The Words of the Buhla Family

Reflections on the Video Project

Rasik Buhla
March 1985

The full-time crew for the video project poses with Rev. Kwak.

When I reflect upon the project of mailing the 300,000 videotape packages out to ministers, the image that comes first to my mind is one of blood-stained boxes. When you put the boxes together to be mailed, it's almost impossible to avoid cutting your fingers. If you see photographs of brothers and sisters working on the project, you may notice that their hands are covered with adhesive bandages. We went through many rolls of them. At first I didn't allow the stained boxes to be sent out, but the number of these boxes became so great that finally I gave in and we sent them out anyway.

Officially, the project of producing and sending out the 300,000 videotape sets was completed on February 16, 1985, but it took until February 20 to finish odds and ends. True Parents' Birthday was on the 25th and only then did Father proclaim it a victory.

Commitment, Perseverance, and Sheer Guts

It was a huge project. Each package contained three videotapes, a copy of Outline of the Principle Level Four, the book of Father's speeches called God's Warning to the World, the Word and Deed brochure, and Father's letter packet to the ministers. Altogether, over 500 tons of materials were brought to the post office and sent out. It was especially difficult since neither I nor anyone on my staff had any previous experience in direct mail. We were deeply grateful for the help of two non-Unificationists who did have experience in Christian publications and direct mail.

I think that when you do a project of such central concern to Father, much spiritual energy and power is attracted to it -- and a lot of pressure, too. Because Father is behind it, success is inevitable. We met with many problems, but we just had to fight it out. It's like home church and ministerial work: because Father asked us to do it, there had to be a way and all we had to do was find it. All we needed was enough commitment, perseverance, and sheer guts to do it.

While I was doing this project I often felt Father's presence, and that of Mother and Heung Jin Nim, in the Orange Room of the World Mission Center where we did the work. I felt their presence in my personal daily life also, to an extent I have not experienced before. This must have been because the work was so important to Father, and because the whole movement around the world was praying for us -- not for us personally, perhaps, but for the success of the project.

There was such a tremendous amount of spiritual energy behind the project that even when I felt like giving up -- which was more than once -- I couldn't. An incredible momentum was created by the spiritual world and the prayers for us, and this kept us going. Also, Father was in prison only a few hours away; and I met with Rev. Kwak every other day to discuss the status of the project with him. This kept us focused and inspired to continue.

So far we have gotten a lot of response -- both positive and negative -- from the ministers. Some of the clergymen rejected the packages and returned them, asking us to take their names off our mailing lists. But every package that comes back is being reprocessed and sent out again, as there are in fact more than 300,000 ministers in the United States.

If I listed the number of obstacles we encountered, such a list would include at least a hundred items. The point is that we got the job done. The obstacles helped us grow -- they were all part of a learning process. I was challenged in every way: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I felt I wasn't capable of leading 45 people, half of whom didn't speak English. Everyone on my staff was young and inexperienced. But despite all the things that made the project appear impossible, we got it done.

A Lesson in Growth

It wasn't until Father said he was happy that I felt we had accomplished our task. You know, no matter how many people tell you, "You did a good job," you don't really feel that way until Father himself says so, because he commissioned the project. Even when Father declared that, it was difficult for me to feel happy or successful because I knew how many mistakes I had made, how much money I had wasted, and how many people I had given trouble to. It was a lesson in growth.

If there's anything I want to say upon the completion of the video project, it's that Father's credo, and the motto of the Unification movement, is as true now as it was forty years ago:

To restore the world, let us go forth with the heart of the Father, in the shoes of a servant, shedding tears for man, sweat for earth, and blood for heaven.

If we can live up to that now, we can accomplish anything. 

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