The Words of the Kang Family
Mrs. Kang receiving a bouquet of flowers after giving her testimony at Belvedere.
I met Father in 1952 in a place called Pom Net Kol, a small mountain in Pusan. At that time, I was a missionary of the Presbyterian church and attending a theological seminary. That seminary was very strong and orthodox, and they refused to bow down to the Japanese god when Korea was occupied by the Japanese. Many people were put in prison because they rejected that god. The seminary I was attending tried to follow the instructions of the Bible exactly. For example, on Sundays, they would not drive a car, go very far away from the church, eat rich foods, or give or receive anything. Theirs was a very narrow way of following the Bible.
One day a lady came to my school and told me of a place named Pom Net Kol and a young man teaching very strange things there. I became quite interested in her story, of how he was teaching the way in which man fell and how man could be restored. When I heard that story, I told her, "These are the last days, the end of the world. According to the Bible, there will be antichrists. So you should not go there or listen to anything unless you understand what you are doing. Please don't go."
Concerned about this, I set a one-week prayer condition, asking Heavenly Father, if it was His will, to help me go there and meet this young man, and if it was not His will, to please stop me from going there. One rainy day, May 10, 1952, while I was praying in the church, I had the inspiration to go and meet that young man that day. My true motivation in going there was this: if he was misguided in his efforts or didn't understand what he was doing, I had to go and point him in the right direction and teach him. Also, I might try and witness to him.
At that time, my life was totally dedicated to God and Jesus. I was like a crazy person. Every day I had to pray three or four hours, read more than 30 pages in the Bible, visit more than three homes.
But once I started looking for that young man -- or maybe there were two young men -- it was difficult, because the directions I had been given were too vague; I only knew the name of the village and that they were two young men living by themselves, cooking for themselves, no women around. When I got there, I stopped many people and asked them whether they had heard about two young men cooking for themselves, staying together, doing strange things. At last, one lady said, "If you go straight up the hill, you will find a spring and beside it two young men are living. Also, their house is not the usual kind; it is a hut, worse than a beggar's home."
Finally, I found a spring and a stream flowing from it, and there I washed my hands. I saw a middle-aged woman, Grandmother Oak -- she is now in her eighties, so we call her Grandmother Oak. She asked me if I was working somewhere.
"I am not working; I'm a missionary," I replied. So she asked me to come to her home. After praying together, I opened my eyes and realized that we were not in an ordinary house: it was built of mud and stone; the rain leaking through the roof had left many stains; the floor was covered with pieces of canvas. It was quite shabby. I thought that if anybody had to live in such a house, he would be filled with resentment for the rest of his life.
After a while, a young man came in. My first impression was that he had been doing hard work, perhaps in a factory. His green pants were ragged and dirty; his jacket was chestnut colored and well worn; his socks were ragged army socks; his shoes were of rubber. When he saw me, he asked where I was from. I answered, "I am from the Pom Chon Church, down in the village."
Suddenly he said to me, "God has been giving you so much love, since seven years ago."
Then I began to think, "What have I been doing for these past seven years? What happened seven years ago?" Then I remembered that it was exactly seven years earlier that I had made the determination to dedicate my whole life to God.
Father then said, "Today is a very special day; you are very fortunate to be here." (Later I found out this was the very day he had finished writing the original manuscript of Principle.)
He had a very strong feeling that God had promised to give him many disciples and followers. When he finished writing that original copy, he climbed up the hill and prayed earnestly,
"Heavenly Father, You promised me that I would meet so many wonderful people; but since I came down to South Korea I haven't met even one single person. So please, Heavenly Father, send me somebody with whom I can talk about the Principle."
The Divine Principle which you study now starts with a general introduction, followed by the Principle of Creation, Fall of Man, etc., leading up to the Second Advent. But Father spoke to me first about the last part, how the messiah should come -- not on the clouds but in the flesh, like you and me.
When I heard that story from Father, with the conclusion that the messiah should come from Korea, I said, "It would be a wonderful idea for the messiah to come in Korea, a very poor country with so many troubles; also it would be so fortunate if the messiah were to come with a fleshly body like ours. But it is impossible to believe that kind of thing!"
