The Words of the Yu Family
The title of True Parents' workshop refers to the "Completion of the Liberation Realm of the Portion of Responsibility," by giving education befitting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall. True Father made a special request for members from the seven providential nations to attend.
Two days before the workshop was due to begin on 1st. March, David Franklin from London and Robert Williamson from Scotland asked if there was any possibility that our family could attend, since we live in Korea. At first, I thought we could not. My wife and I are teaching at Sun Moon University, and this was the first week of term. However, at my wife's urging, I began to understand the importance and the privilege of attending this workshop.
This was to be the 6th. workshop in the series which started in Hawaii King Garden, but which moved to the ginseng factory at Kuri, on the outskirts of Seoul. Now True Father was holding it at Pine Ridge Resort, near Sokcho on the East Sea, on the northern fringe of Sorak Mountain, three hours across the country from Seoul. This was no growth stage workshop location, but truly one befitting the age after heaven. We could not refuse. So we decided to go for it. We managed to cover our classes with the kind cooperation of two other teachers, and slipped quietly away from university.
The workshop venue was in a finely-designed golfers' hostel, facing Sorak-san, a mile from True Parents' apartment on Pine Ridge golf course. The hostel had a very large conference room, and easily accommodated the 350 participants for meals, and for sleeping Korean-style on the floor in bedrooms with bathrooms attached. True Parents opened the workshop in the presence of True Children, including Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim, Kook Jin Nim and his wife, Hyo Jin Nim's wife (Yeon Ah Nim), and In Jin Nim from USA. In Jin Nim had to return to America the next day, but True Children, specially the 'myonuri' (daughters-in-law), attended other sessions. Hoon Sook Nim also attended.
The lecturer was Rev. Yu Jong-oak. Another famous lecturer from the past, Rev. Ken Sudo, now in his late 70's, listened among the participants for a few days, before going to Chung Pyung to give lectures. Rev. Yu lectured in Korean from the Original Divine Principle, the latest version of Divine Principle, which goes into greater length and depth on certain points of the principle, bringing in aspects of True Father's teaching which have become clearer over the last ten or twenty years. Written editions of the Original Divine Principle were distributed in Korean, Japanese and English.
The Korean version was almost entirely in 'hanja' (Chinese characters), which made it rather difficult for learners of Korean, like ourselves, to read. We could make out quite a lot of what Rev. Yu said, but depended on an English translation for the complete gist. However, we had some difficulty with the translation over the radio. The Korean translator made little compromise with English pronunciation, and it was a while before I realized that 'gut's hut' was 'God's heart', among other things. Fortunately, an American second-gen, with a good knowledge of Korean, stood in for some of the time, and we could understand more clearly.
The participants were Korean and Japanese, for the most part. There were just a few westerners. Michael and Reiko Jenkins came to attend leaders' meetings with True Father, but were in fact able to attend the whole workshop with the members. Michael Hentrich, state leader of Colorado, came from USA. Detlef Klemme represented Germany, and young D. Zoehrer, Austria. Giorgio D'Ostilio, originally from Italy, came from Estepona, in the south of Spain. Kazuko Hashimoto was there from London. My wife is from France. This way the seven nations were represented.
True Father, as could be expected, was anxious for us to have a fishing experience. He always compares fishing to witnessing. Jesus said to his fishermen disciples, "Be fishers of men". I thought we would be taken to the sea to fish. However, we were taken to a lake on Pine Ridge golf course, in front of a row of luxury apartment buildings, used by golf time-sharers, which is where True Parents have their apartment. Across the other side of the lake was one of the fairways.
We were never taken to the sea. A Korean told me that it would have been too costly to take 350 participants out on boats, and too risky to let them fish on the shore. The beach on the East Sea, in contrast to the shallower west coast, shelves abruptly, and big waves and a strong undertow can sweep people off the beach in rough weather and drag them under. So we resigned ourselves to fish in the lake. Michael Jenkins showed us photographs of the lake being stocked with fish just before we came. True Father had taken care to bring about five hundred carp, some of monster size, from Chungnam province in the west, to put in the lake.
For five consecutive afternoons, 350 participants, a rod to each pair, casted, waited, reeled in and recast, patiently, in temperatures that were sometimes spring-like, but quite often chilly, with a biting wind. True Parents came down the first afternoon, walking along the edge of the lake, encouraging us and taking pictures with everyone, group after group. Try as we might, however, we only managed to catch about twenty fish all together during the week.
