East Europe: Young Teens Study, Work and Play in Russian Countryside
By Elena Kalmatskaya, Director, FFWPU Eastern Europe Region
We held a 10-day workshop for second- generation children between the ages of 12 to 14 which concluded on August 2, 2019.
The workshop, which began on July 25, was held at the Dobraya Zemlya (Good Land) workshop site in the countryside outside the Russian city of Vladimir.
A total of 91 participants came from Latvia, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine as well as from many cities of Russia. This was the largest number of second- generation teenagers we had ever gathered in one place. They came from very different places: big cities and little towns. For some, it took more than two days to come to this workshop, for example from the Far East of Russia. Some children were coming to a workshop for the first time in their life.
The theme of the workshop was “Truth of God, Lies of Satan.” The teenagers learned about and discussed their identity, faith and the existence of God. Special emphasis was given to the lies that Satan uses to deceive people about ideal love. Two days of the workshop were devoted to different aspects of purity of love.
Older second-generation teenagers helped as team assistants, giving their testimonies and answering questions. Each day was filled with sports, camp games, and master classes at which the children learned to construct model boats, build small rockets, practice archery, write poems, play the guitar, dance and make stop-motion animated films. During the workshop the children helped to restore an old Russian
Orthodox church, digging out the basement and cleaning the grounds. Each day was filled with truth, love and energy that each one of us is trying to find and share.
The atmosphere here was truly amazing. It is a special feeling when you see how the second generation experience God and His love and openly express their questions and challenges.
On the closing day, we were joined by the Eastern Europe regional president, Jack Corley, and his wife, Renee.
We felt so much love from the beautiful nature, God’s truth and True Parents’ guidance. I am happy to see how a precious community of second generation is being created at such workshops.