Then Father added some more unbelievable statements, such as, "Now nobody knows much about Korea or the Korean people. But some day, Korea will rise up like the top of the mountain, and so many people will wish they were Koreans."
Father said, "Jesus himself appeared in the skies of North Korea in 1950." (During the Korean War, one airplane pilot testified of seeing Jesus very clearly in the skies. The South Korean newspapers printed many articles about this phenomenon.)
To myself, I thought that there must be some special meaning to Jesus Christ's appearing in North Korea. At that time, Father was 32 years old, a young man like many of you. Father's speech has never changed. In those days, he spoke with so much energy and enthusiasm, with such a loud voice, as though he were addressing thousands of people, even though I was the only one present. I asked myself why Father was speaking so loudly. I was not a deaf old woman! Why couldn't we just speak personally, among ourselves? I felt uneasy with Father speaking so powerfully to me.
The room was so small, just large enough for two people. I was leaning away from him against the wall. He was speaking so powerfully and constantly drinking water. He didn't use a cup like you do, but was drinking out of a bottle. I looked up into his face and was amazed to see his eyes shining brilliantly, with light coming from them. I wondered whether something was wrong with my eyes, or his! All this energetic speech was on one topic: the second advent. It lasted for three hours, without interruption. After the three hours, I thought, "That's enough for today!"
I started to leave the house, but Father asked me, "It's not very special, but why don't we have dinner together?"
"I have to go," I answered. "My church is just down the hill and I have to go there."
But he insisted that I stay. "He's a young man and I'm a young lady," I thought. Actually, Christian standards were very strong in Korea 30 years ago, and such a situation was almost unheard of. Dinner was served on a tiny pine table, just big for one person. There was no rice, just barley, and it was the badly-hulled type the government gave to poor refugees. In addition to the barley, there was some kimchi, turned sour with old age, and bean curd.
At the dinner table, Father asked me to offer a prayer, but after listening to him speak for three hours, I couldn't collect my thoughts to pray; I was already exhausted spiritually, like pickled kimchi! I think now that had I left before dinner, without hearing that prayer, I would not be here today. I would not have become a Unification Church member. But Father's prayer was so moving, so tearful. "I would like to fulfill Your will," he prayed. "I would like to solve Your grief. I would like to console You. Heavenly Father, You have been longing to find someone who can fulfill Your will. I want to fulfill Your will and restore the world."
I was so moved by that prayer. At that time I also had been praying so much, more than four or five hours every day -- for the president of the country, for the leaders, for North Korean people, South Korean people, poor people, unhappy people. Also I was praying for more than a hundred members of my congregation by name. But the motivation and contents of my prayers were different from Father's. I would pray, "Oh, Heavenly Father, please give me this, help me in that, give me everything." But Father prayed, "I will do everything for You; don't worry about it." He centered everything on comforting Heavenly Father's heart. I was so moved.
After dinner I asked, "Is that all you have to say to me?"
"If I want to really speak to you, it will take all day and all night for several days," he replied. "Everything I am talking is new."
"Then I have to come back again," I said.
Father responded, "Even though this room is so shabby and unpresentable, I am opening this door for all mankind. I know that so many people have lost their way and don't know what to do. So many people are suffering. We have to help them. So I keep my door open 24 hours a day."
After dinner, Father accompanied me back to my church, since it was already dark. "Can I return sometime?" I asked.
"Sure, my door is always open. You may come anytime."
Then I wondered what kind of man he was, to invite me at any hour. I thought it was kind of strange. Because of my busy schedule, I could not return the next day. But my character is such that if I start something I have to see it through to the end. So I determined to return the following Thursday.
Even while I was still some distance away, Father was at the door, waiting for me. He was so happy and welcomed me so gladly.
"I met him only once, and we spoke for only three hours," I thought. "Why is he so happy?" I felt it was too much.
