Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Won Pil Kim
Testimony of Father's Life
Rev. Won Pil Kim
October 14, 1979
I want you to understand that whenever I begin to say something about Father's early life, tears always roll down at just the memory. It is awkward, but it cannot be helped, so please understand. When we feel like crying we can do so and then feel relieved, but what about Father? Father cries very much but he is successful in not showing his tears to us. You can understand he is not free to cry spontaneously as we are. The one who can cry is more fortunate than the one who feels like crying yet cannot.
When God sees Father living his life step by step, persevering through impossible difficulties every moment of these long, long forty years and even longer for God's sake, holding back his tears and simply going on, He feels so relieved and fortunate. On the day when God Himself can burst into tears, our Father will be able to cry with Him. That will be the day when Father can cry as much as his heart desires.
What will be the day God can cry? Because we do not understand the utterly desolate and deprived feeling of God's heart at having lost absolutely everything, and of our Father's heart in consoling God, we act as we want and are like young children. But when we are mature enough to deeply shed tears in comprehension of God's heart and our Father's heart, that will be the day God cries also. How can Father shed tears when he is wanting us to come forward? He nurtures us whom he sees as his young children, wanting and trying to step forward, so how can he cry when we cannot begin to understand his sadness?
First we must understand that our Father is hungry just as we are. He is no different in that respect. He does not receive some special strength from God, so he feels overwhelmed with tiredness just as we do. He feels elation as we do, and overwhelming sadness as well. But he is the champion who has persevered and overworked himself more than anyone else in the past. It may seem that Father does not feel overworked when we only look at him. Many very spiritual members of the early Unification Church in Korea have testified that when they prayed to God to show them how sad and laden with difficulty both God and Father feel, then heaven revealed God's heart as being black with sadness and tiredness. When heaven shows a person Father's heart then that person completely breaks down crying. That is heaven's answer.
It is rather easy to understand this simply by placing ourselves in Father's position. As soon as we hear the Divine Principle we feel a strong urge to spread these words that God is speaking to the entire world. Your first impulse is to tell your closest friend, and then later to witness to those in your neighborhood. But often the people don't listen very well and you return exhausted. You cry out to God. The harder you try, the more exhausted you become and soon you don't want to try any more. Yet you realize that the people are dying in darkness so you go out again.
When you arrive to begin witnessing again you feel the need to cry as you did before, but all of a sudden you can't. Although you are deeply saddened inside, you try not to show it but instead try to act happy. This is because you want to show the people some hope. You know how difficult spiritual growth is, so you know what lies ahead for your spiritual children. How can you show them your tears and cause them to lose hope? You simply act stronger and happier than you feel at that moment until they can grow up and share that same feeling with you. Through this experience you can understand how God and our Father feel toward us. With this reminder, I would like to go more deeply into some of our Father's experiences.
I first saw Father in July of 1946. At that time he was 27 (Korean age) and 26 by Western counting. World War II ended in the Pacific on August 15, 1945. Korea had been under severe persecution by Japan ever since 1905, and yet even during that time Korea was still one united country. Moreover, as a result of agreement between Russia and America, Korea was divided in two virtually overnight and free travel from the North to the South became impossible. By 1946, almost a year later, the boundary was so strongly guarded that travel was extremely difficult; it was like trying to cross the Berlin Wall.
Father leaves for North Korea
At that time Father was already married and had a son who was two months old. On June 6 Father left his house to attend to an errand for his family, and while he was walking toward his destination heaven told him to go straight to North Korea. He obeyed this direction and went, never even going home to tell his wife good-bye. He somehow managed to cross through this heavily guarded border area, and entered North Korea, arriving in Pyongyang.
Father first visited all the famous holy mountains in North Korea, investing himself totally in praying for heaven and for humanity, and meeting the many faithful people who also prayed there. I met him soon after he returned to Pyongyang from this journey, one month after he arrived in North Korea.
While Father was visiting these famous places and spiritual people, he eventually arrived at the house of a patriot who was well known throughout Korea. (This man eventually came to America and finally died in this country.) At that time this man's sister was very ill. She was an old woman and many cures had been tried unsuccessfully, so when Father visited that house they asked Father to pray for her. He did and she got much better. Later Father appeared in one of her dreams, and a scroll, like those commonly used to record words of wisdom in Korea, was unrolled before her. She understood that the concluding words signified the end of her illness, but Father had left out one part of an essential Chinese character, without which the meaning was not complete. She realized that he had done almost everything but that there was still something she must do; she knew that no one could cure an illness 100%, but that she also had some responsibility in making the cure complete. Father later told this story to early Church members, and I heard it then.
During those first months in Pyongyang Father was staying in a house where two couples also lived. These husbands and wives were so seriously in search of heaven's guidance that long before meeting Father they had started living as brother and sister, having no physical relationship. Father lived there for some time and began church work in their house.
During the forty years of Japanese domination, there had been no freedom of worship in Korea and the churches were oppressed in many ways. The authorities demanded that everyone worship the Japanese emperor, which of course no Christian would do. The churches finally became empty as Christians withdrew to worship in small groups in their own homes. When liberation came in 1946, however, the Christians were once again free to worship in their churches, so the Christian groups were growing like wildfire and the spirit was higher than at any other time.
Korean Christianity was only one hundred years old in 1946, but the people's faith had an extremely high standard of spirituality. Many individuals and groups received revelations that Christ was coming to Korea. One group in particular was very strong spiritually and faithful to what they received. They were told that their main responsibility was to safeguard their revelations and to make preparations for the Lord who was to come shortly They devoted everything they had in expectation of this event.
Pyongyang was often called the Jerusalem of Korean Christianity. Anyone who was in search of great spiritual truth somehow made his way sooner or later to Pyongyang, and it became a greatly spiritual city Some Korean Christians there had simply fantastic spiritual experiences. Perhaps Pyongyang was a focal point because the Christian missionaries came first to Korea through Manchuria, not up through the South. Father's village was very close to the Manchurian border, and Pyongyang was close by.
I want to tell you a little bit about Korean society at that time. Korea was a hermit nation, nothing like America or even Europe. There was absolutely no equality of men and women. Women were discouraged from getting an education, though all the men who could went to school. It was emphasized that women must keep pure and chaste and devote themselves to preparing for marriage. As a result, the few of them who learned to read and write did so at home, not at school. Because they couldn't get an education, even women of a higher station in life could not read the Bible. But in dreams and visions the spirit world would show the meaning of the Bible to the women who were earnestly seeking understanding. This kind of event was commonplace and was accepted by people of faith.
The social custom of the time prohibited a woman from cutting across the path of any man. It was not thought to be proper or polite. A wife of any decent background never ate at the same table with her husband, but always waited until afterward, and then sat at the end of the table and ate the leftovers. What is called free love today was completely unimaginable, and the choice of marriage partners was completely in the hand of parents. They would look around and decide who was best and their daughter's wish was not important. There was no exception to this.
This was the environment of Korean culture at that time, and it is important in understanding how Father worked under the circumstances. Otherwise, you could never understand the true meaning behind his actions.
Christianity in North Korea
In those years the Christian standard was very high. Many Bibles were well thumbed from frequent use and the comers of the pages were rounded instead of square. Though many people could not read, they had sung hymns so often that they knew them by heart, even songs of seven and eight verses. Usually only newcomers needed hymnals to sing from, and the congregations shouted out the songs with great feeling. This was the depth of their faith.
I often saw Father with his Bible, and once I looked at it closely. On every page were red marks, and in the margins, in writing smaller than a sesame seed, Father had written sentence after sentence. His Bible was full of comments and reflections.
Devout Christians, as well as many non-Christian religious people, used to go to the mountains to pray deeply, and consequently many people received revelations from heaven. One striking thing about their experience was that they received revelations very similar to the Principle. However, the ministers frequently taught something in church that was quite different from these revelations, even though the people who had received them were faithful Christians. Even in America today clergymen are often respected and honored, but in Korea at that time they received more than respect. The congregations thought of them as almost being God, and when these ministers spoke, their people believed them utterly. They had absolute trust and obedience toward their ministers, so naturally when they could not carry out some instruction from their minister they thought they were doomed, or felt as though they were dying.
Here is one example of what was happening at that time. Christians were taught that Jesus came to die for the sake of mankind and that we received salvation through his death; they believed that they only had to believe in Jesus and then would be saved unconditionally. But when revelations were received, they revealed that Jesus was not supposed to die on the cross to save mankind. Also, these Christians had always believed in original sin, but spirit world was revealing something about the nature of original sin that was quite different from what the churches were teaching. None of these people knew Divine Principle, but many had received some glimpse of it from spirit world, such as what the original sin was, what Jesus was supposed to accomplish, as well as many other points.
When people who were worshipping at home had received revelations, they were greatly overjoyed at the insights they were given, but they faced the dilemma that it was different from what the ministers were teaching. They couldn't believe the ministers were wrong, yet all indications said that the revelation was right. During the Japanese occupation they could not freely discuss their revelations, but after the liberation they were free to talk among themselves at church. With great excitement they went to church, certain that the minister would give them the right answer. They would tell their minister that heaven had revealed to them that Jesus didn't come to die, for instance. The ministers were amazed and puzzled to hear what these people were saying, and had to decide how to respond. Finally, they decided that somehow Satan had been working, and these people should pray harder not to be deceived by him.
This is not hard to understand. Thirty years ago many of the people receiving such revelations were simple people from mountain villages. They only had education which they had received at home, and their knowledge of the Bible was coming through the revelations received in their prayers. Ministers just could not believe the revelations these simple people were given.
Naturally these people felt that if heaven would reveal these deep truths to such uneducated people as themselves that surely the same revelations had been given to their ministers. Therefore, they expected that their ministers would surely understand. But the ministers told them instead that an evil spirit was working. Then the people were disheartened and felt they could only return to praying again for understanding. The understanding they were given was that the minister was wrong, which left them in an impossible situation and not knowing where to turn. This kind of phenomenon was quite common in 1946 when Father first arrived in North Korea.
Soon word spread about this deeply spiritual young man from the South who worshipped not only in spirit but in truth. Father could give a very clear explanation of the revelations that people were receiving which their ministers could not accept. This relieved the people so much that they would not return to their old churches. In addition to episodes like this, many people who had never heard of Father would be told by God that if they would go to a certain place they would meet a young man from South Korea who was the Lord they had been waiting and longing for. They might even be given a very detailed map showing how to find him. This didn't happen just once or twice, but many times.
Many people who were seriously looking for some direction from heaven came to visit Father in hope of receiving guidance, and many of them stayed. Women especially were never free to come and go as they liked from their parents' home or in-laws' home, so their coming to see Father was an event of life or death importance. Nevertheless, the women who were strongly seeking to know the truth of heaven had already gone through many tests of life and death. Often they had prayed that they were willing to die as long as they could know the right way to go, and when they heard the news about this young man from the South the only thing that mattered was that they go at any cost. People found Father in many different ways in those years.
