The Words of the Soon-Ae Hong (mother of Hak Ja Han [Dae Mo Nim])
Hong Halmonim (Soon Ae Hong -- the real Dae Mo Nim) with several of the True Children at East Garden
Mrs. Lim, blessed in the 72 Couples Blessing, recently toured America testifying to church members about her experiences with the True Family and Hong Halmonim in Korea
The key point of my testimony today is my experience of serving True Parents, the True Family, and Hong Halmonim (Soon Ae Hong -- the real Dae Mo Nim), but first I wish to give some testimony about my spiritual background.
I came from a very atheistic family. Before I met the Unification Church, if while reading a book I discovered the name of God, I would cross it out with a pen. On the other hand I was deeply seeking true happiness. I also, felt very sympathetic toward poor people: How can I help them? I made the determination that my life's goal was to dedicate myself for poor and unhappy people's sake, but I couldn't yet realize it. Neither could I clearly find my purpose of life, so I first had to find help for myself.
After I graduated from high school, I was seriously struggling about my life and about the meaning of all human life. In 1959, President David S.C. Kim, my university professor, witnessed to me. After I studied the Principle I realized the purpose of creation and of human life. The Principle explained to me the true value of human life, the true meaning of human history, and the potential for the future of humanity. I was surprised and amazed. The Principle is the basic philosophy and true standard for human life. It liberated me from all of the struggles and misunderstandings of my past life.
At the time I couldn't understand deeply about the Second Coming, but I could not deny that Father was the teacher and leader for all human beings. I struggled to deeply understand and develop a feeling about the Second Coming but finally after six months I decided even if I couldn't understand its meaning, Father was still my great teacher. That was my attitude. Even if he is not the Second Advent, this Principle is so perfect and so wonderful that I 'A, will follow his way of life. I was not a disciple of the Second Advent; I was the disciple of a great teacher.
That was my position in 1960 when I volunteered to go summer pioneer witnessing in the countryside. I fasted many days in order to make a condition for witnessing. We had no transportation, not even a bus ticket, so we used our physical two feet and walked 10 or 20 miles every day, visiting village to village, witnessing to the people.
I made a plan to build my first new church. I had a very small budget and no help from headquarters. Not being able to afford cement block or stone, I built the church with bricks of soil and clay. During our early church life the dispensation was to endure physical suffering -- no food or good clothes.
Then in 1961 Father chose me to be one of the 72 blessed couples. I was blessed with Rev. Do Sum Lim, now the regional director of Seoul. After that, I became part of the True Family's house staff.
At that time our True Parents did not have their own house, but lived in the Chongpadong headquarters church center. Pioneering brothers and sisters throughout Korea had very little food, so True Family also had a very small budget. We prepared a small dinner, and True Father would eat first, then True Mother would eat, and after that, Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim would eat the rest. The budget for True Father, Mother, and True Children's food was only enough to buy one meal, to feed four people. Although perhaps three pieces of fish would need to be purchased to adequately feed the True Family, the kitchen staff had only enough money to buy one piece of fish.
One day I cooked one small fish. While Father was eating, Mother was watching. I could see that Mother world really like to eat that fish. She was 17 years old and pregnant with Ye Jin Nim. I felt so painful for Mother, and asked Father, "Father, would you please leave a little fish for Mother?" You can imagine that for me to request Father to please leave half of the fish for Mother was not easy.
The True Family's economic situation was so poor. When Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim were small children, they ate very humble food. They almost never ate good meals. You cannot understand this if you never experienced hunger yourself. But in this world over two-thirds of the people go hungry every day. Soup usually contains chunks of food, but the kitchen staff sometimes served only soup broth for Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim. I often went to the chapel and tearfully prayed to God, "God, please help us make a financial foundation so that we can better serve True Parents and True Children."
