Messiah - My Testimony to
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter Nine - The Path of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
In the 1970s, the Unification Church's World Mission Headquarters was moved from Korea to the United States, and Reverend Moon began to carry out his worldwide providential work from America. I was Reverend Moon's special assistant during this time. As I will explain in more detail in a later chapter, in a sense it could be said that I witnessed more closely than anyone else the way that God guided the Unification Church and Reverend Moon during this time of tremendous changes in the world.
I saw God work in numerous amazing ways. In many cases, I was able to play a small role in these works by assisting Reverend Moon. I will discuss these one by one in the following chapters.
However, before I do that, I feel it is necessary for me to help the reader understand how Reverend Moon lived the first fifty years of his life, starting with his birth in Jungju in the northern pan of the Korean peninsula and leading up to his arrival in America on December 18, 1971. Why? Because all the victories that he won in America were the result of preparations made during this earlier period. It was during this period that Reverend Moon answered God's call, received all the necessary training for becoming the messiah, and lived his life in oneness with God to a remarkable degree. In this chapter, then, I will write briefly about Reverend Moon's life during his younger years.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon was born on January 6, 1920 (according to the lunar calendar), in the small village of Sangsa-ri, a few miles from the larger town of Jungju, which is north of Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea.' At the time of the Korean independence movement of 1919 - generally known in Korea as the March First Movement - the people of Jungju showed themselves to be fervent patriots in resisting the colonial authorities. Also, it was one of the areas on the peninsula where the Christian faith was the strongest.
It was not by coincidence that Reverend Moon was born here. God chose Jungju to be the "Bethlehem of the Second Advent."
The village witnessed a number of prophetic signs prior to Reverend Moon's birth. For example, two gold-colored birds of a species no one had ever seen before flew into the village one day and perched on a tree just in front of the Moon home. The villagers believed that the birds were a sign of coming good fortune for the family. They were seen in the village until the time of Reverend Moon's birth. Then, they vanished and were never seen again.
This story was told to me by the villagers in 1991, when I visited Jungju with Reverend Moon. The story of the gold-colored birds has become a part of the village folklore.
Reverend Moon's father, Kyung Yu Moon, and his family were well regarded by their fellow villagers for their high virtues. His mother, Kyung Gye Kim, had a dream when she was about to give birth to Reverend Moon. She saw a white dragon holding a large pearl in its mouth descending from heaven. Possibly for this reason Reverend Moon's birth name was Yong (meaning dragon) Myung Moon.
As a young man, Reverend Moon was quiet and thoughtful. He grew up in a Christian family, and he was known for his devout faith as a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Sun Muting Moon as a student.
As I have heard the story, on Easter Sunday morning in 1935, the young teenager had an encounter that would change his life forever. Early that morning, Reverend Moon went to a spot on the slope of Mount Myodu, which stood behind the village, and began praying. As he prayed, the heavens opened above him, and a brilliant light shined on him. When Reverend Moon looked into this light, he saw Jesus.
Jesus spoke directly to the young man: "Hear me. I am Jesus. I came to earth as the only son of God in order to save the people of the world, but I left the earth without having accomplished everything. You are to carry on this mission and bring God's will into reality on the earth. From this moment on, I will always be with you."
After making this awesome and solemn declaration, Jesus gradually disappeared from view. When Reverend Moon ended his prayer, he realized that God had just given him an incredible mission. It would be nine years before Reverend Moon felt free to share his secret with others. In the intervening time, he embarked on an arduous course to uncover the hidden truths of the universe.
The people around Reverend Moon during his remaining boyhood years and early manhood had no way of knowing about his spiritual pilgrimage. Outwardly, he may have seemed like an unremarkable, impoverished young man. Within his heart, though, a fire burned as hot as a blast furnace. Day after day, he battled Satan at the risk of his life and gradually was able to dig out the truth about the spiritual world and the true meaning of life. He also exposed the deepest secret in the cosmos_Adam and Eve's, and Satan's, original sin.
During these nine years, Reverend Moon traveled back and forth between the physical and spiritual worlds. He spoke with Buddha, Confucius, and Jesus. He visited with innumerable good spirits, and he passed through countless harsh trials and tribulations from evil spirits.
This period was also a time for God to test Reverend Moon in myriad ways to see whether he was really qualified to stand as the central person for the salvation of humankind. The hardships and suffering that Reverend Moon experienced during this period will most likely remain secret for all time.
After this difficult, suffering course, Reverend Moon finally found himself in a position where he could speak with God face to face. Reverend Moon dialogued with God on the ultimate principles, starting with the creation of the universe and including all the problems faced by fallen human beings. In the end, God himself faced Reverend Moon and told him that the truths he had uncovered were wrong. After that Reverend Moon fasted and prayed for forty days and reexamined his principles. Then he went back to God and boldly protested, "No matter how I look at it, this principle cannot be anything other than the ultimate principle by which You created the heavens and the earth, and the human Fall could not have taken place by any means other than what I have described."
God responded with great anger. Again, He told Reverend Moon that he was mistaken. So Reverend Moon fasted for another forty days and reexamined the principles he had developed a second time. The result, though, was the same. No other principle, no principle aside from what Reverend Moon had uncovered, could possibly he the truth. Reverend Moon again went before God, this time at the risk of his life.
"If this is not the truth," he said, "it can only mean that there is no God. I want to liberate You, my Father in heaven, from Your historical sorrow and pain. Now I understand Your heart. My Father in heaven, you have experienced so much pain through the course of history. If you say that this is not the truth, then please take my life from me." This was his desperate prayer.
God was satisfied. He said, "My son, come closer. I was testing you to see how far you could endure in the face of trial." He then declared, "You have been victorious. Everything that you have said is true. Now, you are my one true son. I am entrusting you with the holy task of bringing salvation to all humankind. The truth you have uncovered contains the words of life capable of re-creating heaven and earth, as well as human beings."
The truth was not given to Reverend Moon as a simple revelation. He had to fight Satan with blood, sweat, and tears for each word. He had to rise above Satan's accusations and finally receive God's direct approval of what he had found. It was only after he had received God's recognition that Reverend Moon began to teach the Principle to the world. This is where the greatness of Reverend Moon lies. This is where we can see his true messianic qualifications. This is how the Divine Principle that we know today came about. The words of this truth comprise the Completed Testament word of God, and Reverend Moon is the substantiation of this word.
The Road to Pyongyang
Reverend Moon attended school in Seoul fur a number of years, and in March 1914, he traveled to Tokyo, Japan, to study at Waseda Mechanical Secondary School attached to Waseda University.
