The Words of the Seuk Family

Returning Home - Korean Church Presidential Inauguration

Joon Ho Seuk
April 15, 2009

Dr. Joon Ho Seuk, who retains his position as a vice-president of FFWPU International, was inaugurated president of FFWPU-Korea on April 15. He succeeds Dr. Chang Shik Yang, who had been president of FFWPU Korea since May 18, 2008. Dr. Yang also retains his position as a vice-president of FFWPU International and has been asked by Father to take charge of the Las Vegas project.

In the excerpts of his inaugural address that follow, Dr. Seuk, who had lived outside of his native Korea for several decades, included testimony about his early church life. Many Korean members listening to these words heard them for the first time.

I offer my deepest gratitude for the grace and love of God and True Parents, who have appointed me to this position, though I am unworthy of it. I also offer my heartfelt appreciation to International President Hyung Jin Moon, Foundation Chairman Kook Jin Moon and to all other members of the True Family. I would like to thank and convey my deepest respect to the early members, fellow church leaders and members for their hard work in carrying out God's will. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Chang Shik Yang for doing an excellent job during his tenure and for his hard work, and to all the past presidents who have built the foundation we have today.

Rev. Hyung Jin Moon has told us, "Members should not forget their original purpose; let us rediscover the pure heart we had when we first joined the church! We must become true leaders who can serve the members with a humble heart." I agree! And I poignantly feel that I must return to my original purpose and make a new beginning.

I would like to express my determination and resolve as church president by saying a few words about my mind-set when I first joined the church.

When I was ten years old, our family was turned upside down when my mother, Won Pok Choi, joined the Unification Church. I didn't have any good feelings toward that church, therefore, and my environment made it impossible for me to join.

Around the time I entered college, I seriously injured myself while doing some strenuous physical exercises. From there my health deteriorated and I plunged into a state of despair. I spent several years filled with mental anguish, while I pondered the meaning of life. Around that time, I suddenly received the inspiration that I needed to learn more about the Unification Church. I made some inquiries about the church, visited it and listened to the Divine Principle.

Ultimately, my joining the Unification Church meant my father would feel betrayed, so it was a very serious decision. After I joined, I heard that in 1965, while True Father visited Manila, the capital of Philippines, on his world tour to consecrate holy grounds, he suddenly said to my mother (who was accompanying him): I heard you have three sons. What are they doing now? He had never asked this question before.

Surprised, she replied, "It's been ten years now since I saw my family. I have neither gotten any message from my sons nor heard news of them."

Hearing this Father said, It's time for one of them to join the church.

My mother told me this. About that time, I had heard the Principle and was beginning to study it deeply. No one witnessed to me; I don't have a spiritual parent. I came by myself following an inspiration, seeking to understand God's will. For this reason, I consider True Father to be my spiritual father.

My father vigorously opposed my joining. For that reason, I had to think about how I might be free to lead my church life and to witness to people about the Divine Principle.

At that time the Vietnam War -- in which thousands of Korean soldiers lost their lives -- was raging. I heard that the army was looking for martial arts instructors. I joined the army as a volunteer and was dispatched to Vietnam.

Martial arts instructors could invest time and effort in psychological tactics -- they were allowed to wear plain clothes and were free to interact with civilians. I thought it would give me the freedom to witness. So, though I decided to participate in the Vietnam War as a volunteer, internally I was going to Vietnam to carry out missionary activities.

As I was leaving for Vietnam, I prayed seriously, "Now that I've found the truth and True Parents, I have no regrets even if I die. There's no guarantee that I can come back alive, so I must dedicate myself to God's will even at the cost of my life."

At that point in the Vietnam War, there was neither a rear area nor a front line. The Vietcong were everywhere. They were living among ordinary citizens. The idea was to use martial arts instruction as a means of coaxing Vietnamese who were sympathetic with the Vietcong over to the friendly side. Since I didn't speak Vietnamese, I was looking for Vietnamese who spoke English. Thus, I naturally met people from the intelligentsia who spoke English well. Externally, I was teaching them martial arts, while internally I was witnessing to them.

I invested my effort in that environment where I had to be ready to fight and die. I was able to witness to several people in Vietnam. Two of them, a director of a YMCA and the principal of an international school, visited Korea, bowed to True Parents and received much love from them.

Now that I have been appointed the new president of the church, I want to revive that heart I had in the very beginning; I will make a new start with the same serious determination!

After two and a half years in Vietnam, I was discharged and came home from the army, but my father realized I was still attending the Unification Church. Those around me said, "You should either quit the Unification Church or move out of your father's house. Every time he sees you, he becomes hypertensive to that point that his face goes red. What will you do? If it continues like this, your father will die because of you."

For that reason, I decided to leave home. On the day of my departure, my father prepared a nice supper for me. It was our farewell meal. Looking at me, my father started to cry. Through sobs, he said, "I loved your mother so much, but she betrayed me and joined the Unification Church. And now you, my beloved son, are betraying me and leaving me too."

In front of my weeping father, I made up my mind. From the worldly viewpoint, how can one justify the behavior of a son who deserts his father? Thus, now I would have to accept True Parents as my eternal True Father and True Mother and show them filial piety with a desperate and sincere heart that more than compensates for my having left my father. I was causing my father grief, but, I thought, if I become a pious son to True Parents, bring them joy and glory, and make them smile, someday my father will also surely smile because of me.

With this resolve, I left home and continued on the way of God's will. I went to the United States in February 1972 at True Parents behest. I spent eighteen years there doing various public missions. I then spent the next eighteen years doing missionary work in the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as in China and Mongolia.

After spending thirty-six years abroad, I returned to Korea last May, again, as True Parents instructed. I spent ten months working at the FFWPU International Office. Then, unexpectedly, I was appointed president of the church in Korea.

Whenever I look back at those years overseas, I feel immensely sorry in front of True Parents and indebted to them.... True Parents have given me one last chance. So, just as the marathon runner pours out all his strength in running toward the final finish line, with my original purpose I will also run forward. I will offer my devotion and serve as church president with the heart of humbly serving the members.

I know that there are many tasks to be accomplished but I will first do my best to establish God's eternal temple -- the Temple for World Peace and Unification, Cheon Bok Gung which will serve as the base for the Abel UN.

The True Children have the dream of creating a Unification Church filled with pride and happiness. They are exerting heart and body so that True Parents can shine for all eternity and so that they can create a Unification Church of everlasting brilliance.

They are working hard to fulfill the dream of creating Cheon Il Guk, where all humanity can recognize, accept, and attend True Parents and offer glory and praise to them, by January 13, 2013.

I will return to my original purpose and burn the last drop of my life in order to realize this dream. 

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