One day True Mother designed a kitchen cabinet and asked our church brothers to build it, because there was no money in the True Family's budget to buy one. True Mother designed the top part of the cabinet to have three drawers. I wondered about this and asked True Mother, "Why?" She replied "We serve cookies to Hyo Jin Nim and Ye Jin Nim sometimes, but if they were put in the lower part, the children would always eat them too quickly. So True Mother asked me to put the cookies and candies in the top drawers where Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim could not reach them. That's a really tearful testimony.
Many Korean brothers and sisters from around the country visited True Parents at the Chongpadong Church. When they arrived True Mother always asked us to serve them some fruit, cookies and candy. I was unhappy because I could not serve these things to the True Children, but had to serve them to our members.
In the early 1960s, when our brothers and sisters went out on pioneer missions, if spiritual children served them wonderful food, they always asked for humble food instead because they wanted to pay more indemnity. Korea has two kinds of rice -- white rice and black barley rice. Rich people ate white rice and poor people ate barley rice. But now it is the opposite. Recently it was discovered that black barley rice has more vitamins and is healthier than white rice, so now rich people buy black barley rice. But our pioneer brothers and sisters always asked for the black rice. That is really heavenly wisdom, don't you think?
One day Father and Mother called me and said, "Please cook black barley rice for us." But I could not follow Father 100 percent, because I felt it was too miserable for Father and Mother to eat black barley rice. So when I cooked black barley rice, I put in a little white rice. After I had served True Parents, Father called me, very upset: "Why didn't you follow my direction? Next time you must cook only black barley rice." But three times I couldn't obey. Then, Father really scolded me, saying, "If you can't unite with me, please leave True Family's house." Tearfully, I begged Father: "This is not only for Father. True Mother is pregnant every year because God has planned for her to bear many heavenly children, and also True Children are growing so fast. They need good rice." True Father didn't say yes, but he didn't scold me again.
Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim sacrificed so much. Now, in America and throughout the world many blessed children are growing up in humble circumstances, but the situation of the True Children was much more humble than the situation and housing of today's blessed children. Please imagine.
In 1973, the True Family moved to America from Korea. After that, as our Korean Church's financial situation became better, many Korean brothers and sisters brought fruit and nice food to the Chungpadong Church. But I always remembered Ye Jin Nim, Hyo Jin Nim, and True Parents, so the staff and I could never eat that fruit. I carry in my heart an unforgettable pain because before Hyo Jin Nim and Ye Jin Nim came to America, they received such humble food and living circumstances in Korea.
When I see a picture of True Family, my eyes always go first to Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim. Because we couldn't serve them good meals, they are smaller than their younger brothers and sisters. I always feel guilty when I see Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim because I did not serve them well enough. I wish I had gone out and borrowed money at that time in order to serve them better. My responsibility was head of the kitchen staff. Because I couldn't serve True Parents and Hyo Jin Nim and Ye Jin Nim well, I always repent, and today I also painfully repent in front of you about this. I know that in America and around the world many couples are now pioneering blessed family life, and sometimes it is not easy financially. But if it is really difficult, please remember this testimony about Hyo Jin Nim's and Ye Jin Nim's early life in Korea. This will help to comfort your heart.
Even though the early 1960s was a very difficult time, Father prepared for the future. The first business Father pioneered was Tong-il Industry. He also initiated the Little Angels' Folk Ballet. But Father's close staff members couldn't understand why he was starting businesses and the Little Angels' Ballet. Some spoke out directly against Father's work! So he was not only misunderstood and mistrusted by the Korean society, but even church members couldn't harmonize with Father 100 percent.
When I met Father and joined the Unification Church, I couldn't understand who he was or the meaning of the Second Advent, because I did not have a Christian family background and had never studied the Bible. I could only accept Father as a great teacher whom I wanted to follow. But I don't repent about that, because if Father wasn't really the Messiah, I served him as a great teacher. Some people say, "If Rev. Moon is the Messiah, I will follow him. If he is not the Messiah, I will leave him." They set that condition. But my attitude was always, no matter whether he is the Messiah or not, I will follow.