One of my earliest memories of going to Father's church was hearing Father teach over the course of two weeks about the book of Romans in the New Testament. That was in July, Korea's hottest season. The church was very small, a room perhaps ten feet by ten feet. The room was completely packed and not one more person could fit inside. Father was 27, and he spoke in a most forceful, dynamic way. We all know Father's stamina now that he is close to sixty, but in the prime of his youth his teaching was like thunder and lightning.
When he finished a sermon his clothes were wringing wet, as though they had just been taken from washing in a sink. He would take his shirt off afterwards and literally wring sweat from it. Perhaps anyone would sweat like that in summer, but Korean winter clothes have thick cotton padding to keep warm in the fierce cold. Yet even in winter Father's clothes were never dry; cotton absorbs much water, but even in winter Father had to wring his clothes out after a sermon.
Today we follow a schedule in training sessions with meals and breaks, but in those days Father never followed a schedule. He started talking and never stopped for a break, yet everyone was so absorbed that they just listened for hours and hours. They never thought about going to the bathroom, but only left when they finally had to depart for some reason. There was no break. You may think Father's sermons are long now, but they are actually not long at all. I was very surprised when I came to America and realized what short sermons Father was giving here. It was not that way in Korea. An average sermon was six to eight hours, and that was without translation. That would be the equivalent of sixteen hours here with translation.
People who heard Father for the first time would often be so strongly impressed that they were intoxicated with what he was saying. Without realizing it, they would begin to prophesy and speak. Sometimes they spoke in tongues, and then another person would stand to give the interpretation of what was said. Many times these people would tremble, a clear sign of spiritual sensitivity. This trembling or vibrating was frequent, and sometimes the whole group would be caught up in it. The people wouldn't be doing it voluntarily but because of spiritual influence. Many times they were so overcome that in spite of themselves they would stand up and dance. Sometimes when you are totally happy you don't move your entire body, just your arms, which can be very becoming.
Often there were dramatic scenes in the Church at that time and also later in South Korea. Not only serious people would come, but sometimes cynical or even evil people. These people couldn't be identified just by looking at them, but one of the members might stand up and make his way through the crowded room, without even bumping into another member of the group, and walk over to one of these people and give him a powerful kick or jab in the side. No one knew what was going on, but the person who was struck would cry out in repentance on the spot, sobbing for forgiveness.
The spirituality in such an environment was such that the whole congregation was caught up in spiritual fire. A real spiritual electricity like fire would spread among the group and you could actually feel a white heat coming from outside to inside at such a time. This heat was very intense, but it was never uncomfortable. It would bring momentary relief from cares and worries, and even cure physical illness, as well as console and soothe. When a person experienced this he might jump across the room, even six feet or so, and no one could understand how he did it. The heat of this fire might leave a blackish bum on the skin.
One common characteristic of spiritual people is their stubbornness. You can never dissuade them from something they believe in. Their messages often contradict each other, but still each one remains convinced that what he was shown has to be the right thing. Though Father is certainly spiritual, he is not this way at all. When Father starts teaching he goes on and on, but Father does not persuade only by using eloquence. In private Father is often silent, not speaking even for days, yet people still can understand what he wants them to receive. Yet when Father does start to speak out, spiritual phenomena ignite the whole atmosphere.
Now it may be difficult for you to understand that experience; the only way you could know about it is by hearing about it from someone who was there. One common denominator of spiritual experience is that it is never quiet, and often it may sound as though you were standing in a busy marketplace. Can you be quiet when you are happy? You may be whispering yet actually speaking in a loud voice. When you are happy your body doesn't want to remain still. If someone wins $1,000 on a television show, he can hardly help jumping around. One way of expressing joy is to act as spontaneous as a child because you don't consider who you are when you are really happy.
You can imagine what happened when Father gave a sermon in those days. People would be caught up in a spiritual fire and in receiving a spiritual message. They could be consumed in crying in repentance, and then their sorrow would be replaced by joy and relief and they would begin dancing. People in Korea frequently have some ailment like a stomach malady or backache, but when they were touched by the spiritual fire they would be cured. People who were not spiritually sensitive could view such an event yet never understand what was taking place.
The service would begin with Father's prayer, a most intense prayer which we rarely see now, and then he would lead hymn singing. Then he would pray again, a long and very intense, urgent prayer. After leading another spirited hymn Father would pray a third time. After leading everyone in singing again, he would start the sermon. Father always spoke for many hours, but afterward no one wanted to leave. He was always happy to see that people wanted to stay afterward because he hated to see anyone go, no matter what business they had.
Often some food was left over when Father finished eating. Once Father gave some of his food to a man who had been coming often to the Church. He was very wealthy, but he had a stomach problem and had a hard time eating. But when Father offered him food he felt obligated to take it. He was prepared to feel an upset stomach, but as soon as he ate he felt quite good. He told Father that experience later, and Father laughed and gave him more food. After eating a few times his stomach problem disappeared. Then the rumor started that our Church's food was miracle food. Amidst all the difficulties and increasing persecution, our members enjoyed some consolation because of this.
Each person agreed that though they had better quality food at home, the food at the Church was best. Poor people came and naturally they liked the food, but rich people also said this. Of course, I could go on and on in this way, but I had better talk about some specific happenings.
Although these Korean Christians had been taught about Jesus for many years, they were far from being fulfilled, feeling that they lacked much understanding. In response to their sincere prayers they would receive teaching from spirit world and they would be overjoyed, especially when they found clarification in the Bible. When their revelations were explained by Father, they felt they clearly understood, and their first impulse was to go to their minister, with the confidence that they could make him understand.
But having understanding and being able to explain are two different things, and there can be difficulty when we try to convince others who don't hold our basic beliefs. When these people went to their ministers, the clergymen not only didn't understand or agree, but would tell them they were wrong. Ministers know more Bible passages than the average layman, and many times the people's minds were changed by their minister's logic. Even though the revelation from heaven was clear, it was not uncommon for such people not only to be dissuaded but to have their faith weakened as well. If they had had a Divine Principle book as we do now they could have re-read the truth and understood again, but at that time they had to rely on memory, which is not always strong.
The majority of people were not that indecisive, however, and remained on Father's side. They had seen unmistakable proof, so when their ministers would not change, these people usually left their old churches. Often these people were wealthy and their churches depended on their donations and their example to inspire other members. When such a pillar of the church departed to follow the young man from South Korea, the ministers became alarmed, thinking that their churches would be ruined financially if this continued. This was the beginning of persecution of our Church, which had become a substantial group at that time.
Many ministers offered to accompany their members and talk to this young man and discuss the Bible, thinking they would prove to their member who was right and who was wrong. These ministers would come to argue about the Bible with Father. When you witness long enough you become so spiritually sensitive that you know what a person's intentions are when he approaches you. Father is even more sensitive, and he knew ahead of time what kind of questions these ministers had in mind. He would receive them warmly, and then raise their questions himself and give the answers. The ministers would find they had nothing else to say and the layman would see that his own minister was dumbfounded. Yet later when they returned to the church, the minister would speak badly of Father. The layman knew this made no sense, however.
This kind of thing was an everyday occurrence, and eventually the ministers could find nothing else to criticize. However, they used their stature and influence to slander Father to government officials, saying that Father was bothering the churches. Of course, Father was affecting the churches because key figures in the congregations were coming to follow him instead, but based on the criticism of the ministers, the government accused Father of disrupting the social order.
History records that this first persecution of our Church was very simple -- it did not emerge from high ideals or conscience, but only because the financial resources of the churches were disrupted when the wealthy members followed Father. Because the ministers had community influence, they did as they liked and complained to the government.
The early Church members had a serious desire to know the truth, and when they discovered Father they were like children, wanting to stay hours and hours with Father instead of returning to their homes. For them Father was more important than anything else, and whether they were young or old didn't make any difference. You can understand how people could misconstrue such passionate emotion. You know that this is the way Christian rebirth takes place. Jesus said that if you loved anyone more than him that you were not worthy of him. That same principle was truly manifested at the beginning of our Church.
Even before Father taught the people Divine Principle, spirit world was teaching spiritual people how the human ancestors fell. They immediately understood that their physical parents were not their true father and mother in God's eyes. Thus, they knew they had to find True Parents because their own physical lineage could not be approved by God. As soon as a person hears the truth, whether in listening to Divine Principle or in starting to receive revelations spiritually, strange things happen in a household. The moment a husband and wife come close to God, they find their attraction to each other fading, and their relationship with their parents changing. If a husband is searching and finds the truth before his wife does, he starts to pay less attention to her than he did. Then she worries that he is interested in another woman. It was common that when women came to our Church their husbands immediately suspected something of this kind. This was true even for old couples in their fifties and sixties.
If a couple came to the Church together, it was much easier for them to understand each other, but that was rare. Usually one or the other was stronger in faith. This was a situation that was hard to explain and hard to accept in the average marriage. A wife might be serving her husband more and showing more respect, but she would stubbornly refuse to have sexual relations, so it was very clear that something had changed. Until that time, if a wife went to church and came home late a husband would usually understand, even though he might not be so devout. But after she visited the Unification Church he felt something was definitely different and could never understand.
It is very important for you to know how and why persecution against Father began, because many of the same accusations are behind the persecution in America. My aunt, the person who brought me into the movement, had a very happy married life. Her lifetime desire was to meet the Messiah. Then she discovered Father. She came to the realization that she had met the One, and dedicated herself totally to him.
In order not to create a misunderstanding at home, even though she had given total dedication to the Church and Father, she became a better wife to her husband, serving and loving him more. However, she disavowed any sexual intercourse -- not because of Father's instruction, but because of God's instruction to live like a virgin until she was blessed. Her husband couldn't understand. He tried to dissuade her, but after a couple of years he couldn't stand it any longer and began to doubt Father and misunderstand him, thinking that his wife might have fallen in love with the Church leader. At the same time, his wife couldn't live without obeying Heavenly Father's instruction.
Her husband began publicly speaking evil stories about Father, insinuating that impure and adulterous activities were going on. Then he discovered that all other older women also obeyed the same instructions from God. The husbands banded together and called Father a heretic, saying he disturbed their family life. Strangely enough, age didn't seem to matter. In Korea the age of 60 is like 80 years old here, but even couples of that age would feel as jealous as young people. They assumed right away that the Church had to be immoral. This is how the rumors that the Unification Church is immoral got started.
