Articles From the May 1995 Unification News


Tribal Messiahship - A Promise Fulfilled

by Lorman Lykes-Ecorse, MI

It's 5 o'clock in the morning. As I rise up to thank God for another morning, I am again amazed at what God has given me as a result of the Hometown Providence. As I dress, I think of how it seems like only yesterday that I came here with nothing and now I am meeting with mayors, congressmen and business executives on a regular basis. To me it's a miracle, but to True Parents I'm sure it is just another "Promise Fulfilled".

I came to Detroit with only lint in my pockets and faith in my heart that finally in hometown I would fulfill my destiny. It was only 3 and a half years ago that I was driving a taxi on the streets of Queens, New York wondering if I would ever make anything of my life. I was broke and in debt with three blessed children and a sick wife. I used to think how could I repay True Father for the time and money he invested in me after going to the seminary and then ending up like this. But then came the Hometown Providence.

As a young man growing up in Detroit in the 70's, I used to think I was on the fast track to success. I had all the right friends and was making preparation to attend law school. My goal was to change the city I loved into one in which people could be proud. However, when I met the Unification Church I was happy to forget my plans to work for the higher goals that the church was aspiring toward. But Heavenly Father had not forgotten! Now in my hometown, I see His wisdom. I traveled 360 degrees only to come back with the same goal, but this time with the true ideal of how to accomplish it.

My first day back in Detroit I visited the City Hall. I bowed my head and prayed before a huge statue named the "Spirit of Detroit", that symbolized God holding the city in His hands. I felt a rush of confidence that God was with me and would clear the way for this city's restoration. But how could I digest such a large city? "One bite at a time," came the answer.

The first six months were difficult financially. But thanks to flower selling we didn't starve. During this time I served as chairman of the committee that prepared for True Mother's visit to Detroit on her world tour. Between the endless stream of meetings and church activities, I managed to send out some resumes.

The sacrifice I made to work for the church full time in hometown was a significant indemnity condition. One day the phone rang and unbeknownst to me, a friend of a friend of a friend had received my resume and wanted to interview me. The part time job I was offered was in a small town that I had barely heard of named Ecorse. But what good can come out of Ecorse? Maybe this was the "small bite" I was looking for.

As I started work in Ecorse, a city that had just recovered from bankruptcy, I quickly learned that anything I did for the good of the city was an important work. In my new job as the director of the Coalition of Citizens for a Better Ecorse,(a non-profit housing program), I was only the boss of myself with the mission of turning this new group into an organization. I thank God for the training I received in the Unification Church because in a short time through service and going the humble course I was able to gain the trust of the community. This trust enable me to attract and mobilize supportive people in the community to help with the revitalization of the city. As a result, I was appointed to the position of Director of Housing for the City of Ecorse.

In this new position, I have direct access to the Mayor and other officials. I run a department with six city employees. Everyone knows that I am also a minister for the Unification Church and so far I have had several people I work with over to the center. When asked about how I like Ecorse I often say that ,"In New York I was a small fish in a large pond, In Ecorse I am a big fish in a small pond." But it is not my goal to become an a pompous VIP or big shot. There is enormous potential here for kingdom building. With God's help, I am in a position to influence and participate in the social, economic and political restructuring of the area. Already I am committee chairman of an economic development group for the city and I am a consultant for a group that is working to improve the school system. The problem now is that I am the only Unificationist here.

With my participation in so many activities and organizations I am at the point where I need to bring in help to meet the needs of the city's growth. It is my desire to eventually hire and train people who want to work in this mission. In my opinion, this work constitutes establishing a foundation of substance by actually building God's Kingdom. If there are people reading this who are not afraid to believe that this is possible, they are the ones who can made a foundation of faith by coming to Detroit like I did. I am especially looking for those individuals who have Michigan as their hometown.

Lastly, it is my sincere feeling that Heavenly Father has sent me here to be a Tribal Messiah trail blazer in the area of building communities of restoration. With the experience I have gained as a non-profit housing developer, my goal is to begin a for-profit development company. This company will specialize in constructing intentional communities (see article by Michael Craig) that incorporate a philosophical based life style as the foundation of the community.

Detroit was the recipient of 2.5 billion dollars worth of Empowerment Zone funds from the U.S. Dept. of HUD and corporate sponsors. This money will go to the people who have the most drive and imagination to serve others. The time is right in the Detroit area to dream the impossible dream. I did and it is coming true.

Please write to me: Lorman E. Lykes, Coalition of Citizens for a Better Ecorse, 421 Salliotte, Ecorse, MI 48229. Telephone: (313) 386- 5052


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