I realized later why Father was so anxious to meet someone again, even though they might have talked together for only three hours. Later he said, "Whenever I see people who don't know God or who are separated from God, I think of where they will go when they die." Therefore, Father is so serious about meeting people, even on the street. He was always crazy about meeting people, embracing them and teaching them Divine Principle.
The second day I came, I heard the Principle of Creation. I had been raised in a Christian family and knew the Bible very well. What Father was explaining about subject and object, plus and minus, was all logical. Some things I could accept, and other things I could not understand. But one thing was sure, Father was speaking with absolute confidence. Most people speak tentatively, but Father was filled with conviction.
The following day, I came and heard more talks, and by the third day in a row I was pretty much united with Father. Father started teaching after dinner, around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. He paused, and I thought I had been listening for maybe three hours, but when I looked at the time, it was already 3:45 in the morning! Every day I had to lead the 4:00 a.m. prayer meeting at the church. I was worried, but Father said, "Don't worry. Please stay 15 more minutes, and I will help you go there."
I usually spent a long time preparing for those prayer meetings, but that day I had no time to prepare. I just walked in and began to speak. However, the words I was speaking were so filled with inspiration that I could not have imagined their effect. People began beating their chests and repenting. I couldn't understand what had happened and why so many blessings poured down. So many people asked me, "Did you pray all night? What happened?" So I told Father and asked him why there had been so much inspiration.
"I prayed for you to have such wonderful inspiration; that must be why it happened."
I longed to return to Father to hear him speak more. But my schedule was filled with responsibilities for my congregation. One day an elder from my church and I were visiting homes near Father's house. "I know a man up the hill," I told the elder; "he looks very handsome and knows much about the Bible. This young man is not attending church; I must witness to him and try to bring him to the church. So please let me go there."
I could not stay even 20 minutes. But Father was so happy and invited me in.
"I cannot stay long," I repeated. I had long been wondering what was the answer, the final conclusion to what Father was teaching.
"Don't you want to know the answer?" he asked. "Don't you want to know whether Divine Principle came from God or man? You should get the answer."
"But how can I get the answer?" I objected.
"God loves you so much," he replied. "He will give you the answer."
Then I felt so inspired. If Father had said, "This is the Principle; it is God's word and you must accept it. If you don't you will be chastised and go to hell" -- I would never have returned. But Father said, "Ask God, and He will give you the answer."
"That's true," I thought. "I must ask God."
Early in the morning, at 4:00, I would start praying for the answer. Many thoughts would go through my mind. "That young man's teaching is so wonderful; so many wonderful scholars and professors developed great theories, but they never found these truths." Also I had heard so many wonderful promises from Father, "In the near future, the ideal world will come; people of the world will all become one family: Korean, Japanese, Westerners, will all become one family. If you go to another country, you won't need to take anything with you, because you can stay with them, and they will all be your family."
However, I could not comprehend it all, and some suspicions started entering my mind. When I tried to pray with that attitude, something would block me. I would start to feel headaches and pains in my chest. So I asked Heavenly Father, "What did I do wrong? What happened to me? Please help me open my heart and communicate with You." Then I realized what hell is. Hell is not some location but the lack of communication with God; to feel separated from God is hell.
"Heavenly Father," I prayed, "You may take everything away from me, but please don't take away the relationship between You and me. I really want to relate to You in my heart. Please restore that relationship."
After struggling for three days with that confusion, I felt like some hope was emerging. Then I remembered I John 4:20, "If any one says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." If you cannot trust someone who is with you physically, how can you trust an invisible God? Thinking of that Bible verse, I started to repent, and the door of communication with God was really opened.
After that prayer, I repented and opened my heart to God, and I immediately felt an urge to go and see Father.
Unification Church members in Pusan in 1958.
He immediately opened the door. "Why haven't you come for several days?" he asked. Then he saw my spirit and realized that it was like charred wood. He must have felt, "Oh, this lady has been so hurt and confused." Father was worried about my situation.
I protested to Father, "Before I knew you, before I listened to Divine Principle, I had no problems; everything was okay. But now I have pains and headaches; my heart is always confused and filled with troubles. I am losing lots of time, because I have to come here so often. You have to restore all these things!"
