The following report is from the President of the Unification Church in Russia.
On behalf of all Russian brothers and sisters, I would like to express gratitude to Rev. In Jin Moon for sending Rev. Phillip Schanker to Russia at the beginning of this year. We would like to also thank Rev. Tokuno, who blessed this workshop. It was the best New Year’s workshop we could imagine.
Rev. Schanker spent a few days with a St. Petersburg family and a few days with our Moscow family. Altogether, more than 300 family members attended Rev. Schanker’s presentations. This includes participants of both workshops, as well as many who joined via Internet, not only from Russia but including other countries of the Northeast region.
Our Russian movement is young, with our eldest second-generation just approaching the age of 13-14, so we can learn a lot from the American movement. We have about 530 second-generation children in Russia and we are concerned about how to raise and educate them to be successful in their life, and at the same time be loyal to our Heavenly Parent and True Parents.
Another issue for us is developing our community in Russia to be healthy, stable and spiritually oriented. Therefore, everything Rev. Schanker shared with us was so valuable and important, because it was a testimony of how Rev. In Jin Moon is reviving the American movement. We’ve learned many things about True Parents’ and True Children life course and heart. For many of us it was an eye-opening experience – particularly because Rev. Schanker was so respectful, honest, humble and sincere. His love for True Parents and for all the True Children made us feel close to them as well. I really felt that as we are growing as a community of faith and as our children are becoming mature, our connection with True Parents and True Family is vital.
An important point was to connect and become closer with the American movement, especially since True Parents expect that America and Russia should work together and create a lot of Blessed couples, starting from our first-generation and then our second-generation.
We presented to Rev. Schanker “Angels of Peace,” a Russian second-generation performance team that will dance and sing in front of True Parents for their upcoming celebrations in Korea. “Angels of Peace” was created because of Rev. In Jin Moon's inspiration; we felt that we have to teach our second-generation children Russian traditional art and culture. We hope that they will make our True Parents happy because they represent real fruits of True Parents’ sacrifices for all the former Soviet countries.
Last December our international President Hyung Jin Nim visited Russia on his way to North Korea. Although he spent just a few hours in Vladivostok, for us it was a awakening that we have to work harder in 2012 to bring glory and victory to our True Parents. We look forward to see you in Russia, knowing your deep heart and love for us!
Thank you again for sending us such a wonderful elder brother and member of our family.
Contributed by Alexei Saveliev, National leader of Unification Church in Russia.
Testimonies from Rev. Schanker’s Workshop in St. Petersburg and in Moscow:
For me the seminar was terrific. I will not describe what exactly was important for me to hear; I think it all was important. But the most important thing I gained from this workshop is that I’ve become closer to True Family in spirit. The difficulties which the True Children are going through give me a chance to feel loved by God, because at times it seems that with all the struggles they had to overcome, they had no place in the movement. But because the path True Children are going through and their relationship with True Parents, you begin to realize that your own path in life is also meaningful and all your personal victories are just as important to God and True Parents. I am really grateful for this workshop. – Ekaterina S.
Honestly speaking, I felt that this was the best kick-off seminar in my whole spiritual life. Reflecting on the seminar I find many points that touched my heart and were most important for me. Firstly, I definitely feel myself much closer to True Parents in my heart and more emotionally involved in the difficulties that True Children face after I came to understand their tremendously hard life course. Surely, I cannot fully measure it, but it feels like within these two days I’ve got to know more and could understand True Parents almost as much as I did throughout my whole life. I think knowing in detail of True Parents path helps me learning how to live with them.
Secondly, on the way back home I was reflecting on what touched me the most in Rev. Schanker’s presentations, and I realize it is his sincerity. I also realized that one could be really sincere only if he or she has nothing to hide in front of God and other people – when no shadows are cast. So, in a sense, I realized what Father means by an “absolute life” not from just words I heard many times, but through the living example of this particular person. – Ivan C.
I express my gratitude on behalf of my family for conducting this Rev.Schanker’s seminar. It has been long since someone talked with us on the church issues “in an adult way." We love our True Parents and other members of the True Family, and when something happens to them we want to know about it. All the official information we get is always extremely positive. However, the people whom we witnessed to have often said: “Let me tell you the truth of what your True Family really is.” And such things we heard shocked me a lot. Trying to ask for clarification from our elder church leaders usually ended up with them just asking us to repent in having the lack of faith. The new global age has brought us plenty of new information that was unavailable before. This new information eventually brought our mistrust in the official vertical channels of information, and we were forced to bear lots of doubts in our minds. Now, I am really glad that we are no longer considered as little kids, with whom you do not necessarily discuss the urgent Family problems. Thank you for trusting in us. We love you. – Konstantin Z.
Throughout the workshop with Rev. Schanker, I felt God’s love. It was almost as if Father came to share something important with us. I was glad that I could better understand True Father’s path as well as the specific events in his life and the life of True Children. It’s good that we could talk so openly to about it. After that meeting I felt closer to True Family, because Rev. Schanker shared some of his memories and through that he could give us a better understanding of True Parents and True Children. For me, it was inspiring to see not to an ideal person who doesn’t have any problems, but to see a person who faces and solves them. The fact he is not afraid to talk openly about them was inspiring as well. All that Rev. Schanker told us was filled with his personal life experiences. And that was very precious. I tried to catch every word he said, even if I already knew it. I liked him very much because he is a simple man with a heart full of love towards God, towards True Family and towards us all. – Tatyana M.