The Words of Won Pil Kim

Seoul: Chungpa Dong Church and Pioneering

Won Pil Kim
October 1982

Father teaching at Chungpa Dong

Pattern Of Sunday Activities

In those days, Father's life was centered on the Chungpa Dong headquarters church. Father held services on Sundays, at 5:00 a.m., a service mainly for members; and at 11:00 a service for guests and members too; and a service Sunday evening. In addition, there was a service on Wednesday evenings.

In the beginning, Father gave the Sunday sermons, but later on Mr. Hyo Won Eu took Father's place at the front of the main meeting room, which had a blackboard for drawings.

At the 11:00 Sunday service, Father sat in the back of the room, behind the members and listened to Mr. Eu's sermon. Because of that, newcomers did not know who the central figure for the church was, since Father sat in the back. In recent years, Father began wearing a necktie and suit, but at that time Father was dressed casually, just like other members. Therefore, newcomers couldn't easily tell who was the leader of the church.

How many of you have never been to the Chungpa Dong headquarters church in Seoul? I am surprised to see so many hands (addressed to 120-day workshop). Even though I explain many details, you cannot easily imagine the situation. (Rev. Kim draws a diagram of the room arrangement of Chungpa Dong Church.) This building was originally a Japanese temple, and there were paper partitions between the rooms.

Father usually sat here (see position #2), but later on, Father moved here (to position #3). In these first two places, Father sat directly on the floor, like the other members. But later on, members brought a chair to Father (position #3) so then he sat on a chair. Finally Father moved to this place (position #4). Since 1960 members usually prepare two chairs for True Parents, and Father usually sits here with Mother.

When Father led the service he usually came to this place (position #5), beside the speaker's table, and knelt down and prayed. Then he gave the sermon. While Father was preparing for the sermon, he would cry so much that the floor around him was always wet.

My story today, on Chungpa Dong Church, covers the events within four years before 1960 and four years afterwards.

The podium where the speaker gave the sermon was small and humble, and stained with many tears of Father's. From that table also, Father gave many speeches, giving resurrection to the members. So that table remembered what Father did.

I was really surprised to see how much shorter Father's speeches in America are, compared to the ones he gave in Korea. Even though he may speak for five or six hours in America, that time includes translation, so Father is actually speaking only two or three hours. But in Korea, it was normal for Father to speak for three or four hours straight, without translation. Then, if Father gave a seven or eight-hour speech in Korea, what would be the equivalent time in America?

For our members, Sundays were not a day of rest, but a day of physical perseverance. You might wonder how the members would feel: they received so much spiritual food from Father, but it was hard physically to sit and listen to Father for so many hours. Therefore, Sunday was not a relaxing day. After Sunday service, members could hardly return to their homes. Father would give long sermons, and afterwards continue talking to members. Soon it would be time for the evening service, and members would stay on for that.

Rev. Won Pil Kim's diagram of Old Chungpa Dong church.

Father's Care For An Old Table

The podium (table) used for giving sermons became very old, and once when Father was away visiting another city, the members changed the podium and replaced it with a new one. Mr. Eu, the leader at that time, discussed with the other members and decided to substitute a new table for the old one. Do you think that was a good idea? It was an ordinary table; even members used it. They didn't throw away the old podium, of course, but they bought a new one. So why do you think it was a bad idea to change the table? (Someone suggests because of Father's tears.)

The members thought they had done a good thing, but when Father returned he became angry at them. Even though the table looked old and shabby, Father didn't want to change it, because Father's sincerity and heart had been absorbed by the table.

Usually, when you do something good from your point of view and offer it to your leader, if he does not accept it as good and gets upset about it, what kind of attitude should you take? I would like to explain this, using the example of Mr. Eu in this situation. When you are attending Father closely, it is important to know what kind of attitude to have.

Even though Father got angry, Mr. Eu was deeply moved by Father's profound love and concern for old things. Even this small and humble table, which was by then nearly useless, had been used by Father for such a long time that it was connected to Father, and Father's heart was invested in it. So Father didn't want to just throw it away. For Father, this humble table was much more precious than a beautiful new table. Upon discovering Father's love and heart for this table, Mr. Eu was deeply moved.

