The Words of the Lepelletier Family

Second-generation Hoon Dok Hae -- Second-generation members share the inspiration they receive from 5 AM Hoon Dok Hae

Libael Ben Zvi, Sarah Lepelletier and Yong Phil Mortega
January 2011

The champion of Hoon Dok Hae with his grandchildren; How many of us can say we did three hours of Hoon Dok Hae just a few days after being in a horrific helicopter crash?

Libael Ben Zvi (18 years old)

Waking up at 5 AM for Hoon Dok Hae has always been a normal part of my daily life. When I was younger, I always found it very annoying to wake up so early every day.

Back then, I would gladly skip Hoon Dok Hae every chance I had; I didn't understand the value and meaning of Hoon Dok Hae.

But today I look at it from a very different perspective. Starting the day with reading True Father's teachings and offering the first moment to God is the best way to start the day. I feel that it gives God a condition to protect me and guide me during the day.

Although I am a bit tired at 5 AM, I'm still happy to do Hoon Dok Hae and share those moments with God. It's the best feeling to start the day with gratitude to True Parents and God, who are always giving us so much love and guidance.

Sarah Lepelletier (20 years old)

I don't remember exactly when we started doing Hoon Dok Hae within our family. The earliest memory that remains in my mind is my being dragged out of bed at 5 AM every Sunday morning to attend the Pledge Service, at which I was able to stay awake only motivated by the expectation of the holy food they would give us after the service.

I think it was around 2001 or 2002 when True Parents instructed all the blessed families in the world to start doing Hoon Dok Hae every morning at 5 Am.' Ever since that orientation, my parents started waking us up every single morning at 5 AM for Hoon Dok Hae.

Even before that, we used to reserve some other part of the day to study True Parents teachings and the Bible, but having to study every day at 5 AM was a big change, and I remember it was quite tough at the beginning. I cried a lot sometimes because I didn't want to get up. I remember the time we asked our parents to please let us wake up later at least on Saturdays when we had no school.

Basically, we kept doing it every morning; we seldom had to skip Hoon Dok Hae because we were too tired. But each time that happened, I felt deeply regretful since I had heard that True Father never missed Hoon Dok Hae. Even though he's ninety years old, the Messiah, and the only one that wouldn't actually need to wake up every morning at 5 AM to study his own teachings, he's always there to give us more love, to show his standard of life constantly and to encourage all of us to stick to the heavenly tradition.

After all these years, I feel that Hoon Dok Hae is some vital bond that strongly links our family together and connects us directly to God and True Parents no matter where they are. As we wake up every morning to start the day all together, studying and talking about God, True Parents and our faith, we can feel united for the rest of the day, even if we don't meet much until the evening because of our personal plans or daily schedule. I think we can feel united this way because through Hoon Dok Hae, we can always get back to God and True Parents as our absolute and eternal center and we can also remind ourselves of our responsibility and way of life as God's children.

Things are quite unstable nowadays both in the spiritual and physical worlds due to all sorts of circumstances, such as the imminent establishment of Cheon II Guk, perhaps, or the spirit world coming closer each day and even my personal process of growth and the building up of my own identity and life of faith. In such a situation, I feel protected and that our family is united, thanks to this morning Hoon Dok Hae, which remains a cornerstone, an unchangeable tradition and source of strength. I have the great opportunity to share my doubts and questions concerning our teachings, and all this makes me feel so close not only to my physical family but also to our global Unificationist family, as I discover more fully our common shared identity as children linked directly to God and True Parents.

That we do it at 5 AM is what makes Hoon Dok Hae so special. This is the perfect time and occasion to learn to control our physical bodies and thus to see how deeply we are committed to our own life of faith. Doing Hoon Dok Hae at 5 AM can be considered Jeon Seong we offer to God, because we show Him our sincerity and respect by starting each day with Him and by making this small, consistent effort to get back to Him. We give priority to our love for God and True Parents over our personal physical comfort.

Five o'clock is the best time to gather and study, when nothing usually disturbs us, whether it be a phone call or other unexpected occurrence or change of plans.

It's so nice to get together in the early morning as one family to try to create a warm and beautiful atmosphere and to welcome God and True Parents to take part in our lives. To summarize, I would say that Hoon Dok Hae at 5 AM is one of the best ways to reaffirm to God and True Parents our commitment and determination to live one more day as a proud blessed central family.

Yong Phil Mortega (17 year old)

I am the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Mortega, who were blessed among the 1,275 couples. I am studying in Bangkok, Thailand, and living at Huamark Center.

Concerning Hoon Dok Hae in the morning, I believe that no one here wants to attend it because it makes us wake up early in the morning to pledge, pray and read True Father words together with all of the brothers and sisters in the house. Seriously, the first time, I didn't like it at all because for the first couple of months of doing it, it made me feel lazy about getting up. I actually slept all the time, and of course I was caught sleeping by my leader Mr. Sakudon. He usually punishes those who fall asleep by having them perform an exercise in front of all the brothers and sisters, which is quite embarrassing for me. Well, the more I was caught, the better I could figure out when the perfect time to sleep is -- ha ha ha.

After doing Hoon Dok Hae for a while, I began to get used to it; little by little, I am learning something from doing it. I realize that it is not a bad thing at all. I also learned great things about BCs (blessed children) and about how lucky I am as a BC.

As I grow up, I'm getting more responsibilities. I have external responsibilities and internal ones. I had an awesome experience praying. I feel that God is listening to us. He even knows everything without saying it to him. I began praying more and

I got used to praying and felt that God is just by my side. Actually, last year I went to Chung Pyung for the Azalea Festival. There was a lottery and three lucky people would receive a gift from True Parents. I didn't even imagine I could be one of them, but I prayed to God to give me luck. I think I prayed for three days, twice a day. And I got the present from True Parents. Guess what I won! Some of True Father's clothes and a book he signed that has his picture on the cover. I don't think of it as luck anymore. 

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