1960: The Spirit Moving in Earliest Times – Part 2
We are a witnessing movement. We long to heal the world of its pain and help the world’s people experience God’s presence and true love. This desire is rooted in our movement’s history.
It was in 1957 that Father launched the first 40-day summer witnessing drive. Members went to many towns and cities throughout South Korea and found ways to help local farmers, and to teach English and mathematics to school children. They considered their work “Enlightenment witnessing.” And they shared their inspiration of the Divine Principle and the reality of God’s love. Many of those who went out were not much more than school children themselves. But people began to join.
By 1960, our movement was already growing in faith and numbers in its homeland. Here is a story of spiritual experience and love as, despite the poverty and the summer heat, the power of God’s Word dramatically changes lives and His spirit fills many hearts. Click here to read Part 1.
Yim Dow-soon, though he’d had to study hard to enter a university, missed the first part of term exams and took part in the enlightenment witnessing in Gangwon Province. He got up early each morning and cleaned the village. During the day, Dow-soon visited people’s homes. He also went out into the streets and advertised evening classes. Each night twenty to thirty elementary school, middle school and high school students came to learn from him. In the early morning, they cleaned the village with him.
Mr. Yun Yeong-tae saw a “Declaration of the Principle” poster on a bulletin board right in front of his house. He also read a leaflet his neighbor had received on the street and became interested. That night, he found his way to the lecture room in front of Andong Station and spoke with Mr. Kim Byung-ho, who was the missionary there. From the next evening, for thirty days, he listened to the lectures and was deeply moved. He was also impressed by the character and lifestyle of the missionary, and submitted an application to join the church. Though members of a Christian church came to see him several times to dissuade him, Yeong-tae never wavered in his decision.
Mr. Eom Il-seop of Pyeongchang in Gangwon Province, became suspicious of his brother Gi-seop’s new religion. He met with the pioneering missionaries and held discussions with them for more than ten days, at the end of which Il-seop also decided to join the church. During that time, every night he dreamed that he was reading the Divine Principle. When he woke up each morning and checked the Divine Principle book, what he had read in his dream was on the same pages in the actual book as it had been in the book he read in his sleep.
When he read the Divine Principle book during the day, Il-seop’s heart hurt so much that he could not read for long. Though this made him afraid at first, when he heard that the fire in his heart meant he was receiving the grace of God, Il-seop felt relieved. Thinking that God had made him and his brother undergo hardships to guide them to the right path, he offered tearful prayers of gratitude.
Ms. Shim Myeong-ok, who worked as the itinerant missionary for North Chungchung Province, said that when she looked back on those days, she could not see how she survived the hardships she had endured. At the time, however, she lived surrounded by the grace of God and didn’t even know whether she was suffering or not. In many places she visited, Myeong-ok saw that the leaders were going hungry because they had nothing to eat. On innumerable occasions, she walked seven, fifteen or even twenty miles in a day. At times, when Myeong-ok stopped at a witnessing center where people had come to hear her speak, she was so exhausted that she almost fainted while speaking to them.
Mr. Hwang Hwan-chae was the regional leader for Jeolla Province at the time. With the transportation money the headquarters provided and some money from his brother, Hwan-chae bought a bicycle and rode it around to tour the witnessing centers. In the heat of summer, he would be soaked in sweat and look as if he had just come out of the water. When the members heard that the regional leader was coming to see them, they waited at the entrance to the village from early morning to welcome him. When the members caught sight of Hwan-chae on his bicycle, soaked in sweat, they could not speak but just burst into tears.
As can be seen, there were many cases of spiritual cooperation in all parts of Korea. This was also the case for Mr. Moon Hong-gwon, who spent the time of the witnessing campaign in South Chungcheong Province. Hong-gwon had been staying with the mother of a member, but she asked him to move out because people in the village were persecuting her. That very night she dreamed of her grandfather, who told her that if the missionary left their home, their household would come to ruin; he asked her to take good care of the missionary.
One day, a man who, for no apparent reason, had been looking at our church and cursing it, collapsed and died right there and then in the rice paddy where he stood.
Mr. Kim Hyeon-cheol, who established a church in South Chungcheong Province, had a series of impressive experiences. When he got off a bus, a girl from the fifth grade ran up to him and grabbed his hand. She told him that she had been seeing him in dreams over the previous three months and that she had known he was coming on that day. Her father, who was a Methodist pastor’s younger brother, had already cleaned a room for Hyeon-cheol’s use. Around the time Hyeon-cheol had collected enough people through his volunteer work and witnessing activities to hold Sunday service, the village mayor visited him. The mayor told him that he’d dreamed that his mother had asked the missionary to help him to heal a digestive problem the mayor had been suffering from for seven years. Hyeon-cheol at first refused, but when the village head persisted, the missionary advised the mayor to brush his teeth with salt for seven days and not to spit out the water but to swallow it. This cured his ailment. After that, the mayor and his wife both dreamed of the mayor’s mother, who told them that the missionary was even greater than the Buddhist monk they had served for seven years. She told them not to neglect Kim Hyeon-cheol. After that, they provided a new table and plates for his use, and cooked meals especially for him.
True Father’s twenty-one-day tour of mission locations
Director Yu Kwang-yul of the Cultural Department described the circumstances of Father’s tour in his History of the Unification Church: “On the first day, Father set out rather late, yet he visited Euijeongbu, Cheolwon and Geumhwa. Passing through Idong and Ildong, he traveled at breakneck speed through the regions, visiting Cheongpyeong and Gapyeong on his way, and finally rested at Chuncheon. This was not the last time he traveled over such a long distance; he did so very often in the course of his tour.”
To be continued….