The Words of the Platt Family
We left for Chung Pyung Training Center at 6:30 am from the training center in Guri. When we arrived we had breakfast at the cafeteria and were also given guidelines for how to properly do Ansu "Cheon Young Yoksa." We were instructed on how to properly remove evil spirits from our bodies and the purpose behind Ansu.
After the instructions we gathered in one of the smaller rooms of the Cheon Hwa Building which could hold up to 300 people. For 70 minutes we did Cheon Young Yoksa Session (ansu) with all the workshop trainees. After Cheon Yang, we all gathered at the Cheong Shim Won Prayer Hall. There we prayed and were also given a history lesson about Chung Pyung and how it came to be. For some of the GPA members it was there first time coming to Chung Pyung.
After the history lesson, we all were given a tour of the most important buildings in Chung Pyung. We first went from the Cheong Shim Won prayer hall to the Cheon Jung Tower. Outside surrounding the tower are pictures engraved into the walls of True Parents and all their victories. After touring the tower we walked into the Heavenly Palace where large number of members exceeding 2000 gather. Only when True Parents, True Children, or Dae Mo Nim come to speak do they turn on all the lights. Today they made an exception. After the tour we were all given gifts from Chung Pyung (comic books and an audio disc for the book).
We were taken to the Cheong Shim Hospital to continue our tour. At the hospital our new tour guide was a former member of STF (now GPA) named Yoshiko. She showed us a video advertisement for the Cheong Shim Hospital. In short Yoshiko explained that the hospital used western scientific methods, traditional eastern medicine, as well as spiritual methods for healing. We were all given acupuncture pens as gifts. In our tour we got to try out some free samples of facial products.
After the hospital, we were given an opportunity to pray at the top of the mountain. We were advised not to unless we truly wanted to brave it out. Due to the heavy snow experienced recently in the area, climbing the mountain would have been very challenging. Nonetheless, many GPA members made it to the top and prayed at the Tree of Blessing. Before and after climbing the mountain, we all drank from the "Water of Life." It is said to heal any illness so long as you believe in it. The water is special because in order to find it, Dae Mo Nim put her life on the line by doing over 10,000 bows.
Next we went to the Cheong Shim Graduate School of Theology for a tour. The president Dr. Kim gave a presentation of the school and Dr. Carlson held a quick Q and A session. His main message was that we are the future generation that will bring in a new culture. The school creates what they call Chun Il Guk (CIG) Lifestyle. After the presentation and the Q and A, we all took a tour of the main building. The Campus was located at the foot of the mountain of the Original Palace (Cheong Jung Pace Palace).
Next we took a sneak-peak tour of the World Peace Center, which is expected to be completed in its construction by March 2012; right on time for True Parents next Matching and Blessing ceremony. We got a chance to see the stages of development the stadium had gone through and we got to walk on two of the five floors. The Stadium will be the biggest venue in all of Korea, capable of seating over 25,000 people. Outside in the front we were able to see the names of the families who donated for the construction of the Stadium.
After the tour of the World Peace Center, we made our way to the Cheong Shim Youth Center. At the center we went into a room called the womb room. It was room designed to show what it was like to live within a womb. The exit way was also designed to show what it was like to be born. The youth Center was the 3rd best youth education center in all of Korea. At the moment, the youth center taught traditional Korean culture as well as proper family morals and ethics. It's dream is to one day be an education center for all different types of international cultures.
Next we went to the Cheong Jung Peace Palace. Upon entering a certain point of the quart yard, we were informed that we had just crossed the line between Heaven and Earth. We took a picture in front of the Palace and then prayed by the tree, which was the basis of the construction of the entire palace. We had about 40 minutes to tour the museum area of the Palace. After 40 minutes we gathered in the café and were given refreshments (hot chocolate and some cake from True God's Day.
Before leaving the palace, a couple of the GPA members bought some pictures of True Parents. We had to leave early because the roads had become icy. The later we left the more dangerous it would have become to drive down the mountain. Before ending the day we held a quick choir practice session.
"The moment we stepped over the heavenly line. I could feel God's joy in the only place where he can dwell on earth. True Father is the only person who was able to build God a home where he could live happily with us. It was so amazing to experience that and I will forever cherish that memory."
"It was nostalgic to be back in Chung Pyung since seven years ago. Looking back I didn't really understand what we did but being there
Today, I was moved by how In Jin Nim represents the second generation. She's helped me realize who True Parents are and how to change the culture. It's so inspiring to see the fruit of what True Parents have sown."
Thanh Le bought us all breakfast today. It was extremely cold outside. Today we were given a tour of the Il Hwa Factory, which was located in the complex where the Guri training center was. Before starting the tour we watched an introductory video on the Il Hwa Company. In the tour we were brought into the production factory where the ginseng was extracted.
After the tour in Il Hwa factory we drove to the Tongil Foundation in order to see Kook Jin Nim. Kook Jin Nim manages the Tongil Foundation as well as the Il Hwa Company. Before meeting Kook Jin Nim, we watched a video of Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim's visit to North Korea.
Before Kook Jin Nim and Ji Hye Nim arrived, we watched a presentation of all of the achievements the Church had made in Korea. When Kook Jin Nim arrived he briefly went over what he had mentioned at the CARP assembly, Korea becoming a strong nation. He also mentioned that the Korean churches were doing better than fine. The Church in Korea was flourishing. After his talk, the GPA choir and the Quintessentials performed for Kook Jin Nim and Ji Hye Nim.
After Kook Jin Nim's talk, a special report on the "Kwak group" was given to us. The speaker shared the chronological order of events that led up to the incident. After the presentation we made our way to a Korean War Museum, recommended to us by Heather Thalheimer. The wars introduced the culture in Korea dating back to the 13th century to World War Two.