Hong Halmonim (Soon Ae Hong -- the real Dae Mo Nim) offers the dedication prayer at the Jacob House opening ceremony on February 18, 1978
Now I would like to explain more about Hong Halmonim's personal and spiritual background. Hong Halmonim was born in the same county as True Father, in Jongju. Then her family moved to a different county -- Anju -- which is True Mother's birthplace. God prepared Hong Halmonim's family background. Her physical mother was a very sincere and faithful Christian, named Won Mo Cho. She inspired and guided Hong Halmonim in the Christian faith. Until she was 19 years old, Hong Halmonim always attended church with her mother.
At the age of 19, she entered a very important period of her life. She met Rev. Young Do Lee, who was a very important minister in a John the Baptist position to Father. His mission was preparing the way for the Second Coming. Hong Halmonim joined Rev. Lee's New Jesus Church, and would walk 20 or 30 miles each day to witness about the Gospel to villagers. As a young teenager, Hong Halmonim had a great desire to go to Manchuria and witness to the people there, but the spiritual world inspired her to go back to her hometown instead. Hong Halmonim followed Rev. Lee for three years, but couldn't feel deeply inspired, so her mother suggested to her, "If you are struggling, why don't you go to Chulsan County? I heard about a famous spiritual woman there named Son Do Kim."
Hong Halmonim was not so inspired to visit Song Do Kim, but one night she had a dream in which Jesus Christ visited her and called three times: "Soon Ae Hong, Soon Ae Hong, Soon Ae Hong." She then decided to visit this spiritual woman.
Song Do Kim prayed deeply and intensely, so she received many revelations from God. She understood about human responsibility and that Jesus Christ was crucified because the people couldn't fulfill their responsibility. She knew that Adam and Eve fell not through eating a fruit but through adultery.
Hong Halmonim faithfully followed until Song Do Kim died eight years later. Hong Halmonim was very disappointed because she and many of Song Do Kim's followers thought she might be the new Messiah.
Ho Ho Bin became the next leader. The group united centered on her and they made great preparation to accept and welcome the Messiah. Then God revealed to Ho Ho Bin that the Messiah had to come as a man, not a woman, and that the Messiah already came and was living somewhere in Korea. God asked her group to prepare special clothes for the Messiah because Jesus Christ's family did not prepare any clothes for him, causing great pain to God and Jesus.
The church members went to the marketplace and bought brand new fabric, returning to the church holding it over their heads. They sewed by hand, and after every 12 stitches they did a kyung-bae, then sewed 12 stitches and did another kyung-bae. They tailored these new clothes with deep sincerity.
Hong Halmonim was the most dedicated, hard-working member in these preparations, under the direction of Ho Ho Bin. After all these external preparations for the Second Coming were completed, Hong Halmonim suddenly received a deep desire and spiritual inspiration: "I want inspiration: "I want to see the Second Messiah's face." God responded to her through a dream. In the dream she visited a house with her mother. In one room there was a closed door, and her mother said, "Don't go in. It must be a very important room." But she had such a great curiosity that she opened the door. Inside a young, handsome, gentle man was studying at a desk. He looked back at her and said, "I am waiting for you. I am studying so I can teach you." He kindly welcomed Hong Halmonim. After she awakened, she had the feeling that maybe the man in her dream was the Second Coming of Christ.
Soon after that she had another significant dream in which she met the same young man again. He said to her, "Soon Ae Hong, would you like to prepare some clothes for me and make travel preparations? Please, Soon Ae Hong, don't change your mind. Keep an unchanging faith." Then he left.
At that time Korea was already free from the Japanese occupation, but Kim Il Sung and his North Korean Red Army persecuted Christians, wanting to make a strong, atheistic communist government in North Korea. The police were always jailing or killing Christians, and even infiltrated Ho Ho Bin's spiritual group, causing so much suffering.