Mr. Eu recognized Father's deep love towards the members in seeing Father's great care for such an old table. So he reasoned that Father would care deeply for members as well, when they became old and nearly useless for God's will. Even though there would be capable new members, Father would surely take good care of the old members who were no longer capable of doing much. In other words, he saw a parallel between Father's care for an old table, and his care for old members.

Sometimes we might feel, "Oh, when I become old and nearly useless for God's mission, Father will throw me away," but that is absolutely untrue. He will really take care of us. Father's viewpoint and even God's viewpoint of us is very different from the conventional viewpoint.

The Arrangement Of Rooms At Chungpa Dong

In addition to the main meeting hall of Chungpa Dong Church, there were many rooms on both the first floor and upstairs on the upper level. Father's room was on the farthest corner of the church, on the very cold and dark side of the building. As you see there was a space for a garden on the sunny side.

A narrow hallway connected the main meeting room to Father's room. Members stayed late into the night, and for Father there was very little opportunity to rest.

Surrounding Father's room were four rooms connected by sliding doors, for the members. On the back side of the church was the kitchen. Korean kitchens didn't open into the house in those days, in order to keep smoke and fumes from wood and charcoal fires outside.

Old women, spiritualists, would pray all night in the service room, and their loud praying voices carried to Father's room. They would sing holy songs throughout the night.

Upstairs was another meeting room where lectures were held. Mostly Mr. Eu would teach from morning till night in the upstairs room, with Father again sitting in the back of the room, listening to Mr. Eu teach, and watching the students and visitors who came.

Father could use this room, or one of the others, for individual counseling, or fellowship with members, so even when a larger meeting was going on, Father could still give advice to the members.

Father seldom officially announced a meeting, but wherever Father went, members followed him, eager to listen to his words. So wherever Father sat down, people would gather and a meeting would result.

Spiritual Phenomena

Many spiritualists would come to the service, in order to hear Father. During the service, many spiritual phenomena would occur. During one service, the body of one old lady began to shake. Another lady, some spiritual influence moved her and she stood up to listen to Father, even though everyone else was seated. Such things happened.

Father used to appoint one person to offer a prayer. Other times he asked for a volunteer, someone who really felt led to pray at the time. Sometimes, while someone was praying, he would go to spirit world, and his prayer would cease and there would be two or three minutes of silence. Nobody could do anything about that situation! Finally, Father spoke to that person, and he would immediately continue his prayer. Have you ever experienced such things?

In Pyongyang, many spiritual phenomena also took place during the services, but he did not interfere with such phenomena. In Seoul, however, Father would take control of such phenomena or stop them. As I explained in my account of Pyongyang days, the education for servants is different than the education for children. In Pyongyang, the spiritualists would strike evil, in order to make people change. This was a kind of servant-level. But in Seoul, Father would give people truth, and expect them to recognize it and on their own practice it; therefore, he controlled the spiritual phenomena.

In Pyongyang, the spiritualists would pick up the bad motivations or feelings of the members, and point them out publicly. In the beginning, it was okay, but then members began to feel afraid. Man's original nature is to change, not because of outside interference, but by recognizing for ourselves the need to change.

The spiritualists gave spiritual healing and predicted the future, and many did good things. But also, they would pick up on the evil elements of the members, and the members would begin to feel afraid of them. They would think, "The spiritualists know everything about me!"

Actually, God must know everything about us, but still we don't feel fear of Him. Why? Because He doesn't speak about it! Likewise, Father doesn't comment about our situations, although that doesn't mean he is unaware of them. Father's method of education is to begin by giving truth, God's word; then he expects us to recognize it by ourselves and begin to change.

As I explained to you, from my own experience, even though I would make mistakes, Father would never comment on them in the beginning. Later on, Father told me, for instance, "When guests are listening to Principle, it is impolite for you to fall asleep during the lecture. So please don't do it." He would say this very calmly and in such a way that I could really understand and accept what he was saying. This happened about 20 years ago, but I still remember very clearly those words of Father's.

