Articles From the February 1994 Unification News
A Tribute to Rev. Sung Il Kim
It is both my firm belief and experience that God puts the right people in the right place at the right time. New England is the place where the American Providence finally got its footing through the pilgrims and events which followed in the 1620's. Through the early Protestant development came the first seminaries from which came the first institutions of higher learning, such as Harvard and Yale.
It is not surprising, therefore, that this center of education became a main target of the liberalization that sought to destroy the religious and ethical values that were originally established here. It is, in other words, a rough place, and bears the anarchic fruits of a forty year campaign for God-less and "values free" education. Perhaps for this reason God appointed warriors to take the helm of New England to lead her through its battles for righteousness. In 1990 we were little aware that these battles were beginning to come to a close. Communism would collapse and the world would enter a new era and the dawn of the Completed Testament Age was soon on the horizon.
It was upon entering 1990, on December 1, 1989, that from one of these great warrior leaders the helm of New England was passed on to a Confucian/Christian/Principle "scholar" with the words, "Rev. Sung Il Kim has the heart of an ocean".
Fitting with the times, New England, Region #1 entered an era of an entirely different style of leadership. Rev. Kim's first challenge after the years of war was to bring us out of the warrior mode and begin the process of healing and reconstruction. In the first year Rev. Kim strove to teach us to smile and have fun, a thing, perhaps, no one had dared to teach a New Englander before.
One brother dubbed Rev. Kim "the picnic leader" because he was always initiating trips to Mount Washington, getting us out to look at the beautiful New England foliage in the autumn and going on picnics. He wanted us have outings at least once a month. Typical to our New England selves we responded with groans at the effort it would take. We responded in a similar way to acquiring a workshop site, this time not to rent but to keep. Rev. Kim, nevertheless, quietly and prayerfully forged ahead until it was done.
One of the great monuments to Rev. Kim's work in New England is about eight acres of land in the foothills of the White Mountains where we hold workshops, regional outings, children's camp or simply retreat for prayer and communion with God. The acquisition of "Grafton Garden" changed the soul of Region #1.
Another image of Rev. Kim is "praying leader". Rev. Kim constantly prayed for members and to bring us into harmony among ourselves and with the direction of our movement. As a result he had profound intuitions and advise. His advise was usually conveyed gently and quietly with the goal to raise each person up to be able to take responsibility as Tribal Messiahs based on our own prayer and relationship to God and True Parents. Sometimes he was very strong. One time he scolded me so hard that I cried for hours, but I found out later that Rev. Kim too cried a long time after that scolding, and it is this and many such testimonies that created bonds among us without our even knowing. He would often go to Grafton Garden to pray before very important events, such as True Parents' speaking tour. He often entrusted all the external and organizational aspects of our missions to us, but we could feel the support and protection of prayer around us. One sister testified that she would in her own prayer have the sensation that her prayers were being held up on the foundation of Rev. Kim's prayers. Rev. Kim was also "children's leader". Even as he became a father to members he became a grandfather to our children. Perhaps because of the timing, but also because of the man, Rev. Kim deeply believed that children and the raising of children was an intregal part of not only family and Tribal Messiah development, but for our public life as well. When Rev. Kim arrived in New England I was three months pregnant with my second child. He immediately began looking for ways to relieve me from my state leader's position so that I could spend time being a mother.
As a result, when I was six months pregnant I became responsible for the church nursery where I stayed for one year. However, when I was three months pregnant with my third child, he asked me to return to the state leader's position and then to a regional position in WFWP. This showed me in a profound way how much Rev. Kim includes family and children and their affect on our growth and maturity as part of the whole picture. Family and public life were inseparable to him, whether as a family in hometown or within a church department.
This is indicative of much of his leadership and decision making. He never measured by externals alone. He would gather the data and evaluate that information against the criteria for the mission, and then he would pray. One could feel that he made his decisions by aligning the heart of the person with the heart of the mission, and only then considered the external qualifications. This was particularly evident as he counseled and prepared members to go to the Blessing.