There are numerous stories about the years Reverend Moon spent in Japan during World War II. The Japanese police discovered that he was involved with the Korean independence movement and began watching him closely. When Reverend Moon returned to Seoul prior to liberation, he was arrested by the Japanese police in Korea. The police wanted Reverend Moon to give them the names of other people involved in the independence movement. Despite being tortured so severely that he almost lost his life, the young patriot did not give them any names. After sixty days of torture and interrogation, he was released.
After his graduation from Waseda in 1943, he sent a letter home telling his family he was returning to Korea and the time and date of the ferry he was taking to Pusan. However, the ferry he was scheduled to take hit a mine and was sunk. When his family received news of the incident, they were extremely distressed, and when his name did not appear on a list of survivors, his mother fainted.
About a week later, Reverend Moon suddenly appeared at his home. Not just his family hut the whole village was very surprised to see him alive. When they asked him what had happened, he told them that he had a premonition of danger: "I was about to board the ferry in Japan, when suddenly my feet felt like they had turned to lead and I couldn't move. I missed the ship and had to take sail the following day." This incident illustrates how God has guided and protected Reverend Moon throughout every moment of his life.
When Korea was liberated from Japan in 1945, Reverend Moon was living in Seoul. He strongly sensed that the time had come for him to begin God's work. In late spring 1946, Reverend Moon had left his house to buy some rice, when God suddenly issued His command: "Go north!" just as Abraham did thousands of years before, Reverend Moon obeyed God's direction and immediately headed across the 38th Parallel and into North Korea.
At this time the second tragedy to strike the Korean people in this century was unfolding. The division of the Korean peninsula along the 38th Parallel in 1945 was originally supposed to he nothing more than a way for U.S. and Soviet forces to divide up the task of disarming the Japanese military forces on the peninsula after Japan's surrender. Gradually, though, it became more and more like an international boundary. In the north, the Soviet Union was helping Kim II Sung take control. Many Koreans who lived north of the 38th Parallel feared the gradual communization of their society and were taking the drastic action of leaving their hometowns and villages and traveling south as refugees. It was clearly only a matter of time before the 38th Parallel would be sealed off. Almost no one traveled north.
This was the situation when Reverend Moon entered North Korea with God's secret purpose in his heart. No one but God can explain fully why He sent Reverend Moon to North Korea, and no one but Reverend Moon can say how much he understood God's reasons in that moment of decision. However, based on talks by Reverend Moon in later years, we can surmise that it had something to do with the following three reasons.
The first is that, as Reverend Moon has explained, the accomplishment of God's will must begin at the bottom of hell. If the people living north of the 38th Parallel under an atheistic communist regime could be inspired by the power of God's truth, then there would be hope for him to bring salvation to all humanity. Reverend Moon needed to sow the seeds of the Principle on the barren land of atheism and then help the seeds sprout and grow. He was to build the Kingdom of Heaven starting from the bottom of hell.
Second, in the period leading up to liberation from Japan, Pyongyang had been known as the "Jerusalem of the Orient." Christianity was accepted more widely in Pyongyang than in any other place on the peninsula. The Christian faith was deeply rooted in the hearts of the people of this city. The Second Coming was to be a flower that would bloom from the rot of New Testament Christianity. So I think Reverend Moon must have been sent to Pyongyang in search of true Christian faith. In addition, Christians were persecuted more severely in Pyongyang during the 36-year, Japanese colonial rule than in any other location. Pyongyang had a history stained in blood, and in this sense it was Korea's holy city. There was special significance to Reverend Moon spreading the new gospel first among believers who had inherited such a precious Christian spirit.
Third, in addition to the large number of pious Christians in Pyongyang, there were also many prophets. God had revealed to various spiritual people in Pyongyang that the Second Coming was at hand and that the Lord would come through the womb of a woman and have a physical body just as Jesus did. The "Inside Belly Church," for example, received the coming Lord's clothing measurements and prepared all the clothes the Lord could be expected to need from the time he was born until he grew to adulthood. They did this out of an earnest desire to receive the coming Lord.
This was the situation that awaited Reverend Moon as he traveled to Pyongyang to carry out the tremendous work of the Second Coming.
Going Beyond the Cross
Reverend Moon entered Pyongyang all alone with a heart filled with expectation and hope. His course there, however, was filled with innumerable hardships. Just as Jesus went the way of the cross two thousand years ago, now Reverend Moon had to go a similar course, his own thorny path, but without losing his way. This was the deep meaning behind the providential work in North Korea, and this was the overall purpose for which he traveled to Pyongyang.
Even before Reverend Moon arrived, many pious believers received the news of his coming through revelation. One such person was an old woman named Seung Do Ji. Mrs. Ji's revelation was so specific that she knew the address in Pyongyang where the Lord would be staying.
This is how the Completed Testament Age began in the heart of communist North Korea, centering on believers who gathered around Reverend Moon as a result of their revelations. Their numbers grew day by day. The worship services were of innovative content and filled with the spirit. This is how the early church in Pyongyang was founded.
As the congregation increased, so did the traffic in and out of the church building and awareness of the church among the surrounding residents. Under a communist regime, it was only a matter of time before someone reported the church to the authorities.
Reverend Moon was taken into custody at the Daedong Security Station on August 11, 1946 with the charge that he had "spread false messages and disrupted the public order." An additional accusation was that he was "a spy sent by the South." This second allegation ensured that he would receive harsh treatment at the hands of the authorities. Suspected spies were routinely tortured. The North Korean police demanded that he confess that he was a South Korean spy. When he refused, they beat him with a leather whip. He had nothing to confess, so his torture grew more and more severe and continued day after day and then week after week.
Once, one of his disciples went to visit Reverend Moon and bring him a change of clothing. So much blood had soaked into his clothes and caked that he couldn't take them off. Finally, they had to be torn off so that he could change into the new clothes.
The harshest form of torture he experienced was that he was not allowed to eat or sleep for three days and nights on several occasions. If he closed his eyes, he would he beaten. Reverend Moon says he endured this torture by learning how to sleep with his eyes open for several minutes at a time.
The communist police became increasingly desperate and continued to increase the severity of Reverend Moon's torture. His ribs were broken, his flesh was torn, and he was vomiting blood. Finally, he lost consciousness. The police notified Reverend Moon's followers that they could come get him and tossed his body into the courtyard. It was October 31, almost twelve weeks after his arrest.
His followers found him there, his blood soaking into the snow. He seemed to he dying, and heartbrokenly they began to prepare for his funeral.
Three days later Reverend Moon regained consciousness. After another week, he began to speak. In ten days, he could stand, and from that very day he resumed preaching.
