Unification News for August 2003

Camp KOHOE (Kingdom of Heaven on Earth) in MI

by Mark Callahan and Mary Anglin

We were blessed at the end with a visit from Rev. & Mrs. Ki Hoon Kim as they came to bid our Middle School Campers farewell and congratulations July 30, 2003, on the completion of a great 3-day Divine Principle Camp. Eighty-two children from the fifth to eighth grades just completed the summer session at Benton Harbor, Michigan on the outskirts of Chicago. Twenty-three second generation high school-age students fulfilled staff roles under the watchful eyes of ten first generation parents. It is an incredible inspiration to see how our teens have grown into such responsible young men and women. They truly took ownership of this workshop!

Initially, both Mrs. Kathleen Sometani (organizer and lecturer) and Mr. Dieter Jesper (campsite owner and administrator) were concerned about the large amount of children registered this year. It had nearly doubled over the previous record with children coming from Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Maryland (some driving as many as 12 hours to attend!). When Rev. Kim visited the first night, "Aunt Kathleen" asked him to please specially pray for this record-breaking situation. She shared during the workshop that she knew he must have passed on that request to the parents as well, not only because of the peace she felt, but because of the complete harmony and smoothness of the workshop.

When Rev. Kim returned, he shared how the Japanese Missionaries had taken it upon themselves to do a three-day continuous 72-hour prayer vigil for the camp. We are so moved by the hearts and faith of these beautiful missionaries!

Aunt Kathleen played both affectionate mother and commanding general. The theme this year was "Respect & Living for the Sake of Others." Along with Divine Principle lectures, her approach to camp is to provide the second generation with an environment that not only teaches the theory of a principled heart, but also the "lab" of games, sports, crafts and skit-making to actualize those abstract ideas. Kids have the chance to observe and experiment how to live for the sake of others. The youth staff had the opportunity to put into action this principle which they’ve studied for years.

In reviewing the reflections written by the campers, it became clear that the most valuable things they learned came from what had been shared by the 2nd generation staffers, particularly John-Oppa and Leena Onni, who gave internal guidance and morning service, respectively. Elder brother John shared many lessons he learned on STF, explaining in an easy to understand way the sorrowful heart of God since the Fall. He strongly encouraged all of them to attend STF for their own growth and divine relationship. Leena Onni spoke passionately about purity, which left a deep impression on the hearts of the campers. We could see how important the "older" kids are to the younger ones!

Another great experience they had was the opportunity to meet BC's from other states. Making friends with new brothers and sisters was a precious, and very important, experience.

Uncle Dieter shared tonight what a deeply joyful moment he and his wife experienced as all the campers from throughout the Midwest congregated that first night. Finally their heavenly vision, after all these years was coming true.

We believe this was God's joy as well; for how many millenniums has he yearned for the children of this pure lineage -- and now he can see their advancement and growth!

We thank and bid blessings to all those who contributed to this victory, and to all the campers who shared their beautiful spirits with us these past three days!

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