BLESSED CHILDREN CARRYING ON THE VISION OF OUR TRUE PARENTS
The European Second Generation Department (ESGD) formally started in 1997 to provide activities on a European level and also to support the development of activities for blessed children in respective nations. Even earlier, there were European activities prepared and run by elder second gen who pioneered the international cooperation. The formation of ESGD was a result of teamwork and the vision of several key pioneers amongst the elder second generation and supportive parents. Since then, the ESGD has developed various activities focused on internal education. The vision and goal has been to guide blessed children in understanding and inheriting True Parents’ vision and lifestyle through:
- Developing a personal relationship with God and True Parents
- Preparing to receive the Blessing from our True Parents and living a ‘Blessing lifestyle’
- Practicing a life of living for the sake of others, and then finding an individual calling from God to contribute their creativity for improving the world.
- Understanding the identity of blessed children as descendants of True Parents’ lineage.
The main leaders have always been blessed children, working together with the first generation based on common values and a shared vision. At the moment there are ten staff members (including the Second Generation Blessing Department), representing different ages, genders, nations, and fields of education. ESGD works based on shared leadership and teamwork. The main activities are:
- European workshops and activities for high school students (European HARP)
- European workshops and net work for the 18+ age group (SAWS18+)
- European education for Blessing preparation, support for blessed couples and Blessing related areas (Second Generation Blessing Department)
- Training and mission programs for high school graduates (DONE and DONE mission programs)
- Support for national youth leaders and national workshops and activities consulting and contributing through our connections.
- Providing pastoral care through our personal networks and as follow up to our activities.
Please visit www.esgd.org to find out more and to learn about upcoming events and activities. You can also see pictures from the activities on the ESGD Facebook page.
Introducing ESGD staff:
Patrick Hanna is 27 years old and lives in the UK. He has an English father and a Korean mother and is the fourth of six children. He was blessed with Yebuny in 2009. He holds a BA degree in English Language and Literature from Kings College, London. He has worked full time for ESGD since 2011, previously working with 2nd gen in the UK. His main mission areas are supporting the Blessing Department, the DONE programme and pastoral care for HARP and 18+ brothers and sisters.
Personal statement: I feel the value and the need to support blessed children on their way to the Blessing, and in discovering and creating value as a blessed couple. I am indebted to all those who offered me genuine care and good spiritual education, particularly my parents and those elder brothers and sisters who invested in me. With their guidance, I could come to understand my spiritual identity in God and True Parents so I want to help others in that important process. I see the value in the international network, and the culture that we can establish working together to support blessed families for the future.
Yebuny Hanna is 26 years old and lives in the UK She was blessed to Patrick in 2009 and has an English father and a German mother. She holds a BA degree in Education and Religion from the University of Cambridge, and is currently completing her Main Leadership. From a young age, she has always been involved with local youth, community and education programmes, which led her to develop a passion for education. She then became a qualified High School teacher and throughout her studies and teaching, has been volunteering regularly with ESGD activities, together with Patrick. After teaching in a high school for 3 years, she decided to take this year to work full time with ESGD. Her main areas of responsibility are the DONE programme, education for the SAWS 18+ network and pastoral care.
Personal statement: I am inspired about the power of education and hold the belief that good education can change lives. I can clearly see the benefit that I gained from the spiritual education I received on my own Church related gap year programme; the lessons were invaluable and impacted me to make better choices where God could be more present in my life. From experiencing the trans formative nature of such education, I want to share the enthusiasm for living a genuinely principled life, and the incredible value that comes from it. I want to support others to have the confidence in themselves and their destiny to be happy. So I decided to give one year full time to work with ESGD, particularly to support the DONE programme. With my academic and professional experience, as well as five years of living a blessed life, I believe I can offer some new approaches to education and some different perspectives.
Grace Cho is 30 years old and is from the UK. Her father is Portuguese and her mother is Malaysian; she is the eldest of four children. She is happily blessed to Hyun Seung, from Korea and they are currently living in Berlin. She holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and an MA in Education and Leadership from the University of Warwick. After qualifying as a high school science teacher with the Teach First programme in the UK, she worked as a teacher and tutor in Korea and then Australia. Over the past several years she has also taken time out to support full time 2nd generation programmes in Europe. She recently decided to commit to a year of full time work with ESGD. Her main areas of responsibility are the DONE programme, education for SAWS 18+ network and the Blessing department.
Personal statement: I owe many of my best life decisions to the guidance and love I received from elder brothers and sisters and the relationship I was supported to develop with God and True Parents. I have experienced the challenges and joys of an intercultural blessing and naturally feel I want to support others in their relationships, especially those in a similar situation. Although making the decision to work with full time programmes is never easy, I feel blessed to have this opportunity to work with such a capable, creative and supportive team, and am excited to work with them to develop projects, which can offer something of value back to our communities.
Sean Greaves is 26 years old and is from London. His father is from Guyana and his mother is from Jamaica; he is the eldest of three children. He is happily blessed to Jessica Stewart from New York and they are currently living together in London. He has a Degree in Animation. Throughout his teenage years and higher education, he has participated in, and helped organize, activities and education for 2nd generation. He then joined ESGD in 2013 and since finishing his degree, has committed to a year of full time work with the team. His main mission areas are HARP education, supporting the DONE programme and the Blessing department.
Personal statement: I realize now, looking back on my life, that there was never any guarantee that I could have such a wonderful spouse and great friends whom I care for dearly. I could easily have been led away from God and True Parents and made decisions I know I would come to regret. I needed an environment in which I could find peace and come to understand my identity as a child of God. I feel I have grown to be stronger, more confident and conscientious in my faith thanks to everything that was invested into me and I know that everybody needs this. I owe so much to the great atmosphere and education I have experienced, facilitated by people who care. Being a part of a team with this as its focus, is a precious opportunity and it has been a pleasure so far.
