“Welcome to Japan!”
5/26 – CARP Japan welcomed us very warmly. In the morning, we joined their Parent-Child Meeting, during which the parents are invited to hear testimonies from their children about their CARP activities and experiences. There were four different testimonies about outreach and life of faith, where children acknowledged the love and dedication of their parents.
We had a chance to contribute to the beautiful environment by singing “Love the Lord” for the audience. Mrs. Naoko Hiraki also gave a brief testimony about her outreach activities in Los Angeles with her daughters.
“When I first started, many people thought I was crazy,” she said. “but this is something that True Mother was asking for, so I determined to do it no matter what.”
Naoko is a true example of parents and children working together to do outreach on campus. Her daughter, Hitoe, also shared about doing outreach with her mother. Jermaine from CARP LA also spoke about the difference that the Divine Principle has made in his life.
“Before I met Naoko, I was always searching for somewhere that felt like home; a group of people that I could call family,” he said. “So at the point when I met Naoko, I had already given up hope on finding something that would make me feel complete. I thought to myself that happiness was actually not something that everyone felt all the time. It was a facade.
Then, I met Naoko and after reading the Divine Principle, I could better understand Jesus and what I needed to do to feel love. I felt that the members of CARP and J-CARP were like my family. Wherever I went, I always felt at home. No matter what struggles you face, don’t give up because someday you will meet someone like me who really needs to hear what you have to say about God. Never give up!”
Everyone in the room was touched by Jermaine’s testimony. Later the CARP Japan President, Mr. Motoyama, shared that he was very moved and felt a lot of hope to see the efforts of CARP America and the opportunities for cooperation.
In the afternoon, Mr. Motoyama gave a special presentation on the history of CARP.
“When CARP first started, we had no Powerpoint presentations at that time, so we would write down the Divine Principle on paper and stick it onto the wall all over the room. CARP must be the pioneer in leading students to have vision and ideals to resolve the realities of the world. The two are connected.”
Brotherhood and Sisterhood Ceremony
Confetti flew in the air and crackers burst as we entered the main room where the Sisterhood and Brotherhood ceremony would be held. The Japanese CARP students had lined up in front of the door to surprise us and welcomed us to the ceremony. They were full of smiles and laughter. Even the Dragon Ball Z characters, Goku and the Samurai, graced us with their presence. CARP Japan’s pure motivation to make us laugh and have a good time was very moving. They prepared everything from entertainment to foods and drinks.
Even Dragon Ball Z characters love CARP!
A bag with numbers was passed around. Each person picked a piece of paper with a number from the bag. When the number was called out, a Japanese student and American student with the same number went up to the stage, bowed, and then hugged each other. The way everyone hugged each other so tightly made it seem as if we had all been long lost friends, meeting again for the first time in awhile. Then, the two students signed a certificate of friendship and took a photo. The ceremony was beautiful and heart-warming. There was so much joy in the room as participants exchanged gifts, contact numbers, and laughter.
Pedro of CARP LA said, “It was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had. I can honestly say that it was one of the best days of my life. It was hard to communicate at first but we got help from other people and we could eventually communicate our thoughts and feelings more deeply.”
“It was nice that Japan prepared some entertainment and food for us.” – Stephanie
“It made me realize why I am still in this movement. I realized the reason why I am here is because everyone welcomes you like family. So much love is given. As soon as we were partners, we felt like brothers. We clicked from the get go. It was so nice to be able to embrace someone.” – Seong Yeon
CARP was established by our founders for students to come together, think up solutions to the problems of the world, and create world peace. Today, through the Brotherhood and Sisterhood Ceremony, we came one step closer to realizing this ideal that the founders had for CARP – for students from all over the world to unite, feel like one family, and to use our passion and enthusiasm to heal the world of its suffering.