The Words of the Song Family
Rev. Moon Kyu Song (36 couples Blessing) served as an IW to Africa for the foreign missionaries in 1977. Starting January 1983 Rev. Song was regional leader in Washington D.C. and was then transferred to the North-West region: Seattle, Washington.
I was born in December 1939, about the time when Adolph Hitler invaded Poland. That was also the time when Korea was under the control of Japan, and Japan governed everything in Korea. When I was seven, Korea was liberated.
I was born in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea. As soon as Korea won liberation from Japan, Soviet forces came to North Korea, and Pyongyang soon fell under the control of communist forces. I was from a well-to-do family in the Pyongyang province. The communists immediately started purging the rich and learned people, so in order not to lose our lives, we had to escape to the South, staying in Seoul for about four years. When North Korea invaded the South, President Truman of the United States made a quick decision to help South Korea. Sixteen nations sent forces to help South Korea, and five other nations sent medical and other types of aid.
Father was doing hard labor at Hungnam fertilizer plant, which was just like a prison. As soon as General MacArthur's forces took over Hungnam, Father was released. When he was out of prison, he was too weak to handle himself well. But in spite of such physical condition, he pushed a man with a broken leg on a bicycle, and with Won Pil Kim, he crossed the 38th parallel and came to the South. They arrived in Seoul, but the city was right in the path of the Chinese army and would fall a few days later. Therefore, they had to continue to Pusan.
I was one of the fortunate ones during the Korean War. I did not walk all the way down to Pusan, but could take a freight train south. The distance from Seoul to Pusan is almost the same as from New York City to Washington, DC. Because of frequent military shipments, it took one week and a half to travel by train from Seoul to Pusan; the train spent more time waiting than moving. Freight was piled on the open railroad cars and passengers clung to the top of the luggage. All the way from Seoul to Pusan we had to cling to the luggage. When the train passed through tunnels, many people were hit by the tunnel ceilings and died instantly. Others became so tired that they dozed off and lost their grip, falling down. The people on the train were like ants crawling on honey.
While the train was moving, we were unable to cook any food. Our only opportunity was to cook on the platform when the train made a stop. However, we would never know when the train might leave; so when the train whistle blew, we would quickly grab the utensils and climb on the train again. December in Korea is cold, averaging maybe 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If you touched something with a wet finger, the finger would stick fast. Your breath would freeze instantly.
Through snow and icy roads, Father and Won Pil Kim walked and pushed a man on a bicycle to Ulsan, where there was a train station. Only then, after nearly two months of walking, could they catch the train. When Father reached Pusan, the history of the Unification Church began.
My family consisted of 16 members at that time. In Pusan we could not find even two or three rooms, just one. The 16 of us slept in that one room, with our heads near the walls and our feet stretching out toward the center of the room like a sunflower! In the winter, sleeping sunflower style was okay, but when spring came, it was too warm for 16 people to sleep in the same room. So we left the room and went up the mountain.
On that mountain, we leveled the ground a little bit and then started making a house. At that time, we did not need permission from the government to build a house. Because we built our own house, we became the owner. That house was very strange and weird. In the summer, it was very cool. We had bamboo beams and covered it with a kind of rice thatch. My parents had a lot of trouble feeding our family.
At that time, I was 12 years old. Like most boys, I was always busy playing around. You can see a scar on my left cheek that I got during a fight with a 16-year-old boy. The boys who were born and raised in Pusan always tried to give refugee boys a hard time, so we had to unite our forces. When we went downtown, we would have to go together as a group of a half a dozen or more. I had about 30 boys under my control at that time.
One day in 1951, while playing on the mountainside, I heard a voice, like a voice in the wilderness, calling me. When I looked around I saw two men: one very tall and the other a lot shorter. The tall, handsome man called me over to him. At that time, I thought the taller one looked like Don Quixote and the other Sancho Panza. He called me over and asked me, "I want to build a house here; are you willing to help me?"
