The Words of the Pak Family
A celebration for Dr. Bo Hi Pak's 80th birthday was held on Friday, September 3rd at the Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. The keynote speaker was Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, International President of the Unification Church, who attended the banquet with his wife, Yeon Ah (Lee) Moon. Dr. Chang Shik Yang was the Master of Ceremonies.
His birthday was in reality on August 18th, however as soon as True Father heard about the Pak family celebration to be held, he said there has to be a world level celebration. True Father provided funds to hold a 1,000-person banquet honoring Dr. Pak. I was invited to Korea along with 30 other guests from America. As the only District Director present, I was honored to represent the field at this remarkable tribute to one of True Father's earliest disciples. Dr. Pak played a key role in the battle against Satan, especially in his leadership in CAUSA, and The Washington Times newspaper. The other guests from America included international leaders such as Dr. Chang Shik Yang, Dr. Tom Walsh, and Taj Hamad, and national leaders, including Rev. Michael Jenkins, Bishop George Augustus Stallings, Bishop Ki Hoon Kim, Ambassador Phillip Sanchez, Rev. Levy Daughtery, Mike Smith, Joe Tully, Tom McDevitt, Mike Leone, and other brothers and sisters who worked closely with Dr. Pak throughout the years.
One of the hallmarks of Dr. Pak's leadership has been his love for True Parents, his love for members, and his love for America. Dr. Pak was the principle translator for True Father in the early crusades in America. He made the thought and heart of True Parents accessible to many thousands of Americans.
During the 1980's and early 1990's, when Dr. Pak led CAUSA, and the American Freedom Coalition, he frequently took me and other Americans to East Garden to greet True Parents. Dr. Pak taught us how to report directly to True Parents about our activities. One of Dr. Pak's most memorable slogans was "I live to report and I report to live."
In keeping with this tradition, Dr. Pak also arranged for a select group of Americans to attend Hoon Dok Hae at the Original Palace at 5:00 a.m. on the morning after the banquet.
I have seen Dr. Pak quickly move the hearts of Ambassadors, U. S. Senators and Congressmen, Four Star Generals, religious leaders, business leaders, university presidents and other elected officials. The patriotism, the sense of duty and the "can do" spirit of the CAUSA conferences and the American Leadership Conferences stimulated the political careers of several who later become U.S. Congressmen.
Not only can Dr. Pak inspire church members, and top American leaders, but I have personally seen him touch the hearts of girls between the ages of 9 and 15. During the recent Little Angels tour in Atlanta he gave uplifting and encouraging words to these young girls. In return, they reflected Dr. Pak's emphasis upon "Respect, Kindness, and Service" and his sense of duty, and fighting spirit.
When the Little Angels were in Bogota, Colombia, they suffered from altitude sickness. In fact, nine girls collapsed during rehearsals, and five were later hospitalized. A teacher told one girl not to go on stage, holding her shoulder to keep her from joining the other girls. But the fifteen-year-old yanked her shoulder away from the teacher, and said, "I have to go out. Otherwise my partner (during the fan dance) will be lost without me, and it will mess up the shape of the finale (when all the girls make fluttering concentric circles)."
The Little Angels learned that kind of heart and tradition from Dr. Pak. I am aware of at least four "deaths and resurrections" that Dr. Pak endured in his service to God and True Parents. He survived the Korean War, serving as a Colonel in the tough ROK forces. He was one of the few survivors of the cadets who entered the war with him.
While in America he was kidnapped, tortured and held for ransom. The kidnappers threatened to kill him if they didn't receive the money. Very few people survive kidnapping even if money is exchanged, but Dr. Pak miraculously escaped his captors. He was sure he was going to be murdered, but did not want to die like a cowering dog. He was ready to shout "Chamboomonim, Ok Mansei" or "True Parents, 10,000 Year Victory" just before they killed him. In 1987, he was severely beaten by the "Black Heung Jin Nim" from Zimbabwe, and was hospitalized due to his injuries. He later had to have surgery to repair a blood vessel in his skull.
And finally, as a victim of a scam, Dr. Pak was sentenced in 2004 to many years in prison. Had he not be pardoned, he would still be in prison to this day. Because his health was poor, we were concerned that he might die in prison. But he knew that he is the "John the Baptist" to the returning Messiah, and was ready to die in prison if it meant indemnifying the mission of John the Baptist who died in prison 2,000 years ago. Fortunately Dr. Pak was released after serving 2 years and 4 months.
For me, being with Dr. Pak on his 80th birthday was a miracle.
Our Hoon Dok Hae with True Father and Dr. Pak at the Original Palace was an unforgettable experience. It began at 5:00 a.m. and lasted until 1:30 p.m. With the exception of three or four reports, and a couple of songs, True Father spoke most of the time. He was excited and happy to see the American leaders, and we enjoyed a lot of eye contact with him.
Toward the end of the session, Dr. Pak was directed to give a report, and he began by introducing the American "Top Guns" to Father. Dr. Pak's report was vintage "Dr. Pak". He is still the master at making a "long story short," and at 80 years of age, he still has that same booming voice, and bubbling enthusiasm we knew twenty years ago. We also witnessed the joy Dr. Pak brings to True Father. In Atlanta, Dr. Pak said, "When True Father is excited, good things happen." Dr. Pak once again rekindled True Father's excitement about America. Watch for good things to happen.
Dr. Pak began by holding up a big full page newspaper article about our brother Mark Boitano. Mark was recently re-elected as a Senator for New Mexico, and the article was entitled, "The Messiah's Senator." Father loved the report and we could see the pride in his eyes.
Dr. Pak also reported about the election victories of brothers in Nevada, and in Arizona. Father lit up and commented, "We will do more things together." Dr. Pak continued with a review of True Father's historic victory over communism, his meeting with Gorbachev, and the events in Moscow surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Dr. Pak also spoke about True Father's work in America and the fight on Capitol Hill when Congressman Frazier sought to destroy Father's work for freedom. Father interjected and spoke powerfully of his affection for the Bush family and Neil Bush in particular. He also mentioned how Carter was used by the left side, and how we need to work now in coalition with the Christians for pro-family issues. Father spoke at length about his deep concern about the current moral decline referring to the bad example of the British royals, and current American celebrities.
Father spoke for many, many hours and we could feel his intense concern for each of us, and for mankind's future. Restoration of the Three Blessings is the goal, and it is the current battle ground in America today.
After Hoon Dok Hae we returned to Seoul for a final meal at 4:00 p.m. with Dr. and Mrs. Pak and three of their children. Several brothers had an opportunity to reflect on the banquet and Hoon Dok Hae, including myself. The deep love and respect for Dr. Pak was almost tangible. It was a love feast of gratitude for True Parents. Larry Moffitt, commenting on the warm hearts and respect felt at the luncheon, remarked, "Now this is the kind of church I would join." Dr. Pak is a remarkable leader, father, husband, and son of True Parents. Please keep him in your prayers. At 80 years of age, he remains a front line soldier for God and True Parents.
Contributed by Tom Cutts
Director, District Five -- FL, GA, AL, SC, LA, and MS