The STF year begins with a 1 week workshop followed by 2 weeks of fundraising. During those 2 weeks the STF members are divided in 6 teams of about 6-7 people including the team leaders. This year we have a bigger number of 2nd years so not everyone of them can team lead. For this reason we created a “Top Gun team” made of only 2nd years who have the role to show the example to everybody else and keep the highest standard.
This first period of fundraising is in MFT style, which means that the STF members experience living and sleeping in the van and in tents. After this Kick off period , the guys meet back in the STF house and have a short workshop, before leaving for a longer fund raising period , where they don’t do MFT but they sleep in houses.
The kick off is usually where the 1st years in STF experience fund raising for the first time and some of them shared their experiences in front of the whole group and inspired everyone so I thought about sharing those testimonies so to inspire many others.
Hannes Thurner 2nd Year
My name is Hannes 성원Thurner from Germany, I am 19 years old and I’m doing a second year of STF. The goal I set for the Kick-Off Condition was to “Be a True Owner” because I wanted to take ownership and responsibility for my current situation, having struggled with fundraising (만물복귀) from 2nd Year Training in my previous STF year.
I was in the “Top Gun” Team – a team made out of only second year STF members. In the beginning, I was confused why I was in this team. I expected that a 2nd year on STF means to only lead a team, but that’s not the case with this team. I saw no purpose with this team and no purpose for me on STF. On top of that I still struggled to find any motivation in investing and approaching people during fundraising. I got stuck in a hole of thoughts created by my mind, where I couldn’t find any solutions, which resulted in lack of love and self accusation.
After one week, we spent the weekend at the STF house in Gaflenz and received some guidance from our Commanders (3rd Years). There were two main points that stood out and made me reflect. The first, was “To imagine and believe that I can be the best”. – I wanted to be the “best Hannes” I could be and not comparing to others. The other point was “To change my motivation, perspective and attitude”.
After this, it was a new week which began with rain. I still felt devastated and in addition to that I was team leader for that day. I had a very bad start to the day, but I remembered again from the guidance I received, that I had to change my attitude. So while we were driving in the van, I changed it to gratitude.
I don’t know what motivated me. If it was just my pride, being team leader, my morning service, the 1st years, investing for God or even for myself – I don’t know, but I was again able to fundraise and invest without any barriers. I felt internally elevated and thus by fulfilling my responsibility, God could work through me and bring substantial results. I was back in the game.
In the end I could realize that in every difficult situation, there is always a purpose and God gives you challenges because He knows you can overcome it. Also our attitude determines our destiny, it’s up to us with what kind of heart we face difficulties. I could also invest for someone or something I couldn’t see, but at the end I know it wasn’t wasted because with my actions I could set the right conditions or even just inspire someone else. If I take ownership and fulfill my responsibility, no one can accuse me, not even Satan because I literally own it.
The motto of this Condition was to “Ignite my Potential” and I really felt that I could ignite my potential again.
Thank you very much.
Francesc Babi 1st year
These 2 weeks of MFT were amazing, I could realize and understand a lot of things. I had two conditional goals, the first was “To see and understand how God and the spiritual world work, and the second was “To gain confidence by improving my social skills.” I was very excited to start MFT, travel in a van, sleep in a tent and eat simple food… I actually thought it was going to be easier, but definitely not as spiritual and deep as I found it. I started Manmulboki very focused with God and the spiritual world in my mind, because my mom always stressed to me the importance of it.
At the beginning I didn’t know the purpose of Manmulboki, so I was doing it without having a real purpose, however I found everything changes when you discover the real meaning of Manmulboki- when you actually experience it. I could realize that all my investment was worthwhile and even though I couldn’t see it immediately coming back, I just kept going. I found that, if in one day you invest with your heart and you don’t receive anything positive, all of a sudden the next day if you really focus on your internal goal, every second you invest- blessing can come.
I also experienced how in just 10 minutes, you can impact people and touch their hearts. One day I could talk with Patrick, a man who I met during night time Manmulboki, he was amazed and fascinated about what we were doing. I could tell he regretted not travelling and meeting new people this way in his life, although when he left after making a restoration, he seemed happy for us and inspired by us to the same.
In this kick off I had a lot of experiences about people who asked me if I had read the bible. The last Saturday before returning to the van I met a Jewish family with a son. They actually were not able restore anything because they were celebrating Sabbath, and the sun had not set at the moment. We started to talk about the bible and then I explained to them about Divine Principle. They were very interested so they gave me their personal contact, so we could stay in touch. In the end of the conversation, their son asked me about the price of one card because he wanted to buy one. I was confused because I didn’t understand why they were able to buy something, if they can’t buy during Sabbath. However it was because Sabbath was over, the sun went down from the moment we started to talk to the end of the conversation. I couldn’t believe it! I remember the last words the man told were: “God bless you“. I just felt so grateful and high that I even started to run to the next houses with tears of joy in my eyes. I could see that God and the spiritual world are always ready to help us, but we just need to open our hands in order to receive their help.
