USA: GPA’s First Overseas Missionary Program
By FFWPU USA: Participants of the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) just returned home safely after three weeks abroad. Each year GPA embarks on overseas service trips, during which participants are divided among three or four destination countries where they initiate or continue GPA-sponsored projects such as beautifying schools and parks, teaching character education, and building a relationship with the local community.
This year, GPA introduced the new Cheon Il Guk missionary program, in which a team of participants organize events specifically designed to teach True Parents’ message, support Tribal Messiahship, and share the Marriage Blessing with people in their mission country. Cheon Il Guk missionaries have a unique schedule during their time on GPA. Before their trip to the Philippines, they received leadership training at the Global Top Gun workshop in Korea.
The following blog entries were written by GPA participants and describe their overseas experience.
Cheon Il Guk Missionaries in the Philippines
In the last couple weeks we:
- Mobilized and supported with two Interfaith Marriage Blessing Ceremonies with 45 new Blessed couples,
- Organized a Peace Loving Global Citizen Forum for the incoming and outgoing Bohol Island State University (BISU) student governors, who represent the top of their classes and universities (we used this event as a means to network and establish relationships with the top young leaders of Bohol and spread True Parents’ message.)
- Mobilized and organized a Pure Love Rally at the BISU main campus. 300 students participated, and we spread a culture of abstinence before marriage and taught about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.
- Met with local government officials and a vice mayor, gathering support and connections to spread Tribal Messiahship endeavors
Our goal by the end of the 40 days here in Bohol was to mobilize and raise 40 righteous young leaders to attend a seven-day Divine Principle and Leadership Training Workshop on April 3 – 10 with W-CARP Philippines.
The venue will be held at a beach hotel and resort and we are currently starting an online fundraiser to support the CARP Philippines community for expenses. We need $10,ooo to meet our goal. You can donate here!
Amy Whitmore’s Testimony: These past weeks were definitely full of new experiences. But the greatest thing I experienced was God’s heart of longing and joy through the Interfaith Wedding Blessings we supported.
This was during the second Blessing that we helped prepare in the Province of Maribojoc. Before the event I honestly felt empty. Looking back I realized that I was over complicating my relationship with God and True Parents and thought that it was something I should keep for myself.
My heart completely switched once we started thinking of the couples, how we wanted them to feel and what we wanted them to experience. Even though we barely knew these couples, I felt so excited and happy for this holy day. Then I realized, what I was feeling was not just me but what God and True Parents were feeling. God must be incredibly happy to finally embrace His children and dwell in their families.
The moment I was able to genuinely care for others was the moment I connected to God and also True Parents’ heart of joy. This experience not only helped me understand my purpose as a missionary but also what I have to hold on to as a missionary, which is the importance of continuously growing my relationships centered on God and True Parents.
Sunkook Iwasaki’s Testimony: On March 2nd, we had a Youth Leadership Peace Forum with the newly elected Student Government of the Bohol Island State University campuses and the outgoing governors.
It was an all-day initiative where our goal and theme was “Multiplying Righteous Young Leaders for a Sustainable World of Peace.” Approximately 50 student governors attended. Also, the University President Dr. Elpedio Magante, the Dean Dr. Arceli Hernando, and the President of the WFWP Mrs. Marely Barlaan, alotted time from their busy schedules to attend the Forum. Even a senator running for re-election came for a surprise visit which showed me how important these young students are, even on a national political field.
For me, it was an amazing experience and it opened the door to future opportunities because as the CIG Missionaries we organized almost everything! Although we were supported by the school, we organized the schedule, activities and took ownership over the responsibilities.
My highlight was the opportunity to lecture on UPF’s Five Principles of Peace. I originally had 30 minutes to speak but after the first minute of introduction, I was engulfed with fiery spirit and sincerity, and spoke for 50 minutes instead! Rather than nervously hovering over my notes, I stared passionately into the eyes of the future leaders. I wanted to convey to them the importance of uniting with Heavenly Parent’s desires since leaders are only leaders when they have a direction to lead others toward; and that vision should be God’s vision.
I had such a deep desire to give more because I was learning about what I truly believed in and the foundations that I was raised on. Looking back, I’m grateful because God gave me this passion to speak in front of others freely, knowing that He can speak through me what needs to be conveyed.
Junta Naito’s Testimony: “True love waits.” “Be sure, be pure.” “I’m proud to be a virgin.” These were just a few of the messages that were conveyed by students during the Pure Love Rally held on March 3, 2016 at the Bohol Island State University (BISU).
Over 300 students gathered around the main Activity Center. Many of us were nervous as to how the event would turn out, and if the students will be impacted from what we have to offer. Especially in today’s society, speaking up for purity is almost unheard of, and in fact, sometimes taboo. And that is exactly why I felt we needed to proclaim this message. I had confidence that this education can save many lives.
Because of how crucial it was to share the importance of true love, I felt that the entire rally was also a spiritual battle. Sharing this kind of message is not easy, but I believe we remained strong. At the same time, we received so much support, especially from Dr. Hernando, the Director of Student Affairs at BISU. She proudly stood up for purity and was the bridge for us and the students.
I felt so grateful to be able to pass down these values which we have gained from our True Parents.
Sachika Iwamoto’s Testimony: Being a part of GPA for two years, what I find the most difficult is becoming a channel for God and True Parents. It was always difficult for me to guide others to understand the importance of living a principled life, and to create a core relationship with God and True Parents. And because of that, witnessing has always been the most difficult course for me.
Before coming to Bohol, Philippines, I witnessed in both California and in Las Vegas. Both times, I had struggled to understand the importance of outreach, for every day it felt as if 10 days had gone by. And the reason to why it was so challenging was because I never had the right intention. I never really connected my witnessing experience back to understanding Heavenly Parents and True Parents. So it was very difficult to understand the importance of True Mother’s Vision 2020.
Right after Las Vegas, CIG Missionaries went straight to the Global Top Gun Workshop. Overall the workshop helped me get a clear idea of what Vision 2020 looks like. Coming to Bohol, a lot of things have happened. I have already experienced bringing in about 16 guests! This is actually huge for me, and honestly quite overwhelming. Although it is very stressful taking care of many guests, God has to take care of more.
In addition to these events, Cheon Il Guk missionaries also organized a one-day Divine Principle seminar at the local CARP center, and hosted a CARP family night, service day, and sports festival.
If you’re a high school graduate interested in a challenge and epic growth experience, sign up for this life-changing new program. The GPA 2016-2017 application is now open. Read More