Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Lowen
The Grandmother (Se Hyun Oak)
by Sandra Lowen
"Grandmother Oak," as Mrs. Se Hyun Oak is known, met Father in Pyungyang, and became one of his very first followers. She served Father for the rest of her life.
Mrs. Oak met Father on November 11, 1946-before he went South to Pusan, before he went to Hung Nam prison. She had been a very religious woman. She and her husband held important positions in their church. Her eldest son had gone to fight in World War II, and she prayed for him every day. Even after the war, she continued her daily prayers.
One day, she received a revelation that she should meet a certain special man and that she should go to the mountains to pray for more direction. Mrs. Oak was a good Korean housewife. There was washing, cooking, cleaning, mending, shopping-so much to do.
"After I get these things done," she vowed, "then I will go." But the jobs never came to an end. Day after day, she put off going to the mountains.
Then, one day she knew she could wait no longer. She just left her work and went. She prayed a long time on a mountain, and the spiritual world soon told her where to meet this certain special man.
She followed the directions given her, and she found the little room in Pyungyang where he stayed. He welcomed her, served her tea, and immediately began teaching her things about the Bible. His message was so powerful that she knew in her heart she wanted to work with him. He became her Son sengnim (Honorable Teacher). It was, of course, True Father.
She still had her work at home, however; so the only way she could spend time with him was to sneak away. Then, when she was with him, she would forget about time, and the hours flew by. Even days went by sometimes. When she returned to her family, they would be very angry.
At first, she wouldnt tell them where she had been, but when they later found out about Father, they told her she shouldnt go back. They thought she should be content with her own church and her household chores. Therefore, she was not able to visit Father for long periods of time. But she missed him terribly.
Father missed her, too. He worried about her and longed to talk with her. Once, he resolved to go to her house, to see if he could catch even a glimpse of her. He stood outside her house and watched the balcony where she hung out the family wash. He knew that she was a good housewife, and would have to do the laundry soon. Although the day was passing, he was so hopeful of seeing her that he waited and waited.
Finally, she came out, not knowing Father was there. He saw only her back; still this was enough for Father to know that she was all right, and so he returned home.
A few days later, Mrs. Oak was preparing food for her family. As she reached out to place wood on the fire, she heard a spiritual voice say, "Why are you here? Your Messiah and Lord is suffering. Do you think I called you just to make rice for your family?"
At that moment, her hand began to shake. She couldnt stop. When her family found her shaking, they became frightened. What was the matter with her? They tried to help her, but nothing worked.
Then, she told them, "I heard Gods voice telling me to go to Moon Son sengnim and help him with his work. And then I started shaking."
Her family was very upset. They still didnt like this Mr. Moon. But what could they do? She couldnt just be left there in the middle of the floor, shaking. They held a family meeting.
"She must not be allowed to go with this Mr. Moon!"
"Yes, but if she doesnt, she could die here!"
"Dont be silly! I never heard of anyone dying from shaking!"
"Me either. But this is a spiritual thing. She isnt just sick."
"Youre right. Who knows what could happen?"
"I say we send her to Mr. Moon."
Finally the decision was made to let her go. Immediately, Mrs. Oak stopped shaking and ran off to get ready. She was going to be with her Master at last!
Times were not always so happy for the little group in Pyungyang. In 1948, Father was cruelly betrayed. Many spiritual people came to Father, especially women who had received information from spirit world.
One day, a lady came who said, "I am a very spiritual person, and my mother is, too. We were told spiritually to come here. Will someone please tell us all about this group?"
The members told her many things. The next morning, very early, the communist police arrived. That lady was a spy, who had gone straight to the authorities and told them terrible untrue things about Father.
When Grandmother Oak came early the next morning, she found Father, Won Pil Kim and two ladies being taken away. Then Mrs. Oak was also placed under arrest and questioned; but her family hired a lawyer and paid for her release.
When Father was sent to Hung Nam prison, Mrs. Oak traveled the long distance several times to visit him. He was there so long, almost all his followers in Pyungyang lost faith in him. They thought he would never return. Yet, whenever Father asked Mrs. Oak, "How is everyone?" she would always answer, "Theyre fine." She couldnt bear to give him bad news, especially when she saw how he was suffering.
He wore such miserable clothing, and became so thin! She always brought rice meal and clothing for him, even though she knew he just gave it away.
Sometimes, he would be moved to another location, and she couldnt easily find him. Just before the Korean War began, she could receive no word of him at all for awhile. Sometimes, she and Won Pil Kim journeyed to the work sites, and he was nowhere to be found. They would ask the prisoners about him and they wouldnt know where he was. Then the spiritual world would tell them that he was still alive.
Later-during the time Father, Won Pil Kim and Mr. Pak were making their long journey from Pyungyang to Pusan on foot-Grandmother Oak went to Pusan with her family. She lost touch with Father.
Grandmother Oak had been in Pusan a few months just working and caring for her family. She had no idea where Father was. Then one day a young man appeared at her door. It was Won Pil Kim.
"Son sengnim sent me to find you," he said simply. Those were the most welcome words she had ever heard. Her heart soared. He had been looking for her for quite awhile, and had learned where she lived from a Christian minister nearby.
"Tell me," she said excitedly, "what kind of clothes does he have on?"
"Hes wearing old green pants, a ragged jacket, and rubber shoes-the same things he always wears. Why?"
Mrs. Oak shook her head. "Those are the same clothes he wore in North Korea. First, I will make him a new set of clothes; then, I will visit him." And she did.
From that point on, she went to the mountain to be with Father as often as she could. She helped with his cooking and cleaning, so he could have more time for spiritual work.
Many times, she climbed the hill to the little shack. Later, when they set up a tent beside the shack so more people could gather to pray, she was often there. When there were people to take care of, she was there. When there was something urgent to pray for, she was there.
Father loved her so very much-his dear Oak Halmonie (grandmother).
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