being nice to people. Now I live for you, True Parents, and God.”
 
Karen
“I want to thank Heavenly Parent, True Parents, and the Kodan moms for the unconditional love, prayers, and conditions. I learned a lot from this workshop. My intention in coming was to connect to God’s heart more deeply. Through the lectures, I could see how God is our parent and wants to be with each one of us. It reminded me of an example of a friend sharing with another but being totally ignored. Even with parents asking their children how their day was but the children just ignoring them and turning away. It made me repentful for all the times I turned away from God in my life. God just wants to be with us, whether its in joy or tears. 
 
I was reminded of God’s unconditional love and heart to restore this world. Just like the song, I don’t want to leave God’s side anymore. I want to be with God in anything I do. God wants to feel joy in being together with me. I felt so much of God’s love in this workshop. God loves us no matter who we are or what we do. Just like we were able to create a family culture here, let’s create a family culture around the world. Let’s create one family under God together.”
 
Takayo
“Listening to everyone’s testimonies here, I’m so happy for everyone who’s experiencing God and is teaching me something, too. In preparing for this testimony, I felt bad because I didn’t know what my turning point was. I’m so grateful for the lecturers. I learned something each day and putting that all together, I learned that when I make a choice to do something, I think, ‘am I doing it because I love myself or love God?’ Whenever I learn about God’s heart of restoration, I see God is just trying to save us. So many people are so confused about who they are and experience so much suffering.
 
Being in CARP and meeting so many students and hearing those stories, I feel so grateful everyone is here to experience this. God wants to use every opportunity to reach our hearts. I’m moved by True Parents’ determination and heart to liberate God’s heart. That’s all they’ve been thinking about. Even though they receive so much persecution, all they think about is God. Because of that, there’s no way I can say ‘no’ to CARP or these opportunities. I realize so many people had a choice. I have a choice, too, and I want to continue to make the choice to live for God and support True Parents.”
 
DAY FOUR – DECEMBER 29th
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Today, we welcomed Rev. Andrew Compton, the Education Director at IPEC, to give the lectures on the Principles of Restoration, Moses’ Course, and the Parallels of History. He had the very challenging task of covering all of human history in a few hours, but nevertheless, he brought energy and explained every point very clearly especially pertaining to the Heart of God. 
“Today was my first day attending the workshop. I initially wasn’t able to attend the workshop due to work, but I was able to find a replacement last minute and flew in as soon as I could. The workshop experience is wonderful. I feel my knowledge towards the history of restoration is weak, but from Rev. Compton’s lecture, I was able to grasp so much about our ancestors and how God has felt so much sorrow throughout His life after seeing so many failures towards restoring humanity.
 
It makes me want to do more for God and ultimately give back joy to Him for that is why we were created. Through CARP and this workshop, I was able to strengthen my life of faith and understand God’s heart more deeply.” – Kodai Abe, California
 
“Jesus went through so much suffering – beyond our comprehension! And True Father, too, and especially God. We really have to work hard to rebuild God’s kingdom. We have so much
work to do and no time to waste….We need to learn and teach Divine Principle more, be able to practice Principle, and never forget where we come from and what we have to do.” – Mahnho Kazakos
 
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While the participants enjoyed games in the lobby, the CARP chapter leaders took some time to meet together. Thirteen CARP chapters from around America were represented in the meeting. They shared both their victories and some challenges they faced throughout the year and heard guidance from Parental Advisors. A common theme was their desire to build and really feel like a national CARP movement. 
 
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The evening was CARP night! Teresa Rischl, the National CARP President, introduced the purpose of CARP and the power of courageously and boldly sharing the Principle on campus. Local chapter leaders (all 13!) shared their victories with everyone.
 
There were a number of people in the audience that were new to CARP, but they were impressed by the foundation CARP has been able to create all over the country. Even CARP members felt a sense of pride seeing how CARP was developing outside of their local area. The high school participants shared how they felt inspired by their older brothers and sisters laying such a powerful foundation for God.
 
Participants were encouraged through testimony to start a CARP chapter in their areas and join the CARP movement. As Father Moon said, “Every major turning point in history began with young people” and we believe we are those young people who will lead this nation and world to God! We can do it!
 
