The Words of the Kwak Family after 2007

My Path in Earlier Days

Chung Hwan Kwak
January 2, 2008

Over the True God's Day holy day celebrations, Father asked various elders to give their testimonies. The following, taken from Rev. Kwak's talk on January 2, includes his later edits to the Korean transcript.

I'm sure you all poignantly feel that with the dawn of the eighth year of Cheon Il Guk we've entered a totally new level of advancement in all aspects of the providence. Before I joined the movement, I was a student in law school. My dream at the time was to pass the Higher Civil Service Examination or state law examination and become a legal expert or lawyer. I was in the midst of preparing for such a career when I came to know this movement.

I was totally ignorant of the spirit world, but I was curious to know about it. I was able to satisfy my curiosity through the reasoning expounded in the Principle and by actually experiencing it. The living God seemed to have showered me with His love in those days; in that short time God set me on fire, allowing me to have many spiritual experiences testifying to His existence. Through these experiences I was able to develop conviction in this path despite the fact that I did not come from a Christian background.

As it happened, I received word from True Father that if I wanted to, I could participate in a workshop for the leaders at that time, the very first of its kind in our movement's history. With that, I immediately packed my belongings, took a night train on a cold winter night and headed for Seoul with my small bag at my side to participate in that workshop. I can now say that I was guided by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. Fifty whole years have passed since that day. Since then, I've often experienced that the living God has prepared everything for me even before I ever even thought or wished for something to happen. True Parents, too, would always have something prepared for me that was more than anything I'd expected. In following this path, I've been showered by such unending blessings and grace.

I'm sure all of our members have such deep, internal experiences, testimonies from the spirit world and spiritual experiences that reinforce your faith. In those days, I was the youngest and a new arrival who was taking my first steps as a leader. Unworthy as I was, I was assigned to take charge of the Pyungtaek Church, which was a church out on the frontier. During my time, Father visited my church seven times and guided us in many ways. Looking back, I realize how I dense I was and how I hadn't understood what Father had said in those days. Only later, I came to appreciate the significance and grace of his teachings. That is how it has been for most of my path of faith.

While following this path, never did I think about securing a particular position. I've lived my life in the belief that God would give me something greater even before I thought about it. During the past fifty years, I never expressed my wishes or asked anything of Father. I always realized later, belatedly, how much grace and blessing I had received from him. At such times, I was always busy thinking about how I could repay that grace and how I could offer it to Heaven. In that sense, I can say that I've gone through a truly demanding life, and I've really worked hard.

My entire life I've lived in gratitude to the living God who has always been by my side. Even now, my heart is filled with emotion whenever I utter His name. I was given the grace of receiving the blessing as one of the thirty-six couples, even though I was the virtually the youngest and had joined the church most recently. In those days, a person who had joined the church only six months before still felt like an "elder." I was loved, especially after I joined the ranks of leaders, though I had spent the least time in the church. I first met my wife-to-be at True Parents' Holy Wedding.

My wife may look frail, and to those who greet her, she may seem unresponsive, but she wasn't like that before her accident. She is a precious person to me. I came to see a new world through my life as a blessed member with her, Yun Jung-un. Through the Principle, we've come to know about the original world, yet we still learn many new things. Who would have thought that there were two masters in this world? Before revealing them to us, Father put his teachings into practice and perfected that ideal. In terms of the blessing, there is no fathoming the value of the perfection and completion of true love through the realm of the three generations.

Two things deeply moved me when I first heard the Principle. The first thing that impressed me was the reasoning and abundance of experiential evidence that described the spirit world. I was also greatly inspired with the concluding remarks of the final chapter, The Second Advent, where it describes the future of the Korean people and how Korea would become the center of the world.

The situation in Korea at that time was dismal; we were experiencing difficulties and hardships that severely bore down on our spirits. That is why the Principle moved and touched our hearts greatly. I think I studied the Divine Principle quite a lot more than other people did. I read it many times, and the deeper I delved into it, the more value I discovered hidden in the Principle. I discovered many new things in the Principles of Creation in particular, through which I was able to experience ecstasy and gratitude.

When I came to understand the deeper meaning of the concept of the four-position foundation centered on the ideal of true love, and especially when I was able to experience it as the ideal found in my life within a blessed family, gratitude filled my soul because I knew this was indeed the truth. I was filled with the conviction and inspiration that the four-position-foundation ideal could easily outshine any ideology or religious doctrine on earth.

In addition, concepts such as give-and-take action, subject partner and object partner, and the give and take between the subject and object partners alone are enough to explain and resolve all the intricacies in the world, and to inform others of the goal, the direction we have taken. There are, of course, many other vital themes such as those found in The Messiah: His Advent and the Purpose of His Second Coming, Resurrection, Eschatology and Human History and so on. No other person has revealed and so vividly elucidated God's fingerprints on history, or clarified the parallels between the two ages in the providence of restoration as an intentional course of the providence, as we find in the Divine Principle. No one else has even dreamed of this. Yet, the Principle clearly reveals how God was not free to do as He willed even though He was the great Lord observing the development of history through human beings.

