The Words of the Salonen Family

Pioneering Tampa, Florida

Rebecca Boyd (Salonen)
New Age Frontiers - October 15, 1964

Dear Family,

My trip from Cleveland to Tampa was very pleasant and uneventful. The mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee are just beautiful; my spirit wanted to get off the bus and stay right there. I feel very strongly that we should send someone quickly to these mountains. I'm sure it would be difficult to there, you'd have to be like a circuit-riding minister, I think. The further south I traveled after Kentucky, the lower the spiritual atmosphere seemed to drop. Entering Tampa through dirty, old slums, I felt that the Grand Finale had been struck. I felt rather like an engineer making plans for demolition of this city. This is such a strange atmosphere. You feel that there is so much dirtiness everywhere, but you can't see it. So I feel as thought I am fighting invisible dirt -- exactly Satan and his army.

My first four days in Tampa were quite something. Tampa was having an unusually hot spell and Florida's famous cockroaches (up to 3 and 4 inches) took that opportunity to introduce themselves to me. Those bugs were really being satans; I knew they were trying to get me to leave so they could again have Tampa all to themselves. Whenever I'd lecture (just to the wall so far), the roaches would just come swarming out of every crack in the apartment and converge upon me. So I lectured with a can of bug spray in one hand. Now that a four-day period has elapsed, the roaches have nearly disappeared and the weather has gotten much cooler. This is certainly a cosmic battle we're fighting!

I am really handicapped in this city since it is extremely dangerous to be out on the streets alone at night. So I just prayed and prayed for Father to lead me to someone who could help me. About the only place I could easily go evenings is a bug church almost across the street from my apartment. I had gone there Sunday morning, but it did not seem like a very fruitful place. But for some reason, I thought to return there for Sunday evening service. There didn't seem to be anyone likely there, either. But after the service, a little lady came running up to me, grabbed me, and loudly exclaimed, "Oh, I just know you're Lucy's daughter!" All this, along with my explanation that I was new in Tampa, brought me a couple who then introduced me to their daughter, a student at Tampa University. This daughter then invited me to a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting, at which I also met other Tampa U. students as well as students fro the Univ. of South Florida and young working people. Exactly what I needed! Father is always working.

I have learned so much in these four days. It is as thought many half-realizations have com into full focus. I cannot remember having ever been really lonely in my life before now.

Once having lived closely with God's true children, though, I have something to be lonely about. Having found my true Home, I am able to be really homesick. Because the Principle teaches us true love for one another, we are then able to experience our Father's heart -- because we understand what He has been denied all these centuries. What a beautiful world this will be when all people share the Father's love with each other! Only now can I see fully the sharp contrast between Satan's cold and barren world and God's most warm and joyful Kingdom on earth. I never expected or even dreamed of such a world as that which is being built. It is only we who can build it, and yet it is also only we who can hinder it. Everything depends upon how fast and well we work' we are the only army Father has. I pray that we may act as though we each were ten people instead of one.

Love and prayers in His Name, Rebecca. 

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