5/29 – We got out of the elevator and there were the Japanese CARP students welcoming us with applause and shouts of excitement. They were lined up on both sides and high fived us as we walked into the “Shibuya Mission Center.” This is Shibuya’s main outreach center where people can come to learn more about themselves and the Divine Principle.
Finding My True Self
Today, we got a chance to experience the outreach system in Japan. We were divided into groups of 6 (3 Americans and 3 Japanese students) to go out in the bustling city of Shibuya to reach out to people and invite them to a seminar entitled, “Finding my True Self.” When we approached people, we invited them to take a quick survey where we asked them questions like, “How satisfied are you with you life currently? What brings you joy in life?” This opened up interesting conversations with them and we invited them to follow-up with attending the seminar.
Some students even went out to distribute flyers. Although it was busy, people took the time to hear us out and took interest in our seminar. Many of the CARP America members could not speak Japanese so it was a struggle to communicate and connect freely from the heart.
“I was talking to the people and there was so much that I wanted to say but due to language barrier I was not able to fully get my feelings across. That reminded me of some of the Japanese mothers back in America. Even though they could not understand or speak the language so well, they still poured their heart out into trying to connect with the people. Through this experience, I could understand how hard these mothers have worked as missionaries in a foreign land.” – Pedro
Visiting Holy Grounds
Two thirds of the group did outreach and the rest visited a Holy Ground in Meijingu. We were told that the original holy ground had been an area near a shrine but this area was eventually blocked off for other uses so people could not access it anymore. Rev. Kuboki, the first President of Family Federation Japan prayed to God to find another place for the Holy Ground and then found this tree.
As the story and history goes, while some CARP members were praying there, some communists tried to cut down the tree to prevent people from praying there. However, the CARP members created a barricade together to protect the tree. The tree was left with a deep gash but it still stands tall today thanks to the great determination of the early CARP members.
After hearing this story about the CARP members risking their lives to save the tree and this holy spot of prayer, we immediately started praying at the tree.
“I was inspired by the story of the CARP members who fought to protect the tree. The communist group was so intent on destroying the holy ground that they even used violence. The Japanese CARP members could have gotten hurt but they still chose to protect the Holy Ground. It made me realize how deep their heart is for True Parents and for God. It made me want to work harder to be more passionate.”
All the groups gathered back for dinner at the center. There we shared pizza, fun, laughter, and songs. Everyone showed their talents through singing, playing piano, playing yoyo, and dancing.
At the end, the President of CARP America, Naokimi Ushiroda, presented an English text of one of the Holy Scriptures to the director of the Shibuya Mission Center, Mr. Hori. Mr. Hori concluded the evening saying,
“This is a very historical and happy day. This center was built to be able to host parties like these. So today, the purpose of creating this mission center was realized thanks to you!”