GTGY, True Parents, and Me
The 2018 Global Top Gun Youth (GTGY) program for young adults began on August 9 at Cheong A Camp in Gapyeong, South Korea, immediately following the conclusion of the GTGY high school program. A total of six hundred participants registered for both programs, thirty-six of which were high school students from America who attended the GTGY high school program between July 26 and August 8, and another seventy young adults from America who are currently participating in the GTGY young adult program. This past week was spent listening to True Parents life course, studying Divine Principle through talks by various staff members, and formulating self-created Divine Principle talks for a public speaking contest where the winners received prizes of a $200 value.
The vision of GTGY is for all participants to experience the heart of Hyojeong (filial heart) towards Heavenly Parent and True Parents and to develop the love of brothers and sisters as part of a global family. The program strives to give participants an understanding of Heavenly Parent’s providence and the value of True Parents’ life while providing space through active participation for every person to realize their personal calling in the substantiation of Cheon Il Guk. Over the years, this program—even though it is a very packed schedule—has helped participants know who True Parents are and what True Parents have accomplished in their life and create a heartistic connection with them.
Kinesha B. McDaniel, a young Unificationist from the Las Vegas community shared, “ I am a second generation Unificationist and am 29-years-old. This is my first time attending the Global Top Gun Youth program for young adults. So far, we have had special lectures from Julia Moon (Director of the Universal Ballet Company), Rev. Ken Sudo (Unificationist Elder and Teacher of Divine Principle) and from Mrs. Gil Ja Sa Eu (author of A Testimony to God’s Word, and the late wife of Rev. Hyo Won Eu, the first president of the Unification Church).”
“Their words about True Parents and of their own personal intimate life courses with True Parents were so precious,” she continued. “I’ve never heard Rev. Sudo speak but I heard about him from my parents. I was able to meet Mrs. Eu and speak to her in Korean properly! She had asked for my name and I told her in Korean. I even told her where I lived. Meeting the earliest disciples of True Parents and hearing how much love they have and devotion they still show to True Parents today strengthened my own faith and my own determination to live my life completely aligned with God and True Parents. Hearing their testimonies gave me so much inspiration to become more and more like Heung Jin Moon and Hyo Jin Moon, True Parents’ eldest sons who are now in the spirit world.”
The day following her testimony, Kinesha and her fellow participants went on the pilgrimage of the various sites significant to the history of the Unification faith, places where True Parents walked for many years. “I am looking forward to this experience,” Kinesha shared in anticipation of the trip. “I am hoping to understand the heart of True Parents more deeply and to feel their love and devotion to the world!”
The GTGY program for young adults makes for a very diverse global experience with participants coming from many cultural backgrounds from all over the world. This alone is inspirational to those signing up for the three-week experience.
“We all come from so many cultural backgrounds and we’re here gathered together under True Parents,” shared Soogin Ogden, a young Unificationist from Chicago who is currently serving as a member of the GTGY staff. “It’s been interesting finding harmony through the different ways of thinking in our faith. By understanding one another and seeking out a common vision, many barriers have been broken down seeing that we all desire the same thing—to make True Parents proud and bring about Heavenly Parent’s dream.”
Yuki Asanuma from Omaha, another young Unificationist also currently serving as a member of the GTGY staff said, “Having attended two other previous GTGY programs, I’ve found that each year brings new challenges as well as blessings. I am always moved by the dedication that the staff has in creating this experience, as well as the willingness and heart to meet those challenges from the participants themselves.”
The GTGY program offers the opportunity for youth to connect to True Parents’ love and vision, and to develop leadership abilities in regards to becoming a more global-minded individual and to help them in their endeavors moving forward by giving them practices and lessons to help them stay grounded and connected in their daily life of faith and in their relationship with Heavenly Parent and True Parents.
Of her experience so far, Cynthia Konan from Detroit shared, “I’m truly grateful to be part of this program. GTGY has been something I wanted to be part of for a long time just because it gave me a chance to reconnect to True Parents. I felt coming here would deepen my faith by listening to True Parents’ life course and visiting the holy sites. I was able to meet people from all over the world and together we learned True Parents’ course and had a Divine Principle talk. It is truly a blessing that many people from different cultures and different languages can come together and unite centered on True Parents. True Parents went through so much since they received their mission and finally gave us everything. It is now our turn to inherit those values and apply it in our daily lives. While studying True Father’s life course, one thing that really touched my heart was when True Father was urging us young people to have a clear sense of purpose. He said, ‘You first need to be equipped. Then you must have a clear sense of purpose. Finally, you need to experience being a loser and its results in order to successfully conduct these activities.’ Likewise, True Mother also demands the same expectation from young people. She wants us to be excellent internally and externally. I really resonated with this idea because how else are we to carry our mission as Tribal-junior messiahs if we do not work on ourselves first?” Cynthia concluded her sharing by urging everyone to recognize how much True Parents have given to everyone and to strive intentionally to create one family under God. “It is now our turn to give back by supporting True Mother in the providence in any way we can,” she shared. “They have suffered to set the foundation for us. I truly want to make them proud. The GTGY program is truly an eye-opener for me and I feel this is only the beginning of growing my faith and becoming an even better leader in the future!”
The Global Top Gun Youth program for young adults will continue until August 29. Tune back in to FamilyFed.org for more stories and testimonies from our young Unificationist as they grow and learn in their faith and love for Heavenly Parent and True Parents.