Jack (bottom left corner) at the CARP Center in Berkeley, California
This “Throwback Thursday” highlights Jack Whedbee, a CARP alumni who shared with us his personal transformation from helping and teaching others.
Through studying and teaching the Divine Principle, he discovered the power of God’s love and grace which prompts us toward a world of peace and prosperity.
His story takes us back to his college days and his front-line work in the former Soviet Union (later the Commonwealth of Independent States).
In 1982, Jack Whedbee was an athletic psychology student at the University of Tennessee when he first read the World Student Times, a CARP publication sharing a principled perspective on current events. Jack, a Bible-salesman at the time, was intrigued by and identified with the ideals conveyed in the CARP newspaper.
Later, in the spring of 1983, Jack’s roommate attended a CARP event where he was asked to bring someone he could share his heart with.
That’s when Jack first met CARP.
Jack doing what he loves: teaching.
“It knocked my socks off; I mean, I literally had to take my shoes off at the door.”
Jack’s perspective expanded through the culture and content at CARP events, discussions, and seminars.
He reflected on the influence of principles in everyday conversations and pondered about human potential more and more.
Through his study of the Divine Principle, Jack could further appreciate the harmony within nature. Observing this harmony inspired Jack to elevate his relationship with God and open his heart to other ways God may try to connect through creation.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in March 1984, Jack began witnessing with CARP and sharing principled ideals on streets and campuses across the Californian Bay. Jack’s discussions about principled life were usually relaxed and personal. Wherever he went, he was inspired to listen to and share varied ideas and ideals.
Global Citizen: Russian Edition
In 1990, Father Moon started a CARP student exchange program after the Berlin Wall fell and communism weakened.In December of that year, Jack flew to St. Petersburg and began teaching Divine Principle.
Throughout his time in Russia, Jack lectured to anyone who understood English.
Since his students were only just emerging from an atheistic regime, they often fell silent when Jack’s chalky hands scrawled quotes from the Bible. Based on this effort, the International Education Foundation (IEF) was developed to publicly share the teachings of the Divine Principle to a non-religious audience.
Jack also spent his time and money on the local orphanages in between his two main hobbies: running and reading. Although the people of St. Petersburg touched his heart (and vice versa), Jack eventually had to depart for Volgograd in 1993 with his lovely wife, Yukari.
In 1995, their daughter, Soon-Mi, was born in the Kalmykia region. There was a strong family community in Southern Russia, creating an embracing and supportive atmosphere for their young family.
Creating World Peace Through Our Own Family and Example
After years in the breathtaking Russian winter, the Whedbee trio flew back to the United States in 1996. Jack’s eyes were open to God’s power and how much one person could contribute to the world. In 1997, Jack attended the Unification Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2000.
Though Jack hasn’t seen his Russian friends in years, he still remembers how God worked through him and his friends to create a better world.
“After all these years, I still think that world peace is possible.”
The Whedbee clan: Soon-Mi, Jacob, Yuki, Jack, Yukari, and Josh
Jack hopes to instill his children, Soon-Mi, Jacob, Yuki, and Josh, with love for the Principle that impacted his life so deeply. Jack and Yukari and their busy children are usually at their Georgian home, tending to delicious tomatoes in their garden.
On August 30, 2016 CARP Manila had the opportunity to serve their community by volunteering for a ‘Food Feeding Program’ at the local Baclaran Elementary School.
Over 200 children were fed over the course of the program.
One of the volunteers remarked, “It’s so overwhelming to welcome every single student as they entered the room, serve them by giving them food, then hearing their gratitude as they leave. It was like we want them to receive love, but we feel we receive more love from them.”
Some of the missionaries who were recently sent to the Philippines were also very happy as they were able to taste one of the best Filipino recipes, ‘Tinola.’
After having worked hard to ensure that all 200 children were well fed and satisfied, the CARP volunteers had some time during lunch to socialize and bond with the school teachers and other staff. They expressed deep gratitude to the teachers, Ms. Nenita Panio and Ms. Myra Hizon, who were the main organizers that made this program possible. These teachers planned, sponsored and prepared the entire program and then graciously invited CARP to participate.
CARP members were very grateful to be a part of such a meaningful program. Father Moon has taught through his autobiography that “Food is love.” The CARP volunteers could directly experience this through the program.
“I really felt that True Father’s words were true. When we share food, we are sharing love.”
CARP Manila is looking forward to taking part in more meaningful activities to create a positive impact on their community.
