The Words of the Seuk Family
Father delivers his October 4 speech, "Day of Heavenly Victory and I," at the headquarters church in Seoul.
Today is October 4 -- The Day of Victory of Heaven. The title of the sermon that Father gave this morning in Korea was: "Day of Heavenly Victory and I." In his speech Father said,
"As Jacob won the victory over the angel and received the name of Israel, we also must be victorious people who can separate ourselves from Satan completely. We must be true men and women of whom God can be proud. Let us fulfill our portion of responsibility so we can bring victory for heaven"
Let's think about what this means. Often members say, "It seems almost impossible to be like True Parents. True Parents are too high." But when we see the True Children maturing in such profound and beautiful ways, we can gain new hope for our own potential to become victorious people.
As the leader of CARP, I have had the privilege of accompanying Hyo Jin Nim to many places, and I have learned a great deal about attendance and total commitment of heart from him and the other True Children. When I went to the Second CARP Convention in Japan two years ago, Kook Jin Nim, 15 years old at the time, accompanied Hyo Jin Nim. Kook Jin Nim truly attended his elder brother with love. He always got up earlier in the morning than Hyo Jin Nim and waited for him. At night he would go to bed only after Hyo Jin Nim retired. He would sit down at the breakfast table only after Hyo Jin Nim sat down. Only when Hyo Jin Nim started eating did he start eating, and when Hyo Jin Nim stopped eating, he also stopped. I was moved to see such discipline and order among True Parents' children, and to realize how deeply they know the heart of attendance and love. I'll never forget the calligraphy that Kook Jin Nim wrote in Japan at the request of the Japanese members. He wrote: "We came to this world not to join with it, but to win over it" I know that before we can win over this world, we must win over ourselves and fulfill our responsibility as true children of God and True Parents.
In August of this year, I went with Hyo Jin Nim to Berlin for the Fourth CARP Convention. It was very dangerous, because there was a lot of opposition from the communists, including many bomb threats. Father had urged Hyo Jin Nim not to attend the rally at the Berlin Wall, but surprisingly, Hyo Jin Nim not only participated in it, he actually led the march, walking unprotected through the city streets for almost two hours. I determined to walk with him, right by his side. I thought, "There are many crazy people in this city who might try to kill Hyo Jin Nim. Am I ready to protect him at the cost of my life?" That was a really serious question in my heart. Hyo Jin Nim said, "My life is in God's hands. If someone really wanted to kill me, he could kill me anywhere. I don't exist. My life is only for God!" I was deeply inspired by his courage. Despite the jeering and stone throwing and constant threats, Hyo Jin Nim marched all the way to the Wall. He spoke powerfully and prayed a very deep prayer at the Wall. The Berlin Convention was definitely a victory for heaven.
After the rally Father and Mother called Hyo Jin Nim, and they were greatly pleased to learn about the Berlin victory. They wanted Hyo Jin Nim to come to Alaska right away, as well as Rev. Bong Tae Kim and myself.
Dense fog begins to roll in over the mountain ridge as Hyo Jin Nim goes out in search of a deer.
The day after we arrived in Kodiak, I thought we would be going fishing, but Father suggested that Rev. Kim, Jin Whi Nim, and I accompany Hyo Jin Nim on a hunting trip. So the four of us, along with two security brothers, set out right away. I wasn't all that excited to go, because I was exhausted from the convention and the long flight from Germany to Alaska, and besides, I had never been hunting in my life.
I expected we would go hunting nearby, but we headed out to the airport. I saw a tiny airplane on the runway -- so ancient and rusty and noisy I thought it was a museum piece. But we got in it, and miraculously it flew, taking us over beautiful, green, peaceful-looking islands and lakes. After 40 minutes in the air, we landed on the shore of a large island and pulled out all the baggage, food, and hunting equipment. I thought the airplane would wait for us, but the pilot said, "So long. I'll come back for you in four days." I was shocked. I looked around, and there were no human beings, no electricity, no drinking water, no telephones, nothing except the small cabin where we would stay.
Hyo Jin Nim wanted to start out immediately. I thought we would be hunting right there by the shore, but Hyo Jin Nim said, "We've got to climb to the top of that mountain, because that's where the deer are To get there, we first had to fight through a thick jungle, which was even worse than I had experienced in Vietnam. We could barely move forward through the tangled undergrowth. It was swampy and slippery underfoot, and many times we stumbled and fell, getting scratched and cut by the underbrush. After more than an hour and a half of this, we started climbing. The mountain was so steep that we had to crawl on our hands and knees. For more than two hours we made our way up the side of the mountain, sweating like crazy.