I mention my aunt as an example because it was so real to me, but this phenomenon was everywhere at the time. The husbands' accusations were good material for the Christian churches to use against Father. They accused him of ruining family life by depriving husbands of their wives' love and of doing illegal things in the Church. Father was totally innocent. You know what he teaches and how he emphasizes purity, and that's the way it was from the very beginning. Furthermore, Father never asked those wives to give up their family life. God directly intervened through revelations, and thus the misunderstanding was born.
During those early years, my uncle often came to hurt Father, usually when he had been drinking heavily. Members would see him running down the street and alert Father and we would take precautions. He tried everything to stop his wife's coming to the Church. Only after 25 years did my uncle confess that during that time he observed his wife carefully and now he knew that Unification Church was the most Christian of Christian churches. Then he encouraged his own children to join.
When he understood that for rebirth to take place we have to be purified and blessed, he repented to God day and night. He finally came to Father and said, "Please forgive me, for I made a terrible mistake before you and before God. If you can accept me as a member of the Unification Church, I will be a most loyal member from now on." He joined, and from then on he knew the true value of his wife. He loved her more than anyone because he truly knew how great she was.
Recently he made a statement that he hoped everything he had done could be forgotten, and that when he died his one wish was to be buried in the Unification Church cemetery. He is a professor at a leading university, and he tells his students that if they are looking for a real church that they should go to the Unification Church. His colleagues know something of his wife's reputation from those early years, but he tells them that he knows of no more pure and outstanding person than his wife. All their children have joined and were blessed by Father several years ago. He was a most formidable enemy of our Father, but he repented, and at the last Day of Hope banquet he came and bowed deeply to Father, saying how much the spiritual world had told him.
Often when the Church needed money at that time people would receive a revelation to bring the money to Father. One man was told to bring everything he had to Father, but he was afraid he would have nothing left so he would keep some for himself. Spirit world had spoken to Father earlier so he knew ahead of time that this person was bringing the smaller portion and keeping the rest for himself. Father would not say anything, but a person nearby would ask why this person brought the smaller part. Then the man repented and apologized and brought all the money to give Father.
During that time Father's daily life was flooded with tears, in the morning and at night. In the early times Father's prayer occupied him many hours, and he prayed three times a day for each individual member.
Another of the standard rumors was that Unification Church used magic. A husband or wife who came to the Church changed gradually, of course, but to their spouse the change seemed dramatic and overnight. After fifteen or twenty years of marriage that person might change drastically in the course of a month. Usually a minister would spread some rumor that the Unification Church used magic on its members, and they not only talked about it but actually wrote the government to request an investigation.
You can imagine how the persecution mounted around Father and how enemies outside are trying to twist the heavenly truth to attack Father for their advantage. All kinds of evil things have been printed about Father in Korea, spreading allegations that are totally untrue. You know now how these things happen. We should feel how Father was misunderstood and how he suffered because of these false allegations. After many years these same people finally came and repented and Father accepted them. Father never rejects those who hated him, but accepts and forgives and blesses them. But you can imagine the burden Father bears because of those false allegations. The word spread from Korea all over the world and is still plaguing Father. I want you to understand how great Father's burden is.
Trial and Imprisonment
Father's ministry in North Korea ended February 22, 1948, when the Communist government decided to take him out of the city. That happened after Father had been in Pyongyang one year and ten months.
The authorities believed the rumors that Father practiced magic, so the guards thought they had to take precautions to make sure he didn't disappear when he was given time to go to the bathroom. For seven days they didn't let him eat or sleep, and took turns watching him. Father slept with his eyes open at that time and there was no way for them to know when he was awake or asleep. This story illustrates the success of the propaganda that had been spread about Father. The prison guards took it all literally because otherwise no one could believe that Father could gather so many people in such a short time.
The Christian opposition was at a rather primitive level at that time. Even though Christianity and Communism have absolutely nothing in common, Christian ministers went to the Communist government to protest about Father. The Christians allied themselves with Communism to persecute another Christian, even though it was clear that his quality was at least as high, if not higher, than theirs. The same thing happened later in South Korea. The Communist police were atheists and they were easily persuaded to accuse Father. A person without religion can easily be persuaded to oppose a religious person. This pattern has appeared again and again, as secular Christians have joined with Communists to persecute true religious activity. This hasn't changed since 2,000 years ago, when the Jews persuaded the Roman Empire to crucify Jesus.
To the Communists, the fact that Father was a religious leader was bad enough in itself, but these rumors were added reason to put Father in jail. The Communists wanted to use Father's trial as a classroom for training young Communists and alerting them to beware of Father's ideology. Their intent was to show that Father was a crazy man for believing in God. In addition to the many Communists in the courtroom, many Christians, among whom Father was well known, came to witness the trial. The entire room was jam-packed.
Father appeared in the courtroom just like any other convict or criminal, chained by the Communist police, his hair cut off like a monk's. As soon as Father entered the courtroom, the handcuffs were taken off and Father raised his hands in the air because it was the first time they were unchained. Then he sat down. Regardless of whether or not people watched them, our members prayed out loud.
Communist thinking says that just as man's mind could create invisible electricity, so the concept of God is a creation of man's mind. The judge began the trial by asking Father about his personal history, and when he found out that Father had been trained as an electrical engineer he asked how electricity was made. Father knew that the judge's real intention in asking this question was to lead up to a criticism of religion, so he answered in great detail. Because he clearly understood electricity much more than the judge did, the judge was afraid to ask any more questions and stopped Father at a convenient point.
The Communists also tried to prove that Father deceived the people in order to deprive them of their joy and their valuables. It is very easy for them to accuse a religious leader because a church always operates on contributions from the members; today in America churches operate on the same principle. The Communists said that Father taught the people falsehoods and exaggerated the truth, accusing him of making it all up. Today in this country Father is accused of brainwashing, and those Communists in North Korea were trying to say the same thing.
Words can be manipulated, and what was actually a donation freely given by a member was called Father's exploitation of ignorant people. When the judge read the sentence there was also a section charging Father with inventing things that were not factual. When he finished reading, the judge asked if Father had any comment to make. Everyone knew that the wisest thing to do under the circumstances would be to agree to the charge, no matter how outrageous, thinking that later the Communists would be sympathetic for their harsh treatment of a prisoner.
Father knew this reasoning, but he did not follow it. He protested about that one point that he had fabricated things that were not true, and demanded that the charge be dropped. Father never begged for sympathy, but protested that he had only spoken the truth. After a very shabby, sloppy court trial Father was sentenced to five years at hard labor in prison for the crime of having disturbed the social order.
Father's dignity in standing up under adverse conditions to speak against the verdict shocked all the Communist leaders watching. Their intention was to show the helpless, weak appearance of someone who believed in God, but instead they saw a man of conviction and courage. The trial had originally been scheduled for April 3, but it had been postponed until April 7 to enable all the high-ranking Communists to attend and witness the helplessness of this man of God. They regretted very much having brought the young Communists there to watch a supposedly weak man of God because Father's conviction about the truth had a big impact in exactly the opposite way than they intended.
I was overwhelmed at seeing how Father conducted himself in court. Though he was without sin himself, Father always cried in prayer for us sinners and begged for our forgiveness, but when he appeared before this court he was a prince of heaven. He acted naturally and stood up straight, which is something ordinary people would never do. I was overwhelmed with tears at Father's gallantry before this court.
The members had only experienced Father's heart, his sweetness, warmth and love. The image they had was of a father embracing his children. But in the courtroom the members discovered another aspect of Father, which was courageous, determined, bold and fearless. Even at the sentencing Father didn't look miserable or tragic, or even sad. His eyes and face were shining with hope. After the sentence, the police came and put the handcuffs back on, but Father raised his hands to the members in back of the room, encouraging them to be hopeful instead of discouraged, to really stand up for their principles. After giving that signal to the members, Father left the room.
When Father was to be escorted to prison the members went to see him as he was taken away. His hair had been shaved off and one hand was handcuffed. With the other hand he waved, and he smiled and told the members he would come back and not to lose heart. Then he was gone.
Every member had tears in his eyes, but as Father said later, on his way to prison he himself was full of hope that he was going to a situation where heaven would really do many things. He knew someone was waiting in that prison to meet him, and he was eager to meet this person whom he could love very much. Thus, he was full of hope, not in any make believe way, but in realistic expectation that heaven had prepared someone.
The living quarters for prisoners still under trial was separate from those for prisoners who had been sentenced. While he was still in these quarters, Father encountered one man who had given testimony against Father while Father was still under investigation. That person didn't want to greet Father, but Father spoke first, asking, "Don't you remember me?" This man could not just pass by without speaking, so he said, "Yes, of course." Then he apologized and said he was sorry for what he had done, but that he had been under tremendous pressure from the Communists to supply helpful testimony. He said that deep inside he had never wanted to do anything bad toward Father. Later that man brought food to Father when he was imprisoned.
Some time later the judge who sentenced Father visited the prison where Father was serving his term. How could Father find any worse enemy than this man? The judge knew that Father was there serving his sentence, and didn't want to see Father, but Father walked toward him and said hello. When the judge saw that Father forgave him, he apologized, saying, "You have no reason to be here. I know you are totally innocent, but I had to give you a sentence because my superior ordered me to and I didn't have any choice." Before he left the prison, the judge brought much food to Father.
This gives a glimpse of what could take place under that so-called legal system. No one really believed Father was a criminal, but Satan created a system that could impose an unjust procedure on him. Although he was innocent he was given a sentence that was totally unrealistic. In prison a prisoner is called by number, not by his name. Father's number was 596, which in phonetic Korean means "sorrowful." Even the number he was given revealed that Father represented the sorrow of God, the heartbreak of God. In this way heaven wanted to show protest at Father's being sent to prison.
When Father first went to prison, one of his cell mates was a man who was about to be executed. He had formerly been an officer in the Korean army, and after Korea was divided he was serving under a North Korean officer, but at the same time secretly sending intelligence information to the South. For this he was about to be executed. Usually such people are kept in solitary isolation, but this man was an exception. During his sleep one day he heard someone call his name. He didn't pay attention, and then it happened again. He ignored it a second time, but the third time he paid attention and responded. He saw an old man like a grandfather standing before him in traditional Korean clothes. This old man said that he would definitely not die, and that soon he would meet a most important young man whom he should treat very well. When the dream had ended this prisoner knew that it had been God speaking to him.
Shortly after this incident the man's name was called out, and he thought he was being called for execution. However, it happened that his former general, who had been away in Russia, had recently returned to Korea. Upon finding his beloved junior officer had been imprisoned, this general took full responsibility and had obtained a pardon for him. Thus he was re-tried and his sentence changed to three years in prison. We would think that after this incident he would have seriously heeded God's words from his dream, but he was so happy about being pardoned that he completely forgot the advice about the young man he was to meet.
