Contributed by Tasnah Moyer
On Sunday, December 4th, 300 youth from all over the country and abroad, aged 13-40, gathered at East Garden with the purpose of connecting in heart with True Mother and giving her hope for America. The event was hosted by CARP and Cranes Club with the intention to help participants feel one in heart with True Mother, learn about her significance in God’s providence, and commit to contributing locally to the vision championed by True Parents.
The National Ministry band set a joyful and energetic atmosphere with several song before True Mother’s arrival. When she entered, flowers were offered by Kenji Sugawara and Tamami Okano, and sisters Sunhwa and Jisun Reiner sang Amazing Grace as a musical offering representing the participants.
True Mother immediately began speaking, sharing a message which gently educated participants on the history of the providence and God’s work to find the Only Begotten Daughter, drawing parallels from history on the importance of not being ignorant of the role we play and heeding us to truly understand the time we live in.
She gave the youth guidance, saying that, “Wherever you may be—whether you are studying, whether you are developing your talents and abilities—you always should think this way: ‘I am doing this such and such, and I would like to offer this to True Parents. What do True Parents wish of me?’”
“You have such a beautiful future ahead of you. You have the potential to greatly contribute to the providence as outstanding leaders and outstanding, talented people.” She reminded us that we are young, with so much life ahead of us, and that “all of you are truly blessed by the backing of heaven; there is nothing you need to be afraid of.”
You could feel hearts open in the room, responding to the outpouring of love, confidence, and encouragement from True Mother.
After True Mother finished her message, the band delighted her by leading the whole group in singing one of her favorite songs in Korean, Gu Neome Sarang. Also, before she left, a special gift of 1,000 cranes was offered to True Mother by Spase and Catherine Kase in a crystal bowl. The cranes were prepared by all participants, and Japanese tradition has it that by creating 1,000 cranes, you are granted one wish. After a victorious week, we wanted to send True Mother home with the promise of granting her deepest wish.
As True Mother left the room, she greeted one young man, Noriaki To of New Jersey, with a loving touch on the cheek and the room exploded in cheers; what one received was felt by all.
After a short intermission, the group reconvened for a short talk by Dr. Tyler Hendricks on understanding the significance of True Mother’s role at this time and what it means to be God’s only begotten daughter. He highlighted the fact that we all have the potential to be the only begotten children of God, but it requires us to fulfill our portion of responsibility.
This was followed by a testimony given by Tasnah Moyer. She shared about her journey to develop her understanding of True Mother over the last three years and the ways that True Mother’s love, guidance, and confidence have served as a pillar and beacon of light and hope.
The day concluded with lunch and department fair highlighting various departments and affiliate organizations of FFWPU USA and their offerings to support, educate, and empower the youth. Represented were the Cranes Club, CARP, National Youth Ministry, Blessing & Family Ministry, WFWP, Evangelism, FFWPU Human Resources, GPA and the STF GPA Alumni Association, UPF and Ocean Church. Participants spent the brisk, sunny afternoon outside, enjoying lunch and interacting with the various departments.
The spirit of the whole day was hopeful and filled with joy and energy. We are grateful and moved by True Mother’s heart, her encouragement, and love.
The thing that stood out to me the most from this whole event with True Mother—she was sitting and she was talking about her life and a lot of the different things that have happened, and the whole topic was the only begotten Daughter of God. Something that struck me was that what she was really talking about was God’s heart and God’s heart through Restoration as well: how it’s been one of suffering and pain. I was watching Mother’s face, and what really struck me was how much she’s had to go through and how much pain that she’s gone through, especially now with the current situation. How much she’s really had to prove herself time and time again for us and how that must really hurt her heart to not only have to prove herself to other people but to us as second-generation Unificationists, who are supposed to be the people who believe and support her the most because she’s the one who’s made us what we are. That’s what struck me: how much we need to step up and help comfort her heart because it must be really hard for her right now.
– Lily Shapiro, New York
One of the things I’m grateful for is the fact that True Mother came to America and yesterday to New York for this opportunity. She came to the Manhattan Center and we were all able to see her, and today was the Youth Gathering at East Garden. Just like everyone has emphasized, there’s not so many opportunities where we can come and see her so close, so this was a great opportunity to get True Mother’s inspiration and come together and unite with our hearts. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.
– Chiaki Hagiwara, New York
What I just experienced was really surprising because, as True Mother finished her speech, she came up to me and touched my cheek. I was really surprised because I’m not sure if it meant something or it was just a gift.
I’m in the Aloha Workshop and sitting in the front row was nice, just to experience True Mother. We saw her yesterday, but today was really special, and this whole experience today was really good overall. My favorite moment today was definitely getting touched on the cheek by True Mother.
-Noriaki To, New Jersey