True Mother was then a small child, and Cho Halmonim received a revelation from God that she, Hong Halmonim, and True Mother -- three generations -- had to escape from North Korea to South Korea. Father once said that True Mother must come from a background similar to that of Jesus' mother Mary 2,000 years ago. Mary married Joseph, but everything was like a single situation for her. A similar situation was necessary for Hong Halmonim and Cho Halmonim, who, with True Mother, fulfilled a background of three generations of single women.
After they arrived in Seoul; Hong Halmonim ate uncooked food, even rice and fish. She offered that spiritual condition as she searched for the Second Messiah. After living in Seoul, they moved to Jeju Island in search of the Second Messiah there. Hong Halmonim thought that because she was eating raw food, she should serve it to True Mother also, but Jesus Christ appeared to her and asked her not to serve True Mother raw food. Hong Halmonim wanted to dedicate True Mother to work as God's servant in a spiritual mission when she grew up.
While in Jeju Island, Hong Halmonim met Elder Chung, the father of Rev. Su Won Chung from the 36 blessed couples. Elder Chung was a faithful member of Song Do Kim's and Ho Ho Bin's group. He witnessed to Hong Halmonim about the Unification Church and about the Second Coming.
Hong Halmonim had searched for True Father her whole life. Knowing the Messiah could give eternal life and love to her, she sacrificed day and night, making conditions to find him. Hong Halmonim had a single-minded determination to meet the Second Messiah. So many other things she ignored, paying indemnity and sacrificing to seek and ultimately meet Father. Hong Halmonim was a model of a successful life of faith. When we pray with Hong Halmonim's prayer candle, let's inherit her single-minded determination and victorious prayer life.
After Elder Chung witnessed to Hong Halmonim she visited True Father. She offered the kyung-bae when they met, and as she looked up at True Father she was amazed to realize she had previously met him in two dreams!
She had brought True Mother with her, and True Father asked, "Who is this young girl?" Hong Halmonim replied, "This is my daughter." "What is her name?" "Hak Ja Han."
Father closed his eyes and repeated three times, "Thank you, God, that Hak Ja Han was born in Korea." Then Father said to True Mother, "Hak Ja Han, you must sacrifice for God."
Finally, Hong Halmonim received a great honor through True Father and True Mother's Holy Wedding. True Parents appeared on the earth, and Hong Halmonim became part of their household. It was still not an easy course after the wedding. True Parents, the True Family, and Hong Halmonim always had a difficult course waiting in front of them. As each of the True Children was born, the dark, satanic forces prepared to attack them. Hong Halmonim immediately understood her mission was to protect True Parents and the True Children. Day and night she prayed, sacrificed, and made conditions for the protection of the True Family. Her mission was to be like the Holy Spirit.
Hong Halmonim has such a special, faithful character. For example, if she promised to meet someone at 10 a.m., she always went at 8 a.m. and waited. I learned from Hong Halmonim how to separate from Satan and live a holy, sanctified life. Her personality and faith were absolutely strict. Sometimes I expressed a humanistic idea and then thought, "Perhaps she will forgive me and allow me to do that." Never. When Abraham didn't cut the dove, we might think, that was just a mistake. We sometimes say, "God, please understand me. Why don't you allow me to do this?"
But God didn't allow Abraham to make that mistake. Hong Halmonim always lived in complete holiness and separation from Satan. She strictly followed God's and Father's words. So I learned that important life of faith attitude from Hong Halmonim.
I understand now why God chose Hong Halmonim. Hong Halmonim totally obeyed and followed God, and she was always well-prepared to serve Him. She separated herself from Satan, and won the spiritual victory over him. She had a clean, strong, absolute life of faith, and God loved her and gave her the special mission of having True Mother be born from her.
Hong Halmonim not only prayed but she also physically worked hard. When Ye Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim were young, she sewed things like winter sweaters for them. Since True Father and Mother worked so hard, they sometimes needed Chinese herbs to revitalize their health. Hong Halmonim was in charge of preparing these herbs. Before boiling them, Hong Halmonim did long fasting and shower conditions. She wore a white holy robe while she watched over the boiling herbs.