While he was dozing off some days later, God appeared to him again as the old man, reprimanding him harshly, insisting that he prepare for this young man who was coming. Then suddenly the old man disappeared and in his place appeared the man's physical father. His father told him to follow, and led him down a long corridor in a palace-like setting. His father guided him up many steps, at the top of which was a large chair, or throne, where his father directed him to pay his respects. In Korea it is a common custom to bow and pay respect to teachers or parents. This man bowed three times, and then looked up to see the person on the chair. The light from the throne was so bright that he could just barely see the face of the man sitting there. Then his father took him down the stairs, and when they were descending the last steps he spoke. That person's name was Mr. Kim, a very common name in Korea.
Father was led to the, same cell where this Mr. Kim was staying. As you may know, a newcomer to a cell is expected to sit next to the bucket that serves as the communal toilet. As prisoners in the cell come and go, the prisoner who has been there the longest can sit farther away from the bucket. Knowing that custom from other experiences in police stations in Japan during his youth movement activity, Father went straight to the seat nearest the bucket. As soon as Father walked in, Mr. Kim wanted somehow to have Father sit next to him, feeling an urge to talk with him. Since Mr. Kim enjoyed the most seniority in that cell, he exercised his authority and had Father sit next to him.
Father later told us that he never spoke to anyone before going to the cell. Even when he was tortured he knew it was best not to speak because the prison guards had nothing to gain if the prisoner died. Also, because prison authorities knew that cell-mates often talk freely to each other, they planted stooges among the cell groups, people whom other prisoners would accept as one of them. Father was aware of this practice so he didn't want to talk with this Mr. Kim, but Mr. Kim insisted nevertheless.
Finally Father talked with him, telling Mr. Kim his life story, but attributing it to someone he referred to as Lawrence - While listening to Father speak, Mr. Kim remembered God's warning that he was supposed to meet a very important young man. Because of that advice Mr. Kim became Father's first disciple in prison. They were together in the same cell for about a month and then later were moved to Hungnam.
Life at Hungnam
When Father went to Hungnam he saw it was quite different from the previous prison. First of all, the food rations were much smaller, being mostly barley instead of rice, and of such poor quality that most people died of starvation after three months. If a person ate that meager ration and did not work he might survive, but the prisoners were given heavy labor instead. Almost no one came out of that prison alive.
The Communists didn't send people there expecting them to live, but expecting them to be worked to death. The prisoners worked very hard at heavy tasks and then were served very meager meals. Many people dropped dead even while the inmates were eating together. How would you feel under those circumstances? Would you feel sympathy toward the dead man and think, "The poor man has died"? But prison life in Hungnam was so severe that first the inmates thought about the little bit of food that was left over from this dead person's meal. They jumped to take the food without caring about his death, even taking what was left in his mouth. This shows how inhuman and primitive life was in the prison camp.
The usual purpose for prisons here in America is to rehabilitate the prisoner, enabling him to return to society as a productive citizen. But that was not the purpose of the prison in which Father suffered. Instead of killing prisoners outright, the Communists first wanted to squeeze out every bit of energy and labor. Everyone in that prison was sent there to die a slow death. Soon Father found he could predict exactly how long a prisoner would survive at Hungnam.
There were many patterns of eating in the prison. Everyone was on the same ration, about three mouthfuls of food. Psychologically it felt like very little, so some people would eat their ration grain by grain, which gave the illusion that they had more because it lasted longer. Father entered the prison planning that he would survive there for the full five years of his sentence, but no matter how he planned he could not possibly survive there that long just by living on the very small rations and doing the extra heavy labor demanded of the prisoners. Father had to find some way to overcome the situation or else he could not survive. He decided to cut his meager ration in half, giving the other part to others for three months. He told himself sternly that he would live on half rations for the rest of the five years. Then after three months when he started eating the whole ration, he felt that he was getting twice as much and that on this he would last for five years. That sustained him, and he really thanked God for the extra half, feeling that it was a gift from heaven. With that attitude Father accepted the situation and had confidence that he would survive.
When we apply this principle to our circumstances, it would be the same as thinking that instead of bringing one member in fifty days you had to do it in twenty-five. This is what would be normal if we are to follow Father's pattern.
In Father's cell there were people imprisoned for all kinds of crimes. Under Communism it is immaterial how many prisoners die or are executed, but if Father were to die then Communism would be free to spread and dominate the world century after century. Satan knows that as long as Father is alive Communism will be prevented from spreading- to the whole world, so it is immaterial to Satan how many other people die; as long as Father is alive Satan is always threatened.
The fact that Father was imprisoned showed that thus far Satan succeeded in keeping Father's situation under his control. We all know that fallen man has had two masters. God cannot say that fallen man belongs to Him because Satan will always say he has some claim as well. That means that when we make ourselves available to Satan he will always snatch us, but as long as we do something to establish our position on God's side then Satan cannot prevent it. God is never indifferent in looking at us; His law is very strict. If Satan snatches you then it is because God permitted it, seeing that Satan had some condition. But if God does not permit it, Satan cannot touch one hair on your head.
The problem then becomes when God will allow Satan to claim a person. That happens when Satan comes to God and points out that a person is thinking a certain way or acting a certain way, and clearly that person is standing on Satan's side. Then even God cannot prevent Satan from taking that person. We know from the Bible that Satan tested even the Son of God in the wilderness. Ultimately he had absolutely no claim, but he thoroughly tested him. If he had found even the slightest foundation, Satan would have found a way to attack Jesus and God would have had to allow it.
Satan tried to find fault with Father, and tested him severely in prison, restricting him to a starvation diet. If Father had prayed to have some means of getting extra food, Satan would have used it. But not only did Father not pray that way, he cut his own ration voluntarily and then felt that when he did eat the whole portion that it was given by God. Father found reason to be grateful to God even in that situation. Not only was he denying Satan any condition, but finding reason to thank God as well.
God cannot take anyone who is not willing to be on God's side. The same is true of Satan. Even though Father was in Satan's prison, Satan could not hurt him further unless Satan could find some condition for it. Father never made such a condition.
The amazing thing was that God not only communicated with Father but with the other prisoners. Suddenly one day someone whom Father didn't know would bring him food, saying, "Are you Mr. Moon? I want you to take this because last night God appeared to me in a dream and told me to give my food to prisoner 596." Often things happened that Father never expected, such as receiving special food or a special package.
There was one man assigned by the Communists to be a supervisor and leader among the inmates, named Mr. Pak. Father was blacklisted by the prison guards, and extra food was promised to prisoners who watched him and gave information concerning him. Father was always being watched while he was in prison. Since Father knew the Communist system very well, he never revealed the Divine Principle to the other prisoners, but one day Father approached Mr. Pak at lunchtime and began to speak to him about the truth. If Mr. Pak had opposed Father, then Father's life in prison could have been made even more miserable. Father told Mr. Pak that John the Baptist did not fulfill his responsibility toward Jesus. Mr. Pak had been a good Christian before prison, and when he heard this he rejected it. At the conclusion of the conversation Father only said, "You should not think that way." Then Father left for the afternoon's work.
That night Mr. Pak could not sleep in his cell, even though he was exhausted. A white-clad old man appeared and reprimanded him, asking, "Who do you think prisoner 596 is? You should not oppose him when you don't know him." Because Mr. Pak couldn't sleep and he felt bad physically, he told the old man that he wouldn't disagree with Father any more. The moment he said that, he started feeling much more at ease and the pain left him.
At lunch hour the next day Father went to Mr. Pak again and continued to speak. According to what Mr. Pak told our members later, the first thing Father asked was, "Did anything unusual happen last night?" Mr. Pak was really puzzled to know how Father could know that something happened. Then he opened up and told him what had happened the previous night. When he had finished, Father told him that Mary, Jesus' mother, did not fulfill her responsibility toward Jesus. At hearing this Mr. Pak forgot his promise to the old man, and felt that he absolutely could not believe Father. Then Father told him again, "You shouldn't think that way."
That night Mr. Pak's body ached all over, and he repented, telling the spirit world that he wouldn't disagree with Father again. After that his body once more felt whole and well. The following day Father met him again. I don't know what truth Father revealed to him that day, but it must have been extraordinary because even after being chastised on the previous two nights, Mr. Pak reacted more strongly than even before. Then that night the same old man appeared to him, asking, "How is it you still don't understand?" After three days of opposition Mr. Pak finally gave in, apologizing and committing himself to Father, thus becoming Father's second disciple in prison.
That man's acceptance of Father was very critical; he was the leader of 2,000 inmates. Because he accepted Father there was no real problem, if he had not, he could have created much trouble and misery for him. Because spirit world knew that an emergency was developing, they put great pressure upon that man. You can imagine how closely spirit world was watching over Father's every move in the prison camp in order to protect him. This is how people in the prison camp were led by spiritual intervention to accept Father as the living Messiah and to follow him.
Twelve people were led to follow Father while in prison. Because Father himself seldom spoke about it, one of the twelve later testified about Father's life there. Even I did not know many things about Father's suffering until some of the inmates who became disciples came out and testified. This is one of the stories.
One inmate said that even though he spent two years and eight months in the same room with Father, he never saw him sleeping lying down. Even on Sunday when there was no work and everyone else slept like a log, Father was always up and praying. On a regular working day the inmates went to sleep as soon as they entered their rooms because they needed rest. But Father was always the last, staying up praying. In the morning when the supervisor came to wake them up, Father was always already sitting and praying. For two years and eight months no one saw Father sleeping.
Mr. Pak felt right away that his first mission was to find an easier job for Father to do. He tried to find the easiest task and give it to Father, but Father would not take it. Instead, Father looked for the hardest task of all, assuming that task voluntarily.
We can realistically understand that Satan tests us through the person closest to us. Father never thought that it would be all right to take the easiest job just because it was offered by one of his own disciples. He never took the easiest work, only the hardest.
The hardest task was loading the bags of lime. The Japanese had accumulated that quantity of lime for fertilizer during the occupation, but did not have the time or manpower to pack it themselves. The Communists later used prison labor to dynamite the hardened mounds of lime and pack it in straw sacks and load it on trains.
The work was so difficult that when civilians were employed to do it they got one year's pay for seven month's work. A favorite Communist term is "work quota." As long as the quota remained unreached, the prisoners had to keep working. At Hungnam the quota was 1,300 bags, each weighing about forty kilograms, or almost eighty pounds. Each ten man team had to load 1,300 bags on the train.
The winters in North Korea are severely cold, but Father wore only one ragged pair of pants because he was working so hard all day long that his body was sweating as if it were a summer day. If you divide 1,300 bags by eight hours, you can imagine how quickly he had to move one bag. In addition, the chemical fertilizer had such an unpleasant odor that the people who went past the factory had to run because they didn't want to smell the air too much. Imagine working eight hours every day, sometimes longer than eight hours, inside that atmosphere of noxious air.