The communist authorities were not too concerned. They thought that Reverend Moon had suffered enough physical punishment that he would be more careful about what he said. The police, though, may just have well have tried to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it. Far from being destroyed, the Second Coming movement in Pyongyang spread even more quickly than before.
Reverend Moon's words were filled with authority and profound meaning. Even more amazing, some people reported being cured from diseases. Others received revelations and visions. Sometimes people who were gathered in a totally different place would suddenly receive a revelation and come looking for Reverend Moon en masse. The joyful news spread quickly to various spiritual groups that had anticipated that the Lord of the Second Coming would appear before the world in the flesh. The movement was spreading like wildfire and it became a problem that the communists could not ignore.
The authorities decided they would solve this problem once and for all. It was clear that unless something was clone to stop Reverend Moon's movement, it would soon he shaking the entire country. So in February 1948 they arrested him a second time on trumped-up charges. This time, he was made to stand in a people's court. The charges were "disruption of the social order and dissemination of false facts." There was never any possibility of a fair trial. The North Korean authorities, who like other communist states saw religion as the greatest threat, had decided that they would root out this religious group once and for all by getting rid of Reverend Moon.
In April, the communists opened the trial to the public, hoping to make an example of Reverend Moon. Leaders of the Korean Workers Party and young communists were made to attend. As it turned out, this was a miscalculation. Reverend Moon stood strong and convincingly protested the unfairness of the trial in the presence of the party leaders and members, making the people responsible for the trial extremely uncomfortable.
At the end of the trial Reverend Moon was sentenced to five years of hard labor at Hungnam Special Labor Camp. After the judge finished reading the preordained verdict, he turned to Reverend Moon and asked him if he had anything to say. Normally, a defendant in this position would pretend to accept the verdict, no matter how unjust it might be, in the hope of buying favor with the communists. Not so with Reverend Moon. Far from accepting the verdict, he raised his voice to the judge in vigorous protest.
"Judge, I ask that you delete the passage in the record that alleges that I spread 'false' facts. All I did was declare the eternal truth of God in accordance with His command."
He then went on to demand that the charges against him he set aside.
For a while, the courtroom became very quiet. People didn't know quite how to react to this spirited and confident protest. The judge had nothing to say.
Life in a Death Camp
The city of Hungnam located on the Korean peninsula's east coast has long been a center for heavy industry. The Japanese had built a large nitrogen fertilizer factory there during their occupation of Korea, and North Korea took over its operation after the Japanese ouster in 1945. The North Korean communist government established a hard labor camp near the fertilizer factory and used criminals as well as political prisoners as a free labor force.
But there was more to it than that. Hungnam Special Labor Camp was in reality a death camp. Prisoners brought to this camp were people that the government wanted to see dead. Even a person in peak physical condition was not expected to last more than two or three years.
Reverend Moon had been sentenced to five years, which was tantamount to a death sentence. No one could endure life in this camp for five years. On average, people would become seriously ill after six months, and a few would die each day. There were about fifteen hundred prisoners, and around a hundred would die each month. New prisoners were constantly being added to the prison population to keep the size of the work force stable. Even the strongest person soon grew weak and became obsessed with food, driven by hunger to act like an animal. Slow starvation is a terrible way to die.
No matter how sick or hungry they were, the prisoners were forced to walk four kilometers (two and a half miles) to the factory each morning. For anyone who didn't go, there would he no rations that day. Some would crawl the whole distance and then crawl back at night so they could receive their one bowl of grain. Even that only amounted to about three spoonfuls, and it wasn't even rice but a mixture of beans, millet, wheat, and barley. The only thing served with it was a salty soup.
At meal time, each prisoner did everything he could to get as much grain into his mouth as possible. A prisoner might quickly gulp down his own ration, then hold up the empty bowl and shout, "Who stole my food?" and start making a huge ruckus. If a prisoner died while eating his meager rations, those around him would fight each other to dig the food out of the dead man's mouth and put it in their own mouths. It was a living hell.
Reverend Moon arrived at Hungnam Prison on May 20, 1941, three months after he was first arrested. He immediately realized that he could never survive this ordeal by his own power alone. He determined that he would rely on God and survive for God's sake.
The first thing he did defied common sense: For the first two weeks, he ate only half of his already meager rations and gave the rest away. The other prisoners thought that Reverend Moon must he crazy and doubted that he would live more than a few days. Reverend Moon's act of sharing, though, was intended as an expression of his determination to depend for his survival on the miraculous powers of God and not just on the food that was doled out to him.
When he began eating his entire ration, he considered that only half was actually his, and the other half was a gift from God. Even in prison, Reverend Moon led a life of absolute gratitude.
Workers digging chemical fertilizer at Hungnam Forced Labor Camp.
In Hungnam Prison, twenty to thirty or more prisoners were crowded into a single small cell. The other prisoners in Reverend Moon's cell soon noticed that they never saw him sleeping. Whenever he was in the cell, he was sitting upright and praying After all the other prisoners were asleep he would lie down for a little while, hut he would wake himself before anyone else. Then he would take a bath and begin praying again.
I use the expression "take a bath." This was a prison cell of appalling conditions where people had to sleep next to a pit of human excrement. There were certainly no bathing facilities. The rule in the cells was that the prisoner who had arrived most recently had to sleep next to the excrement pit. Reverend Moon, however, decided that he would always sleep there. This was because he knew that everyone hated to have to sleep there. Each evening, he would save some of his drinking water, and the next morning he would use this water to dampen a small cloth and wipe his body clean.
During the whole time he was in the prison, Reverend Moon never took off his shirt when others might see his naked body. He considered his body to he God's temple, and he didn't want to cheapen its value by letting others see it.
Early each morning, there was the four-kilometer march to the factory. The prisoners worked in teams of ten, first breaking up the ammonium sulfate, which hardened overnight, then shoveling the fertilizer into sacks made of straw. Each sack had to he weighed to make sure it contained exactly forty kilograms (eighty-eight pounds) and then stacked on a railway freight car. Each team was required to shovel, weigh and stack thirteen hundred sacks a day. This was an absurd quota, but any team that failed to meet the quota had its evening rations cut in half. Prisoners would put out every last ounce of their strength to earn a full ration of grain, and eventually they would work themselves to death.
The team that included Reverend Moon never failed to meet its quota. Reverend Moon took it upon himself to perform the most difficult part of the task, which was to pick up the sacks filled with ammonium sulfate and carry them to the scale to be weighed. If someone on the team hurt so much that they couldn't work, Reverend Moon would tell him to rest and he would perform that person's task in addition to his own.
