40 Years in America
Reflections on Life in America - Dr. David S.C. Kim
Three missionaries came from Korea to America between 1959 and 1961. Miss Young Oon Kim began her mission at Eugene, Oregon on January 4, 1959. Mr. David S. C. Kim arrived in Portland, Oregon September 19, 1959, the same year as Miss Kim, Col. Bo Hi Pak arrived in Washington, DC on February 25, 1961 as a military attaché to the Korean Embassy in Washington, DC.
Later, the mission fields were divided between the West and East Coasts of the United States. The West Coast missionaries were Mr. David S. C. Kim and Mr. Sank Ik Choi (who came in 1966), and the East Coast missionaries were Miss Young Oon Kim and Col. Bo Hi Pak. During these pioneering years each of the four missionaries began to work in the name of respective organizations they had created. These included United Faith, Inc. (1961) in Portland, Oregon under Mr. David Kim; the Re-Education Center under Mr. Sang Ik Choi; the same name,
HSA.-UWC, both by Miss Kim in San Francisco, California and Col. Bo Hi Pak in the Washington, D.C. area where they later both focused their efforts. Each of the four missionaries taught the Divine Principle and they made strenuous witnessing efforts to build a faithful membership.
The witnessing efforts resulted in serious persecution in each of the four mission fields. Because of openly sharing his religious faith, David Kim was expelled from a Baptist seminary just two weeks prior to graduating with a Masters Degree of Religious Education. Miss Kim and the members of her congregation were forced to move to California from Eugene, Oregon because of government persecution. Mr. Choi's followers were charged with brainwashing and of kidnapping young people from Christian homes. Later, the charges related to Mr. Choi's group resulted in several court cases in the 1970s and 1980s, stirring up a great deal of controversy.
For twelve years, I undertook my early missionary work in the Northwest portion of the United States. I had cone to America after having spent from 1954 to 1956 as a missionary in England. This early missionary experience had been spiritually uplifting. I came to the United States with a strong internal commitment to do my best for America. I sought and acquired a student visa, enrolling in a Master's program at a Baptist seminary.
However, after two years of study and almost at the completion of the program, the Seminary not only learned of my religious beliefs but understood that I was actively promoting them. The Seminary held a hearing to determine whether or not I could complete my studies and receive my degree. Based on the hearing they determined to expel me from the seminary, and revoke my student status. With the participation of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, they even attempted to have me deported from America. With Godís help I was able to survive that crisis.
I enrolled at the University of Oregon, completing my Masters there. Next I spent two years in advanced study at the Pacific School of Religion in California. Following this, I was hired as a counselor by a Job Corps training center in Utah. I and the other missionaries, Miss Kim, Col. Pak and Mr. Choi did our best and continued in that capacity until 1971. Each of the four missions maintained and continued open teaching and witnessing to the Divine Principle message until True Parents arrived and took a more direct role in the evangelizing efforts in 1971.
Under the providential guidance of True Parents, every state was visited by One World Crusade mobile teams, which True Father created soon after his arrival in the United States. The teams fulfilled an evangelical role, conducting revival meetings to support True Fatherís Day of Hope speaking tours, delivering a new message for a new age. They participated in television interviews and other public relations efforts in order to explain their work to the larger public. Beginning from the early American One World Crusade Tours (1971-1974 especially), the International One World Crusade and Day of Hope tours spread worldwide, soon reaching Asia and Europe. During this period many of the new followers attracted to the teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon were young people in their 20s and 30s who were enthusiastic and energetic in sharing their faith to others.
The years that I served in the One World Crusade (OWC) and the International One World Crusade (IOWC), founded by True Parents, proved to be the best years in my Church life since having joined in 1954. During a four-year period, IOWC mobile units visited all 50 states and then worldwide. In my capacity as an IOWC commander, I often felt like the Supreme Commander of a military maneuver. However, we were equipped not with guns and swords but with Godís truth and love.
After leading the IOWC, I served as president of Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) from 1974 to 1994 (20 years), when I retired. We began preparations for UTS in 1974 and the institution actually had its official start in 1975. The Seminary offers a strong and diverse curriculum In addition to more traditional courses such as New Testament, Old Testament, World Religions, and Counseling, UTS created a Korean language program which continue until today. UTS also succeeding developing graduate-level Unification Studies courses in topics such as Unification Thought, Life of Sun Myung Moon, Unification Worldview and Divine Principle. Nevertheless, it took more than 10 years to acquire an absolute charter from the Sate of New York. This was undoubtedly related to the controversy and the persecution that our Church experienced during the same time period.
It must be said that the US movement and its members have played a central role in advancing the world-level activities of live Parents. Although the U.S. has sometimes fallen short of Heavenly expectations, True Parents did not fall short and have succeeded in their mission in the U.S.
America has now been promoted to the role of Elder Son in God's Providence. In the coming millennium when the U.S. succeeds in its providential responsibility, the world can easily be led by True Parents and the next generation of True Family, as well as by American Tribal Messiahs. America now stands as the Elder Son, called to fulfill God's original ideal of creation.
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