While in prison Father got malaria from mosquitoes in the summer and was severely ill for twelve days. Father simply persevered, thinking that by doing so he would pay indemnity for those generations of religious people who tried their best for the sake of heaven yet did not see the day when the Lord could come and liberate them. He felt he was working to finish what they could not complete. He never missed a day of work and always carried 1,300 bags.
Father could only do such a thing because he always lived for the dispensation and others. He saw that many people here on earth had suffered in history and he wanted to suffer the most in order to liberate them all. That was always Father's determination.
Furthermore, even though God has always picked a champion for each period in the dispensation, throughout history those champions all faltered and failed, one after another. Each time those people suffered, but the longest suffering one is God Himself. Father was always aware that he was the champion to avenge God's love. That feeling was so strong that nothing could deter him.
Prisoners were always supposed to look down at the ground as they walked about the compound, never up, and they were always moved about in eight man groups. The purpose of this was to prevent them from communicating with each other even with their eyes.
In their constant state of exhaustion and malnutrition, the prisoners I saliva would become as thick as glue. As they were moved from place to place in the camp they stumbled along, often barely able to walk normally.
Usually twenty inmates lived in one room. Each room had a bucket for a toilet, and you can imagine how smelly it was and how no one wanted to go near it. Everyone wanted to sleep near the door where the air was fresher, but Father always slept next to the bucket because no one else wanted to. It was the worst place. There was one other reason Father took that particular place. If a person slept by the door, everyone who went in and out had to step over him and Father didn't want that. He felt, "My body is the temple of God, a precious body. God's spirit is dwelling in me and I don't want to have everyone crawling over me."
Once a month the inmates were told to write a letter of repentance, a pledge of loyalty which also contained a confession of bad deeds. But Father had nothing to apologize for to any man or government. He was adamant, and for two years and eight months Father never wrote one line of repentance, no matter how much suffering came to him because of it.
Every year the Communists presented a prize to the exemplary laborer, and each year Father won the prize for working the hardest and doing the most. History might record only that Father was the top worker at Hungnam, but dispensationally we can say that, though Satan was looking for the slightest fault in Father, he found absolutely nothing. Even more than that, there was reason to commend him; Satan had to say not only that he couldn't find fault, but had to award him.
Although Father never spoke so much to the other inmates, many of them brought him food that they had received from someone visiting them. Often these prisoners had been told by their ancestors in dreams that they should give that food to Father. Since they often brought their gift anonymously, Father rarely knew who these secret gifts of food were coming from.
Sometimes Father would write to the members in Pyongyang, asking them to send things like rice flour or clothes, which he would then give to other prisoners. Later when the members went to see Father he would not be wearing the clothes they sent, and they would wonder whether their gift reached him. They would find out later that everything had reached Father but that he had given it all away and kept nothing for himself.
Relatives were permitted to send food to the inmates. On such occasions that food did come, most inmates would eat some of it and then use the rest for a pillow so that other prisoners couldn't steal it. But Father would just set anything extra aside in the cell and when meal time came he always distributed it among the people; he never kept it for himself. Father did this on such a regular basis that the other prisoners began to count on getting a certain portion for themselves, not appreciating that it really belonged to Father and that it was given as a gift. Usually Father wasn't aware of how much extra food there was, but others kept a sharp eye on it. Those prisoners knew exactly how much there was because they assumed that part of it belonged to them, and since they were always hungry, they kept accurate track of how much was left in Father's bag.
As the supply dwindled it was the other people, not Father, who worried about it. They knew which person took some extra if there was less than there should have been. While Father didn't think anything of it, another prisoner might get upset with the person who took extra, even though it never really belonged to either of them. He might not say anything, but would carry resentment toward the thief. This person might come to Father and say, "I know who took more than his share" and volunteer to confront the person. Later one person who was there told our members about such incidents and how Father never said anything to the culprit.
Perhaps the evening following such an incident Father would ask the others to gather together and speak to the accused man, telling him to take as much food as he needed. Father always offered it with sincerity, but the person would never dare to take more, and would just bow down. Then Father would take a cup and fill it up and give it to him, telling him to eat. All the other people gathered there were agitated and resentful; to begin with they were upset with this person for taking extra and now they saw Father giving him even more.
Sometimes when you are leading a small group some of the members will come to you complaining about one of the other people; nevertheless, that person is still a precious part of the family, so what are you going to do about the situation? People usually know when they do wrong. It doesn't take someone to point it out to them. If we forgive that person then it is as though we gave him a hot rock which is hard to hold. That forgiveness will turn him around and make him mend his ways, much more so than pointing out his wrongdoing and arguing.
Father's mother lived about 1,500 li, or 150 miles from the prison. There is no decent transportation in Communist countries and a journey like that for an older woman with other children at home to look after was very arduous. Yet she would pack clothes and food for Father and bring them to Hungnam. Theirs was an extraordinary mother-son relationship; she really loved Father very much.
Years before, when Father was studying in Japan, she once received a telegram saying that he was arriving back in Korea for vacation on a certain boat and would then take the train to their village. However, the ship that Father was expected to arrive on was sunk, probably by submarine, and everyone aboard drowned. The news was in the papers, but she waited for his train anyway, just in case he had been able to come. Father did not appear, however, nor write or send a telegram. His mother was so distraught that she traveled all the way down to Pusan, a place she had only heard of, on trains which she had never ridden before, and looked everywhere for Father. She had no place to stay, so when she could not find him she returned home. Father recalls that by the time she got back her clothes were torn and she had lost her shoes. Most of all she was completely distraught, not even able to remember where she had been or who she had talked to. Still she clung to a small hope that Father was alive, the son whom she loved so much.
Father told us that on that day in Japan he was about to board the boat as scheduled, but his feet wouldn't move. Then he knew that something was wrong and he didn't go on that boat, but came later.
During the frantic days when Father was in prison his mother prepared many things for him, and with a deep heart of love she brought them to Father. In his mother's eyes Father was still a child, even though he was an adult. Her heart ached to see her son in prison clothes with all his hair cut off, and she cried. But Father scolded his mother and told her that if she was crying because her son was in miserable circumstances then she shouldn't show her tears. Why did Father speak to her this way? Father felt that if she were going to cry with pride over her son who was working for the cause of heaven and earth, no matter what his suffering, then he would accept her tears. But if she were going to cry out of anguish for him then he felt he could not accept her tears, and he scolded her.
Father brings the highest truth, like jewels which he gives us without price, but Father never gave them to his own wife, or to his parents and brothers and sisters. Father's mother may have understood a bit of the Principle, but still her heart could not bear to see her suffering son give away to perfect strangers the life-sustaining food she had brought for him. She tried not to feel badly, but she couldn't help herself and cried to see it.
On her way home Father's mother visited the Pyongyang Church and she told the members that she would never let Father leave home once he was released, but would keep him with her always and take care of him. She loved him so deeply that her heart ached to see him suffering, even though it was for others. She used to say that if he would just take care of himself a little bit she wouldn't feel so badly.
She would return disheartened from her prison visits. She resented Father for not understanding her mother's heart and calling the inmates together while she stood there, and giving away everything she brought, never keeping anything for himself. She used to say she would never go back to see him, but her resolution was short-lived; soon she was preparing something more to take to him.
In June, 1950, the Korean war started, with the North Korean soldiers sweeping down on an unsuspecting South Korea. During the course of Father's two years and eight months in prison he gathered at least twelve followers. Out of that group there was one man who used to be head of the Christian federation in North Korea. His dedication was such that he had pledged to heaven that as soon as he was released he would follow Father with his life.
Father is freed from prison
A few miles from Hungnam was a branch prison. The prisoners believed that life in this prison was much easier than at Hungnam, and this man came to Father, asking if he could have Father's permission to go there. But Father told him not to go. However, the man decided on his own to go. Later the Mr. Kim I already told you about came to Father with the same request. Father told this man to go ahead if he so desired, but added that as soon as he felt something unusual happening he should escape.
Hungnam was part of a heavily industrialized section of North Korea, and it soon became a target for bombing by UN troops, from both planes and ships. Whenever a bombing alert sounded, all the prison staff would take shelter, leaving the prisoners exposed and on their own. One day the usual alert sounded, but Father felt a warning inside and moved to a different location, telling the people to stay together with him. Within moments after they all moved, a one-ton bomb landed where they had just been, tossing them up in the air with the force of the explosion.
North Korea never expected the entire world to respond to their attack on the South, but soon more and more American bombers and troops entered the war, pushing back the North Korean troops. UN troops landed near Hungnam before they approached Pyongyang, which was farther south. The logical route after MacArthur's landing at Inchon would have been to proceed to Seoul, Choron, Pyongyang, and then eventually Hungnam, but instead Marines landed sooner at Hungnam. The branch prison lay in the path of the advancing troops, so the Communists, who were taken by surprise, started systematically executing the prisoners before they could be liberated.
After finishing the executions at the branch prison, they began at the main prison. First they ordered the prisoners to prepare three days' worth of food to prevent them from suspecting what lay in store for them, then lined them up and gave them shovels. As the prisoners' numbers were called, they lined up and moved out. They didn't want the prisoners to realize that they would never need the three days' worth of rations, that they would be marched instead to the hills in back of the prison, made to dig their own graves, and then shot. After one group had been executed, another group was marched off.
Father could sense something gravely wrong, and realized that the prisoners were being executed. Finally some members from Father's own cell were marched off. Father knew that his time was coming closer, but he has never expressed to me how he felt at that moment. Here was the dispensation of God, with everything resting upon his shoulders, but the gun shots were killing people from cells closer and closer to his own cell. If his name were called out, there was no way to escape. Father knew the critical moment was coming.
You can imagine that spirit world was in a state of emergency, seeing Father on the very brink of being executed. Before the guards could return to call the rest of Father's cell members, however, the UN forces landed in Hungnam and the Communist guards fled. No one was guarding the prison, so the prisoners fled as well. That was October 14, 1950.
The lesson that Father left for us to copy is that as long as we do our work meticulously Satan will never be able to find the slightest fault with us. Then we need not worry that Satan can harm us because God won't allow it.
I thought deeply about this and it became more and more apparent that Father did not walk the road of dispensation by ordering the assistance of spirit world; spirit world was not moving at his explicit direction. Father worked in such a way that spirit world could not help but come to his aid because otherwise they would feel uncomfortable. Father did everything himself first, beyond what was required of him, and then spirit world could not help but assist. Thus miracles happened.
