The Words of the Lee Family
September 26, 2005
On September 20, 2005 around fifty STF members gathered in Akron, Ohio for our very first 2 day workshop after 21 days of frontline training. We were blessed to stay at a beautiful YMCA camp by a lake. The 7 teams arrived in the early morning, after reading Father’s speech given on Sept’ 12 th at New York, our Commander, Akira Watanabe gave morning service on lack of love. He explained how lack of love results as a natural byproduct of our original nature; since we are endowed with intellect and desire. We need to avoid the tendency of escaping this emotion and instead make effort to acknowledge it, and overcome it by trusting God. We have to change our attitude to see it as an opportunity to grow.
The focus of the first day was team-building activities. We began with a very exciting and intense game of tug o' war. Who would've thought that one could have so much fun with some kids and a single rope? The day continued with a couple games of ultimate frisbee. Soon after lunch was finished a relay race/obstacle course was set up which tested team's unity, agility, patience, strength and speed. The course began with two pairs crawling across a part of the field while balancing a member on their backs. Some game involved trust building, walking around some obstacles blind folded…then we had to swiftly run by without getting hit by balls that were being thrown at us or splashed by a water gun. After rolling on the ground to the next station, we clumsily picked up long flimsy sticks and frantically get 7 golf balls into a designated circle. Finally after running through some trees, the final task was push-ups!! 100 for sisters and 150 for brothers; and then a sprint to the finish line.
After exerting al our energy it was time to prepare our skits for the evening entertainment. . Each team performed a creative, enjoyable skit which reflected the team's unity and investment.
The second full day was geared towards guidance on how to fulfill our Quarterly goal, to "Discover myself as a child of God and understand God's love for myself and the world." Our first lecture entitled Cultural War was given by STF commander and director Roland Platt. He revealed the hardest war which is going on right now in our daily lives and in the world, the cultural war. We are now facing a greater enemy than ever before, even more fearful than communism: the individualistic, materialist humanistic culture which is all around us. Through this lecture we learned that STF is a training to help us to become heavenly soldiers who can fight in this side to fight alongside with God, True Parents and Hyun Jin Nim.
The next lecture was given by our IW, Makiko Watanabe, on the Realm of Children's love. Through the diagrams we were able to recognize where we are at in our relationship with God, and then strive to cultivate our Children's Heart.
In the afternoon we were given a lecture on Sibling’s Love given by our commander Kazuya Morita. He expressed how corrupted brother and sister’s love is in today’s world. He explained clearly how this Realm includes the Realm of Children’s love and expands to embrace others as our brothers and sisters.
After dinner we attended a service to celebrate the lives of the 4 brothers and sisters who went to spirit world while on STF in the last few years, Jinjoo Byrn, Natsuki Yoshida, Kwanjun Lee and Alexei Veligurov. It was very moving, we concluded with prayer at the lake and a new determination. Then we had testimony time, I have included the highlight of the five brothers and sisters who shared their testimonies:
"I felt a tiny part of God’s Heart…you don’t experience God’s heart in the big breakthroughs, but by going through the pain of rejections"
"All my conviction I had in the Church was from my parents…until I came to STF. Now I know what it means to earn my faith"
"…one man appeared, barefoot and completely dirty and said to me: do not be ashamed of what you are doing, you are not here for yourself, you here because God needs you to be here. Look at me, I lost my entire family, my children are dead from drugs…I realized that heavenly Father was sharing His heart to me through this miserable person."
"I cried for two and a half hours, it’s the longest I ever cried for…I could connect to God’s heart, how could You go through this everyday, being strong, rising above the failure…we cannot give up, God really needs us so much, if we quit it will be one more heartache for Heavenly Father. Let’s make it easy for God!"
Lianne Wilson (Assistant):
"How desperate God must be… "we are all that God has". I was thinking about this word from Hyun Jin Nim; from this I felt such a strong determination, I could connect to God’s heart and True Parents’ hearts."
The final morning, July 22, 2005, the Morning Service taught us about the "process of fundraising." It helped us to understand how everything that we do in our day is interconnected, from Pledge and Hoon Dok Hae, exercises, sharing…cultivating heavenly heart, building mind and body unity, teamwork…without going through these steps of preparation we cannot really transform ourselves on the frontline.
The atmosphere at the workshop was so fresh and so pure. After 21 days of adjusting to van life and experiencing the joy and challenges of fundraising, there was a familial closeness even though we don’t all know each other that well. We all feel exited and privileged to be able to support True Parents’ speaking tour, through joining the national prayer condition, attending the speech in Chicago, and generally by being on the frontline, sharing a small part of True Parents’ burden.
After cheers of "Mansei!" everyone left rejuvenated, ready to go out and give love to the people and grow closer to God and True Parents.
Takako Lee, Assistant.
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