DAY THREE – DECEMBER 28th
If you’ve ever heard Gerry Servito present, you become captivated by the depth of heart from which he shares. That was especially true today as he gave a lecture on Jesus, testifying that even growing up Catholic, he never knew Jesus more than because of True Father. When he was a CARP student on campus, he shared with other students about his new understanding of Jesus, based on Father Moon’s revelation. 
“Today I now understand Jesus more because I understand True Father. Through that, I now understand True Father even more.” – Angelo Martires
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At the conclusion of Uncle Gerry’s lectures, he urged participants to think about the theme “Turning Point” as more than just something for ourselves as individuals. Instead, he urged us to think that this moment can be a turning point for the future of this country. He continued, saying so many people love God, love Jesus, and want to create an ideal world but don’t know where to look or how to do it. The participants were encouraged to share the Principle with others. 
 
As a perfect ending of Uncle Gerry’s two days of lectures, he concluded with a handwritten song he wrote years ago when he discovered the principle about the heart of God. He played guitar and sang so beautifully, touching everyone who gave a standing ovation. The lyrics came from the eyes and heart of God in wanting to create and share love. 
 
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Overall, the workshop is going really well. It takes some time for people to get comfortable in a new place with new people but you can feel the love through the singing sessions, in discussions, etc. Some people have noted that even the singing sounds better and better each day. You can’t help but overhear the lovely chorus to feel deeply touched by the Holy Spirit.
 
Even though this may be a new experience for many people, they are opening up. We are creating something positive that brings people together. That’s the CARP experience. We come together with love to create unity and peace.
“It’s such a great environment – it feels so positive here. The whole setup of this place. It’s hard to explain, but it’s beautiful.” – California student new to Divine Principle
In the evening, Andrew Love, the Community Outreach Coordinator & Mentor for High Noon, gave a dynamic lecture on purity. He shared how our habits decide our destiny and encouraged the participants to be intentional in how they live life, especially to go to God instead of other cheap escapes like drugs, porn, etc.
 
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He conveyed both the beautiful hope and ideal of love that God wanted for us and how, due to the Fall of Man, love was confused with lust and society has been struggling under the shadow of shame. Andrew shared examples of powerful men like King David, Bill Clinton, and Tiger Woods who lost their authority and foundation because they couldn’t control their sexuality. 
 
According to Father and Mother Moon, we are now in the ‘High Noon’ era where there is total sunlight in order that evil can be exposed. Because of that, we are living in a time of #MeToo so that the improper use of love or sexuality can no longer remain hidden. Andrew also encouraged young people to work on themselves, develop good habits, and become people of integrity as a strong foundation for their future marriages and relationships. Participants were encouraged with the vision of creating an ideal family and could see how their actions now contribute to that. 
 
DAY TWO – DECEMBER 27th
 
The second day began with prayer. Team leaders met early before the morning service begun to start the day united and centered on God. As the first full day, you could see people become more comfortable with each other during the team discussions and meals. As they connected with the content which focused on the Principles of Creation, they related on a deeper level as their minds were stimulated and their hearts moved. We were grateful to have Gerry Servito (affectionately known by participants as ‘Uncle Gerry’) taught the first day of content. As a long-time Divine Principle educator and CARP alumnus, he related with the young people with such enthusiasm, sincerity, and even tears. 
 
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“All in all it’s pretty good. I shared a lot, more than I shared with others before. I’m starting to understand love that way.” – Nitin Hebbar, New Jersey
 
“I’m very comfortable with my team. Even though I’m usually not the type to talk unless talked to, I do my best to input into the discussions.” – Masaho Shimobayashi, New Jersey
 
“I really love this workshop. I love the lectures and discussions. I love how passionate Uncle Gerry is about God. I can feel the amount of love Uncle Gerry has for God, and I can really see it through his lectures. It’s so genuine.” – Hayato Shigeta, California
 
Uncle Gerry shared with us about God’s heart and His ideal for creation. Something that really hit the participants deeply was the fact that God loves them so much and made them completely unique. Uncle Gerry, through song, movie clips, and his own passionate heart, shared his love for God and the Divine Principle and conveyed that powerfully to each participant.
 
Participants also had an afternoon break to enjoy sports and fellowship with each other. 
 
