USA: CARP Las Vegas September Two-Day Retreat
Prepared by CARP Las Vegas
From September 20 to 21, CARP Las Vegas held their first two-day retreat in the fall semester of 2019. This time around, it was decided for the CARP members to give the Divine Principle lectures. Keeping True Mother’s desire to educate the youth in mind, Mr. Akira Wantanabe, the director of CARP Las Vegas, felt that CARP members should learn to give Divine Principle lectures by the time they graduate. There was a total of 23 participants, two of whom were new guests and six were local Las Vegas Church community members.
The evening of the first day started off with a unique icebreaker mashup of “Taboo” and “Charades” to help everyone get familiar with one another. Later on, Mr. Wantanabe gave an inspiring orientation to help set the right heart and attitude for the workshop. He wanted the participants to keep an open mind in order to take in the content given to them. The following day, participants prepared themselves for lectures by moving their body through “Just Dance,” followed by reflecting on gratitude, forgiveness and hope in their lives.
The first two lecturers were Mr. Michael Cordero and Mr. Kobe Neuhaus who were both witnessed to by CARP four and five years ago. Just a few years ago they were the ones sitting in the seat of the audience, receiving the Divine Principle for the first time. The last lecture was Mr. Chungbom Katayama, a second generation Unificationist from Japan in his fifth year of CARP.
All the speakers gave their best to convey the content to the audience. Through the lecturing, they testified to how they were able to reflect on what God has taught them. After each lecture, participants were able to share with one another about how they were able to relate to the principal in their own lives.
The retreat concluded in a bonfire where everyone enjoyed the last moments together. People performed songs and poetry together to set the tone for the open-mic testimonies. During the testimonies, participants expressed what they felt throughout the workshop. One participant, George, explained that he “never felt that close to the church and the community,” but once he join the workshop, he said, “I never thought that you guys would accept a person like me.”