She served the True Family in this way, day and night, in Korea, and then she came to America when Father and Mother called her. America represented True Parents' world-level challenge, and someone was needed to protect and support them. Because there were many communists and other dangers in America, the True Children could get hurt or kidnapped as they went back and forth to school, so Father gave her the special mission of praying day and night to protect them. Also Father was speaking during the 12-city and 50-city tours, and then at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument. Hong Halmonim always prayed hard for the protection of True Parents and the True Family from attack in America.
She not only prayed, but was always checking East Garden from corner to corner. If some ground was dug out and looked strange, she thought maybe an enemy was trying to attack the True Family. We have vigilant East Garden brothers and a good security system, but she was always behind them double-checking and spiritually protecting the whole area.
Hong Halmonim worked so hard she became tired and ill, and had to return to Korea in 1980. There, she lived with my husband and I. She always slept in her regular clothes, because she wanted to immediately respond if God and True Parents called her. She sometimes even prepared a little makeup, and her handbag was always right by her hand in bed. She always had that attitude of attendance.
One day, Hong Halmonim's head was bent forward, so I wondered what had happened. I called Elder Shin, a spiritual elder church sister, and asked her, "What happened to Hong Halmonim?" Elder Shin replied, "Father is battling hard with the world right now. When True Parents encounter a world-level challenge, Hong Halmonim receives the same spiritual pressure because of her heartistic unity with True Parents. Her head bows because Father's head is supporting the whole planet Earth."
When True Father dedicated the Segye Ilbo in Seoul, Korea, three spiritualists received that Father was in a very difficult position. These three also testified that, although Hong Halmonim could not physically attend the ceremony due to her illness, it was her continued deep prayer life that protected True Father. So many of Satan's "cronies" attacked him that day that spiritually the atmosphere looked like a thunderstorm, but there was a bright shining light enveloping Father because of Hong Halmonim's prayer. Whenever there was an important dispensational event Hong Halmonim offered many conditions for True Parents' protection.
Several spiritual members explained that Hong Halmonim became ill due to her heavy mission of protecting the True Family. I remember one day a noise was coming from Hong Halmonim's room, and I saw her fighting with Satan. She resisted Satan strongly, saying, "You cannot attack me because I dedicated my whole life for God and His truth. I even gave up my husband and completely dedicated myself for God and True Parents. Satan you have no right to accuse me. Even my ears became flat, because I never slept lying down on my back, but always slept in a kneeling position, or with my head on my shoulder." Then, Satan left.
Hong Halmonim was never famous even within our church. Many brothers and sisters say, "I know Hong Halmonim's name, but I don't know much about her." Hong Halmonim always moved behind the scenes, without renown, dedicating herself for God and the True Family, so our members often don't recognize her value.
While Hong Halmonim lived in our house, she was becoming physically old, yet working hard day and night, so her physical condition was declining bit by bit every day. One day I received a spiritual feeling directing me to give Hong Halmonim a nice clean shower. Then I repeated in Hong Halmonim's ear the names of all the True Children.
Father and Mother had gone to Chonan to dedicate the new Song Hwa University. Before their return I felt Hong Halmonim was having difficulty, so I called a doctor to come. He said that Hong Halmonim could not stay with us more than two hours. When True Father and Mother returned to Hannamdong they heard that Hong Halmonim was about to ascend, so True Mother immediately visited our house. True Mother rushed to hug Hong Halmonim, and at that moment her breathing stopped.
I prepared beautiful clothes for Hong Halmonim's Sunghwa and Won Jon ceremonies: a red chima and yellow chogori, a beautiful rainbow-colored coat, and a special crown, like someone would use at their wedding. In Korean tradition, the best clothing is used twice in a person's lifetime -- at their wedding ceremony and before going to the spiritual world.