"I ought to get away from this movement," I thought. "Every time I come, Father has to fix me up!" So many times I had doubts about God's ideal.
Then Father was upset and became unhappy. He walked away and went off to pray to God. So Grandmother Oak began to explain about Father. "That young man is so unique; he can do so many things for God," she said, praising him. "I heard a voice and received a revelation from God."
"What is revelation?" I persisted. "What is God's voice like?"
"God's voice is like a man's voice."
I became inspired and wanted to hear God's voice, too. "Next time you hear God," I told Grandmother Oak, "please invite me, and let's listen to Him together."
This lady said, "No, no, no, that's impossible. You can hear Him only spiritually." "Then how can I do it?"
"Your heart has to be pure," she told me. "You must not have any selfish point of view or think just about yourself. Forget about yourself completely in front of God."
So I started to pray, but it didn't work. One day when I was praying in the church, suddenly I remembered Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart." Another quotation from Philippians 3:20 came to my mind: "Our commonwealth (citizenship) is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." I heard that voice three times.
I was so inspired, and I went up to see Father and told him, "I received a revelation from God."
"What kind of revelation?"
"I learned that my citizenship is in heaven, I will receive what I am searching for and that Christ is already here," I replied
Then Father said, jokingly, "Maybe you're crazy!"
"I really want to be a true Christian," I replied. "I want to be a dedicated Christian. I don't have any selfish motivation. If I am crazy, so what?"
"Don't worry," Father said. "If you're really crazy about God and the truth, nothing bad can happen to you."
Although the revelation and Father's speeches were so wonderful, the reality was so difficult. The other churches were crowded with so many people and offered so much external inspiration. But this church had only Father, Won Pil Kim, Grandmother Oak, and sometimes Mr. Aum. That was all. I couldn't believe what kind of church this was. I couldn't accept the reality. So I thought I would stop coming.
One day I decided to quit and be done with it. On the way to see Father, I stopped by a clump of trees and made a resolve to say goodbye to Father.
Usually, whenever I came, Father was happy to see me. But that day was different. He didn't come out to greet me with a big smile; he wouldn't even come out to see me. "I have to go into the room and say something to him," I felt.
"What happened to you?" Father asked me. "What are you thinking about?" "Nothing," I answered.
"Then I have to tell you something," he answered. "You decided not to come to this church anymore. On your way here you stopped by some pine trees and strengthened your resolve to quit."
"This man is something special!" I mused. I felt as if he knew my whole life, and I was afraid.
Father appealed to me and pleaded with me for several hours. "I don't want to go this difficult way either, but Heavenly Father gave me this mission and asked me to do it. If anyone else were willing to take up this mission and fulfill it, I would give everything to him. But I have no choice. I have to do it." With tears, Father explained God's situation. When he said this, my heart was completely melted.
Another day, I came to visit him in that room, so small that only two or three people could fit inside. So many things were spread around on the floor. It wasn't clean; it didn't really look like the kingdom of heaven. They were talking about the kingdom of heaven and the ideal world, but the house and the condition of the room was so difficult to understand.
Father gave me a nice cushion and explained where it was from. He had a friend from his school days in Japan, he told me, a Mr. Aum. This Mr. Aum had only one suit, and that suit he gave to Father; he himself wore only laborers' clothes, a dark-colored uniform that wouldn't show the dirt, even after it was worn for many days. When Father arrived in Pusan as a refugee, Mr. Aum had given him this suit and this cushion. "I can never forget Mr. Aum's gift, and I will always be grateful to him," Father concluded.
"But how can they build the heavenly kingdom and the ideal world under these circumstances?" I asked myself. Why couldn't they make lots of money, and then create a wonderful external environment? I couldn't understand it, and again felt suspicious.
Apparently, I was very low-spirited as I was reflecting on their situation. They were living like beggars, worse than even other refugees; I just couldn't accept the whole situation.
Then Father asked me, "Why don't you open up the Bible and read a verse?" I opened up to chapter 14 of Matthew. "Read it aloud," Father ordered.