When we reached the top, I was so exhausted I almost collapsed. Hyo Jin Nim and the others went off looking for deer. Rain was coming down heavily all around me, and I lost any sense of direction, so I just stayed where I was. Many, many hours passed, until evening came, and still Hyo Jin Nim did not come back. Finally, Rev. Kim and I decided to go back down the mountain and try to find Hyo Jin Nim at the place where the plane had landed. On the way back through the jungle we were blocked by the thick undergrowth and thus forced to find another way down so many times that we got totally lost.
We felt like throwing away the heavy guns and equipment we were carrying. Almost in tears, shedding sweat and even blood from our cuts and scratches, we feared we might never be found!
Neil Shuckerow with Hyo Jin Nim and his two deer near Spiridon Lake on Kodiak Island, where Dr. Seuk's experiences took place.
For the first time, I really felt Heavenly Father's lonely, suffering, thorny path. I thought of True Father's desolate wilderness course, which he went through alone and utterly without comfort, shedding his sweat, blood, and tears. I realized that what I was experiencing in this jungle was nothing compared to what he has been going through -- not for just one day but for the last 40 years. Thinking about Father gave me the strength and determination to advance and to not give up or be tempted to throw away my gun and backpack.
Finally, after over four hours of fighting our way through the jungle, we arrived at the shore, but Hyo Jin Nim wasn't there. We began shouting and shouting. Finally, around midnight, Hyo Jin Nim heard us, and he and the others came to where we were. I was so happy to see them! We sat down and had a very joyful dinner together.
The next day we arose early and started out again. I was very tired, but I couldn't say anything about it to Hyo Jin Nim. He asked me to carry the water containers. I never knew that water was so heavy! Back through the jungle and up the mountain we crawled. My only comfort was finding a few patches of delicious wild strawberries. Again at the top, I collapsed, and while I rested, Hyo Jin Nim and the others disappeared.
It was frightening to be alone on this desolate mountaintop. The sky filled with dark, heavy clouds, until it became so black I couldn't see more than a few feet ahead of me. I had to move around just to keep warm in the cold rain. I knew that to attempt the three-hour journey back down the mountain in the dark was very dangerous. I was extremely tired and wanted to pray, but I couldn't close my eyes because I was afraid of the wild animals. I started shouting to bolster my courage, but that became boring. So I began to sing one song after another, sometimes the same song ten times in a row.
As I sang, I remembered one time when Father was speaking to some guests around the breakfast table. He said, "When I started my public ministry 40 years ago, it was as if I were completely surrounded by stormy clouds, satanic powers, so dark I couldn't see even one inch ahead of me, with enemies everywhere. I was desperate to remove those clouds, but it seemed totally impossible. But even under such lonely and fearful circumstances, Father never gave up; he only determined to become stronger and stronger, and gradually he was able to overcome that terrifying darkness. Now, lost in the darkness of this mountain, surrounded by enemies -- the wild animals -- I felt that for the first time I could really understand what Father had been describing. Then I thought of how much easier our members' situation is now, compared with Father's in those early dark times, and I gained the power to go beyond my fear and loneliness.
I began to sing more boldly, especially since no one could hear me! After about two hours of singing, a life record for me, I heard someone coming, and I immediately became shy. It was Hyo Jin Nim! He said, "Without hearing your beautiful singing, I wouldn't have been able to find you in this darkness." For the first time in my life my singing was appreciated! We came back down the mountain together. I stumbled and stopped many times on the way down.
The next morning Hyo Jin Nim wanted to start right out again. I almost told him, "I can't go. I think I hurt my back carrying the water yesterday." Then I thought, "This is not just a hunting trip. This is spiritual training. God is trying to teach me to have the heart of attendance under any circumstances!' So I couldn't complain. Out of compassion Hyo Jin Nim gave me only the sandwiches to carry instead of the water.
At the top of the mountain, again I found myself alone, feeling lost. When it finally started to get dark,
I began looking around anxiously for Hyo Jin Nim to come. I saw something coming toward me, but it wasn't a human being. It was a bear! I reached to pull my gun, but then realized I had left it behind because it was so heavy! I had just wanted to attend Hyo Jin Nim and carry the sandwiches!
The bear looked at me, and I looked at him. We were like two animals watching each other. He looked fierce, and I was a little scared, although I tried not to show it. After all, I'm the leader of CARP. Then I prayed my most fervent wish in that moment, "Please, bear, don't feel hungry!" The bear and I kept staring at each other. Then he began walking around and around, but he didn't approach me. I thought, "He must feel some spiritual power!" After 30 minutes of agonizing suspense, the bear started moving away from me, little by little. Within another 30 minutes he had disappeared over the side of the hill. Soon afterwards Hyo Jin Nim found me, and I told him all about the bear. We came down the mountain together, but we didn't see the bear again.
