USA: CARP Las Vegas Hosts Life-Changing Workshop at Camp Mozumdar
By FFWPU USA: The Las Vegas chapter of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) hosted its annual two-day workshop from October 23 to 25, 2015, at Camp Mozumdar in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. In addition to six guests, there were four local young Unificationists and nine CARP volunteers and staff. Las Vegas CARP leader Akira Watanabe, Los Angeles Pastor George Kazakos and Mrs. Sang-moo Borneman were staff. Kobe Neuhaus, a new Unificationist who attended his first Divine Principle workshop last October, was the emcee for this year’s workshop.
“It was beautiful to see Kobe’s growth and development over the past year, and he is now taking a core role in CARP,” said Mr. Watanabe.
The focus of the workshop was to introduce and teach the Divine Principle. To round out the experience, the participants engaged in learning activities, games and discussion groups. Prior to the workshop, the staff had asked the participants to bring a picture of the happiest moment of their life. The participants then were asked to take their picture out and show it to the person next to them. This really opened up their hearts and set a trusting and familial tone for the workshop.
Pastor George Kazakos gave a general overview of the Principle of Creation as well as the Human Fall lecture. His interactive style of teaching genuinely caught the participants’ attention, and they actively engaged in the content. After lectures, the group bonded together with sports, games and other activities which created a warm and embracing environment.
The very last activity of the workshop was testimony night. One participant began the evening by giving an open testimony about his life-defining moment. He talked about growing up with a hearing disability and how that affected him in his younger years. However, once he reached high school, he challenged himself to surpass this disability. He expressed how meeting CARP allowed him to grow and awaken his conscience toward God and truly believe that he can overcome anything.
Afterward the group split into small groups, with each participant telling what their own life-defining moment was. All the participants were able to open up about their lives, and some were even shedding tears. Other participants gave their testimony in front of the whole group. One participant related how she had had a rough time prior to meeting CARP. When she joined, she started to feel that this was the family that she felt she never had. Another participant spoke about how she first was introduced to CARP but later stopped attending. One day she decided to come back, and she felt that God had guided her to this retreat, where she felt that she was experiencing God’s heart like never before.
The testimonies continued until very late. Participants told about their life experiences, their struggles and desires to escape them. They discussed the moments that they met God and felt His love, and expressed how CARP was a family to them during that journey. They discussed the CARP culture, recalled moments when they doubted their faith, and how they regained it through the sincere relationships that Las Vegas CARP members brought them.
The next morning everyone had time to reflect about their goals for the future and prepare action steps for them. Staff brought in a board that had a painting of the world, and participants wrote their declarations on the board and also proclaimed them aloud to each other. They left the board at Camp Mozumdar as a memory of the life-changing weekend they had spent together.