The Words Of The Saap
Making a Difference
by John Sapp
Just last week, I started to realize that witnessing lifestyle is fun! Well, maybe fun is the wrong word -- fulfilling. When we first started, I didn't want to witness. I mean, inside I wanted to, but when we went to campuses, I "struggled" a lot. In fact, I thought it was stupid and old-fashioned to teach straight Divine Principle.
Later, I figured out that through witnessing I can learn a lot about myself. Primarily I'm weak, I don't have determination, I procrastinate too much, etc. I could go on and on, but it would just make me look bad, so I won't. Witnessing gave me the opportunity to challenge my shortcomings in everyday life, an adventure I'm still enjoying. Not only have I learned about myself, but about other people as well. I'm more assertive, and can discuss almost anything very easily. When you have approached so many people and conversed with them deeply, you gain a sense about people's spirit.
For most of the time when we were witnessing, my motivation was to better myself. Just in the last few weeks, though, I've realized how amazing witnessing is. One guest we had was a Mormon priest when we met him. He went through so much -- learning the Principle and about Father's life, and changing his faith from Mormon to Unificationist. He's not just some Joe Schmo. His life goal was to be a saint for God. He's an incredibly dedicated person. He was pretty arrogant when he went through seven day DP lectures, but he sobbed through Father's life-course videos. One thing he said was that he feels sorry for Father because, despite his greatness, his members have such low standards. I was like, "What?! Who you callin' low standard?!" I didn't really say that but I felt it. I thought about it later and realized its true. All the problems of the church came from members who didn't work hard enough or didn't five by Father's teachings. He really made me more determined to live by a high standard.
Another cool guest is a Filipino named Jun. Cool name, huh? He was studying art before he met CARP Right after the seven day workshop, he told me how his life is so clear now and that he's already figured out how to influence the future society to live a principled life through his life and art work. Whoa man I've been living with Principle for 18 years and I never thought about how I'm going to influence the future like that. I've done art all through school, but I never dedicated my art to changing the future social climate of ignorance. Jun only had 9 days learning Principle at that time and he already thought like that. Makes me think about myself How can I impact the future?
So that's where I am. Now I can see that the result from our witnessing is quite amazing; we are actually changing people's lives. Its not just the CARP members doing it, but the regular Second Generation are doing it. When I see how these people feel so fulfilled in learning the principle and experiencing the love at the CARP center, I wonder what would have happened if someone never walked up to them to witness. They would be living such a lower and unfulfilled life. We really are giving life to people.
I've still got more to learn. I'm still growing and changing all the time. I can definitely say, "My life will be better after STF." Looking at the movement's present situation, my desire to volunteer another year of STF solidifies. Simply pumping Second Generation through fundraising and witnessing doesn't insure spiritual development. Honestly, if I didn't have older BCs around this year to tell me about their first year struggles, I would have cracked early on. One second year STFer made me sick with her desire to please God and make her fundraising goal. She was just "too holy" for the likes of me. Later, however, she told me how she used to hide in her room every day and beat the guts out of her pillow crying because she. didn't want to fundraise. I realized through her that a relationship with God is not automatic, but can be built over time.
By remaining in STF for one more year, I can fill that older brother position for the incoming group. Blessed Children have incredible strength in their unity, and are eager to learn from each other. I don't know if you are aware of the urgency of Second Generation's situation, but we see our childhood friends leaving the church. The only way to change this pattern is to let experienced BC's teach life of faith. In other words, without a two year STF program, we have little hope of bringing True Parents' lineage through the next century.
If Blessed Children are to carry the virtues of True Parents on to their children and society, they must be clear in their faith. So far, clarity has come neither from the home, nor from school. So parents, don't let go of that fiery dedication I always hear about from the seventies. We aren't just here to convert people, but to teach life skills and learn life skills for ourselves.
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