From August 1 to August 21, 1,300 young Unificationists from 76 countries attended this year’s Global Top Gun Youth workshop to cultivate hyojeong (“heart of filial piety”) leadership. Through this workshop, participants had the opportunity to better understand the heart of True Parents, networking with other young people from all over the world who shared the desire to contribute to humanity and support True Parents. In the following testimonies, two of this year’s participants share about what they learned during Global Top Gun Youth.
GABBY VON EUW
After completing my year at Generation Peace Academy, it was very difficult to keep my life of faith going. But I have been blessed this year to have been able to participate in the Global Top Gun Youth Workshop.
First of all, I now truly admire True Parents’ commitment to God. They made this commitment when they were in their youth, and since then, they have never wavered. They never complained and kept moving forward toward that goal. When I look at my life, I’ve been all over the place. I’ve questioned many things. But because True Parents are so committed, I want to follow that example and be committed with my own life of faith, too. I want to share all of this love that I have felt from this workshop. I want to go back home and spread that love. If I had to put my emotions after this workshop in one word, it would be gratitude. I am so grateful to True Parents for all that they have done.
I was also grateful for the workshop because I had a chance to meet my global family. I really enjoy being with many different people internationally and learning about their Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) chapters, their lifestyles, their passions, and their dreams. In the end, it all connects back to wanting to share God’s love and sharing the vision of True Parents of creating an ideal world. Although at times, my heart ached because I could not verbally communicate to some people because of language barriers, I found that we can still love each other even more, just through body language, being next to each other, smiling, and various other expressions of love. This is even stronger than words. At GTG Youth, I made stronger than words can express because of this love and the common vision we all shared.
In my group from this workshop, which we called our family, there were people from Japan, Korea, USA, Nepal, Thailand, Venezuela, South Africa, Spain and the Philippines. We all spoke different languages, although most of them can speak a little bit of English. There was, however, one person who didn’t speak English at all. But she was the one that brought us all together because of her laugh, and as soon as she opened up, everyone started laughing and coming together. Again, love is stronger than words.
Walking over to the Ponhyangwon, I was thinking of the word “Hyojeong.” Then, suddenly I got the thought that over recent years I have been working very hard on my relationship with True Parents, but I did not have the same heart toward my own parents. I came to understand that True Parents cannot be happy if I don’t have a filial heart toward my own parents. The reason for that is because True Parent’s own teaching is about creating a happy families to create a happy world. If I can’t bring happiness to my own parents, then all the work I put in for True Parents cannot come to complete fruition. When we arrived at Ponhyangwon, I offered a prayer of repentance. I repented the fact that I wasn’t giving my parents the love hat they deserve for raising me and for everything else that they do for me. Then, in my prayer, I made the determination that I will love my parents more than I have. Once I made that determination I felt as though True Father was happy to hear my renewed heart.
During our reading of True Parents’ words in our meeting with True Mother, I saw her facial expression and she had her eyes closed. She looked as though she was in pain. The reading was about how the Israelites and Romans did not accept Jesus. At that moment, God’s heart must have been in incredible pain, and I could feel that True Mother was feeling the same pain. It was incredible to see that True Mother’s heart is united with God’s heart. Seeing this gave me a new perspective in reading True Parents’ words. From now on I want to try read True Parents’ words every day with the intention of trying to understand God’s heart behind their words. It is by meeting True Mother that I was able to have these two very important realizations, and for that, I am so thankful.