Unification News for August 2003

Culture of Heart Alive in the Northwest

Mike Yakawich
August 2003

The 9th annual Blessed Childrenís summer camp, Camp Tongil Northwest 2003, reached a new height in heavenly spirit and true education. The theme, "Creating a Culture of Heart", was directly inspired by the heart and words of Hyun Jin Moon.

Over 125 blessed children from 3rd to 8th grades participated in the camp, July 6 - 12, 2003 at Cornet Bay, WA, coming from Alaska, Canada, Montana, Oregon, Washington and as far away as Boston. The camp was lead by Mr. John King and Mrs. Jane Bowman. This year was special as the baton of leadership was passed from Mr. Jeff Gledhill, who together with Mrs. Toni Lee Curry and many others had pioneered this camp.

Out at Cornet Bay, Washington, youth and staff shared in one of the most high-spirited, educational, and fun-filled weeks ever. Rev. Gerhard Wiesinger (Washington Vice-Regional Director) started the program with inspiring words to the workshop participants.

The children enjoyed a full schedule each day that began with morning service, and included Divine Principle Seminars taught with great enthusiasm by Rev. Mike Yakawich and Mr. Steve Pecarsky. The afternoons were filled with sports and games, hiking, art, swimming and canoeing. In the evenings there were testimonies, skits and musical entertainment.

Our youth were deeply touched by the beauty of the creation. Eagles, blue herons, pine trees, lakes and the ocean coast all provided opportunities to touch the heart of God. Walking in the woods or along the beach, canoeing or swimming, the children were able to share in the culture of heart.

Testimonies abound of our youth who had tearful prayers, spiritual experiences and deeper insights into the Divine Principle during Camp Tongil. In one testimony, one of the girlsí teams was talking one night in a negative way about someone. They started to feel a heavy spirit and felt that evil was tangling around them like a rope. They began to cry, repenting for one hour for their attitude. Finally, they felt that the rope was cut away and they were cleansed of these evil thoughts. They testified that a flowerpot with dried up flowers in it came back to life. During that evening, they also reported that a little girl came to them in spirit. They felt that their prayers liberated this girl also. Certainly, the spirit was moving all over the camp.

Our eighth grade group spent two nights and two days hiking on Mount Baker as part of the off site "Mountain Challenge" program. They were truly challenged by the height and breadth of the mountain. They dealt with snow and rugged trails with the heart of true sons and daughters. They felt God especially when they conquered their fears and doubts in climbing to the crest of the mountain. This gave them great confidence and a deep sense of the living God. They returned to camp tired and dirty, but in good spirits. When we looked at their photographs we were amazed to see many orbs of light. Some people believe these are angels.

We had an unexpected blessing of kindness when Mrs. Lee, wife of the Washington regional leader, drove in from Seattle one day to prepare a delicious Korean lunch for the entire camp.

Another powerful moment occurred in the middle of the camp schedule. After a presentation of the Mission of the Messiah, the BCís held a ceremony to bury the cross. It was a deeply moving experience as three children laid the cross in the ground. Another laid the FFWPU Flag over it and then buried the cross. Many expressed a profound feeling of liberating Jesusí painful heart.

What added to the dynamism of this camp was the 20 BC teenagers, of 10th grade and older, who poured out their energy, heart and enthusiasm to lead the younger children. We were proud to see how much talent, effort and hard toil these teens put into the camp as they took on the responsibilities of counselors and role models. In the background over 35 wonderful parent volunteers served, supported and guided the whole camp experience.

We can testify that many of the organization, planning and management skills that make Camp Tongil successful have filtered down directly from the national projects and world level conferences sponsored by True Parents. Elder brothers and sisters who were trained in our movementís diverse and visionary projects have contributed these valuable skills at the regional level to benefit the blessed children through Camp Tongil.

There was some incredible music lead by Mr. Brian Granstrom with technical assistance from Mr. Steve Sechrist. There were many second generation performances as well. An added treat came one evening when the campís Park Ranger, "Ranger Henk" gave a superb performance of classical guitar music to the entire workshop. He was deeply touched by the spirit of God through the way the BCís welcomed him. He commented that he never comes back to work after hours to play music with guests, but in our case he was happy to do so. And the powerful cheering and appreciation from the BCís literally almost brought down the house.

At the closing ceremony we heard inspiring words from Rev. Kim (Regional leader from Oregon), Rev. Lee (Regional Leader from Washington) and Dr. David Burgess (Regional Leader of American Family Coalition). They touched on the warm spirit and heart of the camp, inspiring us to keep the true family culture alive in our hearts and homes. Rev. Kim talked about the importance of heavenly lineage and Rev. Lee encouraged us to continue to develop a sensitive heart towards God. We should develop a discerning knowledge of good and evil and grow true love in our lives, he said, bringing back what was learned to our homes.

We are grateful for all the leaders from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana and Canada who have supported this precious camp. We are also deeply grateful to all the local members who invested time and effort to make Camp Tongil such a great success. We are indeed deeply grateful for our True Parents who have paved the way to the Culture of Heart and inspired us in the education of our Second Generation.

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