Tonight we went to the Dragon Spa, there we washed up and ate dinner. Some of the GPA members met a group of missionaries that were meeting each other. A few GPA members sang for them.
We packed up to leave the Guri training center and had breakfast. We went on the bus and drove about 4 hours to an elderly home. Later we found out it was owned by a member. We sang songs on each of the 4 floors, then split into 4 groups and spent a couple hours giving love to them. We cleaned, gave them massages, helped serve lunch.
After lunch, we were given a testimony by the director, who was a member. She gave a testimony about her experience with True Father and the earlier days of the church, when spiritual phenomenon was common. After she spoke, we sang as a choir and performed Arirang.
We then made our way from the elderly home to Yoh Su, where father spent the first 10 Ahn Shi Il (85 days Hoon Dok Hae and fishing), and where he bought 3 islands. The drive there took 5 hours, we arrived at 7 pm, and had dinner. Then we had a quick orientation of Blue Ocean Gardens, then closed in teams.
"I had a really good experience being able to serve at the nursing home because our time in Korea was a lot about receiving and I felt the opportunity to give. I was so inspired by the old people because they were so eager to love us. I feel like the elderly people are the wisest because they have been through so much. Their love for us by touching our hand and saying "Saranghae yo" showed me God's love. I really felt like we were one family. Not because we are in the church but because they had such a strong sense of family. I am so grateful to be their granddaughters for a day."
"To see the elderly people react instantly to "Arirang" by singing along off-beat and off-pitch made me understand how much just singing means to them. I feel as if we connected to the elders by more than just words, but through the heart."
Today we woke up for Hoon Dok Hae at 4:30. We met in a small room where True Parents would stay and give Hoon Dok Hae. After Hoon Dok Hae we heard a testimony from a member from the Busan church, who joined with his mother. He talked about Ocean providence. After his talk, Kevin Yoon talked about keeping a tradition of heart of attendance by always bowing in a room that True Parents have spoken.
After breakfast, we went on a boat ride on 3 of Father's boats. We were able to see the 3 islands that belong to Father, and see his fishing spots. After the boat(ride, we packet up and went on a 5 hour trip to Busan.
Before going to the church center, we stopped at a tourist mountain park, and took pictures by a cliff, while watching a beautiful sunset by the ocean. After the walk around the whole mountain, we said goodbye to Jaga Gavin and Victoria Roomet, who had been with our group the entire time in Korea. We finally arrived at the Busan church at 7 pm, and ate a nice meal made by the members. We were given an orientation by Rev. Lee (National Messiah for Austria) about his mission in Busan.
After the orientation, we were to taken to a local spa to get ourselves clean. The Busan Church had no showers. After returning from the spa, we celebrated Harumi's birthday. Everyone then prepared their hearts to bid farewell to five people who were leaving our group the next morning. Kevin Yoon Hyung gave his life story in Korea.
"We got to go as a group on a boat tour on True Father's boats. Our captain took us to see around 12 different little islands and father's fishing spots, including two that true father owns. They also took us to a bridge that was still under construction which is part of an 11 bridge plan to make a resort area in yeosu. It was all well planned for that beautiful day, and I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we were grateful to be able to go out that day on true father's boats"
"It was a really precious experience to meet Kook Jin Nim in a private setting. I liked hearing his talk of a strong Korea. I really liked that he emphasizes a strong Abel to defeat Cain. I love how all the True Children have a different angle but work toward a common purpose. I can see how In Jin Nim's passion for media, Hyung Jin Nim's passion for religion, and Kook Jin Nim's passion for business and defense work together and express the love they have for True Parents."
We woke up at the Busan Church center. We gathered outside in order to get on our buses. We were going to visit the first holy ground Beom Naet Gol. This was where True Father built his first church out of cardboard. In order to get to Pom Il Chul, we first had to climb a mountain which took us about 50 minutes. We prayed at the rock of tears, one of the first holy grounds. There father prayed intensely and two rocks laid close to each other. The rocks represented True Parents.
At the top of the mountain was the First Holy ground. There we prayed out loud in Unison and joined Yas in three years of Og Mansei. At the bottom of the mountain we entered an area where the first Church had been built. It was no longer there, however the stone that it was built on still remained. In this building we took a picture and signed our names in a record book. To the right of the building was another building with a well that father had dug up.
We returned to the Church center for Sunday service. We returned to the church and changed into our Sundays best. The choir met up a few minutes before service started and ran through the songs that we would be singing. The service was a repeat of Hyung Jin Nim's service that we had attended last week.
After service we quickly packed our stuff and boarded our buses outside. We were in a rush to make sure that we arrived at the port in Busan to catch our Ferry. Thanh Le had conveniently prepared lunch boxes for us to eat on our bus ride. We all thanked our bus drivers and patiently waited for our boarding passes. As we began going through bag checks we said our good byes' to everyone.
Finally we boarded our ship and got settled into our rooms. The ship left after a long wait. For the remainder of the day, our GPA group participated in many events throughout the ship ride. The ride was expected to take 16 to 18 hours.
Before closing, the GPA choir met to learn a new Japanese song called "Furusato." Within 2 hours the choir was able to memorize one verse.
"Climbing the mountain was difficult but the view was worth it. That was the first holy ground that Father made and after that so many holy grounds were established like the one by my house. He personally came here and blessed the land so that I have somewhere to go to when I pray. The view overlooking the city was so beautiful, and I am so grateful to be able to see the view from the top."
"I think getting the to the Holy Ground, I realized how much it resembled Father's life. He paved the way going through the rock of tears so that we would be able to stand with him at the top of the mountain, following the path he has paved for us. We as his children are able to stand with him and overlook the amazing city."