At the end of a week of Divine Principle study, our middle and high school participants of the GTGYers gathered in the main lecture hall to greet Prof. Yeon Ah Moon on Saturday, August 13, 2016. The university students waited eagerly just outside the hall for their opportunity to interact with Yeon Ah Moon, too.
Yeon Ah Moon has a way of being very authentic and sincere in her sharing and is very honest about the reality of our movement today. It’s refreshing for the youth to hear her speak, and they are able to feel understood and cared for by a member of True Parents’ family.
At the beginning of our meetings together with her that day, Yeon Ah Moon asked what we would like to hear her speak about first. She set up a very relaxed and casual atmosphere, inviting us to get comfy, to stand if we wanted, and to keep in mind the donuts she had brought to share with us afterward.
Someone in the hall yelled out, asking her to please start by sharing some of the memories she has with True Parents. Yeon Ah Moon read a passage from True Father’s words and began sharing from there. Yeon Ah Moon reminded us that she, too, grew up as a second-generation Unificationist and offered us advice about developing a relationship with True Parents as people born into this movement.
“Just thinking about True Parents in your head will not help you understand them. You need to speak about them, share about them.”
She continued, “If you begin with the little things and develop this good habit of starting your day with True Parents, at first you have to try to do it and then it becomes something you just do—something automatic. Start your day like this everyday, with God and True Parents.
“The reason I encourage you to do Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) like this is so you can experience God in your daily life.”
One of the participants commented that among the second generation of our movement, it can be hard to see positive things and that many of our peers are becoming distant. She asked how to best let those who are growing distant know about the heart of True Parents and the vision of our movement.
In response, Yeon Ah Moon spoke honestly about the opportunities to build greater love and unity across our movement, and commented, “I was grateful to receive the questions about your concerns for other seonghwa(middle and high school) students; that you care about them and how they are. Thank you. Just love them and be their friends and give to them. Support one another in the small things.”
She wanted to keep sharing with the seonghwa students and extended her time with them, but not long after that, the university students piled in to the lecture hall at 8:30 p.m., even though the seonghwa students had not yet left and Yeon Ah Moon had not yet finished speaking with them. Yeon Ah Moon had so much to share. Her heart is really that of an older sister who wants her siblings to connect to God and True Parents more deeply.
Once the university students had entered the room, Yeon Ah Moon began discussing the Blessing, the stages of the heart, and development of love.
“Please try to completely experience each stage of love so that when you become parents you can really love.
“I looked at love from a very secular perspective before. What about you? What do you think love is at first? Movies make love at first site look amazing; but reality is not like that. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Romeo and Juliet had not died?
“You need to have a vertical and a horizontal standard. You have to have give and take horizontally or it will all fall to the wayside.
“Empty yourself and forget any concept of ‘me’. It’s really hard, even for me, so I focus on something else, and then I can empty myself and let go of myself. Not completely because that’s very hard. But still, ‘How can invest myself entirely for the sake of others?’ is what I think about.”
Yeon Ah Moon concluded, “True Parents existed in the blueprint of creation. The word True Parents existed before creation. They began as the standard of creation. Then what is the wish of Heavenly Parent? It is True Parents: God-centered parents who can give and receive love unconditionally.
“True Parents really know our heart to attend them, so even when we make mistakes they understand our heart.”
At 11:00 p.m. and Yeon Ah Moon was still talking! The Japanese GTGYers heard she was here and joined us. There’s an excellent spirit, and everyone is still fully alert.
Before leaving, Yeon Ah Moon took photos with groups of 80 people at a time, always making it a point to say hello to everyone and to acknowledge each person. Her openness and love are incredible. Though it was so late, the night ended on a very high-energy note with participants running around the lecture hall in large circles, chanting the GTGY motto.
Here are some of the participant reflections after hearing Yeon Ah Moon speak:
“My favorite part of Yeon Ah-nim’s speech is when she talked about how, if we take interest in something we won’t forget it; so if we take interest more in God and True Parents, we won’t forget them. That really hit me because sometimes it’s easy, when you get busy in your daily life to put them aside; I really want to take more interest in them in the future.” — Yasunari Sakuma, Chicago, IL, USA
“My favorite highlight from Yeon Ah-nim’s talk was really hearing the heart of True Parents—hearing her perspective of where True Parents’ standpoint is. I’m really grateful that I could be here tonight to see Yeon Ah-nim talk. Thank you!” — Ilya Hack, Las Vegas, NV, USA
“I think the most important thing I was able to take away from Yeon Ah-nim’s speech was a new perspective about Moses’ life. I always thought of him as someone who was the most miserable man, but after hearing Yeon Ah-nim’s story about how a parent will feel about their children finally reaching their destination, and seeing them mature, grow, and truly surpass what they have overcome. I was so happy to hear this from her perspective.” — Mansoo Takeda, Boston, MA
“My favorite part of the speech was when Yeon Ah-nim told us about the favorite type of coffee that True Parents like to drink in the morning. True Father drinks coffee with milk and sugar and True Mother drinks black coffee. That’s the way that my husband and I drink our coffee as well!” — Rosia Schmidt, Sheboygan, WI, USA
“What I liked the most today in what Yeon Ah-nim said was that we should include Heavenly Parent in every thought in our lives and that when we wake up we should think about True Parents and Heavenly Parent first. That’s what inspired me and touched my heart.” — Anna, Netherlands
“I was really inspired about what Yeon Ah-nim said and now I really want to testify to True Parents, Heavenly Parent to the world and to my friends.” — Melanie, Switzerland
“The best part of Yeon Ah-nim-unni’s speech was when she said we should always have True Parents’ heart. Because True Parents have done so much for us as second generation—and True Mother now, at this age, is so tired—I think we really have to let her rest and go to the front line to help True Mother in the work of the providence. I feel it is our obligation as second generation to fulfill our responsibility and to give True Mother joy and to work hard. She’s aging, so it’s time for us to do our best and to give much effort to support True Mother in carrying out the work of the providence.
“Right now I have a lot of mixed emotions. I feel happy, I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I have so much to say, but I feel so happy that Yeon Ah-nim could be here, for being in this Top Gun workshop, for experiencing True Mother’s heart, and for being with my brothers and sisters. It’s really amazing and it gives me great joy to be here with my family members.” — Yuron Golio, Kenya
Be sure to follow what happens next as we enter our final week of the workshop!