We must remember too that the prisoners who vowed to heaven they would follow Father to the ends of the earth soon lost their faith, and none of them remained with him. We must not think that this was some problem of theirs, but that we also must watch ourselves for the same tendency. Of course, Father felt very pained and indignant at their betrayal, but nevertheless he prayed for all of them for many years afterward.
As it turned out later, the follower who went to the branch prison against Father's advice was executed. Mr. Kim, on the other hand, escaped as he was being marched out for execution with a group of prisoners, and he rejoined Father in the South later. This also teaches us a lesson. When Father gives us direction and we obey in good faith, the outcome is always good. If Father tells us we shouldn't do something yet we don't listen, the outcome is not good. Father knows better than we do.
Many times Father speaks in a very quiet, humble fashion. He doesn't command in a very dignified manner, "You must not do that; you must do this." At mealtime or sometimes while walking Father casually tells you what to do. "I feel you should do it this way. I don't like you going in that direction." We must not take these things lightly, for every word has significance. Obedience to each instruction, no matter how casual it sounds, is vital. This has been my experience. The case of this Christian leader and young Mr. Kim is a good example.
The point is this: most spiritually inclined people will give some revelation or insight in a formal and authoritative way, but Father is not like that. He may seem to speak casually, and sometimes seems to do so without thinking, but his words are much more important than any advice from spiritual people. Because he may speak casually we may be inclined to take his words lightly, but we cannot afford to do that. Only our deep faith in him can prevent us from making this kind of mistake. This is why I spoke so much about these two particular followers of Father from prison.
I feel very strongly that the time Father spent in prison was the time he suffered the utmost to pay indemnity for the 6,000 years of human history. Father paid the debt for all human sin throughout history. The sentence was five years, but because Father fulfilled to his utmost, he forced the five years to be shortened to two years and eight months. Because Father gave his heart and soul and voluntarily suffered greatly, the period was shortened. Father feels that 6,000 years of history can be made compact and pressed into a small pill to swallow. Man's entire history is a pill we can swallow in the shortest possible time.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and sixteen nations joined together to push north. Now we know the dispensation and realize that the war was fought to liberate this one man of God. God needed a champion and could not afford to have him suffer five additional years. Furthermore, Satan had already surrendered. Satan had already given up so Heavenly Father didn't have to watch Father suffer for two additional years. Therefore, for the first time in history sixteen nations joined together in one combat zone, the seemingly insignificant peninsula of Korea. Why did they go there to push north? The UN forces accomplished one great thing: Father's liberation from Hungnam prison.
It was not God who pushed the UN forces up to the north. Father himself was the motivation for these things to happen. God didn't just send the liberation to Father; Father invited it and readied himself to be liberated. It was up to Father, not God. God never wanted to have human history dragging on for 6,000 years, but man always failed. This time one man shortened the time and fulfilled as quickly as possible. The central force was Father himself. Father determined the time of the Korean War, no one else, because he had paid every debt. Satan surrendered, so there was no more suffering. Satan had to give in and liberation came.
Even in those dangerous and uncertain times, Father returned to Pyongyang after he escaped and visited the homes of all the members who had been with him before he went to prison. If Father could not go to visit someone himself, he sent someone else to take a message that he had come back and to see how this person was faring. Father walked the 150 miles back to Pyongyang in ten days, and then for forty days visited all of his followers' homes. Father stayed until the last possible moment, until he had to escape just before the invasion of the Chinese troops.
Father's home village was only three day's walk from Pyongyang, and in the forty days in Pyongyang he could easily have visited his family, but Father never even sent a message to them. He looked for all his members but not his own family. It was obvious to all of us that Father could have visited his family, but he never spared even an hour or day for them.
Father brought a few things with him from prison, among them a small bag of rice flour. He walked ten days on foot, saving that rice flour until he reached Pyongyang. He never had any good food on that journey because even the food left in the fields was old and spoiled. He ate those rotten, leftover crops, yet saved the rice flour, in hopes that when he met the members in Pyongyang he could share it with them. When they were all together he mixed it with water, making it like a thick pudding, and told the members that this was how they made food to eat in prison. Then he shared it with them.
Father wanted to bring some present to his followers, even after the incredible ordeal he had undergone at Hungnam prison. Of everything he could have brought, food was the most precious to him because it meant life. Yet he walked all the way from prison without eating it until he could share it with the members. Today it is rare that we reserve something most precious to us and save it until we can share it with our members. Usually we give when we have in abundance.
I wanted to convey this incident so that you could have a glimpse of our Parents' mind toward their children. It is indeed difficult for children to understand the depth of parental love, and we usually have only the smallest opportunity to understand. When we do we should magnify it, making a desperate effort to understand their parental heart so we can receive and value all the blessings they want to give us.
Many times we need money for daily Church business and make some budget request. We ask Father for money for public business, and it is blessed money to receive when it comes from him. That is one side of it. The other side is to understand the real significance of the hardship the parent had to go through to raise the money. Only then can we appreciate it fully and spend it well. If we don't understand, and Father knows that none of us are completely up to that standard yet, then he may make some remark, that seems to be just in passing, about the situation. If he knows that a person is not ready to take responsibility for so much money, he may remark that it would be better if he did not receive that money directly from Father. His concern is that if we don't understand its meaning and value, it will only spoil us. That is Father's real love.
The conclusion here is simple: we must educate ourselves to appreciate and more deeply understand the meaning of Father's dispersion of money.
In worldly situations you may have seen friends who were loyal and deeply attached for years, and yet at some point one of them actually betrayed the other. We can only imagine how painful this is, yet this is not rare in this world. The whole friendship just ends abruptly. A husband and wife might have been inseparable, yet it is still possible that at a later point they may never want to see each other again. Sometimes even just hearing bad things about a friend or spouse leads to a decision to separate. Ordinary people can easily forget personal attachments, and how much more easily do they forget a pledge of loyalty to heaven.
Father could have taken just a few days to visit his own family and it might have helped his mission to have good people like them close to and serving him. But Father stuck to the principle of loving his followers more than his family.
Soon after Father left prison the Chinese army entered the Korean war. They sent thousands of troops, like a human wave, into Korea and the UN forces were thrown on the defensive. The order was given to evacuate Pyongyang, and a great tide of refugees left the North, going South. During this time Father was still looking for one of his members, an old lady of eighty. It might not have seemed significant to see her, but Father lingered until the last minute to find her. I want to tell you some of her history. That lady could not read even by the time she was forty, but she had both deep faith and a deep heart and she desired to read the Bible. Because of her deep faith, one night God told her He would teach her to read, and showed her how; He started with the word Hananim, which means "God." This lady often prayed in seclusion in the mountains. One day she was going there as usual when a great tree she often passed spoke to her. The tree called out, "Grandmother, please cut me into lumber and use me in some humble place in your home. Can you use me to build a small storage house?"
We can understand that all created things want to serve the purpose of the whole, and this story is a vivid example of how the creation wants to be of service to man. Likewise, every man wants to be a part of the true man and serve him in even the most humble way. On another day this woman was walking her usual path when a gust of wind blew her to the top of the mountain, as though she were flying.
When she was very young, before Christianity had become widespread in Korea, she had believed deeply in the indigenous religion of Korea. Then one day God came to her and said, "You have believed deeply in your present faith, but now you must change. Go to the church with the steeple and believe in that faith." That's how she came to believe in Jesus. When she first met Father she was 76 or so. Father was like a son or even grandson, age-wise, but she was so full of love for him that her biggest desire was just to touch his garment. She believed without doubt that he was the Messiah.
As soon as Father returned from prison he wanted someone to tell her that he had returned. She was almost senile and very hard of hearing, and I had to yell to tell her that Father was back. She responded just by saying, "Ya." Then I went back and told Father that she knew he had come back. Then he stood up and said that this concluded his business in Pyongyang and that we should all start south. That very moment we prepared to leave for the South. By that time most of the people who wanted to go south had already left.
Father's journey south
Mr. Pak had returned to Pyongyang from prison ahead of Father, and had promised Father before he left that he would always follow him. It so happened that he had broken his leg in some confrontation with another person, and he was recuperating at his sister's home. Father sent me to get Mr. Pak and bring him along. When I visited the house, Mr. Pak was all alone; the rest of the family had evacuated and taken refuge, but left him with a bicycle. He thought that surely by this time Father would have returned from Hungnam, but he had received no word. Understandably he had some feeling of resentment at not hearing from Father because he had promised always to follow him, but then I came and told him he was going with us. He was overjoyed and said he had cried for many nights, thinking what an untrustworthy world this was. So I put him on the bicycle and brought him to Father.
Bicycles 33 years ago were nothing like they are now, having only a simple, flimsy frame. Because of his broken leg Mr. Pak couldn't pedal, so Father pushed him from behind and all Mr. Pak had to do was steer. It was the month of December and snow was on the ground. I had a heavy knapsack and followed along. Father's walk to refuge started on December 4.
At that time mainly men were taking refuge, leaving the women behind, realizing that the women had a better chance of survival than the men if they remained. This was because everyone thought that the UN forces would easily win the war and that their evacuation was only temporary, so they expected to return soon. Now it has been 28 years since that evacuation from which they thought they would return after a few months at most. At that time everyone was in a great hurry because they could hear artillery close behind and they thought of nothing except escaping with their lives.
The route they had to follow was hardly a road at all. The main highway was occupied by the army troops, and even the military vehicles were only inching along. There was no such thing as a paved road available to follow so the people took the mountain paths and animal tracks, which went up and down, up and down. Travel was slow and the Chinese and North Korean armies were advancing from behind, so 'it was a very uncertain and frightening journey. There was always the possibility of being captured or hit by a stray artillery shell, so the people were in a great hurry.
Our group reached one hill and rested at the bottom, but when the time came to climb up and go on, Mr. Pak told Father that the safety of the others would be jeopardized by his disability, and he begged Father to leave him behind. Father talked to him very sternly, saying that he and Mr. Pak were not together by personal choice but centering around the heavenly dispensation. Father told him never to think he should be left behind because they couldn't just separate according to their own will. Father would never separate from Mr. Pak unless instructed to do so by God, so Mr. Pak never spoke of it again.
You simply cannot imagine that journey south through the winter rain, sleet and ice, over the deepest mountains without food, pushing a man with a broken leg on a beaten-up bicycle. It was just an incredible journey. Mr. Pak had to cross the fields, the mountains, and even cross rivers and streams with that bicycle. Now I want to tell you how we crossed the sea with that bicycle.
The way to reach South Korea involves a certain stretch of sea, 2 1/2 miles wide. In the area of Inchon the west coast of Korea has great tides, with some of the greatest difference between high and low tide in the world, perhaps seven meters. When the tide goes out, there is an area of land which you must quickly cross before it comes back in. We walked twenty miles that day, which was a great accomplishment, and arrived at this crossing at two or three in the morning. Mr. Pak was as heavy as Father at that time, yet Father carried him on his back. I took the bicycle on my shoulders and we started across. The ground was frozen and wet, yet Father carried this man on his back the whole way.
