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outandabout

There I Was

112 posts in this topic

There I was. Sitting on the floor outside the cafeteria of a college campus waiting to apply for a job there. Next to me sat a young man named Steve and we began talking. Steve told me about a fellowship that he ran around campus and during the conversation I told him I might show up sometime.

To make a long story short, I eventually did show up a few months later, after bumping into Steve over and over and Steve asking me again and again, and Steve coincidentally moving in next door of all things.

I had been on a spiritual quest for years. I grew up in a home with an atheist scientist father and a mother who was probably Christian but one would never know. I have yet to know if I will see her at the Return.

When I was 20, before I got witnessed to, I had met a guy in my dorm who was into Yoga and I became entranced with the possibility that there was more to life than the physical realm. After all, I had lived the Existential despair for years of experiencing life as absurd, and then later finding that a group of philosophers had defined it already.

Starting with the Yoga guy, I eventually went on to: Astrology (I studied it and got my chart drawn up), The I Ching, and Zen Buddhism. I would go to visit the local medium. I took a Tarot Card class, and did Transcendental Meditation for two year, faithfully meditating my two sessions day. One day I even put on a sari and chanted with some Hare Krishnas in the Student Union.

Dog is barking to get out of his crate. To be continued but don't know when.

Edited by outandabout
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Ok, so I went to twig one day and it was in a little chapel in town. I got a little high off of it so I figured there must be something to it.

Our little twig had 4 people in it. Steve, Michael (both college WOWs), Cammie and me. We sat on the floor, sang songs, and had a teaching.

We were in Yellow Springs, Ohio, not that far from New Knoxville. I went there to HQ a few times with Steve. We sat under the apple trees some of the times. I met Donnie Fugit and I had a crush on him. One time I was standing in the BRC and Dr Weirwille walked in and saw me. He didn't say anything and neither did I.

This was all around 1973.

Steve invited me to a weekend in West Virginia called a "BOW WOW." I could still go anyway even though I wasn't a WOW.

I slept in an a tent or somewhere with the women and when I woke up in the morning, what I remember is, I felt this spiritual presence, this peace, this spiritual something like I hadn't felt before. I woke up and the woman in the cot next to me was braiding her hair, and this total blanket of spiritual peace was envelopping the whole area. I felt it.

Now, I had been on both sides at this point spiritually and I knew the difference. I've seen both sides and to this day I know there's a God and and a Devil because I delved into both.

Ok, here goes the dog again. Now he's downstairs and wants to get out. geese

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Ok so if I was never born again, during that weekend I accepted Jesus Christ and believed he got up from the dead.

There goes the garage door. Someone's home. probably hubby.

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So I got born again that weekend, if I wasn't already. (Maybe in some Bible class I took in elementary school that my mother let me take. I remember how I had to walk back and almost got lost....very strange)

I decided the Bible was the truth and that I would sign up for the class.

And if the Bible was true, all the other stuff wasn't. It was a real turning point spiritually, to put it mildly. I won't even go into a lot of things that happened spiritually during my "transition" from darkness to light. Let's just say that the darker forces didn't want to let go.

But I had understood the words of Jesus Christ when he said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me."

And the Bible makes it very clear about what God thinks of the things that I previously involved in. Very clear. You cannot spiritually mix oil and water. Funny thing, though, how all the spiritual things I was into before could be mooshed together in my head with little contradiction, but once I got to Jesus, it had to be him and nothing else.

On the trips I took up to HQ - and at the BOW WOW in W. Va - the spiritual atmosphere I felt, the spiritual presence, was a different spirit than the ones I had been messing with. I felt the difference, I sensed the difference. I saw the difference in peoples' eyes, and their countenance. And that's why to this day I believe there's a God and a Devil. Did I say that already?

So I signed up for the class and continued to go to twig. I was living in a house with other college students, although I had graduated. I was hanging around Yellow Springs because I had been in an encounter group that met 3 times a week and I had committed myself to it for a year - It was a program. We'd sit around and "confront" one another and yell and fight and learn to express ourselves so we could become more "together." Yeah, I had been into that, too.

So, just as I was about to take PFAL, this encounter group thing was ending. I had made plans to move in with a female friend I had just gotten to know, but then she got tight with one of the encounter guys, and decided to live with him. The guy told me in so many workds to get lost and he didn't want me moving in with them because the somehow the "vibes" weren't right. Uh, yeah. My vibes had changed.

SO - there was a class coming up in Columbus. I packed up my stuff and took off to take the class there and stay with 3 female Fellow Laborers in their apartment. Two of them went on to marry clergy, be amongst those of the upper echelon, so to speak.

