New Jersey Youth Ministry Hosts an Ocean Providence Education and Ocean Festival For Youth Community
Guest Writer: Jung Hae Joo - The New Jersey youth ministry, GO (God’s Own), hosted a 2-part Ocean Providence-themed youth program in June of this year. Part 1 consisted of the lectures led by two 3rd Generation youths, and the second part was a mini Ocean Festival for the GO participants. This article was written by one of these youths, Jung Hae Joo (18). She is graduating this year from high school and plans to go volunteer in Paraguay for a year before entering college.
The Ocean Providence is something of extreme importance. Just the simple fact that True Father has devoted more than half his life's work to ocean-related endeavors suggests the truth of the matter. Yet, youth in our movement today largely lack understanding of this fact, much less what they can do about it.
Without understanding the ocean’s value and why it is so important to God and True Parents but also, one’s self, there can be no passion for the ocean.
My sister, Jung Jin Joo, a 16-year old participant of the New Jersey Youth Group, God's Own (GO), initially came up with the idea to offer an Ocean Providence themed education at GO, noting the fact that basically almost none of the youths today are aware of the Providence or its contents. She brought this idea to me, and together we decided to submit a rough proposal to the NJ Youth pastor, Mr. Yasutaka Ozawa.
The Youth Pastor Ozawa immediately hopped onto the bandwagon to bring this plan into a reality. It was from March of 2021 that the planning phase began, and by the time June arrived, that plan was solidified. The Ocean Providence education plan was going to have two parts: the actual education portion, and the experience portion.
The education part consisted of me and my sister each preparing a 15-minute lecture on the topic of Ocean Providence. We did our best in creating our own lecture presentations.
My lecture touched on why and how Ocean Providence is important, and why fishing is the most effective training a human being can go through in order to become a complete person. I also talked briefly about why the present time is the Ocean Era. Below is the presentation I created and gave.
Jung Jin introduced some of the strategies and plans True Father had implemented and planned through the Ocean Providence. She also introduced the brief history of Ocean Providence. Below is the presentation she created and gave. Each lecture was about 15 minutes each. We wrapped it up with a short testimony on why we wanted to do this, and what made us passionate about Ocean Providence.
This education portion received a lot of positive feedback from not just the youth of the GO community, but also from multiple staff. The positivity and victory of the first part fueled the preparation for the next: the "experience" portion, AKA the (mini) Ocean Festival.
The goal was to not just give out information and facts about the ocean and Ocean Providence but also to somehow bring the experience of the ocean to the youth group participants. Words and lectures are of course educational, but we felt that experience and finding connection through real-life activities are much more effective.
The GO Ocean Festival
The GO Ocean Festival was held on June 12th at the Ocean Church Center in Little Ferry, NJ from 4 to 6 PM. To give a brief explanation of the event itself, it was formatted somewhat like a scavenger hunt, where participants were given a sheet of paper they had to fill with Station Masters’ signatures by completing an ocean-themed activity at each station. Accomplishing all stations led to a prize: ice cream (the good kind, too)!
There were six stations: a Good Go boat exhibition (led by Mr. Benny Axelsson), fishing hook tying (led by Mr. Javier Corona), fishing line casting (led by Mr. Andrew Fuwa), net throwing (led by Mr. Kevin Joo), painting a watercolor beach (led by Mrs. Minobu Sato), and ocean-themed origami (paper folding) (led by Ms. Hasumi Tanemori). Boat rides on the Good Go were considered, but due to the local tide situation, the idea had to be given up for the event. There also was a display of the “Ocean Providence History at a glance.”
All six of these stations were thought up by the planning team, and we are so grateful for all the station masters who came out that day to man the stations and help out with the event. This gratitude also extends to Mrs. Teiko Corona, Mr. Yoshio Ishikawa, and all the participants in the event in general. Till the very end, participants were showing determination to accomplish all of the tasks, whether that may have been because of the ice cream prize, or the actual deeper meaning behind it all.
Still, it was a new and fresh experience for many if not all the GO participants, and the positive feedback right after the event itself was a hopeful message that the Ocean Providence will be something the NJ youth can grow to be passionate about.
One of the GO staff mentioned to me after the festival was over that thanks to the event, he felt more positive about the ocean and felt more connected to it. Despite the fact that he had a slight fear of the unknown depths, the experience of the Ocean Festival led him to appreciate the ocean more.
This particular staff member is only one of many other participants in the Ocean Festival who have felt a spark in their hearts with regards to the ocean and the Ocean Providence. Though I know the ultimate goal of Ocean Providence is vast and spans the world, I think that it’s these steps forward and the victories along the way that give hope for the future of God’s Ocean Providence. While it is still contained in the small population that is NJ God’s Own, this event has set a clear precedent for similar events to happen here in the future, and eventually, for passionate youth to take on the Ocean Providence here in New Jersey.
I hope that New Jersey youths and youth programs in other parts of America (and eventually the world!) can hold these Ocean Providence-themed events, education, and training so that ALL our youths will come to know the true heart of God and True Parents who invested so much into the Ocean.
God bless, and thank you for reading!
--Jung Hae Joo