Unification News for December 1999

True Children's Day Celebration at Chungpyung

Betty Lancaster

Have you ever celebrated a Holy Day with True Parents and 12,000 or more brothers and sisters--under one roof? Can you imagine it! Well, that was the situation on True Children's Day 1999, the last Holy Day of this millennium, in the huge new palatial Training Center at Chungpyung, called Cheonsung Wanglim Palace.

There it sat in all its splendor, alongside Chungpyung Lake. A nicely paved road led up to its majestic front, with gigantic lamp posts lighting the way. It was hard to believe that just one month earlier our team of 52 American leaders had arrived for a brief visit and our buses could not even get up the muddy road, now so beautifully paved. At that time, in fact, we got out of the buses and walked up the road, avoiding large construction vehicles as we headed to the building to be greeted by Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim.

So now to have True Parents standing there on Sunday November 7, officially cutting the ribbon to commemorate the opening of this beautiful place now completed, seemed like a miracle. Korean Headquarters had prepared a ring for Father to present to Mother. Sprays of flowers surrounded the front leading up to the entrance. True Father did a traditional calligraphy, a very large, 24-foot one. However, the brush was too wide so it was not as neat as usual.

Of course, before the ribbon cutting there was 5am Family Pledge and Hoon Dok Hae. True Father gave the morning talk in the super-large third floor auditorium. He spoke very strongly on Purity. The hall--and the hallways--were overflowing and so was the very large auditorium on the second floor, better known as the "Small Hall." It had large viewing screens. Another overflow room existed somewhere on one of the lower levels.

After the speech Father prayed and Father and Mother cut the cake. Awards were then presented to Heung Jin Nim (received by his small son); to Dae Mo Nim (received by Mrs. Hyo Nam Kim); to Choong Mo Nim (received by an elder of the Church); and to some who were involved in the construction of the building. The formalities ended with an announcement of a treasure hunt from the front of the palace to the top of the mountain. Treasures were hidden along the way, to be exchanged for gifts.

That night a Congratulatory Cultural Performance was held on stage. The entertainment was elaborate and sophisticated. A special video presentation accompanied the entertainment on both Sunday and Monday nights. True Parents ended the Sunday evening's performance by coming on stage to sing, to everyone's delight.

True Children's Day, November 8, began with 7am Family Pledge and Hoon Dok Hae. Holy Robes could be seen by the thousands, packed solidly on the third and fourth floors. The reading was from The Way of Unification, section 2. At some point, Father interrupted and spoke for a couple of hours.

A video was shown (I think it was about True Parents history) and True Father then gave the celebration speech. Parents cut the cake and Father prayed with Mother. A gift was presented to Parents and they posed for photos. We ended with manseis. The evening entertainment began at 6:30. A Korean play, a true story taken from the era of the Yi dynasty and portrayed in modern language and in the context of spirituality, was very well presented and a Korean choir performed. A video of Japan's church history was shown, accompanied by a Japanese choir. About six other singers performed. Again, True Parents concluded the evening with song, this time from their seats.

Staying at this beautiful new center and being a part of these events was quite a unique experience. "Purity" would best describe the hallowed halls of this place, with the white marble floors and stairs throughout. Huge pillars are present in every room to support the massive structure.

The cafeteria on the lower level is so large that at any one given time it never seemed to be even half filled. It was quite amazing to me how the staff fed all those thousands of people, albeit with simple food, yet filling and satisfying. Certainly I thought of Jesus with the few fishes and loaves of bread that mysteriously increased to fill thousands of hungry followers to the satisfaction of all.

The building is so spacious that during waking hours one is hardly aware of the great numbers of people there. The weather was crisp and autumn-like so many were outside going up and down the mountain. Nighttime, however, was a different story! We were very aware then of the multitudes present. Members slept everywhere--wall-to-wall people--in all the auditoriums, in all the meeting rooms, even in some of the hallways. Whole families attended so there were many, many children of all ages.

At some point, during one of the programs, it was announced that God had sent a message to Mrs. Won Pok Choi honoring her for her faithfulness and loyalty to God and True Parents down through the years.

True Father held a general international leaders meeting on the third floor on the morning of November 9. In the afternoon we moved to True Parents small auditorium on the fourth floor. This room had thick carpeting and exquisite small chandeliers. It was intimate, elegant and comfortable. We met here again with True Parents on the 10th. Parents sent us out on a leaders' treasure hunt on the mountain. Prizes were awarded to winning ticket holders.

True Parents concluded the meetings at Chungpyung and we departed for Seoul where we attended Young Jin Nim's Seung Hwa Ceremony at the Little Angels Auditorium and then joined the True Family at the Won Jun for the ceremony there, as True Parents and True Children attended Young Jin Nim. Young Jin Nim remained in a perfect state even after the passage of 17 days. It was quite amazing. And though he protested from the spiritual world, True Father insisted that he be honorably placed opposite the site of Heung Jin Nim's Won Jun. Young Jin Nim was offered up as a sacrifice for the new millennium.

I want to end on a note about Chungpyung. It was indescribably enriching to have large numbers of representation of the whole world come together as one family. It makes one acutely aware of the need to build a palace in every nation, especially the providential ones, not only to accommodate the one family of God but most especially to honor the Prince of Peace and King of Kings.

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