Written by Nina Urbonya
Having traveled all the way to Asia to take part in the 4th International Youth Assembly in the Philippines, I decided to visit a few other countries before coming back. I spent two to three days in each country of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Representing America was a big responsibility. Maybe we do not always realize it, but many countries look up to America. The four countries I visited in Asia were very happy that CARP America was taking the initiative to reach out to them to collaborate.
When I first set out on this mini tour, I opened my heart and declared, “God, I’m going to these countries. Please use me to contribute to them in any way possible.” God really took me up on that!
Our CARP founders, Father and Mother Moon, have established an amazing worldwide foundation. On this tour, I became amazed at how this worldwide network has developed. I met with CARP leaders and members in each country who shared about their activities and hopes for CARP. My goals for this tour were to connect personally with the CARP chapter leaders and to create a plan for future collaborations between CARP America and these international CARP chapters.
Warm Welcome to Manila, Philippines
Just before flying out to Bohol for the 4th International Youth Assembly, I stayed at the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) Manila CARP center for one night. The center was very humble, with small rooms and cold showers, but the spirit of the members living there was “on fire”.
The time I spent there was very short but the CARP members welcomed me so warmly. Most of them attend TUP, one of the top technology education institutions in the Philippines. Despite their busy study schedules, the CARP members took me around their school campus and showed me the CARP club room. They called me “Ate Nina” (a Filipino term for older sister) and shared many stories with me about life in the Philippines.
Promoting CARP on Campuses in Jakarta, Indonesia
Together with one of the local CARP members, I went to three top universities in Jakarta to meet with the President of each university’s Student Council to introduce CARP and its activities. They listened to our presentation and asked questions.
Seeing that I was a foreigner, some offered me local Indonesian snacks, “It’s very good. You should try it!” They all took an interest in CARP and we exchanged contacts and information with the hope of collaborating on projects in the near future.
The following day, I spoke to a class of high school students about CARP’s Unification Principle, “We can create genuine relationships through sincere, selfless interaction” and facilitated a listening exercise, one of CARP’s coaching techniques .
Since CARP’s curriculum was originally developed for college students, I worried that these high school students might not be able to grasp the full meaning of the exercise.
I had clearly underestimated them. They actively took part in the exercise and the energy in the room only increased as they seemed to recognize the lessons each step of the exercise. One student shared that, “It was nice to be heard. I could also learn how to listen to my friends; to listen to their words but also their emotions.”
High School Association for the Research of Principles (HARP) is CARP’s sister organization, working to educate high school students. Through this experience with the high school students, I saw how the two organizations could cooperate to have a powerful impact on the youth.
Feeling Hopeful with CARP in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is made up of three main ethnic groups – the Malays, Chinese, and Indians. This mini melting pot is what makes this place a very interesting country. As soon as I arrived, I was taken to a famous Chinese meat buns restaurant for breakfast and later to an Indian restaurant for lunch. The CARP members share that, “One of the good things about Malaysia is that one can enjoy the best cuisine from all three ethnicities!”
At the CARP center, a 7-day Divine Principle workshop was being held for 30 university students. These students were excited and engaged. I gave a brief talk about how the Divine Principle impacted my life. They were my most attentive audience yet; their eyes unwavering in focus and they responded in cheers and loud claps throughout my talk. I went to Malaysia to give my heart to these people, but on the contrary, I received more joy and hope from them.
I also had a chance to meet participants of a youth group called Junior STF where I facilitated a session in which they wrote a “vision statement” for themselves. One participant shared that he would take an active role in leading young people to contribute towards creating a better nation. I really felt that Malaysia is in good hands. They are highly motivated to bring positive change to Malaysia by investing in education and training.
CARP Thailand Extends Invitation to fellow CARP members in America
CARP members had to drive through three hours of Bangkok traffic to come pick me up at the airport! I was in Thailand four years ago but this intense Bangkok traffic was not as I remembered.
During my stay, I visited three different CARP centers together with the Thailand CARP leader. I met all kinds of students who chose to invest their energy into various youth activities and fundraising campaigns as they were pursuing their degrees. They all expressed the desire to meet fellow American CARP members with this invitation, “They are always welcome at our center! We will cook them delicious Thai food.”
Opportunities for Collaboration
Living in America, it is easy to get comfortable with day to day living. It is my dream to send American students to these countries to experience a different culture and way of living; to gain a new perspective on life. All four CARP chapters in these four different countries are excited to work together in creating exchange programs that can inspire young people on both sides of the planet to cooperate and learn from each other.
Some people worry that all my travels leave me exhausted, but in reality I am often energized by the interesting and inspiring people I meet. It has been an amazing journey meeting the CARP family all over Asia. We might be worlds apart, but we all strive towards the same vision of creating a better world.
APPLY HERE for an exchange program with one of these countries this winter break!