The Words of the Jenkins Family
Visit to Alabama and Mississippi
September 6, 2005
After our visit to Houston we stooped next in Alabama. Bayou LaBatre and other areas of the lower Bayou of Alabama were devastated.
Rev. Richard Sapp of Florida has set up an IRFF headquarters in Alabama with Rev. Carl and Marilyn Rawls. Family Fed volunteers (some second generation) have arrived to help in what ever way they can. Again, we need to pull together and give all we can. Rev. Rawls and Marilyn are setting up homes to take people from New Orleans out of the shelters (they are coming all over the country) and get them in homes. Rev. Sapp is organizing with all his heart. We sincerely thank them and Rev. Rawls, who is one of our key ACLC National executive committee members is heading up our ACLC effort in Alabama.
When we arrived Rev. Kim and Rev. Yamane picked us up at night, the first thing we did was to go from gas station to gas station looking for gas. There is a big shortage across the country but much more in Mobile area. All the gas pumps have plastic bags on them indicating they are shut down. Finally, by asking a number of people where to go Rev. Yamane received a tip about a back woods country station that you could get gas at. We went there and sure enough there was gas and not much of a line. Alabama had been without power since the storm and people have been consuming large quantities of gas to run generators. Every car in line had the trunk open with two or three huge gas cans inside so them could get gas for their generators.
The next morning after our 5 am prayer, Archbishop Stallings read Father Moon's speech from the four-city tour in June. It made us feel strength. We met briefly with the Alabama leaders and then went to tour the destruction. It was shocking to see. Ships were clustered in bunches laying on their sides or even stacked liked toothpicks in some areas. Businesses were torn to pieces with a blanket of mud and silt covering everything. One fishing boat was sitting on top of the wooden dock. Cars were carried all over.
The most devastating of all was the destruction of peoples homes. We went to the coast and found our lawyer, Mr. Doug Martin. He was standing on the rubble that was once a beautiful mansion overlooking the coast. His home was carried away into millions of pieces. He is a man of character. He said, "Don't worry, our family is fine that is the most important thing." He pointed to one of the very big oak trees in his yard and said, "That shows you something, those trees didn't get pulled out because they have deep roots. That's why family is so important." Mr. Martin is a successful lawyer who wants to come with his wife to one of our special blessing ceremonies. He is a great American. He said we'll overcome. We will rebuild. I'm more worried about those who don't have the means to bounce back. We should take care of them. Here is a man standing on the rubble of his home saying lets take care of others. He even offered us water from his cooler in the back of his van as we were leaving. He loves our family. He is man of faith.
Seeing the people in the areas in the early morning, some were already cleaning. Many of their homes were completely flooded. They have to take everything out of the house, the furniture, the curtains, the beds - everything. We went to our businesses and they also were seriously damaged. Our shrimp processing offices were up off the ground 10 feet but unfortunately this time the water came in 15 feet high swamping everything. Jens took us around by flashlight. With no power, no real clean up can begin. Rev. Steve Wilson our ACLC Co-convener works at the business and fortunately just as a precaution he moved the computers to the second floor, some were left behind. This saved a lot. You could see the waterline in the building, there is need to help in massive cleanup. Our volunteers can help tremendously there.
One problem that comes with the water is a terrible smell, it smells like dead fish. It will be hard to get it all out. But people are determined. Alabama and Mississippi have be continuously hit. Again and again and the people spring back. At our boat building business fortunately the offices were high enough to stay dry. Brett and Steve are determined to pull it back together. The Boat yard is covered with mud, however there was our second generation Barret Dungan and Daiko Moraes. They overcome. Mississippi was hit even harder, Gulfport and Biloxi were flattened. We could see some areas and the gas lines were endless. People would wait 4 hours to buy gas. to keep things in order, National Guardsmen in full battle uniforms were posted at the gas stations.
Because of power outages and water problems, you could see that rations to the people were much more serious. Distribution of food was critical, many points of distribution were set up. US Army rations were being distributed, MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) were being given along with, ice and water. No questions asked. Get in line with your car at the distribution point and your family would receive food.
About 2500 lost or were put out of their homes in Bayou LaBatre. They are staying in shelters. They will need the counsel, concern and ministerial care that we saw needed in Houston. One home in Mississippi in a upscale area was hit and displayed a sign saying "We Can Do It !!! USA !!" That is the great spirit of America we can do it and we will. We are going to turn this trial and tribulation into triumph and even greater resolve that America will be the nation to bring love and healing to the world.
The Alabama family gathered for Sunday service, we thanked God for his blessings and prayed together for all the people. The Alabama family is strong, we are grateful. We held a special prayer for Reed and Sabine Darsey, whose son Johannan passed to the spirit world last March. Bishop Stallings and I wanted to show how much True Parents remember our families who face the loss of their children. True Parents know that course. The Darsey's went through that trial with incredible strength and Sabine has been taking care of Rev. Roberta Buckley who together with her husband are pastors who attended the blessing in Korea. When families attend to others they have so much strength to endure trials. Reed and Darsey gave us all strength with the heart, faith and trust in God that they demonstrated. Now life is flowing through them to others. Johannan is working through them from Heaven !!
At the service we emphasized Father's fundamental direction to make our homes into Neighborhood family churches. (HD Family Church) in which the Word of God is given to all in the community and eventually as we expand the blessing until many homes become Neighborhood Family Church homes. We also announced and celebrated the fact that Rev. Joshua Cotter, Alabama's favorite son and Father to our church community there was just elevated to the position of the National director of Field Operations for FFWPU with particular focus on the NFC. The congregation was very inspired. Also, the school they have developed there and the Principle Mr. Yamane were proud to announce that their graduates are going to top schools such as Rice and MIT. (Rev. Yamane's son got a full ride to MIT). So much good is going on in Alabama.
I also emphasized how important it is to have Holy Wine as Father said. Because I had holy wine at the Astrodome the Jeffersons could be engrafted into the Tree of Life. I asked who is carrying Holy Wine at all times - Mrs. Karin Wilson (Rev. Steve Wilson wife) and Mrs. Charlotte Blounc stood up. I offered a donation to each of them asking them to continue to bless and make their homes Hoon Dok Family Churches. (Actually Mrs. Blounc was so excited and then she remembered that she switched purses on the way to church, she looked so disappointed but we could tell she always has holy wine and now we are sure that she will have extra in every purse !!!) We honored them because they are ready and they continue to bless and engraft people to the Tree of Life.
I also emphasized that Father asked everyone to move to their hometowns. I asked Steve Roppoli who is a key person at the shipbuilding company where is his hometown. Steve also takes care of our music and sound at our church.
He said Mobile is my hometown. I asked were you born here ? He said no, I was born in Albuquerque. Actually where we were born or where we grew up as children and where our relatives call home is our hometown. It is also where our ancestors hearts are tied into the culture and the land that nourished their families. We should all move to our homes according to Father's direction for Breakthrough in the Neighborhood level.
However, I explained how our Continental Director, Dr. Yang continues to report very sincerely and in great detail to True Parents. (Sometimes he goes through trials because of that but even after being scolded he comes back the next day ready with a fresh heart of a son, ready to go.)
Because of that so much more detail gets communicated to True Parents about our members situations. He reports how much members sacrifice and offer for Heaven. He also reported that the situation of families in America is very different than Korea.
Many families relatives have left their birthplace and spread throughout the nation. Father understood and then said they should still go to their hometowns however Father made one exception. If you serve Christianity and other religions by doing ONE FAMILY THREE CHURCHES you can make your hometown where you live now. Because Christianity is the root and ancestor of this nation, therefore it can work if you take care of three churches. Steve will stay in Mobile, because he is a man of faith who follows Father's directions. I believe that soon three churches will be greatly blessed by the visits of the Roppoli family.
Bishop Stallings wanted to go and embrace our people there and show God's love for those who have endured this terrible storm. We love our members and our families. Bishop Stallings gave such a sincere and heartfelt expression of sympathy and concern for all who are suffering there. (Many of our families homes were flooded and many have been working everyday since the Hurricane to fix what was torn up. Somehow South Garden and our Church were not touched. ) Bishop Stallings noted that and then testified to True Parents. He said, "I will tell you why I believe that Father Moon is the Messiah, because of three things. 1. Identity - through his teaching you come to understand who you are. You are a child of God who can become one with God. 2. Purpose - he teaches you to fulfill your purpose and change blood lineage and build blessed families with husband and wife as male and female in the image of God as well as the family and children as God's dwelling and ...3. De stiny - he reveals not only your destiny but that of your religion, race, nation and world. If someone else could do it better I would follow them. However I want to tell you something.... There is no one else and there will never be anyone else who can do it better..... Halleluiah "
The Alabama family is strong now. Rev. Kim and Rev. Yamane are very united and are working with Rev. Wilson and to take care of the members and the clergy. We had a beautiful luncheon with Rev. Toliver, Pat, Dr. Goodwin (blessed to a Japanese sister) and Imam Kamal. The religious leaders were very much together in heart. Bishop Stallings and I shared with them the importance of the Prayer breakfast, being consistent and every month. They understood and have been doing it. That's why Alabama brought over 50 people all the way to Washington for Father's June tour. Now they may bring 200 to Atlanta !!!!
Father and Mother Moon want to tour America to embrace the American people and strengthen their faith that these trials are all preparation for greater blessing and the hope that America will awaken to its destiny to bring inter-religious harmony to the whole world. This is the will of Heaven.
Now is God's Time to rally together to heal our nation. America must overcome every trial in faith and unite to bring God's Peace Kingdom. Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana needs our love, support and sacrifice. The kind of people Archbishop Stallings and I met there are the people that are the spirit and backbone of America.
Now Father will tour America to embrace the sacrificial and faithful people so that we might heal the people of this nation and then go on to heal and restore the families of the world.
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