What’s up, CARP!

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My name is Denthew Learey; I am 21 years old, and I am the Assistant Pastor of the Belvedere Family Community. I am not one that stands out in a crowd, so I have to compensate with my energetic, comical character.

I love sports. You will often find me on the Frisbee field,  ready to compete at the annual Blessed Cultural Sports Festival (BCSF), an annual sports and arts competition for the youth of the Unification Movement. I also love volleyball, but I make sure I take breaks from sports to enjoy endless hours behind a computer screen as well.

21167264_1632995436744697_1083011117224332167_oDenthew with his team at BCSF.

I am currently enrolled at a community college majoring in the prestigious field of Liberal Arts. I plan to transfer to a university and to continue developing myself, most likely to pursue Psychology and Theology. I would never describe myself as someone who is extremely goal-oriented and driven, but when the passion is uncovered, my will does shine forth and I will fight till the very end.

A Journey of Faith

When I was 16 years old, I began a journey of faith during a desperate prayer, intensely asking God what my purpose, my value, was. At that moment, I met God in the stars. Although shocked and stunned, the incredible warmth and love I felt is unforgettable.

My journey of faith had begun to truly understand the principles that we stand for and live by them.

22310442_1472673396147877_6444838607417311774_nDenthew and his family.

 As I became more confident in who I was, I began to spread my newfound inspiration to those around me and to share love I felt. I began guiding others on their journey of faith to overcome obstacles and to discover their values and beliefs, as had been done for me.  

IMG_0994Denthew leading service at his local church.

Along with my faith, my passion in learning and understanding the Divine Principle grew through the countless camps and workshops I have attended and staffed.  However, I experienced the most love and growth from my two years on European Special Task Force (STF), a gap year leadership training program.

For me, the Divine Principle (the spiritual text of the Unification Movement) was a real page-turner, and I was enraptured with every word. It just made so much sense. I do exaggerate a bit, but I honestly could see the value of really getting to know and understand the Principle and the truths it holds.

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Moving Forward

I am here with CARP as a English intern. I am hoping to become better in expressing myself, whether it is through talking, activities, or even through being more organized (an area in my life that is sorely lacking), but especially through words.

I will be helping to write articles and posts to inspire and inform you about CARP and all our wonderful activities.

I will also take this opportunity to grow myself, and take this time in CARP to learn some useful tips and tricks in bettering myself, in smoothing out the rough edges, and in realizing my potential. Let’s go on this journey of growth together!

Before this becomes too long, and for you, the one person still reading this, I would like to personally invite you to reach out and talk. If you need help with anything or just want someone to be your friend, I am here for you! You can reach me at CIGlearey@gmail.com.

God Bless!

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CARP LA Discovers the Power of the Principle

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CARP Los Angeles (LA) is one of the CARP ‘hubs,’ meaning there are several university chapters that coordinate and work together in a certain region. In Los Angeles, there are 6 registered chapters and one more chapter in development. Being in a hub allows them to share resources and best practices, as well as host workshops that may have been hard for one chapter to do on their own. 

From October 21-22, CARP LA held its first two-day Divine Principle Retreat with over sixty people! George Kazakos, a CARP alumnus, was the main presenter, speaking on the principles of creation and how we were meant to live as one family under God. 

Between lectures, team leaders facilitated discussions and activities that left participants inspired and motivated to continue to study the Principle as a way to develop themselves, love others, and make a positive impact. One new CARP member said that being in this environment made him realize, “this is where I’m supposed to be.”

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Testimonies

“Through the [lecture], I feel like I am beginning to understand the depth of God’s love and also sorrow.” – Fukuyoshi A.

“I was able to visualize and connect the principles to my life.” – Madoka T.

“I really enjoyed getting to know other CARP members from different chapters and getting to discuss and share about what we’re learning together.” – Ellen K.

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“The highlight of this workshop was the environment we were in. I really felt so much energy and unity where everyone was on the same page.” – Kayun H.

“My highlight was feeling the energy while everyone sang together. You could feel God was in the room.” – Pedro D.

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“The highlight for me was the discussion groups, because the [sharing from others] was very genuine and we were able to have an engaging conversation.” – Takahito K.

“My highlight was how much of a great time I had with my brothers and sisters.” – Gabriel J.


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Inviting Special Guest Speakers

The next weekend, CARP LA also had the pleasure of hosting Rev. Nakamura, a CARP alumnus from Japan, who presented to many of the students at the Intercultural Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea this summer. Rev. Nakamura met with CARP chapter leaders and members, sharing his testimony as a CARP member in Japan and meeting Father Moon. He also gave lectures on Unification Thought.

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Testimonies

“Today I really liked how he said that we should have 2 mottos–to consider yourself as an important figure, and to talk to God through pray. This inspires me to give it my all, even if something feels insignificant/small.” – Akane H.

“Through his the testimony, I felt how powerful and valuable the Principle is and how it can change many people’s lives.” – Karen T.

