40 Years in America

Hisako Watanabe

When I came to the United States, Father spoke to Mr. Kamiyama and he organized a team to go out and sell tickets for the Carnegie Hall speech -- the tickets were about $2. We were a group of international brothers and sisters. A European sister was raped then. Sometimes it was dangerous. Sometimes people said, "Come to my apartment." I knew it was dangerous to go with them, so I didnít. We had a holy ground in Central Park. Mr. Kamiyama gathered us there, and we reported every day. We sang and gave testimonies. We sold a lot of tickets and we had a lot of hope. But very few people came. Like the Bible, the guests were invited to the wedding but they didnít come. Mr. Kamiyama said to us, "Go outside and get people to come in. Get anyone and tell them itís free. Donít sell any more tickets." Anyone who was walking by we brought in. So then all the members came inside and took seats. We were so sorry to Father that we couldnít bring people. This was our first opportunity to bring people, but it didnít work. We had a good feeling, but the reality was so miserable. One old lady stood up and spoke up negatively. It was so intense. Father didnít get upset. He was calm. I realized that Father is really the Messiah.

Then fundamental Christians had a rally against the church. Many young people were working, giving away negative pamphlets. I grabbed three or four inches of pamphlets from someoneís hand and ran to 71st St. I ran by myself -- so many blocks. I didnít want Father to have negativity. I couldnít speak back to anyone, so it was all I could do. So many people were against Father. I had never seen people organized against us before.

Back then people thought Father was Mao and that we were Chinese. Not so many people knew about Father, but the Christians could feel something and were against us. We thought the fact that so many people bought tickets meant that the people would come. We thought they paid money and they would come. We were so surprised that so few came. Mr. Kamiyama prepared a Japanese sword. He wanted to protect Father, no matter what. Whenever I am tired, I have a dream about Mr. Kamiyama coming out with a sword. Whenever I have this dream I think of Carnegie Hall. Now we have more security people.

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