The Words of the Yamamoto Family
Hyun Jin Nimís Core Values in Second Generation Youth Ministry
Youth Minister, Northern California
A few days ago, I was part of a group of World CARP leaders, STF members and Youth Ministers that returned from Hyun Jin Nimís first Alaska Adventure Workshop, hosted by World CARP. It was an amazing learning experience. From a pure structural standpoint, this workshop was unique in that it used the extreme physical challenge offered by the Alaskan wilderness as an experiential way to learn life lessons through the Core Values.
In other words, it was a direct experience in living for the greater good, taking ownership, teamwork, dreaming big, and aligning ourselves vertically to God. It was as if Hyun Jin Nim imparted to us the path he had taken, overcoming great suffering and hardships. He wanted us to connect to the heart of God by understanding even a fraction of the historic course True Parents walked. We came face to face with our limitations, forced to assess our contribution to the good of our team. We had to work together to accomplish the big goal we were all aiming for. This meant that each individual had to take ownership of his or her own responsibilities and physical body. No matter how rubbery my legs were from marching all day up and down the rugged terrain, I still had to push myself to crawl into the trees and pitch a bivouac before it became too dark to see.
In reaching my physical limits, I could see with amazing clarity my own mental and emotional limitations. I have returned knowing what I must focus on improving in myself. It is sobering to see that any complacency in your heart can result in great physical discomfort or at worst, a life-threatening situation. In the wilderness, there is no such thing as negotiation or compromise. Stripped to your bare needs, you must act productively, or perish. It is life distilled to its essence, and powerful insight into how to live our daily lives.
In order to succeed in life, we must approach those things we hold dear with an all-or-nothing attitude. We must constantly invest ourselves in a higher purpose that is aligned with the will of God and True Parents, or our lives will stagnate. As I learned from my team during the expedition phase of the workshop, youíve got to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Spiritual life is a constant effort to grow and become a better person through understanding the heart of God. Our True Parents have shown us the way with their living testimony.
Hyun Jin Nimís Core Values showed me how to cultivate a life of faith that is not only spiritual, but effective. For those unfamiliar with the terms, the Core Values are Living for the Greater Good, Ownership, Teamwork and Dream Big. These are powerful concepts that substantiate True Parentsí dream, by applying Divine Principle in how we substantiate our life goals and aspirations. The following is how I personally used the Core Values in my work with the Youth Ministry.
I have been involved with the Youth Ministry of our church in the Northern California Region for about seven years, minus some periods of inactivity. What drives me is the conviction that this is my offering to God and True Parents. Our region has a Youth Ministry Team, with whom I have the closest bonds within the church community. By working together and supporting each other we have created an efficient and proactive system of workshops and programs to bring True Parentsí teachings and tradition to the Second Generation. Being part of this team as youth minister has taught me much about being a member of our movement, as a Second Generation. The Core Values bring all my experiences and efforts into focus.
Living for the Greater Good means to constantly check my heart and motivation, to first see if I am aligned with the vision, values and goals of True Parents. Then, we must multiply the value of our youth ministry by coming up with creative ideas on how to make our weekly events more interesting, or to make each annual workshop different, or special in a way that has not been done before. The ideas that worked very well are shared with others involved in taking care of 2nd Gen. in different areas. Living for the greater good also means constant investment in others. Hyun Jin Nim told us it is important to be able to see the potential in each person, through the eyes of a parent. "What kind of person do you see this person becoming?" This point resonated deeply with me, as this is the essential goal of working with our youth, to cultivate in them the highest possible potential.
To be an effective youth leader, I had to be a true owner, which means being responsible and accountable not only for whatever happens during the programs and workshops we hold, but to the goals and changes in the lives of those who experienced them. I must take initiative in solving the many problems that occur during our programs in a creative, constructive way. I am striving to do my work with the same passion and commitment I had when I began the youth ministry, if not more. Any goals we set out to achieve are executed and later debriefed by our Youth Ministry Team.
As all of our programs are established as a team, teamwork is one of the most invaluable points of our youth ministry. To work with others effectively, I learned the value of being open-minded to new ideas and views, as well as to give and receive constructive feedback. I highly respect and thank all of our Youth Ministry Team members for their sacrifices and investment into our common vision. As well, we all do our part to energize the team with our conviction and dedication. We do whatever it takes to inspire and uplift the Second Generation. Part of teamwork is in mentoring other Second Generation to continue our tradition and nurture their younger brothers and sisters in turn.
The most exciting core value for me is Hyun Jin Nimís desire for us all to dream big. I want our Youth Ministry to ultimately become so exciting, so enriching and so spiritually fulfilling, that kids who arenít church members will want to be a part of it. From now on, I hope to be more results oriented, by gaining a specific number of Second Generation who are dedicated and inspired by the prospect of keeping our movement alive in this most exciting way. This cannot happen without a great conviction and faith in the ideal we all seek. The only limit to the dream is our aspirations to challenge our limitations and overcome the boundaries we must cross. To realize this dream requires a level of expertise in lecturing, organization, coordination, counseling, and logistics that must be cultivated and constantly sharpened. Our team has been doing so for the past years, with each person bringing their invaluable skills and qualities to the table.
Using Core Values to empower your frontline work is exceedingly necessary, and I found it is especially so when it involves the Second Generation. The more creative the program, and the more substantial the results, the more they are inspired. My hope is that as more and more Second Generation catch the fire of True Parents and Hyun Jin Nimís vision, the more we will come closer to substantiating the ideal.
I have found that by being proactive in my work, I am able to devote time to the youth ministry as well as support my family financially. My parents were part of the 777 Blessed Couples, and I was blessed to my wife, Eunha Lee in 1998. We are blessed with two beautiful daughters Hee Rye Kara and Hee Eun Linn, who are the greatest treasures of my life. For all these things I would like to offer my deepest gratitude to God and True Parents.
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