The Words of the Portelance Family
From June 20 to July 10, 1984, the first 21-day workshop for blessed children was held in Tarrytown, New York, at Belvedere. A total of about 52 members attended, including six of the True Children. The workshop was coordinated by Hyo Jin Nim and organized by Mr. Dae Gil Lee. One day was set aside for fundraising, to take place on Friday, July 6, and Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak asked Mr. Ryoji Sawamukai of the National Mobile Fundraising Department to organize this day centering on the MFT tradition. Mr. Sawamukai then chose five brothers to lead teams of blessed children for this historic day of fundraising. These five brothers were: Mr. Tetsuaki Izukawa, MFT Commander in Philadelphia; Roger Bair, a commander in Washington, D.C.; Roddy Portelance; Chris Ogden; and David Burke.
From the moment I first entered the training center at Belvedere and spoke to Jin Whi Nim, to the final meeting with Mr. Sawamukai, our day was filled with one stimulating experience after another.
There is no question in my mind about the high spiritual level that these children of our elder blessed couples are on, but I quickly learned that this in no way should be made into a barrier that separates us from each other. Just as we all need give and take with other brothers and sisters in order to grow and develop, so do they.
For many of them, I learned, it was the first time they could meet and be with each other due to the vast responsibilities of their parents and the fact that they have been traveling all over the world. I can only imagine the incredible pressure they must feel wanting to serve True Parents so well in everything they undertake, and from what I could gather they seem to excel in everything they do. However, it also seemed to me that there was an incredible hunger on their part to experience, even for just a few short hours, what our brothers and sisters on MFT and other missions experience every day. Although for some it was not their first fundraising experience, it was for others, so the impact of reality versus concept really made an impression. Afterwards, each one expressed a deep appreciation to MFT members who have been doing this mission for many years.
All of us captains were encouraged to respect their position as blessed children, but at the same time show them the strict standard and discipline of the MFT life. I must admit that it was not exactly easy to be as strict with them as it was with other teams I have led in the past, especially with Father's son sitting right next to me asking if he could play his favorite "rock-n-roll" station on the way to our fundraising area. I have not thought of that as being a very spiritually uplifting way to prepare for a day of fundraising, so 1 was very relieved when he agreed to wait until we were on our way home to turn on the radio.
The members on my team were Kook Jin Moon, Jin Bok Lee, Samuel Pak, In Ho Park, Jin Nam Hwang, Ye Sook Lee, He Oug Chi, Sun Hee Woo, and Koon Sook Choi.
We went out for two periods of about 2 1/2 hours each. As far as I know there were no MFT records broken (in the first period of shop-to-shop only three people made any result), but the whole experience proved to be very fruitful indeed. Their courage, determination and desire was truly something to behold, not to mention their humility and perseverance when the result didn't come. During the next period in the house-to-house area everyone "broke through" and shared many of their experiences of Principle in action. In short, because of their faith and effort, I felt like I was leading a team of junior Sun Myung Moons. I could really feel a sense of hope for the world as the time is quickly approaching for all of these blessed children to inherit responsibilities in the task of restoration.
I am very sorry that the foundation we have prepared for these children of God in America is so meager, but during this experience I felt that if from now we really work hard to expand that foundation they will undoubtedly lead us and our children to victory.
I would like to encourage everyone to have as much give and take with blessed children as possible whenever the opportunity arises. There is so much that we can learn through their purity of heart, and I believe we have a certain responsibility in helping to care for their well- being. If we can unite on this level and understand our Father's heart more deeply through them then I am confident that Heung Jin Nim and all of the spirit world will be stimulated to work with us to a greater degree.
Again, I am very grateful to all the blessed children and my central figures who made this day possible. I look for- ward to sharing these experiences with others and perhaps more opportunities for this type of activity in the future.
Two teams of blessed children heading out to fundraise. Left: Mr. Izukawa's team and right: Mr. Roger Bair's team.
This July I was given an exciting mission to lead a team of blessed children in a day of fundraising. At first I was excited and honored to be chosen, but then shock set in. I started to wonder, asking myself questions such as: How can I take care of blessed children? What do I say to them? What are they like? Will these children see right through me and point out all my fallen nature?
I was nervous until Mr. Sawamukai explained to us clearly that this day was a day of education for the blessed children. He shared his feelings and the standard we should keep in relating with blessed children, but he said, "Today they must learn the MFT spirit." That's all I needed to hear. From then on I knew that July 6 would be the most exciting day of my life.
We started the day with some holy songs in Korean (everyone there was Korean), and opened the meeting with prayer. Hyo Jin Nim was coordinator and he explained to the rest of the blessed children who the captains were. Mr. Sawamukai was introduced, and he spoke to the blessed children about the history of MFT and why Father set it up. He made them aware that MFT isn't easy, and that some brothers and sisters stay on MFT four, five, six and even over seven years.
He also shared some of his own testimony and told them to be ready for persecution -- that someone might even hit them. He said, "Most of you have never fundraised in your life, so I want you to challenge seventy dollars as a goal. You will only have about five hours selling. Can you do it?" "Yes!" was the loud cry from the audience. I realized then that these children were on fire. He instructed them about smiling and eye contact, attitude, motivation and finally the most important of all, that all glory received from selling had to be given to God and not kept for oneself.
David Burke and myself were asked to give a selling demonstration using puppets. That was fun and it brought forth a lot of laughs. Jin Whi Nim selected the five teams. We had a quick lunch and soon were ready to go. Mr. Izukawa and David went to Connecticut while Mr. Bair, Chris and I went to Long Island. I truly felt Father's love in Hyun Jin Nim right from the moment I met him. When he found out I was his captain he came over, placing his arm around my shoulder, saying, "We will be number one today." In the van we sang some songs to maintain the high spirit. I asked Hyun Jin Nim to pray, and then I asked everyone to pledge goals before God and Mile Parents. We got to our area quickly.
I explained to them how to do the shop-to-shop area and asked the famous question, "Who is ready to go?" That's all it took. Hyun Jin Nim, with a puppet in each hand and the bag already around his shoulder cried, "Let me out!" When I looked back every team member had a puppet on each hand and was squeezing away.
I stopped the van and said, "I need two people here." Ten of them jumped out immediately. They all started walking away from the van saying, "What time is pick-up?" I said, "Wait a minute, I want six of you to jump back in the van and four can stay." I paired them up and told them, "Pray seven minutes together, work for 21 minutes together, then you take the left side and you take the right and I'll see you back here at five o'clock. Do you understand?" "Yes!"
While I was giving the other two instructions, the first two were in prayer. When we pray on MFT we always find a place off to the side where it's not visible. But these blessed children didn't feel that way. Here they were, heads bent in prayer, right on the sidewalk. They were praying out loud in Korean with puppets on each hand while people were walking by and cars passing slowly. These children definitely had no concepts!
The day was just packed with exciting testimonies and inspirations from each blessed child. In the evening everyone gave testimonies of gratitude and appreciation for being on the same team with Hyun Jin Nim. The blessed children said they never thought MFT was so hard and gave thanks of appreciation.