The Words of the Soon-Ae Hong (mother of Hak Ja Han [Dae Mo Nim])
Grandmother Hong always poured whole heart into the True Children -- Sun Jin Nim's first birthday, July 30, 1977.
On November 3rd, the decision was announced that the Ministry of Education in Korea gave permission for our Song Hwa Theological Seminary to become a university. On the same day, I participated in. the dedication ceremony of the main building.
After finishing the ceremony we returned to Seoul to have dinner with True Parents. During the dinner, Mother whispered several times in Father's ear and then left the room. I thought Mother had been whispering some tender loving words to Father.
After hearing all of our reports Father told us that Mother's mother, Soon Ae Hong, would soon pass away so Mother had gone to see her. Father said we should all go there.
Right after Mother arrived, Grandmother Hong took two last breaths and passed away. Grandmother's life was filled with great fortune. By good grace True Mother could be with her at the end of her life. She died a very happy woman.
That night True Mother reminisced about how much Grandmother suffered through the years she raised her. Many times during Mother's testimony she had to wipe tears from her face. It was the first time I had ever seen True Mother express such sorrow.
While she spoke we could see Grandmother's peaceful face. We felt we could talk with her spirit. Then Father named Grandmother, "Great Mother."
On the same day the government gave us permission for our Song Hwa Theological Seminary to become a university, Great Mother passed away.
On November 7, her Seunghwa Ceremony was held. Beautiful bouquets of flowers from 70 different Church departments and businesses decorated the site. With Mother and True Children attending, we had a wonderful Seunghwa Ceremony.
That night, I awoke around three or four o'clock in the morning to an unusual experience: My wife, Kang Joung Ja, was kicking and punching in her sleep. I could also hear her talking and sometimes screaming. It was a very strange sight to see.
"Darling, darling," I said, "What's the matter with you? Wake up!" She awoke and then told me, "Oh, I had a strange dream: I was being pulled but I couldn't see who or what it was." I didn't ask her any further questions. -
To my astonishment around the same time the next night, my wife was again screaming and fighting in her sleep. This time I left her alone. After about 15 minutes she awoke murmuring to herself. "Oh, strange, strange," she said again and again.
Chong Young Ryu
Then she told me she was going to the bathroom. When she still hadn't returned after 20 minutes, I began to worry. One Korean spiritual tale passed through my mind of how an evil spirit likes to come and disturb people in the bathroom. Just as I got up to check on her, she entered the room and said, "Darling, I just had a strange spiritual experience. After the Seunghwa Ceremony for Great Mother, I began to feel some spiritual tension. Then for the next two nights I had strange dreams. When I awoke I had to go to the bathroom. As I opened the door of the bathroom, Grandmother Hong appeared to me. I was frightened. I quickly went inside the bathroom, hoping that she would disappear. But she followed me and while standing in front of me said, 'Could you pray for True Parents, True Family and all of God's dispensation instead of me?' I answered, 'Yes, I will do it but I don't want to be a spiritualist.'
Then Great Mother stood in front of me for a long time and asked me the same thing again. I really thought that she wanted to make me a spiritualist. 'Grandma, can you understand my heart not to be a spiritualist? Still I will pray for True Parents.' Then Great Mother asked me a third time and I answered, 'Yes I will do it! No question about it!' Great Mother told me that a great and important event will soon occur and then disappeared. After that, I wondered if True Parents were having a security problem or if they were in some other danger."
My wife explained to me that she had a spiritual experience similar to this a long time ago. "One day, when I was a new member of the Church, I was on my way back home after hearing an inspiring Divine Principle lecture. Suddenly, there on the road, the spirit of Jesus Christ appeared to me. He had blood flowing from his palms and from his side. He asked me, 'Could you shoulder my cross, instead of me?' 'Oh no, I cannot shoulder your cross,' I denied. Again he asked and again I denied. Then he asked me a third time. 'Lord, if you really want me to, give me your cross and I will shoulder it.' Then his spirit disappeared."
After Great Mother's spirit disappeared my wife felt both astonished and enchanted. Then she explained that Great Mother told her that something important would happen. This was the morning of November 9, the day Great Mother's Third Day Ceremony (San Oh Ceremony) was to be held.
According to Korean custom women do not attend the Third Day Ceremony. So the night before, my wife thought this through with a humble heart and decided not to go. But after having her, spiritual experience she changed her plans. So I took my wife to Great Mother's tomb for the Third Day Ceremony. When we arrived at the tomb someone told me that Father would h arriving soon. I was really surprised because he usually never participates in this kind of ceremony.
Before the beginning of the ceremony Father prayed. I can recall four points from Father's prayer:
1) Through Great Mother's passing, the gate between the spiritual and physical world has opened;
2) Spiritual selves can now work directly in cooperation with people on earth;
3) The spiritual and physical world can become one now;
4) There will be no more persecution and tribulation for the Unification Church -- only good events and prosperity will come.
After the ceremony I sat down behind True Mother. Then I saw Father close his eyes for a minute or so. All of a sudden he pointed at my wife and said, "Joung Ja, stand up. You should give your Blessing Engagement testimony." My wife and I were surprised. How could she give her engagement testimony in front of the tomb? My wife blushed and hesitated to stand up. Then Father told her, "This is a special day! Give your testimony and you will send Great Mother into the spiritual world with a joyful and happy mind." Before giving it, my wife first explained about her spiritual experience that morning with Great Mother.
After she had finished sharing this, Father said, "That was why I chose you to speak." My wife and all the old members were amazed at Father's spiritual sense. We hadn't told anyone about her experience. Then we realized it was Great Mother's ascending day. The Bible says that after the crucifixion, Jesus Christ stayed in Hell for three days. Where's Hell? Actually, it's here on earth. Jesus stayed on earth for three days before ascending. It's the same for everyone. First Great Mother would stay on earth for three days and then she should ascend to the spiritual world. Why did Grandmother Hong appear? She wanted to give a sign of the resurrection.
The True Family offers incense at Hong Halmonim's Seunghwa Ceremony (Belvedere).
Then my wife gave a very interesting testimony about our engagement. There were five major points in the story. When Father asked her, "Would you accept a match with Mr. Ryu?" she wondered, for she had heard about me. Frankly speaking, at the time of the engagement I was an uneducated person. Actually, before joining the church I was a real country bumpkin. Also, as you know I am a pretty ugly man. In contrast, my wife is a well-educated lady from the lineage of a good family.
"When I first saw him," she explained, "I couldn't see his whole face, only his forehead and his big mouth." When she said this, Father, Mother and all the members laughed loudly.
Korea is divided up into regions. There is a long time feud between the Keung Sang Do and Chul La Do regions that lay in the southeastern and southwestern part. People from Keung Sang Do don't want to marry with people from Chul La Do. "I belong to Chul La Do," she explained. "An ugly person is okay. But with all of my family and relatives opposed to the people of Chul La Do, that's too much!" So she thought, "You are the Messiah, no question about that. But even if you are the Messiah, you're asking too much of me!" Father, Mother and everyone laughed a lot. In that kind of atmosphere we felt that we were no longer at a tomb. My wife made it a laughing place. I've never seen Father laugh like he did that day.
She continued, "Next I want to tell you about the first time I received a letter from my husband. Maybe he is an educated person, I thought. But when I opened his letter I did not see Korean characters, I saw the track of an earthworm." Once again, Father, Mother and everyone laughed. We forgot all about the tomb. We forgot all of the sadness; there was just a good feeling of laughter.
Then my wife gave another testimony. "Why did True Father give me this kind of small guy? Your height gives a very hard time to my high heel," she said. "Because of your height I cannot wear high heels lest I become taller than you." Everyone laughed. "So why did I agree with Father?" she continued. "At that time Father also gave us his special word. He said, 'Externally you are not a good match but, if you accept my suggestion, you will have very wonderful children. For good children, you should agree with me.' So we agreed with Father and truly we have had good fortune. I have eight children, four boys and four girls. And according to Father's blessing they are very smart, bright and healthy. That's enough! Since then we have fallen in deep and beautiful love."
Next, Father said, "Mr. Ryu, now you stand up. It's your turn to counterattack your wife." Then I gave a strong counterattack; there was lots of laughter. And so, we had a wonderful testimonial time.
During our experience at the tomb, I thought back to the time when the True Parents' Blessing took place. After that time, Father had Grandmother Hong cooking in the kitchen. Great Mother was a good cook, but our church was so poor then that we could not afford to buy good food. In any case, she put her whole heart into the preparation of the meals. Most of us really appreciated her cooking.
Once while I was leading a state center, I was called to attend a meeting with Father in Seoul. It was also a poor time. When I arrived Great Mother greeted me with a warm hand shake and encouraged me to continue working hard. She gave me some rice and other food. As I ate it, I still remember how much I felt her loving and compassionate heart.
One day, I brought a fish and some sugar given to me by a new member. I will never forget the joy I saw on Great Mother's face that day; she was very happy. During the three years Father had her working in the kitchen, Great Mother suffered a lot. But through it all she made a good indemnity condition for True Mother. Great Mother sacrificed all her life for True Mother.
After finishing at the Ceremony, we came back to our house. Before going to bed I put on the 11:00 news. It was very shocking news! It was unbelievable that East Germany had opened all her national borders and the Berlin Wall was down! Also East Germany lifted its travel restrictions so its citizens could come and go as they wished. Vertically Father prayed for this at the tomb that day.
Just three years ago, Hyo Jin Nim organized a demonstration at the Berlin Wall and prayed with the CARP members to destroy it. But who expected this kind of shocking news? No one in America expected it. No politician or journalist expected it. The whole world was shocked. The remarkable thing is that it happened on the day of Great Mother's ascension. It was a truly substantial spiritual phenomenon.
In the spiritual world as in the physical world, there are walls or barriers. Because of True Parents' prayer, the gate between the East and West could be opened. In True Parents there is no East and West, South and North. All this time I couldn't help wondering why Great Mother appeared to my wife, in particular, for there are Blessed families on higher levels. So why did she want to appear to my wife? I pondered about this point.
What was Grandmother's mission? She had a wonderful and unique mission to raise True Mother and offer her daughter to God. With all her heart she raised our Mother and offered her to True Father. It was the biggest and most wonderful mission on earth. Soon I would realize how Great Mother's mission was connected to my wife being chosen to have a spiritual encounter with her.
After staying in Korea for three weeks, I went to Japan. Before going, I never thought I would have a chance to give Great Mother's resurrection testimony there. Fortunately, I speak Japanese very well and was able to give her special testimony four times. In Japan we have a special televised system that goes to all of our church members. As I was giving the testimony, a video was made. I am sure it has been televised to all of our Japanese church by now.
As you know Japan is providentially the Eve nation -- the national Mother position. Great Mother finished her mission on earth to raise True Mother. From the spirit world she now wants to help raise the Eve nation. We have yet to restore one nation to God and Japan wants to help. Great Mother really wants Japan to do this. I realized this was the reason I was giving Great Mother's resurrection testimony in Japan and this was also why Great Mother appeared to my wife. My wife has great spiritual discipline and prays a lot. If you were to visit our house, you would see an accumulation of several hundred roots of prayer candles around the altar. Therefore, Great Mother appeared to my wife for two reasons: first, because of my wife's deep prayer life and second, so that I might testify in Japan.
The next day I visited Father at the Do Wan Building in Seoul and asked him, "Father, I heard many testimonies of spiritual beings appearing in visions and dreams, but I never heard of one appearing to someone with their eyes open. It was very strange. How could this be?" Father answered, "If you have a very pure and honest heart, you can see a spiritual being with your eyes open. But if you have an impure heart and mind, you cannot open your spiritual eyes."
From the True Family, Great Mother is the first person to have gone into the spiritual world after having completed her life on earth. Now that she is there, all spiritual world really wants to help God's dispensation and follow us. Father said, "From now on only happy things will occur." We should have confidence. Who expected East Germany would suddenly open her national borders? Who expected the Berlin Wall to fall down? No one expected God's dispensation to take this abrupt turning point. The spiritual world really wants to help us because Father opened the gate.
Father told us, "God prepared everything in the world. But we need to make a better foundation to meet God's preparation." A few days later Father reminded us he declared the collapse of communism in 1983. Soon after, Gorbachev established the policy of glasnost and perestroika. Then all Eastern Europe began to democratize. The three most evil and severe Communist countries in the world have been: 1) Kim Il Sung's North Korea, 2) East Germany and 3) Czechoslovakia with its long-term communist dictator. Already, God has opened East Germany. Now God is opening Czechoslovakia. They've already begun to reform with more changes happening every day.
The Communist world is opening up to the West. Through witnessing we can make a deep internal foundation and a great victory. No question about it. I am sure that just like East Germany and Czechoslovakia, North Korean cannot help but open the 38th Parallel. There will be no choice; North Korea cannot remain isolated from the world.
My brave brothers and sisters, we can break the 38th parallel and march through it into North Korea, to our True Parents' hometown. That is our ultimate, most precious goal and desire. We should have confidence once more. You should check your heart, your spin it, and your faith once more and go forward. Let's go to our True Parents' hometown!
To achieve this I am sure Great Mother will help us from the spiritual world. She will spearhead the opening of the iron fence at the 38th Parallel. Let's join our hearts and minds together with hers. Let's go hand in hand with Great Mother and gain the victory with her. May God bless you.
In the name of True Parents, Amen.