The Words of the Clark Family
Three weeks ago, a group of twelve students and one teacher from the Blessed Teens Academy (BTA) left Ohio to go to Spain to give a week-long workshop to share what they had learned in their lives of faith, especially their victories and defeats while following God and True Parents. This is my experience during this historical workshop.
Because the only flight that we could find was out of New York, the students going to Spain had to drive from Ohio over to the East Coast, which ended up taking a whole day. For the few days before our plane left, we stayed at my house in northern New Jersey. One day, we drove into New York for a tour of the Manhattan Center.
After our tour, In Jin Nim arranged another tour of the church properties in Westchester County, New York. The properties, Belvedere and East Garden, were beautiful. It was incredible to see the results of all of our parents’ hard work fund-raising back in their youth. After the tours, In Jin Nim took us out to dinner, and we talked with her and her husband for over four hours about our experiences in BTA. They were so kind and kept on offering more and more to us. It was definitely one of my best moments with the true family.
The next day our flight took off. We got through security without incident, and several hours later we landed in France to switch flights. Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris is notorious for being a very confusing airport, and we can testify to that. Our flight left from the opposite end of the terminal that we landed at so we ended up running part of the way there.
After arriving in Spain, we found out about a vehicle shortage so we ended up using public transportation to get most of the way to the countryside workshop center. When we got to the workshop center, our jaws dropped in unison. It was the most beautiful property we had ever seen. On the eleven acres of land there were two big hills/small mountains with a creek running between them. Right in front of the gigantic house was a fountain and a swimming pool. Past a soccer field was an area for farm animals. There was a holy ground on a rock that resembled Pride Rock from The Lion King. We spent that first day adjusting our bodies to the time zone so we could be ready for the workshop starting on the next day.
When the workshop started, it was kind of intimidating to see all of the new faces. On that first day, it was really hard to not, without realizing it, talk only to the people I already knew. In the beginning, the language barrier was one of the toughest obstacles to overcome, but after we went into small groups the atmosphere was a lot more like a family.
The next day the lectures started. Both the Spanish and American brothers and sisters were really opened up by the way that our elders could love us so much at the same time as they were teaching Principle. I feel that throughout the workshop and through all of the lectures and activities it was really the heart that moved people, not the intellect.
The central theme of the entire workshop was "Unite into One," and what happened was exactly that. If we were trying to make horizontal relationships, then the seven days would have gone by without any meaning. But because all of the relationships that were created there centered on God, the bonds are eternally unbreakable. In math, there is the concept of a greatest common factor, which is the highest thing that two numbers have in common. For us, the highest things we had in common were not our hobbies or our personal tastes but our relationship with God and our knowledge of the Principle. It was those things that conquered our personal struggles with each other and made the workshop happen.
The workshop was definitely a major turning point in many people’s lives. I feel like the uniting of the youth in our movement from two different countries is extremely historic. This is putting into to action completely True Father’s dream of One Family under God. This is only the start of American Blessed Children making a relationship with European Blessed Children, and this will continue to grow forever. I hope that all Second Generation can realize the importance of the interconnections that we are making and the way that we affect each other through our words and actions.
by Jaren Clark, BTA student