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Reflections & Testimonies

Report from the New York Holy Sitwithes Pilgrimage Tour by the Washington DC Family Church Second Generation... written by Dr. Achille Acolatse, Pastor

On Dr. Kim's invitation after the performance at the 40th Anniversary of the Washington DC Family Church, about 90 blessed children and parents of the Washington DC Family Church went on a pilgrimage at the New Yorker Hotel, Manhattan Center, Belvedere and East Garden. It was such a rich experience for the children as they got to see for themselves what they have been learning at Sunday School about True Parent's life course in America.
We arrived at the New Yorker on Friday March 30th around 3:30pm and were welcomed by Milhan Stephens, the secretary general of Subregion #1 who guided us on the tour of the New Yorker and Manhattan Center. The tour began  with a visit to Manhattan Center and New Yorker. At Manhattan Center, we were received by our president Rev. Richard Buessing who welcomed us with a big heart and smile. We saw the newly renovated high tech studios and the "log studio" specially designed and built by Hyo Jin Nim as well as the grand ballroom. At the New Yorker we visited the Heavenly USA headquarters and were warmly greeted by the leaders there and then we went to the 39th floor where we able to have a great view of NYC. We then gathered in the conference room on the third floor and received more welcoming words from Rev and Mrs. Buessing.
On Saturday March 31st, we were first greeted by East Garden staff led by Mike McDevitt and after breakfast we visited Belvedere guided by our elder brother Paul Fontaine. We learned about the history of Belvedere. We toured the training center, the main house, Hyo Jin Nim studio and prayed at the holy ground.
At lunch time, we were greeted by Demian Dunkley our vice president  who shared some welcoming words on behalf of Dr. Kim and the children put together a beautiful performance that was received with warm applause. In the afternoon we toured East Garden museum and the main house. Our youth then joined the Belvedere "Up and Coming" program.
On Easter Sunday April 1st, we joined the Belvedere Family Community service where the children performed again in front of the church members and the members were very inspired and cheered them up. We thank Dr. Kone and his team for allowing us to join and perform during the service. 
This was such a great pilgrimage for the Washington DC Family Church second generation that they will remember forever.
Galen Enow, a DC Church youth had this experience during lunch at the Belvedere main house:
"Good evening all, I just wanted to share with you all the amazing experience i had at the Belvedere main house. The last time i saw True Father was in a dream. That was before he passed away. I saw him physically. This time around, while the Washington DC was having a great time after lunch, i decided to take a little nap in the library. At the left corner, i laid down and shut my eyes for a minute. Behold, i saw True Father come into the Belvedere main house through the back doors. I saw two sisters rush to to hold both doors open as True father came in as a White circular cloud hovering over the ground. The two sisters who rushed to hold the door open, one of them was a sister working at Belvedere, the other i didnt see her well. They rushed to hold the door as if it was a rootine and they knew it was him. As i stood where the tables were placed, I watched him hover over the ground through doors into the room. This was all during the day and the time when we were all at Belvedere. So i believe while we were there, True Father was there till we left. Aju! Sincerely. Galen Enow"
The Washington DC Family Church would like to thank Heavenly Parent, True Parents, Dr. Kim, Rev and Mrs Buessing and the HQ staff, the New Yorker and Manhattan Center staffs and Belvedere and East Garden staffs for welcoming  us and taking care of us.  Thank you All!

Testimony by Mariam ( 7 years old)

To True Mother: I feel happy every day. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for inviting us to NYC. I know you miss True Father. We will pray for him. Have a good day. God bless you. Love, Mariam

Testimony by Dae-Hwa
( 9 years old)

To True Mother: I love your house and all your pictures. I always pray for you and I wish to see you one day and hear your voice. Dae-Hwa 

Testimony by Victor Babatunde
( 4 years old)

Dear True Mother, we were in NYC.  I was playing ball with  my cousin Joseph in your house responsibly. I was playing ball carefully. Thank you. Victor

Testimony by Joseph Mbongmessa
( 7 years old)

Dear True Parents thank you for inviting us to your houses. When I was at the Belvedere, I felt your spirit guiding me. I like your big room upstairs. I was  amazed that you have three houses and a big field. When I went to  East Garden it was beautiful. I like the fishes in the tank and those in the water fountain . I love the statues of the bear. Thanks. Joseph

