The Words of the Yakawich Family
The Light and Hope of Heaven Shone on the City of Portland
April 29, 2007
On April 27-29th, 2007, the Second Generation National Blessing Workshop was held in Portland, Oregon. The workshop drew participants from as far away as Texas, Virginia, Kansas and Canada.
Hosted by the Portland Family Church, this workshop produced some amazing results. Under the vision and direction of Mrs. Jane Bowman, and guided by the wise counsel of the District Leader Rev. Larry Krishnek and state leader for Oregon Rev. David Coryell, a very successful workshop took place in the City of Roses.
There were about 100 participants. This included about 70 second generation and over 26 parents for education, background support and staff. Rev. Phillip Shanker’s presentations brought the Divine Principle "off the black board" and "into the hearts and minds of all the participants". As the Vice President for Education, FFWPU-USA, his life experiences, years of lecturing and counseling blended with so much common sense to bring the lectures to life.
Rev. Schanker worked hard and brought the Holy Spirit, hope and understanding into our midst. His lectures comprised practical advice and a deep understanding of the value of the Second Generation, the significance of the Blessing and how to apply our real life of faith to a successful Blessed Marriage. He shared that "We are all in need of a significant course change in our lives" and that "We must be aware of NOT buying into the secular values and lifestyles of this world whether in the lyrics of a song or the habits of our society."
Participants shared in group discussions, question and answer time and testimonies. Some of the second generation stood up at the end of the workshop and shared sincerely how the workshop "opened their eyes" to the value of themselves personally and the Blessing as a whole. One second gen shared that "until now, I did not have such a clear understanding where I fit in with regards to the Blessing". He now could understand, and he could sincerely consider the Blessing. The lectures helped them understand why lineage is so important and why their parents sacrificed so much for them and to help prepare them for their own Blessed Marriages.
Rev. Inguk Seo, director of Second Generation Blessing, shared his heart about the love and compassion that the 2nd Generation Department has for all the members of our movement, especially our precious second generation. His PowerPoint presentation explained clearly the significance of the Blessing and how to prepare for and maintain it. He spoke of his own life experiences as a second gen and what he faced as he approached the path of the Blessing. The way that he achieved success in overcoming his own challenges gave everyone hope and clear insights for their own life of faith.
The Next Gen Academy under the leadership of Mr. Jeff Adshead and Ms. Rachel Curry provided the music and several group leaders to our workshop. Their help and willingness to pitch in when needed was a plus to the entire workshop.
Not only was the spiritual food excellent, but so was the physical food. Mr. Zola Bokor provided "super meals" including roast beef, homemade soups and pastries, with the help of Mrs. Keiko Pisano and other volunteers. Mr. John DeGoede did a fine job of video taping the entire program, while Rev. Coryell, Shawn Brooker and Neal Stumpf provided AV support.
During the second evening, all hearts were warmed with laughter and sharing as Towa and Kwonsu Lee talked about their own walk in the Blessing. Also, first gen testified with anecdotes and humor about how God worked in their Blessings, as they found joy and happiness in their marriages.
As Rev. Shanker pointed out, we did not choose our parents or our own lineage. God worked behind the scenes. To go the way of matching and Blessing is a similar course where God will have "His hand in the process of choosing your lineage".
Rev Krishnek concluded, "Rev. Phillip Schanker invested all of his heart, experience and personality to help us understand the meaning of the Blessing from the Divine Principle perspective. His vast experience in counseling literally hundreds of first and second Gen. has provided him with the means to address nearly every issue conceivable. Rev. InGuk Seo of the 2nd Gen. Department shared his testimony of discovering his own personal identity as a Blessed child and provides another model and hope for other second gen like him."
As the three days came to a conclusion, our hearts were not only uplifted but our understanding made clear. Many wept during the lectures repenting, refreshing their commitment and cleansing their mind from the confusion of the world they face each day. A new determination was made by others to look more seriously into the matching and Blessing. As we concluded the graduation with hands held in a huge circle, we felt a new journey for each of us had begun. A journey to a deeper happiness in finding true love through this course of the Blessing.
We are indeed very grateful for God and True Family for all their guidance, teachings and being a role model of building a true lineage. We know the course is still not so easy. Yet, with such education we have more ability, more tools and more wisdom to make good and sound choices in our life.
Written by Rev. Mike Yakawich