After a few days at the Japanese Education Center, the participants dispersed into eight groups visiting different CARP houses in Japan to experience CARP life and Japanese culture up close. Through this experience, we were able to create a bridge between CARP America and CARP Japan and solidify camaraderie between members.
In the morning at the CARP houses, American members participated in Sunday Service with the Japanese or J-CARP members. Sermons were given by J-CARP leaders and, even with a language barrier, everyone was inspired.
“I stayed at the Waseda house. When we went to the house, we had an okonomiyaki [Japanese fried pancake] party. It was really cool.”
“This morning, the biggest thing that I learned was from today’s Sunday Service. Before this service started, [the J-CARP members] practiced the song ‘You Raise Me Up,’ and they only had 15 minutes before the start. At the end, they sang so beautifully. That shows me that that cannot happen without an insane amount of unity.”
One service was delivered by Kenryu Kageyama-san. He shared a personal testimony about his difficulties in middle school and high school, and even though he was born into the Unification Church, he couldn’t find what the purpose of his life was until he joined CARP and could experience the heart of Father Moon and God.
Father Moon told him ‘I love you,’ and that hit him really hard. He also had a dream where he was carrying Father Moon on his back on a long journey. At the end of the journey, Father told him, ‘I couldn’t have made it this far without you.’ It was really touching.
“All in all, today was about family and unity and also the understanding that everyone has a sense of urgency for faith and for God and True Parents. That was really inspiring. They got me to feel their heart and their love for True Parents.” – Kenshu Tanaka
After the service, the J-CARP members gave the American CARP participants a tour of Tokyo. They went to a variety of places including Shibuya, Sky Tree, Harajuku, and Meijingu Shrine. The American students were really excited to be experiencing the city while sharing love with their CARP brothers and sisters. They tried new foods and went out of their comfort zones to have a good time together.
As part of CARP’s mission to develop global citizens, these participants could discover the true meaning of a family without borders and strengthen those relationships. Upon returning to the Japanese Education Center, one participant reported that she misses the J-CARP brothers and sisters. We hope to see them all again soon! We love you, Japan!