The Words of the Jones Family

Service in Detroit

Jonathan Jones
September 14, 2005

On September 11, 2005 two STF brother teams led by Sasha and Ju Hyung visited the Detroit, Michigan church. We offered two spirited holy songs in front of the congregation. There was another MFT team from Ukraine, which also offered a song in their native language.

Nate Mull, a representative of second year STF, gave his testimony about his first year experience. Nate expressed how before coming to STF he always searched for joy in many different things. Through STF he realized how the joy that he sought before was false joy or temporary joy that only fulfilled his self-centered desires. He shared how the external aspect of STF lifestyle was very humbling and many times difficult for him. Through his experience he could learn to forget about himself and could find true joy through giving love rather always trying to receive.

Rev. Kasbo (state leader of Michigan) gave an inspiring sermon about the biblical figure King Josiah. Rev. Kasbo explained how we need more people like him to stand up for the wrongs in society. He used the example of some casinos developing in Detroit. In the past ministers would stand up and prevent things like this happening. That is why Blessed Families must stand up and unite just like king Josiah did. He used the phrase "what would Josiah do?" Rev Kasbo also talked about the problem in New Orleans. How his "fallen nature" wants to judge America for not listening to Father. But, he explained, Father's heart is so different. In this difficult time Father, instead of judging, seeks to comfort and bring hope for America with the 12-city tour.

After the sermon, STF sang a song that we prepared for the Detroit church. The song was based on "WE ARE THE WORLD". We put a large amount of investment in changing the lyrics in order to love and inspire the members. Afterwards, we ate a wonderful lunch prepared by the Detroit church members. Soon after, all the 2nd Generation participated in a service project that the Detroit church prepared for us. The project consisted of cleaning out a certain area behind the church. We all changed into appropriate attire and began to work. All the 2nd Generation including the STF members hauled rocks, branches and trash and threw them into the back of a large truck. Everyone organized into different groups. One group cut down brush, another dragged them to the truck where they were handed to the last group who were responsible for placing everything into the truck. The bigger branches were thrown in first and then covered up with other brush and rocks. Everyone was able to participate, even very small children who helped clean up and throw little rocks into the truck. It was a big project, yet we had so many people come and help out that it only took around an hour to finish. When we finished we all got together and played different sports that were able to involve all the 2nd Generation.

While the 2nd Generation attended the activities, the parents had a special meeting with Akirasan, one of the STF commanders, who shared his experience in raising 2nd Generation for the last 4 years. He explained how important it is for the 2nd Generation to change their habits and value system. They can be easily influenced by the fallen culture if they do not own their faith. STF does not just focus on how the 2nd Generation can meet God, but more importantly learn how they can live life centered upon God. Every year STF improves in its educational approach. This year STF is really focused on having members experience God's unconditional love through the investment of captains. They can grow more internally when they feel accepted for who they are. We began this year with a 21-day kickoff workshop that took so much investment on behalf of the STF staff. Akira san also shared how it is so important for parents to prepare for their children to go to STF and how you need to create a good relationship with your children and have the ability to share freely.

After Akirasan spoke, Ju hyung, a 3rd year 2nd Generation captain gave a life testimony on how he never appreciated his parents and the sacrifices they made for the sake of the Providence. He shared his experience of transformation on STF, how he could begin to appreciate his parent's undying faith and love for Heavenly Father. During Ju's testimony some parents were moved to tears. The parents watched a 40 min video of Rev. Jin Man Kwak when he spoke at the 21-day kickoff workshop. He put so much into trying to explain Hyun Jin Nim's heart and how much weight is on his shoulders. Rev. Jin Man used the example of Hyun Jin Nim's responsibility resembling a joint of the body. How the joint is many times under so much pressure. Throughout the presentation the parents were so serious about being attentive. The parents had a strong desire to learn more and understand about the True Family and how to educate their own children better.

When it was time to leave the STF brothers felt so drawn to the Detroit community. We all didn't want to leave. Before we left we all took a nice group picture together. There were some second gen that gathered around the van that showed a lot of interest in looking inside and asking questions that showed their great interest in STF. We could see the hope in their eyes to one day follow in the steps of their older brothers and sisters. The atmosphere was so uplifting. As we drove off we felt so appreciated seeing the kids running after our vans with bright shining faces.

Jonathan Jones (2nd year assistant)

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