40 Years in America

Pioneering America in the early 70s

Laura Taylor Hayashi

In the early times in the USA movement, Father wanted to visit the members, and there was no money and no internal education about attendance. He would often just have to stay in cramped quarters together with our members. The OWC had just been changed to IOWC, and what a mess it was with different languages and cultures, all traveling around together.

And of course, not much money. In one such place, there was only two bedrooms, one for brothers and one for sisters. And one toilet, which was between the two rooms. Well, Father had gone into the bathroom, and might have fallen asleep, because when he came out, he was sort of disoriented. He went into the wrong room -- the sisters room! It was morning, and everyone was half awake, in various stages of dress or undress. The tendency in this world is that a lady would scream, in such a situation, but this was our True Father! It is the joy of an original child to see their parent anytime. Thank God for one sister, who in her bra and pants marched up to Father, and said, "Good morning, Father!" He was happy. But of course, he left.

Another time, much later, we were a small group in Washington, D. C., after the Washington Monument Rally. True Parents came almost every week. It was intoxicating. They were filled with a kind of joy, which they wanted us to inherit. One time, Father was saying he had to go. I am sure he did have to go, but it also seems now that he wanted to stay more and share more with us. One sister stood up and said, "Father, please donít go." He beamed. His heart had been received, and returned to him. Later, he spoke many times in many places about this event. How important it was that that sister had felt that way about him, and expressed it.

Another occasion during this same period, Father was trying to make the point of self-sacrifice. How when you love God, it is a joy to sacrifice and we want to take the bad things so others may have the good ones. He had been speaking like this for some time. Then he wanted a foil, and chose a sister in the front row to make the point. Now this sister had escaped from a communist country, and many of her family were suffering great hardships. They suffered both because she left, and because of shortages in her country.

She had gotten a letter one day about a friend whose baby had died because there was no way to heat their apartment -- nothing available at all. But this sister was intoxicated with True Parents, and steadfast in her understanding of why she was with us, and how she would remain for their sake. Her English seemed good, but it must have been an interesting combination between her understanding and Fatherís expressions. She was enraptured when Father asked her, "So, now what kind of food do you want?" She replied ecstatically, "Good food, Father!" He drew his whole body back. She was supposed to say, bad food.

He reassessed this situation. Again, directly with some force, very close to her face, he asked the same question. She replied exactly the same, and in the same manner. Father tried one more time, but he dissolved in laughter when she replied the same. He tousled her hair and grabbed her head. We were all laughing so much. He gave up. His speech took a whole new direction, one centering on joy. It was beautiful to behold.

North Carolina

We arrived at Chapel Hill, N.C. to a small center, all of us with big hopes. Maybe there were seven of us. Soon, it was only five of us, as there were MFT teams that requested members from the states. One of the campaign requests was to help buy Belvedere.

We sold peanuts, and later, candles in the little brandy snifter glasses. Sometimes we sold ginseng. I met some wild ginseng hunters with lots of amazing stories. What a wonderful way to get to know the countryside of North Carolina. Father had told us to do strange things to get attention. I remember in Minneapolis they drilled a hole in the ice and jumped in (I think in January) just for the press. In Omaha, members did a march, not unlike the trail of tears. We couldnít think of a lot that would work for us; we were fundraising almost the whole time. We would get together on holidays with other states. When our entire region of five states gathered, we would have a total of only about 25 people.

Witnessing on campus, we encountered much Marxist thought. The Rising Tide newspaper was helpful. One guest we brought was interested, but kept talking about his ideas of Marxist thought. He was a constant companion, and a bit of a pain. He made us a round table, with legs which had a hinge, so it could be used for sitting on the floor as well as with chairs. It was built as a labor of love. He dropped out soon after, however. And I will never forget the time we were so poor, and it was so cold, we burned the legs of that table in the fireplace!

Witnessing in 1972

Then July 1, 1972, Father reorganized the whole movement. My friend Bonnie and I were to go to North Carolina. I was frantic to meet some more of my old friends in Iowa. When I first joined, Christine had taken me to visit the old group. How shocking it was for me to visit people I knew in this new context, talking about ancient controversies. Yet I felt confident that others were prepared.

The day before we left, a good friend of my previous boyfriend was outside a bar during the bandís break, getting cool in the summerís evening. I told him to come visit, that the center and the Divine Principle was everything we had previously spoken about in our searches for God and integrity. The next day, we were driving along and saw him on his motorcycle. We pulled up beside him, and I yelled that we were leaving that night for North Carolina, it was his only chance, didnít he remember our talk the last night? I think he was embarrassed that he didnít remember, so that night before we left, he came to evening program. By the time we arrived three days later in North Carolina, driving my friendís little Volkswagen bug, he had joined. He went on to a foreign mission and had many great adventures of his own. And we did as well!

IOWC, early 70s

In the early 70s, we didnít know even about fundraising. It was front-page news when someone broke $50 fundraising! Our center hadnít tried it yet, and the rent was due. Christine didnít want to get a job and be tied to their schedule, and I was still mostly living at home, not fully living in the center. What to do? Christine said, "God will provide." The day that the landlord would pick up the rent, a stranger came to our door, and said, "This is for you." He gave us a paper bag. It was filled with exactly enough cash for the rent.

Christine knew I had to get more involved. The nearest center was more than 500 miles away, either in Kansas City or Omaha, NE. We decided to go to Omaha. As I was hearing the Divine Principle, my close friend was having visions of the prayer room in Omaha. When I returned, we were up together all night sharing simultaneous spiritual experiences. She never left. Three days later, her husband came to see what was going on. We told him the conclusion of the Divine Principle and he moved in. The first Day of Hope tour was starting, and we heard the news that True Parents would stop in Iowa City, which was a four-hour drive away. We made urgent preparations. At that time Rev. and Mrs. Moon were not called our "True Parents." We called Father "Master." I remember seeing a formal picture of them, and thinking it was too intimate for me to look at! He was touching Motherís shoulder.

Members from as far as Tennessee came. Their state leader came wearing a turban (he is not Indian) and playing a sitar! It would be our only chance during the tour to see True Parents and most of us had never seen them. They wanted to stop and visit because Klaus Werner was with us in Iowa, and they had known him since he was about 12 years old. We felt very fortunate. We invited all kinds of crazy guests, whom we had just met.

We were all so young, and had a zeal for witnessing. Including the new IOWC teams that had arrived in the United States, there were no more than 800 members in the whole country. Yet at that moment we felt so large. There couldnít have been 40 people in that humble house. I remember I was shocked that Mother wore pants. I caught myself right away; I wondered what I had expected her to wear? The thought must have come from some spiritual influence. David Kim was in fine form, dancing all around with great excitement to translate for Father. Father had to trounce him, with a smack of his hand a few times, especially when he jumped up on a chair, higher than Father, to explain a point. David Kim didnít seem to mind at all, it was funny and warm.

Father asked for questions, and we were so embarrassed with some of the strange questions that were asked by these guests. One asked why it wasnít okay to smoke. Another asked about people from other planets. I groaned inside, grateful that they werenít my guests.

But Father replied with so much love, and so wisely. He said, "When we have solved all the problems of this planet, then we will worry about life on other planets." How grateful I felt to be with our "Master." Then he initiated some games, which we played into the night. Yute was one of them. We laughed and were all squashed in together. I canít imagine where we all slept, but in fact, we didnít sleep at all. We kind of sat in a corner of the hallway, with bunches of others. No one minded at all.

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