The Principle also teaches us the astonishing and wondrous fact that God factored human beings into his great formula, even though doing so forced Him to wait patiently in the background for us to fulfill our five percent portion of responsibility. I've given many Divine Principle lectures over the past fifty years in workshops and other educational settings, in revival meetings, in public forums, and on a variety of occasions, including a period when I lectured virtually every day at the Divine Principle lecture hall in Seoul or at seminars for professors and leaders.

In the early years, there were times when I was breathing heavily through most of the lectures I gave because I was famished; at other times I sweated profusely or felt unwell. I remember when a deaconess treated me to a bowl of thick beef soup after I'd lectured and how it felt like the sweetest and yet most potent tonic I'd ever had. Even through such difficulties, I was energized and excited whenever I stood at the platform to lecture.

I must confess that, looking back, I realize we lost or wounded many people, even though we were trying to convey True Father's precious teachings through Divine Principle lectures, because we were so inexperienced. There were times when we disregarded our audience in the belief that we knew everything. Only after many years did we realize our mistake of being too quick to judge Christians by our own standards when they themselves had undergone the ardor of a life of faith. That is truly regretful and shameful on our part. I still work on furthering my understanding of the Principle. Yet, in the early days we failed to link the ideals expounded in the Principle with the blessing ideal. In the beginning, we did not think Father would bless thirty-six couples. The first thing we expected Father to do was select his twelve disciples. I personally did not even dream I would be included; I'd gone there thinking it would be interesting to watch my elder brothers being matched but I ended up receiving that grace myself.

I was completely unprepared and did not comprehend the significance of the occasion. Yet, by True Parents' special grace, I was matched to Yun Jung-un. The core of the Principle is to have a subject partner and an object partner, a man representing God's plus side and a woman His minus side meet under the blessed family ideal. I was enveloped in grace and came to be matched in that way.

My family background differs from my wife's. I come from a Confucian and Buddhist background, from a very conservative, traditional family. My wife's situation was exactly the opposite; she came from a modern household. Her mother graduated from Soongshil Theology School in Pyongyang. Her parents married out of love for each other, which was quite uncommon in those days. In that sense, her family was quite enlightened. My wife, Yun Jung-un, grew up in an educator's home (her father was a high school and teachers' college principal). She had a good educational foundation, was well educated and had graduated from Ewha Woman's University before being matched to me. Under these circumstances, my wife and I came to be together. Through my wife I have learned absolute love and absolute faith toward God and True Parents. I have been greatly influenced by her and have learned a valuable lesson on having an unblemished faith and heart, which I could not have learned from anyone else. That is why I truly respect my wife and am always grateful to her.

Of course, after her accident, it became difficult for her to move around, and it's true that it can be quite frustrating dealing with her in daily life and in actual reality when it comes to meeting people, as you all have probably experienced. Yet, she has a pure and precious heart that is beyond any of her shortcomings, and I am truly grateful that this particular disposition was fully inherited by our children. At home every day, my wife would always prepare a separate set of clothes for praying in the evenings and early morning, offering a prayer condition at those set times, always setting the focus of her mind on God, True Father and True Mother.

Observing her lifestyle, I came to experience great happiness and gratitude. After we had children, and as they grew up, we held worship services in our house, making it a tradition to have our family overflowing with spiritual devotion. There was a set pattern in the order of the prayer service or who in the family would lead the service. Even a young child could easily adapt to that environment. In such an environment, I think we were able to raise six upright children though there were other difficulties. I think it might seem out of line for me to express pride in my children, but their single-heartedness toward Heaven, all six of them, to me seems worthy of respect.

There are many times when I feel this sudden urge to bow to my children out of respect. I see that they have something in their hearts that is more precious than mine, that their devotion to God is more fervent, and that they are connected somehow to True Parents in areas which I have been unable to experience. Thus, whenever I speak to my children on the phone or in person I find myself naturally using the polite form to them; I believe my original mind is moved to do so. I think my children were greatly influenced more by my wife than I, but for this I am actually grateful. My grandsons and granddaughters all worship at home with my children. They have always maintained that tradition in their lives since before the start of the Hoon Dok Hae tradition.

My wife and I had to live apart for five years. It all began when Father called me in 1975, telling me I should come and work in America. I went there as the manager of the Il Hwa United States branch office. I had applied for permanent residency. My lawyer had told me the application process was complete and I would get my permanent residence card in about a week. Unfortunately, just about that time, it was discovered that I was a close disciple of Rev. Moon.

Father was then undergoing severe persecution in America for no apparent reason. The processing of my application went on hold. I did not hear from them. They were waiting for me to leave the country. If I'd done so and tried to apply for a visa outside the United States, they would have most likely have rejected my application. Yet, Father had directed me to be there. I felt that if I left America I would not be able to enter again, so I stayed. I was unable to leave.

