Here’s an interview with a returning participant of the International Exchange Trip to Japan and Korea.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are currently doing, including your involvement with CARP or youth activities.
I am a full time student at Pasadena City College studying Early Childhood Development to become an Elementary School Teacher. I work as a tutor part time at a middle school.
I am also a Board member for the PCC Chapter of CARP. My position on the board is one of the event coordinators. I help to create events for the members to learn and practice the seven principles. Every month as CARP we try to do one fundraising, social, and community service event.
2. What were 3 highlights of your trip to Japan last year?
Learning about how CARP was started and its purpose was very impactful for me. It’s easy as a local chapter that just started off to think of CARP as what is being created in the community. I remember thinking that I and the other board members were creating CARP. When in reality CARP has existed and had a purpose for a lot longer than our local chapter. Learning the history helped me to see a bigger picture and connect PCC to that picture.
Being able to connect to CARP students from Japan, Korea, and even other parts of America was a really great experience. It showed me that even though we are all doing the same thing we have very unique ways of getting to our goal. Also that even though we are all different and far apart we are all trying to achieve the same thing and we’re all working together. I loved the brotherhood/sisterhood ceremony we did because it really made this point clear to me.
Lastly, being put into groups of Japanese, Korean, and American CARP students and going out to get to know each other was so much fun! We were in groups of about seven people and got to choose what activity we wanted to do all together and afterwards we stayed at a CARP house and had dinner. It was a great experience because we got to be in small groups and really grow closer.
3. Did you learn something new/ gain a new perspective after the trip?
I gained a greater perspective on the importance of CARP. Before the trip I thought it was something to do because it was the thing that was being done. I did not really see the significance or value of it. Through this trip I saw how valuable CARP is for myself and my community. This is the place that I can learn about and practice living in God’s family. CARP teaches me how to be a better person and how to care for others. I also saw how valuable it is to give God’s word to people who have never heard it, how it can make such a big improvement to someone’s life and turn it around.
4. Were you able to implement or apply some of the things that you learned either in your personal life or as part of your CARP chapter’s strategy?
I was able to apply my new perspective into what I do in my local CARP Chapter. Now when we plan events or meetings or strategy, I don’t think of just PCC CARP. I try to think about Japan, about Korea, and how what we do here connects to them – how we can work with them, too.
5. Why did you decide to go again this year?
Last year I went because I was invited and CARP LA was planning it. I was able to gain a lot still, but not make really good use of my trip there. This time I want to go to really learn about the other CARP groups and inherit from them so I can share that with PCC CARP.
6. What are you most looking forward to on this year’s trip?
I’m looking forward to seeing people from last year, meeting new people, and really experiencing the spirit of CARP.
7. Would you recommend this trip to your friends? If yes, why?
Yes, because it is a great way to learn and to grow. True Mother shares often about the need for CARP, the need for educated youth. This trip is a way to understand more deeply her heart as well as start to go on the way she is asking university students and youth to go. Even if you are not in CARP I see it as a great way to be educated and connect to True Mother’s heart.