Early Church History (Part 1)
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
True God’s Day 1999 Observance
January 4, 1999
Unofficial notes from Punta del Este
The following notes are from Father’s words, Hoon Dok Hae and other testimonies given January 4, 1999, at Punta del Este, Uruguay. I have selected portions concerning Father’s life and early church history, with Father’s guidance for devotion. I pray that you may find it as illuminating as I have, and I regret the inaccuracies. I have divided it into three parts.
ITN, Tyler Hendricks
A Korean lady who died at 102; she was a model member of our movement. The date of her death was Dec 28. Father ordered a world-level seung hwa ceremony for her. Father gave her the honorary name, Sung Mo Nim, meaning “early mother.”
Choong Mo Nim and Sung Mo Nim used to alternate visits with Father at prison. Ok Sae Hyun is her full name, Grandmother Ok. Mrs. Kang had the longest relationship with her, so she will report. Her relatives did not even report her death to the church. Therefore we have this world-level memorial service today. Father has asked the first member to join in South Korea, Mrs. Hyun Shil Kang, to share about Grandmother Ok.
Mrs. Hyun Shil Kang:
I felt indescribable pain hearing that she passed away. I saw her on Dec 20. She died quickly, one week later. I saw her first when I was looking for the church. She was not 50 yet. I was looking for Father’s place, and someone told me to look for a shoddy house by a well, with many men living there. By the well, I saw Grandmother Ok.
She looked young, with white clothes. I was wearing short skirt, and her first words were, “Are you employed at some company?” I said, “No, I believe in Jesus.” She was happy and invited me and guided me to the house. I was listening to Father, and she was watching me to see if I was listening well. She was preparing food in the kitchen, but looking in at me. There were few members, so I was so precious.
Whenever I went there she cooked for me and took care of me. One day she asked me if I knew who sonsaeng nim (“honored teacher”) is. She said he is precious and beloved of God. She said God had revealed to her that he was sent to save mankind. I said, if you say savior, you mean Jesus. What is his relation to Jesus? She said, he is now living on Pomnekkol with very humble clothes even in winter, but in five years the whole world will come to his place. Many Christians will come, bow down and welcome him as the Lord. It will take only five years.
I thought, this must be a great place, and I will endure five years no matter how difficult it is, and see what happens. That was fifty years ago (all laugh, including Father and Mother) and I would have left before five years if she had not said that, so I stuck in for five years.
If someone criticized Father, she would curse them and fight them, and they would be surprised that this elegant Christian woman would speak so. She could not overcome her temper, no matter with whom she was speaking, she would attack with acerbity.
Living there, I went out witnessing and one day came back and saw her face and Father’s face very depressed. She said that her son had come and beat up Father, banging his head against a wall. She told me that her best son came and beat Father. She was willing to separate from her children to serve Father.
She shared deeply when my faith in the second coming was down. If he is the one, I asked, why does he live in such a humble house, wearing summer clothes in winter? Father said he was crazy for God’s will. He and she would encourage me.
She said she visited Father in prison and took him grain powder and made clothes for him, in secret from her husband. It was difficult for her husband not to notice. On the way back from prison one time, she was tempted to cease the visits because of her family, her husband’s opposition, and her lack of money. As she prayed about this, one grandfather with white clothes and a white beard appeared to her and quietly said, “why do you want to stop the visits? He is suffering in the dark room of the prison, but soon Teacher Moon will appear as the Messiah. He came with the mission of savior and pastor, so please continue no matter how difficult.” He almost begged her. So she said to herself, “If I discontinue the visits, he will be so disappointed because he longs for my visits, so I should continue no matter how difficult.” If the grandfather had not appeared, she could not have continued.
She told me this at the time of my difficulty, and told me, let’s wait a little more. Teacher Moon is not an ordinary person. He came with the mission of the second coming. I was surprised. I loved Jesus and was longing for his return. I always prayed to Jesus that if you come, I want to be the first to meet you. (laughter) Even at night, looking at the moon, I was asking Jesus to come. Now Grandmother Ok was telling me, he is the one you’ve been waiting for. But I thought he would come on the clouds.