After the afternoon lecture sessions, participants were invited to watch one of two movies, The War Room or Privileged Planet, or listen to a prayer guidance by CARP LA’s Parental Advisor, Naoko Hiraki. Whatever evening activity they participated in, participants were moved and concluded the day with personal reflection and prayer. 
 
DAY ONE – DECEMBER 26th
 
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Participants gathered from across the United States to participate in this year’s CARP Turning Point 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop at the International Peace Education Center. In its second year, ‘Turning Point’ has expanded its service to both number of participants (from 74 last year to over 120 this year) and number of communities participating to include Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
 
The participants include high school students, college students, young adults, and parental supporters. Participants also come from different backgrounds and understanding of the Divine Principle. Some of the participants grew up studying the Principle and about 30 of the young adults started studying the Principle in the last few years, months, or weeks. The diversity of the participants helps create an atmosphere where we can all grow and learn together. 
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The intention of this workshop is to help raise young people in their understanding of Divine Principle by experiencing the heart of God and give them a chance to develop heir own life of faith. By expanding its service and partnering with IPEC DP Retreats to host this 7-day workshop, this is a beautiful example of sharing one’s blessings with others. Hosted primarily by CARP Los Angeles, they wanted to share this workshop with others who may not have as many opportunities like this in their local communities. Since we are all part of one family under God, the only way we can truly be at peace is if we take care of each and help raise each other up. 
IMG_8871On the first day, participants started to experience this heart for others through the orientation, ice breakers, sharing meals together, and connecting with their teams for the workshop. Participants could get a better understanding of the purpose of CARP and the purpose of the theme, ‘Turning Point.’ Participants were encouraged to think about the turning points in their lives so far and to add this workshop as a defining turning point in their lives going forward. This retreat is to help participants reflect on their life and turn from a self-centered lifestyle to a God-centered lifestyle, inspired by a personal understanding of the heart of God. 
 
In line with this intention, some of the high school participants decided to start a condition together and get the most out of this workshop. They decided to wake up a little earlier and pray together before the schedule starts. If teenagers in our country develop this heart and discipline, imagine where our country is going! As Father Moon would say, where the young people go, the society will go. We believe this Divine Principle retreat contributes to the turning point in America and the world. Father and Mother Moon have invested in principled education to inspire the world to see from God’s perspective and develop a heart for others. We are so grateful for this opportunity and thank you for your prayers and support to create these educational opportunities for youth and young adults. 
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Revival Starts With Love

Contributed by Jennifer Pierce

IMG_4390The crowd gathers to City of Refuge in LA for the ‘Revival Starts with Me’ rally.

On December 16th, CARP Los Angeles (LA), in collaboration with the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC), hosted a Revival Starts with Me Rally for the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea.

This rally was inspired by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s successful rallies in Thailand, Japan, United States, and Korea this year.

Why Reunification Matters

The issue of North and South Korean peace is a hot topic in the world today, but to CARP’s founders, Father and Mother Moon, this issue is a personal one. As refugees from North Korea, they saw first-hand the effects of how a divided country hurts its people and how a communist ideology ruins lives. They also realized that peace on the Korean peninsula could lead to world peace.

2017-06-29 14.32.50(Left to Right) Jermaine Bishop Jr., Joshua Holmes, and Naomi Froehlich of CARP America speak at the South Korean Congress Building.

CARP LA was inspired by Father and Mother Moon’s vision during their international exchange trip to South Korea earlier this year in July. During that trip, three American student representatives had the opportunity to speak about the peaceful reunification at the South Korean Congress building. Following that, CARP LA decided to host one rally at the end of this year and two more next year.

“[This rally] was something that we could do to support Mother Moon’s efforts for global peace as well as a way for each of us to take responsibility over the situation that the world is facing today. Considering all of the recent tragedies that have taken place all across the globe, we really felt connected to this vision of bringing people together as a common humanity and one global family under God.

We wanted to inspire others to look past our differences and to come together based on the premise that we all desire to establish peace in the world, starting with this particular division we see on the Korean peninsula.” – Harumi Muranaka, CARP Cypress

Coming Together

23732183_10210071177566056_490975714_oCARP LA visits Rock of Faith Church for Bible Study!

