Unification News for April and May 2000
Stories About True Parents
To continue the stories about the lives of True Parents, we are still in that very busy 7-year course—1960-67. Here are two less familiar stories about the acts of the early apostles and the burgeoning membership.
Marching On, Heavenly Soldiers
"Brrr, brrr, brrr—uppp! Brrr, brrr, brrr—uppp!" sounded the whistle, and 120 pairs of feet marched in time to its trill. Like a demanding drill sergeant, the whistle set the pace for a long and very unusual march.
Ever since 1960, Unification Church members in Korea had been having one 40-day condition after another. They had been sent out to witness and teach all day, and sometimes into the night. Things had really changed since those days when not one member joined for months on end. Now, many new members were joining. There was new hope in the air, and the members felt encouraged. Maybe they would change the world, after all!
Now, it was 1963, and they were into their seventh 40-day condition. But this time there was a different twist. Father had chosen 120 members to make a special indemnity condition. They were to march from Seoul all the way to southern Korea. They were called the "Evangelical Expedition."
Today, they were nearing Taijun, which is about 240 miles from Seoul. That’s a long, long way to walk, and it had taken them many days. As they marched to the sound of the whistle, they thought about their Son-sengnim. He had been going a long, painful course. It was a lonely course, for no one could really understand him. Maybe Won Pil Kim. Maybe Mr. Eu. But very few had experienced the actual pain in their legs and feet. So it was that, even though these marchers were tired and sore, they were actually very fortunate. And they pressed forward.
Meanwhile, in Taijun, excitement mounted as Dr. Lee and the others prepared for the arrival of this unusual procession.
"When do you think they will arrive?" asked Dr. Lee.
The leader of the district, Mr. Song, replied, "According to reports, they should arrive here on the 10th, but I don’t know what time of day it will be. I’m just worried that they won’t get here before the 10 p.m. curfew."
May 10, 1963 arrived. Dr. Song assigned a group of men to make arrangements for meeting them at a home outside of town. They were told to plan sleeping arrangements and food for the 120 people. Women were assigned to prepare food.
Noon came and went. No word. Finally, in the afternoon they were notified that the heavenly soldiers would be arriving sometime that night.
"I guess that means they’ll get here after 10," said Dr. Lee. "So now the question is, what shall we do about curfew? We certainly don’t want them to come all that way only to be arrested and put in jail."
"Maybe we should explain the situation to the police and see if we can get permission for the marchers to be on the streets after 10," answered Mr. Song. But he shook his head doubtfully, "It’s going to sound mighty strange when we ask if 120 people can walk into Taijun after curfew."
Someone was sent to the police station, while others prayed. As expected, the police were indeed astonished. They asked a lot of questions and talked to each other in the back room. Then, miraculously, they agreed to let the group be out after ten.
The good news was carried back to Mr. Song. With a big sigh of relief, he directed some of the remaining people to go to the house to be in the welcoming party. God’s hand was surely with them this night.
While the house was larger than many, it was really too small for 120 people. Cooking enough rice and barley for that many was a major task, and the women were cooking a little at a time and piling it in whatever containers they could find.
In the late afternoon a telegram arrived from Seoul. It said, "You are my pride. Glorify your Fatherland." It was from Son-sengnim! As always, his heart was with his people.
In a sense, God had been walking a long, lonely path for 6,000 years. True Father had also been giving his sweat, blood and tears for 40 years, and it had been like a forced march for him. Even though the members had worked hard the last three years and suffered greatly, it still wasn’t enough. Therefore, these 120 people were following Heavenly Father’s footsteps of suffering, and following True Father’s footsteps of suffering. Of course, other people in history had walked far, too. Look at the Israelites leaving Egypt. They walked even farther and longer. But they had complained the whole way. Never before had anyone undertaken a march to make God feel better.
"It’s 9:30," announced Mr. Song. "Let’s pray and prepare our hearts to meet them."
Dr. Lee spoke to them about the meaning of the march and the suffering of the marchers. Before long, everyone was weeping. With feelings of love and great concern, they prayed together.
The moon shone brightly as they kept watch over the empty countryside. Midnight came and went.
"I’m going to send someone out on a scouting trip to see where they are," Dr. Lee decided.
"I have two bicycles," offered the man of the house. "Would you like to use them?"
"Thank you, that would be very helpful." Two men were chosen, and they quickly pedaled off into the night. Meanwhile, the women continued cooking larger and larger piles of food.
After awhile, the bicyclists returned. "We found them, and they should be here in half an hour or so," they announced.
Dr. Lee bustled around excitedly. "Good! Now, let’s get together and march out to greet them."