So I said okay, it is easy to believe in a Jesus in spirit world, but difficult to believe in a Jesus in the physical world, because he endures many trials. If I had lived with Jesus 2,000 years ago, I might not have been able to believe in him. Often I wondered if Father is Jesus. But for Jesus 2,000 years ago it was even more difficult. He was born fatherless, I thought, but at least Teacher Moon is better than that. (laughter)
So whenever there is difficulty, Grandmother Ok’s core was strong and her words and actions came out from that strong core. When I was pioneering the Dae Jung church, we prayed often and cried tears.
When I visited her last Dec 20, she was pale and had been unable to eat for several days. Father told me she is very loved by God. He scolded her for thinking of her own children more than the members and providence. Then she appeared to Father with grain powder (spiritually), and he could not scold her more. Father said, “If there had been no one visiting me in prison, how difficult my path would have been. This expectation every month that she would come with grain powder and clothes really supported me.”
Once WFWP asked her to give her testimony on video, but she had already lost a lot of memory. So I supplemented it. Her husband was a Christian elder and he studied with me in a seminary. I would give guidance to him. She divorced him, and he went to seminary because he wanted to learn Christian theology in order to evaluate the Unification Church. When they were going through the divorce, her husband told me he can never believe in Sun Myung Moon. I am at seminary at an old age, he said, but your discipleship of Sun Myung Moon gives me a little bit of confidence in Sun Myung Moon.
Grandmother Ok received persecution from her children. At death she was served by her youngest daughter. She would mercilessly reject her and scold her daughter. When I first joined, she had been a five year member, so now it would be 55 years. She had so much difficulty from the children and from her Christian church, but she never succumbed. When I heard yesterday, I remembered her humble clothes.
If Won Pil Kim were here, he could tell you more. In North Korea there was so much persecution. I’ll share one more story. Once I was coming back from visiting my hometown. On that day, her son had attacked our place with his army friends. Father was away in the mountains. Sung Jin Nim’s mother was in the attack too. They threw out everything and tore up Father’s Bible. I was afraid, but Grandmother Ok was bold. We were standing on the road nearby at a bus stop. We tried to gather our members. She thought of it as a normal, natural event, no problem. How people were agitated, sending Father to prison no problem. If we keep our faith in such difficulty, she said, our faith will shine and become stronger. It happens not because Father is not the messiah. Think about Jesus — Jesus was killed.
Yo Han Lee and Won Pil Kim joined us at the bus stop. Won Pil Kim said that we needed to get the money. He went to the house, but could not enter because he was stopped by the attackers. We went to a small room in a friend’s house. Grandmother Ok was reflecting on her time in North Korea, when they took Father to prison. It was not peaceful, but full of persecution. To see this, it hurts me, she said. When will this nation and Christianity recognize him as the Messiah?
As my elder sister, she gave me so much advice. The path of truth is always confronted with difficulty. Don’t think this is a sign that Father is not messiah, but that truth faces tribulations. Jesus went through the same thing. Are we going to lose our faith and become negative, or keep our faith? No matter how difficult for her, I’m proud of her faith in True Parents in front of you.
Whenever I visited her, I felt my faith has to be unbending, like Grandmother Ok. She was always ready to give her life as a martyr. When she visited Father in prison, it was not easy for her. She must have made a strong determination and reconfirmed it many times. I always felt I should learn deeply from her. I always remember the words, let’s wait just five years.
She departed as an example of faith during the most difficult period of our church. Maybe her visits added a little bit of strength to Father, to protect him. She gave so much guidance to members. I heard that your spirit stays on the earth 40 days after physical death. So at this memorial moment, she must be very joyful.
She could not bring many witnessing results in her lifetime, but I’m sure she’ll do well in spirit world. She said, I have to witness, but I cannot bring results. She was sorrowful about this. But as a root of faith and mother of faith, please believe that she will work actively to support us from the spirit world.
We have this sudden memorial service with Father’s blessing. There was no time to prepare, but I’m sure she will be happy. Father just said she was instructed directly by spirit world and that Heavenly Father spoke to her. She visited Father on her own; she was the first to do so. She came to Father by heaven’s direct witnessing. Numerous people received the revelation about Father, but she was the first to act on it.