The organizing group for the rally connected to Christian churches with the understanding that true love and peace comes from God, our Creator. Knowing that God is our Heavenly Parent gives us a basis to treat other humans like brothers and sisters. Based on this understanding, the organizing group connected to many pastors and congregations and invited them to the rally and participate in the joint choir.

The City of Refuge, the host of the event, was inspired to let us use their venue because of our youthful spirit. Bishop Noel Jones, the Senior Pastor at the City of Refuge, went to South Korea just last month to attend Mother Moon’s 80,000 person rally for Korean peace and was even more inspired to support this initiative.

Preparation

23561359_1613791641992938_941055731301983213_nCARP ECC shares about the rally on campus. 

Every week since October, CARP members made preparations inviting others to come from churches and college campuses.

“Inviting people to the rally was a good experience, but reaching out to my family and friends really tested my confidence in my faith and investment in CARP. Some results may not have been what I have expected, but this has made me want to work harder to inspire my friends and family to support CARP in the future.” – Yuka Oiwa, CARP PCC Vice President

IMG_7493Jason McGee directs the choir on December 16th.

One of the biggest components of this rally was the music. Jason McGee, the Music Director at the City of Refuge, led the 100-person choir comprised of representatives from twenty church and CARP. They prepared four songs for the event: ‘Every Praise’, ‘Spirit Break Out’, ‘Jesus Promised’, and ‘I Won’t Go Back.’

IMG_7555The choir members consisted of 20 different church choirs and CARP members.

“I was a part of the choir directed by Jason McGee, and he told us at one of the choir rehearsals that this is heaven: where all races come together as one family. I really felt that way as well. I really felt the presence of God and True Parents at the rally and I think He was very happy to see His children gathered at a very spiritual, very prepared place as one family, praying for peace and unity between North and South Korea as well as the whole world.” – Hitoe Hiraki, CARP CSULA President

The Program

IMG_7514Joshua Holmes, Master of Ceremonies, takes the stage. 

Joshua Holmes, the Master of Ceremonies for the event and CARP Cypress President, guided everyone through the program with spirit and vigor. He was full of energy and shared it freely with the participants.

“Preparing for the rally was where God could work and work deeply in the lives of the people we reached out to and came to the event. As the MC, when I walked onto the stage for the first time, I was completely calm. My heart didn’t beat faster at all because I knew that all of this was in God’s hands and I believed in the foundation that was laid already by Mother Moon, our parental figures, students, and missionaries.” – Joshua Holmes, CARP Cypress President

IMG_7570Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, FFWPU International Vice President, gives some opening remarks. 

Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) International Vice President, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, offered a greeting and shared about the personal impact that the divided Korea has had on his life and family. Because of the division, he has been separated from and unable to meet his grandparents who were isolated in North Korea. His testimony touched everyone in the room and helped connect the issue to a very personal and family level.

The Power of Students

IMG_7665Jermaine Bishop gives his speech with passion and fervor.

CARP LA President, Jermaine Bishop Jr., gave a speech during the event about the reunification of North and South Korea, representing the student perspective. Here’s a part of his speech:

“I was curious to see what world-class leaders all over the world might be thinking about how we could resolve the divide on the Korean peninsula. One man said it absolutely has to be done by politics, so I looked at what political figures were doing. I saw qualified men and women trying the same work, the same means in different ways, to no avail since 1945. I realized the problem was that we recognize means as ends. Politics is a tool; we’re trying to create change with the same devices that created the divide in the first place. There is no law in the constitution that governs hearts…

Rev Sun Myung Moon [and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon] saw the [problem] right here in America. They saw people living in abundance and prosperity who stored it all up for themselves instead trying to figure out what can we could do to be a blessing to one another. There is nothing politics can do to help us overcome that misunderstanding. We live in a country where the things we do influences artists, engineers, politicians, and entrepreneurs that influence every corner the world.

We don’t have to figure out how to change the world; we just need to transform the people right here in this room to be beacons of light, to love like Jesus loves, to be a walking revival. Then, this nation and world can do the same. The best thing we could do to that effect is offer sincere prayer.”

At the end of his speech, Jermaine led the entire rally in a prayer for the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea.

IMG_4476The participants offer a unison prayer for the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea. 

