Unification News for February 1997

California Divine Principle Youth Study Group Completes 3rd Year

by Bento Leal-Hayward, CA

On Dec. 27, 1996, the Divine Principle Youth Study Group in Hayward, California completed its third year with a festive graduation ceremony held at a local church center. Graduation certificates were presented to each of the 23 students, ages 6-14, with several parents attending. The students had been attending the DP lecture program which I, and other volunteers, had taught nearly every Friday evening, except during summer break, for the past year.

Inspiring Student Testimonies

A special highlight of the evening was the writing of reflections by each student. I asked them to spend a few minutes answering: "What was special for you about studying the Divine Principle this past year?"

Each student wrote a thoughtful and moving reflection. Here are a few of their responses:

This has been my third year learning Divine Principle on Friday nights. But this year was the most exciting. Before, I didn't understand anything. It was all new to me. I just kept nodding my head pretending I understood everything. But this year I didn't have to pretend. Everything all of a sudden became very clear to me-the Fall of Man, the Three Stages of Growth, and my favorite, the Three Blessings. It was so exciting. And the cool thing is every time I hear a lecture, it becomes easier to understand. It's funny how before, I didn't enjoy coming here, but now I can't wait until Friday nights meeting my friends and learning God's Word. I hope next year I can learn as much as I learned this year!-Taein Hankins (11 yrs.)

I think Divine Principle is really fun and interesting because we get to learn about the history of God and we learn a lot about new and interesting things. We also get to see our friends, but most of all we learn about God and in the future we will have a stronger spirit to do God's Will. I really think this could continue in the following years, and I'll really miss Divine Principle study as I go to Africa.-Ryan Labrooy (11 yrs.)

(I encouraged Ryan to start a DP study group with neighbor children and their parents when he and his family move to Namibia this year.- B.L.)

For three years I've been learning Divine Principle. From the beginning I have been thinking about the lectures. I thought I can be a messenger for True Father when I grow up. I was telling my mom that when I grow up, I am going to give a five-hour lecture in front of a lot of people. This year I learned the Fall of Man, the Three Blessings, and tons more. All I can say is I am proud of myself.- Tokuin Hankins (10 yrs.)

I kind of understand Divine Principle. And I understand about Jesus. I like the Divine Principle. I like to learn Divine Principle. True Father really helped us.-Kaori Zinke (8 yrs.)

Divine Principle was great and exciting this year. I learned a lot of new things. Like John the Baptist. I learned that he disobeyed God. Jesus got crucified because John disobeyed God, so Jesus couldn't fulfill the Three Blessings and couldn't make the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. I like to learn Divine Principle because I can learn about God's history. Everybody is born with original sin because Adam and Eve fell from God.-James Wiltermood (12 yrs.) Growing in God's Word

It's such a joy watching these wonderful children blossom in their learning and grasping of the Principle, growing each day to become God's True Sons and Daughters. They are our treasure and truly the hope of the world.

In 1997, Richard Zinke and I will be alternating lecturing duties each week. Bill Bechtel, Richard Wiltermood, Wayne Hankins and Michael Allen will most likely help with the lecturing now and again as they have this past year. Another brother, Brian Parnow, teaches a slightly younger age group on Saturday evenings.

Our children are so interested in learning the Divine Principle. I would encourage every one of our church families in America to consider having such an evening study program at least once a week, whether held simply with one's own children in their own home, or jointly with other families at a centralized site. Our children blossom hearing the Word of God and our explanations of its application in daily life. May God continue richly to bless this important religious training of our youth.

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