We cannot speak well about serving True Parents, because we really don’t do it and instead become a burden to them. So we don’t have anything to say in the world of heart and cannot raise our heads. Grandmother Ok really served Father when he was lonely, as a true daughter, in the difficult times. Her entire life is a precious example. We are grateful for all she has done, representing mankind, who are still ignorant. No one but she could take care of Father in prison, representing mankind. How can we forget this?
She has absolute faith in True Parents. When she joined True Parents, her living situation was very comfortable. Her husband was a highly respected Christian elder. His family were central people in one of the biggest churches. She was socially high, lacking nothing in life. But she was able to deny everything and serve Father. She chose suffering, loneliness and persecution. Her whole life turned around, but she could still believe and serve. So she has become the example for all of us.
I do not know if she is here, but I suppose so, because Heavenly Father has dominion over all things.
When Father heard of her death, he said because the world leaders are gathered here, this can bring her comfort and consolation. Because of her ignorant children, I suppose her last years were lonely and unhappy. There is nothing I can do to console her. Father wants to liberate her heart at this time. This can connect her to Heavenly Father. So this must be a great blessing and comfort to Grandmother Ok. This also helps us think about Father’s path again. We can make a re-determination about absolute faith and bring joy and honor to Grandmother Ok. Let’s stand up together and from our hearts remember her and bow to her. (Bows with presidents of Korea, Japan and USA in front.)
“I’m grateful because I found life and freedom. I’m grateful for the coming of True Parents and victory over Satan. I’m grateful for eternity and the glory that will come to me. The new heaven and earth, the bright garden of Eden is open to us.”
These are words of a song from an early Christian group that followed Father, sung by one great grandson of a group member, Rev. Chung Su Won. Father said that we should include it as a holy song.
Be grateful for everything. The one who is grateful cannot be attacked by Satan. Be grateful to offer your life to Heavenly Father, then you will be taken up from death and be an object of pride.
These spiritual groups also have relations to Daemo Nim, so Hyo Nam Kim please bless all these spiritual groups.
(Hoon Dok Hae is about the early church history of sacrifices.)
This is the context of the total living sacrifice offering. If you speak against it your mouth should stop functioning. If you worry about crossing this hill and complain, you will fall away. This is not my commandment; it is of God. Completely go over this final battle. You are connecting as descendents of the archangel. Even sell your life if you don’t have money. If you do not, so many thousands of years of God’s suffering, the flesh and blood of your ancestors, will be lost.
What can you withhold in such circumstances? In the Garden of Eden there were no clothes. They just ate fruit from the ground. You have not done enough. I am speaking this for your sake. Understand clearly. How much has God worked? By going through this path, there can be a way of salvation for all people.
Sung Jin Nim’s mother was married to Father based upon the recommendation of and officiating by a Christian minister. Somehow early John the Baptists could not fulfill their responsibility, and Father is making the way to restore them. You National Messiahs cannot be dominated by the environment, no matter how difficult. Up to 30% of National Messiahs may be changed, to move into the growth stage. National Messiah is not just a title. How can a National Messiah have a house under his own name? If you sacrifice your nation for your own sake, you will perish. Father has walked his path all by himself. There is an arirang song about walking by oneself.
Your faces look distorted. You don’t understand spirit world. The truth does not change. Father must restore spirit world and physical world. Hoon Dok Hae is to teach clearly about spirit world. If you understand spirit world clearly you cannot fall or deviate. You may die anytime; you don’t know when. You have to encourage them, even if you die 10,000 times. Dying is my responsibility; bringing it into the substantial realm is God’s responsibility.
(Rev. Bong Tae Kim, Korean CARP leader, leads a song.)
This song is like Father’s situation. (It’s an arirang song — maybe the one about going alone.)
“Pure water comes down the mountains to the eastern sea. Sorak san is in the west, but where does our mind flow? If it is so difficult, we may stop for a moment, but let’s go together. Pektu San, Halla san on Cheju Island, when you go lower your anchor there, Let us welcome the new song; let us go over the hill. When our way becomes difficult, let’s go forward together.”
There are many arirang songs; they symbolize God and God’s course. Don’t think about other things. We are going the way of restoration.
