The Words of the Fefferman Family
I Know My Roots - DC BC High School Workshop
January 1, 2008
December 27th -- January 1st Workshops give us the opportunity to go where we can shine. The world around us is clouded with so much smog and pollution that our inner hearts get overwhelmed. Our hearts stop working as well because the air isn't healthy for us. And unfortunately, most of us can barely breathe in the world. That's why I feel workshops are so important. They give people a chance to breathe.
This workshop was special. We had 66 kids, 13 full time staff, and beautiful camp scenery to enhance the experience. The chance to bring Virginia and Maryland communities together was refreshing. And though in the beginning we definitely saw ourselves as two completely different communities, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are all one big family now. One of the main topics we discussed at the workshop was that True Parents are our roots.
And if we have the same roots that literally makes us all part of the same family tree. And we are.
Workshops are challenging, this one included. But we did everything we could for our younger brothers and sisters.
Murphyís Law seems to be a constant in workshops, and I have to say that we have gotten extremely talented at "going with the flow" when things go wrong.
But the truth of the matter is that God has our back. In preparing for this workshop I felt a constant push from Heavenly Father; like he had been waiting for us to do this workshop. I really felt his desperate heart to be with His children. And I also feel like the many conditions our staff did in preparation for this workshop allowed spirit world to bless us and provide an amazing, and safe atmosphere.
Youth at our workshop had life changing experiences, and that is beautiful. We always hope we can provide environments where our brothers and sisters can "see the burning bush" and realize how special their life is. I feel everyone needs a break and a chance to take a look at their hearts and spirits and think.
For once I think these kids actually felt connected to True Parents. I truly believe that we set a foundation for our brothers and sisters to make their choice, just like our parents did. We are witnessing, and that's what being a youth minister is about: witnessing to people who haven't had a chance to see the miracles of our own community.
I cannot wait to see the results of this workshop in the months to come.
Our youth are amazing.
God is amazing.
And this workshop was amazing. Before sharing some excerpts from workshop reflections Iíd like to share a basic overview of what took place at this workshop.
1. Prerequisites: We had all the participants complete 3 prerequisites prior to attending the workshop: write a letter to True Parents, interview a parent or elder and ask them how they joined the church, and serve your parents in 3 ways. Prerequisites, in our opinion, serve as spiritual conditions for the sake of everyoneís experience at the workshop, and they also help all of the participants to begin thinking about the workshop before they get here.
2. Mission Impossible: At the workshop, teams spent 2 days by themselves completing mission impossible objectives geared towards building a foundation of faith and a foundation of substance. Once they completed their objectives they came back to the camp and then had the foundation to receive the Messiah.
3. Meat of the Workshop: The workshop was full of talks, lectures, and testimonies from 1st Gen and 2nd Gen that focused on True Parents heart and having a relationship with True Parents. We had a day- long experiential hike showing Jesusí and True Fatherís course which turned out to be more moving than we expected. We had an amazing bonfire on Godís Day night where Godís love freely flowed between the entire workshop. And so much more.
And now for the reflections which will be kept anonymous for the sake of not embarrassing anyone who might not want to be published:
I have to be honest; this was a really sweet workshop. I really liked the team bonding exercises that we did on the first two days and even though they seemed impossible at first, it was so sweet when we finally accomplished it.
The lectures were awesome and really helped me grow, especially since before I came to the workshop, when I wrote my prerequisites, I began to realize that I really didnít know the True Family very well. Everything at this workshop helped me to bring my faith back and I thank you so much. The song singing was great and it was festive. On Godís Day at midnight when everyone was singing around the fire, I went off on my own by the benches and had a deep prayer by myself. That prayer, backed up with all of the spiritual energy that we had all camp was the first truly sincere prayer that Iíve had in my life and I actually cried, which is something that does not come easily for me. Once again, I would truly and sincerely from the bottom of my heart like to thank you for such a sweet workshop where I was able to meet more BCís from Maryland and Virginia areas. This was a truly amazing workshop.
My workshop experience was probably the best Iíve had so far. I feel like Iíve learned so much more about the church and True Parents. Of course, I struggled a lot when we fundraised and when we played unity ball in the rain. I found myself getting frustrated and negative. When I look back though, I realize how much more True Father suffered in the prison camp. Every moment I suffered gave me a peek into True Fatherís life and I canít even begin to imagine how Father could possibly survive through so much. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the workshop, and I will clearly remember it for years to come.
This workshop was very very inspiring and SO AMAZING! I really truly felt that I was part of an amazing thing. Coming from VA made me at first feel that I would just stick with my VA friends. But I was so wrong. I really felt like MD/VA were me and it didnít matter that VA community was so small. I really loved the testimonies and lectures. Some were way too long, but I just realized so much from them about why Iím here and my purpose. The whole workshop experience meant truly so much to me. I liked having the first two days to bond with my group and then really enjoyed the sports, food, small group challenges and feeling that I belong here. I canít wait to come to another workshop like this. And I will really try and use what Iíve gained here in my life when I get home. Staying here for 5/6 days felt like a few weeks, but in the end I felt like it was too short. I will miss Camp Letts and everyone a lot. I feel a lot more confidence in myself already from this experience, which is really great for me because my main goal for 2008 is already being made. Thank you!
Overall I was very impressed with the dedication, positive attitude, and energy of the staff. Because of it, the workshopís pace never felt slow or unprepared. The food was great, the testimonies moving, and the lectures encouraging and thought-provoking. My only regret is that it all had to end so soon. Inviting/coordinating with VA BCís enlarged our community and I think some long lasting relationships have begun here. I feel that itís very important to start each year with the mindset instilled here. I canít wait to see what you have in store for us next year! 5 out of 5! Youíve helped me realize that itís not that impossible.
I feel this workshop was very helpful and meaningful to me. The testimonies and way of life conveyed to us really spoke true to me- I definitely gained a lot by coming. Initially I didnítí want to come because I was set in my ways and comfortable with my lifestyle, not to mention it was almost my entire break, 6 days! I came to the workshop not expecting anything but a little resentful. I was also searching for something I could take with me and I found it. I know that I need to change so many things in my life, but going about changing them is going to be a challenge for me. I also feel very disconnected with BCís my age and church on Sundays is lame. So I know I have to work very hard to keep it going. Thanks for this experience. It was very meaningful and gave me a better understanding. I needed this.
The best prayer so far in my life has taken place here at this workshop in the rain, freezing cold, holding on to a tree. There were no words, just feelings. My goal for this workshop was to have an experience with God. And I know that I have. Itís something totally real that I can take home with me. Iím so grateful.
I really feel like I learned a lot and Iím ready to start the New Year with new motivation and try to become a true person. I had been so confused within myself before I came and I really felt like it helped me clarify in my head. I really loved the challenges and creating a great bond with my team. Within my team I felt trust and comfort. I didnít want to come here, but I am SO glad I did.
I feel like kicking myself for staying this, and I know, itís the most lame sounding thing a guy like me could possibly write, but itís 100% true, despite how typical and embarrassed it makes me feelÖ. This workshop might be the single most important church function Iíve ever been to in my entire life.
Honestly, Iím at a point in my life where thereís the potential to either completely screw up or do the right thing. Iím being case into almost every situation that was brought up in this workshop concerning high school life. Everything. As I reflect I can almost close my eyes and see how I was slowly slipping away from all that I thought was the right way in the past year. This workshop came at the perfect time for me and I feel like I now have the determination and strength to change and focus on who I want to become. I think what Iím trying to say is that this workshop is probably the only time Iíve ever truly had the desire and zeal to better myself because I finally understand what my life mans. Yeah, this workshop pretty much turned my life around.