Finally, last year was the crowning finale to Rev. Kim's time in New England as he led Region #1 to an incredible victory beginning with Mother's speech in October of 1992, and then seven speeches with Father and Mother and four more speeches with their children proclaiming True Parents' and the Completed Testament Age to the New England states. Father himself publicly acknowledged Rev. Kim three times for this great accomplishment.
Not only were the halls filled, but we experienced first hand in that time Rev. Kim's own relationship to True Parents whom he has been attending for over forty years. As he said at his farewell speech, through the 1993 tour our region became connected in heart, both among all the states and all of us with Rev. Kim. It is because of this deep bond that Rev. Kim can now leave. They say it is a terrible thing to leave when no one will miss you. Rev. Kim truly will be sorely missed, but we know that Japan will be greatly blessed by his leadership. It is with gratitude and best wishes that we now say good-bye. Region 7: Tribute to Rev. Yoo
by Linda Lucero-Cornier - Boulder, CO
Once again, change has come to the Rocky Mountain Region. With change comes reflection on the four years that we have been blessed to have Rev. Chong Young Yoo as our regional director.
Over the past 10 years, Rev. Yoo has invested his heart and energy in regions throughout America. During his tenure in the Rocky Mountain Region, all of us came to know and love Rev. Yoo as a wonderful elder brother and filial son of True Parents. No matter what the circumstance, Rev. Yoo always leads with determined spirit, bright enthusiasm, and the wisdom of experience.
We are also very grateful that Rev. Yoo's family could join him in our region. Rev. Yoo and his wife, Mrs. Chong Cha Yoo, are a 72 Blessed Couple, and maintain the highest standard of family tradition and attendance to True Parents. Their example has been a great benefit to the members and blessed couples of our region. Their incredible lives of faith spurred us all to inherit their heart of loyalty and filial piety to God and True Parents.
The members in our region are especially grateful to Rev. & Mrs. Yoo for their leadership during True Parents' Tour in 1993. Rev. Yoo pushed us to challenge our limitations, and Mrs. Yoo spearheaded the most heartistic preparation to attend True Parents in our region. Because of their great leadership, we could successfully welcome True Parents both externally and internally. And with the heart of a true elder brother, Rev. Yoo took every chance to personally introduce our members to True Parents and create photo opportunities. These were unforgettable experiences for which we will be ever grateful.
Rev. Yoo has served True Parents for nearly 40 years. In coming to know him, we all could better understand the incredible sacrificial course our elders have gone. But no one understands that better than their children. Rev. & Mrs. Yoo have eight children. One of the most memorable sermons I ever heard was given by their son. He testified to his parents' active love for True Parents, and the hardships they encountered during their life as a family. Despite separation and great difficulty, they became a strongly united family. Everyone was moved to tears as he spoke with deep heart of his parents, brothers and sisters. I would feel victorious and honored if one day one of my children could give such a sermon about our family.
Through their blood, sweat and tears, Rev. & Mrs. Yoo laid a strong spiritual and organizational foundation for our region. They took serious responsibility in caring for members with patience, prayer, and through giving internal guidance. Truly they have been like parents to us, always pushing us to be the best we could be in attendance to God and True Parents.
We appreciate all they have given to our region, and will strive to uphold their standard. May Heavenly Father bless them and their family for sincerely serving and loving America. We pray for Rev. & Mrs. Yoo's success in Japan. They will be deeply missed and will remain with us in our hearts and prayers.
Dear Rev. Chae Hee and Mrs. In Ae Lee,
We the members of Region 8 want to express our deepest heart of gratitude to you for all you've done since coming here in 1989 to the South Central states of America. There are many memories we have shared with you and Mrs. Lee, perhaps the most poignant being the first meeting we held after hearing that Mother was coming to speak publicly in America and that our region would host her in Houston.
