The Words of the Vaughn Family
Rick with wife Sheila and daughter Natani
From February of 1976 until August of 1980, I spent most of my time fundraising on National MFT teams across the United States. It was a very important time for me because I had so many profound experiences. One of my MFT leaders, Mr. Zen Hiyashi, told the Los Angeles region membership that MFT is where we can establish our "eternal foundation of faith." Looking back, I know how true that statement was. Memorable experiences with God and True Parents occurred very frequently daring that time. There were many times when I felt like I was going through a course which was very similar to Father's course, but only on a symbolic level. It would be difficult to go an identical course as Father went since prison camps such as Hungnam only exist in communist or war-torn countries. Father's training from God was in the most difficult of circumstances. I know that what I experienced on MFT is only a fraction of what Father experienced in the prison camp. But it's that fraction that helps me to understand God and True Parents on a much deeper level.
Just after the Washington Monument rally in 1976, I went to Seattle to continue fundraising on the National MFT.
After spending some time as an assistant team leader I went to San Francisco to lead a team in the Bay Area. We happened to be in the middle of a forty-day fundraising condition at the time. On the last day of that particular condition, I think it was a Tuesday, we stayed out until 4:00 a.m. After reporting, we returned to the motel for a long awaited sleep. Before I laid down, I sat next to the bed and leaned back against it.
The next thing I remember was seeing Father standing in front of me. He was praying fervently. I looked around and noticed that there were twelve other Korean elders standing in a circle and praying in unison with Father. I was a part of the circle. I became aware that we were in a long valley with tall cliffs on either side. Bombs were bursting all around us producing big holes in the cliffs. It seemed as though Father was a soldier, for he was praying as a soldier does before going into battle, knowing full well that it may be his last day on earth. The thought came to me that this must be Father's attitude in daily life. Then I remember lining up in a single line behind Father with some of the Korean elders in front of me and some behind me. We held on to each other by the elbows and levitated off the ground several feet. It was difficult for me to break free of gravity but with the help of the elders I was finally able to do so. We began to move forward while rising higher and higher. I closed my eyes and could feel the wind blowing in my face.
When I opened my eyes again we were flying over a very large city just above the tops of the buildings. At that moment I felt exhilarated and confident. I could actually shoot for the stars! I shot like a bullet through the clouds turning back only once to see where I had been. There, hovering just above the clouds, was an angelic being pointing a wand of some sort towards the stars and saying, "Don't look back. Don't look back." Turning towards the stars I regained my momentum and began to accelerate rapidly. I began to pass by stars -- a few at first, then many. The last thing I remember was proclaiming over and over again, "God, you're so great! God, you're so great!"
Still leaning against the bed, I regained physical consciousness. Excitedly I jumped up and proceeded to write down everything that had just happened. The following day I remember being in awe of the world around me. Something was different. It didn't seem to be as "real" as it used to be. There was a lot more to my life than I was aware of before I had this experience. I couldn't quite grasp the essence of my new awareness until several weeks later when we were invited to hear Father speak in California. In the middle of his speech, I remember hearing Father say, "You may have the experience someday when you completely break free of the earth's gravity and shoot past the stars as if you had been shot from a cannon, break through into the spirit world and eventually right into the heart of God!" It seemed as though he knew of my recent experience! One thing I was certain of was that God was speaking directly through Father to tell me that I had fallen a little short. Even though it was a great experience I still had more to accomplish spiritually. Maybe someday, after I've grown, I will make that trip directly into the heart of God!