The Words of the Thansamai Family
In testifying to the work of Dae-mo nim on the anniversary of her ascension to the spirit world, True Mother gave a brief account of a woman who was cured of cancer during a forty-day workshop at Chung Pyung. This is that woman's full testimony, which arrived untitled. In choosing a title for the article, we could think of nothing more fitting than True Mother's description of the woman who wrote it.
My name is Benyapawn Thansamai. Until the age of forty, it had been Pentiporn Thansamai, but one day on the internet, I read that the combination of that given name and my family name would cause me to get cancer and suffer from paralysis. I changed my name immediately, but it was already too late, both misfortunes had already befallen me. Not wishing to waste your time, I will begin. During the forty-day separation condition before starting family life, I found that I had breast cancer. At my very first medical examination, two tumors of not less than seven centimeters were found. At that time, the doctor performed a biopsy, a minor operation to remove a sample of the tumor for analysis. If the result showed that the tumors were cancerous, I would have no other option than to have a breast removed. When I heard that, I didn't want to return to the hospital, and I didn't for about four months. During that time, I went to Chung Pyung for ten days. Eventually, though, because I was experiencing severe back pain, I returned to the hospital, where I learned the tumors were cancerous.
This was 1997, and the Chung Pyung providence had not been ongoing for very long; no one had had the experience of receiving medical treatment at Chung Pyung then. I discussed it with Dr. Lek, my national leader at that time, and decided to go to Chung Pyung for forty days. But once there, fear caused me to continually worry and hesitate about whether I should return to Thailand for the operation. Among Thai members, no one had gone through this experience before.
My thinking at that time was quite confused, especially about the best method of treatment. I tried to apply what I had learned in my life as a member -- to practice abnegation and to fight physical exhaustion, so I participated in every activity. The Chung Pyung schedule in those days was extremely tight, but every day I tried to overcome the difficulties this presented. After twenty-five days, I had a high fever, so a staff member brought me to meet Dae-mo nim, who told me to go back for the operation and then to return for another forty-day workshop. I remember that Dae-mo nim smiled when I told her, "I will bring victory back to God, True Parents and Dae-mo nim." I told her I was afraid because I knew one of my breasts would be cut off, and today, only one remains.
I made my way back home to have the operation. After the operation, the tumors were reduced to a centimeter in diameter and did not spread to any lymph nodes, which was unusual, but their location was such that I might not live more than three years. The doctor was pessimistic and suggested I not become pregnant. I am thankful to my husband who faithfully wanted to keep God's blessing and eventually have a baby. This gave me great hope to continue fighting.
I returned to Chung Pyung for a forty-day workshop. This time I was very serious about my participation. Speaking about me, Dae-mo nim told one of the Chung Pyung leaders, "If this member becomes too tired, let her rest; don't force her to continue." But I did everything that was on the schedule, including a three-day fast. The night after we completed our fast, Dae-mo nim met with each of us. When she came to me, she touched my chest and told me that after the operation on my right side, the spirit had gone to my left side and that I should concentrate on that area during the Holy Song sessions. The next morning, Dae-mo nim personally worked on my chest, and at the end of the forty days, a staff member brought me to Dae-mo nim, who said that my problem was solved.
I was so happy. Immediately after my return, we decided to have a baby. During my pregnancy, I didn't want to go to see that doctor. I was afraid he would ask me to abort the baby, so I decided to see him only when I was near to giving birth. Unfortunately, all the difficulties that theoretically could occur during pregnancy did occur during mine -- among them prenatal toxemia, gestational diabetes, hypertension and placenta previa. Not only did all that happen but during the Caesarian Section the anesthetic didn't work properly. I was in so much pain that anesthesia had to be administered a second time.
After my first child was four years old, I became pregnant again. I encountered similar problems as with the first baby but I endured until I gave birth safely. Four months later, I attended a leaders meeting in Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. While returning home by van, I had my four-year-old son on my lap when the van was struck by a large truck. My son flew forward through the air; fortunately, the van driver caught him by the legs and he didn't go farther. Otherwise, he probably would have been in very bad condition, indeed.
My concentration was on my son. I completely ignored my own pain, but when I tried to get up, I couldn't. Only later, I realized I could not move my legs. A small-town doctor x-rayed my spine and found no fracture. He gave permission for a relative to come and take me home. While waiting for the relative to arrive, though, I was in such pain and something felt so wrong that I asked the doctor to refer me to a larger hospital to be reexamined. At the larger hospital, they discovered that my spine was fractured. Because there was a delay before they discovered my spine was fractured, the situation was more complicated, so I was transferred to yet another hospital, one of the largest in southern Thailand. I arrived there very late at night and had to wait.