In this condition I really appreciated the team unity we had, it was so good to give and receive in return such a big amount of love. The environment in the team was so strong that every morning I woke up happy, ready to confront the challenges together and share the experiences everyone had. In the end, I learnt that you have to trust God and the spiritual world, because they are going to be the ones who keep you on track. I guess that was my main motivation- I wanted to help my ancestors that are working through us.
Finally the best thing I could learn, was that God is going to give us all blessings when you least expect it. It is like a cup of water- if our cup is already full, God can’t give us more water, we need to give this water to other people so God can help us to get a bigger cup and take more water to give out- so we have to give out love to others in order to receive more from in return and keep going. For the future I hope to have bigger surprises and more deeper experiences in order to grow much more!
Barnaba Czyszczoń 1st year
Hello, my name is Barnaba and I am from Poland. This is my first year on STF, a few days ago we finished our “Kick off” condition together with my team we spent this time in Salzburg, Austria. It was my first experience with Manmulboki- so I was really excited to learn a lot of new things. In this condition I had two goals: The first one was “Never give up“ and this was sometimes quite difficult..
We had a lot of external challenges to overcome: we slept in the van- as it rained a lot sometimes, we didn’t have many opportunities to have showers and we spent a lot of energy in Manmulboki. When my parents were younger they also invested a lot of time into fundraising and witnessing. They told me very inspiring stories about this time, however not mentioning too much about the difficulties of Manmulboki. Despite the fact that the goal “Never give up“ was hard, I always tried not think about this- whenever I had hard times or any hard situation.
My second goal was “To represent God“ I wanted that when I went out for Manmulboki, that I did it not only for myself, but also for another people and to have this mind set: “I represent my team, family, my country, our tradition, True Parents and God.”
So when I met new people I thought “how can I share with them about love of God.” I experienced I’m never alone, God and spiritual world are always with me. On the last day of Manmulboki I found myself in a really good situation, before we had our Sunday. I met a woman when she was walking on the side of the road, I came running to her and I said my Manmulboki line. After this we had a really amazing conversation, she reminded me a little bit of my grandmother and she said I was like a son to her, then as she was asking me about my travel and our time in Europe she gave me 100 chf to support my community.
But the most important thing she said to me, was that she will always remember me and she will pray for me. I learned that the time spent in Manmulboki is not only for my own experience, it’s a time to show and share the love of God with others. I’m really grateful for this time, and I will give my best in this next condition.
Henrique Gomes 1st year
The beginning of this “Kick off condition“ was very difficult for me, because I had never done Manmulboki or Witnessing before- so I was a little worried but at the same time I was excited to go to Switzerland. Athough I also felt at times very conflicted, and this affected how I did things and how I related to the people around me. It also affected my performance during the runs of Manmulboki.
In the few first days thing were not going so well, my external result was quite low compared to the rest of my team , so I started to loose motivation. I then started to pray and ask God “What am I doing wrong at this point?“ in that moment I remembered my conditional goal “Never give up and never loose motivation“ after that I could relalize : If i don’t change myself , nothing else will. So I started with altering my mindset and how I was doing things and then i could feel the difference, my relationship with the team became better, and my Manmulboki runs felt more hopeful and not so exhausting .
The questions I asked to God, I recieved the answers in the morning services , I could understand better what I was doing wrong, focus then fix it. I started to concentrate more on the internal things rather than the external results. Since then, I began to do Manmulboki without focusing on myself but instead on the people and on God. An this point I could really start to enjoy Manmulboki and how it helps me a lot to grow spiritually and improve my connection with God.
Noemia Alves 1st year
This was how my kick off Manmulboki condtion went. First of alI I think that the term “Kick off“ was a perfect description of these two weeks. I did personal fundraising before, but now this was completely different. I had a totally new experience, new feelings and most of all the new things I could learn.
My conditional goal was to learn how “To love people and bring this joy to God.“ Actually I didn’t know how to practically achieve this goal, but I wanted to discover how to do it day by day. I can divide my kick off into 2 parts by the first week and the second one. I named the first: “Trying to understand.“ In the beginning thought- yes! i’m gonna to do this, restoring cards and giving love to the people ! but it wasn’t like this …The first week was good, I enjoyed it- but not completely, I put in all my energy but I couldn’t reach my external goal and maybe also the internal. Everyday I felt “Noemia , you can do more!“
One meaningful time on a Friday I set my goal as “I believe“, which meant – to believe in the people, in myself, in the area and to trust God. That day was very difficult, both externally and internally, all the houses were empty and I received a lot of rejections. The day after my team leader set the the team goal as “I believe“ and again that day was so hard. I thought that was a meaning behind this goal and that God was trying to tell me something. So I took time to reflect about this and then I realized that I was doing something wrong, my problem was that I was overthinking- instead of believing in myself, I was focused on “why is this not working? What I am doing wrong?“ Which was like a negative circle of thoughts which was dragging me down. So in this way coming to the end of the first week, I told myself “I don’t want to waste time, now I have just one week, I promised to myself and God that I would do my best , now I will give my 100% to be better.“
I realized from this, that the first step to fulfill my conditional goal was to work on myself and overcome limitations in my mind, because I needed to love, accept and believe in myself to be able to share love with people and make God’s happy. From then on- the start of the second part of my kick off began , the title I gave it was “powerful.“ I started the second week with a completely different mindset, the desire to do better and maintain a positive mind. The first day even though my result was not so high I felt like- this is really Manmulboki!
