On the Suffering Path of the Lord – Part 4

A photograph of Mrs. Oh Yeong-choon provided by a church elder who knew her

 

A Personal Testimony

By Oh Yeong-choon

The testimony of one of the earliest members of our church, Mrs. Oh Yeong-choon, whose life course, like that of many of her generation, was disrupted by the Korean War and the communist takeover. In this final installment, as refugees in Busan, Rev. Lee Yo-han and she finally meet True Father.

Part 4 (Click to read  Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

On the third day, we had been holding service together when I suddenly broke down and wept my heart out. Unconsciously, I sang hymns and prayed so loudly that the tent all but shook with noise. Heaven worked miracles on me until three o’clock in the morning. I received wonderful grace, and every time I had a question and prayed about it, Heaven answered me. Rev. Lee repeatedly said that he didn’t understand why Heaven was working such great miracles for just one person, this Deaconess Oh. I, too, did not know.

Two months passed in this way; we were enraptured in the word and drowning in joy. The inside of the tent, a torn-up half of a tent at that, had become heaven. Whether it be a cottage or a palace, wherever the Lord dwells is heaven. I wondered to myself if Rev. Lee was the Lord my mother had talked about, even though I knew that the Lord was going to come to Pyongyang.

Right there and then, I put an end to my faith of thirty years derived from worshipping in other churches. So when pastors and women came witnessing, I turned them away. My other family members in Busan pressed me to come there and I became anxious. I felt as if I would die if I were parted from Rev. Lee. Still, I felt I had to go. I discussed the issue with him and he said that I should go and that he would also soon go to Busan. Thus comforted, I went to Busan on December 30, 1951.

Even though I was with my family again, I was not glad to see them. In my heart, all I could think about was that tent on Jeju Island. I didn’t go to church; I prayed at home. I informed Rev. Lee on Jeju of our address and waited for eight months. Finally, on August 20, my welcome visi- tor came. I was so glad to see him that I could not find words to express it, and though our place was a shabby refugee’s room in Yeongdo, I received my precious visitor and he stayed with us for a week.

 

March 31, 1955: Father with early members from Pyongyang, Ok Se-hyun (left) who ascended in 1998; Ji Seong-do, who ascended in 1988; and Kim Won-pil, who ascended in 2010. Mrs. Oh Yeong-choon met them when Father was living in the Busan area.

Meeting True Father in Busan

Since my family alone included eleven people, I could not have him stay with us any longer. After much thought, I had the idea that he could build a tent or hut and live in Sandeung, Beomil-dong. We went there together after preparing some household items. Yet, when we reached the area, that too seemed impossible. Rev. Lee suggested that we go to see Mrs. Ok Se-hyun.

He said he would know where to go when we reached Choryang. The house we arrived at was her relative’s, and when we knocked on the door the maid opened it. We asked, “Is Mrs. Ok here?” The girl answered, “She got news that a teacher has come from Pyongyang, so she went to Beomnatgol.”

I thought it was strange to hear of another teacher. Rev. Lee then said to me, “The sun is about to set, so you should go home. I will meet the teacher and tell you about it later, so go home now.”

After returning home, I waited every day for news, but none came. I was nervous, fearing that I had lost Rev. Lee as well. After a week, he came back, and at seeing him I was filled with joy.

He said, “I met the teacher.”

I asked, “Where is he?” At the time, I was calling him Teacher Lee.

Rev. Lee said, “The home is too small and his wife and son are there, so it would be best if we rented another room.”

I answered, “We should do so without a second’s thought.” The next day we went looking for a room. One day, we found and rented a relatively bright and clean room, and after deciding that we should have him move in there two days later, I returned home.

The next day, I thought to myself that I would first stock the house with some rice. I took a streetcar from Yeongdo Terminal, carrying about sixteen kilograms of rice on my head. Surrounded by so many refugees, I could not find any space to put the rice down. In the end, I had to carry it on my head all the way to Beomil-dong. Sweat poured down and it was arduous work, but I did not think it laborious at all because joy filled my heart. I did not mind climbing a sloping road or stepping on loose stones.

I made haste to climb the hill, and when I looked at the house, I found that the chimney was giving out smoke. Thinking it strange and wondering if anyone was there, I reached the house, put down the rice, opened the kitchen door and found Mrs. Sook-hee cooking lunch. Surprised, I asked her what was going on. She answered, “Teacher is here. Go in to greet him.”

I was a complete mess. My face was smeared with sweat.

Besides, I was wearing baggy pants, so I could not bring myself to go in. Instead, I said that I was going to go home and would come back the next day. Mrs. Sook-hee pressed me to go in, however, saying that it was all right because we were all refugees. Taking heart, I opened the door and stepped in, to find Father, Mrs. Ok Se-hyun, Mr. Kim Won-pil, Rev. Lee and others sitting around the room.

I greeted them and sat down. I did not even know who he was. Now that I think about it, I believe I did not even feel embarrassed. His first words to me were, “Deaconess Oh is a fruit born of the Oh clan.” I wondered what he meant by that, and thought to myself that he was handsome. Then he asked, “Who are Oh Yoon-gyu and In-gyu?”

I replied, “They are my uncles.”

He remarked, “They were in Pyongyang Prison with me.” I was surprised.

When I left the house, he used to stand in the doorway and watch me until I could not see him anymore.

I could not concentrate on doing housework if I did not go to see him every day. Because Satan always knew beforehand, Father could not live in any place in comfort. In five days or less, some reason would arise compelling him to vacate a room. If I arrived at his place later than usual, I would find them all gone and the room empty; not knowing their new address or where they had gone, I would search for them with an anxious heart.

Father in the early days at a Sunday service amidst nature; many members were poor in those days, but they found delight in the spirit and loved True Father.

He had moved for the third time, and I did not know where he had gone, so after much thought I decided to go to Beomnaetgol, where Father had built a hut with his own hands. I had been walking in that direction for a while, but feeling helpless, I sat down under a large zelkova tree, sighed and then prayed. After some time, a man passed by, so I asked him, “Excuse me, is there a place here where they hold service?”

He told me, “Try that tent with the pointed roof.” I stood up immediately and was heading in that direction when I saw Father seated on a rock. He saw me and came down, saying that he had moved again and we should go there together. No matter how much I tried to keep up with him, he walked so fast that when I had climbed over the hilltop, he was gone and I couldn’t see where he had gone. I was worried in my heart, but soon a member came to find me, and we went there together. It was Sunday, so we had a service.

Though the mud-hut Father had built had only one room, in it he spoke of matters that could restore the universe. He talked about God’s heart, Adam and Eve’s fall and other amazing things. Enthralled by what he said, we did not know where time went. At times, I had doubts, but then I thought that if I went to hell with him, that place would be heaven for me. With a few people seated around him, he would kneel down and pray, his words flowing like a river, or speak of matters that would enrapture all of heaven and earth. I deplored the fact that we were the only ones listening to him.

At the time, he spoke to us while seated, but I felt that I would die with contentment on the spot if I could see him speak standing in front of a large audience in a big hall.

Mrs. Oh became a close disciple and later helped reveal Heaven’s choice for True Father’s bride.

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