Fishing, and witnessing, is not an easy matter! I was inclined to be disappointed. However, back at the university, one of my colleagues, Allan Hokanson, who was True Father's fishing captain at Gloucester and Kodiak in the 70's and 80's, said that farmed fish are not necessarily easy to catch. Arriving already well-fed from their previous location, they are not specially hungry, and they need time time to accustom themselves to new water. They are suspicious of strange bait.
Besides, we probably made too much noise. The fish that were caught mostly tended to be found right up one end of the lake, as if they were trying to escape the general hubbub. It was interesting to see the golfers pass by on the other side of the lake. They came along in modern style in motor buggies along a tarmac path. Each buggy contained a foursome, driven by the "caddy". The buggy would stop, the four would set off with their chosen club, tee up, hit their ball, and then set off in the buggy again.
The golfers seemed pretty expert. I saw their balls land regularly on the fairway. I never saw a ball hooked into the water. They seemed to pay no attention to us fishing, even though the lake could hardly have been a hundred yards across. Only in Korea have I seen golfers so intent on their game as to be impervious to a horde of sometimes noisy fishermen plying the water just across a small lake. Some of our fishermen were so enthusiastic with their casting that the weights would carry the hooks right to the other side of the lake, clawing up the sand. However, no one caught a golf ball.
Buses took us to and from to the lake. On the road to the lake there was a magnificent spa, with sea-water, belonging to Pine Ridge Resort. We sometimes relaxed after fishing in that luxurious spa, called Azalea. I would then walk with my wife, and one or two other members, back to the hostel. A couple of times, kind brothers from the Pine Ridge staff drew up and gave us lifts.
Our hostel looked south towards the mighty precipice of Ulsan Bawi (Ulsan Rock), on the northern flank of Sorak Mountain. The evening we arrived, it started to snow. The next day, Monday, dawned with all the lower ground under a thick blanket of snow, and Ulsan Bawi rose up in shining white light in front of our eyes. It was truly a magnificent sight, as if Heaven wanted to bless our workshop. The snow disappeared during the day, but Ulsan Bawi and the other mountains always kept their snow cover. Just fifty kilometers or so to the south, on the other side of Sorak Mountain, is Yongpyong ski resort, the finest place for skiing in Korea. Yongpyong, as part of Pyongchang county, is now applying to hold the Winter Olympics in 2018. Twice before, its applications have failed, first to Vancouver (Canada), and then to Sochi (Russia). So let's hope, "Third time lucky!"
True Parents came to the workshop on Saturday, which was to have been the last day, but they asked us to stay for a further day. On Sunday morning, True Parents presided at Hoon Dok Hae. This turned out to be a most memorable event. True Children sat in the front row, as usual, with Korean leaders like Rev. Kwak, Rev. Hwang Sun-jo, Rev. Yang, Rev. Seuk and Peter Kim on the flanks. Hyun Jin Nim arrived from the United States. Wonju McDevitt read from the peace messages, and sang Chonnyon-bawi (Rock of a Thousand Years).
Then messages were announced from spirit world. Hyo Jin Nim said he was sorry for his lack of filial piety while on earth, and for failing to take due care of his brothers and sisters. Lack of unity with True Father was the spiritual cause of the helicopter accident. Hyo Jin Nim is amazed at the enormous scale of work being done by Heung Jin Nim and Dae Mo Nim in the spirit world -- an immensely complicated task to which he is giving all his support.
Heung Jin Nim also emphasized the heavenly order, True Parents, True Children, and Blessed Families, and encouraged Hyung Jin Nim as the leader of the world church. After the messages from spirit world, True Father asked True Mother, True Children and various Korean leaders for their opinions on the providence. He asked Hyun Jin Nim to take a rest from leading the Universal Peace Federation for a year, and to dedicate himself to the study of True Father's teachings. Finally, the True Children, joined by True Mother, sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, in Korean.
Never before, to my knowledge, have such important matters concerning True Family and the providence been presented before so many members, in full assembly. It was an expression of True Father's deep heart, anxious to see the development of the providence on secure lines, and also a measure of his faith and trust in the world membership. True Father is ninety and has his full wits about him, though his body moves slower.
He is heading towards year 2013, and maybe a hundred years of age. He even says that 120 years are not inconceivable. He emphasizes absolute sex (the right relationship of husband and wife) and the understanding of Cain-Abel relationship (brothers and sisters) as the essence of his teachings. He wants to supervise these workshops four more times, until No. 10. They will happen every ten days or so over the next month and a half. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend True Parents at an important providential time. True Parents really want to embrace us.