Testimony by Wonderful Mbongmessa
( 10 years old)

True Parents, thank you for letting us sleep in your house. I hope you had a great trip to Hawaii. I was very happy of all the lectures about the True Parents and their houses. Thanks. Wonderful

Testimony by KIng Muzungu ( 15 years old)

I'm very grateful for the trip that we took to New York to see the historical buildings in East Garden, Belvedere, and the New Yorker hotel. It was a great experience and now i can add those to the list of holy sites that I've been to, including their other home in Gloucester, Massachusetts and their homes in Korea. It was a very insightful trip and I got to learn a lot on the history and where the movement comes from. King Muzungu

Testimony by Lincoln Ngoma
( 4 years old)

I vomited 3 times at Belvedere. I was sick. But I danced African dance and MJG dance for you. Saranghaeyo ~  Lincoln

Testimony by Michael Acolatse
( 17 years old)

This trip was a really good way for me in understanding more about the history of True Parents. It helped me to dig deeper into the roots of this movement and discover more about True Parents' mission. I really  appreciate Bishop Kim and True Mother for giving me this experience. Thank you very much!!!  Michael Acolatse

Testimony by Mariam ( 9 years old)

I love everything on this trip to New York. I would love to go back again. Machoura

Testimony by Danny ( 6 years old)

I like True Parents house because it's big and beautiful, also I learned how to be a good person. Danny

Testimony by Emmanuel Mbongmessa
( 11 years old)

True Mother, Thank you for letting us be in your home at East Garden and Belvedere. I like the painting of True Father when he was a young man, meeting Jesus, going to jail  and preaching. I like the Holy rock and the training center. I liked the big fishes at East Garden water fall. When I enter the room that True Parents Holy robe and the throne was, I felt their spirit. I really loved the trip. Thank you. Emmanuel

Testimony by Fatima ( 9 years old)

True Mother, we love you and I love your home and bedrooms and the fishes. I hope you have a good time in Hawaii and Thank You. Love. Fatima

Testimony by Charles Wawayou
( 17 years old)

 I really loved this little tour that really made me feel good. We visited some great places and experienced new things like the spa at King spa. I really loved our night spent together with my brothers and sisters that allowed me to know them better. If we could do that often it would be very good. Charles

Testimony by Steve Nkoue ( 9 years old)

Thank you True Mother for this trip. Thank you Bishop Kim. I really enjoyed this trip and learned something new about True Father.  I like how he studied his opponent in pool table in other to win . He didn't like to loose. I want to have the same character. Steve


Testimony by Mariam ( 9 years old)

Thank you True Mother for having thought about me. I love all your houses and I love your pictures. We love you. Ichane

Testimony by Yosei Arakawa ( 9 years old)

I am inspired about the trip to New York.I loved how we danced and sang with all our will. The trip to New York was so fun that I did not want to leave. Everyone there was so nice and welcoming. There were a lot of people that I remembered from camp and other things from the past but they remembered me and I really liked it. My brother and I practiced song and dance everyday and I had a True Parents' dream. True parents spoke to me in Korean language. I felt I have to study to understand True Parents more. Thank you for the trip to New York True Mother, Dr. Kim Dr.Achile, Mrs.Yoko Ngoma,Pastor Ndassi, my Mom, Yuriko Arakawa Every parent that participated, The teachers of Sunday School, The New Yorkers, And finally the kids that made this whole trip happen. I hope next time we all have a trip to Korea to meet TRUE MOTHER! Thank you for the trip! AJU!Yosei

Testimony by Eugene Likeng ( 15 years old)

 I had a very great experience on this trip.I was provided with the chance to encounter new people and become friends with them. On top of that, i was able to step on the same floor as True Parents and their children as well as learn about the origin of these places. It was just amazing to be able to know a little bit more about how the messiah lived and where he altered the lives of many. Eugene

Testimony by Natasha Babatunde
( 7 years old)

 Dear True Mother and Dr. Kim, thanks for inviting us to NYC. True Mother, I like the houses you bought. I felt I was in a Holy ground . I had fun going to the Holy ground. Thanks. Natasha

Testimony by Kayla Nkwe
( 9 years old)

I loved it when we talked about True Father, its very interesting and i learned to not be a sore loser. I keep on trying  till I win. the trip was awesome. The houses were amazing and hoped you like our performances. I love kings spa thank you for doing so much for us we like to offer something back to you in the name of Kayla Nkwe, Blessed Central Family. Amen Aju. Kayla