So even though Father may not comment on something, that does not mean he knows nothing about us. I want you to clearly understand this point.

Father gives us many words, and we have to adjust our ways to them.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus performed many miracles, and because of this many people followed him. But when Jesus was led away to be crucified, people left him. There were many who followed Jesus because of spiritual phenomena, but when Jesus stopped performing miracles, they stopped following Jesus.

Old Chungpa Dong church, formerly a Japanese temple, with its clay tile roof

Father's Desire To Give God's Blessing

Father didn't intend to give long speeches; they just turned out that way. If you think giving long speeches is Father's pattern, try giving a seven-hour speech. But I wonder whether you have enough internal content to speak for so long. I think even a two-hour speech would be very difficult for you! If the speaker is filled with God's grace and blessing and the audience as well -- and if the entire atmosphere of the meeting is filled with God's grace -- a ten-hour speech will seem to last only ten minutes! On the other hand, if the speaker is not filled with God's blessing, a ten-minute speech will seem very long to the speaker and the listeners. For a speaker not filled with God's blessing, the time for Sunday service to seems to come too rapidly. Because he has nothing to give, he will want to ask someone else to speak in his place.

So why do Father's speeches become so long? Because he is totally filled with God's blessing. For him, the long speeches may seem to last only ten minutes! If there is not a base for give and take between him and us, it is difficult even for Father to speak to us. If there is a base for smooth give and take, Father can speak continuously. The reason why Father's speeches become so long is because Father has a deep and strong desire to give God's blessing to every person in the audience. To give God's blessing to just one individual does not require so much time, but to give it to everyone takes so long. Long speeches themselves are not Father's tradition, but what is the tradition is Father's deep desire towards the members. Father really wants to give joy and blessing from God to the members. In other words, long speeches come from his deep love. The length is an effect of his love.

Also, we should think about common sense. Leaders usually speak in a very polite, gentlemanly way. But when Father speaks, he uses his entire body, gesturing, shouting, jumping, etc. As leaders we usually think that we need to maintain our dignity, but Father is different. Some people comment that Father seems to be an actor or an entertainer when he speaks; those who don't understand his motivation see Father as an entertainer. If Father wants to use the example of a monkey to make some point, he has to enter deeply into the monkey's world, in order to fully convey its world and heart. That is why Father's actions look like a monkey's actions.

When he speaks about Heavenly Father's serious heart, Father himself also becomes very serious. So Father adjusts his actions according to the contents of his speech. When he speaks about the suffering and serious God, he wants to really convey this sense. That's why he doesn't stand quietly and state, "Heavenly Father suffered." If Father developed this topic, it would be time for the evening service, and members would even stay on for that. Father has many ways to express concepts to the members.

Someone who learns about God's heart only from a book can quietly and intellectually explain about God. But someone like Father who has truly experienced and witnessed God's suffering cannot just quietly explain about God; he has to use his full heart and sincerity.

If there is a good base in the audience, it is not always necessary for Father to express everything so fully. Suppose the listeners have a good foundation for understanding God's heart. Do you think Father's attitude toward them will be the same as towards those who have no prior foundation for understanding this point? One quiet word from Father can touch the depths of the hearts in a prepared audience. Or maybe even one expression from Father could convey the idea, without using words.

Pioneer Witnessing Begins

In 1957 the 40-day summer pioneer witnessing began, with one pair of members sent to each of 120 new villages or towns. Before setting out for the witnessing condition, members fasted for seven days. Thus the tradition of a seven-day fast also began at that time, along with the summer and winter 40-day pioneer witnessing conditions. Furthermore, 40-day training sessions for core church leaders began in 1957.

During the pioneer period, Father visited each pioneer, giving them encouragement. Some people's towns were deep in the mountains, others by the sea, and so on. To visit each place was very difficult, so Father gathered the pioneers together in centrally-located towns. Within the 40 days Father had to visit these pioneers, so he made a plan for 21 days of IW work.

