Unification News for August - September 1999
The Time of America’s Visitation, Part I
This is a story of Father’s first visit to the United States, during which his main purpose was to establish holy ground in each of the mainland states. It was a grueling, and sometimes harrowing, journey that had to be accomplished in 40 days.
Information for these stories was gleaned from old newsletters and conversations with early members. George Norton, one of the drivers on the trip, was especially helpful.
Over the Pacific
The long awaited moment had come for Father to visit America. But this would be more than just a visit to America. It would be a trip around the entire world to bless plots of ground in every state and in many countries. In each location, Father would choose a piece of land, bless it, and it would be called holy ground. From these holy grounds, God’s heavenly kingdom would grow. It would be the beginning of reclaiming the physical world for God.
Father called Mrs. Won Bok Choi to his room. "Kim Young Oon has been back in the States for about four months," he said. "Now, it’s time for me to go, too, and I want you to accompany me and be my interpreter."
Mrs. Choi had been helping Mother with the children, so she had to quickly train another person. As she prepared to go, she spent every spare moment studying English and praying, for this trip would be very demanding. To translate Father’s exact words into English even as he spoke would be an awesome responsibility.
On the day of departure, a small group went along to see Father and Mrs. Choi off at the airport. Their faces were calm enough, but inside they were excited. Their Son-Sengnim was going around the world! He looked so handsome in his new Western-style suit, and so dignified.
In Father’s suitcase, there were not many clothes. Instead, he carried gifts and little bags of dirt and rocks. At each holy ground, he would bury some dirt and a rock from Korea. In turn, from each state, he would find a stone to bring back to Korea. Heavenly Father had revealed to him all that he should do.
The flight was very long. Never, had Father or Mrs. Choi traveled so far from home. When the airplane touched down in Hawaii to take on more fuel, they got their first glimpse of the United States — palm trees, white beaches, and balmy February air.
Then they were in the air again for the final leg of their journey. The time was drawing near when Father would meet the members he had heard so much about.
"What are Americans really like?" he wondered. "I’ve heard so much about them. I’ve met American soldiers, but are they typical?"
Then he remembered something else. Turning to Mrs. Choi, he said, "Americans like to smile a lot—big smiles that show their teeth. So we must smile, too." He had already been practicing his smile in Korea. It wasn’t easy, for Koreans usually have serious faces. Maybe it is their suffering life, but they just don’t smile or laugh out loud very often. When they do smile, they usually look down discreetly or cover their mouth with their hand. He smiled at Mrs. Choi. Mrs. Choi smiled at Father. They laughed silently.
The sun hadn’t come up yet when Father and Mrs. Choi landed in San Francisco, California. They were a little weary from the journey and from the time difference. In California it was early morning, but in Korea it was time to go to bed. Yet, Father was eager to see these precious American members and he felt wide awake. It was 5:50 a.m. on February 12, 1965.
There they were—27 bright-eyed, excited people neatly lined up, obviously eager to catch their first glimpse of him. He strode through the gate with a big smile.
First, he greeted Young Oon Kim, David Kim and Bo Hi Pak, his three missionaries. They bowed only slightly to him and shook hands, for they were in an American public place and Father had learned that Americans shake hands instead of bow. He looked at ease with this custom, but Mrs. Choi looked a little uncomfortable shaking hands with Bo Hi Pak and David Kim. They had never done that in Korea.
Wasting no time, Father proceeded down the line, shaking hands with each member. He listened to their strange sounding names: Edwin Ang, Galen Pumphrey, Doris Walder (Orme), George Norton, Carl Rapkins.... And his face lit up when he saw a familiar face—Ernie Stewart.
They all gathered round to pose for pictures before heading for one member’s home in Oakland where they would be staying.
For one exciting week Father and Mrs. Choi stayed in the Bay Area. During the days, they saw the sights. They rode the cable car up and down the steep streets, they went to the zoo, they drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, and ate at Fisherman’s Wharf.
"Master says things look very big and spread out here," Mrs. Choi told them. "And there’s much unused space." It looked like just a crowded city to the members.
Every evening there was a meeting, and Father talked to the members, learned their names, asked them to sing for him, and answered their questions. They, in turn, felt as if they were in a dream. To finally be in the same room with their Leader left them breathlessly in awe.