All the blessed couples — 3, 36, 73 etc., etc. are going over the 12 hills of love, all the way to 40 million, the 12th blessing. Until the 10th, the 30,000, it was uphill, now it is downhill. Now it is the last year, it is all going to be horizontal. Arirang tells us we go through 12 hills. Painful wound. Pekdo small island on east of Korea, called the lonely island, it is the root of life to save the whole world, going through the peninsula and continent. Across the ocean is Japan, China and America. How to digest these four nations. It will not happen just by sitting down. Korea is prepared to save these.
After this, Father has to leave many songs behind. They will cause harmony. But the situation is not yet. Father has to clarify the family and world. If you have the heart to be a martyr, you can make 10 songs, as symbolic examples of Father’s heart and course. For that we need to make holy songs now. 12 hills, 12 stages of blessing. Even until spirit world and God, you have to deny yourself. Adam was an unfilial son. Kick everything out, then God’s han can be resolved. Going to prison is to resolve God’s han. It may require betrayal of family, everything, just holding on to God. To love more and go beyond that, restoration can take place. Even if we are beaten, being a living sacrifice, a living martyr, is more difficult than dying itself. Then God will say, you are better than the Adam I created Myself. This will resolve God’s han.
Look at Father’s teeth. I was trying to make a needle in prison and it ruined my teeth. Go the path of restoration to resolve God’s han. If I talk this way, my anguish will increase. It is the path where your family can be settled. One third of the holy songs should be patriotic, taking part of this world; through that Father will make the condition of not destroying.
Through the reading of his history, Father is finding the way to save all those people (of the Korean John the Baptist spiritual groups). They all knew the fall was sexual. But mainstream Christianity records them as cults. So Father has to find a way to save them. It’s like a dream to be able to do this.
You National Messiahs deserve to be burned on a stake upside down. You have to think about Heavenly Father, but you think about your life. You don’t even write to Father. Women come to my room and try to kick out Mother, saying they love me more than her. Rev. Chung knows this background. Do you remember when you went to Dae Jung and some lady picked you up in a car at the bus station?
(Note all of this was preceded with Hoon Dok Hae about the mission of Christianity to restore lost physical body of Jesus, the Roman Catholic failure, the mission of Protestantism in England being transferred to America, the elder son, and about the world wars and the mission of the UN to create a world Christian political party.)
Morning Hoon Dok Hae
Ho Ho Bin had the mission of Mary, inherited from Kim Sung Do’s group. Her husband had to indemnify the nation. Ho Ho Bin, the wife, persecuted him so much, driving him out naked. They were restoring conditions going back to Jesus’ time. The “Inside Belly” name was from outside rumors. They were persecuted, but they prepared to receive the Lord. How could they resolve the han of Jesus? The clothes, and also for the coming Lord of the Second Advent. A change of clothes every three days. Not using a sewing matching, but by hand. No more than three threads at a time (?). And bowing all the time. If they could not fulfill, they were punished by God and spirit world. And then with a more earnest heart they were told to prepare for the Lord of the Second Advent.
They set up three and 12 disciples. They did 7,000 bows in one day. But they did not survive to receive the Lord of the Second Advent. An angel appeared above a picture of the Japanese emperor and said he will perish. The next day the war ended. God had told them that when the war ended they would meet the Lord of the Second Advent.
Under Japanese occupation, I could not work or speak freely. It was preparation, and after the war I started to fulfill it and I am still doing so 50 years later.
My grandfather was a Christian minister and patriot. If my tribe had received me, it would have been good. Also God prepared my mother. She trusted me and followed me. Also my elder brother supported as a restored Cain, obeying 100%. So Cain and Abel was done and mother and son was done. This fulfilled the Old Testament. To complete the New Testament, I married Sung Jin Nim’s mother. But the risk arose because the Christian group really loved her, led by her older brother. Part of that group had cooperated with Japan.
I could not reveal Principle to Sung Jin Nim’s mother. To restore the fall, woman has to absolutely follow man. With the liberation of Korea it became like Jesus’ time. There were four major groups — Japanese, Chinese, Russian and American. In a small room, Father prayed with tears to God. Father tried to save the Japanese police who were torturing people, including the one who actually tortured Father. Father made his escape route to get to Japan.