Even on snowy winter days, the prisoners worked covered in sweat. It took only a few days for their clothes to become like rags. That was not all. The skin on the tips of their fingers would crack from handling the straw sacks. Then, the ammonium sulfate would get into the wound and eat the skin. Only a person who has actually experienced this can know how painful it is. The prisoners developed such wounds all over their hands, sometimes so deep that their bones became visible.
Despite this regimen of excruciatingly painful forced labor. Reverend Moon's team met its thirteen hundred-sack quota day after day. This was the result of nothing other than Reverend Moon's superhuman sacrificial spirit and sense of mission.
The prison authorities were amazed at this turn of events. They never imagined that a team would consistently meet its quota and even gave Reverend Moon an award as the best worker in the prison. The messiah of humankind was recognized by a communist government as a model worker.
Reverend Moon always told himself, "If I can't achieve victory in the worst possible environment, how can I hope to bring salvation to all humanity? If I can be victorious in this living hell, then I'll he able to save the world." It was because of this burning sense of mission for the salvation of the world that Reverend Moon was able to exert extraordinary effort.
Each time he sat down with his handful of low-quality food, Reverend Moon wondered to himself, "Is my longing for God as strong as my longing for this food?" This was the standard that he set for his faith.
"I will do all the things that the rest of the world hates to do. There is nothing that I cannot endure. I know that my Father in heaven is in a much more difficult position than me." Reverend Moon was constantly comforting God in this way.
He would tell himself, "As long as I am thinking of God, I can do ten times the work I'm doing now. Prison is the best place for me to train myself to battle evil. Satan has put me into the worst prison to test me and make me surrender, but I will never be defeated."
How did Reverend Moon pray at night? He did not say, "God, I'm struggling in this hell, so please help me." He never prayed like this. Not even once.
Much later, Reverend Moon explained it this way to his disciples: "My Father in heaven already knew His son's suffering, so how could I go to Him asking for help? The entire time I was imprisoned at Hungnam, I was busy trying to comfort God."
His prayers were something like this: "Father in heaven, please don't worry about me, your son. I will never be defeated. You could give me even greater trials, and I would still be victorious. How else can I accomplish the great task of salvation for all humanity?"
This basic attitude toward God exemplifies one of the greatest and most unique aspects of Reverend Moon's character. Even though he was in the worst conditions imaginable, Reverend Moon was totally focused on the messianic mission for which he had been called by God. He refused to succumb to hunger, pain, and exhaustion and always strove to establish the standard of victory over the cross. This was his unchanging outlook during the two years and five months he was incarcerated in Hungnam.
"In order for me to fulfill my mission as the savior of the universe." he would tell himself. "I have to use these conditions of living hell to build up my qualifications as the savior." This was how he endured to the end and turned the impossible into the possible.
I could spend the rest of eternity trying to find words that fully capture the greatness of Reverend Moon's character, but I would never be successful. I realize that I am not qualified even to sit at his side.
A New Disciple
One of Reverend Moon's fellow prisoners was named Chong Hwa Pak. He had been a lieutenant colonel in the North Korean People's Army before he was found guilty of negligence in his official duties and sentenced to serve a prison term in Hungnam. He arrived at the prison around February 1949, when he was thirty-five years old.
Mr. Pak was assigned to the same forced labor as other prisoners, but he couldn't get used to the work and was constantly being berated by the team leader. One day, he was having difficulty handling the sacks of ammonium sulfate, when a young man came up to him and said. "If you keep working like that, you're going to die before your sentence is up. I'll show you how to do the work, so listen to what I tell you."
Mr. Pak let the young man show him step by step the most efficient way to do the work. After a few days of training, he was able to fulfill his quota. The young man was Reverend Moon.
About three weeks later Mr. Pak had a strange dream. He heard someone calling out to him: "Chong Hwa! Chong Hwa! Wake up." He felt someone shaking him, and when he sat up he saw a man with a white beard standing beside him. The old man was dressed in traditional Korean clothes, and he looked at Mr. Pak with a mournful expression.
The old man said. "Do you know who that man is that you are walking hand in hand with every day?"
On their morning march to the factory prisoners were required to hold hands two by two and walk in four columns. Prison guards walked along on either side, keeping a sharp eye out for anyone who might try to escape.
Mr. Pak replied with considerable trepidation: "He is a kind and very good person, so I work with him."
The old man then told him, "That man is the Lord of the Second Advent whose return is taught in the Bible you've studied since you were a young boy." Mr. Pak was so shocked that he felt as though he had been struck in the head with a large hammer. He couldn't sleep the rest of the night.
At the general assembly following breakfast, Mr. Pak sat down behind Reverend Moon. He considered telling Reverend Moon about his dream, but before he said anything, his new friend suddenly asked him, "You had a dream last night, didn't you? Who the dream, who did they say I am?"
Mr. Pak was caught off guard by this question. For a moment he didn't say anything but just stared at Reverend Moon's face. Finally, he replied, "I was told that you are the Lord of the Second Advent."
Mr. Pak didn't have this dream just once. In all, the white-bearded old man appeared to him three times.
Sometime after that, probably due in large part to his experience in the North Korean army, Mr. Pak was chosen by prison authorities to be a general overseer, responsible for all fifteen hundred prisoners. The task of the general overseer was to gather the fifteen overseers in the work area and assign various jobs and responsibilities to the prisoners.
After he assumed this position. Mr. Pak was excused from hard labor and allowed to have more free time. He had considerable leeway in determining how much work each individual prisoner had to perform. He spent much of his free time talking with Reverend Moon, because he was still not sure whether he should believe the old man in his dream about Reverend Moon's identity. When they were alone, Mr. Pak would talk to Reverend Moon about the Divine Principle. Reverend Moon spoke to him about the human Fall, Jesus' mother Mary, the limits to salvation through Jesus' crucifixion, the Second Coming, and the "ideal of a harmonious garden." Mr. Pak had once been a deacon in a Christian church, and he found himself more and more fascinated by the Principle.
Mr. Pak tried to assign Reverend Moon to the easiest tasks, but he refused and admonished him. "I understand that you want to give me this task because you are concerned for my physical well-being." Reverend Moon told him. "You should remember, though, that I came to prison in order to accomplish the Will of God, and not because I committed any crime. If I'm given easy tasks while I'm here, then Satan will accuse me after I leave, saying, 'When you were in prison, you avoided the difficult work with help from Chong Hwa Pak. didn't you.' So please don't assign me any more tasks that are meant for old people."
Mr. Pak was surprised by this response, but it gave him a new respect for Reverend Moon, who was seven years his junior.