The Sunghwa ceremony lasted five days because so many guests attended from America and around the world. I visited Hong Halmonim's room every day to refresh her make-up. Hong Halmonim was so beautiful and peaceful, with a victorious smile on her face. Some people say that in death you can see a person's whole life in their face.
Hong Halmonim taught me many important internal spiritual truths. I want to help members understand because you are praying with Hong Halmonim's prayer candle. Up until now, our Unification Church family has been trying to build a true love tradition centered upon True Father. Hong Halmonim said that since True Father and Mother got victory through the 43-year course, from now on we need to connect more to Mother to receive the true love tradition. Father already gave us so much, so we must now receive more from True Mother. The center of a heavenly family's tradition is a mother's love. True Mother's love is truly representative of God's love because God's love is warm, embracing, forgiving, tearful, sacrificial love. Those are the aspects of True Mother's love.
In our spiritual life in the wilderness we were always battling with Satan, so the love we received from God and True Father sometimes seemed fearful -- pushing and disciplining us. But because True Parents have been victorious and we have entered Canaan, we now need warm love from True Mother. We need this kind of experience of love on the earth so that we can bring it with us to our eternal life.
Some people say that a father's love is like the bone structure, and a mother's love is like the flesh. There is friction and noise when bones collide with each other, but flesh is comforting and warm. Through True Mother's love we, the Unification Family, can become completely harmonized into one. So from now on we need to experience True Mother's love more deeply.
As blessed members we have received new life from True Father, but to perfect our love we need Mother's help. True Mother's love nurtures us. If we long for and respect True Mother, we can receive her care, nourishment and support in becoming perfected men and women of true love. If we deeply pray with Hong Halmonim's prayer candle, and follow her victorious life of faith and true love tradition, we can connect with True Mother because Hong Halmonim was the closest to True Mother and True Father. This is the benefit and grace we can receive through praying with Hong Halmonim's prayer candle and connecting to her life of faith.
Some people wonder what Hong Halmonim is doing now that she is in the spiritual world. One of the 36 blessed couples, Mr. Jung, previously went to the spiritual world. On his memorial day his family prepared a service. But a stranger visited their house that day. This man didn't know our church, but he said, "A very special guest is visiting this room from the spiritual world. Many guests are here, but the central figure is a young man." This young man was Heung Jin Nim, and among the other spiritual guests who came were President Eu, Rev. Lee, Tiger Park, and Mr. Jung.
Mrs. Jung prepared an offering table for the memorial service, which is our tradition. Actually, Mr. Jung did not like chicken while he was on earth, so Mrs. Jung didn't want to buy chicken. Also he didn't like rice cake. But she felt urged to buy chicken and rice cake even though her husband didn't like that kind of food. She prepared chicken and rice cake, and Western cake and bananas too. Actually the spiritual world inspired her, because ('resident Eu loves chicken, Tiger Park loves rice cakes, and Heung Jin Nim loves Western cake and bananas. These persons spiritually came down and enjoyed this offering table and this stranger witnessed their attendance in the memorial service.
This stranger also testified about True Father. He saw a huge glorious palace for the King of Kings in the spiritual world. But this house is now empty, so somebody must be the caretaker. So God assigned Hong Halmonim to be in charge of this palace in the spiritual world. Elder Shin saw Hong Halmonim in the spiritual world, working, cleaning, and maintaining this palace. Her Abel figure is God. She goes to God: "God, this and that needs to be done..." They communicate and she goes back to work. Day and night she is busy. Her chima chogori is always moving around. She offers a kyung-bae to God, but doesn't completely kneel down, because she has to stand back up quickly and continue working. She is so busy in the spiritual world. We too must work hard on the earth and be busy every day, because our lifetime on earth is limited.
I feel that Hong Halmonim sometimes visits our house, so I always place a glass of pure water in front of her picture. I feel spiritually that because Hong Halmonim is so busy in the spiritual world, she is always thirsty. Thank you.