The Words of the Platt Family
We finally landed in Korea from Japan, which was a day later than scheduled. We took a bus to a training center in the city of Guri, which we would be staying at for about a week and a half. We arrived at the training center at around 4 in the afternoon. Upon our arrival, Eunhwa Mouada and her husband greeted us and quickly we made ourselves comfortable and unloaded our luggage.
Staying at the training center along with us, were over three hundred CARP members from Japan, Korea, and Brazil. All of these groups including GPA were gathered in order to participate in the first CARP World Assembly, which would be taking place during the Cheon Bok Festival.
We simply used this day to get ourselves situated in the training center, and spend time getting to know some of the CARP members from different parts of the globe. We also were given a quick overview of what to expect for our time here in Korea. For many of us it was our first time in Korea. For those of us who have been to Korea before, time was spent catching up with old friends or familiar faces.
We started our first day in Korea like any other day back in America with Hoon Dok Hae but then had a Korean breakfast (kimchi, rice, and fish) which all of us were not so accustomed to. Today we participated in the very first Unification Church parade in Seoul as flag bearers representing different nations. It was expected to be one of the coldest days of the year but surprisingly it turned out to be quite a warm day for a winters day. So in preparation we all dressed in multiple layers but we were glad to be warmly clothed.
We took a bus to the location of the start of the parade. There we met up with Korean CARP and South American CARP, which was mainly made up of Brazilian or Venezuelan members. With the free time before the start of the parade, we took time to get acquainted with the CARP members from South America, Japan, and Korea through Frisbee and small talk which helped all of us to come together in such a small way.
As flag bearers we were lined up in rows of six. Hyung Jin Nim and Kook Jin Nim walked a few feet behind us and actually started everyone in a chant. They would say "CHAM-PU-MO-NIM" and we would respond with "SA-RANG-HE-YO". The parade was very long and as flag bearers we didn't walk the full distance of the parade, but ended early. At our end location we greeted our American CARP president, Victoria Roomet, and our national youth pastor, Jaga Gavin. We also got a chance to greet Jin Sung Nim, Preston, Ariana, and Krista.
We then made our way to the "Cheon Bok Gung", the main church center in Seoul, in order to attend a speech given by Hyung Jin Nim. Surprisingly as we were waiting, word that True Parents were arriving early to the event spread like wild fire and hordes of people began lining up to greet them. As True Parents made their way out of their SUV and into the entrance, the crowd began cheering with all their hearts.
We were very fortunate to see True Parents today. Had the event gone according to plan, we would never have gotten a chance to see them. As they entered the Cheon Bok Gung, they were only a couple feet away from us. True Father began the event with a lecture. We didn't have much time to stay for the event so we left about halfway through the program, and returned to the training center. When we returned the sisters received their Han Boks, courtesy of In Jin Nim.
"I felt very proud to represent our tradition in a way I felt like an Olympic athlete representing our tradition to the world. I wish we had a bigger parade because it is a special moment in our movement and it should be regarded as such. I am proud and grateful to be a part of such an amazing event."
"I was pretty psyched. I wasn't sure if we were going to see them at all but we got to be right up front and see True Children greeting their parents, which I was pretty excited about."
This morning after preparing ourselves, we hopped on a bus to make our way to the Cheon Bok Gung (main Unification Church Center in Seoul). Today was the day of the World CARP Assembly. The first 40 flags that lead in the parade were to be put up today at the flag ceremony, which would kick-off the World CARP assembly. Bearing the flags for today's ceremony were 20 representatives from the United States (GPA brothers), 18 representatives from South America (Venezuela, Brazil CARP), one representative from Korea Carp, and one representative from Japan CARP.
Before the flag ceremony, Kook Jin Nim gave a lecture in English titled: "A Strong Korea?" In this lecture, Kook Jin Nim shared that we all have to be practical when it comes to world affairs. He explained the real threat that China posed as a military power, and that in order to defend ourselves we had to be prepared to face dangers without the expectation of receiving help. He further explains that this is why he created the hand gun company and how Abel has to be strong to be able to win over other existing powers.
