The Words of the Platt Family

A Few Reflections And Testimonies From STF Participants

Roland Platt
September 13, 2009

Dear Families,

As the new school year commences I hope you and your children are doing well and getting off to a good start.

I am writing to share a few testimonies from STF. Through these beautiful letters you will be able to learn about some of the new activities that STF is engaging in and most importantly the experiences of heart they are able to have working closely together with True Family.

If your children are contemplating attending STF next year please make sure they apply to college this fall, with the option to defer for a year. This is important because it's better for our young people to go straight from STF to college or a clear career path. It's easy for young people to get sidetracked and end up loosing a year. Additionally, while in high school they have the support of guidance counselors and teachers to assist them with their application and college choice. You can also contact your child's high school to find out about SAT prep classes (often offered under adult education in the evenings) to help them do their very best in the SATs.

Please feel free to contact the Education Department if you have questions or concerns,

Thank you,

A few reflections and testimonies from STF participants
Sunday September 13th

Dear In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim,

Growing up I was never really able to cultivate healthy relationships with people of the opposite gender. Through In Jin Nim and the ballroom dancing activities I have hope in the growth of a new modern culture where everyone is like real brothers and sisters. I grew up in Hawaii with the image of a male as either a spouse or a sexual animal. This led to conflict within myself. I wanted to believe that I could just hang out with guys but it was always too "dangerous." Due to this and because I didn't have a brother, I only started to get comfortable around them in college and I learned the hard way (the difference between a brother / sister relationship and one of a spouse). I looked at my younger brothers and sisters in our communities and felt pain because I know many of them would walk the same course as I and there wasn't anything yet that I could do to help them. I yearned for a way to show them that brothers and sister weren't animals to be feared but people who just wanted to make friendships. Ballroom dancing promoted by Lovin' Life has answered my prayer.

There were two points that I observed as very important. The first was that by allowing brothers and sisters to "touch" each other in a very respectful atmosphere allowed brothers to be close, comfortable, and pure: just as in a family. The second was that it appealed to a large range of people. I personally love dancing. If I could do it all my life, I would. However, my parents only allowed me to do ballet and the only place where I could learn partner dancing was in the world outside my family. This restriction of my family, added with the freedom that college gave me propelled me to find dancing opportunities outside of my church community. I frequented salsa classes and then parties and then clubs in search of the thrill of dancing with a partner. Ballet only took me so far in that respect since I didn't have only male partners at the dancing studio. In college, the drunk dancing, the degrading grinding, and sexual innuendo that happened in a dance was in a way appealing but soon degraded my self respect.

Coming to STF and finding myself on the dance floor of either 43rd Street or the Manhattan Center made me so grateful. Only here did I finally get to be able to taste how respected, beautiful, and clean dancing with a partner could be. Dancing is like a journey for the best food. Grinding was like a drug; sexy, addicting, but eating away at my soul and self esteem. Dancing for the first time on that floor was like biting into the most delicious fruit that not only was healthy for me but also something that was the most delicious delicacy to be shared with all whom I loved. Church all of a sudden became so real; it was addressing the need for boys and girls to dance healthily together. Throughout history and up until the 60's and 70's, there has been clean, structured dancing between males and females. Clubs and the rise of immorality in America have lead to the degradation of a culture that goes back to the time of the Romans. I'm so excited that fun, partner dancing in the form of the waltz and swing is being promoted for my generation to put our energy into a socially and spiritually constructive focus, such as ballroom dancing. I am grateful to In Jin Nim and Heavenly Father for providing the opportunity to dance here and to taste the delicious fruit that I call ballroom dancing. Thank You.

E. Davis

Dear In Jin Nim, Jin Sun Nim and True Family,

Thank you for trusting me, with working with you. You have been so open and humble and whenever I speak to you, you are always a listening ear of thoughtfulness and consideration. I am grateful to write a letter to the True Family.

