The Words of the Tracey Family
Welcome to the Captain Training Experience!
January 27, 2006
This year saw the second class of Second Generation captains in training, running with enthusiastic support from all sides based on last year's class's success, lead by STF Commander Akira Watanabe and assisted by Kenzo Tanaka and Tolik Kazak, both Captains. This year's class was again coordinated by Mr. Watanabe and two other Captains, Roger Brinkmann, long time MFT Captain, who has been serving as a captain in STF ever since 2001 when Hyun Jin Nim took over leadership of the program, and Doran Brooks, a graduate from last year's Captain Training program.
STF was fortunate enough to be able to be provided the historic Hearst street center in Berkeley, California for housing and training our 14 new C.I.T (Captain in training) brothers and sisters, some of whose parents had themselves either joined the church or participated in workshops in that center.
The program began officially right after the October Colorado workshop with the journey back to California.
The first activity organized was a 2 day Ocean Challenge outside San Francisco Bay in which the CIT's could build teamwork, achieve goals, and experience a deeper level of God and True Parents' heart through the ocean, and the many challenges Father himself faces when he goes out fishing. Many CITs testified that they could connect deeply with Father's seriousness for God's Providence, even in amongst raging waves and pouring rain.
A 10 day intense Divine Principle Lecturing workshop followed directly after the ocean challenge, with lectures given in much more depth and directed in a way so as to prepare the CITs to be more developed in their understanding of the Principle and proficient in their lecturing. STF was very lucky to receive Rev. Hideyuki Sakai, State leader of Wisconsin, to tackle the enormous task of over 40 lectures in just 10 days. Each lecture would be at least one hour, followed by questions and answer session, then 30 minutes in which the CITs give themselves a whiteboard lecture on the content of the lecture they had just received.
The 10 days covered all chapters in the Principle as well as in depth lectures on Providential History centering on True Parents, derived from rare sources not readily available in the western movement, True Children's Course, and The Cheon Il Guk Era/Age of Settlement.
The workshop was specifically designed to enable the CITs to see how the Principle applies to their daily life and how they can use the Principle as a future captain, responsible for guiding younger brothers and sisters. They were encouraged to pull the Principle apart and get down to the core of the Principle, and even to the level of using the Principle to solve their own struggles and challenges in their life of faith. In other words, taking ownership over Principle, so it becomes their own, not just a blind or vague belief. It was a life changing experience for many.
After the Divine Principle workshop came the fundamental component of Captain Training: fundraising.
A typical day consisted of 5 AM pledge and Hoon Dok Hae which included studying Divine Principle, Father's words/Life course, Hyun Jin Nim's speeches, and testimonies from early missionaries, followed by a 21 minute prayer to digest and prepare for the day.
The CITs also had 90 minutes of Tongil Moodo training before Korean study, followed by Morning Service given by one of the Captain Training Staff.
For the rest of Captain Training, the CITs were given the goal of "Solidifying my life of faith through deepening my roots", and everyday internal goals and weekly goals the CITs themselves set, were encouraged to be directed towards achieving this overall vision. Evening reflection as a group was also aligned with this goal by cultivating deeper reflection skills-the ability to see myself and my growth clearly from God's viewpoint-and thereby giving CITs not only the ability to guide their own life of faith but through being able to analyze themselves they can be better able to probe deeper into their future members to know best how to guide them and bring out their potential. Each day the CITs would rotate being Captain of the day for their team (3 teams total) to enable them to put the knowledge they were acquiring about leadership into practice.
Another big focus of Captain Training is safe driving training, as a large part of the time guiding a team for a captain is spent behind the wheel.
Those CITs who already had driver's licenses were evaluated in their skills and awareness by a former highway patrol policeman, and those who didn't have licenses trained for them. Everyone initially trained in minivans before moving on to the big 15 passenger vans, a change for which the CITs underwent special guidance and training.
The program involved two 4 day "sub-team" conditions in which the members actually go out in the vans for 4 days and take turns being captain of the day, this time faced with the challenge of driving, giving morning service, assigning area for fundraising, organizing schedules, reporting to a central figure, as well as being responsible for the spiritual growth of their members-the challenges faced by a real captain on a daily basis. Not only is this preparing them for captainship, but also give them an opportunity to understand through experience God and True Parents' heart and situation of responsibility for all mankind by turning the pressure they feel into their own desire to break through.
The final component of the core training of the program is a 5-day super challenging fundraising course that involved intense and long hours of fundraising and on the final day, a 24 hour fundraising challenge. The real focus and objective of this super challenge is to give the CITs an opportunity to strive for excellence in their mission. Four points were given as goals:
1. Deeper understanding of God's heart
2. Ability to mobilize spirit world
3. Turn pressure into desire
4. Experience taking responsibility for God's providence
The next stage for CITs is a few weeks of witnessing experience before going to the 1st year teams.
The uniqueness and benefit of the captain training program is that it is not just training for being a captain, but it is focused on helping participants, Second Generation brothers and sisters, find their own conviction in walking a public course so that being a captain is only the first step in their road of substantially contributing to the providence in whatever mission they pursue.
True Parents and True Family have said many times how much they desire for the Second Generation, the youth of our movement, to rise up and inherit God and True Parents' tradition and mission. STF Captain Training is the fulfillment of that desire.
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