The day after that was the best one, the morning service inspired me alot the title was “we are God’s children“ and my own internal goal was “unstoppable for God.“ That day was the first day we were going alone for four hours, during this time I had the possibility to think and reflect. For my whole life I was wondering “Who I am?“ I realized then the answer was always there in front of me, but I couldn’t see it and I wanted to say thank you to my team who helped me look at myself as God’s daughter.
In that time, under the rain I thought “why am I here?“ “Why am I doing this?“ And suddednly “yes it is because I am God’s daughter! I am here for Him!“ So in this way I started to talk with God and I asked one thing: “I am doing well?“ In that moment an old lady open the door, I didn’t even finish my line and she gave me a donation and after said “I know that is difficult what you are doing, but it is beautiful“ she kept my hand and I felt like she wanted to care of me like a mother, and at the end she said “God bless you!“ for me this was the answer from God, “yes! You are doing well, keep going!” During this time it was a challenge, but I could grow a little bit more every day and I notice that also my external result was growing with me.
Through this I could understand that everything is possible , if you do your best something in some way, for sure come back to you. Also with your attitude you can really influence the environment around you. In the end, I am grateful for this experience because I realized personally what Manmukboki means and I completely changed my point of view. Now I am ready for the 1st condition, and I’m ready to feel new experiences and do my best!
Alma Galasso 1st year
The 2 weeks of my starting condition for me where completely focused on God. My conditional goal was to “fully trust God.” I wanted to be closer to Him, to establish a deeper relationship. The first week was quite interesting, no matter how many hours there were, for me the first half of the run were only rejections and I couldn’t always restore anything . However because of my goal, I could in any case keep going, without having any kind of worries or sad feeling. I wanted to trust God and show to him that he could also trust me, I was sure that at some point he would have helped me and it was indeed like this. The first donations of the day was most of the time the exact amount I needed to reach my external goal, this gave me a lot of confidence for starting the condition.
One experience I would like to share was this particular day, It was a very emotional day for me, my team knew that, I was crying since the moment I woke up until the last sharing of the day. I was really in a bad mood. This was because I had some personal problems which concerned me, all the rejections of the past days we building up, but actually that day my goal was “be strong.”
The first four hours were interesting , but it was pretty good- everyone bought, I thought in the beginning that maybe God was trying to comfort me, but I only actually understood the real reason of the first half of the day because of the second half. The second half of the day was really bad, it was just 4 hours of rejection, because of this I was in a bad mood, it was door after door, rejection after rejection I was feeling more and more bad, I was internally breaking apart. I almost reached my limit and started thinking deeply “Ok, now I’ll stop. I can’t stand this any more it’s too difficult, I don’t want to suffer any more.” Then I said to God “If the next house wont be a restoration, I will really stop”. It was hours that I had only rejections, but the next house was a donation. My first donation of the 2nd half of the day I was surprised … so God wants me to continue.
I didn’t want to betray God and I wanted to keep my promise, the only thing I could do was to change my mindset, I realized I had forgotten the true purpose of Manmulboki. I was focusing only on myself, my sorrow , and not any more in God. I then started thinking and telling myself “If you stop now, if you give up now, what will you do tomorrow? And the day after tomorrow and so on?” In the end I managed to finish the with a few donations . Although my mood was bad, and even though the rejections were really hard and painful, I managed to arrive at the end of the day a with a great surprise – I managed to reach my external goal. As I mentioned that day I was really emotional because I was looking for one answer from God, and would not have gotten it if I didn’t reach my external goal, receiving God’s answer that day was my best highlight of the condition.
That day I realized a lot of things. First of all my personal realization, I understood that I am actually strong, if I unite my mind and body and focus/centring on God. Also I realised how much you should feel grateful for even the smallest donation, of 1 chf or even 1 cent, because it could be that little donation that makes the difference in reaching your goals or not.
The last and most important thing I learnt was: No matter how hard or painful the situation may be, never give up. Be sure that God is preparing a person for you, we have to take responsibility and go to find him for the sake of God and of that person. This day was definitely the turning point of my condition. In the end of the condition I could carry on improving day by day both in my internal and external goal.
One of the lessons I’ll keep in my heart and mind for the next conditions will be one thing that my team leader said to me: The best act of trust you can show to God, is to completely leave yourself in his hands, just don’t think too much, share your love and God’s love to the people you meet and give every time your very best. I could really enjoy this time also thanks to my team.
Everyone of us has different personalities , ways of being. The same was in my team and it was so amazing to see how we could in any case get along well together, creating such a harmonious atmosphere and unity. I learned and laughed a lot with them and was happy I could share together our first Manmulboki experience of this year. Now I can’t wait for the next condition.
Let’s enjoy and do our best!