Unification News for March 2001

The Time of Americaís Visitation, Part II

by Linna Rapkins

After almost a week in Washington D.C., Father announced that it was time to continue their journey. The group of five packed up their things and prepared the car. They still had more than half way to go, and, since winter was almost over, they were hoping it would be spring-like most of the way.

Mr. Sank Ik Choi, the first missionary to Japan, had come to D.C. with Daikon Ohnuki to see Father. They became the new passengers on the trip West. Col. Bo Hi Pak and Moonhye Yoon (Seuk) rode along as far as Clevelandónine people in all.

The trip west meant going north for awhile to hit the rest of the East coast. They left a trail of holy grounds in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

A Visit to a Medium

"Abogee," said Col. Pak, before starting. "In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there lives a famous trance medium named Arthur Ford. We can schedule a meeting with him, if youíd like."

"Yes, that would be good," responded Father. "But we must do it quickly. There is very little time." Arrangements were made.

In Philadelphia, they sat around a table with a few other people who had come. Arthur Ford had never met Father before and didnít know he was special. He went into trance, and his spirit guide, Fletcher, spoke. He said many things about Father.

For example, he said, "It was necessary that Mr. Moon should come to earth. God had to have some man through whom the Spirit of Truth could speak...."

Toward the end of the reading, Fletcher informed them, "I have to go now. The energy is waning."

But Miss Kim quickly asked, "Have you anything to ask for Mr. Moon?"

Without hesitation, Fletcher answered, "I ask that those who have been blessed by knowing him ... hold up his hands, shelter him, and feed him with their love. Give him your whole support.... He is an instrument through whom God is revealing himself...."

When Arthur Ford returned to his body, Father took the subject position.

"When a spirit speaks to you from spirit world, it has a certain viewpoint," he said. "It will lead you in one direction. When another spirit comes, it will lead you in another direction. It is very important for you to learn the principle behind spirit world.... That way you will be able to grow to a higher level yourself.... You were created to be Lord of Creation, so you should be higher than the spirits. They should help you.... Also, you should find out what level Fletcher is at, so you can understand best how to work with him."

Arthur Ford was surprised by Fatherís remarks. He was also interested. He asked questions, and for about 45 minutes Father explained many things about spirit world and about Godís plans for restoring the world.

At one point, Dr. Fordís face lit up. "Do I understand you to say that those who are now in the spiritual world are able to advance only when they help people on earth to advance but that they donít reincarnate?"

"Thatís right," answered Father.

Dr. Ford was obviously intrigued. "Is that right? Is that right? he murmured thoughtfully."

"Well, who exactly are the angels? Just what is this Divine Principle you speak of? Should I work more on my own growth, or should I concentrate on helping others?" His questions kept coming, and Fatherís answers inspired him.

There were several priests in the group and Father gave them advice, as well. It was a day none of them would soon forget.

The carload of nine was truly in high spirits as they left Philadelphia, and they had much to think about.

To New England

After New Jersey came the Big AppleóNew York City. In Central Park, Father found a small tree growing out of a huge flat rock.

"Here," he said. Among the towering grandeur and bustle of New York City, the entire holy ground was blessed on a rock measuring at least 20 feet across. The tree growing out of it seemed to be splitting the solid rock apart.

"This shows the strength of even a small plant," Father said to the group around him. "You should be like this tree and break apart Satanís kingdom. You may feel small, but with the Divine Principle you have the tool to be powerful."

Although New York is very large and important, Father spent only one day there. They stopped by the little apartment of Moonhye Yoon (Seuk), New Yorkís first member, for a bite to eat; then headed out of town..

North they went to the church spires and peaceful villages of historic New England. The car whizzed through Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Public Gardens of Boston, Massachusetts, and on to northern New Hampshire. In that single day, Father blessed ground in six states!

They reached Portsmouth, New Hampshire, around 10 oíclock at night. It was cold, and as a full moon shone upon the frozen ground, Father performed the ceremony.

Although it was night, their "day" was not yet finished, for they still had to hit Maine. There was not enough time to drive to the capital; therefore, while peacefully sleeping, the quiet village of Kittery received the blessing for that northern state.

Cross Country into the Sunset

In Maine the car turned around and headed west. Into the night, past the sleeping villages, over the hills and dales and rivers, and through the woods, they sped at breakneck speeds.

If someone had been watching, they would have wondered who was chasing this station wagon so loaded down with people and luggage.

