40 Years in America

Mary Ann Schaffer-Wigton

Fundraising, witnessing, communal living, unison prayer, mobilizing for festivals and events at a momentís notice, intimate meetings with the messiah and his bride sitting on the floor of their living room in Pasadena shoulder to shoulder with other members... fighting to stay awake to listen to every word He has to say, fasting, going on faith alone because if the messiah said we could do these great and wonderful things...we could...we did.... People couldnít believe what we could accomplish in such a short time.... It proved to many of us that God really is alive.

I was approached by a businessman in a grocery store parking lot who had been watching me sell candy. He said that he wanted to hire me and commented that the "Moonies" are the hardest working and happiest people he had ever seen and that there must be something good about this man we followed.

These experiences gave a richness to my life and helped me to become a better person, and a deeper person. There is no amount of money that can buy this kind of richness. It was Fatherís gift to me. My birth parents couldnít provide me with this for fear they would lose my love.... They didnít know the truth.

Father came to me in spirit once after I had worked long hard hours and felt like no one knew. We were driving home to California (straight through...not stopping except to get gas and use the toilet...sleeping in the sardine- packed van as we rumbled along) from New York after accomplishing Yankee Stadium in 1976. I had had a not-so-special mission to help clean up the New Yorker Hotel that had just been purchased. I knew how hard I had worked but I didnít think anyone else but God noticed. Father came to me in spirit and kissed my cheek and said "thank you." He made me cry in gratitude for His visit. I can still feel the soft kiss on my cheek when I think about Father.

I ran out of product once (candy) and I sold the empty carrying box for $5 to a delightful, and very happy woman, then started asking for donations with no product. That was in í76 when $5 was $5. I was high on God that night.

Oh, treasured memories. I would like to thank those who have stuck it through for so many years and made it possible for Father to succeed. Even with my treasured memories I left the fold...for reasons that I canít blame anyone but myself. Following the messiah is a life full of richness, but it is not at all easy.

Three full bows to those who have stuck with it through thick and thin for so many years. Nothing has shaken your faith. Job well done.

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