I took PFAL at the downtown YMCA in Columbus. Txm Jenkxxson ran it. One of the things he said to us was, "And for some of you, this is the last stop." I studied my collaterals at night.

I had already spoken in tongues before the end of session 12, because at one time, at HQ, I was sitting in the back of a car, and a police car came up for some reason, and a guy in the car I was in said, "I suggest you all speak in tongues right now." So I did, to myself.

After the class was over, I was hanging around the Fellow Laborers' apartment until they kicked me out. I had some money so I found an attic apartment down the street and moved in. I looked all over Columbus for a job but couldn't find anything even though I was trying to apply my newfound Law of Believing.

Eventually, I moved back to Rochester. Packed up all my stuff and went back to my home town to live at my parents' house. I found the fellowship there and started going to twig in Rochester.

I witnessed to my best friend, Wendy, and she took The Class. I was praying for where to go next when, on a snowy day at a bus stop, I saw Pxxl

LeBrxn, who told me that his upstairs apartment over his grandparents place was available, since he was moving into a way home.

So Wendy and I moved in and I got a job in the kitchen of a nursing home down the street that another believer had just quit. I was working with all these Polish women who would yell at me all the time until they got used to me and decided I was ok. During one of my first days on the job, I accidentally stabbed myself with a fork in my right hand while I was sorting silverware, receiving a deep gash near my thumb. The scar is still there. If I look at it, it always reminds me of those Polish women yelling at me, and of the trip we took on a bus to Rye, NY to see Dr. W in some church and how my hand was bandaged up at the time.

So, we had twig at our apartment. It was the "early day." It was around 1973. We all were in love with the Word, and it wasn't unusual to have someone minister to you, or pray for you and have it be dead on. I loved to have someone minister to me just so I could hear what God had to say to me personally.

Donnie Fugit came by one time. Our apartment was sparse but we didn't really think much of that. After all I had been a hippie and I still didn't care much about decor. So Donnie came by to teach and the chair he sat on collapsed, everybody laughed. It was a good teaching, though.

Then I decided that summer to go to a Family Camp near Rye, NY for PFAL and Renewed Mind.

I fell madly in love with Jxm Stxxz. I had this tendency to just fall for people at the drop of a hat. It wasn't returned with the same intensity.

During the camp, one of the believers came up to me to tell me that Donald, one of our twig members, had drowned in the river when he and two other believers had gone swimming. I was in total shock.

Dr W dropped in halfway through the camp. He was sitting there in a chair on the grass by himself and I went up to him and asked if I could talk. And I bummed a cigarette from him. He didn't reprove me or anything, just smiled at me and gave me one. I asked him about going WOW, and he said it was a great thing to do but not for everybody. It was up to me. Then I told him about Donald drowning and he seemed very upset. I also told him, during the course of the conversation, that the Rochester branch leaders had left the area earlier than planned at the end of their assignment as branch leaders. He was even more upset, not blowing his stack or anything, but I could see his distress. He called Howard over and said something to him about 'do this or that' but don't recall exactly what.

I went home and wrote Jxx of my feelings and he wrote me back a very nice letter. I had signed up to go WOW and had filled out the application, but I had second thoughts. So I told my twig leader, Dan Somebody who went into the 6th corps, that I didn't think I wanted to go WOW after all, but he talked me back into it, and I walked out the front door of our apartment to the mailbox and dropped the application in.

I really didn't want to go WOW that much, though. But I didn't want to admit it to myself or anybody else.because then it meant I didn't want to "Go and Grow." I was afraid to uproot myself all over again and go off into the UNKNOWN. And if I was afraid to go, I couldn't admit that to myself because to fear anything was unacceptable and weak.

My parents were uprooting as well. My Dad took a new job at UC San Diego (he was a professor and research scientist) and they were moving to San Diego. So they sold the house and packed up and gave me their new address, which I put in my wallet.

Time to go to ROA and WOW training. I vaguely remember that I was riding with Linda Bxxxwell and maybe Jimmy Balsxxo and the car broke down. I remember being in some service place but how or if it got fixed I do not recall. But somehow we made it to ROA.

By the time WOW training came, I was very high. It was ROA 74, at Lima or Sydney, can't remember which one. I was getting higher and higher and then off into la la land. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would be in the WOW branch with "Barq Lilly". Hers was one of the last branches to be called and, there ya go, my name was called among them.

So the next day we were all getting ready to go to Amarillo, TX. While we we all getting to ready to leave, my stomach was in knots, and I kept repeating to myself a scripture ("My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.") but I still felt the fear.

The WOW branch took off in seven cars for the trip to Amarillo. I wasn't driving because I didn't have a license anymore, because I'd lost the one I got when I was 18 and didn't get another one. (not until I was 28)

I was going off into a psychotic episode (because I'm bipolar but I wasn't diagnosed at the time). I had had episodes before that went undiagnosed and untreated but since I was in the Word now, my mind was healed, right?