In 1948 the Republic of Korea was formed. Father had to connect the first and second Israels into Korea. If all had been connected, then seven years would have made the world foundation and unified the world. The Cain and Abel elder brothers had to unite. When the US Army formed the occupation government, the ministers who knew English. . .
God prepared many internal and external groups, but if the nation failed, then they would go the way of Israel. I was 25. I wanted to make ties with the political leaders, especially defense minister Shin Sun Mo. Then through the ministers I could connect to America. But I couldn’t connect to the ministers. One betrayed me, so it failed. History is determined by a few people. They had bowed down to Japan. I had been in the Independence movement, so they knew me, and I could have shown a new direction to the country.
All the Christians each thought they were the best. There was no center. All who fought have disappeared by now. President Rhee sent a helicopter three times to bring my grandfather to work with him. If my grandfather had accepted, he could have connected me to President Rhee.
Korea and Christianity worked against me centering on Sung Jin Nim’s mother, who called me antichrist. It was like John the Baptist forgetting his revelation from heaven. At the end of 14 years, two seven-year periods, I was blessed. This is the origin of the seven-year periods in our church.
God had to pick new countries to represent Adam, Eve and the archangel, because the first seven years failed. Korea’s division was America’s fault, for not having eliminated Stalin.
Kim Baek Moon, Israel Monastery.
I was in prison six times. No one has received more curses than I have. The time in the North Korea prison was because of a money problem. Kim Baek Moon was the third generation preparation of John the Baptist groups. Heaven told him to prepare a monastery to receive the Lord of the Second Advent. I was in Jesus’ position. God and Jesus are one, by Christian faith. Kim already had a top church and was connected to President Rhee.
I spent six months living with them like a servant, to inherit their foundation. I prayed for them at the same time. I was looking for people to work with me. I needed one man and three women from this group.
The New Testament age is like a mother and the Completed Testament age is like her daughter. After six months, Kim by revelation laid his hands on me and blessed me as Solomon. Key members received the revelation to follow me instead of Kim Baek Moon. I just waited. He blessed me with the mission of Solomon. I inherited his foundation, but he had to speak to me personally. They didn’t have a humble heart nor did they understand human responsibility. If the Kim group had united with me, it would have been a complete foundation, leading to Christian ministers and government. Three women testified to me but did not follow. So I had to go to North Korea. I wrote Kim an 18 page letter, which he tore up. I could not restore heart there. I made a last visit to Kim’s group. I went to their meeting.
I was working for a company, driving a car to get some rice. I received a revelation and went directly to Pyongyang. Rainbows were guiding me to exactly which point on the 38th parallel to cross. It was dangerous at the time. You cannot have both family and God’s will. So I could not go back to my family; this was one month after Sung Jin Nim was born. I was intoxicated with God’s mission to restore Eden.
I had to go to the lowest place in North Korea too. It was like Jesus going to Egypt. I prayed like a lonely lamb going into the heart of the enemy, Satan, communism, his headquarters. God’s sorrow has been due to the inability to love and receive the offering from Cain. North Korea people were Cain. So I abandoned my family to love them.
I had to go back to the beginning. If a letter came from my family, I didn’t even read it; I returned it. My wife was a peddler, doing all kinds of things to survive. She had to fulfill mother-son cooperation for seven years, raising Sung Jin Nim as if he were more precious than a prince.
Pyongyang is the Jerusalem of the east. Here I started the new Divine Principle movement. With the joy of liberation, the people wanted to start again. I was 26 years old, intoxicated, witnessing. I interpreted Romans and Revelation. The other ministers were amazed — how did I know so much Bible? I was pulling out the best people from their churches. After my taking out the best five or 15, the churches were shaking. The ministers cursed me. It was pulling out the few to save Pyongyang from judgement, like Abraham with Sodom and Gomorrah.
People came at all hours to hear me, not sleeping or eating. Telling children long stories, I served them like heaven’s representative, even bowing down to a three-year old boy. When the children praised me, then I could stand as a teacher. I made conditions for the members. I would pray for them and wait for them to come. I was longing for members with most sincerity, surpassing that of the other ministers.