We gathered in Houston to plan the event and you spoke about how the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the upper room. You emphasized that because Mother represents the feminine aspect of God here on the earth we would experience directly God's Holy Spirit. We felt the power of that spirit enter into our presence there as we sang the beloved songs from the early days of our movement in Korea.
During that campaign we saw how tirelessly you both worked, making sure every detail of Mother's arrival, speech, visit and departure were taken care of. Nothing was left out, nothing was forgotten. For each one of us it was a personal lesson on what it means to attend True Parents. It impressed us deeply.
Your standard towards True Parents was always the same whenever they came to our region and that was often, because New Hope Farms are located here in Region 8. You also had the same quality of detail when it came to us as well. Although there are more Blessed children than adults in this region, you managed to find all their birthdays and send cards. Many times you called on those special days. It seems like such a small thing, but it meant a lot to all of us.
Whenever we met for Blessed Family nights, you always spoke to us about educating our children in heavenly tradition. We could see how important it was to you and we felt more encouraged to focus on raising our children to be good and proud people of the Principle. We will miss your talks and visits, and your invaluable sermons based on deep insights into the Bible and the Divine Principle. We will miss the most your excellent lectures on Unification Thought for Adult Sunday School.
We have been spoiled as well with some of the most superb Korean cooking that can be had. We will never b e able to eat kimchee without comparing it to Mrs. Lee's incredible and delicious homemade version. Nor can we forget how delightful the holy days were for us and how Mrs. Lee never slept before the pledge ceremony, making sure every dish was beautifully made and displayed. We are sorry about that and can only hope that in the days of heaven she will be able to taste the fruits of her loving work.
We hear that our loss will be your new students' gain in Korea. We wish you both God's blessings in your new mission. May you be healthy and happy for years to come and may your family prosper in the heavenly traditions you so earnestly strive to keep.
In Their Names,
The Members and Families of Region 8: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas
Rev. Dang Ok You (Korean)
Ms. Noriko You (Japanese)
Choong Hyun (10 months old)
Rev. You joined the U.C. in 1975. Most mission work has been with Soung Hwa (now HARP - from CARP type group) to largely CARP in high school and Chunbok University. Rev. You has a blessed grandmother and parents are 30,000. His two cousins also are blessed members. Rev. Moon appointed Rev. You to this position in September 1992 and to this period has been in train. Ms. Noriko You joined the U.C. in 1984. She and Choong Hyun have recently joined Rev. You. Region 8 welcomes the new regional director family. Region 9: Thank You, Rev. Yu
by Catherine Ono--Seattle, WA
Rev. Jin Hee Yu was my 8th Korean Regional Director. We both came to Seattle in the autumn of 1989. He to be the Regional Director for Region #9, and I to join my husband in his mission in the fish business, after 15 years of church center life. Although my mission and central figure were in the fish business it was natural for me to seek to attend, serve , and get to know Rev. Yu.
A few days before God's Day 1992, Rev Yu asked me to take the leadership role for our region's Blessed Family Department. Through this mission I began to relate much more with Rev Yu and he began to have a profound impact on my life of faith, In this brief tribute to his 10 years of service in America, I would like to comment about Rev. Yu which I feel truly reflect Father's tradition. The first concerns Rev Yu's own life of faith and attendance. The second addresses his method of education and training of his members. I only hope that my words do him justice.
Rev Yu is a model of a true disciple, sacrificing his own personal desires, comfort, and happiness for the sake of God's Will. Father directed Rev. Yu to come to America in 1982. He came and spent year after year serving our American members, while his wife and family remained in Korea. Whatever struggles he and his family may have endured, he never complained or allowed his personal situation to interfere with his mission. In spite of their family being separated, god could guide and protect them. All 4 of his children received the Blessing and his parents were blessed in the 30,000 couple Blessing. An example of his attendance comes to mind. In the 4 years that he was in Seattle, I think his wife came to visit on 3 occasions. However , each time she came, it seemed that Father called a Regional Leaders meeting, so off he would go. True Parents always came first-even once he had to leave his wife and daughter in Yellowstone National Park, when the call came to go to Kodiak. His wife and daughter spent their vacation with the state leader!! We know Father has told us many times how he loved the members more than his own family. Rev Yu inherited that tradition and was an example for all of us.