I had been having a lot of fun playing with my friends, but that voice summoned me to help him build a house. I found it very difficult to refuse his call. So 1 consulted my second-in-command and the other boys. "Shall we help this man?" The boys got a good impression of these two people, so they agreed to help him. Whenever we helped him even just a little, he gave us a lot of sweets and things to eat. At that time, Rev. Kim was working at the US Army Post as a painter.
Afterwards, we felt close to these two men and often played around them. Whenever they saw us, they called us to help them. We did not know that the tall man was True Father, so we called him "Big Uncle," and Rev. Kim we called "Small Uncle."
We tried to bring dirt from the mountain for the house. But the mountainside was made of stone, and we did not have good tools. We had only a hammer and lever to use for building the house.
At that time we were just boys. I was the tallest and heaviest boy of the group, but even I was not very strong, being only 12 years old. Once when we were helping Father lift stones, I made a mistake and let go of the lever. A stone fell on Father's fingers and crushed them badly.
We made the house by laying a stone, piling clay on top of it, and pouring water over it, laying another stone, etc. When the house was completed, the earth and clay were visible from the inside, and we could see the stars through the roof, which was made of cartons.
Although I was only 12 years old, I was very proud of myself for having a group of 30 boys under me. So I did not place myself under the instructions or orders of True Father. Whenever he said something I didn't like, I was reluctant to take his advice. My next younger brother was nine years old. This younger brother was a first-class, secretary for me. 1 was not the kind of person who smiled easily, but my younger brother is very diplomatic and smart, smiling easily and making friends very quickly. When Father offered me candies, I was too proud and I would reply, "Give them to my younger brother." My younger brother would take the candies, and as soon as we got out of the room I would say, "Give me one." At that time I was kind of a Cain; I had some satanic elements.
My younger brother did not care so much who these two men were. But to me, these two uncles looked very strange. They were not the type of person I could easily play with or with whom I would be drawn to talk. One day I heard somebody singing a hymn in that small shack. At that time I thought, "Now I know; these are Jesus believers." To tell the truth, I did not like Jesus believers. "Jesus believers" is a sarcastic term for Christians.
Little Uncle was working at the Army base, so Big Uncle was often by himself at the house. Feeling lonely, he let us follow him around all the time. One day, Big Uncle called me and told me, "Follow me to the mountain." I could not refuse him, so, like a dog, I followed him to the mountain. I felt like saying no, but it was very difficult to refuse him. As I was following Father up the mountain, all of a sudden he turned to me and asked, "Do you know who Jesus Christ is?"
"I don't know," I replied. My family was Buddhist at the time; we had many pictures of Buddhas with many lighted candles in front of them. We read the Buddhist scriptures every morning. We thought our ancestors went to Paradise, or a good place in the spirit world. Therefore, I knew nothing about Jesus Christ.
"Do you know where Israel is?" was the second question.
That was a more difficult question. I didn't know.
Then he said: "You don't know now, but next time, son, I will tell you." Because I was not very concerned about it, I didn't pay so much attention to what he said.
Father liked the mountains very much, and many times he took me to a very big rock. Asking me to wait for him at the base of the rock, he would climb up to the top. Sometimes he didn't come back for two, three, four hours. I was very curious about what he was doing at the top of the rock. I was very curious, but because he had told me to wait there, I couldn't climb up to where he was. I would feel thirsty and wanted to go to the stream and get some water, but because he had told me to wait for him at a certain place, I couldn't move around.
Being a rather big boy, I didn't like to enter Father's small room so much. But whenever I looked into the room, I saw a lot of scribbling on cheap note paper.
That was what Father was doing on top of the rock -- writing the last chapter of Divine Principle. That handwriting was not standard style, but it was childish writing. I was only 12 years old, so it was difficult to understand what it was all about.
I was the first one to be contacted by Father, and through me my younger brothers were contacted. Also a Korean grandmother, Mrs. Oak, came once in a while -- maybe once or twice a month -- to cook for Father. Most of the time Father himself cooked. I had an elder sister who washed rice at the well near Father's house.