This past week 43rd has been jam packed! We have just started to go street witnessing and now guests are starting to pour in. it’s amazing to see our guests become inspired by the love they are greeted with once they come in the building off the cold streets of New York City. They express their enthusiasm for the God-given and beautiful ideals of the Unification Principle. Sometimes I feel our guests are more inspired by the Divine Principle than we are; but seeing their faces light up, to me, felt like God was searching for what we take for granted. I am so excited to be witnessing here in NYC at this time!

I want to personally thank you, True Family, for being so accessible. Whenever I see you so close, I automatically feel that God is giving me such a blessing. I honestly feel that I should be more grateful for God allowing me to be so close. I came to STF to help witnessing and allow True Father to offer America as God-centered Nation to God. Thank you for this experience. Thank you for ballroom dancing! I find it as a fun way to witness to sisters! It really helped me to augment my relationship with sisters too. Ballroom dancing is something that we BC’s look forward to

My humble love,
M. Moore

Dear In Jin Nim,

It’s been a good week. I finally came to accept that STF and my mission are always going to be changing. I’ll admit, It was really difficult at first, constantly being switched to different teams and different centers. I realized through all these changes around me that my attitude has to be unchanging. So this week I really learned to trust and have faith in Heavenly Father. Putting things into perspective, what I’ve been going though recently can’t even compare to what True Parents and True Family have gone though. I’m sure Heavenly Father has asked so much from them at times and there might have been some instances of wanted to give up and quit. But the True Family stands before us today, stronger than ever. So in inheriting from them, I don’t want to quit in time of hardship, but push forward. I really want to study hard to get good SAT scores, have a good career and be a true example of ambition and success.

I’m so grateful for all these amazing opportunities that I’ve been receiving in staying for this second year. I was honored to attend the most recent ACLC event on Sept. 11th. I’ve never attended anything like it before -- it was so beautiful seeing ministers and religious dignitaries from all over the nation under True Father’s vision for peace, especially on the day of September 11th. I was moved by Rev. Jenkins’ passion as he talked about how our movement was going to change the world. I left the meeting feeling really excited, being one for the newly appointed service project coordinators of STF, because this time period is truly the pinnacle of the history of our movement, and we are front and center, another opportunity that I took to heart this week was ballroom dancing. I am surprised at how much I enjoyed it. In Jin Nim really knows what she’s doing. Being a second year STFer, I thought it was going to be really awkward, especially with brother-sister contact, but I felt totally free, sophisticated, and classy. And I’m sure Heavenly Father was so happy to see His children dancing in such a way. In Jin Nim has proven so many of my concepts to be wrong and continues to do so. I wish that myself, and STF as a whole, could be more grateful, for everything In Jin Nim is doing for us. I know she cares about the second generation so much and I really want to connect to her vision and support her as best as I can.

E. Kernan

Dear In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim,

I went ballroom dancing for the first time yesterday, and although I entered the room with a hesitant attitude and negative perspective, my mindset had drastically changed by the end of the night. When I first found out that ballroom dancing lessons were part of the schedule, the only thought that crossed my mind was about how awkward and uncomfortable I would feel.

I just recently got matched, and I always imagined that I would only dance with my future spouse. In addition, my dancing wouldn't exactly be described as smooth or graceful. I didn't feel like I had the ability to ballroom dance, and even if I did, I had no desire to dance.

