40 Years in America

Brothers Must Be Leaders

Laura Taylor Hayashi

After the Washington Monument Rally, and after some of the headlines from the victory had worn off, something still remained. The bills. Guess who got to pay for various "incidentals"? The local church. All 12 of us. It was truly impossible. But of course, we did it with Godís grace.

One story from that era is of my fundraising team. It didnít start out as my team. Our captain would always give morning service with the theme, "Brothers Must Be Leaders." I didnít mind, but as the only sister on the team I wondered what this would have to do with me. It was a nice time. I enjoyed fundraising, could see the importance of it at that time, and somehow did okay in result. Not all the other members could manifest the same fortune, so I wanted to try hard to bring some inspiration as well as result. When our captain had to leave, who became captain? The only sister, of course! So much for brothers being leaders, I thought!

I really didnít want another masculine-type responsibility, but as I looked around, I could see that as wonderful as these brothers were, they could use a little development before taking on the whole responsibility. So I tried to develop a "feminine" leadership style in a traditionally masculine role. I thought of Barbara Stanwick in all those cowboy movies. And I thought of a ranch where the Mom was widowed and her and the boys had to somehow make it together.

I gave each of the members a specific responsibility. Sometimes, it seemed much more work than actually doing the task myself, but my vision was helpful to sustain the effort. I could see them growing in grace daily. We grew quite close, and we had so many laughs, tears, and now warm memories.

Once, I had no area and no product left and no time. I still had to drop one member, go back to the center, and make the next pick up. Very tight. He had one case of candy left, so I thought. I said, "Do you have faith?" He said, "Yes!"

I said, "OK, here is your area." We were silent. There was nothing at all except a maximum security prison. I explained I had little choice at the moment, but since that was the case, God must provide. So amazingly cheerful, he jumped out. I drove off in sorrow and amazement. Thank God for young men like these, I thought. I hoped it wouldnít be too bad. When I returned, he had sold out! Believe it or not, they had a wedding inside the prison that day. And incredibly, they let him in! He had faith. I always said, go to find God!

Donít come back with a lame story about spiritual result; we need the money! But the first priority is to find God, and then result will come.

How happy I was to see that one day when I was looking for this huge lumberjack of a member. He reminded me of Paul Bunyon, especially when he went off through an aqueduct carrying a literal wooden barrel of candy on his shoulder. Another time, I dropped a member who was physically very young off in a parking lot. I hoped and prayed he would do well.

He was kind of "spiritually open," and would sometimes do incredibly well and other times tell me about how many birds he had seen while he was out. We really needed the money, so I hoped we would have bills, not birds, on this occasion. When I returned, there was a whole crowd, and police had cordoned off the area. I asked what was going on. I was told there was a crazy guy shooting on the roof. What repentance I had. I thought, I sent this young man to his death. How spiritually insensitive of me. How evil.

Then, someone tapped me on the shoulder. He was spiritually led to go to a different area, and returned for the pick up. Thank God for those who are "spiritually led."

We liked to have fun, and when working in Manassas, Virginia, I told them about the 1st and 2nd battles of Manassas. About how Manassas and Ephriam were Cain and Abel pairs. About how memories from this battle were one of the seeds for the formation of the KKK. So we were to engage in the 3rd battle of Manassas, to regain this area for God. We laid siege on the IBM building. You can imagine their security. They even had someone with a golf cart going around. We had so many good stories when we returned, and a lot of fun. The best was the fund-raiser who encountered a camera and a mechanical voice which wanted his ID number. He read the number from the candy box. The door opened, and he sold out.

I thought one fund-raiser was going to have a heart attack on his birthday! We had planned a surprise birthday party, and everyone was waiting at a table, hiding behind their menus. He was last, and I dropped him off to "blitz" the restaurant. Not only did they drop their menus and yell "Happy Birthday," but the management brought out a bass drum and they were all singing and they gave him some cake or something as well. We had a ball. All of us grew so much from our experiences. And yes, all the brothers did become leaders.

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