As general overseer, Mr. Pak was entrusted with a certain amount of authority. Some prisoners would bring him food, drink, and missuk kart (a powdered mixture of rice, wheat, and other grains) that they received from friends and relatives outside the prison walls, in hopes that he would assign them to easier tasks. It was a form of bribery.
Once. Mr. Pak passed on to Reverend Moon some of the missuk karu he had been given. In prison, this powder was worth far more than gold. A few days later, he asked Reverend Moon, "Did you eat the missuk karu?"
Reverend Moon replied in a casual tone, "Oh, I gave it all to somebody in my cell who was about to die."
One spring, Reverend Moon came down with malaria. His face was flushed with fever, and his body shook with severe chills as he worked. Chong Hwa Pak couldn't stand to watch him suffer, and he begged Reverend Moon to let him take him off the work detail.
"I've prepared a room where you can rest. If you keep on like this, something terrible might happen to you."
Reverend Moon, though, refused to go. "Again, you're doing something that would put me in the position of being accused by Satan."
On the sixth day of his bout with malaria, Reverend Moon was dripping with sweat. His legs tottered under him as though they would give way any minute. He was having difficulty keeping his balance, and he didn't have full use of his hands. Mr. Pak grabbed Reverend Moon by the sleeve and begged him to rest. "Please, understand that I am speaking out of a sincere concern for you."
"Chong Hwa," Reverend Moon replied, "my suffering is in accordance with God's historical providence. I know that your concern for me is genuine, but God is suffering even more than I am." Reverend Moon then went on about his work. Chong liwa Pak began to cry.
"Don't cry for me," Reverend Moon said. "Cry for the heart of God."
Just as Jesus Christ overcame the three temptations of Satan while he was in the wilderness [Matthew 4:10 and other passages], Reverend Moon had to resolve the grief of the saints and sages through the ages by overcoming the obstacles that they could not.
Reverend Moon held himself to an amazingly high standard during his time at Hungnam Prison. "For the sake of bringing salvation to all humankind," he would tell himself, "I cannot be indebted to anyone in any way. I must repay the entire debt stemming from human sin. I cannot give Satan even the slightest grounds to accuse rue."
This was what was going through his mind as he endured incredible suffering in the prison camp. He wanted to offer up his suffering in payment for all human sins. It was in Hungnam that Reverend Moon's messianic character became most clear.
One day, someone stole some rice powder that Reverend Moon had placed on a shelf in the cell. The next morning the other prisoners discovered which of them had stolen the powder, and they began to beat him mercilessly. Reverend Moon told the prisoners to calm down and said, "Think how hungry he must have been to steal." Then He divided the remaining powder among them.
When the communist authorities gave Reverend Moon the award for being a model prisoner, Chong Hwa Pak congratulated him. However, Reverend Moon replied, "Receiving the award isn't what makes me happy. I'm happy because I was victorious over Satan's temptations."
Garden Of Restoration
In this world, embittered with hate, through the thousands of years,
Father was searching to find One triumphant in heart;
There, where He struggled, behold,
footprints stained with blood;
Such love is given to us in His providence.
Such love is given to us in His providence.
Here we find the flower of joy in the freedom of God;
His garden blesses the world with the blooming of hope;
Fragrant perfume of His will fills us all with joy;
Such life fulfills all the dreams of our Father's desire,
Such life fulfills all the dreams of our Father's desire.
Fresh bouquets of happiness grow, gently tossed in the breeze:
Our home eternal and true is a haven of joy;
Here in such beauty divine we shall always live;
Such is the gift of the Lord, Father's heavenly land,
Such is the gift of the Lord, Father's heavenly land.
God's eternal providence is the Kingdom on earth;
On earth He wanted to see His true Garden in bloom;
Filled with perfume of the heart, spread His glorious joy;
Such is the glory to come, crowning all of the world,
Such is the glory to come, crowning all of the world.
During his time at Hungnam, when he faced death daily, Reverend Moon composed a poem that describes the joy of a world where God's ideals and hopes have been realized. The title was The Garden of Restoration." One day. Reverend Moon wrote the poem down on a few tags front the fertilizer sacks and gave them to Chong Ilwa Pak. "I want you to memorize all four verses of this poem within a week." At the time, there was still no melody to go with the words, so Reverend Moon and Chong Ilwa Pak sang them to the tune of a battle song of the old Japanese navy.
The "garden' in this poem refers to the Garden of Eden. The poem draws a picture of a time when the Lord has returned to earth and the ideal of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth has been brought to reality. The poem gives us a glimpse of the depth of Reverend Moon's single-minded devotion to pursuing God's ideal.
Reverend Moon could taste heaven even while he was experiencing the hell on earth of Hungnam Prison. This spirit is inherited by the members of the Unification Church today whose mission is to turn hell into heaven.
A Mother's Tears
Reverend Moon's mother was a great woman. Kyung Gye Kim loved her son deeply. He had been a particularly bright child with a strong will and an equally strong sense of righteousness. Whenever he found himself in the presence of unrighteousness, he would do everything in his power to correct it. That was his character. His mother had high expectations for him, especially because of the auspicious dream she had while she was pregnant with him.
During World War II when word came that the ferry Reverend Moon was supposed to be on had been sunk, Mrs. Kim's world crashed around her. She dashed out of the house, forgetting to put on her shoes, and ran barefoot to the courthouse in Iungju township to try and find out what had happened to her son. She ran until the soles of her feet were cut and bleeding.
Mrs. Kyung Gae Kim, the mother of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Now, her son had gone to Pyongyang, faced numerous tribulations, been tried and found guilty of a crime, and finally incarcerated in Hungnam Labor Camp. It was enough to make her heart break with anguish.
Mrs. Kim decided that she would travel to Hungnam to visit her son. The straight-line distance from Jungju to Hungnam is about 125 miles, and she needed several different passes in order to be allowed through the many checkpoints on the way.
When she finally arrived and saw her son, what a painful sight to a mother's eyes. His head had been shaven according to prison regulations, he wore a prison uniform, and he was referred to simply as "Prisoner 596." How much heartache she must have felt. He had been such a gifted child, and she had believed that he was certain to become a man of greatness. How could it he, she must have thought, that he wound up in prison?
"I love you more than words can express. Yet, here you are in prison. If you had only listened to me a little more, this would not have happened. Why do you have to go through so much suffering?"
She began to cry aloud. Then she took out a sack of rice powder that she had brought from home. Reverend Moon took the sack, and while his mother looked on in horror, gave it all away to the prisoners around him.