However, my mindset changed once I reminded myself to connect the act of dancing to a higher purpose. I realized that we are learning to cultivate healthy brother/sister relationships. Ballroom dancing created a great atmosphere for that, and I truly felt that we were all very clear in our motivation. When I told my match about STFers learning to ballroom dance, he was really excited to learn from me in the future. His focus was the future, and I was able to inherit that same mindset from him. We aren't just here to dance for the sake of dancing or the sole purpose of entertainment; we are learning to dance so that we may waltz and swing with Heavenly Father and True Parents throughout the rest of our lives. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

C. Lange

Dear In Jin Nim,

This week, I found myself positioned in a location in which it was difficult at times to hear In Jin Nim's message, so my notes were less complete than normal. About midway through the sermon, however, I thankfully realized and determined that I would not let the standard or incompleteness of my notes dominate my experience and memory of the day. In Jin Nim's heart shone through her eyes and trembled in in her voice as the sermon unfolded, and, as usual, I found myself entirely captivated. Even if all I could do was scribble down something here and there about our storms, past and present, the incredible importance of unity, and the wondrous and unwavering Sons of God, I desperately wished my own heart was great enough to go out, reach In Jin Nim and encompass/embrace her in the admiration, gratitude, and love that surges within me whenever I think of and see her.

In relation to today's message from In Jin Nim, I know I have let my fears of failure, unsure rejection prevent me from actualizing many of my more "rightly-minded" thoughts and desires. However, the combination of In Jin Nim's arrival in New York with Lovin' Life and my coming to STF have provided the occasion for external practice and the stimulus for the internal change that I've been searching for. So I would like to thank In Jin Nim and her entire family for all the effort, time, and love they shower on us everyday, whether it be through their thoughts and prayers, through ballroom dancing, Lovin' Life, etc.

Thank you -- I may not be completely free of my fears yet, but I believe in myself now as a child of God, capable of overcoming every challenge, obstacle, and difficulty thanks In Jin Nim, STF, and the answers of light they have shared with me from Heavenly Father. Thank you and please continue on with all that you're striving to do; I hope to be able to help you to my fullest and best abilities one day soon.

M. Eaton

Dear In Jin Nim and Jin Sung Nim,

I want to express my sincere gratitude for all that In Jim Nim is doing to change our movement and STF program for the better. I feel like I understand more about how we should live as Blessed children representing Heavenly Father, True Parents, True Family, and our own family. I’d like to start off with what I think is one of In Jin Nim’s greatest projects: Lovin’ Life ministries. It has given me so much confidence to spread God’s vision to strangers and friends alike. It has given me the opportunity to strengthen my conviction in our True Parents and our movement, and has creatively given me ideas about how I can share and spread this joy and excitement. I actually have a cousin who is studying in NYC and I would love to invite her to Lovin’ Life. She is a 2nd Gen, but her family became distant from the church. I believe, however, that she will totally change her mind after visiting church service.

Also, something else that I gained a lot from is ballroom dancing. Honestly, at first, I was very uncomfortable about the whole idea. Understanding the reasoning behind these activities, though, helped me grow in many different ways. It has definitely helped me see my younger brothers as such. At the beginning of almost every session it was so difficult for me to go out of myself, but when I change my mindset and think that I’ll be teaching my younger brother to dance with their future wife, it is so much more meaningful and exciting. I also get very inspired when I see Preston-oppa and Ariana-onni. They work so hard and they are so encouraging. I know that I should support them more, but I am very grateful for them. Seeing them invest so much into their mission inspires me to invest more into mine. Thank you In Jin Nim and family!

Y. Takano

Dear Jin Sung Nim,

Ever since I came to STF, I was excited to go to Sunday service. Your wife In Jin Nim is an amazing person. I’m always excited to hear her lectures and sermons because of how she presents them. Usually I have a hard time staying awake during services because they are… boring, but in Lovin’ Life, everything is so awesome it brings joy and happiness to a lot of people. In my case it lasts for two days and after that I’m longing to go to the next one.

I was fundraising two or three days ago and when I heard the news about STF going ballroom dancing, I was overwhelmed with joy. I had a good week, and ballroom dancing and Lovin’ Life made it better! I’m glad I was able to take this year off of education to come to STF. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to serve the True Family and I’m looking forward to more of those. Thank you.

Y. Sato

P.S. Thanks for being my two minute partner last night. I managed to learn a lot in a short time. It was an honor and I enjoyed dancing with you 

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