The Words of the Sasaki Family
Witnessing to find full-time church members has resurged in Brazil. A member lectures in the street
Brazilian CARP is a youth organization reestablished as part of FFWPU, in May 2010, after having lost all our previous foundation among young people through the UCI incident. In order to build a new foundation, we started by creating a full-time membership system, which is an important basis for developing CARP activities.
At that time, it wasn't easy to gather many Brazilian young people from around the country because of the repercussions remaining from the UCI incident. We started our full- time membership system with only four members. We ate and slept together, practicing a life of faith by doing Hoon Dok Hae, fund raising and witnessing activities. In those times, we invested totally in those four members, pouring our efforts into rebuilding the right tradition, as if they represented all Brazilian young people.
In January 2011, we held our first CARP convention with eighty-seven participants. Our mottoes were Let's establish the tradition of absolute attendance toward the True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind and (in order to reach that goal) Let's start by learning the Divine Principle line by line and word by word! We had less recreation time than usual, and we prepared a schedule focused on Divine Principle lectures, examining in detail, line by line, every single part of it. We started by reading the Divine Principle together, going through all the important definitions. We would then give the members ten minutes to memorize each part. Some of them would then come to the front to recite what they'd memorized. For example, the standard of individual perfection in the Divine Principle requires one to 1) become the temple of God 2) achieve oneness with Him 3) acquire divine nature 4) experience the heart of God as if it were one's own 5) understand His will 6) and live fully attuned to it. 7) Accordingly, one becomes God's beloved who inspires Him with joy, sharing all God's feelings and 8) one would never commit any sinful act that would cause God grief 9), which means one would never fall. We made them study it exactly as it is written without summarizing. Therefore, by helping them understand clearly the definition and standard of the Principle, we established a deep connection between the Principle and their daily lives. Consequently, we could clarify their motivation to live according to a formula course.
Witnessing has resurged in Brazil witnessing at a video center
We worked hard to strengthen their motivation to lead a life of faith by explaining to them concepts such as the difference between the general understanding of taking responsibility and the Divine Principle concept of the human portion of responsibility. We also defined the standards of individual perfection, the realm of direct dominion and the original mind. We explained the difference between the common understanding of freedom and the freedom of the original mind. We taught the definition of the providence of restoration and provided a detailed explanation of the foundations of faith and of substance and the difference between the providential Cain -- Abel relationship and external organizational structures. We also explained how an incorrect understanding of indemnity results from a misunderstanding of the human portion of responsibility. Further, we clarified the perfection level of the growth stage and details about the individual formula course.
After listening to the Divine Principle lectures and True Father's life course in the workshop, forty-three young people committed themselves with tears to becoming full-time members at the headquarters building, starting from the day after the workshop. In this way, the members increased from four to forty-three in the first six months.
In July, 165 members participated in our annual CARP national workshop. As a result, the number of full-time members increased to a hundred. In January 2012, we held our second CARP convention, gathering 240 young people from all over the nation. Through this workshop, the number of full- time members reached 160. About half of them are in our second generation. (Currently, we also have musical and cultural activities, and youth Sunday service for those young people that are not full-time members.)
Brazil's 2012 CARP Convention had 240 participants, almost three times the previous year's total
Among all the youth activities, we focused especially on reinforcing the ability to give Divine Principle lectures. We also trained young people by letting the spiritual parents give one- on-one lectures to their spiritual children at the video center in our church headquarters, and by regularly holding Divine Principle exams. Since guests would come every day, members were pushed to study hard to prepare lectures that would bring the guests eternal life. This resulted in our raising twenty-five seven-day workshop lecturers that year.
Through these witnessing activities, our membership continuously increased, and some who joined even became full- time members. Around 10 percent of our full-time members are new to the church? Besides witnessing, we also have fund raising, UPF work, inter-religious and Pure Love activities, service projects, sports and Korean lessons.
I could make many important points regarding a full-time memberships system, but I would like to share the ones that we emphasize particularly in Brazil.
Usually, the purpose of full-time membership is seen as education and training for young people, but another very important purpose is to increase the capacity to love among the leaders, by their taking care of young people from a parent's position. The leaders will find themselves in a situation where they will need to sacrifice personal time and space in order to love, educate, counsel and guide those in their charge. The leaders accompany the young members twenty-four hours a day to help the members achieve victory over all types of trials. When you live together, you cannot hide from anyone your fallen nature and limited capacity to love. In this environment, because the leaders are in the parents' position, they can't give up, but must love the members until the end, no matter how rebellious and difficult those members may be.