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“From the testimony, I thought that the most important part was when Nakamura-san said that we should all understand that we are historical figures. Many times I think we forget the importance of our existence and we don’t believe the kind of impact we can have in the world. But I’m glad that I got to hear this because it reminded me of the importance of my existence.” – Takayo H. 

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“Today’s lecture has really motivated me to become more intentional in thinking about God throughout the whole day, in every moment. This is definitely easier said than done because I am currently a college student, and it isn’t easy to stand up amongst the crowd.” – Kyosei N.

“The testimony about how Nakamura-san kept a humble attitude even in times of trouble or injustice – when he could have been indignant – really inspired me to take a breath and look at the situation and reflect on myself more.” – Mika M.

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“When you are faced with intense negative emotions, you should not respond with negative emotions. For instance, when Christ was crucified, instead of responding with indignation or self-centered sorrow, he responded with care and understanding for the human race. I can apply this to my own life by trying to focus on the positive aspects of situations and be more understanding for the opposing side.” – Arnold C.

“I’ve learned so much and look forward to applying it into my daily life, guiding brothers and sisters, and into my foundation of faith in my relation with God.” – Jason H.

Share your stories and inspire others! Email jennifer@carplife.org

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CARP North Lake Dreams Big

 Contributed by Jennifer Pierce

22046797_895124057320267_391697688038800909_nWoojin speaking during their first CARP meeting this semester.

Meet Woojin Suina: 20 years old from North Lake College in Dallas, Texas. He graduated high school in 2015 and spent two years on a gap year program called Generation Peace Academy (GPA) doing service work and developing his faith.

Although he recently started college this fall, he serves as Vice President of his CARP chapter and expresses great hope for the future of CARP North Lake.

Getting Inspired

His inspiration to join CARP came from the Intercultural Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea during the summer. Being able to meet the co-founder of CARP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, had an enormous impact on Woojin.

51005127Woojin with other trip participants in Busan, South Korea.

“When I saw [Mother Moon], I felt that by meeting us she was trying to tell us the importance [of CARP] and how much she has faith in us to change the culture on our campuses. That’s why I decided to join CARP.”

He was also inspired by the CARP chapters in Japan and Korea, particularly their endless dedication toward achieving their visions and goals. Woojin hopes to inherit that spirit and determination.

Inspiring a New Culture on Campus

Along with the other officers of CARP at North Lake College, Woojin envisions their CARP chapter being a community of people excited to serve others.

“I want to build a culture where we help others because we want to, and we have fun doing it.”

21368724_10209493007584512_5205535077179991993_oCARP North Lake’s kick-off BBQ event before school started!

Woojin recognizes his own growth through CARP. After attending GPA, Woojin was worried he would be disconnected from his faith when returning home and going to school. However, being involved in CARP helped keep  his faith alive.

“When I entered CARP and started doing CARP activities, I became excited by the Unification Principle. By studying it, I’ve gained a lot of insight about myself. Everything I’ve learned on GPA, I can apply in my life [through CARP]. It’s been really stressful because I have work and CARP and school, but I always keep my faith first wherever I go, and I feel more aligned and productive. Recently, I discovered what I want to do in my life. It’s been a really great experience.”

20729067_1450859214996512_5781514460655205278_oWoojin (left) with CARP Chapter President at North Lake College, Hiromi Iida (right).

CARP North Lake was started in fall semester of 2016 by Chapter President Hiromi Iida. Since Hiromi will be transferring next semester, Woojin is learning as much from him as possible as well as learning to gain support from other key members.

“I’m going to be left with two other leaders. I’m nervous, but my main motivation right now is to lay a good foundation for the future and attract [future leaders].”

North Lake also has several community supporters guiding and mentoring them.

Challenges and Victories

Woojin recognizes several challenges in CARP North Lake. Because of a significant number of Japanese exchange students and the tendency of them to speak Japanese to each other, the  language barrier excludes non-Japanese speaking members in the club. He wants to make more of an effort to be inclusive.

He also feels that there are some members who are involved in CARP because they feel obligated, due to their parents encouraging them to be there or because they feel it’s the right thing to do. He hopes that in the future they will feel inspired to help out.

22046858_895126120653394_3171924555156843777_nCARP North Lake’s first general meeting!

Despite these challenges, Woojin celebrated a few victories. Currently, CARP North Lake meets on Mondays at 3:30pm with about 20 students attending each week. About half of them are new members to CARP who joined after the Club Fair at the beginning of the semester.

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Among their 20 members, one of them is the leader of the International Group Club on campus. He comes consistently and enjoys being in CARP. He wants CARP to be represented and work with the International Group in their event, the International Education Week. Woojin looks forward to and is excited about making more of an impact on campus through this collaboration.

22406303_903811186451554_3630762029650228015_nWoojin leads a team to fundraise.

To round out their members’ experience, CARP North Lake does events off campus as well. They fundraise for CARP every other month, and members who attended the fundraising days report having a powerful and moving experience with God.