During these three days Hyo Jin Nim caught two beautiful deer. We made a trophy of one of the heads. The other deer was brought back to East Garden and was served to all the guests who came for In Jin Nim's and Hyung Jin Nim's birthday celebration on September 1.
Hyo Jin Nim shows off one of his deer at North Garden. Left to right: Father, Young Jin Nim, Hyo Jin Nim, Mother, and Hyung Jin Nim.
The next day we flew back to New York. About two weeks later Hyo Jin Nim and I attended the West Coast CARP workshop. All the members were inspired by Hyo Jin Nim's speech, particularly the new members. Three new members who had been planning to leave each made a deep commitment to God and True Parents after listening to Hyo Jin Nim.
On the way back to the airport Hyo Jin Nim suddenly told me, "We must go to Death Valley." We flew to Las Vegas and then rented a car to drive out to Death Valley, which is the lowest, driest, and hottest spot in the Western Hemisphere-282 feet below sea level. It is actually a huge dried-up lake bed, miles and miles wide. Hyo Jin Nim, along with myself and a few others, began to walk straight across this vast salt-covered lake bed. After an hour and a half of walking, we were still far from the other side. Finally Hyo Jin Nim stopped and began to pray in Korean. I had never heard him offer a prayer of such deep and profound personal commitment.
He said, in essence, "The reason I came to Death Valley is because it's the symbol of death, the symbol of the lowest place in Satan's world, and I am determined to conquer evil I am determined to conquer the worst problems of the world -- the problems of the Mafia, immorality, drug trafficking, atheistic communism, secular humanism, everything. I want to take the burden away from God and True Parents. I want to bring a victory for them, so they can take a rest. They have already suffered more than enough. They deserve much more than they have right now. They paid the indemnity for us -- for all mankind -- so now the time has come when I must fulfill my responsibility, inherit Father's mission, and take Father's burden as my own." I felt how happy God and True Parents must be to receive that pledge of total commitment from Hyo Jin Nim. Repentfully, I resolved to try to match his determination and to renew my effort to be a filial son of whom God and True Parents can be proud.
Several days later, Hyo Jin Nim traveled to the East Coast for a CARP workshop in Pennsylvania. Afterwards we drove to Valley Forge, the place where the American Revolutionary soldiers were camped during the bitterly cold winter of 1777-78. There Hyo Jin Nim prayed, "Our determination should be greater than that of the American soldiers who fought for national independence. We were called by God directly and personally to be champions for world and cosmic independence. Those in the spirit world, who suffered so bravely at Valley Forge, please help us."
Through his prayer, I again felt how we too must be determined to be champions for independence on a cosmic level. Many of us may go to Korea in the future. You don't know either the culture or the language. You may one day find yourself in the remote Korean countryside, with poor accommodations, no bathrooms, and no hamburgers, only kimchee and rice! If you don't have a strong determination to overcome all difficulties and hardships, you cannot bring victory in Korea. You should have a pioneering spirit, like the Pilgrim Fathers who founded this country. Those who remain in America should make 10 times more effort to compensate for those who left for Korea. Then we can fulfill our portion of responsibility and truly become victorious people.
Recently a new guest who had just finished a two-day Principle workshop saw the video of Hyo Jin Nim's march and speech at the Berlin Wall, and said, "Now I understand those lectures. Hyo Jin Nim must be the Messiah!" When I reported this to Father, Father was so happy. He said, laughing, "Yes, that's true. Hyo jin Nim is the Messiah for the younger generation."
How proud Father and Mother must be of Hyo Jin Nim -- and of Heung Jin Nim! I remember the first time Father and Mother came to see Heung Jin Nim in the hospital after his accident. Mother was crying and crying, and Father was comforting Mother, saying "Don't cry. Just take rest" When Father saw me, he asked me in a very concerned way, "How are your members?" The average parent would be just going crazy under such tragic circumstances, but he was worried about my members! Only when Father said good-bye to his son did he shed tears. You can imagine how sorrowful he must have been. But at the same time, Father was so proud of Heung Jin Nim, an exemplary son who sacrificed his life for the sake of all mankind.
I feel Father hopes we will follow the pattern and example of Heung Jin Nim and Hyo Jin Nim and be filial sons and daughters of God and True Parents. We can identify with them because they are young, like us. We can use their example and follow them and strive to be like them.
Today, we must make a new determination to become victorious individually. As Father told us this morning, "Let us become true men and women, victorious people of whom God can be proud." Then we can bring heavenly victory, total victory, for God and True Parents.