Reaching Brattleboro, Vermont, at about 3 in the morning, it was March 20. Rather bleary-eyed and saddle-sore, they collapsed into their motel beds (or on their floor space). But as tired as they were, the sky had barely begun to lighten when Father woke them up and urged them on. With haste, they found City Park and blessed its ground.

The next stop was Niagara Falls. It was a long drive across New York, but they reached it by late afternoon. The ground was covered with snow there, and the spray from the roaring falls froze onto their clothes as they stood by the waterís edge. The sheer power of so much water plunging nonstop over the cliffs made them feel small, indeed; and once again they marveled at the magnificence of Godís handiwork. Yet, Father had taught them that creation is only a reflection of their own image. One little person is much more important than the greatest and most awesome object of creation. They turned to go feeling exhilaratedóand very cold.

As they passed around Lake Erie to Cleveland, any notion of spring was put to rest. It was snowing, and it quickly developed into a blinding blizzard. For once, they had to slow down, as the driver squinted into the swirling whiteness and kept a tight grip on the wheel. Not many cars were on the road now. Occasionally, snow plows whizzed by in pairs, looming out of the blizzard like friendly monsters.

"Keep going," said Father.

"Whew! The angels sure must be guiding us," said the driver of the moment, "because I donít know whatís keeping me on this road. I canít even see it, and the way the wind is blowing, I feel like Iím getting hypnotized."

While the drivers were under great strain to push on, Father looked serious but relaxed. His mind seemed to be focused on another realm, and the storm was only a minor inconvenience.

The little clapboard center in Cleveland was truly a welcome haven prepared by Pauline Phillips (Verheyen) and Ken Pope. The steaming bowls of rice and meat served at midnight quickly warmed the weary travelers and helped them forget the dayís ordeal.

"Is it our imagination or is winter unusually long this year?" someone asked. Itís the first day of spring, and weíre battling snow and zero degree weather all the time. Isnít this the time to be looking for rain and thawing temperatures, and maybe a robin or two?"

"Yes, absolutely, responded another. "Itís usually warmer by this time." They all agreed that Satan was probably working overtime.

Saying good-bye to Col. Pak and Miss Yoon, they shot up to Detroit, Michigan, the land of the car factories. Then it was south and west again, past the factories and polluted skies leading into "The Windy City," Chicago, Illinois.

Eileen Welch (Lemmers) welcomed them into her "Center" and served her best food, and then she cried because Father stayed only one night.

They finally admitted that the snow was not likely to leave them alone for awhile, so they purchased a set of chains for the tires.

"The instructions say not to go over 35 miles per hour," said George to Gordon. "Itís not safe to go faster."

"Yeah," answered Gordon. "And itís hard on the car." They made very poor time.

"You can go faster," Father said. They sped up a bit.

"Faster," Father kept saying. They sped up, but within 15 miles the chains broke.

"We better get a stronger set," they agreed. Although the chains made a terrible noise and the car bumped along, they went faster and faster.

"Good," said Father.

In Madison, Wisconsin, another student of the correspondence course, Marjorie Hill, welcomed them into her home, and Father chose a little park nearby for holy ground.

Father smiled when they arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"He likes the idea of staying in a city named after Paul of Jesusí time," explained Mrs. Choi. "He loves Paul and feels close to him in many ways."

The temperature was 4 degrees below zero in that northern city settled by so many hardy Scandinavians. They bundled up the best they could, and as they followed Father to the snowy hill, they literally followed in his footsteps. The snow was up to their knees in places! As always, Fatherís energy was far ahead of theirs. As he paced off the 4-position foundation, he walked very fast. Long gone was the leisurely pace of California.

The next day, they drove on into the vast frozen North. In Fargo, North Dakota, there wasnít as much snow on the ground and the sun was shining, but the temperature was 16 below zeroóand that was at noon! They rubbed their hands together vigorously and stamped their feet to keep warmóbut not Father. He didnít even wear his gloves. He concentrated fully on the ceremony and didnít seem to notice that his fingers had quickly become red and stiff.

"Why canít we be like that," wondered the others. But if they asked, he gave no answer. To follow Father means learning on our own sometimes. "Study the Principle" or "Thatís how serious I am," he would probably say.

In South Dakota, they had to climb up a hill on their hands and knees because of the ice and snow. The men helped Mrs. Choi and Miss Kim the best they could.

"Those two ladies are amazing," remarked one.

"Yes," answered another. "They often have to run to keep up with him. They must get tired, but they never complain."