Joyce Koetsier comes from the Netherlands and is 24 years old. Her father is Dutch and her mother is Japanese, and Joyce is the third of four children. She is happily blessed with her German English husband, Benjamin Baron, since 2012. She is currently finishing her BA Degree in Korean Studies at the University of Leiden. After several years of being involved with 2nd generation care in Holland, she works part time for ESGD since March, 2013. Her main areas of mission are supporting HARP educators and HARP programmes in Europe as well as supporting the Blessing department.
Personal Statement: In my family as well as in my community, I grew up as one of the younger siblings, receiving so much love and truth from elder brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles. With a heart of paying it forward, I want to help other BCs see the value of being part of God’s Lineage too, together getting closer to understanding the Heart of God and True Parents. Our working culture in ESGD has offered me the necessary insight, skills and the courage to take more responsibility.
Geros Kunkel is 38 years old and is from Germany. He was blessed to Astrid from the Netherlands in 1997 and they have four children. He holds MA degree in comparative Religious studies and Political Science. He has worked in ESGD since 2000; he has established and run the Second Generation Blessing Department and later also European Blessed Family Department. In the past he developed the YSI programme, the European Youth Department and he has been one of the main educators. Now he works part time in ESGD besides his job in a business company and his main mission area is Blessing department.
Personal statement: An important concern in our movement has always been how to raise, educate, and relate to our Second generation. Through working in this field I have come across a lot of views and ideas. I believe in order to appreciate, further develop and bring out the full potential of True Father’s gift of the Blessing and blessed children as descendants of God’s lineage, we should deeply reflect about how we view blessed children. We need to clearly educate ourselves and others to be aware of their unique value, and support and strengthen them in their difficult task of keeping and developing a pure love lifestyle that will allow God to continue His work of recreating His lineage in all of us. For this Blessed families need a healthy confidence in the value of their lineage to God. A parent always loves without evaluating, always sees potential and believes in their child and can thereby give value, the deep sense of belonging, as well as confidence, pride and a secure identity. We need to be proud of and confident in the Blessing and convey this to our blessed children.
Orlande Schenk is 34 years old and is from Austria. She was blessed to Arthur from the Netherlands in 2004. They have now two young boys and a three-month old daughter. Orlande has a Degree in Photography, Graphic and Web design. She worked for ESGD for two years until 2005 and then joined the team again in 2008. Now she works part time mainly supporting the Blessing department.
Personal statement: I have worked with 2nd generation for more than fifteen years. During this time I realized more and more the deep heart of God for his children and that True Father’s legacy is that God’s lineage continues. I really hope that I can share some of these realizations with my younger brothers and sisters and that I can be a support and help for them when they are on their way to getting matched and blessed. I enjoy working with young people a lot.
Nathalie Waldmann is turning 30 years and comes from Austria. In 2005 she was blessed to Hyunuk Park from Korea and joined her husband after completing her MA in Education from the University of Vienna and University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna in 2011. They have a one-year old daughter, Yunah Victoria. Apart from teaching at an International School in Seoul, she has been committed to be a liaison between the European and Korean Blessed Family Department. Both Nathalie and her husband have been an active part in the Korean Western couple’s network in Korea.
Personal statement: I am grateful to stay connected to the ESGD despite living in a different continent at the moment. Having spent some years in Korea and studied its language and culture, I have come to understand that a majority of initial blessing difficulties between European and Korean couples are due to language barriers and cultural misunderstandings. Believing in the vision and beauty of intercultural marriage, I am determined to share insights, realizations and best practices from my own blessing with younger brothers and sisters in a similar situation and try to be a mediator in matching and blessing related questions.
Julius Alexy is 45 years old and is from Slovakia. He is married to Gordana; they received the Blessing in 1995 and have two children. He graduated with an MA degree in Art History from the University of Comenius, Bratislava in 1992. He has been working in education since 1994. Since 2001 he has been involved in 2nd generation education (ETF, STF, SET, YSI), and since 2008, he has worked with ESGD. His main areas of work are the DONE programme, SAWS 18+ network, pastoral care and education.
Personal statement: I firmly believe that good education can change one’s life as well as impact the world to become a better place. In my best possible way I want to contribute to what True Parents have initiated, God’s lineage and the World of Love. Seeing their potential I want to support 2nd generation to become real bridge makers to that new and beautiful world and to pass on the legacy of True Parents to the next generations. Friendship, honesty, integrity, a culture of mutual trust and respect, good teamwork and shared leadership are the core values we base our work upon; it is wonderful to experience that it is possible.
Martin Alexy is 38 years old and lives in Slovakia. He holds a doctorate in finance from the University of Economics in Bratislava. He was blessed with Miriam in 1997 and they have three children. As well as working as a lecturer at his University, he has worked part time for ESGD since 2008. His main mission areas are HARP education, the Blessing department and ESGD finance.
Personal statement: I am glad I can contribute to the education of blessed children. Being a 1st gen, I consider it a key point in order to keep the legacy of True Parents alive, so that the potential of those from God’s lineage will grow in each person. I hope I can keep supporting the capacity building of ESGD so that the scope of activities can further develop. Having some practice and expertise in finance and in management I try to provide those skills for ESGD to keep good system of decision making and governance. I am happy to see the generation of young people in their mid-twenties are taking the lead and that I can support them in our teamwork.