The Words of the Baughman Family
An Open Letter To Parents - A Testimony of the Special Task Force (STF) Experience
Dearest Fathers and Mothers,
My name is Jimi Baughman, and I'm writing this to you because I want to tell you just a little about my experience on STF (Special Task Force). For those of you who don't know what STF is, it's basically a one to two year program that was set up by Jin Hun Nim at the request of True Father in 1994. It was designed to create "the conversion experience" for Blessed Children, where we could find our faith in God, True Parents and the Divine Principle as something real and applicable in our daily lives as opposed to something that was just spoon-fed to us by our parents a Sunday School teacher. Basically, after graduating high school, we can get the chance to do some old style MFT (Mobile Fundraising TeamóIím sure many of you parents may have a thousand different memories and stories to tell from having this kind of experience!) fundraising and we are also heavily involved in major mobilization and other church activities (one major thing we were helping out with almost full-time this year was True Father's 50-state "We Will Stand" speaking tour). Right now, we are currently working towards growing the movementís membership through several different witnessing projects. Thereís quite a lot to say about STF, and even as I write Iím a little overwhelmed by how much I could express if there were words to convey how deep my understanding of God and True Parents have become, but Iíll try my best.
If you have ever gone through MFT training, than you will know what I mean when I say that it is truly an awesome, soul-changing experience. I cannot even believe sometimes that I should be so lucky, spending my days so close to God out there on the front-line. Of course, many times when we are living in this way for God, itís not so easy; we have to face the reality of Satan within ourselves and fight hard in order to overcome our fallen nature, not just for one day but sometimes even for weeks, and let me tell you, it gets so challenging! So then maybe you, as the concerned parents of Blessed Children who might be considering joining STF, might be worried that your son or daughter will have to go through a suffering course on STFÖmaybe you have even gone through a suffering course yourself and donít want your child to go through what you had to in the past. Iíll be honest with you; many times, I myself have struggled, and sometimes I have felt that truly, this is too difficult. Iíll also tell you that I know that many, if not all, of my brothers and sisters with me on STF have felt this same way at some point or another. But I really feel that if one wants to cultivate a true life of faith, treading this thorny path is absolutely necessary. After all, for example, True Father did not become the person that could totally be one with Godís heart by going through life just doing whatever made him feel goodÖand if he didnít struggle so much and overcome it thus becoming one with God, then where would any of us be today?
But on a more personal level, there are two reasons why I believe this path of trials and tribulations that STF puts us on is so vital to the growth of our lives of faith as Blessed Children: awareness and desire. On STF, we begin to become aware of our fallen nature, of our original minds and how much God can work if we follow it, of so many aspects of the spirit world, of setting good conditions and bad conditions, and there is just so much more that our eyes get opened up to! Most importantly, however, is the awareness we begin to acquire of Godís heart, of the pain and the loneliness, of how much He yearns for us as His children, and we also become aware of True Parentsí heart towards God. Itís amazing to finally appreciate True Father and True Mother, because honestly I didnít really have too much of a deep understanding of how much they went through to bring God happiness. But because of STF, I am aware even to the point that I realize that my life is not just a fruit of my own parentsí Blessing but a fruit of True Parentsí blood, sweat, and tears for God. This transcends even to my understanding of the Divine Principle: once it was just a black book that I barely even thought about, and now it is so much more than words, but genuinely the truths that guide my life closer to God. It is because of this awareness that all of us on STF, myself included, possess the desire to become true sons and daughters of God and to make Him happy. No other experience other than MFT on STF could ever give this kind of heavenly desire that fuels us to strive to truly understand and come closer to Godís heart.
And it is with these two important aspects of a true life of faith, awareness and desire, that I am growing towards my ultimate goal, to be a true daughter of God. As parents, I donít think that any one of you would ever say that you wouldnít want your child to become a true son or daughter of God. Even to posses the heart to want to be a better person for God is a great beginning, and that is what I have acquired on STF: the heart to want to bring God joy. I believe that every Blessed Child can find themselves and their faith if they have the proper guidance, and this STF program is truly one of the only ways that we can have the experience of MFT fundraising and witnessing and the true "hard core" life that many of our parents have gone through. In this way, not only can we come to understand God and True Parentsí heart, but we can even be able to understand our own parentsí hearts. Thatís something that I know all parents desire! So please, in all earnestness I ask that you seriously consider encouraging your children to join STF, because from my experience, I can tell you that no other program has what it takes to mold us as Blessed Children into what God desires of us.
Sincerely, Your little sister,
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