The Words of the Wilson Family

Parent Testimony: My experience of STF

Andrew Wilson
September 17, 2005

I have two children in the STF program, and I cannot be more pleased with how this program has helped them develop spiritually, first of all in their faith in God and True Parents, and second in their self-confidence and ability to do God's work.

My eldest son, Theodore, graduated STF in 2004 and has spent the last year in Korea studying the language. He already had the desire to go to STF while in High School because many of his friends in the Westchester area were going, and during is Junior and Senior year of high school he became very involved in youth ministry. (He laments the decline of enthusiasm for STF among the Westchester teens and would like to return to Westchester to do youth ministry when he returns from Korea.) So it was a natural step for him to join STF. Theodore in particular gained victory in witnessing during his second year at the San Francisco center. He found a spiritual child who became a member and two others who came close. I observed him to be a person who wants to live a public life and often witnesses to younger brothers and sisters as befitting an elder brother. If you look on his Xanga site he often describes his struggles and victory and defends why 2nd gen should keep a strong life of faith. Furthermore, when Theodore went to the matching in December and received a difficult match, it has been the faith in TP that he developed on STF that has kept him strong and committed to the blessing. He takes his faith seriously. In other words, he is definitely leadership material for the movement, thanks in no small part to the training he received on STF. He may very well become a pastor or do other church missions in the future.

My second child, Lianne, just finished her first year of STF. She is a very social person who had many secular friends as well as church friends, so when she joined STF it was a real break with her former life. She made a decision to go the church way. Now she finds she has more in common with schoolmates who were Mormons and do a similar thing. Lianne is very enthusiastic about her STF life, and is thriving in the STF environment.

STF should definitely be the first choice for educating our 2nd generation. Of that I am positive, and would say it over and over again. Nevertheless, STF still needs to improve. I have seen how STF during the first year has become very sensitive to its educational mission and has de-emphasized fundraising in favor of devoting more resources into training. This is a positive sign, and it shows me that the leadership of STF is committed to our 2nd gen.

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