Germany: Legacy of Love
German HARP Winter Workshop
By HARP Germany, Benedikt Jensen
would like to share my experience as workshop director on this year’s winter workshop. It took place in Camberg Neumuehle, Germany from 27th December 2016 until 3rd January 2017. We were about 70 participants plus staff making a total of about 90 people.
During the workshop, we heard daily lectures and had different activities and sports both cooperative and competitive. As the biggest yearly German workshop and a highlight for many, it is always a special and moving experience to take part in.
Traditionally team leaders and staff arrive one day early. In the evening of the 26th we started our preparation time. We used this day as staff, to bond and set the best atmosphere, being as brothers and sisters. We tried to set out into one direction with the same purpose to care for and raise our younger brothers and sisters by designing this workshop together
always including God and True Parents in everything we do. We came to the common conclusion that we as staff are to be initiators, raising our awareness that we were to create the coming week out of ourselves.
In the evening of the 27th we officially started our workshop together with the participants. It was overwhelming to see the lecture hall filled again singing songs and playing games together.
In the morning I gave a short lecture on our workshop motto “Legacy of Love” or short LoL 😀 . We chose this motto to reflect about the legacy True Parents left behind for us understanding that it is where we come from. What is the wish True Parents lived their life for? They gave everything so that God can finally be able to arrive home and live with all humankind as his family.
Considering this also we want to live our lives to grow this blessing for the sake of the future generations and leave behind our legacy of love to ultimately make the best possible gift for Heavenly Parent.
The lecture content throughout the workshop covered the topics: “True parents”, “Family”, “Significance of the 2nd Gen”, and “World Affairs” (current global environmental, economic and political issues) from both 1st and 2nd generation members. Mostly participants reacted very positively on the lectures. Many were fascinated.
We heard a testimony by our continental leader Jack Corley. Hopefully many could gain a deeper understanding through hearing about the vast experiences of our elders.
One day was dedicated to the topic purity, which we put great emphasis on, seeing that it is the most important point young 2nd generation must be clear about.
We had a challenge day on which all teams went through different experiences together. Many exercises we’re physically strenuous and some challenged people emotionally. The idea was to go to one’s limits to grow beyond them. After an exhausting day, everyone spent the evening in teams for a sharing.
We had a prayer evening on the 31st to prepare for the new year. We spent the last hours of the year in a calmer mood, reflecting about the past year and setting new goals and determinations
for the new one. Then at midnight after a long song session, we started the new year with 3 very moving representative prayers from our national leader, our HARP parents and the HARP. Through the prayers, I felt deeply connected to God and the world. Afterwards we celebrated together. We had fireworks a photo shooting and even a piñata! The new year’s celebration was personally my highlight. Everything was peaceful and I felt so blessed to have this joyful time with my big family! This year it was my 7th consecutive year being in Camberg for New Year. Everyone was so happy, I felt there’s no better way to start the year than like this.
The next morning, we had our New Years’ service together with the surrounding communities. Part of this was also the purity ring ceremony. Every year young 2nd generation decide to make a public pledge, a commitment to live a life of sexual purity. To see the 10 participants this year standing in the front reading their pledge, gave me a deep feeling of hope for the future… God must be so happy.
The last evening, we had a banquet with wonderful homemade Korean food. We spent this last evening to have some quality time. After dinner, we had a family night with both individual and team performances. This evening we also extended the lights out time to give just a little bit more time to be together.
In the morning, we closed our workshop with a prayer sending people off home. Throughout the workshop many deep bonds had been created, so having to leave the workshop site and to say good bye was difficult for many.
Concluding this year’s winter workshop, we also have a new HARP leaders team. We as a team organized the workshops for one year, the seven- people elected for next year are now taking responsibility for the German 2nd youth. For us it is difficult to pass on this important responsibility after being involved so directly for one year. But we have deep trust and fully support the new team fully and wanna tell them: “Ask us for help whenever you need it and count on us!”
To all readers, please pray for the German HARP, since they are so very precious and important people!
Lastly I want to thank our Heavenly Parent: “Thank you for making this whole experience possible! Hopefully you enjoyed it even more than we did!”