It was pitch dark in the dead of winter, with no light at all around us. Luckily a torch had been put up on the other side, at an island; that was the only light, and nothing at all to show us where to walk. It was dangerous in places because some pools of water still remained, some deep and others shallow, but with no way to tell. The beach was of mud, not sand, so not only was it slippery, but a person would sink up to his knees in the mud if he stood still for very long. Mr. Pak's leg was still healing, and if he had broken it again there could have been serious complications, and there was no doctor around. He couldn't bend his leg so he had to keep it stretched out all the way, day after day, in its cast.
Upon reaching the island people had to catch a small ferry to cross the rest of the way. We could not get on the boat, however, because all the refugees were told it was being reserved only for military personnel, so we had to walk all the way back again. I carried the bicycle and Father carried Mr. Pak back for all 2 1/2 miles again.
The first crossing had been very difficult to begin with, but then we had to go all the way back again, and there seemed to be no hope to get across. Father encouraged us by saying that once we reached a certain place there would be people waiting for us who would have a big dinner. That really gave me power to keep going. Then we began to cross back the way we came.
Much later I asked Father how he was able to carry Mr. Pak all that great distance in those incredible circumstances. He replied that he felt that if he could not carry this one person then he could not restore the cosmos. This is always Father's fundamental attitude, that whatever he does is not just for whatever person is immediately involved, but because that person represents many other people and ultimately the world. When Father looks at one of us he is not seeing just one individual, but loving us as representatives of many other people as well.
By the time we got back dusk was falling. The place where we reached solid ground again was a checkpoint for a village self-protection patrol, and when they saw Father with his short hair they thought that perhaps he was a North Korean straggler. One man even stopped Father and struck him. They simply misunderstood the situation, knowing that South Korean soldiers have longer hair than the closely-trimmed North Koreans. The security force asked Father what his profession was, and Father replied that he was a minister who had just escaped from prison in North Korea and now was taking refuge in the South. The man demanded to see Father's Bible as proof; he opened it and asked Father what was the first verse of John 16. Father answered with no problem, and the guards were impressed and let us go.
Soon we saw a house with a light and knocked on the door. A young couple lived there and let us in, and not only that, they honored us with a nice meal and gave us the best room they had. It was not until I was eating the next day that I suddenly remembered how Father had predicted we would have a big meal and how Father had encouraged us the day before. I thought that if I hadn't shown a sign of weakness then Father wouldn't have had to encourage us by promising there was a big meal ahead; though we might not have had that meal, Father would not have been struck by that patrolman either. Father paid a price for our benefit. Then I deeply repented for having shown the weakness and for causing Father to be struck. It was clear to me that every blessing we thank Heaven for is paid for by Father. If we have deep faith then we probably wouldn't need to feel cheered and encouraged by big blessings and then Father wouldn't have to suffer as much.
As soon as the sun rose we left that house and then had to stop at sundown. It was often impossible to walk at night, even if we wanted to, because of the mountainous terrain. There were many vacant houses along the way left by refugees who had already departed, so we would stay in one of these and then leave in the morning again. One day it happened that we were able to walk all night long and it was almost dawn when we finally came to a small village and found an adequate house to stay in. No one was there so we walked in and slept for the day. Whenever we stopped in a house my task was to make a fire to warm the floor for sleeping. But at that particular place in the countryside there was no wood to be had for fuel. The alternative was to bum the door or some part of the house, but that would have meant sleeping in the open air.
I searched everywhere for some kind of fuel, even dried grass, but amazingly enough there was not even any of this. I kept walking and looking and then saw a small hill. There was no fuel there, only a small tomb. But then beside the tomb I saw a stretcher made of straw which was supported by two poles. I brought the poles down and started a fire with them, realizing later that the stretcher had been used to bring a dead person to the tomb, and then in the haste of the time it was abandoned by the people.
The three of us were very tired, and even though the floor was very cold, Father and Mr. Pak lay down. I started the fire and was waiting for the floor to warm when Father called from the other room; he didn't bother to open the door but just yelled to know what wood I was burning. I told Father in detail about how I looked everywhere for wood but couldn't find any until I found the poles on the hill near the grave. Then Father told me that not all wood is meant to be used as firewood. Although Father was in another room, Father knew what I was doing.
The next day we covered a few more miles and came to one house where many other refugees before us had sought shelter that night. We ate some food, and in the warm air felt sleepiness descend like a lead weight. Mr. Pak and I both asked Father at the same time if we were going to spend the night there. Usually Father would say yes, but that night he said we had better move on. We asked several times if it wouldn't be better to rest there and start in the morning. After the first refusal Father didn't respond to our questions, but just stood up and said we had better be going. So we started out again.
Though we were exhausted, Mr. Pak and I kept on going, and at about one in the afternoon we reached a place where Father decided to rest. The next day we had to cross a rather wide river, and in the early morning we saw it was frozen, allowing us to cross. Then we saw an airplane overhead strafing the area around us, and not far away artillery was being fired. Across the river we could see the U. S. Army making a new defense position. Because of the coming battle it had been decided that day that no more refugees would be allowed across, and we were among the very last few people able to leave the north. Then I knew for the first time why Father did not respond to our begging the night before to stay in that one house. If we had stayed there then we would have been shut out by the blockade.
This is why, more than anyone else, I am fearful of Father's statements. Because of my experiences with him, if he says something then I cannot take it lightly.
When we finally reached the South, we dropped Mr. Pak off at his relatives' house near Seoul, and Father and I kept on walking. At one point we got on a train, climbing on the front of the engine. Even though the cold air rushing past the moving train was like a knife in our flesh, we felt it was better than walking. We literally hung on the train, and rode it all the way down to Pusan. The place where we got on the train was a very small country town named Ulsan. Now the biggest shipyard in the world is located there. The stop near Pusan where we got off has a big civic center now.
Father's ministry in Pusan
We didn't know of any people we could look for in Pusan except a former student of Father's, and we spent the night at his house. I went out to get work and find a room to stay, because an able-bodied man couldn't just linger at someone's house. Soon I met one former schoolmate of Father's, Mr. Aum, an architect, whom some of you might know. Mr. Aum invited Father to stay with him, and I continued to work at a restaurant and live nearby.
Of course, Mr. Aum had no idea who Father was except that he was a nice friend. He had never thought of him as a teacher, for instance, but right away Father started teaching him about many things. Though he came from a Buddhist family, one night Jesus' sister appeared to Mr. Aum in a dream. Mr. Aum didn't know anything about Jesus, but this woman, who said she was Jesus' younger sister, told him that because of mistakes made by Mary, this sister had great resentment toward her. She told Mr. Aum about a safe that had another safe and yet another safe inside, and until the final safe could be unlocked there was no way her situation could be untangled. She said that only one person on earth had a key, and that was Teacher Moon. This helped Mr. Aum to make up his mind clearly, and he was convinced that he should follow Father once and for all.
Later Father met the Mr. Kim who had become his first disciple in prison. He had recently married. Since he and his wife were refugees, there was no big wedding, but only a simple token ceremony. As soon as he met Father again, he took Father into his home. The newlyweds had a little furniture and a few utensils in their one small room, but they welcomed Father to stay in that one room with them for two weeks.
When I was working in the restaurant, Father brought Mr. Aum there to visit me. It really encouraged me and gave me hope to see Mr. Aum and hear his background. By this simple act I had much hope and felt as though I now had a large family.
I recall that Father was always very hungry in those days. When Father came with another person to the restaurant I would speak to my boss, telling him that my respected teacher had come with a guest and asking if I could offer them dinner. The first time Father came, the restaurant opened a room for him and set up a table and Father ate by himself. The bowl of rice was quickly gone, so I brought another bowl, and soon discovered that it was empty too. Only in that way did I know that Father was going through hungry days.
At Mr. Kim's house Father had started writing the Divine Principle book. Apparently Father couldn't stay too long with Mr. Kim and his wife, for he asked me if the place I was staying had an extra room. I had just heard of an extra room to rent so Father and I went to see it. At that time Pusan was the only city which was not occupied by the military. Many, many refugees had congregated there and living space was scarce. If you had a room to yourself or with friends, you were considered very lucky For a time Father and I shared a room that was just big enough for two or three people to sleep in side by side. Yet even so it was impossible to stretch out full length there. Often Mr. Aum came and would stay. He would not be able to lie down completely, but would just rest leaning against the wall.
Father would start writing Divine Principle as soon as he woke up in the morning. When he had written a few pages I would read it back to him, and then he would make corrections and add more things. We did this every day for a few days. Many people started visiting Father, former acquaintances, refugees from the North, and people who had heard he was in Pusan. Father would often take them to a small hill near where he lived. At other times Father would meditate there alone. When Mr. Aum came, Father would have him sing for many hours. If the New Hope Singers had been with Father in Pusan at that time they would have had to sing from morning to night! Often Father would have Mr. Aum sing almost all day. Father really loved listening to singing. In his extra time Father would gather many small rocks and mud clay, with which he later built a small house; it was actually nothing more than a shack.
At this time I got a job as a painter's assistant at a U.S. Army compound. One day I was just drawing a small picture, but when Father saw it he suggested that I practice drawing for a few days. One of my co-workers at the Army base was also a painter, and for extra money he would make sketches from pictures American soldiers brought him of their friends or wives or families. While he was moonlighting this way I did the extra work he had left undone. He felt badly about this, so he offered to let me try to make some extra money by helping him with pictures.
The first order he gave me was a picture of a black girl. Until that time I had never seen a black person in my life! Because it was a black and white picture, I was completely at a loss about what color to tint her face in the picture I was doing. I finally finished a small picture after trying really hard for four hours. With uncertainty I brought the picture, thinking that if only my co-worker was happy with it even though he didn't think it was good enough to pay for, then I would have succeeded. To my surprise he really liked the portrait and said I was very good. He not only paid me more than I expected, but gave me more orders. Then I turned professional.
I noticed that as more and more people joined Father's small Church in Pusan I received more and more work which could help support it. Doing pictures was only a side job to my employment as a painter at the compound. I would finish that job, and then bring all my painting orders back to the Church and work on them there. By the time I finished those it would be ten or eleven at night. Soon I discovered that before I came back from work Father was preparing everything for me -- fixing the paints, laying out brushes and paper. Father never let me work alone but sat right beside me, from beginning to end, never taking his eyes off my work, but concentrating on it with me. When I finished at night I was very tired and usually went right to sleep. The next morning I would find the pictures that I had made were neatly cut up and rolled so they were easy to carry and ready to go. Father would hand them to me and remind me to take them.