The next day, as they drove south to Nebraska, yet another storm hit them, and they put on the trusty chains again. Carefully, yet speedily, they made their way to Omaha and found a motel. As they often did, they all slept in one or two rooms, some on the beds and some on the floor.

When they awoke the next morning, the world was a dazzling wonderland of white, and they had to sweep at least a foot of new snow off the car. They located a park with a small zoo, and a flock of sheep watched silently as their True Shepherd sanctified the earth around them.

The road to Wyoming was also icy, and once again they prayed unceasingly that they wouldnít skid off the road. Very few cars were even attempting further travel that day, and they passed abandoned cars all along the way. Yet they continued on. Neither snow, nor rain, nor sleet, nor hail....

Father blessed land in Lyons Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a toy railroad track running beside it.

A meal had been prepared in the Center, but Mrs. Choi informed them, "Father is anxious to travel on to Denver. He doesnít want to take time to eat here. Perhaps we could take the food with us and eat it there."

They quickly packed it up and headed south. The smell of the food accompanied them and urged them on. Eventually, seated with Galen and Patty Pumphrey in Denver, Colorado, the food was a banquet. And it was very late.

"Weíll leave early," said Father, "right after we bless ground." But the next morning, right after they blessed ground in City Park around a huge oak tree, the car suddenly rebelled.

"No! No! I wonít go!" it seemed to scream. "I canít go another inch on this burnt-out valve." By the time it could be repaired, it was 3:30 in the afternoon. Precious time had been lost.

"Should we wait until tomorrow to leave?" asked one driver as he looked apprehensively at the overcast sky. In his heart, he knew the answer before it was given, and soon they were driving off into what was left of the cold gray day.

Father must have had a premonition, for suddenly he said something in Korean and Mrs. Choi translated, "Father says we should not go west over the Rocky Mountains as planned."

"We could head north and spend the night in Laramie, Wyoming," suggested one of the drivers. "From there, we can drive straight across Wyoming to Salt Lake City."

"That is good," said Father. Both drivers heaved a sigh of relief, for they knew how treacherous the mountains can be in winter and spring. The northern route would be less mountainous.

But the next day, their sighs of relief turned to sighs to relieve tension. Snow began to fall once again, and the winds soon followed. The snow was whipped around them and over them until they could hardly see. As they came up behind big trucks, huge clouds of snow and ice were flung onto their windshield. The visibility was zero. Whenever they reached the side of the truck, they could see again, but each time it was a terrifying experience.

"Donít worry," Father kept telling them. "Go faster." At some points they went 80 miles per hour, even though the roads were covered with snow. Lesser people would have died of heart attacks.

Well after dark, they arrived at the home of a member in Salt Lake City. David Kim had come from Oregon, and the cozy home looked extra warm and inviting to the travelers after such a harrowing day on the road.

The next morning they took a quick tour of the Mormon Tabernacle. It is a grand church built by the Mormons in the city founded by the Mormons.

Father blessed ground on a bald mountain top nearby. The view of the city on one side and snow-covered mountains on the other provided a stunning setting. As usual, they didnít take much time to enjoy its beauty.

"Kapsidah! (Letís go!)" said Father.

That evening, they were welcomed by Vernon Pearson in Boise, Idaho. As the rain softly fell, Father chose a spot in Julia Davis Park to bless.

Then, "Kapshida!" And they were off again.

The plan was to go north to Grangeville, Idaho, that night, and then on to Missoula, Montana, the next day. In the West, the cities are far apart. There are miles and miles of empty land. Even though he had already seen much of America, Father still shook his head in amazement. "So much space," he said again and again.

After they were on the road awhile, it became evident that Mother Nature had other plans for them, for the gentle rain turned to gentle snow.

"Snow!" they exclaimed in mock joy.

They drove along the "scenic route." It wound around the hills and up and down, and the snow kept coming, heavier and heavier. Before long, they noticed cars stalled in huge drifts along the way. Even the plows werenít keeping up with the deepening snow. Finally, as they entered Cascade, Idaho, much to the relief of everyone, Father said, "Letís stay here tonight." They were only half way to Grangeville.

The next morning it was still snowing. Dare they venture onto the roads in such weather? Normally, they would not.

"Master says we cannot wait," Mrs. Choi informed everyone. "The snow will probably continue, and we must not get snowbound."

They pulled warily onto the snowy highway and hoped their prayers and chains would be strong enough. Mr. Choi, as always, helped them relax with his jokes and cheerful manner, and they all tried not to think of the possibilities.

