A Diplomat’s Family and Spiritual Works
by Byung-Sook Lim Han
A testimony recorded in 1985
I was born into a Buddhist family; my mother was especially devout. Our family was relatively wealthy and my mother made a great many donations to Buddhist temples. However, I was not an ardent Buddhist.
In 1956 I married my husband, Ambassador Sang-Kook Han, and we had our first child in 1957. Toward the end of that year I became pregnant again but I developed very serious pregnancy complications.
Around that time Col. Bo-Hi Pak and Young-Oon Kim were witnessing to my husband. He was attending Principle lectures. Of course, I only found that out later, but in those days I did hear my husband mentioning a Miss Kim from time to time.
Meanwhile my health deteriorated. I could not eat or drink anything, even. I was living on blood transfusions and intravenous feedings. It was already too late to have an abortion, and my symptoms were getting worse. Then one day my husband told me about a certain religious group whose members were very spiritual. Some of them had suggested to him that a prayer-healing might work for me. But in order to receive their prayer-healing I would have to stop all my medicines, intravenous feedings, and blood transfusions. I knew that would put my life in peril.
Prayer and Recovery
Since my husband, like me, was not a particularly religious person, he doubted that I could summon enough faith and trust for such a prayer healing. So when he mentioned it, he spoke only casually and not seriously. But somehow it had a very strong appeal to me and I told him that I was willing to try it. It really surprised him, knowing what sort of a person I was. He never expected I would agree to it. In fact, he was very scared because of the grave nature of the decision involved. He doubted my ability to make sound judgments because of my long illness. But at my consistent urging, my husband reluctantly agreed to invite those prayer healers to come to our house.
One morning a few days later, three elderly ladies came with Dr. Young-Oon Kim and sang their own hymns, one after the other, and prayed in turn for a long time. For the first time since becoming ill, I felt refreshed. They said they would continue every day for one week. I was very anxious for their return. The next day they again sang hymns and prayed. On the third day, during a prayer by one of them, while she was relating the heart of Jesus Christ on the cross, I suddenly felt tremendous pain, as if somebody were driving a big nail into my chest. The pain was so strong and so unbearable I tried to cry out, but I could not utter even one word. It felt like an eternity even though it lasted only a short time. After that incredible experience I felt like a new person.
When the prayer session was over, I told them my experience and they were very delighted to hear it. Then they told me to start taking some liquid. I tried it for the first time in many months and I felt fine. The ladies continued their visits for four more days, and by the end of the week I was up and around. My recovery was rapid. I couldn’t wait for the time that I could go to their lectures and meetings.
A Visit from the General’s Wife
At that time my husband was an aide-de-camp to the commander in chief of the United Nations command. One day a couple of weeks later, my husband came home and told me that the wife of General Sun-Yup Paik, the chief of staff of the Korean Army [and a very well-known Korean War general], had heard of my illness and wanted to come to visit me. It is a very unusual and exceptional honor for the wife of a lieutenant colonel, as my husband was, to be visited by the wife of a general. My husband’s being an aide to the American general allowed him special relations with General Paik.
Normally such a visit would have excited me. But for some reason I felt a little uneasy. A few days later Mrs. Paik [In-Sook No] came to visit and she was very kind to me. She insisted that she knew a very famous doctor who used Chinese herbal medicine and that she would get me some. I should have been grateful, but somehow I wasn’t quite up to accepting it wholeheartedly; nevertheless, you can never turn down a general’s wife.
The next day she sent me a package of very expensive Chinese herbal medicine. Having received it, I couldn’t very well throw it away. I thought it might help expedite my recovery. So I tried the first dose and I became just as sick as I had been before. My husband was alarmed and went back to Dr. Kim and explained the situation to her. She was very shocked. She told him that my being tempted by the herbal medicine was a test that I should have been able to overcome.
The next day, the prayer ladies came back and tried to pray again—but I could tell they were having a very difficult time. They were sweating and struggling so hard, and I saw that they did not have the same spiritual strength as before. Through a long struggle, however, they seemed to regain it. After a week of prayer, I was healed again. I was so grateful that I could hardly wait to go to their meetings.
I Couldn’t Keep Away from the Church
About a month later, I was able to attend my first Sunday service. It was a rather strange experience because I had never been to a “spiritual” meeting in my life. Yet, from the very beginning, I was inspired by the young preacher’s sermon. (I later found out he was Father!) Ever since then, I have been so grateful to Father for saving my life, and I have tried my utmost to be a vital part of this movement.
