by FFWPU USA, Esther Pisano: To launch 2016 in the best possible way Generation Peace Academy (GPA) just completed a seven-day Divine Principle workshop for its participants at Morgan Ranch in Blanco, Texas. The days were full of laughter, love, companionship and deep insights as participants delved deeper into understanding True Parents’ heart and the new truth, the Divine Principle.
The theme of the workshop, which was held from January 9 to 15, was “Deep Roots, Strong Faith.” Lectures were given each morning by Mrs. Christine Froehlich of the GPA staff and Rev. Jon Jackson, the District 9 pastor. Afternoons were spent doing service work, sports, DP lecture practice and Bible study. Evenings consisted of short lecture presentations given by participants to the whole group.
GPA staff has realized that an understanding of the Bible is foundational to grasp the significance of the Principle. Engaging Bible study sessions were led by our inspiring pastor Rev. John Jackson, who focused on reading sections of the Bible, decoding the message and discussing it. It has helped many with connecting more deeply with God’s words.
A few nights into the workshop the staff created an environment for reflection and repentance prayer. A bonfire was lit on the hilltop, and the stars were bright in the sky as the participants spread throughout the field to pray for forty minutes. This left many light at heart and excited to start the new year fresh with God.
In May 2015, the city of San Antonio experienced its largest flood ever recorded. There was a point at which it rained 15 to 20 inches in three hours and the river elevated 25 feet. It created huge damage to Morgan Ranch, including hundreds of trees left on the riverbank. So a workforce service team was created and an hour each day was spent clearing away the fallen trees and driftwood. This gave the young people time to give back to our lovely hosts and nature.
One evening Rev. Jackson gave his testimony concerning his relationship with True Father and True Mother. This helped the participants to desire a more personal relationship with them. Rev. Jackson also spoke of his insights and parts of recent talks by Korean elder Mrs. Gil Ja Sa, the widow of Rev. Hyo Won Eu, which ignited love and understanding concerning the hurtful confusion in our church movement.
Kinasa Gemmell, a first-year GPA participant, said: “In terms of learning, I’ve learned a lot concerning Divine Principle. Never before have I felt this hunger to hear more, and studying the Bible is helping me understand the view of Christians too.”
Another GPA first-year, Yukimi Tateno, said that everyone coming together again after going through similar experiences helped the GPA participants get closer. “In a way we’ve all become a family. Intimate.”
It’s true, our GPA family took steps closer to realizing one family centered upon God and True Parents by deepening our understanding and expanding our perspective.
Yasunari Sakuma from Chicago spoke of how he realized for the first time in his life how much sacrifice went into creating the Divine Principle. He said he felt sorry that True Father risked his life to uncover the DP, and he was not appreciating its significance.
After a lecture on how women can be liberated because of True Mother’s course, Elissa Dilorenzo went outside to pray. She felt that God showed her more of what she can do to support True Mother and move the providence. She asked God to reveal her portion of responsibility, and she felt that God answered her through the lectures and guidance.
Hearts have been moved, lives have been changed, and goals have been set. God is truly guiding His children to a more fulfilling life by having GPA be a tool for us to grow our lives of faith and relationships. We want to be the hope for Heavenly Parent and True Parents. So we will be.