1960: The Spirit Moving in Earliest Times – Part 3
The history of our movement begins with members being deeply by God’s love and expressing that love among themselves and to others. In the earliest years, members went to many towns and cities throughout South Korea and helped local farmers, and taught English and mathematics to school children. This was “Enlightenment witnessing.” And they shared their inspiration of the Divine Principle and the reality of God’s love. By 1960, our movement was already growing in faith and numbers. 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.
The first two installments were posted in previous weeks. From last week’s installment, describing True Father beginning his tour of Korea:
Director Yu Kwang-yul of the Cultural Department described the circumstances of Father’s tour (by car) 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.”
Part 3 (final)
After that, Father traveled by car to all parts of Korea. He sometimes lay down on a sandy beach and looked up at the Milky Way shining brightly in the dark sky, thinking of the “young ones, all emaciated like orphans and undergoing many difficulties to spread knowledge of the will of God.” He stayed up many nights weeping for them.
Inside the Jeep, which was as stifling as an iron chest in the parching summer heat, people sat so close together that they could feel other’s hot breath and all but suffocated. After traveling in this way, they would finally arrive at their destination at the end of the day. Without taking time to rest, they would meet the pioneers, who would pour out their hearts. Father and his entourage would listen to the pioneers never-ending reports and together they would all cry and laugh. These experiences relieved the fatigue of the travelers like refreshing water from a waterfall.
Mr. Park Jong-gu [he later came to be known as Tiger Park], who’d been dispatched to Janghang, gave lectures one after the other on a roadside over the course of a few days. After that, he visited other towns to witness and to give lectures to members of other churches. During that time, Jong-gu went to see True Father in Pangyo, and was so invigorated that he worked with still greater zeal.
Ms. Jang Deok-hee, who received True Father at Haenam in South Jeolla Province, could not find a suitable place for the meeting, so they used a member’s daughter’s home. After True Father left, Deok-hee touched the walls of the house and wept. She grieved very deeply because she had received him in such a small and shabby place.
Kim Boon-jo, who was present when True Father visited Gyeongju on his tour, said that on the evening of True Father’s arrival, Father spoke seriously until midnight, to those who had come to listen to him on the sands of Gyeongju, about the significance of the three-year witnessing campaign and that Father had slept there that night. The members, who were meeting each other for the first time in a long time, stayed up the whole night exchanging stories with one another. Before he left for his next destination, True Father personally handed out transportation money to each of the members and encouraged them to continue to fight for the providence.
Mr. Park Jeong-min, who pioneered the southern city of Ulsan while staying on the second-floor of Mr. Kim Jeong-eun’s house, witnessed to students of an agricultural school. Together they then witnessed on a roadside, with a megaphone. They also witnessed in government buildings and schools. At least ten people, some of them housewives, joined the church, and many students joined too. They officially launched a students’ association and carried out activities together.
When True Father came to visit them during his tour, they were overjoyed and excited to see him, as if he were their long lost father.
Mrs. Choi Jeong-soon was one of the main members behind the building of a church in Wonju. She had been assigned to the Gangwon Province Red Cross the year before and had moved to Chuncheon. While working for the church there, she was chosen to attend True Father while he visited on his tour. She recalled the circumstances of that time in the following words: “During the forty days of witnessing, Father also ate nothing but barley and fermented soybeans. Even the American members ate beans and did not sleep on beds. Father came to visit on his tour for the first time, and I felt that we couldn’t just serve him barley, so we served him rice instead.
But Father refused to eat it because it wasn’t barley. So I mixed some barley with the rice and served that to him. Again he refused to eat it, because of the rice mixed in with it. In the end, he ate powdered roasted barley with water, which was barely a meal, and we didn’t eat anything at that time. Father’s next destination was Wonju, so I telegraphed Kim Gwan-hae, who was in charge there, ‘Serve Father barley.’ This was the most heartrending experience of my life.”
Everywhere he visited, Father scolded those who served him rice and ate only barley. With money they had received from selling their own jewelry, Mrs. Jeong Boon-ok, Mrs. Song Jeong-soon and Mrs. Kim Eul-boon of Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province, prepared a meal with all their heart for True Father, who was on his way there from Wonju. Boon-ok had swept about two kilometers on both sides of the national highway from 4 o’clock until 9 o’clock in the morning, with only a broom. True Father arrived the moment Boon-ok had finished. Holding both her hands, he asked Boon-ok how many hours she had waited for him, and she burst into tears.
Though they served him lunch, he said that he could not eat it, knowing that some members were hungry. He asked that they take the food to a pioneering church and share it with others. Boon-ok and her husband had prepared KRW100,000 for True Father, whose funds were running low at the time. He accepted this offering and put the money to good use for God’s work.
Some of the members mentioned in this story have passed into the spirit world, some many years ago. Others remain solid and steadfastly here on earth despite their advancing age. We can feel grateful for the sacrifice and inspired effort made by our elders; we can pray for God to watch over them and that we can inherit their spirit.