So I bacame a total lunatic and by the time we got to Amarillo, Barq took me to the bus depot, told me the guy behind the counter "was my mother" and put me on a bus to Rochester, telling me there would be people to meet me there. Except, my parents were in Del Mar, CA. In my confusion, I thought they were in Rochester, so off I went on a bus to Rochester.

I must now relinquish the computer to my child and I will return eventually.

Edited by outandabout
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There I was, on the bus, crazy as a loon, on my way to Rochester.

When the bus got to Oklahoma City, I got off the bus. What do you expect a crazy person to do? I carried a bag of stuff and a guitar. I was walking around and around the bus station babbling incoherantly. At one point a guy who worked at the bus depot took me downstairs to a supply closet, said a bunch of weird things to me that only God or the Devil would know, then turned off the lights and jacked off. It could have been rape. Thank God I was ok. Then he let me out.

Soon after that, the police arrived and put me in the back seat of their car, behind that cage thing. They went through my wallet, then took me to the city jail. I was escorted to a cell and there I stayed for three days.

I had visits from Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. I didn't sleep. I scratched messages into the wall through the paint. One of the wardens was mean and the other one was nice. I asked the nice one "Are you 'Big Nurse?'" And she said yes. She let me bum a cigarette. I asked her when it was night and when it was day and she said, "When you wake up it's day and when you go to sleep it's night."

"Big Nurse" went through my wallet and found the address of my parents in Del Mar and called my dad to let them know that I was in a jail in OK City. She came to my cell and told me "Your father is coming to get you."

My dad showed up and took me back to CA on a plane and straight to a shrink who gave me a very large dose of Thorazine, not a very fun drug, but it did the trick and I fell asleep on the living room sofa, the first sleep I'd had in days.

My dad called Dr Wierwille and asked him to give me a call. Instead, somebody else did, don't remember who, Weingarner maybe. He was the WOW coordinator I think. To this day, my Dad remembers that, that he asked Dr W to call me but he didn't.

So, I came down from my episode and then went into the depressed stage, sleeping until noon, feeling totally embarrassed and ashamed and like a failure for failing in the WOW field in the worst way, wondering what to do with my life.

I hooked up with the San Diego believers. I went with my brother to Dxxx and Koxx Gxxxs twig. David was great, loving and warm. It was just a nice little twig.

Eventually I moved out into an apartment near downtown, (it was cheap then) near the airport and within walking distance to the twig. I could hear the planes going overhead on a regular basis. I was taking a course to be a medical secretary. Then I moved in with a married couple in the twig and got a job making beads for a potter. I know, that doesn't make a lot of sense but that's what happened.

Then I went into Fellow Laborers. By this time it was January, 1976. I was living San Leandro in an apartment over the CA headquarters. Txx Bixhop was running the program, and I think he was the limb leader at the time. I was really gung-ho about the whole thing, doing the program all the way. We ran, and I was really into that, since I'd never been very athletic, but running wasn't competitive, and you could work your way up in fitness.

We worked part time to bring in money for the family fund. I had house cleaning jobs. One month, the coordinator said I brought in the most money out of everyone. Seeing as finding work and making money was never something I seemed to do well at, I was proud of that.

Our assignment, after training was over, was Visalia, CA. I was with Reggie Nxe and Jim. Our assignment was for 6 months. We didn't have much money to find a place to live and get started. Eventually we found an apartment where the manager gave us a break and let us move in without the usual first/last deposit stuff.

I found a job in a fabric shop. I kept up with the running. That was the summer Joyful Noise came out with that album, "America Awake" or "Wake up America" or whatever it was. We played it a lot.

One day I got up and decided I was going to witness to as many people as I could and went out and talked to about 20 people. We had fellowship almost every night and several people came and went.

I met this guy named Tony that I got attracted to. Unfortunately, Tony stole our family fund out of the hallway closet later on.

I took time off from the fabric store job to go to a TWI camp and when I came back I was fired. Then I found a job as a short order cook in a restaurant.

Well, our assignment ended and I had decided to go WOW again. Give it another try. I took the bus back to my parents' house in Del Mar. My brother and I were both going out WOW that year. Before leaving for ROA, we took a little road trip with our parents and my youngest brother in their motor home.

I wasn't afraid this time and I felt at peace. Our parents took us to the LA airport and we got on a plane and went to the Rock and WOW training.

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I got assigned to New Bedford, Mass. That was kind of cool to me because I was born in Providence, RI which wasn't that far from there and my mom was from Boston, plus my ancestor had landed in Rowley Mass in 1648. I felt it kind of brought me full circle.

