From March 30 to April 1, after receiving an invitation from Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, 90 young Unificationists and their families traveled to New York to visit places of historical and spiritual significance to the Unification movement. The youth, who ranged in age from four to seventeen years old, had each learned about True Parents’ lives and were excited to walk in the same places they had once worked and lived.
“It was such a rich experience for the children as they got to see for themselves what they have been learning at Sunday School about True Parent’s life course in America,” said Dr. Achille Acolaste, Pastor of the Washington, D.C. Family Church.
After taking tours of both the New Yorker Hotel and the Manhattan Center, they traveled west to East Garden and to Belvedere, where they performed a song and dance for their tour guides and chaperones. On Saturday night, the youth joined other young Unificationists from the New York area at their Up and Coming youth program, where they played games and participated in an Easter Egg hunt.
On Easter Sunday, the children once again performed their song and dance routine, this time in front of the New York Church’s congregation. “I loved how we danced and sang with all our will,” said Yosei Arakawa, age 9. “The trip to New York was so fun that I did not want to leave.”
The older youth had deeply moving experiences, and some even reported having dreams about True Father during the weekend. “This trip was a really good way for me understand more about the history of True Parents. It helped me to dig deeper into the roots of this movement and discover more about True Parents’ mission,” said Michael Acolatse, age 17. Ruben Likeng, also age 17, agrees. “I would like to give my thanks and gratitude for giving the DC Community an opportunity to experience the history and roots of our movement,” he said. “It was amazing to see the inside of Belvedere, the New Yorker Hotel, and East Garden.”
“I had a very great experience on this trip.I was provided with the chance to encounter new people an become friends with them. On top of that, i was able to step on the same floor as True Parents and their children as well as learn about the origin of these places. It was just amazing to be able to know a little bit more about how the messiah lived and where he altered the lives of many.”–Eugene Likeng
“This tour brought strong unity among our community, We felt the protection of God during the whole tour. Thank you so much again True Mother and Dr. Kim gave us such a beautiful opportunity to trip to New York.” –Yuriko Arakawa
“Both the children and the adults learned a lot. Watching video clips of True Father speaking at Belvedere in the same room we were sitting in moved my heart; our children saw how funny True Father could be when teaching Divine Principle. We saw rooms and old photos of True Family and connected to them.” –Elizabeth Aihe