The Words of the Kwun Family
Rev. Lim, the Australian national leader (far left) and other members welcome In Soung Kwun on his arrival in Sydney, where he will begin his mission as regional president.
Question: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Let me introduce myself briefly. I was born in 1969 and received the blessing in 1992. My wife and I have three daughters. The first one is already a university student, the second is in high school and the third is in middle school. My parents received the blessing among the four hundred and thirty couples. I am their first child out of four siblings, three boys and a girl, one of which is my younger twin brother. All are active in the movement. My twin brother is working in the Korea Religions Association, as secretary general. My youngest brother works here.
When I graduated from university, my parents, who are the national messiahs of Belarus, I, my twin brother, our wives and children all went to Belarus. I graduated from Sun Moon University. Eight of us went together to Belarus. I worked there first for seven years, and then I came back to Korea.
I then completed a graduate course in Leisure Sports in Hoseo University. I studied there because I worked for the Peace Cup for seven years. I was the director of the corporate branch of the Peace Cup. After my years with the Peace Cup, True Mother appointed me as the Second-Generation Department director. I did that for just a year until a month ago, when I received a new mission. The Second-Generation Department and CARP, which had different leaders before, merged and formed the Youth Federation. I was appointed as its president. I did that for only a month and then received this new mission as regional president. That's my story, basically.
Question: How do you think your experience, particularly in Belarus, will help you in Oceania?
Mission experience is very important in my life because I could learn many things; not only internal things but also external things. When I went to Belarus to have some experience in missionary work, I had to solve two problems. One was how to solve the problem of funding and the other was how I could educate the Belarussian members so that they could understand God's heart and feelings. I tried to do my best and to inherit God's feelings from True Parents. As you know, Korea has a good family tradition; I tried to teach that to the members in Belarus. I wasn't only teaching. We were living together, so I had to show what a Korean lifestyle is like.
The other area, not being dependent, or the funding problem, troubled me, because I wanted to work for God's providence, but knew that it would be difficult to do anything without a foundation. Then, I had an idea. Whenever Korea hosts a special leaders' meeting, members in all the different countries bring special guests for conferences or to meet True Parents. Many of these people are famous or prominent but because they were just coming to conferences we were holding ourselves, the Korean media were usually unaware of their visits. For example, when I invited the former president of Belarus, Stanislau Shushkevich, I asked him to please give me three days of his visit. He could go to our conference and meetings but I asked him to give me three days during which I could guide him or introduce him to people. When he came to Korea, I worked with the government -- the city government, regional government and its leaders. I was trying to make an exchange program at the city-government level. After our conference ended, I worked for the government. The police came to escort us. We had meetings not only with the city government leaders but I took him to universities where he gave lectures on how communism collapsed.
People in society were very inspired by him. They asked him why he came to Korea. He answered that True Parents had called him to Korea. This was a good development and the media -- newspapers and television -- focused on him and they would show it on the news on the prime time news at 9:00 o'clock in the evening.
I carried out this kind of work for several years. With different important figures in society, I visited twenty different Korean cities, where we met city leaders. People like Mr. Shushkevich developed relationships with city mayors, and after he went back to Belarus, he invited city mayors to visit his country.
I suggested that he invites mayors and I told him I would support it and I would provide good communication between him and others with these Korean figures. The mayors would come with a group and I would arrange for a "sisterhood" ceremony between the cities, between the universities, between different groups. In this way, the government people came to see True Parents' abilities and their foundation on the world level. At the same time, the Belarussians could see that Korea had a more developed foundation and they could learn new things through the exchange or receive some support from the Korean government.
I did this for about five years, when the mayor in one city, Cheongju -- he is now working on a higher level than the city -- made me a public relations ambassador for the Cheongju city government. After being given this post, when I visited other countries, such as Moldova for example, a mayor in Moldova met me at the airport and with a police escort, guided me to his city. I worked for five years with this foundation as a city ambassador.
Even though I was a missionary, the people I met in Korea thought I was doing something special when they saw my activities. Thanks to this, one organization approached me and asked me to become their director. I was a missionary but I was sponsored by them while I was fully working for God's providence. I could learn this kind of thing from my Belarus life.