Father presented them with a special gift from Korea, a beautiful lacquer box containing a big white flag with the HSA-UWC symbol. Father explained to them its meaning—the twelve gates, the four positions, and the circle of give and take. It was the first time the symbol had been brought to the West, and they proudly hung it up in the meeting room.
On the second day, it was time to create the first holy ground of America. Father led the members to two peaks overlooking San Francisco. The wind blew strongly, and they wrapped their coats tightly about them as they took their positions on the northern hill. Four members were told to stand in four spots to form a four-position foundation, approximately 10 giant steps apart. The hill came to such a peak that one person had to stand on the side of the hill.
Father walked slowly and prayerfully to each position, scattering holy salt as he went—back and forth and around it three times. Heavenly Father had instructed him exactly how to do it. In conclusion, he buried the Korean soil and rock in the center and prayed.
"Twin Peaks shall have a new name," instructed Father. "This northern peak will be Father’s Peak and the southern peak will be Mother’s Peak, and together they will be called Parents’ Peaks. It is Heavenly Father’s own sanctified spot, a place where you can come to pray and not be bothered by Satan, a place that is restored.
That evening, Father explained to the members, "I must travel to all 48 states on the mainland United States, and I will make at least one holy ground in each state. I need someone to plan the trip for me, and we will leave in about ten days."
That announcement caused quite a stir. "Who might be lucky enough to accompany him on such an historic trip?" wondered each person.
"I also need two good drivers," he continued. "We will have to travel fast, and we will not be able to stay in the other states as long as we’re staying in California." He paused and looked around the room. He and the Koreans discussed something in Korean.
Then, "Gordon Ross! George Norton! Are you good drivers? Can you drive through 48 states in 40 days?"
That would be at least 8,000 miles, maybe more. Was it really possible to travel that far in 40 days? George and Gordon looked at each other, then answered, "Yes, we can do it."
"Then, please prepare," said Father.
Gordon and the AAA worked together to plot a route that would take them to every state and avoid the cold winter snows as much as possible. George prepared the car and gathered supplies.
On February 19, one week after their arrival, Father and Mrs. Choi, along with Miss Kim, moved on to the second stop, Los Angeles, California. There they were greeted by center director Doris Walder (Orme), Teddy Verheyen, and a dozen others or so.
As Father shook their hands, he could feel once again their excitement, and they in turn sensed his powerful love for them. He knew that someday they might take him more for granted, but for now they were obviously overwhelmed with emotion.
For a few days they showed Father around Los Angeles — Hollywood, Paramount Studios, Disneyland Then they said to Father, "We would like to take you on a whale hunt in San Diego. It takes a couple hours to drive there."
Perhaps he hadn’t expected to spend time in America on the ocean, but as he got into the boat, dressed in his western suit and tie, there was a happy and thoughtful look on his face.
Much of the day Father gazed silently out over the ocean, looking West toward Korea in the East. Was he thinking that, up to this point, he had only seen the Pacific Ocean from the other side? Was he thinking of the vast resources hidden in the depths of its powerful waves? Was he thinking of God’s dominion over the seas? Perhaps, but he didn’t express his thoughts that day.
He quickly proved his seaworthiness, and the members later remarked, "You could see that he loved the ocean very much, and he kept his balance better than anyone else. Some of us got sick, but not him. It seemed that he would have been happy to stay there forever."
That evening, even though Father still wasn’t accustomed to the American time zone, and even though everyone else was tired from the day on the ocean, he was ready for an evening meeting.
He gave a long lecture, an overview of the entire Divine Principle. It was the first time the Americans heard the Principle directly from Father.
The next morning was Sunday. Mrs. Choi announced, "Master says everyone may come along to the blessing of holy ground." Approximately 20 people piled into the cars and made a procession to Griffith Park.
At the foot of a big hill, a mountain almost, Father walked around, looking for the right spot to climb. Suddenly, he shot up the side, and the stunned group scrambled desperately to catch up. Wasting no time, he chose a flat spot at the summit, among the tough shrubs and sandy soil to perform the ceremony.
And so it came to pass that day, unknown to the rest of America, that the Western world had two holy grounds. As the members prayed with Father, a spiritual fire seemed to flash through their arms, and they felt like they were lifted up to heaven. They would never forget how close they felt to Heavenly Father and to each other that day as they stood on the new holy ground of L.A.
