Unification News for November 2002

Tour of the Fatherland

Representatives from Japan and the USA started a special program on Thursday 7 November 2002 by participating in the five o'clock hoondokhae with True Parents at Hannam Official Residence. There, True Father stressed the importance of sharing one heart, one body and one mindset centering on God.

He also explained the meaning of the Holy Burning Ceremony and then went on to form trinities among Korean, Japanese and American leaders, representing the Blessing at the family level. Thereafter, True Parents had photographs taken with each ten trinities.

Following a brief visit to the Independence Hall at Cheonan, the tour group stopped over in Namwon, famous as the site of the well-known story of Chun Hyang.

The 2nd Day

The 5 o'clock hoondokhae began with a 20-minute reading in Korean by National Messiah to Slovakia Rev. Kim Sung-won, followed by another 20 minutes in Japanese by Tokyo regional leader Sano Kunio, concluding with the final 20 minutes in English by Indiana State leader Jack Harford. The closing prayer was offered by FFWPU USA President Rev. Michael Jenkins.

The group left Ilseong Jirisan Condominium early in the morning and ascended Mount Jiri all the way up to Nogodan in the snow! They victoriously returned to the buses with their heads covered in snowflakes, departing from North Cholla Province for South Gyeongsang Province, arriving in Tongyeong City in the afternoon to board a ferry boat for a cruise around the waters where Admiral Yi Sun-shin fought his famous battle against the Japanese invaders.

The day ended with the group's arrival at Bugok Ilseong Condominium, where the newly formed trinities began "living together" by sharing the same rooms for the night. The following day's schedule consists of a visit to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Shilla Kingdom.

The 3rd Day

The tour group's daily schedule began as usual with hoondokhae at 5 a.m. starting with the Korean reading of twenty minutes by Bridgeport regional leader Rev. Yang Young-taek, followed by twenty minutes of Japanese reading by Kananawa leader Yashuji Takahashi, and concluding with the last twenty minutes in English by Maryland State leader Edwin Cornier. The closing prayer was offered by Ishikawa regional leader Yabusame Hironori.

After breakfast, the group departed from Bugok Ilseong Condo for Gyeongju in order to visit Seokkuram and Bulguksa, two world cultural heritage sites listed by UNESCO. Gyeongju was formerly the ancient capital city of the Shilla Kingdom, which revered Buddhism and therefore built up both sites as sacred places of worship.

Stopping for a delicious lunch of "Samgyetang" (Ginseng Chicken broth), the group continued their tour of the Fatherland by heading north along the East Coast, reaching Seorak Ilseong Condo by nightfall.

After a sumptuous dinner, the group were warmly welcomed by Kangwon Federations Chairman Rev. Pak Won-geun, who is also the national messiah to Denmark. He offered a closing prayer for the unity of the Father nation of Korea, the Mother nation of Japan, and the Elder Son nation of America. The following day's schedule will include the ascent of Mount Seorak.

The 4th day

The day began at the Seminar Room of the Ilseong Seoraksan Condominium with the first five o'clock service using the New Family Pledge prefixing each of the eight verses with the phrase "Cheon Il Guk Ju In" (As the owners of the Cheon Il Guk...) introduced by True Father at the 43rd True Children's Day commemorative service five days ago.

Thereafter, representative testimonies were given by: * Adam National Messiah to Slovakia Rev. Kim Sung-won; * Headquarters Family Department Director Shirai Tamio representing the Mother Nation of Japan; * Kunma Regional Leader Shimura Teizo representing the Mother Nation of Japan; * North Carolina representative David Rogers; * Christian Minister Rev. Walter Battle representing the Elder Son Nation of America. * Headquarters Planning Department Director Ahn Ho-yul representing the Father Nation of Korea.

Particularly the last testimony caught the attention of the audience when a very enthusiastic member of the Japanese delegation gave a most lively simultaneous interpretation from English into Japanese, punctuated throughout with Allelujahs and Amens, providing us all perhaps with an immediate example of Il Shim, Il Che, Il Nyeom (One Heart, One Body and One Mindset)!

Following a sumptuous breakfast at 7 a.m., many Japanese brothers had to leave directly for Incheon International Airport for their return flights to the Motherland, amidst many an emotional farewell from their newly-found American brothers. The remaining members of the pilgrimage tour group departed from the Ilseong Seorak Condominium at 8 a.m. to ascend the heights of Mount Seorak in order to witness its glory and splendor.

Upon arrival at Mount Seorak, the group had to make a cable car reservation at the overcrowded national park, before using the extra waiting hour to enjoy the sea air and to buy seaweed and cuttlefish at the beach by the Naksan Temple a fifteen-minute drive away.

Mount Seorak is an extremely popular holiday destination on the coast of the East Sea (Dong Hae) between the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Thirty-Eighth Parallel. It was no wonder then that the return journey to Seoul lasted many hours stretching from lunchtime to dinnertime as the tour buses crawled through very heavy traffic that Sunday afternoon. In fact, it was not until ten in the evening that the tired but happy participants trooped into Sutaek-ri Central Training Center to spend Sunday night before many of them would be whisked early next morning to Incheon International Airport for their return flights home.

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