New Bedford was a really neat town. It had that New England feel to it. My two WOW sisters and I found a place in the top of one of those three story houses that are everywhere in those New England towns. I found a job a few blocks away in "Yor Dogg Howse," a small restaurant where I was both cook and waitress, behind the counter. I worked in the mornings and the same people came in every day and it was like a party.

My WOW sisters were Joan and Don't Remember. There was one other WOW family in our branch which had the corps WOW coordinator, a 6th corps on her interim year with 3 other WOWs, (2 male, one female)

I had a pretty good year, all in all. I applied to the 8th corps and didn't get in, but one evening our limb leader, Staxxy Bxxxn, came by and informed me that I HAD been accepted. I was wondering how this came about, but I was not allowed to be privy to this information. Why should I know, it was only my life we were talking about.

We ran a few classes that year, don't recall how many. I got a couple of people into PFAL. One of them was Steve, see below.

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Steveme.jpg

If you look closely, you can see that his nametag says "Person."

I remember now that I had prayed during some WOW meeting that I would get a "person" into PFAL. Thus, the tag saying "Person." Steve had a great sense of humor obviously to go along with such a thing. Steve became one of my sponsors in the corps and helped pay my way for transportation to the Advanced class '77 that I had to take before going in residence. God Bless you, Steve, wherever you are.

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Here are some pics of some New Bedford believers that year (1976-77):

newbdfd1.jpg

Potato chips for 79 cents!!!

newbdfd2.jpg

newbdfd3.jpg

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At the end of the year, I was required to go to the Advanced Class at Emporia. I wasn't sure how I was going to pay for my transportation, but the WOW branch and twigites had a surprise party for me and I was given $$ for my train ticket.

I also didn't have any luggage for all my stuff so I folded over a big sheet and sewed up the sides and made it into a big bag, put all my stuff in it and checked it in to go on the train.

So off I went to Emporia and the Advanced Class.

I don't recall how I got to wherever I had to go after that, eventually ROA, then back to CA then to Emporia. At one point I bummed a ride with a married couple. Funny how I knew I had to get from here to there to here to there but didn't know how I would do it. And with no money to boot.

Once in residence, I was a good little Corpsebot. The first week we learned about flossing, drinking water, filing, running....actually I think what I learned that first week was stuff I actually still use, well not the running.

Eventually my "job" was upholstery. I was out in the back of the Allen Gym when it was still condemned and we reupholstered furniture for the campus locales. I was with Nancy (I think?) and Donald from Scotland. Eventually Molly (I think?) from the 6th corps joined us and she was a lot of fun, (not sarcastically meant).

One day before Ho Ho Relo she said we would make "pillows for our loved ones" and I made one that I gave to my mother that stayed on her sofa until her death.

One of my most vivid memories of that 1st year in 8th corps residence is of this first few weeks at the beginning of the year when we were all falling asleep all the time. One time in Kenyon Hall, somebody was teaching, one of those founding people, (the guy who made wine in his cellar ? George Jess? maybe) but NOBODY could stay awake. People were just nodding off everywhere. He was going on about Abraham went here, and then he went there.... and off I went to Nod.

Gexxald Wxxx got SO MAD that his solution was to make us all sleep less and work and exercise more. I have NEVER been more TIRED in my entire life than during that week when we were being PUNISHED for falling asleep. Oh, and we had to get up early and meet in the circle drive and do exercises, including these things called "rabbits." Somebody showed up in a rabbit costume later on while we were doing those things. ha ha ha thanks for the laugh.

I was up in the Abassador room with a couple other people from my twig and we were moving stuff around and I laid down on the floor and was TOTALLY wiped out. The MOST tired I have ever been, EVER.

Ah but we must PUSH OURSELVES through our BREAKING POINT. And there was the "stride." We were supposed to reach that "stride" as a Corps and were we there yet??? No not yet, gotta get to that STRIDE..

One time Vee Pee was coming to campus and we were going to have a parade. Somehow I was supposed to be an elf. Well, the parade got cancelled which was a good thing because I had no means to obtain anything with which to make an elf costume.

Another time, we all had to wear red and stand in a big heart as Vee Pee flew overhead in Ambassador One so he could look down and be blessed to see us making a big red heart.

So, these are some of the highlights of my first year in residence. I was convinced of course that I was answering my CALLING FROM GOD.

I do remember sitting in study hall, though, in Wierwille libray, looking out the window at the leaves in the trees and having this strange disassociated feeling, a feeling like "Isn't it strange that I am here and doing this?"

Then the year ended, we went home for break and came back to go to ROA (did Corps week start yet? Mmaybe that was the first one that year).

Then OFF to my Interim Year Assignment!!!!

