Unification News for January 2002
Father Goes to Pyungyang
Ken Weber & Mrs. Linna Rapkins
Father worked hard for over two years in southern Korea. But he could not find even one person who would become his helper-his disciple.
He cried and prayed for the people many long hours, and looked for a way to win them over. But he met one obstacle after another. Finally, he made a decision. "I will go north," he said. "There are many Christians there, and God has been preparing them to believe my words."
On June 6, 1946, he set off by foot. Leaving the churches in the south, leaving the churches in the east, he walked north and west.
Times were still difficult in Korea. World War II had ended and the Japanese were gone, but now the Soviets had sent their communist soldiers into Korea. They came from the north, and they immediately terrorized the people. They tried to end religion in Korea. They closed one church after another. Many Christians were arrested and disappeared without a trace.
"There is no God, you fools! You must stop going to church! We will kill you if you go to church!" the communist soldiers threatened.
The Koreans were afraid of these terrible men. Many families tied big bundles of their belongings onto their backs and left their homes, leaving behind everything they couldn't carry. They hurried south. Soon the roads were full of refugees, their backs bent over from the heavy loads, their faces wet with tears. Some of them had to leave family members behind who couldn't make the journey.
Father was walking north. He knew it was dangerous to go that way, but he felt he MUST go. There were Christians there who were looking for the Messiah. As he walked along, he met thousands of poor Koreans heading the opposite way. They looked at him as if to say, "Why are you going that way, young man? Don't you know it is dangerous?" Later, he learned that five million people had left their homes to escape from the communists. He wept for them.
Eventually, Father arrived in a town called Pyungyang. In this town there were many churches. After the Japanese had been driven out, the Koreans had quickly rebuilt their ruined churches, so they could worship together again. It was such a spiritual place that many Koreans called it the "Second Jerusalem."
When the communist soldiers came, they tried time and again to make these Christians stop going to church. But they loved God and Jesus so much and were so strong that the communists had failed to stop them. Every Sunday morning at 5:00, the church bells still rang throughout the city. At that early hour, prayer meetings were held. Sometimes as many as 12,000 people were praying all in unison. Many had to stand outside because there was not enough room inside. Neither cold nor snow could keep them away.
Father found a room in a small house with a Christian couple. Wasting no time, he began going to the churches to meet Christians. He invited people to his little room, where he taught them about God's revelation. Rather quickly, the word passed around, and more and more Christians came to hear him speak. Many of these people were old women, who had received messages from spirit world to go there. Over and over, hour after hour, day after day, Father taught from his little Bible. Soon the corners of the pages became rounded from the constant use.
There was one woman who came many times. All her life, she had longed for Jesus to return. She loved Jesus very much, and she had a strong feeling he would come to Korea. But she had many questions which were never answered by her church. When she first heard Father speak, her questions were all answered. She suddenly felt warm all over and her heart beat faster. The words vibrated through her body: "This is it! This is it!" She felt so much excitement. After the meeting, she quickly went to all her friends and relatives and told them to go hear this man speak.
With great joy, she shared her feelings with her husband. But he wasn't so joyous about it. "I'm not interested in such a person," he scowled, "and I don't want to hear what he has to say. Forget about him, wife!"
She still hoped his feelings would change, so she tried to win him over. She worked harder. She kept the house cleaner and cooked better food. She served him and gave him more love. But still he was suspicious and jealous, because she kept going to see Father.
"Why do you keep going to that man's room? Have you fallen in love with him? I think he is trying to take all the wives away from their husbands!" He got together with some of the other husbands, and they looked for a way to stop Father's speeches.
"He's a heretic," they told everyone. "We must run him out of town." But Father continued witnessing and teaching.
It was only many years later that this man changed his mind. After watching his wife and seeing her great faith and love, he finally repented. He supported Father's group and encouraged his own children to join.
Won Pil Kim
Meanwhile, one of the people this woman witnessed to was her 18 year old nephew. He had just graduated from high school, and he went to his aunt's house to ask her advice on what he should do with his life. He respected her very much, so when she told him to go with her to hear Father's message, he obeyed. The next day he went again. And then he went again. He never talked or asked questions, because he was shy and he thought he knew nothing. But he liked to be there because he felt peaceful around Father. Father looked at him and said, "You meditate alot, don't you? But you need to focus on one thing." He was so surprised, because it was exactly true! This person's name was Won Pil Kim, and he became Father's first full-time disciple. It was July 1946, forty days after Father had left southern Korea.
When Won Pil Kim first came to hear Father, the July weather was scorching hot, and the room was so small that the heat in there was almost unbearable.
Father always spoke strongly and with great energy, and he spoke for six or eight hours at a time. (That is like going from breakfast until dinner.) He didn't even stop to rest or eat, and yet he never seemed to get tired. As Father spoke in the stifling heat, the sweat poured down his body. Whenever he finished speaking, his clothes were so soaked from the sweat that they looked as if Father had just come in from the rain. Often Father would take his shirt off afterwards and twist it in his hands to wring out the dripping sweat.
Won Pil Kim was amazed. "How can he do it?" he asked himself. "He is so strong, so special." He became determined to help Father all he could and be a good disciple forever.
Won Pil Kim always stayed with Father when he spoke to the people. He took notes on everything father said and studied them over and over, until he had memorized them. Then he could carry Father's words in his heart wherever he went.
Besides teaching the people who came to his room, Father also spent many hours in meditation and prayer, especially on Sundays. He would spend several hours praying, then have the Sunday Service. Then they would all go together to the countryside and talk. It was a time to ask Father questions and understand his words better.
"Won Pil," said Father one day, "don't you have any questions? You never ask me anything at all."
"No, Father," answered Won Pil Kim.
"I want you to always remember one thing," Father said to him. "Our group is different than any other group in history."
Won Pil Kim understood those words later, when he realized Father was the Messiah for the whole world.
Riveted to the floor
As more people came, amazing things began to happen. Whenever Father taught God's Truth, the people sat as if riveted to the floor, their eyes never leaving his face. It was as if they had to hear every word. Then something like a heat wave would pass through their bodies. It was like electricity or fire, only it didn't hurt. They got so excited that they forgot their problems and began repenting for all the bad things they had done in their lives. They repented and cried and prayed, and after a while, it was as if some great burden was lifted from them. They felt like they had been set free. They would rise up, feeling so joyous and light, that they would start dancing around.
The houses were close together in the towns of Korea. The walls were quite thin, and the doors were so thin you could see through them at night. When these early followers of Father gathered, they prayed and cried and sang and danced. They were a very noisy group, and everyone in the neighborhood could hear them.
"Who are those people, anyway?" they asked each other.
"I don't know, but there are men and women in there, and they stay together until late at night."
"I saw them dancing around."
"They must be crazy people. Maybe they're dangerous."
The neighbors didn't like anything different going on, so they reported Father's little group to the police. The communist police officers didn't like father, either. They thought he might be a spy from South Korea, because he suddenly appeared from the south, and he had no identification on him. Also, the police had just arrested all the members of another church, and now here was this group acting the same way.
In August, not quite two months since Father arrived in Pyungyang, he was arrested and put into Pyungyang prison. It was a sad, sad time.
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