40 Years in America

M.J. Yasuko Bang

Love is something I knew intimately before I joined the church through the birth of my two children. God gave my husband and I a daughter and a son. Our family had gone through so much together. When the children were 9 and 11 years old, we lost our home, car and telephone because of a bad investment my husband had made, but nothing prepared us for the loss of our son. The evil circumstances surrounding his death caused me to question the condition of the world. At that time, my pain was so deep that no one could help me. Only God could possibly help me -- that is, if I could find Him. The only relief I could get was to pour myself into my music and express my anger and sadness. Seven years later, I heard the Divine Principle. What struck me was that God was suffering from the same loss as I.

Immediately, I knew the depth of His suffering and vowed I would try to help Him and hope I could also help my son in a round-about way. First, I had to serve True Parents by leaving my family which included a husband of 36 years, my daughter and two grandsons. This was the most difficult test of my life because I loved my family so much, especially my daughter and two grandsons. My husband had been an agnostic all his life and was angry at my new belief, so I had to leave.

After True Mother asked me to teach music to her children, it took 10 years of struggling how to help them despite their dislike for members who received more love from Parents than they. Only Heavenly Father knows how many times I wondered whether I was going to make it. Being a grandmother with gray hair was somewhat a help. I began to notice, however, that when it got too heavy, always there was a moment of joy or a flash of realizing that the value of my mission was going to mean something beyond my understanding at that time. Through this experience, I began to realize how deep Godís "han" was and I wished I could help more children. The opportunity came when True Father requested that I compose and publish many more books after I presented the first book to him. I thought at that time that if I ever fulfill this project, my preparation in music for most of my life would be for a higher purpose than I ever would have known without having met True Father. As True Mother commented later after I finished the first seven books and video, "These books will go to the world."

As an unexpected return, every year through my dreams, I saw my son in spirit world grow from a baby to an adult of 26 years old, the age he was when he died. I was so taken by his affection and gratefulness for my work here on earth. The ache in my heart began to go away. To relieve my soul, my childrenís father became my spiritual son the day before he died. Six years later, my mother at 82 years old, had to have a tube in her lung to breathe and could not speak. She came to me 40 days after her death and told me how happy she was to join us in singing "Amazing Grace" that all of us sisters sang in harmony at her bedside as she made her transition.

As the days and years went by, I soon had to think seriously about the Blessing which Father talked so strongly about saying, "Without the Blessing we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." With True Fatherís advancing age, I was concerned I would miss out to get his personal direction about the Blessing so I decided to pray about it. In 1995 after composing a choral work called "Holy Blessing," for the young people who were to be blessed, I was surprised one night to dream and see the face of a man I didnít know. He was washing dishes in our kitchen when I came home from work. He seemed to be my husband and the father of my children who were in the background playing together. Of course, the children were the children from my first husband. This confused and shocked me, but as it would turn out, I was later very surprised when Father would indeed match me to this stranger who happened to be a Buddhist monk. My first thought was of my beloved grandmother, a devout Buddhist, whom I had loved very much. As in every Blessing, I knew it would not be easy. The difficulties were many. I understood intellectually that I have to restore the historical Korean and Japanese resentments, our cultural differences and his half a century of being a Buddhist monk. I knew the older one gets, the harder it is to change and my husband was 69 and I was 65 in í95; however, I was older spiritually, so the responsibility was on my shoulders to lead the way to unite. Happily, I must say here that True Father gave us one unifying point and that was a common great love for music. My husband would say to me often, "Please play the piano and good spirits will come into our home, our heavenly palace," as he calls it.

In retrospect, I realized that at 56 years of age when I joined the Unification Church, God had never left my side. I would only search for Him through my pain, a motherís pain of losing a son. I finally found Him through True Parents. Now I could extend my "love" because I knew God had lost His precious children through the fall. Music could be a springboard. I believe that because God gave me this gift, I had the desire to nurture it through hard work and develop a quality of love that can express itself through my fingers and hopefully go directly to the hearts of those that hear this music here on earth and maybe lift those in Spirit World!

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