Everyone quickly got in line. Two men at the head held up big banners saying "Welcome" and "Congratulations." At the end of the line, someone pulled a handcart to receive all the baggage of the marchers.
After 15 minutes or so, Dr. Lee ran ahead of the others, eager to catch the first glimpse of them. As he came around a hill, he suddenly heard singing in the distance. "Light your torches," he yelled back to his people. "They’re just ahead."
He began singing, and everyone joined in. As they marched along with their torches blazing and the banners flapping, their voices rose joyously into the night air, "So ri chi go i ro na ja."
Soon, they heard the 120 marchers singing the same song, and as they drew nearer to each other, they echoed each other’s voices. The marchers were holding high a banner of their own. The two groups marched right up to each other, and their songs became one. Dr. Lee and their leader, Mr. Lee, bowed and shook hands.
"Greetings to you," yelled all the marchers with one great shout.
"May your life be long!" answered the welcoming committee.
They were so happy to see each other they just shouted one greeting after another. Then they got down to the business of helping.
"Here, let us take your bags."
"You can lean on me."
"Does anyone need to be carried?"
Everyone was offering to help at once. The bags were thrown into the cart.
Dr. Lee noticed that the man carrying the main banner was stumbling. He could barely remain standing. "Here, let me carry that for you," he offered.
"No, thank you," answered the standard bearer.
"Please, I really would like to carry it for you," he offered again.
"I will carry it," came the answer resolutely.
A third time he offered, and a third time the man refused to part with the banner. Then Dr. Lee understood. To him, the banner symbolized the church and True Father. He was carrying the future of the church and Father. He was upholding the honor of God Himself. Therefore, he was determined to carry it all the way, even if it killed him.
By 4:30 in the morning they all reached the meeting house. It was then that the local members saw how weary and worn these marchers really were. They had bleeding blisters on their feet, their bodies were covered with dust and grime, and they were so tired they could hardly focus their eyes. One group at a time went inside the house to eat, and the others rested, too tired to even talk anymore. As each group finished eating, they were taken to various houses where they could sleep.
"Welcome to our home," the host and hostess would say to each one. "Please come in." The travelers entered and fell gratefully onto the mats prepared for them, and within minutes they were fast asleep. In most of the homes the hosts and hostesses had to go outside while they slept, for there was not enough room for all of them to be inside at the same time.
Later that morning, after only a few hours of sleep, everyone was awakened. They rubbed the sleep from their eyes and hobbled back to the meeting house. Dr. Lee explained the plan for the day. "We will go into the city today and meet with the rest of the church members. You will be leaving in the afternoon—although I truly wish you could stay another night."
Everyone got in line. They tried not to notice their stiff, sore muscles and blistered feet. They just put one foot in front of the other and moved. By the time they neared the center of town, they were able to march in time to the whistle once again and wave the banners in the air. Pedestrians and people in vehicles slowed down to stare. Policemen came out to see what these mysterious marchers looked like.
"Where did these ragamuffins come from?" asked the gaping people. "Were they in a battle or something? Are they refugees?"
"I heard they walked all the way from Seoul."
"You must be joking. Why would they do a thing like that?"
Word spread around town that Unification Church members had marched from Seoul, and more came to stare.
At last, the marchers arrived at the regional headquarters and sank down on every available piece of floor. Morning rice and kimchee was served and they ate their "breakfast."
"Now, let us take care of your wounds," said Dr. Lee, when they had finished eating. He had assembled all the bandaging materials he could find and they set to work cleaning and wrapping the bleeding feet. It wasn’t easy to find scrap cloth in those days, and Dr. Lee apologized tearfully, "I don’t have enough bandages to wrap your feet properly. I’m so sorry."
They just smiled gratefully for what he was able to offer.
All too soon it was time to continue their march to the final city on their agenda.
"Time to get in line," called Mr. Lee. The marchers stood up without complaint and formed a long double line.
"Monsei!" everyone shouted together. "Monsei! Monsei!" Maybe their legs were weak, but their voices were strong, and the rousing cheers must have been heard from one corner of the city to the other.
The whistle began to blow, signaling their start.
Feet began to move. Faces winced in pain. Feet dragged. But the heavenly marchers bit their lips and set their faces in determination. They WOULD go forth. The Taijun members marched with them for over an hour until they were well outside the city.
"Monsei!" they shouted in unison once again. "Monsei! Monsei!"
"Go in peace! Stay in peace!," they called to each other as they parted. The Taijun members watched the 120 marchers disappear into the countryside, around the last bend in the road.
"Brrr, Brrr, Brrr-Uppp!" sounded the whistle. "Brrr, Brrr, Brrr-Uppp!" Just 120 miles more to go.
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