This was food that she had prepared with great difficulty. She had protected it with her life as she traveled across the peninsula to see him. Yet. Reverend Moon gave it all away, without eating a single mouthful. She was furious. How could her son be so ungrateful, so unfilial? He didn't appreciate her at all.
Reverend Moon certainly knew that it would hurt his mother to see him give away her gift. On the other hand, he also knew that the prisoners around him were on the verge of starvation and most had no relatives who could visit them. He couldn't bring himself to eat the powder when there were so many others whose suffering was even greater than his own. But most of all, as one who had dedicated his life to living totally for God and the sake of others, he couldn't let his mother's love for him divert him into focusing on himself.
On another visit, Mrs. Kim gave her son a set of clothes that she had made. But he gave them away also, even though his clothes were in tatters.
Mrs. Kim was angry. "I went to all the trouble to bring these clothes so that you could wear them," she told her son. "What gives you the idea that you can just disregard my feelings and give them all away? How can you do such a thing?" Reverend Moon replied. "Mother, I am more than just a son of the Moon family. I am also a son of the Republic of Korea and a son of the world. Even before that, I am a son of God.
You love me as your son, but I have to love those poor prisoners from the position of a parent representing God. 'Ibis is what Heaven expects."
This was Reverend Moon's determination: "God tried to save humankind even at the expense of sacrificing his only son. Jesus Christ. How can I bring salvation to people if I'm not even willing to sacrifice myself?"
There was no way, though, that Mrs. Kim could fathom the deep meaning behind her son's behavior. He was as precious to her as life itself. She had no idea that he was following God's plan. Because she could not understand, she was angry and sad. She would get so frustrated that she would tell him, "l will never come to see you again."
After a few days at home, though, she would start to miss her son so much that she couldn't sit still. She would lie awake at night, worrying that his health might deteriorate because of his miserable situation or that he might even freeze to death in the cold winter weather. After a while, she would begin to prepare another set of clothes and a batch of rice powder to take to him. If there wasn't enough money, she would sell some of the furniture she had brought with her when she married into the Moon family and use the money to cover the expenses of traveling to Hungnam. In the end, she even sold the bull that the family needed in order to plow the fields and do other work around the farm.
Then she would make yet another trip to Hungnam in spite of all the hardships. And when she got there, she experienced heartbreak and disappointment all over again because of her son's behavior toward her. She told him that if he ever left the prison alive, she would take him home and never allow him to leave the village again. If he ever had to go to prison again, she said, she would take his place and go instead. This was an expression of the deep love that this mother had for her child. She was an extraordinary woman who suffered tremendously because she had as her son the savior of all humankind.
Mrs. Kim's longing to have her son at home again was never realized. Reverend Moon did not set foot in his hometown again until 1991, forty-eight years after his last visit. On December 5. 1991, while visiting North Korea at the invitation of President Kim II Sung (described in Volume Two), he went to Jungju and offered a prayer at his parents' graves. Those of us who were with him were deeply touched when he said, "Mother, now that you're in heaven, I'm sure you must understand everything."
This extraordinary mother must be beaming with pride and joy in the spirit world that she has such a remarkable son. After experiencing such great frustration during her life on earth, she turned out to be the mother of the messiah. Today, we express our respect for her by referring to her as Choong-mo nim, meaning "mother of loyalty."
The Saint in Prison
During his time in Hungnam, Reverend Moon lived a life of unremitting sacrifice and determination to accomplish his mission. For this reason, he came to he respected among both prisoners and guards. During the ten minutes they were given to line up and prepare to march co the factory, prisoners would come to Reverend Moon, even from cells that were some distance away, greet him, and then run back quickly to take their place in the formation. Others would try to embrace him, even though they could he punished with confinement in an underground solitary cell. They felt that seeing Reverend Moon's face in the morning gave them confidence that they could survive through the day. They continued to show Reverend Moon this sign of respect even after he asked them to stop. The other prisoners who witnessed these actions pretended not to see and did not report then to the guards.
In this place where a single grain of cooked rice could mean the difference between life and death, some prisoners would offer to share their powdered rice or other gifts of food that they received from their visitors with Reverend Moon. Some had dreams in which their ancestors would appear and order them, "Do you know prisoner number 596? I want you to take your rice powder and give it to him." Even after having such a dream, though, a prisoner might decide that his rice powder was too precious to give away and would keep it for himself. Then, the next night he would dream that one of his ancestors was trying to strangle him. Finally, he would bring the powder to Reverend Moon's cell and say, "Who is number 596 here?" This happened on several occasions.
The prisoners had a saying: "A single grain in prison is worth one pig on the outside." Despite this extreme environment, Reverend Moon continually gave away all the food and clothing that came into his possession to the sick and the weak. It wasn't long before he was respected as a "saint in prison."
Among the prison guards, who were core members of the Workers Party, rumors began to spread about prisoner 596. How could he work so hard, eat so little, and stay alive? This was supposed to be a death camp, after all. Normally, the guards were especially cruel to prisoners jailed for the crimes for which Reverend Moon had been convicted, that is, "disturbing the social order" and "counterrevolution." At first, the prisoners thought the guards were not as cruel to Reverend Moon because he worked hard and followed all the rules. The truth was that the guards feared him - they believed he had supernatural powers.
Once, a new guard punished Reverend Moon severely. That night, the guard dreamed that an old man who looked like a mountain god came to him and admonished him for being so cruel to Reverend Moon. The dream made the guard angry and the next day the beat Reverend Moon even more harshly. That night, the same old man came to the guard in his dream and gave him a severe punishment. After that, even this cruel guard felt compelled to treat Reverend Moon with a certain degree of deference.
Although Reverend Moon could not openly preach, he witnessed every minute of every day by his example. Eventually, the number of prisoners who regarded themselves as Reverend Moon's close disciples grew to twelve. Some of these men received revelations, and others saw visions. They observed Reverend Moon's indomitable spirit and pure faith. Even though they were trapped in an earthly hell, they found in Reverend Moon hope for the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, when Reverend Moon had been at Hungnam for more than two years. North Korea's strategy was to move their forces south as quickly as possible to take control of the entire Korean peninsula. As a part of their counterattack, United Nations forces began a strategic bombing campaign against selected North Korean industrial centers. Hungnam was one of these targets, and on August 1 U.N. forces began bombing the fertilizer factory.
When bombs began raining down on the factory, the communist guards quickly took cover in bomb shelters, leaving the prisoners to fend for themselves. The prisoners were in a panic and began running around trying to find cover. Somehow, the feeling spread among some of the prisoners that the safest place to be was close to prisoner 596. They gathered around Reverend Moon like chicks trying to get under the mother hen's wings. When Reverend Moon moved to another area of the compound, they all moved with him.
