CARP Hosts March Two-Day Retreat

By CARP USA: Over 15 students from UNLV gathered for a two-day weekend retreat hosted by CARP at the Las Vegas Family Church. Although each of the five guests have heard lectures on the Divine Principle, this is the first time that they attended a DP retreat with other students. The theme of the workshop, “Why Am I Needed?” brought the participants to the attention that even if we discovered that God exists, what would be the nature of the relationship between God and us? The goal of the workshop is to educate students to take responsibility in building a parent-child relationship with God.

The retreat began on Friday evening where the students made teams, played games and ice breakers to get more comfortable with one another. “Even though I’ve only known CARP for a short amount of time, I feel that everyone here is amazingly sincere,” commented Cody, a UNLV student attending his first CARP retreat. After the high-energy games, the focus of the night turned more reflective where each participant printed a picture of a mentor or someone who guided them in their life. Participants shared why the mentor was significant to them and reflected on the question, “What does this person see in me?” “I chose my boss because he showed me a different way of life,” shared Amy, “Instead of always comparing myself with others, he taught me to help and care for others.” The evening helped the group bond closer together and created the atmosphere for a meaningful Divine Principle retreat.

Saturday morning the participants went on a short hike up a nearby hill to take time to prepare for the day and to pray. Jinil Fleischman gave the Divine Principle presentations throughout the day. “By teaching the Divine Principle, I was moved to realize how deep True Father’s heart is, that he understands God’s Heart and story so profoundly,” shared Jinil, “I felt very humbled in trying to convey God’s Heart.”

After every presentation, the participants broke up into teams for discussion and questions. For the afternoon activity, the participants made pairs and passed out inspirational quotes to shoppers at a nearby mall.

“I wasn’t having a very good day,” commented Joan, “But when I thought about how I could give these quotes to help brighten someone else’s day, I felt reenergized.”

The day ended with s’mores, some dancing, singing and testimonies around a bonfire. “At first I was skeptical about how they were trying to get me to join some group,” reflected Daniel, “But then I became grateful when I finally understood how much they sincerely invested their time and energy into tailoring every activity so that I could have the best experience.” Several participants and one CARP member shared about how studying the Divine Principle and meeting CARP had transformed their lives. Through this experience, everyone came to understand how important it is to try to develop a relationship with God.

On the last morning of the retreat, the participants learned about the important tradition of Hoon Dok Hwae as a way to gain spiritual energy through studying inspiring speeches. “Hoon Dok Hwae is a lifestyle dedicated to personal growth and improvement,” shared Akira Watanabe. Each participant took turns reading paragraphs and sharing their thoughts from True Father’s speech entitled, “May God Protect Us.” After Hoon Dok Hwae, everyone packed up their things and returned home after an exciting and deep weekend. One participant, Amy, felt that she needed God’s guidance in her life and decided to set a 7-day prayer condition to build that relationship between her and God. Other participants will continue their weekly Divine Principle studies to continue to learn more about a life of faith. We wish to offer our thanks and gratitude to Heavenly Parent and True Parents for providing such a moving experience for all the workshop participants.