The Words of the Onishi Family
Jardim 40-Day Workshop: A Personal Testimony
Victoria Wilding Onishi
Vancouver, British Columbia
New Hope East Garden, the Jardim Ideal Family workshop site. Pictures donít even come close to capturing its beauty. Nowhere in the world are there skies more majestic and exciting, and the vegetation so vivid a green. In such a warm, beautiful environment, untouched since the time of creation, oneís heart softens and becomes completely at ease. It can easily give of itself to the brothers and sisters during break-time and, like a sponge, it can naturally absorb every drop of Godís words during Hoon Dok Hwe.
As the only Second Generation couple at the time, my spouse and I felt out of place in the workshop when we first arrived on Dec. 20 last year. But we quickly became a part of the family there. We both knew God had a specific purpose for us there. Through prayer and reflection, it was up to us to discover.
One thing I could see in myself while I was there was my own relationship with God. Having gone fundraising until a few days before arriving in Jardim, I had come straight off the front line in CARP. So I was used to an intense lifestyle where defeating Satan and meeting God was part of everyday life. But when I found myself at New Hope East Garden, it was all up to me to maintain a close relationship with God. Actually, without being in the CARP environment, I struggled to take initiative for my own life of faith. Then one day someone commented that life of faith is how much you attend God and True Parents in your daily life. These words hit me. So I made the determination to "always attend True Parents" that week, by always thinking they were by my side 24 hours a day. That was very late Saturday night. Then, very early on Sunday morning, we got on the bus to visit the National Messiahsí 40-day workshop site in Olimpo. After doing pledge on the bus, I had a dream of True Father. Father was being broadcast on TV. Our father was speaking from a podium, saying, "Husband should kyung-bae (full bow) to the wife, and the wife should kyung-bae to the husband." In the dream, these words moved me so much. Then True Father finished his speech and quickly walked off. I woke up. I felt so comforted by God. I had been accusing myself for many things, but God was telling me that He still loved me anyway and was showing me that He and True Parents are always with me. For the first time in a long time, I couldnít help crying tears of gratitude to God as I looked up at the clear night sky.
That was one experience through which I felt a closeness to God and True Parents. And there were many others. The trips we took to the holy grounds such as Olimpo, Perdido and Salobra River and Hotel also helped me to feel a closer bond to True Parents. Riding in a motor boat up the Salobra River particularly left a lasting impact. At this very river, True Father would risk his life fishing from dawn to dusk as an indemnity condition before the í97 and í98 Blessings. Having been Blessed in í98, I felt like a salmon swimming up the river to its birthplace when I rode along this river with my spouse. As I touched the deep green water and felt the wind hitting my face, I tried to understand how much suffering Father had gone through in those waters, as he invested his sweat and tears to save the world. I felt a mixture of deep repentance for not doing more to support our Father, as well as gratitude for all that he has gone through for us.
The experience I had at the Jardim workshop is an experience which could only happen there. Now that Iím back at home, I have tried to keep God and True Parents just as close through prayer and Hoon Dok Hwe. Although my spouse and I are probably the youngest couple to graduate from the workshop in Jardim, we still hope that our experience together there can be the seed for an ideal family in the future.
(I am a 19 year old Second Generation sister from Canada. I am currently at home taking care of my younger brother and two younger sisters while my parents attend the Jardim workshop.)
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