"`O man of little faith, why do you doubt?"' I read.
"That's talking about you," Father said. "That's God's message." (This happened three times and each time the message was almost the same.)
He began to speak about the unification of Christianity, how all the denominations were going to be unified.
I couldn't believe such an idea, because so many scholars had presented nice theories, but still people never became unified. Father didn't even have a nice house. It was like a beggar's house. I thought it was impossible.
"Please wait," Father insisted. "The time will come." Again he said, "Not only Christianity, but all the religions of the world can be unified."
Then I felt even more suspicious. "You cannot even unify several people," I thought. "It's so difficult to unify Christianity, how can you unify all religions?"
"Some day, in the near future, the whole universe will be one and unified." I had never heard of uniting the universe!
"Heaven and earth can be unified! The day will come when all heaven and earth will be united together. Someday not only Koreans, but Americans and other Westerners will come and listen to Divine Principle."
I felt really strange, because, on my part, I had been having so many troubles since Father began teaching me. How could such a thing be possible?
Again one day, I started to argue. I felt I had to argue about Divine Principle from the Bible. So I brought up the question about Divine Principle teaching about 40 days, 40 years, 4,000 years. "Why couldn't God have done something in 39 days?" I argued. This was the kind of negative attitude I had.
One day I was passing near my seminary, and I saw two young people fighting, like dogs. "Heavenly Father," I prayed, "how can You build a heavenly kingdom? That is only an ideal. It can never be possible. How can You change these people's minds?" With that kind of doubting mind towards God, after these two young people finished fighting, I wanted to leave, but I couldn't move, even one step, forward or backward, right or left. My heart was moving, but my body wouldn't move! Then I started to pray, "I know I change my mind many times, Heavenly Father. Why am I always like this? Please help me." I started to repent, and then everything cleared up and I could move.
I didn't explain to Father about this right away, but after a few days I told him, "Why can't I get away from this movement? I always try, but it doesn't work out." Because the reality was so difficult, I tried to leave the church, but God always kept me here.
At last I determined to pray to God to get the right answer. "What can I do, Heavenly Father?" I pleaded. "What do You love most? What is the way to love You the best? Please give me the answer."
The answer God gave me was this, "This Unification Church movement is just like the situation 2,000 years ago. Jesus' disciples followed him and worked together with him. Father's mission is doing Jesus' unfinished mission. You have to help Father, follow and support him." That was my final answer from God, so I determined to follow, whether I liked it or not.
After that determination, I started to witness, and I have been doing it now for 28 years. "You are going to meet somebody; please start to witness," Father instructed me.
"I cannot witness," I protested. "I don't know how to speak Divine Principle. Before, it was easy to witness with the Bible, but this is very complicated."
"Just talk -- anything," Father replied.
The next morning, at the prayer meeting in my congregation, I started to talk with somebody. I met one lady missionary who was responsible for the whole church, and I started telling her, "These are the last days, the end of the world. We know from the Bible that the messiah is to come at the end of the world. We must pray to God to find out where the messiah comes and how. Let's pray to God tonight to get the answer to these questions." The lady agreed to make that kind of prayer.
This lady prayed a really earnest prayer, and she saw a vision of three balls of light. "What does this mean?" she asked. Next, she saw three roses of Sharon, the Korean national flower. "What does that mean?" she asked again.
"Light comes to Korea," I replied.
Then in her third vision, Jesus' face appeared. "And what does that mean?" "Jesus will appear in Korea," I answered.
"We should not pray just once," I added. "We have to pray again, once more, to get the right answer from God."
She asked very earnestly. Then she saw visions of a mountain, a small refugee hut, and finally a nice, handsome young man. "I didn't expect this kind of thing in my prayer," the lady commented. "I don't know what it's all about."
So, I brought her to meet Father. When we were approaching the hill, she said, "This is so surprising, this is the same hill I saw in my vision." As we got closer, she exclaimed, "Why this is the same but I saw in my vision!"
Father heard some voices and came and opened the door. Actually, the door was too small to enter upright; you had to stoop down to come in.