Building and Getting Bigger

In the future, Woojin wants CARP North Lake to become a hub like CARP LA or CARP LV where the surrounding community is inspired by and attracted to CARP activities and events.

“My hope is to become something where everyone’s excited to be part of CARP, not because they feel welcome. I really want to create that kind of atmosphere.”

21751887_10209584782038816_3929690880028985515_nCARP North Lake’s Club Fair.

Woojin’s parting advice to newer chapters is to create unity and harmony with your community supporters.

“When I managed to unite with my [mentors], I was able to break through in my own faith, and also, the CARP chapter was able to make a breakthrough as well. When we came together, things started to change.”

Woojin’s story shows us that by going forward with courage and faith in a larger vision and dream, things can start to happen. Also, it’s a testament to reach out for support in your greater community. Great work, CARP at North Lake College!

Share your chapter’s story and inspire others! Send it to jennifer@carplife.org!  

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HARP Club Starts at Public High School

Contributed by Jennifer Pierce

65452167First one day HARP retreat in Los Angeles, May 14, 2016. 

When I got to college, I was pretty sure about who I was and where I wanted to go. Of course, I expanded upon those ideas throughout my college years but I had a basic foundation.

However, I realized that that was not the case for most of my fellow classmates and peers who I grew up with in school. My peers and I had similar experiences growing up so at the time I didn’t understand why they were struggling so much with their identity.

I started working with CARP LA in the fall of 2015. Throughout my time in CARP, I watched college students, with only a vague understanding of who they were and what they stood for, become re-assured of their value and committed in faith, and I thought to myself, “Does this process have to begin in college?”

70210379High School participants bond through sports during the retreat. 

A Strong Foundation

High schools have an increasing number of teenagers reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as a rising incidence of teenage pregnancy and drug use. This is the environment that is supposed to prepare them for adulthood?…uh oh.  

In high school, I mostly kept to myself and took it upon myself to study and apply the Unification Principles my parents shared with me. It helped me stay grounded and connected to my parents’ love.

Counter to what high school culture provided, these Principles are what gave me a strong foundation for college and sense of self. When reflecting on the status of my peers, I realized these Principles could have made a difference for them, too.

19052165Jennifer Pierce sharing Unification Principles to high school participants. 

So, I started staffing a series of retreats for high schoolers in May of 2016, as a project under CARP, to raise high school students to become global leaders. One theme for this age group was abstinence as a way to develop ourselves and maintain the purity of our youth. This was a way to strengthen our personal relationships with God, our parents, ourselves, and build healthy relationships.

The series was later named HARP, the High School Association for the Research of Principles, and was to become the precursor to CARP.

26993562HARP AHS members (L to R): Euna Tengan, Maika Kotani, Kayun Hiraki, Joanne Fu, Naomi Kotani, Masato Shigeta, Yoshihito Takagi, Hiroto Shigeta. 

Campus-Bound

As of Thursday, September 14, 2017, HARP has been officially established at Alhambra High School (AHS) as part of the Los Angeles regional CARP hub.

The two students who are spearheading this club, Naomi Kotani (aged 17) and Kayun Hiraki (aged 14), went through the HARP retreat series.

“Seeing CARP, they invest a lot, but I was wondering what I could offer [as a high school student].” – Kayun Hiraki

Both Naomi and Kayun are motivated to reach out to their peers about the Unification Principle. They want to prepare students to start reflecting on these important matters so they are better prepared for college and CARP.

21433915(L to R) Kayun Hiraki and Naomi Kotani learning from CARP members at Pasadena City College (PCC). 

Creating a Culture of Heart in High School

Along with collaborating with CARP, HARP AHS plans to host their own weekly meetings and become a positive influence on campus by being a part of the campus culture and events, like open house.

“HARP is about the research of principles; we want to know the reason behind it. During meetings, we are going to focus on discussion.” – Naomi Kotani

Finding an advisor and the required ten students proved to be a challenge for the club’s forerunners. Naomi and Kayun gathered seven others to become the school’s first HARP members.

The nine of them went out to look both for an advisor and the final required member. They pitched their club as a faith-based club focused on the idea of purity. However, they were rejected by many teachers before finally finding one.

21741112(L to R) Naomi Kotani and Kayun Hiraki learn how to share Unification Principles. 

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

Despite the struggle, the HARP members weren’t shaken.

“Since everyone’s a child of God, by keeping our purity and properly learning God’s principles, that’s the best way for God to claim us as His children. Keeping purity is the process. People get caught in false relationships. It’s not real. If you don’t feel value within yourself, it will affect all of your other relationships.” – Kayun Hiraki

They held their first meeting on Friday, September 15 during their lunch hour.

As pioneers in uncharted waters, they’re going to come against many challenges. With support and guidance from their big brothers and sisters in CARP, HARP members will be able to learn and grow from their experiences and get a jump start on making a difference around them.

Do you have a similar experience in creating something in high school? Let us know in the comments below. 

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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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