The church bought a jeep to use for IW work. It was a World War II jeep which was damaged during the war and then repaired. Using this jeep Father went to the mountains, valleys, cities and towns, visiting the pioneers. The capacity for such a jeep was four people, but usually seven members, including Father, rode on the jeep. On one occasion it carried a record of 12 people!

Father was concerned for the members, who he knew were working hard, so he wanted to give as many as possible a ride on the jeep.

There was a great variety of members doing pioneer work. Some were around 60 years of age, and the youngest one was about 12 or 13 years old, a junior high school student. Sometimes Father paired a very young member with a very old member and sent them to a town. Old members usually didn't know how to give lectures, but they would support the other person through their prayers. The young members, junior high school students, learned Principle along with the adult members, so when they went pioneering, they gave Principle lectures. Country folk sometimes did not know how to read, so when members went pioneering in those towns, they gave literacy classes first and then taught the Principle.

One middle-aged member caught the interest of a prominent citizen of his town; the member did not know how to give a lecture, but he rented a small room in that pioneer town and, using paper, he tried to give this prominent man a lecture. But in the middle of the lecture he had to stop, because he had forgotten what came next, so he told his guest, "Please excuse me, I have to go to the toilet," and he disappeared for 10, 20, even 30 minutes. Then the guest felt very strange and went to the bathroom to look for the lecturer, discovering him inside, studying his lecture notes! The member had to study in order to continue the lecture, so he excused himself to the toilet in order to study. The guest was really moved by this attitude.

Our member said, "In Seoul, there are members who can give a much better lecture than I can. Why don't you go to Seoul?" Our member didn't appear to be very capable, but when the guest listened, the words coming from the member's mouth were so deep that the guest thought there must be some very deep truth behind what the member was saying; so he accompanied this member to Seoul, studied Principle and became a member.

Another member didn't know much about the Bible, but even so he went on the pioneer condition. When he was witnessing there, many people came. Right next to the place where he had invited people for a meeting was a large, famous Christian church. Right at that time, a famous Christian minister came to that church to hold a big revival meeting. Some Christians from that church attended our member's meeting, and the minister heard about it and summoned the member to a meeting of Christian leaders. At that meeting, the minister asked our member many sharp questions, trying to shock him. Our member racked his brains to remember Bible passages and tried hard to answer the questions. His answers were so right that even the famous minister could not debate with him.

As you know, nobody had been able to discover the contents of the Principle. When the member answered their questions according to the contents of the Principle, using the Bible quotes written in the Principle, they were so amazed. "Did you study theology?" they asked our member.

At the start of this 40-day pioneering condition, members did not mention the name of Unification Church when they first approached people. When people listened to Principle, they were very moved by its contents. But when they were told that this was the teaching of the Unification Church, they often became very negative and could no longer follow. Because of these experiences, the members who went pioneering did not mention the name Unification Church in the beginning, but this is like ancient history, and the present situation is different now.

Father's Intense IW Schedule

When Father came to visit them and encourage them, the meeting was such a precious occasion for them. After the meeting was over, they did not want to leave him. But Father had to depart for another town. They would see Father off, stand by the road, and wave until they could no longer see Father. One member followed Father on foot until the next town, because she had such a longing in her heart to be with him. At that time, the transportation system was not highly developed in Korea, and in order to go some place, people often had to walk on narrow trails.

Father's 21-day IW schedule was very intensive, but oftentimes he was unable to follow the schedule exactly. He would have a meeting scheduled from 1:00 to 2:00, for instance, but the members wouldn't want him to leave, so the meeting would last longer. Father would be scheduled to appear at another meeting and members would be there waiting for him. His schedule was very intensive, and meetings would continue until very late at night. Still, he would have to travel to the next town.

At that time, the financial situation of the church was not very good. In the United States and many other countries you can do fundraising, but in those days, it was impossible to do fundraising. When members were sent out pioneering, they were given a small portion of grain to eat, and that was all. Now when you go pioneering, you usually support yourself through fundraising and then do witnessing. This has become our formula, but the pioneering situation in Korea was different. When our members visited people or served them, only if people offered them money or food, could they eat.

