The Words of the Platt Family
Today we woke up excited as we prepared to go to Yong Pyong Ski Resort, while about 15 members would attend and support our group of dancers at the annual talent show which split our group in two, until the next day at the choir competition. The Ski Resort is owned by our church, Kook Jin Nim being the one who thought it would be a bright idea to own such a huge resource of income. We were quickly made aware that the 2018 winter Olympics were to be held at this location, and that a famous Korean drama, Winter Sonata, was filmed at the Resort so it made us anticipate the tour and the night's stay even more. The bus trip was about two hours and took us further away than we had been the entire trip, also members from the world CARP assembly were accompanying us on this trip, which made the total amount of young people 150 to 200, it gave us another opportunity to get to know other 1st and 2nd gen CARP members.
When we arrived at Yong Pyong we were all amazed at how much bigger the resort was than we thought it would be. We all got arranged into our rooms and headed to lunch in the resorts main cafeteria. We all gathered in a lecture hall at the resort and were given reports about Korea and Japan CARP, which informed us more about the resort and the finances which were going into the Unification Church in Korea. We were not going to be able to get a chance to go skiing because the choir competition was the next day so we took a trip in the gondola which is basically a ski lift which is closed and which takes you up to the top of all the ski runs. It was really cold this day but we were so grateful to be able to be in such a beautiful place. We all met up again for dinner and received a lecture on the Kwak group which not all the CARP members who were attending the assembly were so aware of. We ended the night with a choir practice in one of the small rooms we were staying in. Although all 42 of us were quite tired from the long day's activities we tried to put in our whole efforts under the guidance of August Lindsay who was our step in choir director. The night ended with all of us quite nervous for the next day's big event. All we knew we could take with us was a sincere heart of desire to offer our True Parents the best birthday gift possible.
Two things happened today as GPA split into two groups. Fifteen of us GPA members went to attend the World Talent Show, celebrating True Father's 93rd Holy Birthday, True Parent's Golden Wedding and Jubilee Year, and True Mother's Gohui. The event was taking place at the Cheon Jung Peace Palace. Before heading to the Peace Palace, we took a bus and stopped at Cheong Pyeoung, where some of us took time to pray at the prayer hall there.
We entered the Palace grounds and made our way to prepare for the dress rehearsal. We entered a room on the right wing of the Palace in order to wait for our time for the dress rehearsal. ODU-crew. Most of the other performers had been practicing for months or years, ODU crew only practiced for a couple of weeks.
When time came for the performances to start, we quickly found our seats, and Russia kicked off the performances with a folk dance. They had been practicing for three years, and had also done a 150 bow condition within the time period. The Russian folk dance team placed second in the show. ODU- crew (representing USA) performed a hip hop/ pop and lock routine which captivated the audience and had the smallest number of members on stage. They truly gave it their all and really livened up the crowd with their constant movement and unique and creative techniques. Although they didn't place in the talent show, they received such an amazing blessing to perform for our True Parents, and give a spectacular show that people will never forget.
Japan came out last to perform. There had to be over 50 young members on stage. They were all in their teens, all different ages, and most importantly all united. They moved as though they were one on stage and every movement served a specific purpose. They were a very humble group of children and their hearts were clearly displayed by how much energy they poured into their performance. Their shouts and movements were all in sync and gave off a really powerful jolt of energy to the audience. They placed first and they deserved it. Their performance was so moving and so powerful.
After the event was over, Rev Cotter, Kevin Yoon, and Aunt Heather took us out to a Korean restaurant for dinner. The occasion was to celebrate our victory for performing for True Parents. We had a great time, sharing in light conversation with Rev. Cotter and Aunt Heather. Some things we brushed up on were our experience thus far with the World CARP assembly, our time in Korea, and our experience being able to witness the performances in the Cheon Jung Peace Palace. After dinner, Rev. Cotter encouraged us to go straight to bed upon returning to the training center in order to prepare for the choir competition tomorrow.
"When I heard about the opportunity, I jumped at it because this is probably the one chance in my life that I can perform for True Parents. Even though we didn't have a lot of time, we worked really hard to make up for it. After we performed I felt so accomplished and so grateful to be able to present True Parents with their birthday gift."
Unfortunately there are no Photos from this event because of restrictions put on camera in the CJG building.
The morning started out to be quite hectic with both groups (GPA members who went to the resort and GPA who went to support ODU- dance crew) rendezvousing at a youth training center near Cheong Pyeoung Training Center. Plans at first kept changing; the location for the choir competition was changed from the Peace Palace to the Cheon Bok Gung back to the Peace Palace. Everyone greeted each other warmly after the day of separation. At the training center we all ate a small box lunch organized by our operations coordinator, Thanh Le and Kevin Yoon. As we sat down to eat together, we shared our different experiences with one another.
After lunch we made our way to the Cheon Jung Peace Palace in order to prepare for our dress rehearsal. There we entered hearing the soft and beautiful sounds of an angelic choir. Hearing what we were up against really got our blood stirring. Waiting in the room of the main event was our choir director, Nancy Kubo, Mitsuru Hunter, and members of Sonic Cult. We quickly breezed through our dress rehearsal, which took longer than expected, and hectically returned to the waiting room to change. We had about 20 minutes to return to the other room. Everyone was supportive of one another. The staff that came to accompany the choir really did their best and worked hard to support us. Whether it was steam pressing our suites or Hon Boks, or helping with the sisters' hair or applying make-up a lot of love was felt.