Each evening, Father met with the members and talked to them and answered their questions. He even answered questions about their personal situations. And always they sang and sang. He really loved singing.
"Tomorrow we will begin our journey," announced Father. There was a last minute flurry of preparations—filling up the gas tank, packing, and tying suitcases on top of the car.
Next morning, bright and very early, Father, Mrs. Choi, and Miss Kim took their places on the middle seat, Gordon and George sat in the front, and two other members climbed into the back.
"Good-bye, Col Pak. Good-bye, David Kim. We’ll see you later on the trip," they called out. "Good-bye, brothers and sisters. We’ll see you later, too—when we get back."
It was Thursday, February 25, as they headed into the sunrise in their shiney blue ‘65 Plymouth Fury station wagon.
As they left the smog and freeways of the congested city area and put the miles behind them throughout the day, the first thing Father noticed was the feeling of spaciousness. The brown shades of the Mojave Desert stretched endlessly on and on.
At one point, a great mountain jutted sharply out of the landscape. It was the highest mountain in mainland USA, the 19,000 foot Mt. Whitney. Following their plan, they left the highway to climb the mountain. They drove until they reached about 9,000 feet above sea level. There, in the mountain’s snow and thin air amidst some hardy pines, Father created holy ground.
Their ears popped as they descended back to the highway and down further to the lowest point in America, 280 feet below sea level, to Death Valley. The ground that Father blessed in Death Valley was white with salt, and yellow cliffs rose high around them in a protective embrace. On that day, America had four holy grounds, and they were all in California.
Later, as the sun set behind them, they sped through the desert toward the bright neon lights of Las Vegas.
"Tonight, we will splurge and stay at the famous Stardust Hotel ‘on the strip,’ " said Gordon.
"What’s a strip?"
"It’s the most famous part of Las Vegas," he answered. "It’s a string of fancy hotels and nightclubs where celebrities like to come."
Las Vegas was an entertaining city, but it was late and there was very little time for sightseeing. The next morning Father blessed ground and they just went quickly on their way.
Hoover Dam came next. This was not a place chosen for holy ground; this stop was for Father, the engineer.
"Master wants to take a tour to see how it was built and how it works," said Mrs. Choi. The half hour tour revealed to them what an architectural marvel it really is—and how enormous. Father was duly impressed.
The rest of the day, as they drove through Arizona, they saw desert, desert and more desert where only the most determined can live and grow. They marveled at its towering 500-year old cactus plants that were as big as trees. They marveled at the miles and miles of unused land. They marveled at the great heat in February.
When they arrived in Phoenix, it was late at night. Jon Shuhart had prepared a place for them in a hotel, but Father said, "We would like to stay in your center." Jon was surprised, for the house was very small, but they quickly cleared the area in the little living room, and all seven travelers slept on its floor.
The next morning, in a warm sunny park, Father chose a sapling to be the center of the blessed ground. Soon after, it was time to say good-bye. Two new passengers joined them in place of the two that had come with them from L.A., and they were off once again.
The next stop was Grand Canyon. They soon learned that the word "grand" is really too small a word to describe this natural wonder, and Father loved its magnificence: the many shades of color as the sun danced upon its cliffs, the river snaking its way through the bottom in its everlasting task of carving the canyon even deeper, the overpowering depth and breadth and length. God’s handiwork was beyond words.
The group of seven proceeded east through Arizona and into New Mexico, where they drove past, and sometimes over, its dry flat mesas. After blessing ground in Albuquerque, they went over to the city hall to get some earth and a rock to take back to Korea.
"Everything is concrete here," they soon noticed. "There’s not even one loose pebble we can take."
After searching awhile, Father walked over to the building itself and pointed to one of its corners. Mrs. Choi explained, "He suggests chipping off a piece of concrete from the corner and using that in place of a pebble." They got out their tire iron and quickly whacked off a piece.
"Here’s some dirt stuck in the cracks of the sidewalk," someone offered. "Would that do for dirt?" They dug it out and quickly went on their way.
In many states there were no members, and the travelers were on their own to find a park or mountain or some other likely location for a holy ground. Sometimes, they used their map; sometimes, they asked for directions to a park. The moment the car came to a halt at the park, Father was out searching for the right spot. The others had to hustle to keep up.
