The Words of the Taylor Family
In the autumn of 1984, Father proposed that we produce and distribute sets of videotapes explaining the Principle for Christian ministers throughout the United States. To enable members to more deeply understand the purpose behind this project, which now involves 300,000 sets of tapes, and to give readers a taste of what is involved in the production, Today's World interviewed key people involved in the video providence.
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak has explained that the video providence is actually an extension of the path that our Father has been treading since he began this course of restoration.
Rev. Kwak likened Father to Jacob and Christianity to Esau, saying that Father, like Jacob, is trying to share all he has with the modern-day Esau. He pointed out that even in the face of an approaching jail sentence, Father requested last June that HSA buy trucks to support the work of NCCSA. Also we have been supporting the religious freedom movement and we have long been active in the interfaith work.
"Father's desires go beyond Jacob's, for he not only wants to share material offering; his real desire is to share God's message to Christianity," Rev. Kwak said.
Originally our plan was to offer 30,000 videos to 30,000 ministers and to ask each one of them to share their tapes with ten other ministers and with their congregations. According to Rev. Kwak, after 32,650 videotape sets had been distributed by October 10, Father felt that it was not enough. So we decided to distribute videotapes directly to 300,000 ministers.
"This Principle tape is a heartfelt, precious gift coming from Father in Danbury prison to all ministers, who represent Christianity," said Rev. Kwak. This gift again attests to our Father's love and his serving mind towards Christianity.
However, Father not only wants to assist Christianity through the content of the distributed videotapes. Rev. Kwak testifies that Father also offers daily prayer to God for Christianity and its ministers. Due to this spiritual preparation made by Father, Rev. Kwak believes, the spiritual world can help the ministers understand the Unification Church and Rev. Moon.
Each of the three tapes in the set are 120 minutes long and directly present the Unification Principle. Rev. Patrick Hickey and Rev. Tom McDevitt lecture. A new set of tapes with lectures given only by Rev. Tom McDevitt is presently being produced. According to Rev. Kwak, these new videotapes constitute the growth stage of this project. They are using only the best slides and high- quality tapes. Through these tapes Rev. Kwak hopes many ministers will be able to make a closer relationship with God. "It is very important material to renew the hope that this country can accomplish its mission," he added.
Rev. Kwak emphasized that God's hope is to dispel the need for the Unification Church. For once God's will is fulfilled and all Christianity is united, the Unification Church will no longer be necessary.
"God's view and desire," he pointed out, "is not for Jacob and Esau to be separated, for they are two brothers. Father told us that God is looking for the unity, not the separation of Unificationists and Christianity. They must be united into one. God's goal is for divine blessing to reach all Christianity through Father."
As we know from the Principle, many prominent biblical figures failed to complete their missions. Even Jacob, Rev. Kwak pointed out, brought only a partial victory, in that although he was able to win Esau's momentary heartistic unity, Esau later separated from him.
Therefore, in his own course as Jacob, Father is offering not only material things through our NCCSA work, but in these video sets he is giving God's love and message as well. Father wishes thus to eliminate all chances of further separation by Esau after reconciliation has taken place.
Mr. Takayuki Sodeyama of New Future Films is working with 25 members whose responsibility is to copy the videotapes. The members are divided into seven groups and work in shifts around the clock. Each group participates in a 40-minute prayer condition at the end of its shift. When you enter any of the three areas set up on the sixth, eighth, and tenth floors of the World Mission Center, the sight you are greeted with is one of concentration and continuous activity. Some of the members may lift their eyes momentarily, but they never leave their work unless approached by Mr. Sodeyama.
There are 800 video copying machines in all. With 800 machines in continuous use, the project should take approximately 97 days to complete.
However, problems sometimes arise. With all problems accounted for, the crew manages to turn out 9,000 tapes daily. After each tape has been copied, its picture and sound are checked. One of the biggest problems is how to get the number of blank tapes needed; unloading and moving the tapes is another big task.
Mr. Sodeyama likened this tedious work to the building of Noah's ark. Most companies would consider it impossible to copy so many videotapes manually. Mr. Sodeyama said, "We translate the work into an exercise of faith and offering, and that's how we work without complaint."
Mr. Sodeyama explained that through the offering of the 300,000 tapes to ministers, Father's desire is to ultimately gather 70 million VOC members worldwide including 40 million from the United States. Korea reportedly already has a total of seven million VOC members, and Japan has four million.
Another integral part of the video project is the shipping department. Twenty-three members work full-time and five work part-time in the shipping department.
These members, who came from Ireland, Scotland, England, Mexico, Italy, Japan, and America, sometimes face a challenge when it comes to unity.
Said Rasik Bhula, head of the department, "On the night Father went to Danbury prison, he stressed the point of our need for unity. The greatest offering our department can make for God's Day is our unity."
The group's primary responsibilities are packaging, mailing, and printing brochures. Once New Future Films has duplicated the tapes, they are picked up and labeled by this department.
The shipping department has a computer in operation 24 hours a day in order to list the names of ministers who have already received the tapes, so their efforts will not be duplicated.
According to Rasik Bhula, they will send out 250,000 sets of the finished product (not counting the approximately 50,000 that have already been distributed). The set now includes the three tapes of the Principle plus the New Sermons book, a selection of Father's speeches.
Laura Cipriani, one of Rasik's assistants, shared her experiences while working on this project:
In the beginning it was quite an overwhelming idea to think we would be able to reach 30,000 ministers through these videotapes. It was a goal we had some doubts about, but because of the work of so many people out in the field, we were able to reach it. We accomplished the goal -- distributing videotapes to 35,000 ministers.
At that point, we thought it was the end of the videotapes. But next we heard that Father wanted us to be able to reach 300,000 ministers through the tapes. This was even more overwhelming than the first time.
Everyone feels the providential significance of this project. Looking at the work and effort of brothers and sisters I feel that God trusts us very much and I feel that if we can fulfill Father's desire, America can change substantially.
During this time I've had the opportunity to interact with some of the ministers through the ICC conference and other events. The ministers who get to see these tapes are generally inspired; they begin to think about what Father is teaching and what he has to offer them. So it has been fulfilling to work here. I'm grateful to be a part of this mission at this moment.
Daryl Clark, home church leader for upper Manhattan, reports that in the community the ministers are excited and grateful. He felt the first set of ten tapes drew a somewhat vague response from the ministers, whereas the new set of three, being more direct, brought a definite response.
By sharing our movement and our beliefs through the tapes, Mr. Clark said that Father is extending a question to the ministers: Can we work together? While some of the ministers who received the tapes were disturbed by our beliefs and the way they were presented, practically all of them are grateful and consider us Christians.
"Also, they can't say they read this in the Washington Post or the Christian Science Monitor. They can't say they got this from another minister. They can actually view the tape itself and hear exactly what we profess," Mr. Clark pointed out. "We're exposing ourselves fully. Father is conveying to the ministers: This is what we have to say; you don't have to accept what we say, but we want to know what your critique is."