As they neared Grangeville, they wound along White Bird Hill. "Turn to the left. Curve to the right. Careful now. On this side a thousand foot drop. On that side a 4-thousand foot drop! Whoops! The car is sliding! Oh, no! The driver has lost control! Heavenly Father, please protect us!"

There was nothing that could be done! Just then the car seemed to bump against something soft. It gently came to a stop at the edge of the road. They looked out and saw nothing soft that could have stopped it, only a steep cliff. It seemed that an invisible hand had reached out and brought their car to a stop just in time. Their hearts remained stuck in their throats for much of that day. And Father looked calm.

"The view was breathtaking," said Gordon much later in the safety of a warm center in California, "and so was the ride."

It would have been so easy to turn left and head for milder lands at that point. But Montana needed to be blessed, and it was east. They had to make it to the "Land of the Big Sky."

Luckily, after Grangeville, the storm quieted down. The roads became more friendly, and everyoneís hearts settled back where they belonged. They could even look around a bit and enjoy some of the scenic pine-covered slopes looming above and the icy rivers rushing below.

Once, when they stopped to change drivers along the way, they all got out and took a playful walk along the road, exercising their stiff legs and taking in deep gulps of the pure air.

As they resumed their journey and came into Montana, "Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies" took on new meaning for them. There is such a feeling of endless space and sweet air in Montana. In Missoula, holy ground was blessed among the Montana evergreen trees. Nearby, a pure sparkling brook sang its song.

Then they turned back West and headed for Spokane, Washingtonóland of warmth and sun and dry highways. They were just beginning to relax, when Satan made one last stand. The familiar curse of the journey hitósnow.

Entering the treacherous mountain passes that had challenged countless pioneers of the past, they marveled at how those brave people were able to get through at all. For them, there was only a rough trail to follow, and thousands died along the way. Yet thousands got through and started new lives with their families.

George and Gordon picked their way along the treacherous roads, trying to keep their speed up as much as possible. They had worn out three sets of chains and were on the fourth set. By now, they had been terrorized so many times by the icy roads that they seemed to be drained of all fear. They were in Godís hands, and they were almost as calm as Father. Naturally, they came through safe and sound.

West of Spokane, they finally discarded the bumpy chains and sped smoothly along the highway, for they had entered the more temperate zone of the West coast. The car slowed down a little for the Cascade Mountains, but then, through the night, they made up for so much lost time in the snow.

It was as if someone was fast-forwarding them to their final destination. The Washington police, just like the police in the other states, seemed to be busy or going the other way, and they were not noticed. They entered Seattle at 4 in the morning.

The drivers found their spot on the floor and fell immediately asleep. It wasnít just the long hours of driving that tired them so; it was the constant pressure of fulfilling Fatherís condition to reach all the states in 40 days and to keep him safe in even the worst of conditions that drained their energy.

They slept deeply, restoring quickly their energy for the new day. Still, morning came all too soon.

Down the West Coast

What a relief to shed the winter coats and walk among the daffodils in the gentle rain.

After blessing ground in a park overlooking Lake Washington, they drove on to St. Helenís, Oregon, where John Schmidli had a big dinner waiting. They had one of those wonderful meetings, with lots of singing and shy laughteróVernon Pearson, Galen Brookes, and others. Father sang, too.

The next day they drove south to Portland, Oregon, the land of the liquid sun (thatís what they call rain because it rains so much there). In beautiful Mt. Tabor Park overlooking Portland, the City of Roses, Father chose a large tree, which was actually three trees in one, around which to bless ground.

When he was finished, he looked to the darkening sky and said quietly with great emotion, "Heavenly Father, it is fulfilled." Mrs. Choi translated his words. It was March 29. All 48 states on the mainland had received their holy grounds.

Technically, the condition was complete, but there was still one more stop to make. As they drove toward California, they turned off the highway where Miss Kim had first begun her work six years earlieróEugene, Oregon.

In good spirits, they drove through the city, and Miss Kim showed them all the houses where she had lived and worked. They drove out to the little community of Oak Hill where her first members had lived and to which she had moved. Father showed great interest in each place.

To reward this historic city, Father blessed one more holy ground, the 55th in America. This time, when it was completed, Father raised his hands in a strong gesture of victory and shouted in English, "Finished!" He strode away like a victor. Everyone absorbed the same feeling and strode victoriously after him.

After a well-deserved victory feast at a Chinese restaurant, they headed on down the highway to San Francisco, where the circle would be complete.

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