40 Years in America

Nation Messiah Workshop Held at Chung Pyung Lake

Michael Keily

The Tree of Blessing, Chung Pyung Lake, Korea

According to Father, a prerequisite for receiving the honor of National Messiahship is that both husband and wife complete a 40-day workshop at Chung Pyung Lake in Korea, Rev. Kwak told over 300 national messiah candidates at the Chung Pyung Lake training Center in Korea. They were participants in the first 40-Day Training for Western Members from August 1 through September 9.

In the last days of the workshop nearly all the participants, or almost 200 couples or spouses from 28 nations, participated in a lottery officiated by Rev. Kwak to receive one of the 183 nations to which Father will send national messiahs. From "Abel" nations -- the United States, Canada, England and France -- 121 couples received nations in the lottery, whereas from "Cain" nations -- Germany, Italy and Austria -- 76 couples were given nations. In the lottery designed by True Father, each participant drew a line with a felt-tip pen across a maize of lines on a blackboard-sized sheet of white paper, then connected one of those lines to a number at the top of the sheet. That number corresponded to a nation which was announced at the end of the lottery. Among the participants in the workshop from America were 777-Couple sisters Nora Spurgin, President of the North American Women'sí Federation for World Peace, and Betsy Jones, director of the Blessed Family Department and co-director with her husband of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, as well as three couples from the 43-Couple Blessing: Dr. Edwin and Marie Ang, Wesley and Gladys Samuel, and Diane Fernsler. From Europe came Gerhard Bessell, a regional director who was chosen to lead the workshop; the director of the British church, Timothy Miller; and French leader Laurent Ladouce. Also present were the original missionaries to Austria and Germany, Paul and Kristle Werner; former national leaders of England, Mark Brann, and Germany, Karl Leonhardtsberger; and 777-Couple members Carlo Zaccarelli and Vincenzo Castiglione.

The typical day at Chung Pyung Lake begins and ends with an often dramatic encounter with nature. At 6 a.m. -- earlier for hardy souls -- most participants climb up the steep valley at the east end of Lake Chung Pyung, where the campsite is located, to the holy trees, the water of life and the mountain of the Tree of Blessing. After an initial prayer at the Tree of Love in an open field overlooking the main conference hall, participants hike up a concrete road past an ever-blooming Rose of Sharon bush and a long mushroom-growing tent to a wide gravel-covered shelf overlooking the lake.

On one side of the shelf is the Tree of Shimjung, or Heart, around which participants gathered to pray. Dae Mo Nim told participants to "engraft" to this and to each of the other four holy trees so that the quality they represent -- shimjung, loyalty, blessing, love and (reverence for and loving dominion of) all things -- becomes a part of their own character. Present at each of the trees is an angel to facilitate this process of engrafting. Many participants also reported spiritual experiences with the angels at the trees and life-changing prayer with their help. On the other side of the shelf is a marble shrine to the Water of Life before which participants line up to fill bottles and cups with the healing water from a natural spring. The healing quality of the water is said to come not from the water itself, but from an angel present at the shrine who infuses into the water the specific healing qualities from which a particular individual can benefit.

There were numerous reports of healing at the workshop from the Water of Life and from the work of Dae Mo Nim through Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim and her assistant, Mrs. Han. Two independent doctors had told Dr. Joseph Sheftick his badly infected foot had become gangrenous and life-threatening and would have to be amputated. He refused, however, to have it cut off, and instead participated in the workshop, hobbling around unsteadily with the aid of a cane. By the end of the workshop his wound was completely healed, he had thrown away his cane, and he was climbing the mountain of the Tree of Blessing with more vigor than most of his fellow participants.

The hands of one elder Japanese sister had been paralyzed with painful arthritis for which she had had to receive weekly shots. By the end of the workshop her pain had disappeared, and she had a normal range of motion in her hands. Her arthritis had been healed.

Also, a number of serious cases of diabetes were healed, and many reported lesser health problems that had been cleared up by the end of the workshop. How much healing a person experiences depends in large measure on his personal investment in the workshop program, Mrs. Han said. But healing is not the main purpose of the workshop, Mrs. Kim explained in a lecture to participants. In fact, she said, Dae Mo Nim often asked her to do less healing and focus on her main mission, which is to help blessed couples cleanse themselves of the thousands of low-level spirits that dwell in each person and prevent him or her from fully accomplishing Godís will. Each familyís destiny can be much better than it is if parents and children can rid themselves of this spiritual baggage by attending workshops at Chung Pyung Lake.

Back on earth, where do spirits liberated at Chung Pyung Lake go? They do not return to trouble their original host as was often the case with spiritual cleansing in the past, but go into the spiritual world to attend a 100-day workshop offered by Heung Jin Nim, Mrs. Kim said. There they learn the Divine Principle and the skills necessary for effective returning resurrection. After successfully completing the workshop, they return to the earth to help those working directly for Godís providence to accomplish their missions.

From the Water of Life, workshop participants walk up stone steps to the Tree of All Things and then to the Tree of Loyalty. After prayer at each of these trees, they hike up a steep dirt path to the Tree of Blessing and the holy ground high on a peak overlooking the lake. The mountain top offers a spectacular view of the lake and surrounding layers of peaks, often partially enshrouded with wispy fingers of mist. This breathtaking beauty provides ample inspiration for prayer and meditation. After prayer at the holy ground -- frequently concluded by loud group "manseis!" -- participants descend to a lakeside, mostly outdoor dining area where they eat either a Western-style breakfast of sweet rolls and milk or a Korean-style breakfast of rice, kimchi and hot soup.

Their day is filled with singing, Divine Principle study, lectures, teaching practice, Fatherís words and personal testimonies, all punctuated by ample breaks and substantial, mostly Korean meals. After a full day, just before midnight, staff and participants gather at the Tree of Love, light Tongil candles, sing "The Song of the Garden" in Korean, and pray forcefully in unison. The concluding manseis create a dazzling light show as sometimes over a thousand participants raise their candles five times in unison above their heads.

Forty days at Chung Pyung Lake produced an abundance of testimonies of profound personal transformation, self-realization, heart-rending encounters with God and the spiritual world and powerful guidance for the future. Many said they had had "mountain-top experiences" similar to Mosesí encounter with God on Mt. Sinai. For most, Chung Pyung Lake was a place of miracles -- not simply of healing, but of truth and love, of tears and joyous reunion -- a place where their lives had been indelibly marked by their experience of heaven and of liberation.

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