Once a woman came despite her husband’s persecution. Many people were prepared by God for me. One woman came, 30 years older than me, who said she met me in the spirit world. When she was 24 she was directed by me! That was even before I was born! I was amazed; time is eternal. Even if these people touched my clothes, they danced. Mrs. Ok, Kyun Chuk Lee, a wealthy man. One with 12 (?) children, a mother, who abandoned her children to follow me. She said I miss you so much. They went crazy if they did not see me three times a day. Lee Min Joon, was put in prison by her (father in law?) but she resisted, because the path of love is the strongest. Chun Dal Ok, Won Pil Kim’s wife. She was persecuted so much by her Christian family. She is 8 years older that Won Pil Kim, but I blessed her with the one I loved most. They were determined to stay with me even if they broke their legs. So many people were like that in the pioneering period. All this comes to me as a panorama.
The Tae Dong police station in Pyongyang, Aug 11, 1946.
I was taken there for cheating. North Korea had started persecuting new religious groups, and the Inside Belly church was in this category. Also since I came from South Korea, they thought I was a spy. If Mrs. Ho had prayed to find the Lord, God would have told her. I sent someone to tell her to pray that she would meet the Lord, but she rejected the message. But again I tried in prison.
A prisoner named Mr. Hwang was in charge of Mrs. Ho’s prison cell. He bowed to me and reported all about her group. I told him to talk to her. He talked to her and others in the group. I told them to yield to North Korea and get out of prison. But they would not listen. . She was trying to tear up the letter when a North Korea guard saw and took it, and this led to my being tortured.
They used a rope-like whip that penetrates the flesh. I cried for over seven days. I realized how sorrowful God is. In that situation, I consoled God. I had the “no sleep torture” for one week. I trained myself to sleep with my eyes open. Seven people guarded me, twenty-four hours a day. God embraced me and I could feel His love. I am sure that this same God will be with you on the path of death.
One policeman beat me up, then another one came and consoled me. I will meet them, Hong and Park, some day. I was eventually found to be innocent of spying. But I was almost dead. My followers thought I would die.
After coming out, I made many more friends, but all were killed in the war, including the members of the Ho group. It was because they didn’t listen to me. We have to liberate them. The other churches opposed me because I pulled out their best members. I prepared an alternative for them. I could not oppose their persecution with force. I had to sacrifice, yield, and pray for their blessing.
A Mrs. Grandmother Park was called the wife of Jehovah. I had received the blessing of a male leader, Baek Moon Kim, and now her blessing, representing a female leader. In 1945 I was with Kim Baek Moon for six months.
Grandmother Park’s husband was named Han, and they had 10 children. They were the richest people in Pyongyang. I served her until she died, bowing even to her children. I didn’t try to witness to her. They used me and put me to work. I cleaned their excrement. They would tell me to sleep in the barn. I bathed them and carried heavy loads. There is no law necessary in love, but it is miserable. Just serve until you change people.
I had to reverse the fall, so I had to serve her until she would witness to me as the son of God, hence carrying out the reversal. Then she would have to serve me. She did testify, and I demanded that she serve me, and she thought about it. The children divided into two camps, some following me and some the grandmother. Her followers also divided. She went insane and called me Satan. Her husband died a sudden death, on his way out to beat me. He collapsed on the way. All the conditions she had made were worthless because they didn’t connect to me. You have to be sure you are heaven-centered when you make conditions, not self-centered.
I fought with Satan forty days, with many people against me, and I won. Where is the heavenly seal of approval going to fall? On whose head? Because Grandmother Park opposed me, I had to find another Eve.
I went to prison again. It was like Jesus’ suffering path because of John the Baptist’s failure. I had to restore women representing three ages, those of mother, wife, and daughter. So I had to go to prison again, to the bottom of hell.
Hungnam, Feb 22, 1948.
My church had expanded, but North Korean policy was to eliminate new churches, and the Christian ministers didn’t like me. Again I was accused of being a spy. Officials made all kinds of excuses to imprison me. I considered the shackles on my wrists to be a label of God’s love. But I was miserable, because all God’s preparation had failed to connect to me. But I told them, “Although you are lost, I will not abandon you, but will come back for you.”
