Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery
I was really shocked when I got to the Mall and saw all the people. There were thousands in all directions. I knew right away this wasn't going to be the symbolic victory of Yankee Stadium. This was exactly what we had hoped and prayed and worked for. I suddenly felt my offering to God had been accepted. Even though I hadn't always made my goal over the past three months and had fallen short on many internal levels, I never gave up or lost faith, and that's the condition God needed. I knew that on a deep heartist level I had gotten victory. It felt really, really good to be there.
But for most of the day I didn't feel that way. I had no idea what would happen. All day I had replayed the disastrous events of Yankee Stadium over and over in my mind -- the storm, the booing and hissing, the near riot, the feeling of utter failure at the end. In my imagination I could easily envision those things happening again.
I had been dropped off at a bus stop in Bethesda, Maryland, early in the morning. It was one of the designated pickup points for people going to rally. But all my fundraising experience had taught me that these were not people who liked Father or the church. It was a rich, white neighborhood with large tidy homes and manicured lawns. Absolutely terrible fundraising area. The worst. I tried to have faith that God would move the hearts of even some of these people to come to the rally, but after six months of fundraising, 18 hours a day, seven days a week, I saw no reason to be optimistic that wealthy, white Americans were suddenly going to see the light.
I was right. Not one person came to my stop.
It was warm and bright and I had nothing to do but just sit there and wait. I had a terrible battle with sleep spirits all morning. Months of going on three or fours hours of sleep a night was catching up to me. I wanted so badly to lie down on the bench to take a nap. But I knew Satan would invade, so I fought back. I sang every song I knew. I stood by the shoulder and waved at passing cars while I held a poster with Father's picture and the words "Meet Us At The Monument."
The sight of Father's picture made people possessed. Housewives flipped me the bird. Little kids leaned out their car windows and booed. People kept threatening to run me over. In fact, one car pulled over to the shoulder, laid on the horn and floored it. I stepped out of the way, but the car swerved toward me and only barely missed me.
The elderly couple whose house I was standing in front of were very kind to me, however. I think they felt sorry for me, seeing how I was being treated. They offered me the use of their phone and bathroom. The woman even made me a sandwich at lunchtime and brought it out to me along with a glass of lemonade. I gave them some tickets to the rally. I doubt they came, but I won't forget their simple kindness. They were the one decent thing that happened to me all day at that godforsaken bus stop.
I hated being in a place where people hated Father so much and took it out on me, but it was my mission and I wasn't going to leave. MFT had taught me that no matter how hopeless our external circumstances may appear, only God knows what's truly happening on the cosmic level. I was going to faithfully play my role to the end.
I didn't get picked up until late and got to the rally about 7:30, right at the end of Father's speech. But it was okay with me. After not having a single person come to my bus stop and enduring nearly 12 hours of negativity, I was just happy to see all those people. Maybe they really came just to see the fireworks, but who cared? The important thing was they had witnessed the messiah speaking at his final public appearance. It was a historic moment whether folks realized it or not, and they will always be able to say they were there.
Tonight's fireworks were the most spectacular I had ever seen in my life. I watched the show with Poppy and other Oakland family members. It was a wonderful reunion, but sad too. So many people I had known and loved back in San Francisco had left the family or been kidnapped and deprogrammed. Even Mitch was gone. It was hard to believe.
My heart is getting seasoned to this type of bad news. It's clear to me now that staying is the hard choice. Leaving is easy. Who knows? I may yet have to go through the ordeal myself, though my parents have repeatedly assured me they won't have me kidnapped. Still, you can never trust Satan.