Contributed by Jennifer Pierce
Meet Woojin Suina: 20 years old from North Lake College in Dallas, Texas. He graduated high school in 2015 and spent two years on a gap year program called Generation Peace Academy (GPA) doing service work and developing his faith.
Although he recently started college this fall, he serves as Vice President of his CARP chapter and expresses great hope for the future of CARP North Lake.
His inspiration to join CARP came from the Intercultural Exchange Trip to Japan and Koreaduring the summer. Being able to meet the co-founder of CARP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, had an enormous impact on Woojin.
Woojin with other trip participants in Busan, South Korea.
“When I saw [Mother Moon], I felt that by meeting us she was trying to tell us the importance [of CARP] and how much she has faith in us to change the culture on our campuses. That’s why I decided to join CARP.”
He was also inspired by the CARP chapters in Japan and Korea, particularly their endless dedication toward achieving their visions and goals. Woojin hopes to inherit that spirit and determination.
Inspiring a New Culture on Campus
Along with the other officers of CARP at North Lake College, Woojin envisions their CARP chapter being a community of people excited to serve others.
“I want to build a culture where we help others because we want to, and we have fun doing it.”
Woojin recognizes his own growth through CARP. After attending GPA, Woojin was worried he would be disconnected from his faith when returning home and going to school. However, being involved in CARP helped keep his faith alive.
“When I entered CARP and started doing CARP activities, I became excited by the Unification Principle. By studying it, I’ve gained a lot of insight about myself. Everything I’ve learned on GPA, I can apply in my life [through CARP]. It’s been really stressful because I have work and CARP and school, but I always keep my faith first wherever I go, and I feel more aligned and productive. Recently, I discovered what I want to do in my life. It’s been a really great experience.”
CARP North Lake was started in fall semester of 2016 by Chapter President Hiromi Iida. Since Hiromi will be transferring next semester, Woojin is learning as much from him as possible as well as learning to gain support from other key members.
“I’m going to be left with two other leaders. I’m nervous, but my main motivation right now is to lay a good foundation for the future and attract [future leaders].”
North Lake also has several community supporters guiding and mentoring them.
Challenges and Victories
Woojin recognizes several challenges in CARP North Lake. Because of a significant number of Japanese exchange students and the tendency of them to speak Japanese to each other, the language barrier excludes non-Japanese speaking members in the club. He wants to make more of an effort to be inclusive.
He also feels that there are some members who are involved in CARP because they feel obligated, due to their parents encouraging them to be there or because they feel it’s the right thing to do. He hopes that in the future they will feel inspired to help out.
Despite these challenges, Woojin celebrated a few victories. Currently, CARP North Lake meets on Mondays at 3:30pm with about 20 students attending each week. About half of them are new members to CARP who joined after the Club Fair at the beginning of the semester.
Among their 20 members, one of them is the leader of the International Group Club on campus. He comes consistently and enjoys being in CARP. He wants CARP to be represented and work with the International Group in their event, the International Education Week. Woojin looks forward to and is excited about making more of an impact on campus through this collaboration.
To round out their members’ experience, CARP North Lake does events off campus as well. They fundraise for CARP every other month, and members who attended the fundraising days report having a powerful and moving experience with God.
Building and Getting Bigger
“My hope is to become something where everyone’s excited to be part of CARP, not because they feel welcome. I really want to create that kind of atmosphere.”
Woojin’s parting advice to newer chapters is to create unity and harmony with your community supporters.
“When I managed to unite with my [mentors], I was able to break through in my own faith, and also, the CARP chapter was able to make a breakthrough as well. When we came together, things started to change.”
Woojin’s story shows us that by going forward with courage and faith in a larger vision and dream, things can start to happen. Also, it’s a testament to reach out for support in your greater community. Great work, CARP at North Lake College!
Share your chapter’s story and inspire others! Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!