Meeting True Father in North Korea – Part 1
By Mrs. Kim In-ju
Last week we concluded the serialized testimony of Mrs. Oh Yeong-choon, who was led by the Spirit to meet, first, Lee Yo-han and then our True Father in Busan in 1952. Although these were certainly among the first members to join up with Father in South Korea, some years earlier others had already met and joined Father in Pyongyang in the North. We would like to bring you some of their stories over the next few weeks.
Mrs. Kim In-ju is one of the very earliest members of our church and movement. She met Father for the first time in 1946 in Pyongyang. She is the auntie of Kim Won-pil, whom she introduced to Father. Father had gone to North Korea on God’s direct instruction and he was searching there for the Christian foundation that could respond to his teachings and follow him. Mrs. Kim’s testimony sheds light on those hard times, when Father was just beginning his public mission and Mother was still a tiny child living in the countryside north of the capital city.
The following is reproduced from a testimony Mrs. Kim gave on June 22, 1983 in New York.
I grew up in a Presbyterian family. My grandparents were Presbyterians, and my father and mother were elders in the Presbyterian church.
My primary school was different from regular primary schools during the Japanese occupation. It was more like a parochial school run by Presbyterian teachers, and from one teacher at school I learned why I should love Jesus and how I should be a Christian. From when I was a Sunday school student until I became an adult, my deepest desire always was to know more about Jesus, because he was the center of my life. Throughout my school days, all my life, there were people around me who told me about loving Jesus and about how wonderful Jesus’ life was.
My Sunday school teacher always taught us that we should diligently memorize the verses in the Bible, that we should witness with all our heart, and also come to church every day, not missing even one day in the whole year. On Saturdays, we would go witnessing in order to have a lot of people come to church on Sunday. During primary school, and also during junior high school, I always received many awards from the church because I was so dedicated. Later, I attended a missionary school and dedicated myself 100 percent to Christian work. The minister of this school taught the Bible as a main course, so I took the opportunity to learn more about the Bible.
At the time I lived in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. They used to call Pyongyang the second Jerusalem because the revival of Christianity there was so strong, with huge revival meetings and many individual spiritual inspirations. I attended almost all of those meetings trying to find out more about Jesus and Christianity.
In that city, with a high spiritual atmosphere surrounding me, I spent my teen years. Since my parents were elders in the church, they told me to attend only the prayer meetings sponsored by the Presbyterians. However, I secretly attended almost all the revival meetings of other churches as well. I would simply hide the truth from my parents, telling them that I was going to my friend’s house to study. Then I would escape and go to different revival meetings.
In those days, Buddhist monks came down from the mountains and had powerful revivals of their own. They’d come around to the houses asking for alms of rice and other food. But my parents would never give them anything because as Presbyterians we gave only to our own church. But behind my parents’ backs I would always try to give alms to the Buddhists.
Looking back now, I came to know many different denominations at a young age. When I was 20 years old, I finished my high school and I was trying to go to college, but in Korea by the time you are 20 or 21 you are considered an “old maid.” So my grandmother and parents were adamant that I shouldn’t go to college—otherwise I would be too old to get married. So I married Kim Won-pil ‘s uncle, who was suggested to me by one of their relatives. That’s also how I met Mr. Kim Won-pil. (Since I myself couldn’t go to college I was determined to send all my children, which I did.)
Soon I gave birth to two children. Around that time my sister-in-law came one day and told me a very famous preacher had come from Seoul and would speak. I still was going to a very well-known Presbyterian church in Pyongyang, but because I liked revival meetings and new ideas, I followed my sister-in-law’s advice and went to this place to hear the new teacher speak.
A New teacher – a new teaching
I was used to the big church protocol where you sang a few songs, then prayed, and then someone would give a testimony or speech. But at this place, everybody was singing holy songs all the time, they just kept singing and singing. I became so moved and received the Holy Spirit in my heart, feeling tremendous blessings from God.
Father himself wasn’t just singing the songs. As he sang, he sweated all over, and his eyes were filled with tears even though he was just singing a song, a regular Christian hymn. When I looked at him, after I opened my eyes, his clothes, his t-shirt and even his outer clothing were completely wet. And so was the Korean style floor made out of paper, soaked with his tears and sweat.
