Unification News for September 2001
Leadership Training 2001!
This year's leadership training was a very unique experience. We started on Monday, June 18th with orientation and getting to know our "groups." We ate dinner at about 6:00 or 6:30, then we got together for ice breakers and orientation. After that we split up into smaller groups to make banners and to close the evening. Since it was so late, and we didn't have much time, we focused on letting each other know why we were there and what we expected to gain from the experience. As well as getting to know anyone who was not from the Bay Area.
The next day the focus was on unity. So, after breakfast we got together and did several exercises meant to strengthen our unity and reliance on each other. This included having to pass a volleyball in the air and trying get everyone to hit it at least once and several ropes course activities. While the day's topic was unity, and all the activities were geared toward that, I feel that we didn't get as much out of the activities as we could have, or should have. Some people weren't putting in 100% (including myself), so not everyone was gaining from it.
The next day was heritage. As you can guess, we started with lectures about True Father and some of the background behind our church. While it was a very interesting topic, and the lecture was very well given by Pastor Thompson, some of us were still not really into the workshop. After lunch, we went on what was dubbed as the Heritage Hike.
On this hike we were told to do several tasks along the way to our goal, to give us some idea of what True Father had to go through on his trek to South Korea during the Korean War. Some of these tasks included picking up, and carrying one member of our team a certain distance, walking barefoot along a rocky path, and wading a stream.
None of these tasks were as difficult for us as they were for True Father, but they put Father's journey, and it's difficulty, into focus for us. After hiking for a couple hours we reached our goal and were assigned the task of making shelters (in our groups) large enough to seat the whole group. This didn't seem so bad at first, but the lack of resources quickly proved to be a problem for all the groups. Again, this was to show how hard Father had to work to get shelter in Pusan, having to make his house out of cardboard. After making our houses we built a campfire and shared testimonies. Later that night the brothers and sisters split up to do their own activities. This, I feel, was when the workshop really started.
The sisters stayed by the campfire and continued to share testimonies, and the brothers went off into the woods to do some drilling. This was something of a shock, for while the infamous disciplinary act known as drilling was implemented earlier in the day, it was clear that it wasn't going to be a big part of the training, until that night. I can't vouch for how the sister's testimonies went, but for the brothers, we had a very swift, and hard, kick in the pants that night. The drilling was physically challenging, yes, but the staff was aware that we weren't putting our 100% effort into the training, and decided that we needed to be made aware that they were aware. I can honestly say that that night the brothers got closer, and bonded more deeply, than we ever had.
Due to that night a lot of us (if not all of us) felt a closer brotherhood to the other brothers present. Our elder brothers showed us how much they loved us, and through that, and the way they showed that love, we were able to break down some boundaries which we had set up in the years we spent together at church. After that night I, myself, have deepened my friendship with several of my brothers, and others have gone so far as to open up new paths of friendship between them and brothers they thought they'd never share with. This was the first memorable night for me. That night we spent the night on a small beach on the banks of the river where we hiked.
The next morning was the Day of All True Things, so we got up at 7 for pledge. After pledge, and a much appreciated small breakfast (we only had three rice balls the night before, as part of our Heritage Hike) we hiked back to camp for a larger breakfast.
This day was to be the last full day of the training, so we focused on the practical applications of being a leader. We did some role-playing in our groups to see how each of the members would handle different people and how we could help them improve. We also listened to lectures giving us practical advice on how to lead a group and support the group leader if we were assistants. Then we got together to plan an obstacle course for One Heart. I can honestly say that we could have done that much better. I mean, how hard is it to plan an obstacle course? Certainly not the whole 2 hours we took :-). Anyway, that was a good exercise in working together and listening to everyone's opinions. In the end we decided that a small handful of people would take care of the details (which is what we should have done at the beginning, but oh well... now we know what do to next time).
That night we wrote about our experiences and some goal for One Heart and shared them with the rest of the trainees. We also had a 21 minute prayer, which is the second memorable night for me, and I know for some of the other guys as well.
The next day we went to a waterfall for closing reflections and goals for the post-training era and One Heart. We had 20 minutes of silent, reflection time, and then about an hour of free-time, in which we jumped off rocks and went swimming. My brother, Choongil, and Adrian Wilding (who came down from British Columbia to staff One Heart and the leadership training) had enough courage to jump from a rock about 60 feet off the water, the rest of us settled for the 30 and 40 foot jumps. Since that marked the end of the workshop, we had the rest of the afternoon to do laundry (which most people desperately needed to do) and just relax. That night and the next morning we continued to share testimonies and prepare for One Heart.
Overall, this was a great experience for all of us. We shared more about ourselves than we would have thought imaginable before, and grew in many ways. I personally got a deeper understanding of where my brothers and sisters are at in their struggles, and while I didn't share my testimony then, I feel that they saw more of me than they normally would. I'm not an open person, but in those few days I opened up to my brothers specially, but also sisters. This was a great foundation for the One Heart camp to come, and for the rest of the year, when I hope to further deepen my friendship with my brothers and sisters.
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