Soon afterwards I gave birth to my first daughter, Jin-Hee. With a newborn baby, housework occupied my entire day. But it was such a pleasure for me in those days to study the Principle or to do housework with the baby on my back. At that time, we had to pass Principle examinations first on the regional level and then on the national level. Sometimes I hid myself in the attic to prepare for the examinations. I was fortunate enough to pass both exams at the first try. In those days, I just could not keep myself away from the church. Any spare moment I could find I went to the church center.
Then Father initiated a forty-day pioneering condition. I was very happy to participate for forty days during the summer and forty days during the winter. We faced strong persecution in Korea in those days, but the help of the spiritual world was so great.
Extraordinary Spiritual Insight
During the course of those years, an unexpected development took place in my family. My three-year-old son Chul-Hee all of a sudden opened up to communication with the spirit world. One morning he told us that he had been enrolled in a “Cheonju” primary school. He had a cousin by the name of Chun-Kyu, who had just begun school. So at first we thought he was talking about him. But no. He started explaining how he had climbed up to the heavens and how he had joined a school where people were dancing and beautiful music was playing. Then he began to dance. I have never seen more graceful dancing in my life. He began to talk as if someone else were there, and he was laughing and having a wonderful time. He began to scribble something on paper, which we later found out to be ancient Hebrew.
At that time, he also started to judge the spiritual state of the people who came to visit us. Sometimes well-dressed people would come and our son would tell them that their spirits were very low and that they were no good. This created a problem for us sometimes. On the other hand, sometimes elderly ladies from the church would come and he would tell them how beautiful they were and run into their laps.
Chul-Hee was even able to see what my husband was doing when he was away from the house. One day he told me, “Oh, Daddy is with the Reds (meaning the communists).” At that time in South Korea it was inconceivable for anyone to be with communists, especially a senior army officer. But on that day my husband had actually been in Panmunjom at the 38th parallel, which I had not known at the time.
Another time, he spiritually saw a hunting scene. My husband had accompanied Father on a hunting trip and he could see them. My son was laughing and laughing, explaining how they almost caught a deer but had lost it. Later in the evening, he told me that my husband was coming home with two deer and that is exactly what happened.
Our son could judge the spiritual status of every one of us in the family each day. Once he told our maid that she had a baby in her tummy. She herself didn’t yet know that she was pregnant. She said, “What are you talking about?” Then the boy told her very sternly, “It’s a policeman’s baby.” She blushed and went away and never came back. We later found out she had been dating a policeman.
We Have Been So Blessed
Chul-Hee was able to foretell many things to come, and we were asked to report to Father what the young boy was telling us. One day he revealed to me and my husband that we were going to get married. We told him that we were already married. He said, “No, no, you are going to get married!” We tried to convince him several times, but he was so adamant that we stopped arguing with him. We later reported this to Father. Father said, “If your spiritual eyes were open, you would be able to see things as your little boy can.” He kept smiling and did not fully elaborate on it. Not long after that he announced that the Blessing of the 36 Couples would be held and that we were to be included. We never thought we would be blessed because we thought the Blessing was meant only for pure, unmarried young men and women and not for those of us who were already married.
Father often held our son in his lap and gave him lots of his love. Eventually his spiritual communication seemed to be taxing his health too much. For example, his tongue would sometimes peel. Father noticed this and after a year or so he closed off our son’s spiritual communication.
My husband is a rather pragmatic person, and after he had accepted the Principle he wanted so badly to have his own spiritual experience, even just once. Heavenly Father gave him that experience in a stronger way, through his own son.
We have been so blessed to have a close relationship with our True Parents all these years. We always repent that we have not been able to repay them, in even the smallest way. The 36 Couples have mainly dedicated their lives to the movement in full-time missions. But Father asked my husband to remain in government service, and he did so until the end of 1983. He was the Korean ambassador to Norway, and to Iceland, for four-and-a-half years and ambassador to Panama for three years. It is my opinion that Father advised him to stay in government service for so long in hopes that he could establish a positive relationship with the Korean government. Finally, Father asked him to come back for a full mission in the church.
We are very happy to be back because we were, in a way, serving two masters even though we knew where our hearts and souls were. I see that Father has attached the same seriousness and significance to recent pioneering mobilizations as he did for those in the early days in Korea. It is my earnest prayer that we all obey his will and establish a condition to move his providence forward to a new and higher dimension. God bless you all.
Now, 35 years later, and in her late eighties, Mrs. Byung-Sook Lim Han still attends the Cheon Bok Gung Church in central Seoul together with her husband. They are core members of the Korean church community.