Contributed by Jennifer Pierce
This past month, CARP USA teamed up with Peace Starts With Me for the April 6th Peace Starts With Me event at the City of Refuge in Los Angeles. CARP students and leaders came from around the country to join and support. In total, 20 CARP chapters were represented.
Peace Starts With Me’s philosophy to make real change by starting with the individual aligns with CARP’s vision to raise students to become global leaders to impact the world.
Even as students, the Peace Starts With Me model acknowledges that students are holistic beings who not only go to a campus, but have families, communities, nations that they are a part of and that they can impact even as students.
To prepare for this event, CARP LA spent weeks visiting various churches, ones that came to previous events and new contacts. They also performed at the Long Beach Unity Festival (LBUF) the week before and invited the praise dancers from the festival to the event.
On campus, they invited their chapters, professors, and friends. In total, CARP LA brought nearly 100 people to the event. Out of state chapters also brought friends and members in full support.
Mother Moon was invited by Bishop Noel Jones, pastor at City of Refuge and a friend of CARP since the previous Revival Starts With Me events. (You can read about the second and the third event here.) Because she was coming, Bishop Jones invited members of the community and multiple churches and organizations. Multiple political dignitaries attended as well as the Los Angeles Police Department.
CARP and YAYAM had a special opportunity to perform Mujogeon (Unconditionally), a dance of devotion to God and peace, at the event. Spilling off the stage and into the aisles, the energy blanketed the audience with an amazing spirit.
Also performing was the 500 Voice Choir led by City of Refuge’s music director, Jason McGee. Emmy Award winning A. Curtis Farrow led the choir for Total Praise.
Bishop Noel Jones gave an introductory speech before inviting up Mother Moon. CARP and YAYAM was invited to sit right in front of the podium during her speech. Many of the youth who had come a long way to see her were overwhelmed with gratitude.
“The time has come! We can no longer hesitate. There are many problems arising all over the world that cannot be solved by human efforts and power. There are ethnic, religious, cultural and ideological walls...
We cannot sit idly by and watch. This world, which our Creator, God, created for us from the outset, is suffering and dying due to our ignorance. As God’s true children, we cannot just sit by and observe this situation. Would you agree? [Yes.]...
We must find solutions to these problems before it is too late. This means that self-centeredness, and nations that place their national interests first, will ultimately not survive.”
Her message touched the core of what the problem was and what was needed to make a difference.
“I was inspired by her clear message regarding the problems of the world as a symptom of our personal condition. When I saw her up close, I could see the pain in her heart as she spoke about the world’s problems. I also felt a motherly love emanating from her as she looked into the crowds of thousands.” - Harumi, CARP Cal State Long Beach
“It really touched me to hear from Mother Moon that she really appreciates us CARP members and can feel that she does not have to worry about us.” - Ikusei, CARP El Camino College
After her inspiring message, multiple Emmy Award winning Bishop Hezekiah Walker gave the final performance with three songs, joined by the LBUF praise dancers. CARP and YAYAM followed along in the front, closing the event in powerful energy and hope.
After an amazing event with Mother Moon in the City of Refuge, we held a special devotion service with the 500 youth. In what was the overflow space, the team moved all the chairs for praise concert with special guests City of Refuge Music Minister Patrick Bolton, City of Refuge Youth Minister Brandon Towns, the LA Family Church Band, and the Las Vegas CARP Band.
After a brief introduction by YAYAM representative Kaeleigh Moffitt, Patrick Bolton kicked off the night with the song We Are Blessed. Patrick’s style of call and response engaged everyone in the room with claps and shouts.
Following Patrick, Brandon gave a talk about devotion to God and how being connected to God can enable us to live our best lives and the be the peacemakers Mother Moon asked us to be.
“It’s one thing to be able to receive God’s peace; it’s another thing to go out into the troubled world and make peace. Through Christ, you are a peacemaker, that means whenever there is stress in your life, be it school, be it your household, be it the communities, through Christ, you can make these situations peaceful.”
The LA Band took the stage after Brandon with songs to highlight how God is a powerful and moving presence in our lives. They were also joined by the LV CARP Band after the unison prayer.
Gabriel Marchitelli, CARP leader from Maryland, gave the next message about devotion to humanity. He pointed out that we are one family under God supporting and loving each other in life. The joint band returned with We Are Family.
After that, LV CARP Band Director, Marcus Fuller, gave a testimony about sexual integrity, that although he felt like he was unlovable, because of God’s love, he has hope that he can prepare for a future family and make a commitment to his future spouse. The band complimented his message with I Won’t Give Up On Us.
Finally, CARP LA Leaders, Joshua Holmes and Jermaine Bishop, led the crowd in a pledge of devotion where everyone devoted to:
A living, thriving, personal relationship with God, my Heavenly Parent.
Positively impacting humanity and the world around me.
My future spouse through my commitment to integrity, purity, and fidelity.
Everyone was given a wallet-sized card with their devotion on it to take home to continue to remind them of the experience and the commitment they made.
“I was amazed at the atmosphere of the Youth Revival. It didn’t have the feel of any event I had been to previously. It felt like a family reunion and celebration.” - Sarah, CARP Cal State LA
“I honestly just felt alive! It was so uplifting, and I’ve been listening to the songs over again, and it’s bringing me back to that moment of joy and fun. I dance and sing, and yesterday just brought me closer to everyone and God.” - Nico, CARP El Camino College