For those leaders that have children, it will provide good training in establishing the standard of loving the full-time members more than one's own children right in front of their own children. In this way, the full-time membership system is an excellent training opportunity enabling the leader and the leader's spouse to practice the natural subjugation of Cain through love and sacrifice, that is, by overcoming their own fallen nature.
A joint CARP -- UPF service project to provide a community experience and instill values in young people.
We started the full-time membership program as an option that facilitates understanding the essence of the formula course and learning how to obtain victory in it. Therefore, one of its educational purposes is to enable members to persevere through the formula course in their own life of faith, even after graduating from the full-time membership course. In this way, more than just helping them gain dedication, go through hardships and participate in activities, we focus on making them obtain victory in their individual formula course.
Basically, our main activities are fund raising and witnessing, through which we help members learn how to establish a foundation of faith and foundation of substance, respectively. Moreover, in order for young members to be better prepared to receive the blessing, we instruct them to go as far as they can through the whole course of the second part of Divine Principle in their lives of faith, starting from Adam's family, until their spirituality reaches the perfection level of the growth stage.
Whether or not you go through the full-time membership program, if you don't go through the individual formula course, most probably consequences will arise in your blessing. All the victories you could not obtain through your individual formula course will end up eventually appearing as a challenge or as a trial between the couple. In this manner, problems concerning the blessing and the husband-wife relationship arise usually because the individual could not obtain victories during his or her individual formula course. Therefore, in many cases, problems will not be solved even by changing a system or fulfilling only external conditions. Thus, despite the present era's benefits, if you avoid practical training to eliminate your fallen nature and to cleanse your sins, you won't be able to increase your capacity to overcome trials. As a result, there will be a greater possibility of breaking the blessing because of an inability to endure trials that challenge your limitation to love.
Keeping this in mind, we instruct members to increase their capacity to love through training them to obtain victories in the Cain-Abel relationship inside the church and to learn to love their witnessing guest no matter how resistant the guest may be, thereby restoring God's heart within the member.
Pure Love presentations for young people in schools are also a form of service to the community with potentially life- transforming results
As we improve CARP's full-time membership system, we have been making effort to establish not only a good external organization but also a better internal standard. In practical terms, we divide the members into two teams, clearly assigning a Cain or Abel position to each. We then guide Abel to obtain victory by naturally subjugating Cain through love and sacrifice. On the other hand, we guide Cain to be victorious in loving Abel by overcoming perceptions of a lack of love and by eliminating fallen nature. In addition, by switching regularly and appropriately the Cain and Abel positions, we allow members to experience both situations. This affords them opportunities to nurture their love recipient, so that Cain can love any type of Abel, and Abel can naturally subjugate any type of Cain.
In the midst of this training, members sometimes try to escape from their trials, but we teach them to continue facing their difficulties until they obtain victory. By experiencing this victory, they can understand that problems are not inherent in the full-time membership system, which clearly separates Cain from Abel, but are issue of conflict involving characteristics of fallen nature. We clarify the fact that no matter how much you change the system, the circumstances won't change unless you get rid of your fallen nature by going through a process of loving others.
Through this training, the full-time members grow quickly and create an atmosphere of love and unity in the church, becoming thus able to obtain better results in witnessing. Furthermore, we raise leaders and members who can be victorious not only in their blessings but also in activities such as home groups and tribal messiah work, even after graduating from our full-time membership program.
A CARP member teaches youngsters about values in the context of martial arts.
In addition to the development of our youth group, we have been building a home group system for general members. Throughout the nation, 140 home groups are active with 1,250 participants. Every three months, we hold special witnessing events at a local church in order to bring together all the local home groups and their guests.
We started our home group system nearly two years ago. Some groups have been successful in convincing people in their localities to become members in a natural way, through involving new guests in the home group meetings. Some other groups have already multiplied their first cell, and this year some second-stage multiplication has taken place. Many members are reviving through the home group providence including those who used to be a hit distant but started showing up in home groups.
A few years ago, True Father said, "I've shed blood and sweat to sow the seed of hope in the Jardim Project. A great heavenly fortune that comes only once in a thousand years has come. The time of harvest is ahead." Many other testimonies are emerging from South America. We believe that this is the time we've been waiting for. With this hope in our hearts, let's be determined to work hard as we move together toward Foundation Day!