Pastors Speak Up for Peace

The keynote address was given by City of Refuge’s Bishop Noel Jones. He shared that God’s intention was for all of us to share love with each other. God created us with equal value, and therefore we should love each other equally.

_MG_4646Bishop Noel Jones gives his keynote address.

“What inspired me the most was Bishop Noel Jones’ speech. It was very enthusiastic and when he called out the youth, I had this determination to answer God’s call. His voice was so powerful that his opening prayer made me cry. Through this event, I learned the importance of the position I’m in.” – Naomi Kotani, HARP AHS President

_MG_4540Bishop Jones captivates the crowd. 

He also shared how he was inspired by Mother Moon in Korea at her rally in November. He said he was inspired by her because she was a ‘giver’; he said givers never decrease because God always gives to those who give to others.

Breaking Down Walls

It is with that kind of heart, a heart of giving and loving, that will end the suffering in North Korea and bring peace to the peninsula.

“The inspiring part of the rally was that men can solve unreasonable problems with an unreasonable solution: God and Love.” – Darius Clash, CARP PCC

IMG_4268CARP students performing Mujogeon.

The program ended with about 50 members of CARP, including members from Bay Area CARP, Las Vegas CARP, and Dallas CARP, performing Mujogeon, the dance created for Mother Moon’s Madison Square Garden Rally in New York in July of this year.

IMG_4273Power and passion of youth brings this dance to life. 

The song, which translates to ‘unconditional’ in Korean, represents the spirit of a young person who unconditionally follows wherever God leads. Full of energy and excitement, many who attended the rally said seeing the bright young people dance with this purpose was the highlight and perfect culmination of the event.

Coming Together for Peace

IMG_7451Emily Iseda of CARP UCLA reps the rally T-shirt. 

Around 1,200 people showed up to the rally. After months of preparation, the students could finally see the fruits of all of their investment.

“The rally inspired me by being able to see everything come together after preparing for a long time. To think that I was a part of this event gave me a weird feeling of excitement and hope for what’s to come. I’m sure my vision and desire for the unification of North and South Korea isn’t as strong as True Parents’ or God’s desire, but I felt like through these events and daily effort helped me connect to this huge vision step-by-step.” – Takahito Kikuchi, CARP ELAC President

IMG_4363Different faith leaders came in support of the event. 

The real impact of this rally wasn’t so much what was said but what was done. People from all walks of life – from college campuses, 20 different churches, and local community members – were gathered to talk about this global issue and how to bring peace and understanding. Participation in this effort together helped us see how we need to take care of each other, whether the person across the street or across an ocean.

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We learned that it’s not science or politics that brings people together; it’s love.

CARP LA plans to host two more rallies in 2018. Stay tuned for more details about how you can support and be a part of the change. Follow us on Facebook! #RevivalStartsWithMe

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Conversations That Matter

Contributed by Denthew Learey

CARP University of Bridgeport (UB) and CARP Grand Rapids hosted events where professors came and shared their wisdom to students, much like LV’s Campus Talks. It provided an opportunity at the end of the year for the campus community to think about their values and passions that might have been forgotten along the way.

On Being: A Discussion with Professors About Finding Your Identity, Values, and Passion in a Global Society

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On November 29th, CARP UB hosted their  event called, “On Being: A Discussion with Professors About Finding Your Identity, Values, and Passion in a Global Society” with another club on campus, the Global Affair Society. Twenty-five people in total attended the event including students, faculty, and community supporters.

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Their discussion strove to answer these questions:

  1. How do you define success? What do you see is the connection between following your passion and being successful?
  2. If you have to make compromises in life, what are the things that are non-negotiable and what can be let go?
  3. How do you find and develop your core values and do they change with time?

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Professors gave their input and then the floor was open to for everyone to share.

“I never thought about being, the word itself…and I want to understand the meaning of this,” one professor said.

Opening the floor and creating a space for both professors and students to talk allowed students to feel free to ask questions and gain advice from the professors and peers.

