European Senior-Harp Workshop
By ESGD, Brigitte Schawaller
This year the WS took place in a camp site, that was used only by our group, so we could build up a very wonderful atmosphere. The senior Harp-WS is only one out of several summer programs for 2nd gens, run by the European Second Generation Department. (ESGD).
This year’s summer motto was “be original”, with the subtitle “deeply rooted und Uniquely Creative” This motto has been inspired by True Mothers words last year in Vienna:
“If you go where the water is messy, you have to purify it. You have to purify it with your pure water, Where ever you go. I am saying, your root is different. Original root Original root! Your roots are different.”
“You must become clean water that purifies the world. In order to do that, you have to know your original root…”
Every day had a different topic and started, after morning-sports with HDH, followed by a 10-15 minutes morning service given by a staff member or team- leader.
Everyone received a HDH booklet with a special text for each day’s topic. So this HDH has prepared us for the day. The morning-services were outstanding! I was impressed by how well each person has been chosen for the specific topic and how much the words suited with topic.
Every single time, I was thinking: it is amazing, how well our young generation can inspire and guide other 2 Gens. They can do it in a way that we could never do it! They talked i.e. about coping with challenging situations during fundraising, or, how they came to grow by overcoming a difficult situation in the family where suddenly the mother became very ill and needed the support of the whole family.
On purity day, of course, the morning service was held by a sister, who talked about how she was faced with a big challenge when she felt a deeper relationship with a classmate. She explained so honestly and deep what she went through, how she fought against all those feelings and how she overcame it.
I could feel how deeply she was able to touch many of the participants. This was the start into a day, full of internal guidance about the topic purity. I have already heard several lectures on the topic of purity, held both by first and second gens.
But the person who inspires and moves me every time the most with her lectures on purity is Yebuny Hanna. She has an astonishing way to move the audience with her honest, deep words. I believe, the reason for this is her attitude to this topic. Because she does not express all the “NO’s” that go with a life of purity. Staying pure is a life-style, it is not an order, but a decision, that everyone has to make by himself. But it is a lifestyle that leads to so much joy and happiness! This day with the topic purity included much time for brother meetings and sister meetings. We sisters had a great time together by singing Karaoke and dancing, having a game that made us talk with each other and share different thoughts and questions with persons, we haven´t talked with yet. And, of course, we had the chance to talk about the daily challenges in growing up as a 2nd gen.
The brothers had a great time not only talking together, but also while doing sports only with brothers and they also had a lot of fun in the pool. One day the topic was “be rooted”. In the afternoon we had a visit by Mr. Jack Corley, our Continental Director. He gave a wonderful, personal testimony where he could touch the hearts of our young generation with his warm words. He than moved to the topic of “Experiences with T.P.”, documented with beautiful close-up pictures with True Father and True Parents.
Mr. David Hanna talked about his experiences while fishing with True Father, how True Father never gave up and was more successful than all the others and how he could see True Father deep love for the ocean.
One day was also devoted to lectures about fallen nature, foundation of faith, foundation of substance and what we can learn from historical figures like Abraham and Noah and their families. Challenge day is of course another highlight in every WS. I found this challenge day a very special one. It all started out with the how the teams where formed and with the sport-sessions every day leading up to challenge day. The teams this time did not have numbers, but names. We actually had no teams, but tribes and clans. They had the names of the 12 scouts who went out to Canaan.
The sport session started every day with a short sketch on that topic and even familiar games appeared new in this new context. And it all culminated in challenge day. We had heavy rain on that day, but it made it all even more exciting! The thing was not to compete against each other, but to complete something together, they went from the personal to the tribe and than clan level, where wealso had to find and than free their leaders. And of course, different challenges likes sit-ups, etc. exercises that included praising each other, were included. When they came back, they were very, very dirty but their eyes were shining!
This time, we had the family night on the before last, and not on the last day. And this was a very good decision, indeed. Because, in this way it was possible, to have a lot of fun together, in preparing for and then performing at family night. But on the next day, we could really concentrate on reflecting and looking ahead to the coming year.
So, what was new this time was a “commitment-ceremony”. The teams got together and talked about what each one could learn in the WS and what he/she wants to take with him and wants to promise to focus on in the year ahead. So everyone stood up and read his resolution and we concluded with the sentence “….and we promise to be original” That was a special ending of a most wonderful, deep time together!
I am deeply moved by Patrick and Yebuny Hanna, how they prepare these Ws over a long period of time. Every single point is well planned and taken care of long in advance and the staff is very well put together. Everyone fulfills his responsibility in a most wonderful way with so much enthusiasm and devotion.
My feeling is that every second gen. should have the opportunity, to not only attend the national, but also those international, European workshops. It provides this great opportunity to meet young people in our movement from other countries, speaking another language and still facing very similar challenging and situations in daily live.
The staff has had so many experiences with holding WS , not only in Europe, but all over the world. They have been to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most recently also to Africa to guide our youth there. I as a first generation feel so deeply grateful for these young people who devote all their time and sacrifice so much in order to raise, inspire and support our children.