Unification News for March 2001

Messiah: A Great Testimony from Dr. Pak

by Mark J. Tobkin

MESSIAH, written by Dr. Bo Hi Pak is a memoir and living testimony of my friend, my elder brother, and a living disciple of our True Parents. The MESSIAH took me back in time, a time which partially reflected experiences of my own, as they were experiences which sometimes were directly or indirectly intertwined with Dr. Pak in a limited way. And I’m sure that this would be the case for many of our members, even though our experiences may have varied depending upon the circumstances of our encounters.

I found myself spell-bound by its contents, as I understood for the first time, many things that I had not previously known about Dr. Pak. It was like awakening to the true reality of Peter, back in Jesus’ day, versus the image I may have conjured up in my mind of him from the limited writings, written by others. The MESSIAH content came from the actual source.

I have known Dr. Pak for over 26 years, and have had the great fortune to work with him on a number of providential projects throughout this time. As an American, I feel that Dr. Pak understands Americans amazingly well, and he has a profound, deep love for America and the American people. The reasons for this became abundantly clear to me through reading MESSIAH. His early childhood years, his experiences during the Korean War, his military training at Fort Benning, Georgia, his discovery as to why America had been so richly blessed, his subsequent discovery of the Divine Principle and resultant understanding of God’s hope for America, all served to create an indelible impression upon him. He became a man destined with an incredible mission, and he happens to be living in our time.

My brother Paul and I had written a letter to our family and some relatives one year ago last December, not explaining the Divine Principle, but explaining the experiences we had had which ultimately led us to the Unification Church. Last October we felt compelled to write to them again, but this time focusing on the true heart of God, Sin, and Salvation. As it was the 2nd such kind of letter in as many years, we found the contents to be very difficult to write, and we found ourselves re-drafting it numerous times. It literally took us 3 months to write the letter. It was pure Divine Principle in a pre-digested form, and it ended up being 12 pages long. We were planning to send it to 21 people (our dad, 9 brothers and sisters, and 11 close relatives). We knew that it probably would be the most difficult letter to be received.

I have been living and working in the P.R.C. for the past 11 years, and I had been planning to fly back to America in mid January of this year, at which time I was planning to deliver the letters. About 2 weeks prior to this I had heard about Dr. Pak’s book, and I had the occasion to meet with him in Korea, on some business matters. He gave me a copy of Volume I of the English edition (Volume II was still being translated), and a 3-volume set of the Korean edition (for my wife, as she is Korean). During the remaining days before I flew to America, I took the time to read the contents of MESSIAH, and to my amazement found it to be a perfect compliment to the letter Paul & I were sending to our family. When I arrived in Minnesota (my home state), I called around to find where I could purchase more copies, but found that I had to go directly to the publisher. I ordered 25 copies (including one for each of my 3 children + 1). The total amount was a bit beyond any budget that I may have had, however, I felt that one couldn’t put a price tag on the cost of potential "rebirth". Also, I felt that my family would be interested in Dr. Pak’s testimony, as he is my "boss", and also because some of them had previously met him. Also, I felt that Dr. Pak’s testimony pertaining to his first encounter with the Divine Principle would shed some light (for my family) on some of the questions I had been asking myself when I first met the Church.

The books were sent to me, and I received them within a few days after they were ordered. It was on "Super Bowl Sunday" that I distributed all of the books and letters, as my elder brother had had a family gathering at his home, prior to my departure back to China. It was a great opportunity to take each "family head" aside, and present these to them personally.

I have not yet heard responses from all of the family, however, two of our sisters (one church, and one non-church member) said that they "couldn’t put it down", and that it was one of the few books that had ever really held their attention. One of our nieces and her husband, who have been very negative (students of C.A.N.), wrote us a very "rude" letter, and told Paul & I not to write to them again about anything relating to UC teachings. However, in response to this, another one of our sisters (a non-church member) said that she had heard of the "rude" letter, and that it prompted her to read "our" letter, even though she "hates" to read (anything… not because it is UC related). Her and her husband’s response was that there was nothing at all wrong with what we had written, at that actually it was very good. She said that she’d probably gradually get around to reading MESSIAH, as she’s now quite interested in whatever supposedly made our niece so angry.

For me, reading MESSIAH brought me back to my early days in the Church, and reminded me why I joined in the first place. It is a clear testimony to God, and His unwavering search to find true men and women. It is a testimony to our True Parents and their never-ending quest to return this world back to God. It is a great witnessing tool for all.

MESSIAH, volume I covers the period from Dr. Pak’s birth in 1930 to 1977 when he was called to testify before the House Subcommittee on International Organizations. Volume II is being translated and will hopefully be published by the end of the year. Volume II will take off from the Fraser hearings and include Dr. Pak’s unique insider’s view about the visits to Moscow and North Korea. Volume I and II have already been published in Japanese and Korean and are selling well in those countries.

MESSIAH should not be confused with a collection of speeches that was published by HSA-UWC in 1999. Those were collected speeches given in the public arena as well as inspirational messages Dr. Pak gave at East Garden and other in-house venues, and are available separately from HSA publications.

Dr. Pak is very interested to hear from brothers and sisters and has set up his own email address. Please contact him with your comments and suggestions at BoHiPak@aol.com.

MESSIAH: My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Volume 1 by Dr. Bo Hi Pak was translated by Timothy Elder and published by University Press of America. (411 pages) is available in paperback for $14.95 from: HSA Publications, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 212 997-0050 x 250 or www.hsabooks.com

Mark and Yong Ja Tobkin live in China. They have 3 children: Jennifer (17), Joshua (15), and Jefferson (14). Jennifer is attending an international school in the P.R.C., and Joshua & Jefferson are attending the Sun Hwa Middle School in Korea.

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