Edited by outandabout
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I went to Redlands, CA as a WOW "branch coordinator." I had two WOW sisters. We found a 2-bedroom apartment. I had a job in the cafeteria of the University of Redlands and so did one of my WOW sisters.

I was always a little depressed at that job, making minimum wage, wearing a uniform, being around college students when I already had a degree.

I had gotten my driver's license at the end of my first year in residence and on the field I bought a car. My dad foot the $500 for it.

firstcar.jpg

It had been some kind of government vehicle with something on the top that had been removed so I covered up the rusty spot that was left with Way bumper stickers.

That was the year that there was the gas crisis and you could only get gas every other day and there were lines at the gas pumps.

We ran some classes, thanks to my WOWs and their efforts. I felt a lot of pressure that year, to "produce". I was starting to get what it meant to be CORPS. How you always had to produce, had to tow the line.

Donnie Fugit and his wife came by that year. He was a roving WOW coordinator.

We ran some classes and did ok as a branch. I was looking forward to going back for my last year in residence, although I didn't think much farther past that....meaning I would have to be Corps the REST OF MY LIFE.....

I turned 30 that year, still single, but I figured that God would meet my needs because if you put God FIRST, i.e. doing what TWI said to do, then your needs would be met, right?

One day later, in 2001 or so, I drove back to Redlands and walked through that same apartment complex I had lived in as a WOW. It looked very much the same.

So the year ended, and it was time to go back into residence.

I didn't trust my car to make it to Ohio, so I sold it to one of the WOWs in my branch and left in another car with an 8th corps brother, (the owner) and a 6th corps woman, Debbie. The three of us took off, and the car blew a rod outside of Chicago or St. Louis, don't recall which.....Debbie and I hitched the rest of the way to Corps Week.

And so my iterim year ended.

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outie i love your story (you) so much, thank you

("person" nametag icon_smile.gif:)-->)

it's astounding you didn't get really ill with so little sleep in residence

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Sleep deprivation is one of the tactics used to wear people down mentally and emotionally so that you can control them more easily. And Ge*ald Wr*n is still sold out to TWI and pretty much the same.

You are one tough cookie! A George Mueller type, I think. icon_smile.gif:)--> Thank you for sharing with us and I love seeing the pics, too!

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Thanks, Belle and excie. Eventually I'll write the rest, up to my exit from TWI. Thanks for actually reading it up to this!

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I remembered something else though I don't recall if it was 1st or 2nd yr in residence. It was the LICE.

We were all to report to the in-residence corps nurses to check for LICE, since it somehow became known to the powers that be that lice was a problem on campus.

We go our hair checked out and those of us who did have lice were treated with kerosene on our heads.

We spent a whole day dragging our bedding and our possessions to the grassy areas outside in order to kill all lice and larvae since they couldn't live under 45% and it was winter.

This process seemed to rid the campus of the LICE problem.

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OK, so I went back to my final year in residence. I was happy to be back, relieved to be "off the field."

I went LEAD during good weather. I was lucky that way. I had a pretty good time. I enjoyed the solo or duo or whatever they called it, despite that fact that I ate my whole bag of food the first evening, while watching the night come in and the evening star arise. I chopped up a fallen tree (it was pretty rotted out) to better arrange my area to my liking. My "space" was like my own little home. I made a shelter to sleep in like they showed us, with branches and twigs and bark. It rained and my little shelter kept me dry.

The only part about LEAD where I had a problem was when it was my turn to lead the group through the woods. I have never had a sense of direction and I had no clue where I was going. I never did know what my evaluation said.

I also went to the Texas Farm that year. I lucked out again because the bus our group was on was a nice Greyhound type bus, nice and comfy. It was one of the few, if not only, times they sent people down there on a decent bus. They usually rode on old school buses that broke down and then the people on the bus got blamed for it. (Announcement at lunchtime: "The bus going to the Texas Farm has broken down." And when they got back: "What's wrong with all of you, where's your believing?!?")

Our group worked in the fields for one day and then tornadoes appeared on the horizon and we had to stay inside. Lucky again! We were watching some old movie on TV and one of the characters said, "That's a tough row to hoe" and we all burst out laughing.

That year was also the year of the big Commie Take-Over Scare. We were all called into Wierwille Library to listen to a tape from some guy in the military and he went on about stuff I couldn't understand the significance of and at the end he said, "And it's not going to be a very merry Christmas." Somehow that was supposed to mean that we were in great jeapardy.

One girl stood up and asked Craig, "What does this all mean?" and Craig went off about bodies in the streets and the end of our world as we knew it. We were to get into groups that we would leave with when we had to evacuate the Emporia campus.(since one of the first groups the Commies would try to annihilate would be TWI) I approached some women I knew to ask if I could be in their group (one of them was my former WOW sister) and I was told they didn't "have enough room." I sat down and cried. Some 10th corps people came over to comfort me and I found another group and we were going to go to Wisconsin. Then later I changed MY mind and found a group with a friend of mine in the 8th corps.

And we had to get hiking boots and back packs and supplies to take with us (MAL-PACKS) MAL - More abundant living. We had a prayer room where we had 24-hour prayer to prevent the impending disaster from occurring. Guess the prayers worked because the Commie Take-Over didn't happen. ha ha

Halfway through the year, I got sent to Headquarters in a group selected for their supposed ability to write a good research paper. Working on the paper was supposed to be our main priority. Dr W said it was an experiment. I remember that I worked on my paper, ate a lot of granola, sprained my ankle running which caused me to stop running and I got fat. And I slept in a trailor with a bunch of other 8th corps women.

From HQ, we were sent Lightbearers, and I went with David DXWXXD. I wasn't able to contribute financially to our trip because they didn't send us out with any money and somehow I was supposed to have some. Our group actually did get a class together, mostly because the area we went to was going in that direction anyway. Anyway, somehow the class came together.

The highlight of that trip, though, was that David and I went to see Bob Dylan who was in his Chirstian mode at the time and had made his album that had songs with lyrics that were all based on The Word. It was a really cool little concert and part way through, David went down the aisle and threw the book, "Receiving the Holy Spirit Today" up onto the stage. He had written a little note in in the inside flap to Bob Dylan about how since he was "taking quite a stand and this was to help." One of the guys picked it up and put it on the a speaker.

One more incident I recall: Later when I was back at Emporia, I was asked by my branch leader, who strangely enough was Jxx Stxxx, who I had been so 'in love' with, to make a card for Dr W. I had already sketched out a picture, of all of us in the branch in a snow scene, some on sleds, some on skates, some throwing snow, etc And in the final version, it was all colored in and I had photos of people's faces that I pasted onto the figures. I was up all night doing the thing, and I borrowed some supplies from Divine Design. (Like I had some?) At the same time we were studying Hebrew and I was learning how to write the Hebrew alphabet. So the next day I flunked the Hebrew alphabet quiz, though I couldn't quite get why, because I thought the letters looked correct to me. I had also just been reproved from some one in Divine Design for USING THEIR SUPPLIES. After the reproof and then flunking the Hebrew alphabet, I started crying. I just remember getting to this point where I had had it. By the way, no one thanked me for the card (of course not) and I don't even know if Vee Pee even saw it. Just one card out of many, that I had to stay up all night to make and then get reproved about because I used supplies to make it. I still have the original sketch of that thing.

I had a 10th corps twig that had some great people in it. Picture is posted in "Every Picture Tells a Story."

We spent a week in Gunnison before graduation and we received our assignments. Since I KNEW that GOD knew BEST where I should go, I left in it in the hands of TWI to decide my fate. (TWI = GOD, right?) Little did I know that what that really meant is you got the bottom of the barrel because the hot-shots had already been traded off in the little back room deals. When my name came up, it was announced that I was going to Greenville, Mississippi!! with the Mot and Barq Lilly! The same Barq from my Amarillo debacle!

Time to graduate, and go out to serve the believers as a doulos of God! After our time in Gunnison we came back to graduate. The Corps Weddings were either before or after that. During our graduation ceremony out by the pond, Vee Pee went on and on about the significance of the number 8.

corpsgraduation2.jpg

Then I got ready to leave for Mississippi after Corps Week and the Rock. I bought a beat up old '68 VW for $500. Got registration and insurance and all that crap. Packed it up and took off with some 10th corps who were also going there as WOW coordinators for their interim year.

And off we go!!!

Edited by outandabout
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Then I went to Greenville, Mississippi. On the way there, I couldn't figure out how to turn off the brights on the headlights of the VW and other cars kept blinking at me. Then as we crossed the bridge into MS, the horn shorted out and wouldn't stop beeping all the way across the bridge.

When I got to Greenville, my "twig area" that I was assigned to consisted of a WOW Vet who got talked into staying in the area and three PFAL grads. An interim 9th corps woman was leaving to go back into residence. That was the year that they sent us out BEFORE corps week and ROA to get "settled" in our areas. Also, there was an 11th corps interim guy who was going back, as well as the WOWs who had been there. They were living in this house and I thought that it would be nice if I could just take over the house and stay there with the WOW vet. Maybe I just didn't feel like looking for another place, and besides that, I liked the house. It had a big room in the back that I figured was good to "run classes" in.