Rev. Yu suffered from bad health, diabetes in particular. He had what you might call a "weak constitution". Rev. Yu suffered a stoke on Jan. 2 and is currently recuperating in Korea. He truly gave his life for America. We pray for his quick recovery.
And yet he never allowed his physical situation to interfere with his mission. A man of lesser faith might consider his poor health to be a legitimate reason to back down from his public life. I remember some insight into what his heart, concerning his health, once when he gave guidance to a sister who felt she couldn't accept some responsibility he wanted to give her because of her present physical condition. He said, simply, "when God gave Jesus his cross, he just picked it up and began to walk, even though it was so heavy. Never say no, just pick up your responsibility and start up the hill."
To truly attend God and True Parents, Rev Yu knew to the core of his being that he had to always put God and True Parents first, sacrificing his own life, his family, and as a leader, even sacrificing his members so as to attend the Will. When the word came that True Mother would continue to speak in all 50 states, REV. YU told the Seattle members to immediately go to Billings Montana Forget about the newly purchased , soon to be wasted , roses for debts could wait. His priorities were absolutely clear. To the pragmatic American mind, it would seem that the members could fundraise first and then go to help out in Billings. What difference would a few days make. But, it was not a time to be pragmatic. True Parents victory is the priority. Now, I would like to share about Rev. Yu's method of education and training. I think often, the Korean leaders, in general and in this case Rev Yu in specific are perceived to be quite strong and not always able to understand the heart of Americans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you get to know them, you find that they have very warm hearts, but that they are dead serious about Father's tradition and ultimate victory. Rev. Yu's education was not general , bat very specific. He could detect almost immediately a person's good points and not so good points.
He knew exactly what each person needed to grow. For some it was a grandfather's warmth, for others a father's stern scolding. More often it was the later. Rev Yu understood that if we were to become people who could receive God's original love, versus His pitiful love, we had to eliminate our fallen nature. And there was/is no pleasant way to do that. For him an expression of true love was not always kind or encouraging words, but stern chastisement. He made you face your fallen nature and either overcome or be faced with carrying resentment. He knew there is no middle ground in our struggle to establish a true, pure, absolute, and everlasting standard. Rev Yu (like Zin Moon Kim) loved to quote that famous Korean proverb, "good medicine tastes bitter." I am reminded of the Rabbi/father of the Jewish Hasidic boy in the movie The Chosen. The father, saw that while his young son was a near genius, he could easily become arrogant. And so began a long period of difficult training for the boy where he would never speak directly to him. Through his suffering, the son became not only humble but a "righteous man." In the end you saw that it was the father who suffered more because of having to train his beloved son in such a way.
I once caught a glimpse into that same kind of suffering heart in Rev. Yu. It was during a phone conversation. I was expressing my difficulty in explaining his heart to one of our members. someone who had not yet realized the "love" behind his toughness" I was definitely frustrated with this person. He just said, "It's OK, It's OK." Then I said in Korean, "Chun chun hi" I guess it is just chun chun hi" That means 'slowly, slowly" He said "of course, ten years already." In that moment I felt that I saw, or touched, felt his "Han" The frustration, or sorrow he may have felt over the past 10 years in America at having so much to give, but because of the members' difficulty of digesting what he had to give, often the only thing he could do was to wait and have patience.
I don't want to bum everyone out and be all serious, but frankly, I do feel a certain sadness, because I know what a difficult time our Korean brothers have had to educate us Americans. Despite that feeling I have great confidence that we can all unite and bring the victory that god and True parents have been waiting for. Then all of our sacrifice and struggle will become our greatest treasures. From all of us in Region 9 thank you Rev. Yu.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents