Chung Pyung Lake Workshops
Reality - Chung Pyung Lake
This summer my husband, myself, our 5 year old and 1 year old and went for 2 months. The reason for going for so long was because our 5 year old was born with physical and mental difficulties. He is hypotonic and developmental dysphasic which is a sub group of autism. Also My husband and I are both disabled to some extent. Our baby was fine.
Our Korean National Messiah pushed us to take the children as he said that if we did not, when the evil spirits come out they will enter our children if they are not there. When we arrived at Chung Pyung we were told that this was not true and that it is better if only the parents come.
The first Ahn Soo clapping session I attended really moved me to tears. It was overwhelming. Unfortunately this feeling never came back again the whole time we were there. I believe I was so overwhelmed because of the unusual atmosphere and just to see again such a crowd of members gathered together about 200 was such a contrast to the 11 members we have here.
With having the 2 children to look after I was not able to attend everything but I prepared as much as possible taking with me a mobile baby monitor and when the children were asleep at night I could sneak into the lectures or listen by radio to the translations in the next building. With the baby monitor I could attend the midnight prayer.
My husband was able to attend one whole 40 days plus some extra and I must say he put his whole self spirit and body into the experience pushing himself over his physical limits.
The weekends when the thousands of Japanese arrived were physically challenging but amazing to see such faith. As I sat weekend after weekend listening to Dae Mo Nim shouting abuse at the Japanese members It broke my heart. A sentence that sticks in my mind is "You have to go back to Japan and fund raise, and fund raise, and fund raise but no matter how much you fund raise you will never be able to repay the debt you owe Korea!" If there is no hope for the Japanese God help the rest of us. The Japanese members are the most hard working suffering members in the world and I bow down in humility to them.
All the participants including our family had the great honor of attending the satellite Blessing ceremony in Seoul. A few days before I had run out of baby food and all the baby could eat was milk and rice. We all had the Chung Pyung cough as did almost everyone who was there. The evening of the Blessing our baby started a high fever. We took him to the hospital the next day where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He had to be hospitalized for the next 3 weeks until he was well enough to travel home. Fortunately we had very good health insurance and everything was covered.
The staff at Chung Pyung tried their best to help us but insisted that there was no such thing as prepared baby food in Korea. Patrick became more and more ill and on June 19 which happened to be my birthday he lay almost dying with almost no nourishment. All the nurses but one were really incompetent and could not attach the drip properly with sufficient tape this was after taking sometimes two hours and multiple attempts to attach it leaving him with needle bruises all over his tiny body. While at the hospital I found prepared baby food myself in a local shop right next door to the hospital. Once he was given food he started to improve. When we came home they found that not only did he have pneumonia but also his lung was collapsed. The doctor in Korea had not noticed this even with X-rays every day. He had to be hospitalized for a further two months. I would definitely not recommend taking children with you to Chung Pyung Lake if at all possible.
Spiritually I felt no change apart from as one brother mentioned before, the invigorating effects of a change of scenery, nature and the companionship of vast amounts of brothers and sisters partaking in a spiritual exercise together. My husband also did not feel any great change and therefore invested more and more. When we spoke to elder members they told us that we would not feel the effects until after 100 days when our evil spirits had finished their education.
This doesn't make sense to me. If the evil spirits have left surly the effect should be immediate. Even after 100 days and the evil spirits are educated and are now good spirits we supposedly cannot get their help until we either return to Chung Pyung or attend one of Dae Mo Nim's "mobile" workshops.
Actually by coincidence just after the 100 days was up the "60 minutes" program was aired here and that opened up another can of worms.
The only noticeable possible effect was that our 5 year old improved in his comprehension and speech. Upon returning home I joined an Autism List and found out that almost all children with his problem make vast improvements around his age. So it's in the balance what was the reason for his improvement. My husband and I had no lasting improvement. The incredible heat helped my rheumatoid arthritis but the symptoms returned when I came back to colder climes.
As for money, we took a lot of spending cash and also money to buy new holy robes. The diet there is totally Korean. Although many people like hot spicy food my husband could not. He has never eaten spicy foods in his life and almost choked the first time he ate kim chee. Our diet here is very, very bland. For myself I like kim chee but soon found out it and the other chili containing foods were causing diarrhea. We also had to buy milk for the two children everyday and things to supplement our diet of rice. We ran out of money three days before our return without being able to buy the holy robes, it all went on food.
It was impossible to use our British credit card in the Korean Banks. They only seemed to know American credit cards and banks. I have a TSB bank VISA from Britain and they kept phoning City Bank in America when I tried to ask for the manager to explain what they were doing wrong they called the security guards and got me thrown out. This happened in the last two banks. Luckily our Korean missionary put us up and gave us money to get to the airport.
If you intend going please take as much cash as you think you will need and then much more. The whole trip cost us about £4,000 or $6,400 that is including flights, workshop fees, supplemental food and donations. We still have over £2,000 on our credit card from the trip. In reflection I think it was a waste of money.
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