The Words of the Thompson Family

Walk For Peace - Report From Rev. Thompson - California

Kevin Thompson
June 3, 2004

Walk Across America
"A Prayer Of Peace And Reconciliation"

Many people, upon hearing that an 1800 couple Japanese brother was planning to walk across America from California to Connecticut, had the same reaction. "What kind of crazy Kamikaze Japanese guy is this?" However upon meeting Mr. Matsuo Machida the doubts and skepticism is washed away by the realization that this is one of the most unassuming brothers one could ever meet and that he feels very clearly called by God to do this. Mr. Machida has walked the length of Japan twice and walked from Pusan to the 38th parallel in Korea to reverse the course Father walked from Hungnam to Pusan. Bill Bechtel who has volunteered to be the assistant to the travel for the first leg from San Francisco to Reno, Nevada commented that this man is so humble and yet you feel that he is living in the joy of God. Indeed that is the sense that many people felt after a short time with Mr. Machida. He seemed quite overwhelmed and rather embarrassed by all the fuss that his Walk Across America is generating.

Mr. Matsuo Machida

Originally the walk was planned from Los Angeles to Connecticut but because of the hot weather which would be encountered in the southern states it was decided to begin in San Francisco instead. This seemed to make sense from the viewpoint that the first Holy Ground in America is here at Twin Peaks and the birthplace of many of our members was here in the Bay Area. This change of venue presented a problem logistically for Rev Man Ho Kim and the church staff who had to prepare in just two days on Memorial Day weekend. The church members rallied around and were able to prepare a wonderful welcome and send off for Mr. Machida.

Mr. Yasuo Inokuchi

Dr. Durst shares his experiences of Danbury

On May 31st at the Bay Area Family Church we held a kickoff ceremony for this historic walk. We heard that one of the reasons Mr. Machida is walking across America is to bring attention to the fact that 20 years ago America put True Father in Danbury prison and this is a wrong which is yet to be corrected. After watching a video about Fatherís time in Danbury we heard from former President of HSA-UWC Dr. Mose Durst that Father was the same in prison as he is anywhere else, always a man of heavenly dignity. Dr. Durst said that was one of the lasting lessons that he learnt from Father was the dignity of men and women of God and he contrasted that to todayís world where we see the breakdown of culture. Rev Leland Harrington, an ACLC minister came and gave his words of support and encouragement for this endeavor.

Mrs. Yasuo Erikawa did a great job of introducing Mr. Machida and also Mr. Yasuo Inokuchi. Mr. Inokuchi has fasted 40 days on 7 different occasions and planned to start another 40 day fast on July 20th, the anniversary of Fatherís incarceration. Mr. Inokuchi and Mr. Machida flet like kindred spirits in often being misunderstood and lonely in trying to follow and carry out godís calling. Mr. Inokuchi found out that at the times he had fasted in the past, unbeknownst to him that was the exact times that Mr. Machida was walking. Somehow, by Godís hand, this Walk Across America has brought them together to offer their dedication to God ad True Parents.

Mr. Machida was moved to tears and those tears in turn moved the heart of the audience. By the time we had the cake cutting and Manseiís we were all inspired and ready to participate with Machida san on the walk.

Next day June 1, 2004, the anniversary of Yankee Stadium, we went to Twin Peaks Holy Ground in San Francisco. On a typical brisk morning brothers and sisters prepared our hearts and offered amazing support for Mr. Machida as he started his historic trek at the sight of Fatherís first Holy Ground in America created on February 1965. After powerful representative prayers by Rev Baek Joong Ku, West Block Director, representing Korea, Mrs. Yasue Erikawa, World Itinerary Worker, representing Japan and Rev. Bento Leal, ACLC Regional Director, representing USA, words of encouragement from Ambassador For Peace Il Kyun Shin we then had a powerful statement of determination by Mr. Machida. 3 Manseis and we were off walking. First destination was the Golden Gate Bridge. This caused a mini stir with the Park police who run the bridge and the surrounding Presidio as they thought they were witnessing a protest, which they are very cautious about. Upon reassurance that this was not a protest and not an attempt to disrupt bridge traffic they gave permission to walk the bridge, albeit without any signs or flags on display.

First steps of the Walk Across USA First destination-Golden Gate Bridge

And so the historic Walk Across America has begun. Mr Machida is on his way. He is determined and committed to making this a great spiritual condition for the liberation of the Danbury situation and to be an inspiration to the elder son nation of America.

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