Father came to the well to wash rice also, so they met there. (Korean women usually go to the well to wash rice.) Before Father came, the well was small. After building the house, Father widened and deepened the well. The well was deep enough to collect more than a drum of water. It was a strange well. Behind the well was a cliff and behind that a public cemetery. But the well gave very good-tasting fresh water. Imagine such good water coming from a public cemetery! Our family had been the first to drink the water from the well. Later, Father joined us in drinking that water. My family was the first to build house on the mountain, and Father the second. Thus we had no choice but being good friends. You can easily imagine that Father had a hard time washing rice, so my elder sister always helped him. She was 17 at that time and attending the first year of high school.
True Father and my family became good friends. There on the mountainside were foxes and wolves; we could sometimes hear them howling. Father's house was about 20 yards further up the mountainside than ours, so we felt as if it was guarding our house. If Father had made a bad impression on me at the beginning, I would not have helped him build the house. But since he was going to build a house nearby, I thought it would be good for us. That turned out to be true.
Summertime is typhoon season in Pusan, and one day we had a very wild tempest. Because we were on the mountainside there was nothing protecting our houses. That was probably why Pusan natives didn't build houses there; but having just escaped from North Korea, we didn't know about that. When the strong winds blew, we could feel our house swaying back and forth. Rain would come pouring into our room. Because of that, each of us would cling to the beams of the house. In the daytime, we could do that easily, but at night we became sleepy and started dozing off. A strong gust of wind came and our family members were unable to hold the house down, so the top blew off and we all got wet. The part of the roof that blew over was the part I was holding.
"Why didn't you hold on tighter?" my father and mother complained. I was such a troublemaker and so playful, but my father didn't give me such a hard time, but he did give my younger brothers a hard time. We were wet all night, and by morning we were like wet mice!
The next morning Father came down and saw the roof that had been blown off. Without saying anything, he brought us some Korean food similar to Chinese wonton soup. We were shivering, being wet and cold. There was nothing to protect us. All our blankets were soaked. When Father brought us hot food, it was really nice for us.
We imagined that during the storm Big Uncle and Small Uncle were hanging onto their roof so it would not blow away. Even though Father's house was higher up the mountainside than ours, nothing happened to his house during the storm. Our walls were strong, but our roof was not so sturdy, so we started rebuilding our house just like Father had made his -- with stones, clay and water.
As the boss of the gang of boys, one of my responsibilities was to patrol the area; any new boy that moved into town had to report to me. But because True Father called me so often, I couldn't accomplish my responsibility well. One day while making the rounds, I saw a strange boy playing with one of my boys.
I was preparing to enter junior high school. But because I was so tall, instead of wearing the first-year junior high school badge, I would wear the badge of a first-year high school student. I asked my second-in-command who that strange boy was. "What boy can play with one of my boys without first reporting to me? Did you give him permission?"
He replied that he didn't know who the boy was.
"Hey!" I called out. He looked up at me and saw the badge I was wearing of a first-year high school student. He was in his second year of junior high school, one year higher than me. Actually, he was two and a half years older than me, although he was still smaller in height (he still is). In a ring, before boxers start fighting, they look each other in the eyes You have to win at that point. Look straight at the person; if you look to one side, or up or down, you lose. If you lose in the eye combat, you will lose in the boxing as well. When you win the spiritual fight, victory in the physical fight comes naturally. But the new boy lost the spiritual fight, because when I called out "Hey!" he replied, "Yes, sir."
I was so pleased internally. I knew that he was older than me and more advanced in school than me, but still he said, "Yes, sir."
"Okay, you can play with my boy," I replied. Then I asked him to stand up and measure his height against mine. He was shorter than me. At first glance, I had seen he had sharp and keen eyes, so instead of making him go all the way to the bottom of the gang and fight his way up, I allowed him to fight my third-in-command. If he won, he would become closer to me.
I soon found that my third-in-command could not beat him, so I let him fight my second-in-command. The new boy was an excellent Korean wrestler, so he bested my second-in-command as well.
