Spartan Days and Miracles in Busan – Part 3
By Rev. Won Pil Kim
Soon after the North Korean invasion of South Korea in late June 1950, the North Korean army occupied most of South Korea and pressed down on a small perimeter surrounding the southern cities of Daegu and Busan, which the Republic of Korea forces (and some US troops that had been sent from Japan) defended with all their strength. Troops from General Douglas McArthur’s daring landing at Incheon (near Seoul) on September 15 ended up splitting the supply lines for the North Korean army, and then the allied forces pushed the North Korean army back up the peninsula—just far up enough that Father could get out of the Hungnam special labor camp before the Chinese army entered the war and its tide turned again.
We have already covered Father’s journey to Pyongyang to look for his followers, and then on down to Busan, elsewhere in this series of early days testimonies. Father, Won Pil Kim and one other made their way through war-torn Korea—a journey that took almost two months during the bitter winter of 1950-51.
Busan was a city swollen with refugees from the war, but perhaps a place of comparative freedom and hope compared to most other parts of the peninsula at that time. This is where Father began our movement in South Korea.
This account of Father’s life and activities in Busan from 1951 to 1953 is compiled primarily from tapes of several talks on Father’s life given by Rev. Kim to the first 120-day training session at the World Mission Center in 1981, supplemented by excerpts from his testimony given at Belvedere on October 14, 1979, and his book Father’s Course and our Life of Faith. Occasional portions in parentheses come from History Committee chief Mr. Kwang Yol Yoo’s historical articles in the December 21, 1974 New Hope News and January 1976 issue of the Korean monthly Tongil Segye.
It is worthy of note that these events took place while Mother was in primary school, almost a decade before True Parents’ Holy Wedding.
Putting Principle into writing
The first manuscript of Principle was written by Father, almost all of it in the house he built. While living with Mr. Kim he began the task. As soon as he woke up in the morning, Father would start writing, and after he had written a few pages, I would read them back to him, and he would make corrections and additions. We did this every day for a few days.
While I was at work, Father wrote. When Father had an idea which he wanted to include in the book, he would jot it down on some part of the wall or ceiling of the house. Father also insisted that I keep everything very orderly in our room, so we could readily find anything we needed, even in the dark. Father would climb the hill before daybreak, and sometimes he would wake me up to accompany him. He would tell me to stay at one place and pray while he went farther along to another rock to pray.
Once, very early in the morning, Father woke me up and told me to light the lamp and prepare paper and pencils. Except for that one lamp, everything was dark. Father instructed me to write down what he was going to say, and then he dictated the chapter about the second coming.
Father didn’t stop until he had finished the entire chapter. Usually an author will write down a portion and read it over, reflect on it, and make corrections before going on. But Father dictated without a pause and finished the whole chapter in one sitting. It seemed to me as if Father were reading aloud from a book, since he spoke without stopping, from beginning to end. The rest of the first manuscript of Principle Father himself wrote, but that portion was dictated to me, so it is in my handwriting instead of his. I am telling you this in order to give you a glimpse of how Father wrote the original Divine Principle book.
I used to wonder why I was supposed to write that part. Now I realize that if Father had written everything himself, no one would have been able to understand how he discovered and wrote Principle. If Father hadn’t asked me to write it down, I could never have been able to testify about how he wrote Principle.
When Father moved to another house, he continued writing other parts of Principle, parts which are not yet known by the members. In other words, the complete contents of Principle have not yet been revealed to us. Of course, we know the basic ideas, but some of the more practical aspects, such as how to build the ideal society in a realistic way, have not yet been explained.
My fundraising mission
After finishing his initial manuscript of the Principle, Father told me he wanted to get a job where I was working. I was shocked at this and felt sorry that Father should work. I wanted to work so he could be free to do other things. I was working as a painter’s assistant at the U.S. Army compound, and there I was able to get a job for Father doing carpentry work. Sometimes I had to work late, so when Father finished his job, he would come to where I was working and stay by my side until I was ready to go home. Then we would return to the house together. Father kept this job for about one month.
One day I drew a small picture, and when Father saw it he suggested that I practice drawing for a few days. One of my co-workers at the Army base was also a painter, and for extra money he would make paintings from photos American soldiers brought him of their wives or families. While he was moonlighting in this way, I did the extra work he was unable to finish. He felt bad about this, so he offered to let me try to make some extra money by helping him do paintings.
The first order he gave me was a photo of a black girl. Until that time I had never in my life seen a black person. Because it was a black and white photograph, I was completely at a loss about what color to tint her face in the painting. After trying really hard for four hours, I finally finished a small picture. With uncertainty, I brought the picture to work the next day, thinking that I would have succeeded if my co-worker was happy with it, even though he might not think it was good enough to pay for. To my surprise, he really like the portrait and said I was very good. He not only paid me more than I expected but gave me more orders. Then I turned professional!
I noticed that the more people came to Father’s small church, the more work I received to help support it. Doing pictures was only a sideline to my employment at the Army base, and after work, I brought my orders back to the church and painted there. By the time I finished, it would often be ten or eleven at night.
Soon I discovered that before I returned from work, Father had already bought all the necessary art supplies and made all the preparations for me: fixing the paints, laying out brushes and paper. Father never left me to work alone, but he always sat right beside me, from beginning to end, never taking his eyes off my work but concentrating on it with me. When I finished, I would be very tired and I usually went right to sleep. The next morning I would find everything all cleaned up and the paintings that I had made all neatly cut and rolled up so they would be easy to carry. Father would remind me to take them and hand them to me as I left for work.
I usually set out around seven or eight in the morning and returned around six in the evening. While I was working Father was at home writing Principle, meditating, shopping, doing domestic chores, witnessing and teaching. Sometimes it took a while to get orders, and I would be late coming home. On those evenings, Father was always waiting outside the house, standing by the path, worried that something might have happened to me.
If I was ever at a loss about which color to use, Father always had a suggestion. Later, when more and more orders came, I would draw just the person and Father himself would fill in the background, in such a way as to add to the whole image. As time went on, I would do only the faces and Father would paint in the clothing as well as the background. Then Father even began to add details such as the hair. That meant that we could do up to 15 or 20 pictures a night. We were never short of orders, and between the two of us, we could always manage. That meant, however, that we would sometimes work until one or two in the morning, and I remember once working until about three or four a.m. To finish the first picture took me four hours, but finally, with practice and Father’s help, we reduced the time to about 25 minutes.
Continued next week….