Mother Moon recently directed nations around the world to commemorate Father Moon’s life in their own nations. On September 3, 2016, 280 people including Ambassadors for Peace, current and former Ministers, government representatives and guests from all over Albania gathered in the main hall of the Tirana International Hotel to honor, remember and celebrate the life of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
The program consisted of testimonies and performances, all testifying about Father Moon in a different light. Some testified about how great, strong and determined True Father was even when facing persecution or death. Others testified about how sensitive and compassionate he was, moved to tears by watching a leaf fall from the tree.
Opening remarks were given by Rev. Giuseppe Cali who came to Albania from Italy to teach Divine Principle to young Albanians. Rev. Cali shared his personal experiences with True Father and how his life was changed drastically by the teachings and lifestyle of Father Moon, who lived an exemplary life.
After a moving video about True Father’s life and achievements, Mr. Ali Lacej, the coordinator of Albanians’ Peace Council, testified about the greatness of True Father’s teachings and the spiritual revolution he brought to peoples’ minds and hearts. He ended by saying, “Father Moon has done so much for Albania and Albanians.”
This was followed by beautiful songs performances by two Universal Peace Academy students and Albanian blessed families, concluding with a lively dance performance by 4 Japanese missionary brothers. They all expressed their heart of gratitude to Father Moon through their performances.
But perhaps the most moving part of the program were the four heartfelt testimonies. Each testimony was filled with sincerity and a longing for Father Moon. They shared about the precious memories they had with Father Moon, bringing the audience to tears.
To end off the beautiful ceremony, the famous Albanian singer, Marisa Ikonomi sang “Let it Be”, followed by another famous Albanian song.
It was a short program but all the attendees left feeling closer to Father and Mother Moon. Some of the guests who had know little about Father Moon’s life were happy to have this opportunity to get to know him better.
Albania will continue to testify about Father and Mother Moon and let people know that they are here.
God, as our Heavenly Parent, loves and sees the best version of us. One way to love God back is to seek that potential. We can grow our heart through words, actions, and other forms of giving and receiving. With true love, we can view ourselves from God’s perspective and care for ourselves as God would. By meeting our needs through enlightening our minds, awakening our spirits, or moving our bodies, we are more able to fulfill our purpose.
We set the standard for how others treat us.
Nourishing our mind, spirit, and body can pay off in different areas of life. By consciously starting positive habits for ourselves, we can create the life we want.
For example, professors are usually most helpful and attentive to those they perceive as invested in the class. Financial success hinges on many things, but people are usually hired if they regularly grow their skills and experience. Consistent, healthy relationships between your heart and God help create quality relationships.
I understand both ends of the self-love spectrum.
Like many, I haven’t loved myself enough; often I haven’t even liked myself. I studied, worked, volunteered, and encouraged; but I saw myself as boring. I was dependent on others to give me joy, and my heart’s misery made my body tense and my emotions unpredictable. Many nights in the last five years, I stood on my parents’ balcony and stared into the night sky, frustrated with myself and my emptiness. I gradually realized that my personal dissatisfaction was partially a result of not feeling God’s acceptance.
Accepting God’s love allows you to fully love yourself.
In my ongoing journey towards loving myself, I consciously began accepting the love, admiration, and concern from loved ones and God.
I gave myself some needed alone time to explore myself and the world’s beauty: I biked to lovely places and explored; I read and reread a few beloved books; I pushed away my work if I was skipping meals; and I shared my ideas and feelings with loved ones. I am still learning how to care for myself, but I am now more aware of how to live and love positively.
Care for yourself: Explore the realm of your heart.
Be understanding about your unique needs. Discover how to overcome your faults yet appreciate your quirks.
If you think someone close to you dislikes you, discover the cause for that insecurity. If you are struggling to meet others’ expectations, ask yourself what you want out of life and love. If you are self-hating,reach for a realm of healing and closure. Love is patient and kind, but it is also difficult. Loving yourself is an ongoing relationship and requires effort.
And you know what? You deserve to hear this – you are totally worth it. In the mosaic of life, each of you brings something unique to complete the whole masterpiece.
Here are three questions to help open your eyes to how God sees and loves you:
Over 1,200 youth are returning home and starting a new school year after the successful conclusion of the 21-day “Global Top Gun Youth” (GTGY) workshop. Mother Moon created this opportunity so young people could develop their own faith, identity, and appreciation of where they come from. The workshop theme was “Become the Light of the World Through a Filial Heart Towards True Parents.”
The 1,200 youth (from middle school, high school, and college/CARP) from 63 nations gathered in South Korea for 21 hot summer days together filled with laughter and tears, breakdowns and breakthroughs, international friendships, and most of all, an unforgettable experience.