True Mother's Life
by Linna Rapkins
Hak Ja Han's mother, Mrs. Hong, came home later than usual, and there was a new light in her eyes.
"Well, I had a most interesting day," she announced joyfully.
"Where were you, Omma?" asked her daughter, looking up from her studies. The grandmother stopped stirring the soup to listen.
"I met Kim Halmoni's uncle. Do you remember the Holy Lord Order? No, of course not; you weren't even born when I went to that church." They laughed together. "Well, anyway, I met him, and he invited me to a new church. I thought I was dropping in for a little visit, but I was there for hours. The church is called the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity."
"What a long name," observed her daughter.
"Yes-well, they want to bring together all Christians. And guess what? You know I've been talking about the Lord of the Second Advent all your life -right?"
"Well, they say he is here in Korea, just as Kim Halmoni and Mrs. Ho said he would be. They said if I study their book, I will learn exactly who he is." Her daughter listened raptly.
In the days to follow, Mrs. Hong became very busy. She still had to work to earn money, but she spent every spare moment either attending the little church in Chun Chon or reading the book which explained the revelations of the founder and leader.
Whenever she studied the book at home, she would look up often and say excitedly to the others, "He must be a very intelligent man, a very spiritual man. Many of the things I learned at Kim Halmoni's and Mrs. Ho's church, he also says, but he explains much, much more. I can scarcely believe my good luck and great joy."
When she approached her daughter and asked, "Would you like to come to the service with me tonight?" Hak Ja Han was ready.
"I would like that," she said. She wanted to see what gave her mother so much joy.
When Mrs. Hong officially joined the church, her daughter joined with her. Except for reading about the saints, she hadn't studied other religions so much, but this felt very right. And as she studied the book, she knew she would dedicate her life to this.
Soon Mrs. Hong announced that she wanted to go to Seoul to meet this great man for herself.
"It will take only a few days," she said. "He may be the one I've been looking for all these years, but I can hardly believe it. I just have to meet him."
The grandmother, uncle, and daughter looked forward to her return, for they too wondered what he was like. But they waited a long time, because once Mrs. Hong got there, she didn't want to leave. She became the cook for the man they called their teacher-Sun Myung Moon. This was 1957.
Meanwhile, although she loved her grandmother dearly, Hak Ja Han missed her mother. A thirteen year old really needs her mother's care. Once again, she felt lonely, but this time she knew how to handle it better. She focused on her studies more than ever and led a very quiet life-almost like a nun in a convent.
When Mrs. Hong finally came home, however, it was not to stay. She explained everything she had been doing and all about the people in the church in Seoul, and most of all, about Father.
"He's the one-the one I've been looking for and preparing for. Kim Halmoni and Mrs. Ho and all their followers were looking for this man, but I'm the only one who actually found him." Her eyes saddened as she remembered the sacrifices they had made, even unto death. Well, she would serve him remembering them, and she would teach her daughter to serve and remember, too.
She turned then to her daughter. "Hak Ja-Ya, would you like to go to Seoul and meet him, too?"
"Oh yes, I would, Omma," answered her daughter immediately. "I've been thinking about you and about him every day since you left."
As they made their way to the Chong Pa Dong church, everything in Seoul looked different than Hak Ja Han remembered. There were more buildings; more things to buy; more vehicles of all types; more noise. It was all so interesting.
As they walked up the steps to the church, she suddenly felt as if she were coming home. She felt calm and peace in her heart. Her mother led her into the main room.
"He is upstairs," someone told her, so she led her daughter up some little steps in the back. They tapped on the sliding door and were invited into a room with a man who looked very kind and thoughtful.
Without being told, Hak Ja Han bowed deeply. Then she just stood still, waiting for him to begin the conversation.
"So this is he," she thought as gazed at him. Then she realized he was looking into her eyes.
"You have a very lovely daughter, don't you?" he said to her mother. Then, with a smile, he asked, "Does she study well?"
"Oh yes, she studies very well," answered her mother proudly.
"What is your name?" he asked her directly.
"My name is Hak Ja Han."
There was a pause as he continued to look at her thoughtfully. He closed his eyes a few moments, and then softly, almost as if in prayer, he said, "Oh Heavenly Father, you have given such a woman, Hak Ja Han, to this country of Korea!"
She looked down at the floor, wondering, "Why would a great spiritual leader say something like that about me?"
Later, after she was back in Chun Chon with her grandmother and uncle, she thought every day about that meeting. She resolved to be a strong member of this church and to follow him always. She decided she would live her life even more strictly than before, always praying to be pure and good.
As she attended Middle School and then High School, her days were filled with study, art, music, prayer, church-and thoughts about the man in Seoul who was the promised one for Korea, and indeed, for all the world.
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