Then Father was giving a small talk to the group that was gathering. On that day Father’s sermon was about Jesus. He declared that Jesus did not come to earth to die on the cross; and he made it very clear that God did not send his son, who was 33 years old at that time, to die on the cross, but he sent him on earth to substantially accomplish God’s will and do great things. However, because of the people being unable to listen to Jesus, he had to go on the cross. yet this was not God ‘s desire. That was the first sermon l heard from Father.
At my Presbyterian church, of course I was taught that Jesus had come to die on the cross, and it was stressed that only because of the cross could I be saved. But here was a man saying that without the cross, Jesus should have brought salvation to humankind. When I heard this message, I was feeling almost the same pain that Jesus must have felt from the spear that was stabbed into his side, and from the nails that were hammered through his feet and hands.
A dream of Jesus
On that first day when I met Father I was blessed with so much sense of revival and the Holy Spirit in my heart. And during that same night I received a spiritual dream.
In my dream, I had to go to a big cave, a very long tunnel-like cave, which was very dark. At the gate, a man standing there told me, “You have to go through this dark tunnel, which is very dangerous and difficult. But don’t give up, don ‘ t waver, just go straight forward.” After meeting him, and hearing this, I started walking in, but it was so dark and it soon was getting hard for me to continue. Then I remembered what the man had told me and I went straight on. Soon I saw something like a ray of morning piercing the darkness, a white ray of light coming from the end of the tunnel. This gave me strength and I continued on.
As I came to the ray of light, there was a light shining and a man was standing there. It was the man I had seen the day before, Father, and right next to him were some Koreans who carried a casket in a ritual way. I was very afraid to see the casket, because it was open and contained a decomposing body. The very dirty, putrid fluid from the body flowed toward me, wetting my legs.
But Father was standing there. He motioned to me to come over. I recognized in him the same man I had met the day before, so I went to him. And in front of me I saw a big bowl, like the kind in Korea that you use to wash your face. It contained a little water and Father himself cleansed my legs with it and told me to go to the next mountain in front of me. So I did so.
There were small bushes in front of me, and I felt as though Father told me to go through. I just followed my feeling. After I had passed through the bushes, a forest full of flowers opened up in front of me, flowers of a beauty such as I had never seen before.
I love flowers (they always make me very happy), and these flowers there in front of me were truly magnificent. But what was even more surprising to me was that, as I walked along the flowery path, there was a man standing together with Jesus. Even thinking of Jesus gave me so much happiness, and here he was standing in front of me! Especially seeing him for the first time in the dream was really overwhelming. He took my hand, and led me all over the garden, giving me a wonderful tour of each part, with all the various kinds of flowers.
The day of this dream was June 11, 1946. Father had come to Pyongyang on June 6, and I met him on June 11, and that same night I had this dream. So the next day, I went to see this young man, Father, once more.
In Pyongyang, only the people who went to church morning and evening in any weather would receive a dream of Jesus, but only after many hours and days of prayer. But in my case, I met Father just once, and then I encountered Jesus as a real person – and even walked with him. So I decided to follow this man in order to see more of Jesus.
Prophecies and visions
I went to see Father every day, and each day I received so many blessings, so much of the Holy Spirit. Some mornings I didn’t realize whether I was in my body or out of it, because prophecies were flowing out of my mouth. Every morning I would look around, and God would show me what the new Garden of Eden would look like. Every day I would hear His voice in my ears. I would go to hear the young man talk, and then I would come home and receive great blessings from God.
I constantly had spiritual dreams. In one dream all the kings of the world came to Father and bowed down to him. At that time, Father was just 27 years old and I was 30. This dream was fulfilled in October in Seoul at the time of the 6,000-couple Blessing, when representatives from all over the world gathered before Father.
When I had these dreams, I usually went to Father to tell him what I had received. Yet before I could even speak anything, he would ask, “Did you see all the kings come to me and bow down to me like that?” He always knew what I had dreamed and told me, even before I could open my mouth.
One day I had a dream in which God told that the words in Isaiah 60 would be realized by this young man, Father. So the next day when I saw Father again he greeted me with the words, “Did God tell you last night that Isaiah 60 would be realized?”
I really had to look again at this young man. Who is this person who knows my dreams? Who can tell before I speak what my dreams were the night before? I decided that this was the man I must follow. He was the one in whom I must confide all things, the one who should decide things for me. It was clear that I must give him all my attention and confidence.
From that moment on, I could not go back to my Presbyterian church, where I had been an ideal member, the treasurer of the teenage group, and a Sunday school student and teacher.
To be continued….