The Words of the Platt Family
We arrived at the Cheon Bok Gung early to prepare the choir for the service today. The GPA choir sat in a small section in the front of the Sanctuary facing the audience. The first song performed was, "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel?" The second song performed was "Shall We Gather by the River?" which we sang as people in the audience paired up and prayed for one another. Usually Church's tend to conform to the surrounding culture. Attending Church at the Cheon Bok Gung, really introduced us to the Korean culture. Our final song was "Arirang."
Hyung Jin Nim's Service was titled "God of Day, God of Night" which in a Nutshell was inspired by a realization that he had. Our Heavenly parent because he is invisible, is the God of Night, and our True Parents because we can see them, is our God of Day. Hyung Jin Nim was so focused throughout his sermon. A mic fell down and almost hit a choir member and he didn't even flinch as the thud sporadically resonated through the room.
After service, Hyung Jin Nim and Dr. Bo Hi Pak greeted us. We took a picture with both of them. Dr. Bo Hi Pak declared that our version of Arirang was better than the Korean version.
After the pictures we had some lunch and met back at the chapel of the Cheon Bok Gung to receive our rewards. While we were seated, Rev Cotter announced our names one by one and handed us our rewards. With what were given, In Jin Nim recommended that we go shopping and get our families and friends nice gifts, and also treat ourselves.
As we left Cheon Bok Gung, we made our way to the Unification Headquarters, which as a museum, paid tribute to True Parents. After the seeing the museum, we made our way to the former home of the True Family; the home where Father's tears rotted the floor beneath him as he prayed. As we entered we sat down to pray on individual mats facing the front of a classroom where father had once taught members. The tour guide in charge of taking care of the home allowed us to walk around the house. We got to see the rooms of all the True Family that had lived there at one time. We also got to see many rooms where Father and Mother had had many memories in.
We closed the tour by circling up and singing the song "Blessing of Glory". As we were circled up we all joined in a vocal unison prayer, and finally were led in three cheers of Ok Mansei, by our Commander Yas.
After the visiting the former Church HQ/ home of True Family, we went shopping at a shopping center called Doota. It was an eight floor complex with multiple stores. We spread out throughout the area in order to shop and made many good impressions on the locals who showed great interest in our large group.
Today we all woke up and did Hoon Do Hae in our teams. We hopped on a bus to head over to a North Korean DMZ/ museum. As we took the tour of the building we watched a presentation of the DMZ's vision of bringing peace between North and South Korea. After touring the DMZ, we met outside and sang a holy song in front of the DMZ. Then we took photos, got on the bus, and headed for the Next DMZ.
In the second DMZ we visited, all teams got a chance to ring the bell of peace. This experience was very sacred in that the bell was not freely open to the public. The 120 clergy members that visited Korea ringed this same bell.
After the bell, we also took a picture by a train that was on its way to Pyong Yang sometime in the 1950s, but never made it to its destination due to the constant fire of bullets aimed towards it. After seeing the last bit of the DMZ with the 30 minutes we had to walk around, we returned to our buses.
We then made our way to the burial ground of the True Family members. There to greet us at the Burial ground was Im Kil Che, an 83-year-old member who is in charge of keeping the burial grounds tended to. This man moved up the mountain so quickly, despite his age, and his hands testified to how hard he worked all his life. We visited Heung Jin Nim, Hae Jin Nim, Dae Mo Nim, Great Uncle Yoon Guk Moon, Hyo Jin Nim, Seung Jin Nim.
Im Kil Che also offered us great hospitality. He invited all of us into his prayer room which could hardly fit us all in. We managed by cramming tightly inside. Inside this room, we could see his entire collection of books of all of True Parents words and speeches. We sang to him and his wife the song Arirang. His wife offered us warm McCol, and explained that according to mother, warm McCol can cure almost any illness.
After visiting the historical burial site, we returned to the training center in Guri. There, we were given time to reflect on all the experiences we had in Korea up until now. After reflection, we were taken into a room where one of the Korean choirs usually practices in. There we practiced a few songs we were planning to perform the next day.
"I wasn't expecting there to be a building there. I thought there was going to be a tour guide and a fence. When we got there I realized there was a building. I thought it was sad that they had binoculars there to look at the people on the other side of the river like they weren't citizens of the world. I thought it was so cool to see so many wish papers. To know that so many people are wishing for the same thing is comforting and True Father has been working on so much, so I believe that union between North and South Korea is definitely achievable maybe even in True Parents lifetime."
"I've been to the cemetery before during GOP but this time it was so much more meaningful. I think it is because I understand how much they've done for the church and how much heart is behind their passing. Even though I wont be able to understand their heart completely, I am able to understand it more deeply."
We started our day heading for the Korean Cultural Foundation inc., home of the Little Angels. It had an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school all in the same property. Greeting us upon entering was Dr. Bo Hi Pak. He personally gave us a tour of the Little Angels training area, and all of their achievements. Halfway through the tour, we watched a video of the Little Angels 16 Nation tour. The video showed the world's reaction to the gratitude displayed by the Little Angels.
After the video, Dr. Bo Hi Pak brought us to the next floor, which held the greatest theatre in Korea; greatest in quality not size. There we were given a private live performance of the little angels. They performed three of their dances: "Flower Crown Dance", "Fan Dance", "Drum Dance". The stage crew did an amazing job clearing and filling the stage with props for the next dance. After their amazing performance, GPA gave them a standing ovation. Then choir made their way to the stage and humbly introduced themselves to the Little Angels. GPA performed "Daniel", "River", and "Arirang".
After performing to the Little Angels Dr. Bo Hi Pak had gifted us all with DVD's of the 16 Nation tours of the Little Angels, and a DVD of all the Little Angels Performances. Dr. Pak then invited us to SamWon Garden for lunch. The restaurant is one of the best Korean barbeque restaurants. Thanks to Kevin Yoon, we were able to stay on schedule wherever we went, although the momentous meal with Dr. Park was hard to diverge from.
At the restaurant, Dr. Pak gave us an inspiring lecture about his experience with True Father. His main message that he wanted to get across was that we as second generation have this amazing privilege. We know that we are living in the time of the messiah. He said that we have to be soldiers for God and True Parents. Based on his experience, he said soldiers put their lives on the line; "soldiers do not die, they only fade away." – General MacArthur.
After lunch, Dr. Bo Hi Pak and his wife waved goodbye as we left and gave us a heart shaped farewell. Our next destination was Sun Moon University. We met on the sixth floor of the main building for an orientation of the school and the programs it offers. Lym Hwa Kim, a first year member of GPA had already completed two years at Sun Moon University and was currently the model for the school pamphlet.
When the orientation had finished, we were taken into the 12th floor of the main building. There we were given a tour of the floor where true Family would stay if they were to visit the school. We were then given a tour of the brothers dorms as well as the University's Museum. Our last destination was the world Café, student lounge. We offered the tour guides, also known as IPA's (International Protocol Agents), the song "For the Longest Time" by the Quintessentials.
"Singing for the little angels was such an amazing experience. My entire being brightened up seeing their smiles. After watching them perform I felt so unworthy to stand on that stage."
Dr. Bo Hi Park at Samwon Garden: "General MacArthur said that soldiers never die. Because I fought for the Korean war maybe I will never die. But he said soldiers fade away. Bo Hi Pak will fade away. It is time for the second generation to lead the way to True Parents."