Testimony by Hanaida Ekane
( 14 years old)

Message for True Mother:
Dear True Mother, and Dr Kim thank you for inviting us, D.C. youth, to New York to learn about the history of our church. This was a great experience for me because, I got to learn more about the foundation of the church. The hardest part will have to be the stairs (so many). Thank you once again Dr Kim and True Mother. Sincerely. Hanaida

Testimony by Danielle Nkoue
( 8 years old)

Dear True Mother thank you. I hope you watch us preform. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see you in person next time. I really liked the tours I thought that they were really cool. I liked learning about you. Danielle


Testimony by Ruben Likeng ( 17 years old)

I would like to give my thanks and gratitude for giving the DC community an opportunity to experience the history and roots of our movement. It was amazing to see the inside of Belvedere, New Yorker Hotel , and East Garden. Not everyone has been able to physically set foot on the history of True Parents and witness their hard work to the making. Thank you so much. Ruben

Testimony by Hiroto Arakawa
( 12 years old)

I am inspired by the trip to New York. I loved how we performed with all our hearts. I hope to come back to New York again.  I am very happy that everyone worked there hardest and tried there best for everyone. I am thankful that Dr. Kim invited us to perform at New York and hope to come back again. I hope next time we have a trip to Korea and that True Mother is watching us. Aju!  Hiroto

Testimony by Anna Acolatse
( 14 years old)

“Thank you True Mother & Dr. Kim for inviting us to NYC & the beautiful holy sites ! I’m glad to say I got to learn more about the history and the movement of the unification church. I truly felt loved & gained more faith during this trip. I am very very grateful. I love you. We love you !” Anna

Testimony by Nelson Ngoma ( 9 years old)

Dear True Mother and Dr. Kim,
Thank you for inviting us to New York's Holy places. We had very great experiences there like sleeping at Belvedere and singing and dancing. We thank you very much. Sincerely, Nelson

Testimony by Agnes Ngoma ( 7 years old)

Thank you for inviting us to New York and we performed at East Garden. We went to Manhattan Center and we learned a lot about True Parents and things inside Manhattan Center. At Belvedere we had service and we performed. Everything was fun. Love, Agnes

Testimony by Micah Nkwe ( 6 years old)

I saw True Parent's houses, they are special places, holy places, the rocks too are holy. We ate delicious food, we sang on the stage at the New Yorker Hotel. We also had eggs hunting at Belvedere. I like it a lot, we had lot of candies.Thank you True Mother and Dr. Kim. Micah

Testimony by Jordan Sonna ( 8 years old)

I want to thank HP, TP and Bishop Kim for inviting us to visit TP houses. I loved Belvedere and East Garden and I was happy to sleep in TP house. Thank you TP. I wish we could TM and Bishop Kim and perform for them. I hope one day we could be invited to Korea for a wonderful performance. We love True Mother. Jordan

Testimony by Jordan Sonna
( 11 years old)

I had fun on this trip to New York and I also met new friends and I learned new stuff. I had a fun time. When I was playing the first activity I didn't get any points for my team which made me feel bad but i just kept on trying and trying but still didn't get anything but at least I had fun. (Jacob kadjo)



Testimony by Henry Kim
(Subregion-2, General Affairs)