One person—usually George—recorded everything with a movie camera as well as a still camera. Another—usually Gordon—wrote down instructions on how to find the holy ground. But these same men often had to participate in the ceremony, so it was impossible to do everything and still keep up with Father. The moment he was finished with the blessing ceremony, Father hurried back to the car eager to continue.
They could only shake their heads in amazement. "He doesn’t walk; he speeds," they laughed. "We should have gotten in shape before we came on this trip."
Father had told them to change drivers every two hours. Once, as George was taking his turn driving, he suddenly heard a single English word from Father, "Faster." He looked at the speedometer and he was already doing 110 mph! Throughout the trip they went "faster" and, strangely, they seemed to be invisible to all police patrols.
As the days went by, they settled into this new lifestyle. Often, the three on the second seat carried on conversations in Korean. Sometimes, they translated a few things for the others, but more often they didn’t. Mrs. Choi sometimes used the time to teach Father some English.
Miss Kim took care of the food. She bought bread and lunch meats at the grocery store and made thin dry sandwiches. "Here’s your sandwich," she would say as she handed them out. One sandwich! Their growling stomachs sometimes protested, but no one said anything.
One day, after they had eaten, Father asked, "Are you still hungry?"
"Yes," chimed in all the voices at once.
"Then let’s get more food," he answered with a big smile. From that point, they had more to eat.
They usually tried to get gas at Chevron gas stations, because George had a credit card. Often, Father watched intently over his shoulder or followed him into the station to see how this piece of plastic worked. Nothing like it was available in Korea.
The trip across Texas was amazingly long, broken only by the rolling tumbleweeds and scattered ranches and oil wells.
"So much unused space," Father commented again and again, with Mrs. Choi or Miss Kim translating. "In Korea every centimeter is used. Why does anyone worry about overpopulation with all this land?"
No one had the answer.
On the way to Dallas, Texas, they were given a quick lesson in just how dry and brutal the area really was. A storm brewed; but not a rain storm. It was a raging dust storm. The earth of Texas suddenly whirled up, building into thicker and higher clouds. It sifted into the car until everything was covered with grit. They could hardly see where they were going, but they kept moving anyway. It seemed like an eternity before the storm gave up. Neither snow, nor rain, nor sleet, nor hail—nor dust—would stop the progress of this heavenly mission.
Father blessed ground in Dallas. Before they left, they had to buy some more rope for the car top carrier. As George walked out to the car he happened to look back, and there was Father following him. He wanted to come along and see the big American hardware store and watch him pay with a credit card again. Everything was new and interesting to him.
Oklahoma’s red soil was a change and so were its bumpy roads, but it also had few people compared to Korea. Everywhere, there was plenty of space.
"Yes, there is a lot of room here," someone explained to Father, "but the people are generally quite poor. Ever since the dust bowl of the 30's, it has not prospered."
There was a small prospering center in Oklahoma City, however, and Philip Burley and others were ready with a very warm welcome. That evening was spent singing and sharing. Each person sang a solo for Father, and Father sang a solo for them. Holy ground was created in a park amidst the picnickers and canoers.
They crossed from Oklahoma into Kansas that day. Suddenly, someone in the car saw something interesting "Look over there! A herd of buffalo!"
"So this is where they roam."
"Yes, well, years ago, there were thousands of them all over the plains, but most of them were killed. We seldom see them anymore. Of course, with all the people moving in, there wasn’t really room for them to roam anymore."
A bit further, as they climbed onto the flat plains of Kansas, another change was noticed. There was snow on the ground.
"The weather will be colder for the next couple days," remarked one of the passengers.
"Well, let’s hope this is all the snow we’ll find on this trip," responded Gordon. "We planned the trip so that we would get to the North last, so hopefully by then the snow will be mostly gone."
"Yes, hopefully," agreed the others.
The 80 mile-per-hour Interstate 80 was a welcome relief after the potholes and narrow roads of Oklahoma, and they sped with all due haste through the flat winter fields of Kansas where corn and wheat would soon thrive. In City Park of Kansas City, Father blessed the holy ground wearing his new winter coat. It was definitely still winter there.
Missouri became a little more hilly with more trees. It was snowing, and the roads became icy. They had to slow down—but not too much—and, after some uncomfortable moments, they managed to arrive safely in St. Louis.