Four days later was I operated on. The operation took place in an atmosphere of despair, but while I was being operated on, all the Thai members came to our churches, rather than going to work, and offered prayers of support from the time the operation began until the end. A month later, I could move the toes on my right foot and slightly move my lower limbs, but it was not easy because both my legs were withered. I really wanted to go to Chung Pyung. I strove for any way possible to go even if it had to be in a wheelchair or with a walker.
After I was able to get to Chung Pyung, walking was very difficult, but I tried to participate in every activity with a Thai sister in our church to assist me. After returning home, I made good progress day by day. Of course because everything in God's creation has to follow the laws of science, it took time for my body to improve. At this time, if I consider my condition immediately after the accident or from the viewpoint of people who do not understand the power of faith, my progress has been good.
A year after the car accident, the second oldest daughter in my family found that she was in the third-stage of breast cancer. [Generally, this stage of breast cancer indicates it has begun to spread beyond the primary site.] I brought her to Cheongshim International Medical Center for an operation and attended a forty-day workshop even though I still wasn't able to move well enough.
In 2008, my oldest sister got breast cancer. She had always been very antagonistic toward our movement, thinking that I believe in a God that the ancestors of the Thai people normally disliked and didn't believe in. Eventually, I was able to bring her to Cheongshim International Medical Center for the operation while I attended another forty-day workshop. Dae mo-nim has asked her to come again. She plans to return in this April.
I was fortunate at the time I first found that I had cancer because Dae-mo nim was just beginning to clarify the causes of all diseases. That made it easier for me to accept the situation and to understand my hereditary sin. At the same time, the thought that I might have to go to the spirit world before I had accomplished many things frightened me. I had not started my family; I was childless.
I am grateful that I never thought of accusing God but always felt God must have a reason for all the situations I went through. He never wants to have anyone go through hardships, but each person's indemnity is different, and God cannot prevent whatever befalls a person.
When I broke my spine, I was in so much pain but because of the serious state I was in the doctor couldn't administer an anesthetic at first. Around forty victims of serious accidents surrounded me in the emergency room. Everyone else was moaning, shouting and expressing their pain from their physical suffering in various ways. Fortunately, I knew about True Father's life course, and it helped me very much to overcome things. Every second, I felt pain, but instead of thinking about it, I thought about True Father's pain when he was being tortured and that he endured that. I found that we have to think that this body is not ours and that God is suffering more than we. I told myself not to cry or complain about pain. I had to go through it, but I believe God didn't want it to happen at all. I only had to make sure that however much of my body did remain, it continued to serve God and True Parents.
Every day I still smile and never stop doing my mission. The first week after my operation, I held a Sunday service in the hospital and gave the sermon while in bed. After I came back to the church, I continued giving weekly Sunday sermons, lying on my back.
Another important thing at that time was that I was able to keep my family together, which I don't think would have been possible if I was constantly demanding this or that. I tried to overcome all resentment and carry any burden on my own shoulders, whether related to our financial situation or caring for the children. I had to manage everything properly and not give a large burden to my husband. I know that men usually have less endurance than women and caring for a husband and not causing him to feel anything lacking as his mate was also needed. I am sharing this because some readers may encounter a difficulty of this type and this realization might be quite helpful.
In the past, my family was so opposed to my being a church member. Nowadays, all my siblings are blessed, and they all have a positive view of me. When I look back, I feel grateful that even in the midst of great difficulty, I could keep my family, and we continue to fight together. Our family situation is continually improving.
When tragedies occur, surely other problems follow, such as money difficulties and family members becoming discouraged. Be calm and don't look for encouragement from others. Encouraging those around you will give you power. Feel great hope each morning when you get up and think of ways to make the twenty-four hours of that day valuable; thinking in that way will help you forget your situation and pain and prevent self-absorption and self-pity.
When our body is affected, we can lose confidence. Making effort to serve others helps to build confidence in us. Begin with simple things such as cooking or doing laundry and later work in a public mission even if you can only crawl.
It's important not to complain that no one takes care of you even though you had worked in a public mission for a long time. We have to overcome this, keeping in mind that God cannot yet liberate us, but if we pay all the indemnity without accusation, a time will come when God opens the door.
Dae-mo nim's life is another good model we can learn from. I remember hearing that Dae-mo nim never negotiated, never tried to reduce a condition God had asked her to do. Her lifestyle inspired me not to compromise because of my physical limitations. For example, though my legs were in poor shape, while at Chung Pyung, I made a condition to go to the Tree of Blessing every day of the forty-day workshop.
I am impressed by Dae-mo nim's humble, simple life, and I'm grateful to God that she taught us to live a life of repentance and to understand about the sins within us and within our lineage. Dae-mo nim also taught that our body is governed by sin and evil spirits, which do not bring God joy. I keep reminding myself to reflect on my behavior and not to do anything that will allow sin or evil spirits into my life.