It’s only been about 2 weeks since I came to USA and I’ve already experienced some events that happened in USA that showed hopes of True Parents’ works. In addition to those events, I experienced another inspiring  event this weekend with these “little angels” from Washington D.C. To be honest, even though I studied True Parents’ Teaching, saw True Mother’s speech and watched the live streaming from Senegal Africa Summit, I couldn’t deeply understand, from the bottom of my heart, about the providential meaning of Liberation Ceremony of Africa and raising African Continent in this time period. However, I deeply understood True Parents’ heart during this trip with these adorable kids. On the first day, we went to DC church without knowing there are many African American families and without knowing there are many Japanese African Second Gens! Then we headed to New Yorker Hotel and I saw all the kids with pure spirit and great energy. They were so adorable and energetic. When they were in a big hall, they roamed around the big hall, screaming and laughing. Also, I realized that Japanese African Second Gens are little bit different from other African Second Gens. They had a character of mixture of Japanese, American, and African culture. Then I thought, “I think this is what True Parents wanted. They wanted to bring different cultures into one united Heavenly Culture.” They really loved all the music studios that we visited, in Manhatten Center. They especially liked the “Log Studio” designed by Hyojinnim, and awed by many famous artists who produced their music there. On the second day, we visited East Garden and Belvedere. This was actually my second time visiting There. However, it was different from the first time. I felt deeper heart of True Parents, toward American Movement and how they really loved and still love America and truly want to raise America as the elder son nation. Also, when I saw the kids and young people learning about True Parents, I saw their seriousness. I did not know what they were thinking but I thought “they are truly the future and currently the leaders of our movement. Even though they will not fully inherit and understand True Parents’ tradition and heart from the history education given at the East Garden and Belvedere, they will someday remember this time and truly feel True Parents’ heart.” Before lunch time, DC children performed at the East Garden, big hall. They were so cute and adorable. It was so inspiring to see and hear their performance done in Korean. I knew that they were performing in Korean but I did not know that they were going to perform most of the parts in Korean. They only practiced for 2 months, once a week. I think they are very smart. Also, I knew they were cute but I did not know they were just amazingly cute. Then I thought, if they are this cute in my eyes, then how much cute they would be in TP’s and HP’s eyes! Then I thought “we really need to raise them and educate them properly. We really need to develop programs and curriculum for them. And this is what True Mother wants right now. Also, I thought I really need to work hard and help them.” Today, we attended Sunday Service at Belvedere and DC children performed in front of the church members. After the service, few of the church members came up to me and told me how they were just inspired by their performance. One of them told me that it was great to see these African younger generations rising up again because there are only about 8% left with True Mother and seeing these children inheriting the legacy of TP's is just so inspiring and hopeful. Another person talked about how she was inspired by their Korean. She said, a lot of people study Korean for some period and quit at sometime because it is really hard to learn and memorize them. However, she was awed by how these young kids did most of the performance in Korean and memorized Korean only in two months. Today, hearing from all these testimonies from different people, my heart and soul truly came up with a conclusion saying “True Mother truly opened the era of Africa by liberating and blessing Africa. In addition, the time has come for African descendants to take the ownership of TP’s legacy in building substantial CIG on earth and we really need to quickly develop proper curriculum and programs and church related things for these kids, to raise them as true leaders of CIG.”
Thank you very much for inviting me to this field trip and I truly understood that there's no barriers in CIG and this is what True Parents want and are still working for this. Thank you to all the Sunday School teachers who managed to bring this event together. It is really really really super duper hard to manage this kind of event, especially with kids. However, I am sure that this field trip will be one of their step stones towards inheriting TP and HP’s true heart. I learned so many things from this event and I would love to teach Korean to them, in the future. Please always remember spiritual world is there for them, especially True Mother liberated so many of them at the Gore island, and they will come down and support and help them in any way they can. Thank you Dr. Achille for being there like a great kind father. Please ask for help. I would love to help you in any way I can. Henry Kim, Subregion 2, General Affairs.

Testimony by Wasana Catalan
(Sunday School Teacher)

I thank you  TP  And  Dr. Kim  for  giving us  a special time to visit and tour  at Est garden and  Belvedere :3 days and 2 nights . I have a deep experence with TF .Every things that I was touching or seeing and hearing make me feel like if they were present all the times. Also i am learning  the heart of  LOVE AND FILIAL  PIETY  From elder brothers and sisters of our Heavenly Parents it make me understand deeply from my heart and soul. Wasana

Testimony by Emmaculate Mungye,
(Youth Leader)

Where do i begin? Although i have personally been to the places we visited on this historic weekend this was different. I got to experience a live recording of a song by Hillsong at the Manhattan Center...amazing! Learning about the history of East Garden, the New Yorker,  Manhattan Center and Belvedere was very insightful. I realized how much we don't know about the True Family and our movement.
At East Garden, visiting Hyo Jin's room, we saw spirits when taking pictures in his room. I made a video in the room and saw more spirits in the room, seeing all the spirits in that room really moved me. I felt that my elder brother Hyo Jin was there with us. Seeing his musical instruments and hunting arrows gave me better knowledge of him. The living room where Heung Jin's body laid before going to Korea, brought some sadness and pain but i know it was victorious in front on Heaven and Earth for his enormous sacrifice. We watched a video which included your first public speaking to members where you said members must think you are lucky to be Father's wife but don't know how much it took. You asked that the everything before that day be forgotten. I truly felt your heart Mother. All the pain you went through and all the sacrifices you made. Thank you sincerely. We miss Father and know You miss Him even more, i pray for your comfort for Father's physical  absence. Words can't express my gratitude to Bishop Kim and to You True Mother. We love you Mother, I love you! Thanks immensely, we at the DC community will eternally be grateful for investing this much in us. Heaven's Blessings now and always. With sincere love. Emaculate Mungye