There, Bob and Vivien Oswald, along with another couple, welcomed them into their home.
"How did you hear about the Principle so far away from other members?" asked Mrs. Choi.
"Mary Fleming wrote a correspondence course and sent it to us," they answered.
Miss Kim added, "Approximately 12 to 15 people have taken that course and joined."
There were just two couples in St. Louis, so what an occasion this was for them. To meet any members would have been a joy, but they began by meeting Father himself!
In the midst of some cedar trees of Forest Park, the cold wind cut through their coats, and their fingers and toes soon felt frozen. Father paced off the holy ground a little faster than before. The four Missouri members were amazed to notice how completely Father focused on what he was doing.
"He wore no gloves or boots, and he didn’t shiver from the cold," they reported, "and his shoes didn’t even seem to get wet."
Heading back South, the little band of travelers looked forward to leaving the snow and ice behind. There wasn’t time to drive to Kentucky’s capital city, so they just drove into the western tip of Kentucky where snow still covered the ground and blessed ground in Paducah. Quickly, they pressed on to Tennessee.
When they reached Memphis, Tennessee, it was already dark. In heavily wooded Overton Park, they groped their way with flashlights through the pitch blackness and slushy melting snow. As they tramped around, trying to find a good spot for a holy ground, they suddenly received visitors—the police.
"What’re y’all doin’ out here?" they asked suspiciously.
George went up to them and showed his HSA-UWC card and explained their unusual mission the best he could. "We just want to pray for Tennessee," he said. "We want to choose a spot here, and have a little ceremony to pray that Tennessee can be blessed."
The policemen looked dubious, but, for reasons probably unknown even to themselves, they gave their consent. "Well, I reckon it’s OK this once, but don’t stay long, ya’ hear? The park’s not supposed to be open after dark."
Using their flashlights, Father quickly performed the ceremony, and within minutes they were speeding into the countryside once again.
They made it all the way to Little Rock, Arkansas, late that night. In the morning, bright and early, Father chose a spot in War Memorial Park beside a golf course. As he spread the holy salt and prayed, the others kept a wary eye open for speeding golf balls.
For a short time that day they traveled the narrow hilly roads of Alabama, past small farms and simple shacks. Father made note of how green everything was even in late winter and wondered why there should be so much poverty.
The swamplands of Louisiana revealed still another side of America—green and stagnant and rather eerie, and yet there was a certain beauty about it.
Father blessed ground in New Orleans that night. Ernie Stewart, who was on his way to Florida where he was to be stationed in the army, was there to greet them. When they left early the next morning, he was their new passenger.
The dancing blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico on their right made their spirits bright that day. They barely stopped for anything, as they made good time through the day and shared the roads with the truckers throughout the entire night.
Early on March 8th—the 11th day after leaving Los Angeles—they arrived in sunny Tampa, Florida, where Rebecca Boyd (Salonen) and the other member had been eagerly awaiting their arrival. Col. Pak had come down from Washington D.C. Doris Walder (Orme), who had been going ahead of the party to help prepare the way, was also there. In Lowry Park, among the tall pines covered with Spanish moss, the 15th holy ground was blessed. The alligators nearby paid no attention.
Then it was on down to Miami in southern Florida. Since they would be sleeping in Miami that night, George did not try to sleep while Gordon drove. Gordon decided to drive the whole 4 or 5 hours himself.
When they arrived, they went to the most obvious attraction, the beach. While Father got his first view of the Atlantic Ocean, Col. Pak bent down and ceremoniously wrote in the sand in Korean letters three feet high, "Abogee" (Father). Father smiled and in smaller letters he wrote, "Omonee" (Mother). Then, he dipped his fingers in the ocean and a gentle wave reached up to touch the soles of his shoes.
Father chose a beautiful piece of soft green turf with a tall slanting palm tree overhead for a second holy ground in Florida.
Then Mrs. Choi informed the drivers, "Master would like to see Key West."
This was not in their travel plans. By this time, Gordon was tired from driving from Tampa. George was tired because he hadn’t slept. And it was 150 miles over the Key Islands and connecting bridges to reach Key West, the southernmost point in the United States.
It wasn’t easy, but George did it. As soon as they arrived, they stopped at a restaurant.
"I’ll just stay in the car and sleep while you’re eating," said George. He curled up on the seat and quickly went to sleep. After awhile, a tapping on the window woke him up. There was Father, smiling and holding up a hamburger for him to eat.
