The Words of the Yamane Family
A Parentís Testimony Of The STF Families Workshop
May 4 - 7, 2007
Estes Park, Colorado
Centering on the theme of "One Family under God, Aju!", about 120 family members (parents and siblings) joined the 120 STF 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Year members and staff at the beautiful Estes Park WMCA in the Rocky Mountains for an unforgettable weekend, the biggest Families Workshop held so far by STF in America.
At last yearís Families Workshop I had such a transformative experience catching the vision of Hyun Jin Nim and STF. This year, I could hardly wait to go again. Just thinking of the cool fresh mountain air and the dynamic STF spirit combined made me count the days with joyful anticipation.
In Estes Park we had three days of soft falling snow; it couldnít have been a more beautiful environment for a transforming workshop. It made the atmospheres feel all the more exciting and pure; like the precious young 2nd Gen who greeted us with such love and enthusiasm. The spirit remained as dynamic as those first moments throughout the entire time of the workshop. It was like heaven; young spirits of the highest level, being educated with love by elder, wiser, spirits in preparation for their unique course and destiny.
The workshop schedule included a wide variety of guest speakers, centering on the theme "One Family, Under God, Aju". Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Rev Schanker (who gave the lectures on True Parentsí course and the blessing to STF members), Rev. Dong Woo Kim, Rev. Jin Soo Kim (International 2nd Gen Department Director), Rev. In Soo Kim (representing W-CARP HQ), Mr. Mito (World CARP USA President), Mr. Aoki (International STF Director) each brought deep and unique insights, gained from their own lives of faith and personal experiences with God and directly from experiences with True Parents and the True Family. Each presentation was fresh, new, and, I have to say, deeply profound. There was just something special about the spirit of this workshop as a whole. Even Rev. Michael Jenkins, who was unable to come, conveyed his heart and passion to us through a video message.
Dr. Yang, whose precious son Calvin is in his 1st year of STF, emphasized the need for our 2nd Gen in particular to recognize their own unique value and the meaning of their lives through studying the truth and developing a personal relationship with God; and how we have to truly internalize and appreciate the value of the truth we have and the power it can give us in our daily lives.
There were many moving testimonies given by both STF members and parents. Listening to genuine testimonies, given with tears, about faith and meeting God, and feeling Godís love and guidance are what testify to the spiritual growth of each participant. Hyun Jin Nim has said that STF is a gift from heaven to the Blessed Families and a special present given to the Unification movement; and I believe it. The program demonstrates a course that, beyond fund-raising and witnessing, puts them in touch with their true selves and fosters true brotherhood and sisterhood. It also helps to improve communication and respect within the family.
My own testimony tends to lean toward the internal side, but there was also so much music, fun, and entertainment as well, that I would truly be remiss not to mention. The spirit overall was so joyful, like heaven. Every detail was well organized and beautiful, like Cheon Il Guk. The STF staff and Parents Board, centering on Mr. Aoki, are the dedicated, sacrificial team who make it all work. The program is centered on the course inspired by Hyun Jin Nim; when we have the opportunity to see the fruits, such as we did last weekend, we can only be humbled and grateful and hopeful.
I am, once again, humbled and grateful and have come away with a full heart. If I can speak for all the other parents who were so fortunate to participate at this workshop, our love and our prayers, and our deepest respect are with everyone who made this special STF Familiesí Workshop possible. It was much more than a good experience; it was a great experience of having One Family Under God, Aju!