We quickly rushed into the room with only seconds to spare and father started the night off with an intense speech to us members. Seeing him at this point was really surprising. He seemed to be very energized and spoke with great strength. If anyone were to guess, it would have seemed that father might have had some rest before the event. He seemed so young, however at that moment he had just finished giving a 15-hour Hoon Dok Hae session. Before starting the choir competition, Father had a sister read some of Father's words from a previous lecture.
As the event went underway, choir after choir, True parents bobbed their heads to the music. All of the choirs were truly amazing and invested years and years of practice. Placing second was the Pure Hearts choir, who performed two very beautiful acapela pieces.
As Generation Peace Academy Choir made their way on stage the audience quickly became still and quiet. a first year member of GPA from Korea gave some opening remarks in Korean to the audience, and formally introduced the choir to True Parents. The GPA choir performed Somebody To Love by Queen and a genius Medley composed and created by the choir director Mrs. Kubo titled, Daniel Goes to Battle. The Sonic Cult band accompanied the choir with music. As the GPA choir performed Father and Mother both clapped, tapped, and bobbed their heads gleefully to the rhythm of the music.
After our performance Mrs. Kubo respectfully bowed to True Parents and Lym-Hwa shouted "Champumonim!" (True Parents!) To which we all shouted "Sarang-heyo" (We Love You!). As the choir excited the stage they gathered in back outside of the room along with the other choirs waiting to hear the final result. Somehow news spread that the GPA choir would be entering last to receive their reward. Hearing this, GPA choir assumed they placed first. Upon hearing this news, everyone in the GPA choir began cheering quite loud. In the room just as GPA began cheering the announcer read the results and said that GPA placed second. From inside the room, hearing our cheers made it seem as though we were celebrating winning second. The announcer corrected his mistake and announced that the overall winner for the choir competition was the Generation Peace Academy Choir.
Kevin Yoon stepped out to congratulate us and called In Jin Nim, so that she may share a few words with us. The choir responded to her voice with much compassion and gratitude. In Jin Nim congratulated us and shared how proud she was of us. She also shared that after winning the competition it was important for us to remember to keep our humility. As representatives of In Jin Nim, the GPA choir supported all the other choirs with cheers and admiration.
We were blessed with the opportunity to take a picture with True Parents. After many other pictures were taken we quickly changed out of our clothes in order to prepare to go out for dinner to celebrate. The Cheon Jeong Peace Palace staff really did an incredible job preparing the rooms for the event and then cleaning up after all of us.
We went to this traditional Korean restaurant that was owned by a second generation. The Quintessentials performed the song, For the Longest Time to Mrs. Kubo as a show of gratitude. The food was delicious and prepared right before us. Everyone sat in tables of about four people; surprisingly everyone was able to fit in the restaurant. A few moments later Jin Sung Nim, Ariana Moon, Preston Moon (who personally made the Bispoque Suits for the brothers of the GPA choir) and Krista joined us to congratulate us on our victory. Ariana Moon interviewed a few of us to get quotes of our experiences thus far in Korea for the Unification Church magazine. An announcement from Jin Sung Nim was that our performance really brightened up True Parents mood.
"I was shaking as I made eye contact with Father, then Mother, then Hyung Jin Nim and then briefly Jin Sung Nim who was sitting at the next table. The music started and I just smiled as I raised the microphone for my first note. Suddenly all my worries left me and I just wanted to offer my whole heart to True Parents through my voice."
"Winning the choir competition and seeing True Parents made their existence so real. Being able to finally offer to True Parents what we had prepared for so long really made everything worth it. Even if we didn't win it was a victory because we invested our whole hearts and offered everything up to True Parents."
"When I found out we won I was in shick, all the choirs who went on before us I thought had things we lacked. I felt kind of defeated after each performance. Instead of focusing on winning I was focused on being the best offering. Going up there I was thinking about how much I can give to True Parents. After the performance I thought about how much work we put in so when we found out we won I was shocked. When It sunk in, I realized we really worked for it. We united with our central figures. I can feel how it makes a difference. Everyone saw our heart and our unity. "
The morning started off with a bus ride to the Gyeong Bok Gung Palace, built in the 13 century. Ye Sun Yoon, a member of Korean CARP, led us as our tour guide to this historical palace. Upon arriving to the palace, we met up with Mrs. Kubo who had appeared to be waiting for us. Through this tour of this historical building we were able to see and understand, thanks to Ye Sun, more about the roots of Korean culture.
After the tour, we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, and ate black noodles. After lunch we went shopping in the immediate area. This time for shopping was actually very significant although many of us may have taken it lightly. Because we were wearing our GPA jackets, our appearance brought many people to question what it was we were doing in Korea. This was a very subtle way of naturally witnessing to the people who we approached. Our smiles and genuine interest in the surrounding culture really inspired the local people that we met. With the time we were given to shop many of us bought gifts for our families or friends back at home, as well as for ourselves.
After shopping we returned to the training center in Guri. We held choir rehearsals, the last one we would supposedly be having with Mrs. Kubo, as it was that her flight was leaving tomorrow afternoon after Church. As we practiced we were reminded that although we placed first in the Choir competition, it is important to remember to build on our victory and continue to perform with great energy. Many times after a choir wins a competition, their performance goes downhill, but that is not the way we know to represent In Jin Nim.