Unification News for January 1995
World CARP Holds Conference in CO
by Michael Balcomb-NYC
"You were one of the best groups we've ever had," I was told by ski trainer Jeff at Eldora, Colorado. "When we heard there were 150 people, and that more than half had never been skiing before, we had visions of disaster!" Jeff was not the only one who had had such visions. The thought of multiple fractures had kept World CARP staff awake at night as well! But in the end, the first annual World CARP Conference and ski workshop was held without a hitch. About 150 of the 170 participants went up the slopes, and all of them came down again safely.
The conference, held in Boulder Co from Dec. 28 to Jan 3, was the first time that the World CARP members had all met together since the kickoff workshop in September last year. In that short time, almost 7,000 students have participated in various programs on campus and at video centers in six cities, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, LA and San Francisco.. Over 400 have graduated from at least 2 day workshop and there are a growing number studying Principle everyday. So it was with a modest sense of accomplishment that the teams converged on the Rocky Mountain region training center.
Skiing filled the first three days of the conference. Sung Am Moon, World CARP Vice-President, greeted participants with a welcome gift-a ski jacket donated from a sponsoring company in Korea. This World CARP uniform made quite an impact at the resort, with several people wanting to know how they could get one for themselves, and one young man revealing himself as a former CARP member who wanted to rejoin the CARP activities.
In the evenings, tired but exhilarated, we sat down to a series of guest lectures. One night, Antonio Betancourt related the activities and achievements of the Summit Council and the Federation for World Peace, including his personal testimonies of visits into North Korea, still a mystery to most of us. Another evening, Tom Lauritas testified of his nine years as an underground missionary inside the former Soviet Union, and how God had gradually guided him to meet the people he had prepared, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Tom's testimony was particularly moving for one group of participants- the 25 students from Russia, the Ukraine and other states in the CIS and Baltics. These young men and women are the first fruits of the perseverance of those missionaries, like Tom Lauritas, who risked their lives to bear witness in the communist world. Now they are here in the United States to repay the favor, and doing the job well. Among the conference participants were a number of young Americans who had recently joined CARP after meeting our young Russian pioneers.
In fact, testimonies of all kinds were probably the highlight of the entire conference. Each of the six teams, as well as the two fundraising teams, had selected a few members to share the highpoints of their experiences during the past three or four months. As they did, it became clear that the situation on campus has changed dramatically, even within the past year. Marxists and leftists, for so long formidable and ideologically powerful opponents, have disappeared completely. There are many Christian groups, but they cannot, on the whole, transcend ethnic boundaries. CARP stands out as the most active and well-organized student group.
Another exciting part of the conference was the "Campus Presentation Competition," held on the last day of the year. Young CARP members, including Russians and the children of older Unificationists, vied with each other to present the most entertaining model campus presentation. Topics varied widely from fairly straight Divine Principle to the principles of self-help and time management, and even a discourse on the new sexual revolution-the return to virginity. The eventual winner was George Kazakis, of Los Angeles CARP.
Later, Vice-President Jin Hun Park Moon outlined the World CARP plan for 1995 to offer today's young generation an exciting and challenging way to begin their spiritual life and be trained to be the principled leaders that society needs. CARP's current campus programs reflect that policy. We are debating the end of the sexual revolution, the coming of a unified world culture, the harmony of religions and races, the reality of the spiritual world and the role that young people can play in the world of the 21st century. Many students are already eagerly participating in our voluntary service programs.
In 1995, Jin Hun Nim announced, World CARP would go further to formalize its education plan by the creation of a one year program of education to be known as the "World CARP Academy." This would be a time of training: learning to discipline one's mind and body; learning to be humble; learning to get victory based on determination; and experiencing the reality of spiritual help. Throughout the year, students would also have opportunities to invest in the community through local service projects and perhaps travel abroad and participate in an international service projects, arranged through World CARP or in conjunction with the Religious Youth Service (RYS). Rigorous and practical academic training, as well as a period of professional internship, would round out the training year (more in the next issue)
The Conference also included a day of celebrations to commemorate the 28th God's Day. Members of the Boulder and Denver congregations of the Unification Church joined together with World CARP at midnight for prayers of dedication for the New Year and to hear an address by Mrs. Un Jin Moon, Jin Hun Nim's wife.
In the morning, it was Jin Hun Nim's turn to share his insights into the God's Day message delivered by Rev. Moon earlier that day in Korea. "This is really the time," he told the congregation, "to recommit yourself to serve God and True Parents, and to make a difference in America and the world. Shall we do that together?"
After that moment of determination, celebrations continued with a by- now traditional Divine Principle lecture competition, and a hard fought Yoot tournament which eventually saw Herman Drost's Washington DC team victorious. There was also a lecture competition for children, who were thrilled to receive their prizes from surprise guests Yeon Jin Nim and Jeung Jin Nim, Rev & Mrs. Moon's youngest daughters.
All too soon, it was time to say good-bye, and return to the field. But most everyone was raring to go. "This was the best workshop I've ever been to," said one participant, "I'm going back to light a CARP fire on my campus."
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