In the course of just 10 days, student delegates of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA traveled throughout Japan to meet with their CARP Japan and CARP Korea peers, with whom they made pilgrimage to significant landmarks from True Father’s time as a student in Japan.
Having recently returned, the primary facilitator and organizer of the trip, Mrs. Naoko Hiraki of CARP Los Angeles, reflected in a letter on CARP USA’s brief but deeply meaningful time abroad.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. We came back from Japan after having wonderful experiences there. Everyone from America felt great love from our Heavenly Parent and True Parents. We especially felt True Mother’s heart in all that we did.
One of our young, first-generation Unificationists, Jermaine, said, “I thought that I had faith in God and True Parents before, but after coming to Japan and meeting Japanese CARP members, my faith became stronger and more real. Now, every day I feel that True Parents’ spirit is always with me.”
When Jermaine heard of True Mother’s address to Kumamoto Unificationists in the wake of the earthquakes that struck that region this past April, he shared with me: “True Mother has worked through so many difficulties. True Mother has experienced so much pain due to her position, but despite that, True Mother always returned grace and appreciation to God and True Father. She is my hero.”
Testifying about his experience in doing outreach, another CARP USA student reflected, “When I tried to speak about our faith in Japan, it felt like everybody refused to listen to me. Some people ran away before I could even say anything. But I continued to reach out and talk to people. Eventually two high school students stopped and responded to my questions, but they were busy so we could not speak together for long. Still, I determined to keep reaching out.
Then one man stopped and kindly spoke with me. I tried to speak in Japanese because I wanted to connect with him more deeply, but in the end I couldn’t. I was so disappointed in myself. That’s when I thought of the many missionaries who had come from Japan to America to share God’s word, even though they could not speak English. It must have been so hard, and I wonder how they must have felt at that time. Through these experiences, I have learned to appreciate the nation of Japan.”
Clearly, the American CARP members learned a lot about faith from the Japanese CARP members and the Japanese Unificationist elders who met with us, such as Mrs. Uchida and Rev. Otsuka.
Also J-CARP (CARP Japan) and even K-CARP (CARP Korea) members received a lot of hope, listening to the testimonies of CARP USA members at a J-CARP meeting for parents. At the meeting I introduced our group and explained why we had come to Japan, and my daughter, Hitoe, spoke about doing outreach together with me on her campus. She said, ”Even though we faced difficulties, we wanted to give back beauty to True Mother.”
Jermaine also said, “Through listening to Hyo Jin Moon’s music, I overcame my struggles and found faith in True Parents. I was looking for true love, but I almost gave up. At that time I met Naoko, and through reading Divine Principle, and especially through listening to Hyo Jin Moon’s music, I began to have a strong faith and hope for a true family. For me, even though we are from different countries, we are all brothers and sisters, because we are working for God and True Parents. 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!”
Many Japanese parents and CARP members were crying, because they were so moved by his testimony. Many members of CARP USA became close friends during our stay in Japan, even students from different states. So we accomplished our mission. I put some pictures on the CARP Life Facebook page which we took at our meetings with J-CARP parents and with CARP Kyoto, as well as at our visit to Hyo Jin Moon’s studio and Waseda University together with J-CARP and K-CARP students. Thank you so much, Heavenly Parent and True Parents. I feel that we have been totally guided by God and True Parents. Thank you so much for your support.
God bless you!
Sincerely, Naoko Hiraki