One university student member went to his pioneer city, bringing with him just a small portion of food. Within several days, he had eaten all the food he brought. He was witnessing to senior high school students. After school, the students would visit our member's house, which was the size of a small room. In that small, dark room, our member gave lectures with so much enthusiasm.

When evening came, the students asked, "Teacher, did you eat dinner?" The member didn't reveal his hunger, but replied, "Oh, I ate already." But after asking the same question many times and hearing the same reply, the students began checking the kitchen. They discovered there was no food at all; inside the rice pot there was nothing. Finding no trace of any food, they began to wonder. Finally the students discovered that their teacher didn't eat.

Even without eating, the teacher was giving lectures. They discussed the situation among themselves. They usually brought lunchboxes from home, so they began to save their food and bring it to their teacher after school.

Members from Seoul Church gather with Father at Holy Ground, 1961.

Humble Lifestyle Of Our Church

Father's birthday was approaching, and members would try to prepare food for Father. Among the members there were spiritualists who received revelations about Father's birthday and were instructed to prepare a lot of food for Father's birthday. So because of these revelations, they made preparations. However, Father told the members not to prepare a lot of food, but instead to give him the money they would have spent on the food. For three years, Father didn't celebrate his birthday; instead he would fast, and save the money that would have been spent. The first year, he bought a bicycle and the second year a motorcycle. Witnessing activity was progressing well, so the leaders needed some vehicle to visit their members. That is why Father saved up money and bought a bicycle and a motorcycle. Father bought motorcycles for the eight regional leaders, wanting them to be able to visit as many members as possible as often as possible. Now, of course, each regional leader has an automobile.

After 1960, after Father's holy marriage, Father began to use a table to eat upon. Previously he would just use a small tray, which contained some rice and not more than three small side dishes. It was quite humble food. Furthermore, he just put the tray on the floor.

The financial situation of the church was very difficult. When members came to stay at the church, they slept crowded in one room. Even members who usually lived in their homes would eat with us when they came to the church. As in Pyongyang days, the food served at the church was very simple and humble, but tasty. It was healthy, and sometimes even people who had diseases were cured by eating this food. Thus some people called our food "medicine food." So some members who had enough food to eat at home came to the church to eat our food there. But our financial situation was very difficult.

The woman who was responsible for the kitchen was happy, in part, because so many people were coming to the church, but on the other hand, she would worry about how she could offer food to all the people. So it was a kind of happy problem.

There were many beggars in those days in Korea, who would begin knocking on doors early in the morning, asking for food. Beggars usually visit every single house, but no beggars visited our church. Most beggars knew that when they knock at a church they will receive more food, but why do you think they stayed away from our church? They knew that if they visited the other houses they could get white rice, even though it may be cold, plus one or two side dishes. In contrast, when they visited the Unification Church they were given unhulled wheat and nothing else. Even though we served warm food, they preferred to visit the other houses.

Through this example, you can imagine how humble our church life was at that time. In your country, you feed dogs very well and put them on leashes and take them out for a walk. But in those days, Korean dogs were not tied up, and when they became hungry they would look around all the houses to find something to eat.

Only special dogs would be kept in the house on a leash. These dogs would enter the kitchens and sit down until someone fed them. But very few dogs came to the Unification Church!

So if even beggars and dogs did not hang around our church, you can imagine how humble and simple our church life was in those days.

There was one special dog, however. Even though he had a master, he would come every day to visit our church. We would push him away, but still he would return to us. Finally, this dog became our church's dog. He was such a special dog. When he saw people, he could immediately distinguish who was a church member and who was not. There was one businessman who would come to deliver rice. He had been coming to the church for one or two years, but even though this businessman had been coming regularly for one or two years, this dog would always bark at him.

Throughout Korea, beginning in 1957, intensive witnessing activity began, and in 1958 and 1959, Father sent missionaries to Japan, England and the United States. Mr. Sang 1k Choi (also called Mr. Nishikawa) was sent to Japan; Miss Young Oon Kim and David Kim to America. Later Col. Bo Hi Pak came to America. By sending them to these countries, Father began to lay the foundation for the worldwide mission. 

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