The Words of the Platt Family
Nick opened with a prayer, and Roland began his report:
The Core staff members met this afternoon at 43rd St. We try to meet once in the middle of each module, because we are all spread out and have different focuses. Today we met with Heather. Team leader training is on our mind as we begin to think about next year.
But, first I would like to share some more about our experience in Korea and Japan and Louise, who accompanied the group as a parent support member will share some, too. It was just an incredible blessing, an unfolding of a dream or vision that our staff has had to put GPA on the map and to inspire True Family. We did it by winning the competition and in many ways we were able to inspire Kook Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim.
Kook Jin Nim's thumbs up meant a lot! Also at the World CARP assembly with over 2000 kids and leaders from all over the world, GPA just naturally and enthusiastically stood up and greeted Kook Jin Nim, while the rest of the audience watched! He was really happy, and I realized that it was because we have really been trained by Jin Sung Nim to have a heart of attendance and through him have come to feel close to True Children. Outside of the U.S. members haven't had the chance to develop such a heartistic connection with True Children and with In Jin Nim and her family. At this time Hyung Jin Nim is totally focused on attending True Parents wherever they go and Kook Jin Nim Is focused on the church businesses and situation in Korea, so they don't have so much time for the 2nd gen. We are so lucky here.
Hyung Jin Nim wants to create an international program with a standard like GPA- for Japan, Korea, USA and Europe. Each should have a similar program which would also allow them to meet together. We tried this before with STF a few years ago, developing a common vision, goals, curriculum, etc, but we are on a whole new level now, with our connection to In Jin Nim and the Church. In Jin Nim talked a lot about GPA in her last sermon (I heard GPA in 7 different parts of her sermon!), so we could give her something to use and show to the world.
Now, Louise can share some. Congratulations! It was very exciting to win the competition but it took us a while to find out since it was all in Korean and other groups went in before us to receive prizes. So when we found out we were all so happy, we talked with In Jin Nim on the phone and got our photo with True Parents.
In Korea, the kids got a lot of exposure to the history and roots of our church-more than most of us and they really took it in. They also got a good understanding of our present situation. From the first moment we arrived at the airport In Jin Nim had people taking care of us. We didn't have to worry about food, transportation, sleeping, or activities. So the staff could really focus on the kids. We did so much every day, but only with their help.
Wherever we went, there were other 2nd gen from Korea, Japan and other countries traveling with us- at least 10 and sometimes a bus load. They really shared a lot, singing, dancing and learning from each other. It helped us feel close as a family. The kids truly felt blessed and so were always happy to sing and serve. They were really flexible with last minute changes, didn't complain and were united.
My experience as a parent on an overseas trip -- Well it was my first time to do it. I felt I had a vital role as a parent, just focusing on the health and welfare of the kids.. When they got sick they didn't want to say anything or complain or interrupt the program, but I could tell, and be there for them when they needed some care. This allowed the staff to continue their program, while I could get medical help or stay with them while they rested. Being able to take care of them well added security and stability to the program, which was constantly changing. So I just focused on them, not the event, performance or schedule. It was nice to share this historical time with my daughter there and get to know the kids. Hopefully, I could inspire them as a 1st gen, with my public service and family life. I was a little anxious if I could keep up with the schedule, but I was energized by the mission and found I could do everything. I was glad Roland was there as he really supported my role as a parent and that gave me energy, too.
Question: Are other parents going on the overseas modules?
Roland: Right now John Gehring and his wife, Kazuo, are with the Thai group, but I think we may still looking for parents to go to Peru, Honduras and one more country during the third module.
So what is going on now?
Well, a lot happened today as the Thai group left this morning, and it was also the beginning of 21 day fundraising Competition for our groups in California and Florida. The Thai group will start in Bangkok and then to the countryside to deal with the sex traffic issue, working with programs that help prevent young girls from getting into it, and helping those who are recovering from it. Local church members will be with them as well as the Gehrings, Kenzo and Elissa (each going half the time). They will fly back to San Antonio where they will have a reflection / evaluation workshop.
The Fundraising group had a workshop in Estes Park (CO) and started their first challenge when they were called to Las Vegas and the Little Angels program. Jin Sung Nim took them out and shared with them and they attended Hoon Dok Hae with True Parents. They just finished another workshop at Pasadena House and started a new condition, ending up in San Antonio.
Keimi reported that everything is going smoothly at the 43rd St. module. They have a good schedule and are really getting a good education through their practicums. This group is not distracted with choir practice or SAT prep, so they can focus more. They receive daily quality education, for example today Rev Jesse Edwards and his wife talked with them. In Jin Nim's vision is that the time at 43rd St. will best prepare them for college life, as they have a focus, schedule, but really have to take ownership of it. They are organized into trinities and just have to look out for each other, without a team captain always looking over them. It's a less controlled environment, but they are really doing well, especially after training from their previous module, so I expect the next group to do even better.
March 18th we will all meet in San Antonio. We were going to have a Blessing workshop, but there is Blessing taking place at the same time, so the people from the Blessing dept. will be busy. So we will do a Divine Principle workshop, like we did last year in Gloucester. Members can choose which section they will focus on, either one they like or one they struggle with. So they will practice lecturing, take tests, and have forums to discuss in depth. Then they will start the third module. So we are more than half way through.
Question: Will the choir be performing again?
Well, now they are fundraising and won't have any more formal practices, but who knows what may come. I would not be surprised if they performed a 'finale' at the Commencement Gala. Anyway, I imagine we will have a choir again next year.
Parents can enjoy the video clips and reports on the GPA family website. Once again, this year I feel so blessed to have three wonderful new support staff, Thanh (Operations), Chris (media) and Hiroshi (safety), all three play key roles and have really helped to keep everything running smoothly.
The application for next year is on that website, too. Please encourage people interested to apply sooner rather than later. So many applied late last year, it was hard for us to know how many staff we would need. Once you apply, we will do a phone interview, so they don't have to travel. There is a $40 application fee, but if you apply before March 15 it is free.
Question: What about the graduation schedule?
The Manhattan Center is booked for the weekend of June 25th, so our graduation will probably be the weekend of June 18th along with the Commencement Gala.
One new thing about this third module is that we will include leadership training for those who want to stay another year. In each module those members will be together in a group and receive special training from the group leader. Last year we didn't do it until the summer, but we really need more time, especially for driving safety. They will also train for part of the summer.
Our capacity to accept kids on the program depends on our staff. Our core staff is stable and committed but we will need more, especially if we have more international participants. We are looking for mature young 1st gen to help in all areas. International participants will need a H3 visa which allows training for one year.
Question: Will there be a discount at the New Yorker for families coming for graduation?
Yes, especially if 4 or more stay in one room the rate is quite reasonable- we will let you know. The basic schedule will be the Gala on Friday, graduation ceremony on Saturday, and Lovin' Life on Sunday, then kids can leave that afternoon or on Monday.
Question: Is someone making a documentary on the choir trip?
Yes, Chris is putting together an hour-long documentary which will show them practicing before they leave as well as all the highlights. Also, another newsletter will be sent out to all parents soon.
Finally, all parents please pray for everyone's safety- whether overseas, fundraising or at 43rd Street. While in Korea, True Father mentioned we really need to be very careful, especially about car accidents, in this final year leading to Foundation Day.
We concluded with a prayer led by Louise.