So bright and beautiful was this land of blue-green waters, white sparkling sands, rows of waving palm trees, and billowing white clouds. The herons, ducks, pelicans, and other abundant wildlife obviously loved it, too. Father collected a few seashells and some sand to take back to Korea, and they visited the home of Ernest Hemingway.
"America has so many different kinds of places," he remarked. "It’s like many different countries rolled into one."
Up the East Coast
The time came on March 10 to point the car north. After a day on the east coast of Florida, they were introduced to the red clay soil and pink magnolias of Georgia. In a beautifully flowering park in Savannah, among some strong oak trees, ground was blessed.
Then, on through Columbia, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; and historic Richmond, Virginia. There were no members throughout this stretch, and they moved quickly on.
The next day, they were met in the mountains of West Virginia by Col Pak, Moon Hye Yoon (Seuk) and several other members from Washington D.C., who presented Father with a big wreath of yellow flowers. Father blessed ground among some young trees in a "holler" (in Appalachia that’s a small valley).
One car from D.C. had been festively decorated with little flags the way they do for dignitaries in Washington. "Would you like to ride our car into Washington?" invited Col Pak. The answer was yes, and they quickly made the change.
Arriving in D.C. couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, for spring brings out the best in that city. The budding trees, the cherry blossoms almost ready to bloom, the spring flowers, and the patches of bright green grass all promised, "spring is coming."
It was 1965—the explosive sixties. The streets were peaceful, and President Johnson was at home in his White House. It was hard to imagine that in a couple of years these same streets would be the setting for "peace" demonstrations with riots, tear gas, and tanks.
As the holy procession came down from the hills of West Virginia and into the nation’s capital, they marveled at the massive white government buildings and memorials and the great grassy mall.
"Overpowering, solid, inspiring, impressive," were some of the words used that day. The little flags fluttered gaily on the car, and passers-by wondered what dignitary had come to town.
Then they headed over the Potomac River into Virginia where Col Pak had prepared his home, called Arlington House, for Father’s visit.
The spring sun touched everything with brightness, and as Father climbed out of the car, he saw the eager members lined up to greet him. They had come from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia—Ken Pope, Pauline Phillips (Verheyen), Jhoon Rhee, the traveling Doris Walder (Orme), and two brand new members: Diane Griffith (Fernsler) and Barbara Mikesell (Ten Wolde).
They passed under an arch of flowers, walking upon a white carpet rolled out for the occasion, and shook hands with each member.
"Please come in and sign our guest book," said Col Pak graciously. And after they were seated inside, he ceremoniously announced, "We would like to present you with the keys to Arlington House, the Fellowship House in D.C., the Jhoon Rhee Institute, the New York Center, and the whole city of Washington, D.C., for they all belong to you."
Father lowered his eyes in gratitude and accepted them on behalf of Heavenly Father. Then, they were treated to the most delicious food on earth—pulgogi, fluffy white rice, and all the trimmings—a most welcome change from hamburgers, French Fries, and sandwiches.
The second day was for sightseeing, and on the third day Father had decided on two sites for holy grounds in the nation’s capital. First, they went to the Ellipse behind the White House. With the White House before them, and the Washington Monument behind them, Father stepped off the 4-position foundation and scattered the holy salt. Police were patrolling all around, because a demonstration was expected to take place later that day. Father’s little group must have been invisible, because the police didn’t pay any attention to them.
Next, they went over to the Capitol building for a picnic lunch. With the great white dome of the Capitol looming before them and the Washington Monument piercing the sky behind, they stood around a fir tree (it is now gone and walking on the grass is forbidden), and Father blessed the ground. They closed by praying fervently for America. Suddenly, the chimes from a nearby tower began pealing, "God Bless America." They smiled at each other with tears in their eyes and knew this moment belonged to their Heavenly Father.
For five days, Father stayed. He visited the Jhoon Rhee Institute and Fellowship House, a row house at 1907 "S" Street, which would be the Center for many years.
Every day, Father met with the members and visitors. Sometimes, he talked far into the night. Never before, had these members experienced such long meetings without breaks, and they surprised themselves by sitting still so long and getting by with so little sleep. They felt tremendously blessed to be in the presence of their Leader at last.
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