The Words of the Hartley Family

CARP-STF Workshop 2004

Natasha Hartley
January 2004

There we were again, brothers and sisters whether in CARP or STF, it didn't matter, joined together to celebrate and look forward to a brand new year. As always we were so excited to see each others bright faces from all over Europe, joined in this one beautiful place in the mountains of France, close to Geneva. It had been snowing heavily the last few days before we came, setting the scene for a magical workshop. The first day was filled with lectures given by Hoon Whi oppa covering, rather rapidly, the Core Values and Culture of Heart lectures, which we later found out was not just because of the short time we had for the workshop programme, but was mainly intended for us to use this time to practice what we had learned, living and experiencing the Culture of Heart, especially, we were told, in the upcoming mystery challenge day.

On the second day, after a crazy, past-midnight yute game the night before, which actually already counted for part of our challenge day result, we all waited with anticipation to see what this special challenge day would turn out to be. We were not disappointed. It would be a day of adventure based on embodying the characters out of the much loved story Lord of the Rings (part II). Each of us were appointed, or chose, a character out of the story, choosing from Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, Pippin, Sam or Golum and had to act in this character the whole day long. To make things a little more tricky we could only use sentences which included one of the 17 core values key words. Throughout the day we heard standard lines such as "May I suggest with respect" or "Letís use our initiative in doing such and such". It became quite annoying after a while, but kept us thinking about core values throughout the day. The challenges themselves were not so much physically demanding but required a real unity within the team and a lot of pulling together of efforts to succeed in tasks such as spelling out words with your arms through posts, building a small snow fortress, battling in the Giant's den, shooting arrows, tug-of-war, passing all members of the team through a spider web and shooting 21 basketball hoops in a row. The day was long but we had much, much fun and I think all of us had the most amazing experience of team unity (or the lack of at first and then breaking through). Out team, Jonathan Gubser's team started the night before with -300 points and pretty low morale, but finished the day victoriously, winning first place with the most points won during the challenge day activities. This was a very pleasant surprise and we all felt we had earned it.

Over the next few days we heard presentations of CARP activities in some European countries, hearing personal testimonies from STF and CARP members, as well as watching the updated version of our STF 2002-2003 video and a lecture by Simon oppa on time management and life priorities. It was valuable in that we could learn a little more about our character and how we can best manage our life to achieve our goals effectively. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we really appreciated and were honoured by Mrs. Songs' time spent with us during the workshop. On two occasions she shared with us some of her life testimony and heartfelt thoughts. She emphasised her firm belief that the breakthrough in the providence will be happening in Europe as there are 4 providential nations now working together more closely than ever before and especially with our condition uniting Europe for True Parent's entry, we must work harder than ever and have a lot of confidence, hope and joy in going out and restoring our societies and nations.

On the last day we had some time to reflect on the year gone by and setting new goals for the year ahead, followed by a 21 minute prayer all together. It was already time for our CARP brothers and sisters to return to their studies and outreach and STF to launch themselves into their third fundraising condition. I think we could all feel a sense of togetherness in this time, that we are never alone in our mission, wherever we are. As brothers and sisters we are here to support and love each other always. Heavenly Father is smiling at our hard work in always striving to do more, reaching higher achievements, becoming a family experiencing and expanding the Culture of Heart in all we do.

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