Unification News for November 1999

Japanese Witnessing in Alabama

J. GrapekBayou La Batre, AL

We were pleasantly surprised when we got word that 30 Japanese Sisters were coming to Bayou La Batre for the mobilization. Although members have joined here through the businesses over the years this area hasn't been considered a witnessing mecca. Mobile is a growing and prosperous city, but there is no area where people walk around like they might in a larger city. Even on the campuses students don't tend to linger, but are usually seen going from one class to the next. Of course, with 30 Japanese sisters here ready to go to work we had to throw all our concepts out the window.

With our leader, Joshua Cotter, still in Japan and Korea the community here thought it important to quickly claim victory to inspire him upon his return, October 15. Some western members and local Japanese members went witnessing door to door near some of the colleges in Mobile. They took a survey and invited guests to a Japanese cultural event to be held at a local coffee shop that Saturday, October 16. The coffee shop had a beautiful room upstairs which they rented to us from noon to four for only ten dollars (with the purchase of some of their self-roasted Colombian Supremo Coffee).

Any concepts we had remaining vanished Saturday afternoon when 24 guests came to our event. Terry Yamane hosted the event dressed like many of the Japanese sisters, in a Kimono. The room was decorated oriental style and many of the sisters had poured out their heart all morning making Sushi. It was fun to watch a few people eating with chopsticks for the first time. Joshua Cotter arrived Friday evening from Korea to find out that he was giving a presentation the following afternoon.

He didn't sleep on the flight, or that evening but he and Terry both gave great talks Saturday afternoon. The event was sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace. Joshua Cotter announced the Founders and spoke of the upcoming matching and Blessing. Following the presentation, matching applications were distributed. The Japanese sisters have been staying in our homes, mostly two per house, and as it turned out the sister staying with Ruthie Finamore brought a guest who could have been Ruthie's younger sister. It reminded me of times long ago to see them sharing in earnest as the matching application loomed heavy on the table in front of them. This guest was very prepared, and very open and signed up for the matching! Although she was the only one to sign up at the time, others were inspired about it and many looked forward to upcoming workshops.

Starting this Monday the witnessing teams brought the matching applications door to door to get people to sign up immediately. On the first day with this approach nine people signed the applications! Paul Rotondo, who's been witnessing every day said that peoples' hearts open completely when they open the door and see the Japanese sisters. Soon we will have an apartment in Mobile with daily evening programs.

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