Contributed by Nina Urbonya
Part of our mission statement in CARP is to create global leaders who can lead the world to peace. From August 1 – 21, 2017. CARP students from America joined 1,300 youth from 76 countries for a 21-day training workshop called Global Top Gun Youth (GTGY) at the Cheong Pyeong Training Center in South Korea. This annual workshop, initiated by our founder, Mother Moon, strives to help youth cultivate global leadership and network with people from around the world who have different thoughts and cultures.
Learning to Respect and Understand Different Cultures
One way to combat animosity between different races, cultures, and religions is through understanding and respecting each other’s culture. GTGY was a valuable training ground with so many different nations and cultures gathered in one place. It was challenging bringing together participants who spoke different languages and had different cultural customs. However, as the weeks went by, their constant effort and sincere desire to want to connect and understand allowed the participants to rise above differences and really feel like a family.
Creating a Plan to Solve World Issues
During the last week, participants were asked to think of one global issue that they are interested in and to come up with creative solutions to tackling that issue. One American team decided to focus on North and South Korea Reunification, declaring that America plays a crucial role in raising awareness on the issue, especially on American college campuses. They plan to organize rallies on campuses. Other teams tackled issues in the areas of the environmental, education, poverty, and human trafficking.
Connecting to True Mother’s Heart and Vision
The workshop began and ended with a ceremony in which Mother Moon spoke directly to the participants. She poured out her heart, educating and loving us.
Throughout the workshop, she treated participants to ice cream and Heaven G Burger. We also heard that she requested reports from the directors of the workshop everyday. Through this workshop, many were able to connect to Mother Moon as their mother who cares deeply for their happiness and success.
Reflections from a few CARP students:
“GTGY was an outstanding, amazing, unforgettable experience! I gained so much, connected to [Mother Moon’s] heart, and made many great friends from around the world. It helped me to deepen my faith and become stronger in who I am and what I believe in and stand for. I came for two main reasons. First, to strengthen my life of faith and connect to God and True Parents’ heart. Second, to prepare for our CARP chapter in the Bay Area.
And then of course to meet new people from around the world and see other friends. But, I got so much more then I asked for! It was incredible! I am extremely grateful for these amazing opportunities to experience God’s heart towards myself, others, and the world! Words can’t express how grateful I am and how amazing my experience was.
Going to the DMZ [Demilitarized Zone] I really wanted to connect with True Parents’ heart about North and South Korean Unification. We arrived there and could see North Korea. When we got there, I could feel God’s pain and heart towards Korea and all the suffering in the world. It broke my heart! I couldn’t stop crying because I could feel how much God longs to unite Korea and end suffering in the world. I need to step up and do something to help end God’s pain.
Everything we did throughout the workshop was very impactful. Being with so many people from all around the world was an amazing experience! I could really feel we are one big family and God’s love for each and every individual! We may speak different languages, but the memories we created with one another speak louder than words. I came to understand how my story and my experiences were all to help me build me strength and deepen my core.” – Gabby Von Euw
“I attended GTGY in hope that I can find my next path in my life. The reason behind this is that I graduated from university and basically I can choose any path I would like to pursue. But I want to do things that only I can do or go to the place where I’m most needed. My time during GTGY was simply described as ‘fulfilling’. Every day was so fulfilling that I really hoped for that lifestyle forever.
In addition to the system team duties, I also did interpretation and translation of lectures and the PowerPoint slides. I was so happy to meet many Universal Peace Academy graduates and current students. I was also so happy that many staffs I respected were relying on me.
At the same time, I was reminded that there are many people out there who don’t even know what it’s like to live like this. They are in pain and agony without hope. Someone needs to extend a helping hand to them and let them feel this joy and happiness. I know that this ‘someone’ has to be us, the participants of GTGY; therefore, staff play a big role in educating and training them to be heavenly soldiers who can reach out to those people.” – Atsuki Imamura
“My experience at Global Top Gun Youth 2017 was truly an exceptional one. I am incredibly grateful for our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents who have made all of this possible for us. Through this workshop, the words, ‘global citizen’ has been something I’ve felt more connected to.
I was touched to experience being with my global brothers and sisters, realizing that we all have a common heart. We all want to become filial sons and daughters who can substantiate God’s dream. I want to thank [Mother Moon], who expressed her love countless of times to us. I can feel how she wanted to just simply love us, over and over again. Being in GTGY, it was difficult not to feel God and True Parents’ love – it was everywhere, all the time!
I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to do anything to understand more of my Parents’ heart. I’ve made a commitment to learn Korean because I want to understand my Parents’ heart more. I can feel being in GTGY helped to unlock a deeper level of Hyo Jeong [filial heart], in so many of our hearts. I truly hope that everyone can experience the power of Top Gun and Cheong Pyeong. Heavenly Parent and True Parents!” – Ryota Naito
Becoming a Global Leader
In a world teeming with conflict and disaster, retreats like GTGY give us a chance to experience the world and meet people from different cultures. THIS kind of experience moves us in the right direction towards peace. Education in the culture of heart helps us go beyond the status quo so we can be peacemakers in our families, schools, nation, and world.
Mother and Father Moon were champions of the culture of heart and thus participants were able to learn so much from their example at GTGY. We share Mother Moon’s belief that young people are the key to leading the world to peace. According to the Divine Principle, we can understand who we are and what kind of culture we are meant to create by understanding where we come from. Participants took the time to reflect on God, their purpose, and their own contribution to the world through this incredible global workshop.
We thank Mother Moon for this opportunity to experience these fundamental core values in such a short amount of time and for the opportunity to strengthen our convictions to share them.
That’s what we do here at CARP. We invite you to join CARP and be a part of the global movement.