Testimony by Juliette Wakaria ( African Dance Teacher)

I first just want to thank Heavenly Parents, True Parents , the Washington  Church leadership for this great opportunity. When I started the African dance class I have never imagined that this could happen . I  am so grateful. The tour in the New Yorker, in  East Garden and in Belvedere  said so much about True Parents as  the True Parents of humankind. True Parents had the opportunity to leave like a King and queen but they leave a humble life East Garden said so much on the sacrifice of True children too. This is truly an experience and a re-engagement for to my faith .Thank you Dr Kim for this special VIP treatment, the tour in New Yorker,  in Belvedere and in East Garden, thanks for King Spa. I have never been in a spa before but I think I enjoyed more than anybody because I went twice. At last I now feel more in depth. Juliette Wakaria

Testimony by Yuriko Arakawa
( Sunday School Teacher)

It was great NY Pilgrimage Holy sight tour. Thank you so much True Mother. Dr. Kim. Children and Parents learned and experienced TPs history, spirit and heart.
Children inspired to everything they learned and watched even a small goldfish at the East garden as " True Parents goldfish". Everything they thought and imagined connect to True Parents. It was beautiful! And we visited Hyo Jin Nim's Museum and they felt more close to Hyo Jin nim. Children prepared almost Korean performance for True Mother. Because if they speak their parents mother tongue, their grandparents are happy. This is Exactly same as True Mother. If they spoke in Korean languages, True Mother must be happy. To make True Mother happy and to give her hope, Children Practice Korean song and speech joyfully. However, it was very challenging for them. Through Everyday's practice, they learned "Jeong seong" and "sincere devotion".  Parents had to remind them to practice everyday and Parents also inspired their pure and sincere heart for True Mother. I was very inspired when each Middle schooler memorized one sentence of Crown of Glory and they thought about only one sentence but such a profound meaning. I'd like to raise our children as True Mother want to. Because our children are not our own children but children of Heavenly Parents and True Parents. When our children love True Parents, be proud of True Parents and testify about True Parents, we feel happy. This tour brought strong unity among our Community, and Especially, through everyday's Prayer condition, we felt the protection of the whole tour. Thank you so much again True Mother and Dr. Kim gave us such a beautiful opportunity to trip to NY! And, Thank you so much Pastor Team work so hard to make this trip possible and all SS team, Parents and also beautiful Children of Heavenly Parents and True parents. Yuriko

Testimony by Elizabeth Aihe
(Chairwoman WFWP DC Chapter)

The 2nd Generation Pilgrimage to New York was a beautiful experience. Brothers and sisters received us well at Manhattan center, Belvedere and East Garden; they shared about the history of these places. Both the children and us the adults learned a lot. Watching video clips of True Father speaking at Belvedere to brothers and sisters in the same room we were sitting moved my heart; our children saw how funny True Father could be when teaching DP.We saw rooms and old photos of True Family and connected to them. The Washington DC 2nd Gen (ages 4-17) had the opportunity to learn more about True Parents and the providence in America. It was an honor to have our children perform for True Mother at East Garden even though True Mother was not there and also at Belvedere during Sunday service.I was grateful to recite and offer "Mother of Mine" poem I wrote for True Mother. I offered the poem on behalf of WFWP. Though out the tour I felt True Parent's Love. Thank you True Parents! Thank you Dr. Kim for arranging the tour. Elizabeth Aihe, Chairwoman, WFWP DC chapter

Testimony by Meseret Atnafu
( Sunday School Principal)

First time in history, second generation of Washington DC, Family Church, gave hope to HP& TPs, Dr. Kim & the world. I would like to thank all the teachers of Washington DC Family Church  who have sacrificed for its Sunday school each Sunday. May HP & TPs bless all. Meseret Atnafu