Incredibly, none of the prisoners who stayed close to Reverend Moon was killed in the bombing. There were times when Reverend Moon would move away from a spot and a bomb would fall on that spot immediately afterward. The prisoners saw this and were wide-eyed with amazement. They began to tell each other, "Stay within a twenty-meter radius of prisoner 596, and you will live."
UN Forces Liberate Hungnam
On April 16, 1996 -a world and almost a half-century away from the bombing at Hungnam - a spectacular banquet was held at the Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel in Washington, D.C., to recognize people who have contributed to the betterment of society in communities throughout America. It was sponsored by the Washington Times, which Reverend Moon founded. Some 120 senators and congressmen were among the three thousand dignitaries who attended from all over America.
In a speech titled "View of the Principle of the Providential History of Salvation," Reverend Moon spoke on a number of profound truths hidden in the Bible.
The person who introduced Reverend Moon to this audience was none other than Gen. Alexander Haig, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces.
In his introduction, General Haig spoke proudly and movingly of being directly involved in liberating Reverend Moon from prison. As one of Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur's staff officers, he took part in the Inchon landing on September 15, 1950 and shortly thereafter participated in a landing at Wonsan, in the vicinity of Hungnam. "This was the first time our paths crossed," General Haig said. "For the next two decades we both in our own way struggled against communist tyranny and for the establishment of a world characterized by the rule of law and peaceful change in contrast to a world dominated by the rule of the bayonet and violent change." His heartfelt words emphasized how important it was to history that Reverend Moon's life he saved.
Someday historians will recognize that the Korean War was fought for the purpose of saving the life of the messiah. It is clear that God planned General MacArthur's Inchon and Wonsan landing operations for that express purpose.
The Inchon landing was an incredible military gamble, but it was carried out successfully and was a major turning point in the war: General MacArthur realized that the North Korean People's Army could he surrounded and its overextended supply lines cut if U.N. forces advanced through Inchon to Seoul, and then westward across the peninsula, while forces south of the Naktong River simultaneously broke out of their perimeter and counterattacked northward. As it turned out, he was exactly right.
The U.N. forces went on the offensive following the Inchon landing and began to push back the NKPA forces. Seoul was recaptured on September 27, and on October 1, General MacArthur called on North Korea to surrender. When North Korea ignored this, U.N. forces crossed the 38th Parallel and rapidly advanced northward.
As news of the U.N.'s northward advance spread, the guards at Hungnam Prison became desperate. They began executing the prisoners, beginning with those with the longest sentences. They were careful not to let the general prison population realize what was happening. Prisoners scheduled for execution were told they were being transferred to another camp. Then they were taken to a nearby mountain, where they were forced to dig their own graves, and shot.
One of Reverend Moon's twelve disciples in prison was Rev. Jin Soo Kim, a Christian minister who had been president of an organization called the Five Provinces Presbyterian Association, a Christian organization founded after Korea's liberation from Japan. When a branch of Hungnam Prison was established, Reverend Kim accepted transfer to this branch - against Reverend Moon's advice - and was killed in a massacre of prisoners at the time of the communist retreat.
Group after group of prisoners were called out and sent to their deaths. Reverend Moon sensed the seriousness of the situation and realized that his turn would likely come the next day. But as morning dawned, U.S. Air Force B-29s staged a major bombing attack in the area around Hungnam. The prison camp turned into a bloodbath, and many prison administrators and guards were among those killed.
As the U.N. ground forces closed in. the remaining guards fled Hungnam Prison, and the prisoners themselves became its masters. It was the day they had all hoped to see. They were finally free! All the men were mere skin and bones and extremely weak, but there was no suppressing their joy at surviving their ordeal.
The counterattack that started with General MacArthur's Inchon landing and led to the northward advance of U.N. forces and the aerial bombing of Hungnam finally brought about Reverend Moon's liberation from Hungnam Prison. It was October 14, 1950.
It had been two years, five months since Reverend Moon was imprisoned at Hungnam. During that time, countless innocent people had gone to their deaths at Hungnam. Even some of Reverend Moon's twelve disciples became sacrificial offerings.
The 750-Mile Trek to Pusan
After his liberation, Reverend Moon traveled 150 miles across the peninsula and arrived in Pyongyang on October 24. He had not come to rest though. Instead, he wanted to find his disciples. He had hoped that at least some members of the congregation had maintained their faith and stayed together during his absence, but that was not the case. They had scattered. Reverend Moon began visiting them one by one.
About this time, the tide of the Korean War was changing again. The U.N. forces had reached the southern bank of the Yalu River on the Chinese border. The final defeat of the decimated communist army seemed just a matter of days when the war took a completely unexpected turn. The Chinese army, famous for its human wave tactics, crossed the Yalu River and attacked en masse. China's sudden entry into the war completely changed the situation.
The Chinese army was rapidly approaching Pyongyang. Citizens of the city were issued emergency evacuation orders on December 2. Reverend Moon decided that he would head south with Chong Hwa Pak, with whom he had been reunited in Pyongyang, and a young follower from his earlier days in Pyongyang, Won Pil Kim. Pak had been back in Pyongyang since August, when he was released from Hungnam after completing his sentence. While in Pyongyang, however, he had been attacked by some thugs and suffered a broken ankle.
At first, Pak was ecstatic that Reverend Moon was going to save him from the coming invasion. Then, he began to think how difficult it would he to travel - he couldn't even go to the bathroom by himself. He begged Reverend Moon to leave without him.
"It would be much too great a risk to take me with you. If I slow you down, we will all he killed. You cannot risk being caught by the communists again. Please, don't concern yourself with me. Just go quickly."
Reverend Moon was adamant, though. "When we were in prison, we promised each other that we would be together in both life and death," he said. "Put your faith in God and climb on this bicycle. I will push you.
Pak was tall and weighed more than Reverend Moon, but Reverend Moon was proposing to push him on a bicycle the entire length of the peninsula with the communist army closing in behind them. It seemed like an impossible feat.
Reverend Moon put Pak on the bicycle and, together with the teenaged Won Pil Kim, headed out of Pyongyang on the long journey south. It was December 4, just one day before the Chinese army entered Pyongyang.
The three refugees met all sorts of obstacles and difficulties on their way south. The main roads were reserved for military use and closed to all civilian traffic. Refugees often had to make their own way through terrain where there were no roads.
Sometimes they were mistaken for remnants of the North Korean People's Army and beaten severely. Once, they tried to take a boat to Inchon from Yong-mac Island off the coast of Haeju, but they were chased off the ship. God protected them, though, along this difficult road.