If I was ever at a loss about which color to use, Father always had a suggestion. Later, when more and more orders came I would draw just the person and Father would fill in the background himself, in such an appropriate way that it would add to the whole picture. As time went on I would do only the faces, and Father would do the clothing as well as the background. Then Father would add all the details of the hair. That meant that we could do up to fifteen or twenty pictures a night. We were never short of orders and between both of us we could manage. That meant, however, that we worked until one or two in the morning, and I remember once working until three or four a.m.
On occasion a new member would visit Father while we worked. One old woman visited once, but Father was so busy drawing that he didn't pay much attention to her. She was tired so she was lying down and about to fall asleep. Father asked her how she could sleep lying down when other people were working so hard, and suggested that she doze resting against the wall instead.
The person who is really involved in his work doesn't feel tired, but someone who is just watching hour after hour gets sleepy. When I was working Father could have done something else, or encouraged me to rest afterward, but he never did. Instead he watched and studied how I did things like background, clothing and hair. I thought at the time that he must be sleepy from watching so many hours. I would get tired, but looking at Father and thinking that he must be more tired, I could go on more easily.
When the end of the month came and I was paid I would bring the money to Father. Before the end of the next month, however, Father would run out of money. The first thing Father would buy with the money was one month's supply of rice for the whole family, next wood for fuel and kerosene for lamps. Then he would buy dried fish and soy sauce. I ate at the mess hall at the army compound so I had no problem, but Father had to cook all his meals himself. Father cooks rice better than any experienced woman.
I could easily guess how Father spent the rest of the money. Often people who heard about Father and his great insights would visit him, even people who were deeply learned and had spent up to thirty years frequently going to the mountains to meditate and pray deeply. Usually they were very poor and didn't have a way to earn much money, so when they came Father would treat them to food and give them transportation money. In that way the money would soon be gone.
One morning Father very apologetically told me that all the money was gone. Father told me in detail how the money had been spent, whom he gave how much, accounting for everything. He was very clear and precise in spending money. I felt rather badly, feeling that Father was explaining in detail because he thought I might wonder what he did with the money and he wanted to clear away my doubt. I felt that Father could spend the money any way he wanted to and it would make me happy.
But soon I got over that feeling and started appreciating Father's concern about my working to support the Church. Even though there were many members I was the only source of income, and I appreciated Father's thoughtfulness. I wanted to work harder to bring more for Father, knowing that Father would care about how it was used. I could work and forget about the money, but Father could not. He always thought about how to spend it in the best way.
Since I started working so much I sometimes didn't return at my usual time. Whenever I was late Father came to meet me on the way, and then would walk back home with me. Sometimes in the middle of the night I would be awakened by sobbing or singing. I was tired and couldn't make out what it was, but later I found out that Father would not be sleeping but would kneel and cry and sing while he was praying.
Father would go up to the hill in the pitch darkness and sometimes he would wake me up to come along. He would tell me to stay at one place and pray while he went farther along to another rock to pray. Once very early in the morning Father woke me up and told me to light the lamps and get a paper and pencil ready. It was very dark at night except for that one lamp. Father told me to write down what he was going to say, and then he dictated the chapter about the Second Coming of Christ.
Father didn't stop until he had finished the entire chapter. Usually when someone is writing he writes and reads over it and makes corrections and then goes on, but Father kept on speaking from his own thoughts and finished the whole chapter in one stretch. The rest of the manuscript Father wrote himself, but that portion he dictated so it is in my handwriting instead of his. This is just to give you a glimpse of how Father wrote the original Divine Principle book.
There was one old lady who was a member of Father's Church in the North and who visited Father in prison a few times. She was from a very strong Christian home and when the war broke out her family took refuge in Pusan. She knew Father was in Pusan, but because her family was strict in their beliefs it was hard for her to visit Father often. Father missed her very much, and one day in winter went to stand outside her house at a little distance, hoping to catch a glimpse of her. He stood in the snow in the bitter cold for most of the day, until finally in the late afternoon he saw her standing briefly by one window. She did not see Father, however, and soon after that he left and returned home.
One day soon after that incident she was cooking rice for her family's evening meal when all of a sudden her arm started shaking, out of her control. A voice from heaven scolded her, "Do you think I called you to make rice for your family? Don't you know that Father has to cook for himself?" The whole family was in an uproar at what they saw happening to their grandmother and they didn't know what to make of it. They tried everything, but her arm simply wouldn't stop shaking. It was obvious that she would go mad if this continued. Finally they decided that she should be free to go to Father's Church if she wanted to, and then she could come more often.
Since Father's shack was on a hill there was a good spring nearby, and because it had good water many housewives came to get water for their households. They would pass the small shack where Father and I stayed, and they observed that there were two sincere young men staying there; the rumor started that these young men were good. There were two young missionaries pioneering that area, a man and a woman, and they heard of these two young men and were interested in introducing them to Christ. One of them came to preach to Father and me.
The young woman came in sincere hope of converting us. I had already left for work, but because Father missed the members so much he had walked down the hill, hoping to find some of them. At that time this missionary saw Father and thought that he must be one of the two young men, so she started talking to him. Father brought her back to the shack to talk instead of standing on the street. She told our members later that as soon as they entered the room Father started speaking to her, not giving her a chance to speak. He kept talking about the cosmic dispensation, what the future of Christianity would be, speaking in such gigantic terms that she could hardly imagine them. Everything he said was so sensible and reasonable that she felt she could accept it, but when she looked around her at the shabby shack, she could hardly believe that any great world accomplishment would ever begin there.
Then she started to worry about what people would think-after all, a young missionary woman seen going into this shack and then coming out after a long time -- so she said good night and returned to her church. She couldn't get Father's words out of her mind, so early next day she returned to listen more. She was a seminary graduate. Father told her to open her Bible and read a certain verse aloud. To her surprise, that very verse would be one that had confused her for a long time and which she always wanted to find a deep answer for. She might receive some understanding from Father about that passage, and then as he continued talking remember another passage which was a problem for her. Without fail, in the next few minutes Father would tell her to open the Bible to a certain passage, and to her surprise it would be the exact one she had just been thinking about. If witnessing were always like that, how easy it would be! Soon she became a regular member.
Giving her just a little money, Father told her to go to Taegu and pioneer there. She was full of hope that she could impress her minister as she herself had been impressed, thinking that he would understand Divine Principle faster than anyone else. She visited some of her previous acquaintances to tell them as well. She must have cried a lot, however, because she couldn't make any progress with them. She was absolutely sure that Father had the truth, and as time went on she would earnestly go out witnessing, thinking that she had to find someone who could understand and be a member, looking for a person whom heaven has prepared.
One day as she was walking, her feet just stopped and wouldn't walk any further. She knew then that someone whom heaven wanted her to contact must live in the general area. She decided to walk in search of that person. Then she met one housewife who had seen her the night before in a dream; in that dream she was told that a guest missionary would come and that she should treat her with all possible care. This was how the first member of Taegu church was found.
Father always missed the members very much when they were away, more than if they were his own sons and daughters. Because of his love the members also missed him, especially when they were not free to visit the Church whenever they wanted. There was one old lady who was a member whose family was strongly opposed to her coming to the Church, so many days she would go to the upstairs of her house to the balcony and stand looking out in the direction of the Church, hoping Father might come out or that one of the members would pass her home. If you had a similar yearning for your home church members, you wouldn't be able to stay away and they would never forget you. They would be in your mind all the time.
To conclude, I want to give the testimony of one woman who joined. She had led a deeply religious life for over twenty years and had deeply received God's grace. She had known Father as a student, and once at a prayer meeting when the minister had asked Father to pray she was so moved and excited by Father's prayer that she went to shake hands with him. It was years after this that she met Father in the streets of Pusan, and he brought her to the shack which was the Church at the time. Even now that she was a grandmother and he was grown, she still looked at Father as the young student that she had known.
She was a woman of such deep faith that when she prayed about something heaven always answered her almost right away. Father told her to go back and pray, asking God whom heaven loved more -- all mankind, or one individual, Sun Myung Moon. This took her completely by surprise. She didn't think it was right to pray that kind of prayer. But she knew that he was no ordinary man, and that he was sincere in what he had told her, so she decided to go ahead.
That night she went to her usual place on a hilltop and very sincerely prayed all through the night, focusing on what Father had told her. To her surprise, God responded, "I love Sun Myung Moon more than all of mankind together." Then she reported back to Father exactly what the answer had been.
Then Father gave her another topic for prayer: ask heaven who God loves more, Jesus Christ or Sun Myung Moon. Those were the strongest words she could possibly have heard, and she felt very reluctant to ask such a question in prayer. She returned home without carrying out Father's suggestion. But soon she started feeling sick, and she sensed that she could not dismiss it lightly. She remembered that God had told her He loved Reverend Moon more than all mankind, hearing it clearly herself. She thought again that perhaps this second prayer was not so unreasonable and perhaps she should go ahead.
When she prayed, a vision came as her answer. Father and Jesus were standing before her, and God Himself, who had led and nurtured her and loved her so much, was there in spirit, standing between them. This God whom she knew so well started moving toward Father in the vision, getting closer and closer, then faded into him and disappeared.
Now this woman is very old, but strong and well, and she is living in Seoul and is very faithful to our Father.
Father gave us a very wonderful sermon this morning, as he always does, and he made just a small point about those who are the good sons and daughters of True Parents. He said that the person who does his utmost best yet still feels that he hasn't done enough is worthy to be their son or daughter. This definition seems to be very right.
As Father wrote in the song he composed in prison, Light of Glory, we want to return everything that God has done for us personally, but the more we want to return it, the more inadequate we feel. These words are the very essence of Father's teaching to us in our posture toward True Parents and God. As incredibly much as Father has done for God, still Father feels he could have done much more, feeling shame and inadequacy. This is what melts God's heart toward Father and makes Him feel He cannot do without Father.
Father's life is characterized by his love for even the newest and most simple members, forgiving their mistakes and feeling he has not given them enough. This is the love in Father's heart. Because our Parents are this way, our hope is to become like them, trying to love God and our Parents with our whole heart, as well as even the youngest members. Everything I have said today is in hope that it will be helpful for us to become more like our Father and Mother.
You and I have the same Parents, and therefore, we will be linked in genuine relationships of love as brothers and sisters. So far no one has ever had that privilege on earth or in heaven. By having that confidence and loving each other, doing our best for our missions, the heavenly dispensation will be shortened and we can accomplish in a few years what would otherwise take ten years. Let us try our best to unite and fulfill the dispensation of God and our True Parents.
God bless all of you who listened so intently and sincerely. Thank you.
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