USA: Honolulu Youth Deepen Understanding of Divine Principle
From March 23 to 25, nine middle and high schoolers gathered on the southern shores of Oahu, Hawaii for three days of fellowship and Divine Principle study. The young people, all members of the Honolulu Unificationist Community, chose to celebrate their spring break together at the beautiful Honolulu Family Learning Center, which opened just last year. The workshop was led by young Unificationists Sejoon Nakama and Rika Otsubo, with support from Reverend Kazuo Takami and Honolulu Education and Witnessing Director Keiki Nakam.
Throughout the weekend, the youth formed closer connections with one another as they studied content from the Divine Principle. During the retreat, young adult Unificationists helped to guide their younger brothers and sisters toward a life of faith. Julie Owens Wagner lectured on the deep meaning of Hyo Jeong (a filial heart). And a young Blessed couple, Takafumi and Rina Ninomiya, each shared testimonies about spiritual turning points in their lives. Their stories were unique and contrasting, giving the youth a broader understanding of how God works with each individual person.
Encouraged by the heart of their elder brothers and sisters, the students challenged themselves to give seven-minute lectures on the Principle of Creation. For many of them, it was their first experience with public speaking. The environment, formed both by the spirit of everyone present and the natural beauty of the island, helped give courage to the young lecturers.
On Sunday morning, the group rose before dawn to journey to Sunrise Beach. Reverend Takami led a pledge service and everyone prayed by the sea until sunrise. It was the perfect setting for a morning of personal prayer and meditation.
In the end, the youth wrote heartfelt letters to True Mother, thanking her for her lifetime of dedication to God’s work. “I feel immense gratitude for your kindness and love,” wrote one young man. “I feel inspired to return that same love, although I know I can’t return the same amount.” Other young people spoke of the new goals they formed after learning more about Divine Principle. “I hope to use my passion of the sciences to connect our teachings with science and to improve the condition of the environment,” wrote one young woman.
Afterward, the students said their goodbyes and returned home. Although the workshop is over, the youth will meet for the next 10 weeks for a program focusing on purity, where they will continue to deepen their faith and learn about the importance of abstinence until marriage.