Then it was time to go to Corps week and ROA. I didn't trust that VW to make it there so a 10th corps woman, Janice (?) and I decided to hitch there. After all, we'd done all that before, right? So off we went, to hitch-hike from Mississippi to Ohio. Wasn't that a lot of fun!!! Not!!! At one point some guys picked us up who wanted to "party" and I told them we were into the Bible and weren't interested and they immediately dumped us out in the middle of nowhere. My partner had to poop and went door to door to find a house that would let her. We tried to get another ride and this older couple locked their doors when they saw us. But somehow we got to Corps week and ROA. And I don't remember how I got back to Greenville after it was over.

I felt really lost and scared and un-Corpslike. Now I had to go back to this town in Mississippi and dynamically Make It Happen out of pretty much nothing. I was going have to perform miracles and Move the Word. So somehow I got back to Greenville and the house and Angie the WOW vet. One of the grads in the area with two young boys needed a place to stay so I figured, why not move in with us?? I asked Mot the limb leader (of course) and he thought it was ok, so she moved in. Next thing I knew, the police were at the door to arrest her for outstanding traffic tickets and she went to jail. Eventually she got out. But later she decided that she hated me and I was "making her life hell."

Meanwhile, I was playing the guitar in the back room and got a gig in this bar and I decided that I could be a professional musician and I sang and played in this bar with a paying gig for a short time. Our room mate with the two kids moved out and then Angie and I found out that the house was up for sale and we had to move out.

We moved to a two bedroom trailor on the outskirts of town. There we were. I had quit McDonald's and been fired from Wendy's and didn't have a job. We had no electricity or phone. We had to come up with deposits for everything because that's how it is when you have no history with the utillities or credit. I remember getting up early while it was still dark and getting dressed by candle light and hearing the sound of a train going by in the field behind the trailor. I went to Sambo's and the manager was nice and he hired me. That's where I worked for the rest of the year.

I can still see the inside of that mobile home like it was yesterday. My room was on one side and Angie's was on the other. We had to get the utilities turned on one by one. One night it was so cold we spent the evening in another trailor that belonged to people that had heat. I remember getting up in the morning in the cold to get ready to go to work. Eventually we got our heat and our electricity and gas. I remember coming home from work and counting out tips. One day I found a petrified mouse behind my dresser. Greenville had roaches and mice no matter where you lived.

My limb leader, Mot, said we should get a photo of the believers in our area to send to So and So's wife who was coordinating some book for Craig. Well, I didn't have much of an area to get a photo of and I procrastinated and later he called me and yelled at me because poor So and So's wife was pregnant and poor her and I should get this done. I was thinking lucky her, she's married and has a husband and is pregnant. She belonged somewhere, to somebody. So I had some one take a picture of ME in front of Sambo's and I sent it in.

Meanwhile, I kept working at Sambo's. One day Craig walked in, why he was there I don't remember. I kind of lost my focus and my manager noticed it. He couldn't figure out why I got so distracted. And every day, as I was writing out orders, I would date the top ot the checks, and think, "By now, I should have a class together."

I had inherited some window cleaning jobs from a WOW who had left after that year, but they fell through. One day I walked and walked through the town trying to drum up some work and eventually I came across a car dealership where the owner's wife hired me to wash cars for $4.50 an hour, which at the time I thought was a fortune. She told me that her husband didn't like her out there in the cold washing the cars. I thought, "That must be nice, to have a husband that doesn't want you out there washing cars." So I waittressed at Sambo's and washed cars on the side.

Mot and Barq came to vist us one day and Barq thought our mobile home was really cool. But what was funny about that, later at some meeting she said, "I knew the minute I saw that it wouldn't work out between you two with bedrooms on one side and the other." OK, so you thought it was really cool but you REALLY thought it sucked??

Thanksgiving came along and I just lost it. Angie made a chcken and we ate it and I spent the afternoon laying on my bed crying. How unrenewed of me. To cry on Thanksgiving when my family was across the country that I wasn't supposed to care about and at the age of 31 I had no husband or child or anyone who really cared? What should I be crying about?

One day I woke up and I had a terrible pain in my lower abdomen, so much that it was making me double over at work. I was back at the trailor and I had this moment of realization that, here I was, living in a trailor, no one really gave a damn about me, I had no health insurance and I was in pain. It was a pretty scary moment. Later, I called Mot the limb leader and asked him to pray for me, which he did. Later, he asked me, "What was that all about?"

At one point, the fridge went out and all the food went bad (I can still smell it if I think about it). The pipes got clogged up and my car broke down. I was sitting at the kitchen table in a state of numbness, thinking, ok, now what?

Daughter is home, hubby wants the computer, gotta go. Wow, I can feel thankful for that! Here I am, in my house, with my little family, my job that's not at Sambo's.