The only I option I had was to remain where I was. What started out as a one-year wait lengthened into two and eventually lasted five years. My wife probably experienced more than a few difficulties during that time, taking care of six children on her own, especially considering her character.

It was also not easy on my part to live separately from my family. After going through these difficult times, I was finally able to get permanent residency. After that, I was planning to visit Korea and bring my entire family to America. That was when the incident happened.

One day my wife and two of our children, Jin-hyo and Mi-sook our youngest child, were on their way to Joonggok-dong on a bus packed with people. My wife, with Mi-sook in her arms, was barely able to get off at the bus at the stop near our house. Our son, Jin-hyo, however was unable to get off the bus, which immediately left after my wife had gotten off.

My wife was totally at a loss; if she had some time to think, she would have taken a taxi and followed the bus to the next bus stop to look for our son. Instead, she thought it would be best to take Mi-sook to our house, which was nearby, leave her there and then go after the bus. Her mind, I'm sure was in a flux. Her blood pressure was unstable to begin with, but she ran all the way to our house and back to the main road. She was breathing heavily and at her wits' end when she was finally able to catch a taxi. The taxi driver started driving and asked her where she would like to go but got no answer. He asked again, but my wife was leaning back on the seat with her eyes closed. She had collapsed on the seat. This happened twenty-eight years ago.

The driver was a seasoned taxi driver and immediately got a patrol officer from a police stand to come with him. They went to the Adventist Hospital in Chungryang-ri but the medics there refused to take in a patient who was barely breathing and without a guardian. It was only because the patrol officer made a big fuss about it that she was able to get immediate attention and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit. Later, the taxi driver told me how, strangely, the traffic lights had all turned green all the way to the hospital.

At the time of the accident I was traveling in Peru. After hearing the news, it took me two days to get back. Yet, I found my wife in a condition where it would be difficult to say she was living. Her pulse, respiration, electrocardiogram, body temperature, the color of her skin-none of these were even close to normal. The doctor told me the likelihood of her living was less than one percent and I should prepare for the worst.

I stayed at the hospital and prayed throughout the night. Our members too offered their prayers and conditions. My wife was transferred to St. Mary's Hospital in Myungdong to receive treatment. In the end, she came back to life after being in a vegetative state for twelve days. The doctor said he could find no other explanation for her recovery but that it was a miracle. Father told me God had taken pity on me and allowed my wife to live.

If a patient has been nearly brain-dead for twelve days, even after reviving, he or she would need to go through rehabilitation. Yet, because I was not experienced in this, I left for America shortly after my wife revived but without giving any further instructions about her care. This is something I regret to this day. Hearing that my wife had gained consciousness, Father made an international call to me and asked whether I would like to have a mission in Korea, remarking that I should look after my wife. I was serious throughout this entire ordeal.

My first thought when faced with this emergency was, Why has this happened? This question occupied my thoughts on the plane during the two days it took me to arrive in Korea. I still didn't have an answer. Because I knew how devout my wife was and that she always lived in goodness, what had happened was obviously not by her fault. This meant it was mine, or was caused by some other relevant factor. I felt I had to repent and ask forgiveness. I spent those twelve days with this thought in my heart. I remember praying for her, asking God to allow her to live. My prayers were heard; this miracle occurred.

When my wife awoke, I intuitively thought, So that's it! I had never did anything of my own volition. I lived in complete dedication to God's will, and this led to my having to endure being separated from my family for five years. God surely must have taken pity on me and allowed my wife to live. I should therefore return to America and work even harder in the mission field.

It was while I was filled with such gratitude that Father had called me. I couldn't bring myself to say "Yes, I would like to remain in Korea," even if I wanted to. I was unable to say that. I thought that if I did God would scold me saying "You rascal! I saved your wife but now you're worried about her instead of focusing on your mission!" So I honestly told Father how I felt and that I would return to America.

My wife came back to life twenty-eight years ago after this accident, but her movement and physical condition are not what they used to be. It is difficult for her to move around; she moves slowly. Outwardly, she seems obtuse. She is far from normal when it comes to adapting to or enduring in a given environment. Her mental capacity, her memory, power of reasoning and power of thought are weak. That is why when you meet her she may not greet you; she often neglects to show the proper etiquette. She does not pay much attention to her surroundings. Still, she is getting better little by little. Thankfully, her devotion and dedication to God and True Parents have not changed. I would appreciate it if our members would be considerate of her circumstances.

True love is in giving and living for the other in your life; True Parents have taught that the original form of true love is perfected on the foundation of the family. This particular teaching, I poignantly feel, is the core of the Principle. Furthermore, one cannot perfect the true love ideal alone but only through one's partner. This amazing truth illustrates the duty that is incumbent upon all blessed families. Within our families, and as a whole, let us devote ourselves in carrying out this duty. 

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