My hair was cut off by enemy, by force. Looking at my hair on the floor, cut by my enemy, my happiness was left behind. I collapsed many times due to torture, but always consoled God and did not ask for a different fate. I gained strength by knowing I was being beaten to save the nation. I will claim back everything, I felt, by the condition of being beaten. The scars are my medals from Satan.
April 7, 1948.
My trial took place, 40 days after my arrest. I was standing there and feeling that one word I uttered at the trial would determine my fate. You are accusing and ridiculing, I thought, but someday I will ridicule you. It was God’s strategy to train me.
On the way to prison, I clanged my shackles to the members, like a bell. It was to comfort them. They were all crying. How pathetic it was. But I told myself, the one who is following God’s path is not a miserable person.
April 8, 1948.
I went to Hungnam prison, full of hope to meet people prepared for me. I was good at making friends. I made friends with guards. I would analyze their face and tell them who they are. So they would try to speak to me, call me up, and I would make stories, almost novels, for them.
The one responsible for putting me there came to see me and apologize. I pretended I did not know him. He gave me food. I did not eat it but gave it to others. He is my enemy, but he made a heartistic connection.
On May 7, 1948, I was transferred to the labor camp. In the transfer car, I looked at the mountains in serious thought. It was like a step into a new world, albeit a difficult one. I determined not to lose my identity through my suffering.
I was there until June 25, 1950. It was forced labor to kill all the anti-communists whom they wanted to kill, but could not outright kill because of international opinion. So instead they sent them to hard labor to die. In the morning you come out and are checked for illegal possessions. At nine a.m. you walk for four kilometer and are inspected again. It is very, very cold with the wind from the sea. You cannot help but yell, but I said, more cold, more cold! We had to stand in line, hold hands and not lift our heads straight. My legs were shaking. We worked from nine to five. Hot ammonia came down a conveyor, making a 20 meter drop and creating a mountain as it hardened. We had to put it into straw bags. One team had to fill 1,400 bags a day. If a team did not reach the goal, then their food ration was cut in half. No one could fulfill it.
The ammonia makes you lose your hair, blister your skin, etc. We had a 15 minute break in the morning and afternoon, and lunch. Bathroom needs were to be taken care of by making a hole in the ammonia mountain. I thought of it not as labor but as a time of prayer. I invested into the labor as if it were the process of restoration. I thought of myself as a hero in a movie. I tried to do everything with willingness and joy. I weighed 72 kg and did not lose weight. I had no illness but once, for 14 days, but I did not rest. I even fasted. You cannot be indebted to others. It is not allowed in restoration. I took the toughest task. You had to dig, put the bag on the scale, and throw the bag. I took care of 30% of the team’s task. The joy of resting during lunch was incredible. One fellow prisoner wrote a book on the prison, and he described me.
The acid makes a lot of smoke and heat, but I covered by body even though it was hot, like a virgin keeping chastity. I always fulfilled my quota, so I got special honors and was used as a model for others. I got the model worker award each year. Not because I wanted it, but because they gave it to me. I was the number one laborer.
The amount of food was half a small bowl, about three bites. The soup was so salty you couldn’t eat it but you were so hungry you couldn’t throw it away. And no fulfillment meant half the food, and that meant death. People ate and then forgot they had eaten and accused others of stealing their food. Taking rice out of dead person’s mouth was common. Sometimes they served beans, and you would not exchange one bean even for gold.
Everyday there was a funeral. 40% of us died each year. We got used to the day of death. January first is a North Korean holiday. They would serve pure rice, but we liked mixed grains better. They gave fruit twice a year. Prisoners would eat it at once, but I would stop and appreciate the color and scent before eating. They could catch a lot of fish.
I lived there with many social leaders and ministers. One minister came with his son-in-law. He would not give his son-in-law the medicine that he had. He exchanged the medicine for food for himself. This minister is still alive; I remember him. For three weeks I gave away half my food and found I could still fulfill my quota.
