The Words of the Francis Family

Blessing Preparation Workshop for Second Generation

Randy and Kumiko Francis
June 15-17, 2007

On Friday, June 15th, 130 BC's, parents and staff converged on Camp Mar-Lu-Ridge in Maryland. There was a great excitement in the mountain air. Participants were traveling from all across the country for this weekend workshop near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

The workshop was originally thought to be mostly for the southeast block of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. As it turned out, after the 50-state speaking tour concluded, many registered during the last week. This led to an overflow crowd for the camp facilities and staff. They graciously succeeded in accommodating all our needs.

Mar-Lu Ridge sits atop a line of foothills overlooking the Potomac River to the west. The MC and coordinator was David Hunter, FFWPU Education Department. David, along with fiancée Mitsuru Kubo, will be attending the Blessing on July 5th, David did a wonderful job bringing together all the elements of fun, fellowship, and focus centering on the word of God. Our music team was led by Josh Berndt and Kyla Quinn, with technical assistance by Alex Francis.

The primary Divine Principle and Blessed Life Skills lectures were presented by Rev. Phillip Schanker. He brought the entire principle into real life terms, weaving the thread of God's original purpose of creation into modern reality. He also expressed the deep struggles that have inundated much of our lives as we struggle to pioneer the Chung Il Guk path.

Several times he reminded the BC's present that they are like amphibians coming out of the world surrounded by fallen nature. "You have to do your best to shake off the tails you have as you start to walk this path. You have to breathe the air of God's true purpose for your lives."

Each participant was connected to one of 15 groups lead by other 2nd Generation. There were discussion periods when all had the opportunity to share their hearts and ask direct questions. If others in the group could not answer the questions, then the group leaders brought them to resource persons like Mrs. Hiromi Stephens, Rev. Schanker and others.

Saturday night we had entertainment and testimony time; several original songs, poems, and dramatic interpretations were shared. David Hunter shared his life course that brought him into the education department position after going to school and working in a Christian education setting. As he introduced his peer and childhood friend, Eunha Stein Holdhus, he described her as his trusted guide and savior. Eunha had guided him to study Divine Principle and then go to Chung Pyung as he confided in her his struggles with his life course. "Two years later," he said, "I am here and excited and ready for the Blessing".

Eunha shared her path to the blessing as one being guided by solely relying on God's direction. She had gone to Chung Pyung for forty days and more and then went to England, arriving the day True Father entered after the ban was lifted. She followed the European tour of True Parents and then was back in Korea for the matching and Blessing. Somewhat reluctant but peacefully she watched as True Father matched those in front of her. As it came her time, she mistakenly stood forward as Father pointed her way but he said no and motioned to another. Then he pointed again her way, and she froze, not wanting to be mistaken again, Father said, you! And it was done. Christian Holdhus and Eunha Stein were together. To make a long story short, they have a beautiful one-month old daughter.

All the parents were very supportive and shared in their own discussion groups. This spirit of unity and hope was expressed by Daniel Hess during his Sunday morning service as he shared the points he has learned before and after the Blessing with his wife Homi. They also have a beautiful new third- generation daughter of God.

As we adjourned for the group photo in front of the peaceful chapel that overlooks the Potomac River valley, everyone sensed this was an opportunity for new beginnings for all the participants. Rev. Inguk Seo, director of the 2nd Generation Blessing Department., led us in the graduation ceremony. In giving his guidance and testimony he stressed the meaning and value of BC's as creating one world family of God.

Reported by Rev. Randy and Kumiko Francis
Director, District One

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