This is really cathartic, even if no one reads it.

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I'm reading...sorry for not responding...you are making it real to me and I understand how good it feels to share...thanks!!!!

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One day we got a call from Mot that Howard Allen said everyone HAD TO get a PFAL class together. It was ORDERS. I went into panic mode. I went down to some bayou and sat there and prayed to God to help me. Angie and I witnessed to people and some came to twig but we couldn’t get them to sign up. It was such a friggin struggle.

And then there was this thing I had to do that Mot told all the interim WOWs and me to draw up. It was some sort of planning thing with boxes where you had to project how many grads you were going to get, how many WOWs you were going to send out and stuff like that. It was set up like some business planning thing. I knew deep in my heart that it was stupid and putting things on paper wasn’t going to do anything, so I avoided doing it like the plague, resulting in the inevitable reproof from Mot for my inaction.

I was always feeling shame and fear about my inability to “move the word” enough. It was this pervasive cloud that hovered over me constantly. I felt so depressed and oppressed and guilty for feeling that way because I was supposed to be DYNAMIC. I was CORPS!!! And now I was a spiritual dud. I mean, I was supposed to go into this sleepy little town like gangbusters and just turn that place upside down, right? And all my myself too! Because I was CORPS!!!!

Angie and I moved out of the trailor to a one bedroom apartment. The landlord at the trailor was a real a-hole and there were too many bills, we thought. (water,gas,electric) An apartment would just be electric.

Shortly after that, Angie left to go back to her hometown. Of course, that was technically not keeping her WOW Vet “commitment” to be in Greenville but now I can’t blame her one bit. So I stayed on alone in the apartment with my job at Sambo’s and my beat up VW.

My neighbors reported me to the landlord for owning a cat, which was totally bogus. And then they complained that “too many people” were parking out front that were visiting me. That was bogus as well since the only person coming to twig was a young black woman named Emma.

I was under a lot of pressure to produce “fruit.” I had to write a weekly letter to Mot reporting on my progress or whatever the heck it was he wanted out of me. I dreaded having to write that thing. At the end of the year he returned our letters and I still have them filed away. I don’t think I could stand to look at them now.

We never did run a class. I went on a diet and dropped a lot of the weight I’d gained my last year in residence. One night I went out to a bar to “witness” and bummed a cigarette off the guy sitting next to me. What ensued after that was a little love affair. His name was Buster, a big guy. He was really intelligent and we had this connection and I just fell in love with him. Of course that was a BAD BAD thing since he was not in our special cult and it was “fellowshipping with darkness.”

One night I was laying there on his bed and we were just making out and I felt sooo happy and sooo good and sooo guilty for feeling so good. How totally screwed up!

Well, the year ended and Mot had suggested that I move to Jackson as my next year’s assignmet, where they, the branch/limb leaders lived. So I took him up on that. Nobody else wanted me anywhere. Mot wanted me to leave Greenville since I had been such an abysmal failure there at “moving the Word” I guess. Actually, Mississippi was a pretty hard place to “move the Word.” People are just set in their ways and not interested in Yankees that think they have something to tell them they don’t know.

So anyway I was feeling all guilty about being in love with Buster and at the last minute I really didn’t want to leave Greenville but I had to. I tried to tell Mot that I’d rather stay there but he said I had to come to Jackson. Just before I had to leave, people were popping up that seemed interested in the class. Even Buster said he’d take the class. But Mot said that was all from the Adversary.

Emma went WOW. I gave her some of the money she needed in order for her to go. Mot was all mad because at one point it looked like Emma wasn’t going to go and that was my fault and responsibility. What a great tragedy for some one NOT to go WOW! Well, Emma did go WOW, with my help and left her two-year old daughter with her mother. I hadn’t been a mother yet and just didn’t get much about parenting so I didn’t see that as a big deal.

I looked around the apartment and felt so totally unmotivated about packing up everything and getting ready to move AGAIN. Somehow I mustered up the strength and packed up my stuff. I had a lease that I wasn’t supposed to break but I left more furniture in the place than what had been there when I moved in, and I just left town with no forwarding address.

My VW had broken down and I begged my Dad for money to get it fixed. I packed everything I owned into it, took it to the car guys in town I’d gone to before and left it there for them to work on, with all my stuff stored in it. I took a bus to Jackson. I planned to go back to Greenville later to get my car.

Then to Corps Week and ROA. I was still pining for Buster. In fact, I would still be pining for Buster all the next year during my “assignment” in Jackson.

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I have been reading your story from the beginning. Thank you for telling it. I was never a dynamic "word mover" and can relate to how you felt.

I know you have other things to do, but please don't leave us in suspense too long about you and Buster...and the rest of your life.

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