Nigeria: 7-Day Divine Principle Workshop
by Nigeria CARP, Bok Jin Lee
CARP Nigeria held the first 7-day Divine Principle workshop this year with the theme “Become Global Leaders who are Representative of True Parents” from September 12 to 18, 2016 at the National HQ, Peace Embassy. Twenty-one university students attended this workshop and for the one week, those students were full of passion to study the Divine Principle. The aims of this workshop are to guide them to feel Heavenly Parent’s heart and to help them realize True Parents as their own parents. We focused on guiding them to understand the Divine Principle centered on God’s heart and to inherit the True Parents’ tradition.
On Sunday, September 11, workshop participants started to arrive at the National HQ and we held an opening ceremony from 7 p.m. FFWPU Nigeria President, Rev. George Ogurie gave the opening remarks, which was followed by a welcoming address by the Special Envoy to Nigeria, Rev. Shang Seon Park. We also invited, as a special guest, Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Aisha, former first lady of Kogi state, who gave a Congratulatory Address. After that, Mr. Kouakou Aime, CARP Nigeria President led an orientation session.
The lectures comprised of 3 main parts: Divine Principle – Part I, Divine Principle – Part II and True Parents` Life Course and The Blessing. We showed the movie “What Dreams May Come” to help them vividly understand the spiritual world. We also showed a video about True Parents’ works and the Blessing ceremony.
In order to help them understand God’s desire to restore all things and human beings, we gave a fundraising lecture based on True Father’s word. Afterwards, they went out fundraising to get a taste of God’s investment on the frontline. Character education was another good opportunity to learn about a true relationship with one another.
In this workshop, we applied the system of team competition to bring out the students’ leadership qualities. We charged them to make drama videos, by teams, to demonstrate CARP’s core values. And we organized ‘cooking competition’, ‘team exercise’, ‘Korean traditional play’, ‘team talent show’ to stimulate their creativity and team work. We scored each activity and gave awards accordingly. Thanks to this system, we could lead them effectively to follow the workshop schedule.
Apart from the lectures, another highlight of the workshop was the Hoon Dok Hae sessions. Each day began with an inspiring Hoon Dok Hae session (reading, discussion, sharing, internal guidance). We used the True Father’s autobiography. True Father’s life was very inspiring to the participants as the sharing time was always filled with excitement. We guided them to set ‘Today’s Goal’ based on the day’s Hoon Dok Hae reading. Each day ended with sharing of experiences and feelings after having accomplished their internal goal for the day. They would then write their diary and reflections for the day. Through this system, the participants could improve themselves and understand more about True Father’s heart.
Also, the participants had a chance to listen to the moving testimony of an FFWPU elder member, Mrs. Carmella Ikpot. She shared in detail how the Divine Principle transformed her life. After her testimony, most participants were touched and their hearts became more open to the Divine Principle.
On the final day, they took the Divine Principle test and most of them passed. At Sunday service on that final day, five students gave testimonies to the congregation of family members. Family members were so inspired and moved by their sharing. After that, we held the closing ceremony. Words of encouragement were given by Special Envoy to Nigeria, Rev. Shang Seon Park and Secretary General of UPF Nigeria, Dr. Raphel Oko. Special Youth Envoy to Nigeria, Mr. Bok Jin Lee also gave words of gratitude to everyone for their contribution to the success of the workshop. President of FFWPU Nigeria, Rev. George Ogurie presented graduation certificates to the successful participants and also gave the closing remarks.
According to the reflection form, 16 participants would like to prepare for 21-day workshop. Fourteen of them have already expressed interest in receiving the Blessing of True Parents. We will continue to educate them to become true global leaders who are representatives of True Parents. Aju!
Happiness Dzungul: “I want to thank God for what he has done in my life during the 7 days’ workshop. The first day I came here, the national leader gave us encouragements. The next day as I got up from bed I said to God, looking at True Parents’ picture saying, I do not believe that you’re the messiah. But if truly you are, please reveal yourself to me in my dreams. I continued to say this every day. Then on the fourth night, True Parents appeared to me and said, ‘I know you more than you know yourself.’ He said further, ‘I have a mission for you, can you do it?’ I said ‘yes’ then he said to go quickly. I then found myself in my hometown. I was surprised how I got there. I saw a big bird saying I won’t let you do that mission because you are my wife. I got into a fight with the bird and then I woke up.
The 5th day during lectures I fell asleep and I saw True father and all participants in a big hall. When we were about to enter the hall I learned that to enter we needed to take-off our shoes because we would be getting a new one from True Father upon entry. So I removed my shoes. From these experiences now I know that True Parents are the messiah.”
John John: “I want to testify to what God has done for me as a result of the seven days’ workshop which I was so opportune and privileged to be part of. I am a student of university of Abuja studying environmental science and for some time I have always had my normal lectures in my usual school environment but when I came for the seven days’ workshop, everything was different, the words that were taught gave me a new focus. I used to feel like I was in bondage but now I feel totally free and liberated. I now have a choice, a part to play in what happens in my life because I have always been open to the knowledge that God is the sole designer of whatever happens in one’s life. Now I know I have a responsibility as a human being or as a man toward my own success. So, I want to say very big thank you for this nice workshop.”
Joseph Nkwo: On the day I met the CARP members, I was coming from morning mass (as a Catholic). It was the 16th of August. That day I had a feeling I should go through the school premises instead of the normal route from the church back to the hostel. I saw them (CARP members) preparing to do something. Almost all of them wore a particular uniform. I saw them with waste baskets, brooms etc. Then I knew they were about to do a clean-up. I was surprised because they were students and it’s so rare to see students do such a thing at such an early hour. I walked to them and got a little briefing which I did not quite understand at the time; but I decided to join them in the cleaning. We had a good time after cleaning and it was like I had been part of them for a long time. I went to attend their seminar and finally I am here attending the 7 days’ workshop.
But to be frank, since the day I started, I’ve been praying, “God, if it’s not your will, just do something that will convince me to carry my bag and start going home. But to be honest, until the end of this workshop I’ve never felt like going back and I found myself having more zeal to listen and to know what this Divine Principle is all about and I can say I’ve known the New Truth.
I’m very very glad to be here and it is a wonderful thing in my life to be here. I know it is God’s plan for me to be here and I will forever be grateful to God and True Parents for giving me the opportunity to be part of this program. I’m willing to spread this New Truth to all departments on campus. Thank you.”
Miracle Moses: “I really do not know what to say but I have to say something seriously. I was brought up in the Deeper Life Pentecostal Church so you can imagine what these whole teachings would be to me. My mind was just to attend this workshop and quickly go back to my house. But now I’ve experienced what I’ve never ever experienced in my life. Starting from my experience in the 1st day to final day, today, there is no doubting this truth. All this words are whole lot of new truth to me and there is no doubting it anymore. Thank you so much.”
Desmond Edams: “On Friday, 2 days before arrival day I was met by a fellow CARP member who asked me the possibility of attending this workshop I just said to him, sure I will be there and he should too. Being a final year student with lots going on and having sleepless nights I just could not refuse myself from attending the workshop. I’m happy we all came and really appreciate the lecturer Rev. Ikpot for his guidance and well answered questions. And as we go back I know we are going back as new individuals because we have seen the new truth and I know as we go back God and True Parents will guide us in all we put our hands. Please let us take CARP higher and not lower, thank you very much.”