The Words of the Ross Family

A Small Light In The Darkness

Grace Ross
October 14, 2005

Amerika's team and Amadea's team arrived at the Milwaukee church an hour early. They welcomed us in with the preparations for service already made. A Korean grandmother and a Japanese mother were working hastily to prepare the sanctuary and the food for lunch. Before service, we were updated on the current events of our movement and Father's condition. Then, STF graduate Karyn Halmstad shared about her interfaith efforts on her college campus. She later shared how her inspirations on STF gave her the strength to do things she only dreamed of doing. Now, she can take initiative in her school and be confident in her faith. She described her STF experience as a time to "pump iron" with her heart. It was inspiring to see how her STF experience was made real even a few years after her graduation.

Next, morning service was given by Reverend Marian North. She compared our members to small lights, which in our dark world have a large impact. Even without doing extraordinary things, a simple lifestyle of living for other people stands out amongst our self centered world. After this, Hanshin Brewster gave a testimony about wanting to find direction in life that included a public purpose. On STF, she realized how much she lacked appreciation for her own parents and True Parents and the sacrifices they've made for her sake. Also, she is slowly finding the purpose that she has been searching for through her experiences on the frontline and with True Parents. Next, Francesca Pette shared about her internal investments made over several months that are starting to come to fruition. She hopes to inspire her younger brothers and sisters in Florida when she returns with a deeper understanding of her faith.

STF then offered a song to the members of Milwaukee church. Feeling the need to give back to us, members shared how we inspired them by our spirit and effort. Maurice Lawrence pointed out that it is not those who are strongest or swiftest, but most determined that are able to finish a race. Through this, he showed his appreciation for our efforts on the frontline. Next, the woman in charge of second generation admired how we were trying to put the Divine Principle into action and were expanding upon the first generation's victories. She has hope that we will bring substantial change to this world on the foundation of the first generation. Karyn then performed inspiring, original songs that she wrote before STF and before committing herself to the matching.

After service, we joined the congregation for a potluck lunch and conversed with everyone. The room was filled with a sense of warmth and welcoming, and all around people were initiating conversation with people they have never met. Everyone really united when we started a game of telephone charades. At first it was just Milwaukee second generation and STF members, but eventually, parents joined in the fun. Everyone laughed and had a good experience. By the end of our time together we could leave knowing that we had uplifted and inspired the community here.

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