“The second week of GTGY is a very important week, because this is where the education and content will happen,” said Naokimi Ushiroda, President of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) USA, who spent the week sharing lectures with the Global Top Gun Youth participants. “I was reflecting on the purpose of this workshop, and what I see as the main purpose is for everyone in this age group, the future leaders, to align their goals centered on God, True Parents, and the Divine Principle. True Mother wants to make sure the next generation of leadership is centered on the right thing.”
The five-day lecture series concluded on August 11, and according to one participant from Washington State, USA, Esther Pisano, “the lectures were amazing. It was definitely a new and creative expression of the Divine Principle.”
A typical day this past week opened with morning lectures, and then participants spent the afternoon engaged in various activities, appropriate for each age group and stage of life. Middle school participants took part in activities designed to promote bonding between them, and to instill a sense of self-value and self-love within each participant. The middle school youth emerged feeling more confident and more connected.
For university-aged participants, activities included several ice-breakers, introspective assignments, and team-building exercises. Though many of the participants do not speak English, translators, singing and fun activities helped everyone to bond and create international friendships. In one activity, participants wrote down a list of walls that they tend to put up, which block their original selves and contribute to their personal vulnerabilities. They then wore a sign with their number one personal wall, and walked around the room talking to each other about it.
Justin Okamoto of CARP USA also led a vision statement exercise, encouraging everyone to envision the future that they want to see, and the future that True Mother wants to see in this world. “It was a very powerful session,” said Jinil Fleishman from Las Vegas, USA.
In the evenings, participants had exciting clan-wide open mics and testimony sharing.
“In each group, we shared our testimonies,” explained Jinil Fleishman, “then we joined all together as one clan to share all these experiences that we’ve had. I think each participant is taking away a clear vision and a hope for the future that we can create.”
“Participants have been exploring the Divine Principle, taking part in leadership training and creating a global family,” said Kenji Sugawara and Tamami Sugawara from Worcester, Massachusetts, co-directors of the Global Top Gun Youth middle and high school group. “The energy has been growing every single day; the participants have been getting louder in their singing, louder in activities and cheering, and feeling very free. They feel empowered in the commitment they are making for True Parents and for the live they want to live.”