True Parents' History for Children
by Linna Rapkins
We are going to follow the activities of Yung Kyung, a fictitious character who is a composite of many people and their experiences.
"Pictures for sale! Pictures for sale!" called out Yung Kyung as he walked along the crowded streets in the marketplace. Well, "streets" was hardly the word; they were more like pathways. The sides of the streets were packed with tables and booths until there was hardly any place left to walk. Now, he was in the household area, where pots and pans, kitchen utensils, and other items for the home were sold. Sometimes, he wandered into the bedding section where comforters, blankets and pillows were sold, or even into the clothing area, hoping to find a customer he might otherwise miss.
Selling pictures on the street was a way to make money to support the church. The Chongpadong Church was crowded these days, with many new people coming every day. These people had to be fed. The bills had to be paid. Leaflets had to be printed.
The year was 1964, and the 40-day conditions were still going on-one after the other, nonstop. It was exhausting, but at the same time it was very inspiring. Some members were getting 10, 20, 30, or even more, spiritual children.
Meanwhile, down in the southern part of Korea, in the direction of Pusan, there had already been two revival meetings in Taegu, where hundreds of people heard the Divine Principle. (A revival is an event that helps people wake up spiritually and feel God's heart. )
Each of these revivals was four weeks long. Many new people had come, and Yung Kyung had been one of them. He remembered the awesome prayers and singing. He remembered how excited he had felt when he learned that God's son was on earth. His whole life-indeed the whole world-was changed.
He was one of the new members who had been sent to Seoul, and he had arrived just in time for a speech by Father, the man they called Son- sengnim, meaning teacher; or Ju-in, meaning Master.
"From 1960 through 1963, for these three years, I have been driving you harder and harder," he had said. "`Go out and witness,' I said to you every day. I knew you were exhausted, hungry and treated badly. But we had to get God's word out to all the Korean people. I felt so sorry for you, but I couldn't let you go home to rest." Tears came to his eyes even as he spoke. Yung Kyung was surprised to see a grown man cry in public; yet there was nothing sissy about him.
"When I sent you to all parts of Korea, you were like the Israelites being driven out into the wilderness," continued Son-sengnim. "If you didn't complain, you were a success."
At the end of his talk, Father led them in singing with such great feeling, that soon everyone was singing from the very bottom of their hearts and at the top of their lungs. With eyes closed and bodies swaying as one, they poured out their love to Heavenly Father through their heartfelt music. It was as if the angels were singing with them. Yung Kyung had thought the singing in Taegu was great, but this was phenomenal.
The next night, Father had given them all a great treat. He invited them to a performance of the Little Angels. "What are little angels?" Yung Kyung wondered. "Is it a spiritual experience or something?" No. He soon learned that the Little Angels was a group of girls who
had learned the traditional Korean songs and dances and were preparing to perform to the public. How beautiful they were! The Korean heart truly soars when it sees such beauty and grace springing from their own culture.
Many members had thought it was a mistake when Father started this group. The church was so poor. Even True Parents' family practically lived on barley and kimchee, and the true children had very few treats. How could they put their scarce money into something so frivolous as music and dance? But Father was looking into the future and the universal level. He knew these beautiful children could bring God's musical and colorful heart into the drab lives of the Koreans. Later, they could even be good-will ambassadors to other countries.
"Pictures for sale! Pictures for sale!" Yung Kyung put more energy into his sales pitch now, as he remembered the beauty of that night. He truly wanted to help his Ju-in, his Son-sengnim. He felt love bubbling up in his heart as he remembered how God's love flowed through Son-sengnim to him. He must return some of it. Through his blood, sweat and tears, he would do it.
The Great Seoul Flood
As spring came sneaking past the winter, the rains broke loose. Never had they seen such rains in Seoul. Every day, every night, they beat down upon the tile roofs. Pictures were impossible to sell. Witnessing was difficult at best. Teaching inside was the most pleasant activity of all, and Yung Kyung sat with the others, grateful to listen to lectures once again.
Outside, the waters of the Han River rose higher and higher, and worried families tried to protect their homes. They piled their belongings on the roofs or moved to higher ground.
But then, one day, the water poured over the banks and into the winding streets. Higher and higher it came. Before it was over, thousands of homes and shops were ruined. In some cases, whole communities were swept away, and at least 300 people died in the city. Seoul was a disaster area.
The water sat in the streets and in the homes for days, and it stank. When it finally went down, layers of mud and debris covered everything. The people shoveled mud out of their homes for days and sorted through their meager belongings and hung them out to dry. Life was always hard in Korea. Just when they thought life had improved, everything was destroyed once again.
Luckily, Chongpadong Church was on higher ground and was not harmed. But homes of some the members were destroyed.
"Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who have lost their homes," said Father. "But more than that, we must help them rebuild. Being brothers and sisters means taking care of each other."
Yung Kyung put on his old work clothes and was soon up to his ankles in mud as he helped his brothers and sisters in the church. Witnessing and lecturing had to be forgotten for awhile. The hardest part was finding clean water to drink. If they drank dirty water, they could get very sick and even die. Yet it seemed that every drop of water in the city was dirty. Yung Kyung was sent with other young men to get big containers of water from outlying villages. Everyone found a way to help.