Hyung Jin Nim also gave a sermon and requested that we all jog in place with him, which lasted for over an hour. The sermon related to Kook Jin Nim's lecture. The main point of the lecture was, if Abel had a gun he wouldn't have been killed by Cain. Hyung Jin Nim explained that if there were to be a third world war, and whether it would be fought physically or mentally, we had to become stronger in all respects. If Abel is strong and gives Cain reason to fear him, then both Cain and Abel can live to resolve their conflict.
As we continued jogging in place, Hyung Jin Nim began running around the audience. He asked everyone the question, "Why do you believe in God?" To many people, the answer was personal and didn't provide a global answer. Hyung Jin Nim explained that we all must be prepared to answer difficult questions like this one. The answer should be able to satisfy the person who is asking. We have to exercise the power in our minds just as we should physically exercise. In today's sermon, Hyung Jin Nim was able to provide both forms of exercise.
After Hyung Jin Nim's sermon, representatives from Japan, Korea, Brazil, Venezuela and USA (GPA) performed in a cultural festival for the World CARP Assembly. Japan performed a traditional dance, Korea performed a dance, Brazil performed a song and traditional Samba dance, Venezuela performed a skit/ dance, and USA (GPA) performed a Waltz routine choreographed by Eika Davis, and a Cha Cha routine choreographed by Ariana Shin Sun Moon.
At the end of the performances, the World CARP Assembly was ended with a debate between Theism and Atheism, for testifying to the existence of God. Four debaters, two for Theism and two for Atheism, participated. Phillip Takher, CARP representative for America, debated for the moral perspective of Atheism. His opponent, Sharapov Sergei debated for the moral perspective of Theism. Go Takayuki (Japan CARP), Theism and Park Chung-IL (Korea CARP), Atheism debated on the fine-tuning perspective of Atheism and Theism.
After the debate we returned to the training center and closed our day with a brotherhood sisterhood gathering at the fourth floor. We started with a very passionate song session. CARP representatives gave reports of CARP's activities in their respective country. Victoria Roomet, CARP president for America, gave an inspiring and passionate report on CARP's status in the US. Afterwards, we broke off into groups of eight. The groups consisted of five members from Korean CARP, one from Japan CARP, one from CARP South America, and one from USA (GPA). The night was spent in a cluster of groups exchanging names, breaking barriers, laughing, dancing, or just spending time getting to know one another using different languages or forms of communication.
"Before I heard Kook Jin Nims speech I wondered why our church has a weapon producing company, after hearing his speech I finally understand that it is the condition to bring the victory of a strong Abel"
"I liked it a lot. It was something different and exciting. When you move around it scientifically helps you to focus more, I was able to really pay attention. I was amazed at how he could run for the whole time and still give us a good sermon. I love Hyung Jin Nim"
"After I heard we were going to do a performance alongside CARP from other countries I was excited because I think ballroom represents America well. Even though I was proud of the people who did. I think the CARP from other countries received it well especially Korea. Afterwards they asked to learn ballroom so I think we represented In Jin Nim well. Other people had commented on hoe they like the interaction between brothers and sister through ballroom."
"I really enjoyed the experience of performing in front of Hyung Jin Nim and the world CARP assembly. I felt like I was able to show my investment and talent that all of us have been working so hard on. I'm really glad that In Jin Nim has allowed us to present the dance that Ariana choreographed. I felt honored to be able to perform in front of Korea."
"I never would have expected to feel any sense of connection to other young adults from different countries with such different countries with such different backgrounds and cultures, but it was so simple when I was interacting with them. These people who I was grouped with were the most kind-hearted and friendly people that I have met on my trip so far. They were so welcoming and easy going, I was so grateful to have the brotherhood sisterhood ceremony to have such a great opportunity to spend time with them."