Articles From the July 1994 Unification News
National Tour of World CARP Vice-Presidents Jin Hun Park Moon and Sung Am Moon
May 26 - June 12, 1994
by Robert S. Kittel NYC
Within a week after the inauguration of Jin Hun Nim and Sung Am Moon as World CARP Vice-Presidents on Sunday, May 22nd [see June UNEWS] they began a national tour of American. Father wanted them to evaluate the situation of our church and its related organizations as well as to give a new spirit to our movement. The newly installed Vice- Presidents mapped out a itinerary to visit all 11 regional centers in the United States.
Staff members at our headquarters office began contacting travel agents to arrange their flight schedules, but quickly realized our efforts were in vain; Jin Hun Nim didn't want to fly but drive the length and breath of America to meet the leaders and members on their own home ground. Some close friends tried to detour him, putting up excuses such as it would take too much time or that it might be too exhausting, but Jin Hun Nim was unyielding he wanted to drive throughout the entire continental United States. Why?
When Jin Hun Nim graduated from UTS last year and Father assigned the Class of 1993 to work in the former Soviet Union, he first traveled by train throughout the 11 times zones of the world's largest nation personally meeting leaders, missionaries and members. There was no better way to get a accurate understanding of the situation of our movement there as well as a feel for the CIS than by first-hand experience.
Jin Hun Nim and Mr. Moon would need this type of hands-on understanding of both America and the American movement. (Although a UTS graduate and in this sense qualified to be called "Reverend," Sung Am Shi prefers the title Mr. Moon. To have two Rev. Moons would be confusing and anyway the name "Rev. Moon" will have to be retired with Father.)
Another reason to travel by land, was to follow Father's tradition. When Father first began his work in America he took the difficult course of driving throughout America to establish 40 holy grounds. Certainly this was an important consideration influencing their decision to travel by road. A third reason for going by car was purely financial. They literally saved thousands of dollars over the costs of airline tickets by renting a car with unlimited mileage from Hertz.
The purpose of the nationwide tour was, in essence, to have give- and- take. In giving, Jin Hun Nim and Mr. Moon would primarily meet the leaders of our American movement UC state leaders, CARP leaders, UTS graduates, as well as those in charge of AFC/ACC and the WFWP and share with them Father's hope that to revive our movement we need to get back to the basics: witnessing and education.
In each meeting Jin Hun Nim spoke first, between 2 to 4.5 hours. In most regions, before getting into his speech he asked about the activities in that region. He then spoke strongly, challenging the members on many fundamentals concepts, asking them questions like: Why did they join this church? What have they benefited by being in this movement? Did you personally gain more or loose more by being in our church? Why haven't we been able to bring new members? Why does Father work so hard?
Collective leadership and collective responsibility were stressed. He said we needed to help each other and used the analogy of a large family, saying, many of the children may be doing quite well, but still parents suffer as long as even one child is not okay. How, then, do True Parents feel with then look at the situation of the UC in America?, he would asked.
Continually, Jin Hun Nim asked members to think about Father's situation and asked, "What was the most painful experience Father has had?" He answered his own question, saying, "It was the betrayal of his closest disciples; it was like stabbing Father in the back." He went on to construe that if we don't share with others the gifts and benefits that we have received from being part of this church, then our words of gratitude are only hollow utterances. At times, member were so angered they stood up in the middle of his speech, interrupting him to defend themselves and our movement. Jin Hun Nim liked that, saying, "Good! Now we are having serious dialogue."
Over and over again he explained that the purpose of the 3,000 campus tour in America this autumn will be as a catalyst for precisely this purpose of getting us back into the witnessing and educational modes. "However," he added, "we're not running after numbers, but want to do substantial work on college campuses here in America."
Following Jin Hun Nim's address, lunch was served and it was during this time that lecturers prepared their 7-minute presentation. Jin Hun Nim and Mr. Moon then listened to hours and hours of lectures. In the combined New York City-New Jersey meeting it took nearly 7.5 hours for the more than 40 members to lecture (this included a 2-hour presentation by Dr. James Baughman regarding strategies on how to develop a speakers bureau to help fulfill the speaking tour of 3,000 campuses). In smaller regional centers they spend 3-4 hours listening to lectures, while in larger regions it was 5-6 hours. Throughout their national tour they listened to 322 Divine Principle lectures. Through this the World CARP Vice-Presidents could get a snapshot of some of the potentials as well as the problems in leadership within each region.
Although Jin Hun Nim's opening speech was strong and challenging, when the hours and hours of lecture practice were finished, he spoke again, very briefly. His heart was compassionate and I heard him ask many times, "Was I too strong when I spoke earlier?" I think he was trying to tell the members, "Look, I don't like to speak so strongly, but there are some fundamental problems in our movement and we've got to honestly examine ourselves and redirect our life of faith back to basics no matter how difficult this may be." But at the end he again reminded us that our new focus singular "Witnessing, witnessing, witnessing to young people." After this we literally threw our bags in the car and headed off to the next regional center.
In Boston, the last region we visited, Mr. Moon for the first time shared his heart. He said that to be ignorant of God's will is a bad thing, but worse still is to know God's will and not to do it. Many young people are going to die and only we know how to save them, he said. True Parents gave us the secret to save them, but we have to share it with them. In anguish he asked, "We know the Principle and we can all lecture, then why don't we?" True Father always repeats the words, "True Love, True Love, True Love," why asked Mr. Moon? Because we don't practice True Love in our church. "Please wake up! Wake up! Wake up!" he pleaded.
What were the results of their nationwide tour? In summary their travels gave them an opportunity to begin to understand the situation of our movement in America. They met many leaders and could evaluate their ability to present and defend the basic teachings of our movement. In addition:
- This might be seen as the beginning of a spiritual awakening for our movement. It does not so much depend on the tour itself, but the consequences derived from the tour. But definitely the spirit in the regional centers changed, even though we were less than a day in most centers.
- Having the Vice-Presidents of World CARP visit the members, showed their willingness to come down to the members' level and meet them where they are at. There were no fancy hotels; they stayed in the church centers. Driving day and night, going the more difficult journey, demonstrated a willingness to take on the course of personal hardship.
- Jin Hun Nim's message was clear; we are to refocus our efforts towards witnessing and teachings. He challenged the members to examine themselves, to observe the benefits they received by being in the movement, not to look back to complain or justify their situations but to look forward, and to take collective responsibility for the situation of our church today both the good and bad.
- For a number of people, it was their first chance at lecturing. New members as well as older leaders were rooted back into the Divine Principle as they studied, prepared, and actually lectured in front of a member of the True Family.
- There was also substantial inter-regional interaction. Surprisingly, but several times members of the same region didn't know each other. Everyone, of course knew the Regional Director, but sometimes they didn't know each other. These meetings provided not only the opportunity to cross state barriers, but organizational barriers too (i.e. CARP, UC, AFC/ACC, WFWP, etc.)
- Most importantly, this tour was not an end or a quick solution to serious problems. No one would be so foolish to think that. Instead, it was a beginning a desperately needed new beginning.
Originally we planned 21 days of traveling time to visit all 11 regions (assuming our first travel day was May 27th, the day we went to Washington D.C.) But Jin Hun Nim and Mr. Moon pushed themselves hard. Several times we ended up driving all night long. I was invited to travel with them and be a co-driver so, while one person drove the other two rested. Through this grueling travel schedule we completed our 21-day tour in 17 days. No only had we saved four days, we also added one meeting in San Francisco that was not originally scheduled. You can imagine the expression on the face of the Hertz agent when the lease agreement was concluded and in 17 days we had driven 8,357 miles.
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