They gave us some kind of wheat that I could not eat because it made me swell up. I peeled each grain and ate it. I cannot forget that. How can anyone complain about food? Any kind of grain is okay. I ate the salt soup for years. Your nose becomes sensitive. You learn how precious food is. One grain of rice looks bigger than the whole earth. You look at the food rather than at the person who brings it.
When Grandmother Ok’s food arrived, I shared it with everyone during lunch, like a party. They would cry in appreciation. Prison is cold, you need thick clothes, not silk. I would give good clothes to others, if I received any, to someone who received none. I also made underwear from cloth. I was shaking from the cold. The value of one needle was very high. You had to find them. If someone had one, everyone negotiated for it. You used a broken bottle to shave. You can make a needle. How precious it is.
Praying in the prison. There is only absolute love. No matter what the communists do. I always prayed for the members. I never forgot them, even those who left me. Sometimes I would pray for 12 or 24 hours. There was a thief. I tried to change him; I prayed for him. There were 36 inmates in my cell, and I stayed in the smelliest place. In summer I thought of winter, staying by the toilet. I thought I was better off than Adam and Eve, who didn’t have a toilet but went on the ground. No matter how difficult, I was responsible to serve Heaven.
They gave 1/3 of a cup of water each day, and I used it to wash myself, not to drink. I got up 15 minutes early and washed. I did not sleep freely, but was with Heavenly Father so I had to assume the right posture when sleeping. When you lie down a certain way, you feel that Heavenly Father is embracing you. I was always grateful for His protection. People would step on me. Some would miss the toilet. But no matter what hell, I would take care of them. How can I truly love humanity and my enemy? I trained there.
How strong is the desire for life? If someone’s name was called, they became so sad. If you let me live, each said, I will do whatever you want. I held their hands and comforted them about eternal life, because life is precious in prison. Having a visitor is such a joyous occasion. Also the sunshine is so warm. Sunshine is appreciated most by prisoners, as is the moon through the iron grate on the window. You befriend the insects and lice.
Communists are very well organized. They always shouted out, “Our great leader Kim Il Sung has given this food for you, are your grateful?” “Yes!,” the prisoners answered. And they sent spies to check our words. We had to write a reflection everyday. I didn’t write any, but because I worked hardest they let it go.
Choong Mo nim visited from 100s of miles away. I shouted at her, “I am not a loser in a communist prison! I am not just your son! You should be proud of me and not just have shallow sympathy.” She brought clothes, even my wedding clothes, and I just gave them away, and she felt so sad.
Even in the worst place of hell, there was the presence of God. And whatever I spoke came true, so I became famous in the prison. I had to restore the life of Jesus, so I witnessed to 12 men without words. My number was 596, which means innocent but being punished. If I had had the freedom to talk, how many disciples could I have made?
Some disciples tried to meet me even though if caught they would be beaten and put in solitary confinement for over a week. But they really wanted to just glimpse me, it was incredible grace for them. They would bring me barley powder. It was like a feast. It was an incredible emotion we shared. One person prepared a small rice cake for my birthday. I can never forget. I always paid people back. There will be no debts in by epitaph.
The Korean War drew in the world, because Korea is homeland of the world. It was like a holy war. If MacArthur’s plan had been followed, it would have been over in 1952. On the day of bombing, I stayed in deep meditation about the ideal world. Others were in a panic. The soldiers were dragging out the prisoners to use as human shields. [The translator missed how Father avoided that.]
Hungnam was the first place liberated by the UN, because the son of God was there. There was a schedule of prisoners to be executed. At 2 a.m. before I came up on the list, I could escape.
In prison, I received the stamp of approval from Satan. Therefore I was liberated from the archangel nations. And it was a condition to save the democratic world and connect it to me. When I think of that day of liberation, tears always come. You have to understand all these days of Father’s life and offer something connected to them. In Hungnam there should be a memorial for Father, to generate energy for new life.
Prison is good to evaluate our lives, so I am thinking of setting up an 18-month prison training course for members.
As you resolve your life, with what can you cleanse your life to meet the standard of spirit world? There is Father’s standard. Life and death is not a matter of concern. What matters is meeting this standard. That’s the criteria. Father has created a fountain of heart to save the world. There is much to inherit there.