The Words of the Lamson Family
Rev. In Jin Moon visited the city of Columbus, Ohio, from Saturday February 7, to Sunday, February 8 and spent nearly every hour with members who had come with excitement to join her from the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina. It was a packed house at each event during these noteworthy two days, yet each member was given the opportunity to meet her directly and see a transformation happening that they were all a part of.
Upon her arrival in Ohio, she met with more than 200 youth and young adults who greeted her with cheers and excitement. As the young people listened intently, Rev. Moon encouraged them to represent their community with what they truly love to do and to go forward in it. She expressed that she wanted them to be excited about who they are. “You are the future of America. It would be my wish to see all of you running the top things in the nation.” She also reminded them, “The only real obstacle to yourself…is you. If you believe you will be great one day, then you will.”
One of the youth, Kai Schmittat, expressed after hearing her speak, “I am really moved by how much Rev. In Jin Moon has compassion and love towards us all. I felt very encouraged and inspired that she sees so much hope and potential in all of us that we could not even see.” Alexa, another youth, said, “I really enjoyed Reverend Moon; her speech, her attitude, and her motherly way. She shared so much inspiration to us. Her words made me feel like I was important and I could do anything with my future.”
All the young people were invited to introduce themselves and share their passions and hopes to Rev. Moon one by one as she listened and offered feedback. Each felt honored and heard. One major highlight for the night was many youth being deeply moved by receiving a personal hug. Anne Rivetti shared, “Seeing Rev. In Jin Moon listening to us the whole evening just moved me so deeply. Here she is, listening, caring, giving advice, smiling, and even hugging us.” Another youth, Kyungmi Ayad, said that she could feel that “Rev. Moon really cared; it was like she came just for me.”
Overall, the youth and young adults felt that they had been immensely touched by meeting and sharing time with Rev. Moon. Igraine Convery observed, “Rev. In Jin Moon is a beautiful and inspiring woman. I really look up to her because she is taking so much responsibility. At the same time she has such a comforting and warming spirit. She is one of my role models because she is extremely intelligent, limitless, and a great motherly figure. I want to be like her one day.” Igraine also shared, “I was struggling before because I am not a very proactive person. However, she really motivated me to push past my fears. I am so grateful to have met her and for her tremendous effort to listen to our dreams.”
The next morning, more than 300 members joined Rev. Moon at 5am for Hoon Dok Hae, a gathering to meet and read scripture, in the main ballroom of Columbus’s Ramada Plaza Hotel. After a short reading, a video was shown to recap the celebration of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s 90th birthday and Hak Ja Han Moon’s 67th birthday at the Manhattan Center in New York City. This video was stimulating to all, who agreed with Rev. In Jin Moon that this past weekend had been an amazing occasion for many to share in the joy of her father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s, work for God and humanity as well as for many to experience the Blessing of Holy Marriage Ceremony.
Rev. Moon said “As I watched 270 of you [second generation couples] get blessed last weekend at the Manhattan Center, I wanted to encourage you that the Blessing is truly a celebration of love and life. That is what we are all working towards.”
With both parents and children attending that morning, Rev. Moon then addressed the worry of many youth who may feel “held back” by keeping the behavioral standards expected of Blessed Children. She asserted that it is not what they cannot do that they should be focused on, but instead it is all that they can do that they need to look at. “Oh my goodness, there is so much that you can do. You can have a loving spouse, you can raise a beautiful family, you can be a top student in your school, you can be the greatest doctor, artist, painter: You name it. The world is your oyster.”
“Your parents want you to be so free, respecting other people’s freedom, not just yourself: Respecting your culture, your community, your family,” she continued. “Your parents are really great people, and they want the best for you. All of you deserve to be loved, deserve to be appreciated, because you are God’s children. And the only thing that True Parents and God are saying is that you are so special, you do not deserve a broken heart or a horrible situation. In a way, your life is the most valuable asset of our movement. God is asking you to celebrate love, and celebrate life, and not have to sacrifice these things.”
Ohio’s Sunday Service with Rev. Moon began at 8:30am, with over 400 members in attendance. As Rev. Moon entered, singing throughout the congregation began with the youths on stage who take part in Ohio’s Music Ministry.
After Rev. Moon spoke to the congregation, the positive feedback was enormous. One member, P.G Lanrent, shared his opinion that “today the Sunday service was special. Rev. In Jin Moon’s presence was a blessing for Ohio and for our whole district.” Another member, Romia Kumgang, said, “The Sunday service was very inspiring. I love her sincerity and down-to-earth attitude. I think that with her leadership, we can become professionals and celebrities for God if we want to. She definitely encouraged us to go and conquer the [problems in the] world naturally.”
Many members also reflected on their insights after hearing Rev. Moon’s sermon that morning. Theresa Young said: “I loved hearing her talk about the realization of us being one large family, a community to take care of each other. I really want to see this ideal come to substantiation.” Theresa also shared that she was able to connect and relate very easily to everything Rev. Moon said. “She spoke in a very sincere and realistic manner that put some things in a much clearer perspective for me. Her encouragement to work towards great success has also inspired a stronger conviction to further my capabilities and be a useful vessel for God.”
Before leaving Ohio, Rev. Moon was able to enjoy a talent show prepared by local youth, and then took the time to greet, shake hands with, and take pictures with each family who had attended that day. Members were struck with a feeling of true concern for their well-being by Rev. Moon. Many also shared their feeling of excitement for what would be happening in their movement, as well as what they could each achieve in their own lives!
Jutta Tobkin testified after Rev. Moon’s visit, “I am grateful for the motherly heart Rev. In Jin Moon brought. She said that understanding is loving, and I felt both understood and loved today.”
One member said, “I respect Rev. In Jin Moon and her family a lot. They are real, and unlike other leaders they are very honest and not trying to cover up any mistakes or shortfalls. I know they will succeed in their ministry 110 percent. Rev. Moon, we will support you in any and every way.”