"Okay," I told him. "You are excellent. You can be my number two man."
Whenever we had a gang fight with the Pusan boys, all 30 of my boys would stand in a row and 30 Pusan boys faced them on the other side. Boys of the same height started fighting together. Then, at the end, I had to fight the other boys. In order to have my boys following me well and obediently, I had to win over the other boss. I knew that if I lost, they would not listen to lie. My second-in-command before the new boy showed up was not a strong fighter, so I had to do the final fighting. But the new boy could fight so well that I didn't need to do any fighting. So I got lazy.
This new boy is now Mr. Joo Chan Choi, one of the 36 couples, in charge of fishing activities in Alaska.
One day I was flying kites with my boys and True Father came over to us. "Hey, let me try flying a kite," he asked me.
I had really invested a lot of money and time in my kite. It was the biggest among the group. I had tied pieces of glass to the kite string. As soon as my string touched that of other kites, it would cut them, and they lost their kites. When Father called me, "Hey, give me the kite," I was unhappy; I was reluctant to give it to him.
"Give it to me," he insisted.
I did not know what to do. I could not refuse, but I did not feel like giving it to him. I sensed that if I gave it to him, something would go wrong. Finally, I gave him the kite and reel.
As soon as he got it, he let the string reel out all the way. The kite soared way up into the sky. From our village, Porn Il Dong, my kite reached almost to the city. The wind was blowing so strongly that Father could hardly retrieve the kite. The wind gusted and again blew the kite out to the end of the string.
Standing beside Father, I was so afraid the string would break and he would lose the kite. The kite was my number one possession. I was so worried. Standing there beside him, I could do nothing except watch him.
But Father never paid any attention to me. He was thoroughly enjoying flying the kite. Finally, the string broke.
I chased after it crying, "My kite, my kite," but it blew away. The kite was going away and Father stood there watching it. He didn't even feel sorry for me. My face became very red and my heart began pounding very rapidly. He let my kite escape, but also he had been nice to me, giving me many sweets and candies. I was angry, but I didn't know what to say. If it had been someone else, I would have scolded him -- or at least said something.
Now I understand that Father was enjoying the opportunity to watch the change in the heart of a 12-year-old boy, seeing how he thought and how he felt. He was curious to see what I would do. Then he went down to his house I couldn't say anything to him, but I had to do something. So I got angry with my boys -- just like what happens when the husband gets angry with the wife, she gets angry with the children, and the children get angry with the dogs.
True Father started rewriting the scribbled pages of Divine Principle, and my elder sister started copying it. I learned a little bit about Divine Principle, and sometimes I joined Father singing hymns. At the time, however, I had more fun playing with my friends. I still directed my 30 boys.
Twice a month, my physical father made a special Korean ceremony for ancestors. Good food was prepared, and some drink was offered to the ancestors. So twice a month we could expect good food.
I don't know his motive, but one day my father suggested that Teacher Moon come down and have a drink with him.
Father didn't reply. Perhaps he was thinking my father didn't know him, and for that reason was offering him a drink.
Whenever he saw him, my physical father would say, "Teacher Moon, come over to my house; let's drink together. We have such good food at home, why don't you come down and join me in some drinks?"
But True Father never joined my father for drinks.
My sister and I eventually moved to Seoul to study. While we were in Seoul, my physical father became "brainwashed" by Rev. Won Pil Kim. When I went home for vacation one summer, I found my father speaking about Divine Principle. He had also stopped his ancestor worship.
Furthermore, Big Uncle was no longer living on the mountain, and I asked my physical father where he had gone.
"Somebody tried to give him a hard time, so he left this village and went to downtown Pusan."
I heard about an episode, and although we had a somewhat strange relationship, I felt sorry that he had gone. So I went out to find him.
When I found Teacher Moon, I also found Mr. Duk Moon Aum. (Mr. Aum was Father's classmate at the university in Japan and is now president of Il Sung manufacturing company.) Also, Mrs. Hyun Shil Kang had joined our church there in Pusan.