One day, a box of supplies arrived from America. The Unification members in America had collected clothing, honey, molasses and other things, because they had heard they were in short supply in Korea. The
clothing was handed out, and although it was a different style than they usually wore, many people felt a little better that day.
"I wonder what those American members look like," wondered Yung Kyung, as he watched the unpacking. "It's a funny feeling to think that there are people on the other side of the world who follow Son-sengnim-and it's a good feeling." Maybe someday he would meet some of them. Well- more likely not until spirit world, for what chance would he ever have of going to the other side of the world?
Revivals in Taegu
Within a few weeks it was time to get back to the spiritual work.
"Now, we will have another revival," announced Father before they had even cleaned the mud from under their fingernails. "We absolutely must wake the Koreans up."
"Why are his eyes so red and swollen?" wondered Yung Kyung. Only the older members knew what that meant. Father had been in his little room upstairs praying, and when he prayed he wept and wept and wept-for hours and hours and hours. The tears always rolled out of his eyes like a flood of their own, and they poured down onto the straw mat on the floor. Whenever the cleaning ladies came in, they had to walk around the wet area, where his tears had left the mat soaking.
No one knew exactly why he cried so much. They felt terribly sad for him, yet helpless to really do anything to make him feel better. Father had tried to explain to them that Heavenly Father's heart is so incredibly sad, and never before had He had any way of releasing his sad feelings. Now that he had started crying, it was as if he could never stop.
Whenever the members looked at Father's swollen eyes, they got a sense of how desperate he really felt. He was absolutely serious about saving the world.
"Yes," he continued. "It's time for more revivals. We will go back to Taegu. There are many people there who have been prepared by God. We can't forget them."
Within a few days, many took the 10 hour bus trip to help the Taegu members with the revival meetings. Yung Kyung was on the bus, too, returning to his home town for the first time since he had joined. This time he would not be just a listener; he would witness and bring people to Father.
"Maybe I can find some of my old friends," he thought hopefully.
Before long, the routine in Taegu became habit. Two hundred young members sleeping in the church arose promptly at 5 o'clock every morning. On with the clothes. Cold water on the face. Meet together.
"You will each be assigned to a church," Father had instructed. "You should attend that church every morning. Pray for the church. Pray that the people will listen to the Divine Principle. Hand out leaflets in front of the church inviting them to a lecture in the evening."
The members were split up into little groups, and, leaflets in hand, they set out in the dark for their assigned churches. The leaflets were small, for it was hard to get paper-and expensive. They prayed in their churches. They handed out leaflets afterward, as instructed. Then, they returned to the church center for breakfast-morning rice and soup, that is. Out they went again, this time to the streets, parks, homes, colleges, high schools, anywhere they could think of. They spent all day inviting people to their evening meetings.
In the late afternoon, they gathered in several places to street preach. In other words, they stood on the street and took turns giving speeches through a loudspeaker, while others passed out leaflets. Sometimes, people stopped and listened. Sometimes, they shouted, "Sheku rowo" ("Too noisy!" Which really means "shut up.")
As evening approached, it was time to return to the church for evening rice and then lectures. Some nights, only two or three new people showed up for the lectures. But sometimes, 100 or more came. Over all, many new people joined, and the revival was a great success.
Six-Month Traveling Revivals
By September, 45 new members, mostly college students, were chosen for a special mission. First, they had to go through a training for ten days. They listened to lectures, they witnessed, and they learned to lecture. On the last day of training, Father spoke to them.
"I am 45 years old now," he said. "There is one of you for each year of my life. Therefore, representing me, I want you to go up and down the roads and paths of Korea and teach the Divine Principle wherever you go."
He divided them up into 15 teams, with three people on each team. "What I want you to do," he explained, "is to lead revival meetings for six months. You will go with your leaflets and loudspeakers and spend six days in an area. Then you will go to the next area for six days, and so on. You will get back to each area three times during this period."
Six months! Looks like this would take them through the winter. Better get those quilted winter clothes out! Quickly, they prepared. Soon, they were on the roads fanning out from Seoul.
When they entered a town, the first thing they did was pray. Next, they looked for a place to hold meetings. Then, they walked all around the town with their loudspeaker. "Come to a meeting," they called. "Tonight there will be a special free meeting to explain God's new revelation. Come one. Come all." All day, they spoke and handed out leaflets.
In the evening, they went back to the meeting hall. Who would come? They never knew. Sometimes one; sometimes many. It was always a surprise. They felt very responsible to teach Divine Principle to as many people as possible.
In October, Father and a few older members traveled around to all the provinces to visit the revivals. How surprised were the members when Father showed up, and it gave them new energy to continue. They felt, "We can do it! Yes, we can!" And out they went with their leaflets and loudspeakers.
It was hard work, especially in the cold, cold winter months when the winds swept down from Siberia. But they made their rounds and continued to preach and teach every day. Nothing could stop them.
Because of the six months of hard work by these 45 people, practically every soul in Korea heard about Tong-Il Kyo-he (Unification Church), and many joined. It was like the bright new spring after the cold gray winter.