That's not all; I invited students to Belarus to learn the Russian language or study English. I worked with institutes there. That was interesting. I also invited a Korean traditional dance troupe to Belarus. I invited a political leader to each of the dance performances. So, we had a student exchange program, a cultural exchange program, an economic exchange program and a political exchange program. Doing this work, I learned about public relations and I learned how to indirectly demonstrate that True Parents are the Messiah. It was a good experience for me.
Of course the foundation I gained from this experience is inadequate for a regional president and I do not have good enough English skills, but from my point of view, my experiences working in this manner made me stronger, gave me a better foundation and was a good experience in relation to the new position I have to take on.
This should help me to work on that level, but usually when someone is given a higher position, he loses humility. I have been learning how to avoid that since I was a child, because my parents were church leaders. A church leader's life, externally, is not very good. Internally, it may be the most important position but externally it isn't nice. I could learn exactly what my position is. Internally, we have good values -- I am a second generation member, I have been following the movement until now, etc. This is good. Externally, we have to compare ourselves with those in society. I know exactly how they see us. We have to maintain balance.
In relation to members, we usually speak of Abel and Cain. In order to be Abel, Abel needs permission from those on Cain's side. Cain needs to accept Abel before Abel can be a real Abel. I have to obey Cain or to extend myself to do more for Cain before I can become Abel.
I want to become a humbler leader. I want to become more practical. I am not trying to teach. I am trying to show how to live together with them. And then, with the life style, if they can accept me, it will be easier to work together. That is my story.
Question: You are headed to one of the most exotic and unusual areas of the world. How will you connect to a region that is so scattered?
A leader is an important position. Leaders have desires and they have things they are willing to do. My style is somewhat more focused on reality, on substance. I am trying to make a substantial foundation. This means that if I am living in Sydney Australia, I am going to try and change Sydney, my area, first. If I invest in my area for, say, six months and something changes there, that can be a good influence for places that are even far from Sydney. I don't have to go everywhere. I can show it through my lifestyle and if people there are moved -- rumors of this, or this good story, can influence... fly everywhere and others can move. Of course, if there is a chance to meet one another more often, that would be best, but now the internet and things of that sort are quite developed.
When I was a university student, I had a chance to go to Australia for six months; I learned English and traveled. It was a good experience to learn about Australia. I also went to New Zealand, but I have never been to any of the smaller islands. If possible, first of all, I should visit each nation to see the situation. After that I can make a clear plan. For now, I am thinking of investing in whatever area I live in, not far from there.
Question: You are sure to encounter a diverse population in your region.
I had the opportunity to be in more than forty countries and could meet many types of people. For example, when I worked as the corporate director for the Peace Cup, I mainly met members of the media and government officials, to set up deals with them. I also met with football clubs, lawyers, sponsor groups, the people that were going to pay, and representatives of the broadcasting companies. All of them were professionals and they were special people. I had to make a deal with them. Even though my English was not good enough, I worked in my own style. I did it in this way. I tried to make them understand by expressing my heart. Once we could all learn to trust each other, we could agree.
Of course, language and culture are very important. History is also important, but I think the heart is the most important and that everything is possible if I try to do my best.
Question: What do you foresee for your wife and your daughters in the years ahead?
Every time I get a new mission, I feel thankful to my family, because they don't know what mission I have or what I do exactly, but they support me. They see that the mission is from God and True Parents and that I have to follow it. Under those circumstances, they want to know what they can do for me or what they have to do for me. That is their first question. With that kind of support, I feel I have a background: God and True Parents are the most powerful background, but realistically, physically, my family provides me a good, supportive background. That makes me feel good.
My three daughters all have different situations. So, I have to think about their futures. When I go to Australia, I will see what I can do for them. One aspect of the mission is that True Parents said our family should go with us. I will obey because True Parents said this. They may not be able to be in Australia all the time. They may come once, twice or thrice. It doesn't matter. At least they should have the right mind and they should come.