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“I needed every word to revive the me in me. I forgot who I am for a while and the talk stimulated those feelings of passion and the value of human connections and that I still have a lot to do and offer for this world and I remembered to value what the world has given me so far.” – Doha Sabbagh, Global Affairs Society President

“I was so grateful for the sincerity and insight of everyone participating in the event and helping to plan it. I think we created something really meaningful that had an active impact on people. I hope that CARP at UB can host more events of its kind.”- Krista Smith, CARP UB President

Healing the Heart of America

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CARP Grand Rapids’ event on November 30th hosted guest speaker, Kathryn Davis, who talked about “Healing the Heart of America.” 18 students and two faculty attended the event.

Ms. Davis explained that everyone is a part of a family, the human family and change can take place when that is understood. She called for everyone to focus more on the spiritual side of life instead of the external.

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Through her talk, CARP realized that, even though everyone has the same internal value, the racism and discrimination that was happening on campus was because people were focusing on the external.

“We felt called to take part in the campaign to end racism and discrimination on campus organized by the Students Alliance [another club on campus]. I think if we are to fight racism it has to begin with the understanding that God is our Heavenly Parent, and we are all His children. I was so moved by the receptiveness of the audience during the event, and it gave me a lot of hope. I believe that if we begin to look at each person as a brother or a sister, it will prompt us to change the way we treat each other and that’s what I hope the campus can benefit from this event.” – Josue Kisile, CARP Grand Rapids President

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After the presentation, the students talked about how they could solve these issues on campus. Many students were inspired to participate in helping CARP to create a solution.  

Continuing the Conversation

The professors of both events shared many personal testimonies about how they figured out what values were non-negotiable in their lives and how it lead to their success in their lives. Their openness allowed the students to share about themselves and their opinions and views.

The conversations that were started by these campuses are good ones to reflect on as we close the year. What values are non-negotiable to you and how do they help you build success? How can those values heal our nation? Share your responses below!

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Making the Most of Winter Break

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After a long semester of focusing on school, winter break is a needed breath of fresh air. It’s a break from school and a chance to recharge your spirit. While it’s important to work hard in getting your degree, we are so much more than our academic pursuits.

Make sure to take time to balance your education so you are alive, free, and connected to the world around you. Your time in school will be more meaningful if you can connect to what’s really important and learn how to make an impact on the world with your education.

That’s why CARP promotes #PrinciplesWorthLiving and #ConversationsThatMatter so we can connect to something bigger than ourselves.

These winter break opportunities give students and young adults a much-needed chance to reflect and connect with God, humanity, and the world.

‘Revival Starts with Me’ Rally

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Connect with other students and people of faith at the ‘Revival Starts With Me’ Rally in Gardena, Los Angeles on Saturday, December 16th. Co-sponsored by the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and CARP, this will be a rousing and inspiring celebration of faith, peace, and the power of prayer in reviving our nation and world. The world is in need of so much healing and we can be part of the solution by coming together as global citizens. We can make a difference on world issues, like the relationship between North and South Korea, by creating peace in ourselves, relationships, communities, and more.

Register here! Contact carplife.la@gmail.com for more information.

Turning Point

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Hosted by CARP LA, this is an opportunity for any student wanting to learn about and discover the Divine Principle. Interact with CARP students and young adults nationwide and learn from our most esteemed educators from around the country.

It will take place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 at the International Peace Education Center (IPEC) in Las Vegas. Finish the year strong and celebrate in spirit and truth.

For more information, contact Jennifer Pierce: jennifer@carplife.org

Register here!

Going Deeper!

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Want to learn even more about what Principle has to offer? From Jan. 3 to Jan. 9 at IPEC in Las Vegas, study with young adults from around the country to learn more deeply and explore some practical applications to the Principle in our culture today.

For more information, contact Tasnah Moyer: tmoyer@unification.org

Register here!

Level Up!

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This retreat aims to create a place and time where we can renew our sense of direction and clarity, our sense of hope and purpose, and experience deep reflection and connection with our brothers and sisters.

From January 5 to 11 at Pine Creek Retreat, Gore, Virginia.

For more information, contact Tasnah Moyer: tmoyer@unification.org

Register here!

GPA’s 7 Day Retreat!

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Hosted by Generation Peace Academy (GPA), from January 7 to 13 at Tejas Trails, Texas.

More details coming soon!

For more information, contact Tasnah Moyer: tmoyer@unification.org

Register here!

Do you know of another great winter break opportunity that we missed? Let us know and we’ll include it! Email jennifer@carplife.org

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