"I saw this man in my vision!" the lady repeated.
"How did you come here?" Father asked.
"I saw three visions," she replied, and she described them to him.
"Those visions were not for you," Father said; "they were for Mrs. Kang, because it is so difficult for her to trust anything! Through visions she could believe, and that is why the visions were given." (The woman joined, and later she used to joke with me, "I'm not your spiritual daughter; you are mine, because through the visions I received, your faith was confirmed!")
I reflected on how many times I was filled with doubts and suspicions, but God always helped me understand. I brought so many people, and they all had the same trouble, becoming filled with doubts and eventually leaving. But I am still here. It is because God has given me so much love, helping me understand and supporting me spiritually.
I would like to close with another witnessing experience. I explained to Father that the founder of our seminary was holding a special revival meeting. Posters announcing the meeting appeared everywhere. "Please go and witness to him," Father urged me.
"No, no, that's impossible," I protested. "He's a great scholar; how can I witness to him?"
That minister really liked me because of my background. My father and he had been in the same prison during the Japanese occupation, because they had refused to bow down to the Japanese god. Because of the torture inflicted upon him in prison, my father died; so this minister loved me so much. After the revival meeting that night, I went up to the minister and told him, "I would like to talk to you."
He was so happy to see me. I was grateful to God that this minister was happy to meet me. "I met a young man you knows the Bible so deeply and teaches a wonderful truth," I began. Then I explained to him what had been happening to me, how when I had doubts I couldn't move, and how various miracles had occurred. I pleaded with him to go there with me, so he could give me some guidance.
After I explained everything, he responded, "You know enough already to believe. Just follow Jesus in our Presbyterian Church. You don't have to go any place else. If you are searching somewhere else, something is wrong and you will go to hell. You will become crazy. You are so smart, please don't go."
I was trying to witness to him, but he attacked me. I became so discouraged and hurt that day that I had no inspiration to go back to see Father. I spent the night with a school friend. When I did go to visit Father, I had no strength; my body was so heavy that it seemed I couldn't move. Again I felt suspicious. This minister was such a great scholar, but he told me not to go anywhere, just to stay in my church and believe in Jesus.
When I opened his door, Father asked me what had happened with that minister.
"I was expecting God to help me and spirit world to support me and all kinds of wonderful things to happen. I was hoping he would come and bow down to you. But nothing like that happened. I was so discouraged. Now what can I do?"
"He is also a child of God," Father explained. "Someday, somehow, he must accept the truth. If he doesn't understand in his lifetime, then after death he must accept the truth. Don't worry about it."
Father was sad, I was sad, Grandmother Oak was sad. "Let's sing a hymn," Father suggested. We started to sing a hymn whose meaning was something like this, "No matter how difficult our road may be, facing rugged mountains, when we meet God we will be blessed." As we sang, our tears flowed and we felt completely united.
After the song ended, Father took my hand and Grandmother Oak's hand and began to pray. Listening to his prayer, again I was so moved. He prayed for the Korean church and the Korean people, even though they were against him. He promised God to fulfill His will. He was really comforting Heavenly Father, asking God to trust him. "I will fulfill Your will," he promised Heavenly Father.
"God must really love this person," I felt. "Tears cannot lie; this is such an earnest prayer that God must love him." So moved by this prayer, I felt revived.
I hope that when you look at the external situation and feel that it is not enough, you will remember Father's tears, Father's prayers and Father's total dedication. I hope you can understand this deeply.
I know your course is not easy and that you will face many difficulties and problems along the way. But I also hope you will understand Father's suffering, pain, investment and total dedication to God. We can really be elevated by Father's foundation. When you face difficulties and feel you cannot go any further, reflect on Father's course, and you can overcome anything.
We have to follow Father. He invested his whole life, his blood, sweat and tears for us. We are sons and daughters of the True Parents. We must invest our life for our True Parents and Heavenly Father. Even though we put out all our efforts, still we should feel that we must do more. Don't quit in this physical world; in the eternal world we will also work with Father. Let's all go together to the final victory of our True Parents and Heavenly Father.