One day, they came to a hill so steep that it was impossible to push the bicycle to the top with Chong Hwa Pak riding. Pak begged Reverend Moon to leave him behind.
"Master," he said. "I can't make it any farther. Please leave me and keep going. I'll make out somehow. Whatever happens, I'll accept my fate."
Reverend Moon became angry and scolded Pak.
"Didn't you and I pledge that we would he together until death? Whatever happens let's put our faith in God and keep going. Don't worry."
Reverend Moon put Chong Hwa Pak on his back and had Won Pil Kim push the bicycle up the hill. We can imagine that Pak must have wept tears of gratitude as he lay on Reverend Moon's back that was dripping with sweat. Pak later testified: "More than any other time, this was the moment when I felt most strongly that Reverend Moon is the savior of humankind."
In Yonan they discovered that a complete stranger, a lay leader in a local Christian congregation, had received a revelation to prepare a meal and wait for Reverend Moon and his two companions to arrive. They spent three days in this town eating and resting, and then continued on their way.
Finally, they reached the northern bank of the hnjin River that ran between North and South Korea. They were all so tired they were on the verge of collapse. Reverend Moon's two followers suggested that they have a meal and get a good night's rest and then cross the river in the morning. Reverend Moon, though, felt an urgency to cross as quickly as possible. The two followers felt that he was heartless in pushing them, but they went along with his decision.
They somehow crossed the river despite their exhaustion. To their surprise, the U.N. forces closed the crossing immediately after they had reached the southern hank. A defensive perimeter had to be set up in preparation for the coming battle against the advancing communist army. This escape route to the south was cut off for anyone trying to cross after them.
After enduring numerous ordeals, the three arrived in Seoul on December 27, 1950, twenty-four days after leaving Pyongyang. The communist army's advance had not been stopped, however. Soon after their arrival in Seoul, an order was given to evacuate the city. So they started south again on January 3, 1951, and finally arrived in Pusan at the southern tip of Korea on January 27. On the way, Chong Hwa Pak became friends with someone in Kyungju and decided to stay at this person's home until he could fully recover from his injury.
Reverend Moon's trek from Pyongyang to Pusan teaches us a number of important lessons about how God works. First, we see that once a bond is established in Heaven, it endures forever. God will not forsake even one person. Throughout history, it has been human beings who have betrayed God again and again.
There was one place on the way from Pyongyang where Reverend Moon had to carry Chong Hwa Pak on his back and walk a considerable distance through deep mud. Many years later, Won Pil Kim asked Reverend Moon where he found the strength to carry such a heavy man for a long distance. Reverend Moon replied by telling him, "I felt as though that man represented the entire universe." Reverend Moon looks at every individual as though that person were God Himself. To him, abandoning even a single person is as unthinkable as abandoning God.
Church in a Mud Hut
On the cold January day when Reverend Moon and Won Pil Kim arrived in Pusan by train -clinging to the outside because there was no room in the railroad cars - Pusan had become a city of refugees. The city was overflowing with people, and new arrivals with no relatives or acquaintances among the native population found it next to impossible to find a place to stay.
After several attempts, Reverend Moon finally settled on building himself a hut on a mountain slope in a section of the city called Bum Il Dong. He used some cardboard boxes that had been tossed out by American soldiers, along with stones, wood, and mud. It could hardly be called a house. Water welled up from the ground beneath, and the roof leaked every time it rained. This is where the Unification movement began.
Reverend Moon built and lived in this hut made of cardboard boxes, mud, and stones in Pusan.
Even more important, this was the spot where Reverend Moon put in writing for the first time the content of the Divine Principle. The wonderful words of salvation that would later be my guiding light were written under this humble roof. The manuscript that Reverend Moon wrote here was titled Wolli Wonbon or Original Manuscript of the Principle.
The lamp he used is among the artifacts that have been preserved in our church's Bum ll Dong Museum.
During the time that Reverend Moon lived in this first church. God sent him many gifted people to help him in his work. Many of the elder members who are leading the Unification movement in various parts of the world today were witnessed to in Bum Il Dong.
Up the slope from the original church is a large boulder that juts out from the hillside. Today, this is a place of prayer for Unification Church members, who refer to it as "the Rock of Tears" because of all the tears that Reverend Moon shed there as he prayed every day. Just as he did in Hungnam Prison, Reverend Moon sought to comfort God through his prayers, trying to ease His pain and sorrow over the fall of humankind and firmly pledging that he would accomplish God's desire.
Today, this rock has become a "rock of miracles." Each year, thousands of people from around the world come here to pray. And these are not just Unification Church members. Several thousand Christian ministers from America have visited Korea at Reverend Moon's invitation and visited this rock as a part of their itinerary. Many of them offered tearful prayers of their own at this spot. On a number of occasions, people who prayed here have experienced miracles, both physical cures and revelations.
One woman minister from Chicago began to run and shout `Hallelujah!' as she approached the rock. She excitedly testified that thirty years before she had gone into the ministry because of a vision that God had given her. In the vision, a Chinese man invited her into a humble hut and said he would teach her the Gospel. She now realized that the scene in her vision was exactly what she was seeing at the Rock of Tears. For the first time she understood that the "Chinese man" of her vision was actually Father.
Jesus said, "The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." [Matthew 11:5] Now, a modern-day version of those events is taking place at the Rock of Tears.
Once, Reverend Moon climbed to the top of the ridge behind the church with his disciples and sat down at a place where they could see Oh-rvuk Island and Pusan Harbor. He told them, "Look down there at that large ship billowing black smoke as it sails into the harbor. Soon, people of all races, nationalities, and ethnic groups and speaking all different languages will consider Korea to be the homeland of their faith and will cone on ships like that to visit me.
"We absolutely must bring about the ideal world of God's creation - a world without sadness, tears, or pain, the Kingdom of God on Earth."
Even his faithful disciples looked at him in amazement and were at a loss for words. How could he talk this way when they didn't even have food for their evening meal? They must have thought he was living in a dream world.
But that vision has came to reality. In 1992, 30,000 young couples from 131 countries gathered in Seoul's Olympic Main Stadium for the International Holy Blessing Ceremony presided over by Reverend and Mrs. Moon as the True Parents and 16 representatives of the major world religions. People of all races participated, considering themselves brothers and sisters who shared common parents. This historic event has been repeated on an ever grander scale throughout the 1990s, with 360,000 couples, 3.6 million, 36 million, 360 million, and in the year 2000 400 million couples participating in International Holy Blessings. This is truly the "flood of people" that Reverend Moon spoke about so long ago on a rocky Korean hillside.
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