The Words of the Jones Family
Left to right: Mrs. Betsy Jones, Matthew Jones, and Mr. Joo at the Holy Rock in Pusan.
I left for Korea on April 2. My main purpose was to purchase some blessing robes for the Blessed Family Department. I was also grateful that I would have a chance to visit my son Matthew, who is studying at the Little Angels School. I had originally planned to return on April 10, but while I was there many wonderful events unfolded.
One day, we went on a tour to the 38th parallel. Hundreds of South Koreans were there on tour, straining to look across the border. I could taste the desperate hopes of the South Korean people for unification. Just as we came back from that tour, Mr. Joo, the director of the foreign students at the school, strongly encouraged me to go to Pusan. I hadn't thought about going there, but Mr. Joo, Matthew, and I left for Pusan that afternoon.
We had a very difficult time getting there. We missed the train and had to use a bus, and we didn't get to Pusan until 2:30 in the morning. The trip was physically very strenuous. When we arrived there, we had no place to stay, so we started knocking on hotel doors. Finally we ended up knocking at the church center at about 3:30 in the morning, and were able to stay in a little room at the church.
The next day we went up to the place where Father had built his cardboard house, and where the museum commemorating it now stands. I began to get a sense of the early history of our church just by looking at the place where Father's house had been and the pictures of the early members. Then we climbed up the hill to the Rock of Tears. One of the church leaders prayed and asked us to place our hands on the rock and make a wish in prayer. I began to pray.
During that prayer my heart began to shake. I had a very deep experience of my tears mixing with Father's tears on the same rock. Somehow through the power in that place, I felt that Father's victory at Danbury had actually made it possible for my ancestors to finally be liberated through me and my husband. I prayed that all of us as blessed families could realize that we are the inheritors of Father's victory. I felt the accumulation of all the work that Father had done to set the conditions for the liberation of the world, and I also got a sense of the tremendous effort of all the early blessed couples who made so many conditions themselves.
It was a very deep spiritual experience for me. When I finished praying I felt that God was very much with me, and as I looked around, everything seemed different, and much brighter. On the way down I saw two small children near the path. They bowed to me, saying 'Anyong hashimnika' I had an overwhelming feeling of God's love for them. This whole experience reminded me of the time of my Blessing in Seoul 16 years ago. After offering our confessions to True Parents, my husband-to-be and I prayed at the holy ground. There I felt completely forgiven, as if I were a real part of True Parents' lineage. This time I felt even more deeply cleansed and forgiven and more sure of my place in Father's lineage.
This was actually a moment of spiritual renewal of my faith. The feeling remained with me throughout my whole stay in Korea. It made me spiritually receptive to everything that was to happen to me after that.
On April 8, Mrs. Won Pok Choi invited me to True Parents' pledge service at Han Nam Dong on Parents' Day. I felt very privileged to be invited. She also said that I should plan on staying in Korea a little while longer than I had intended because something special might happen. We left at 5:15 the next morning so we could be at Han Nam Dong early. Many members came from all over Korea, and even Japan. We all went to the basement to change into our robes.
I felt so much purity from all our older brothers and sisters there. Old and young, men and women, were all changing into their white robes in one room. It was such a pure feeling that all of us were brothers and sisters under our True Parents. I was again awed by Father's work.
Then we had pledge service, and at some point after pledge, Father spoke to Mother, and Mother walked over to Un Jin Nim. Un Jin Nim took off her white robe, and underneath she had on a traditional Korean dress. Then Mother said something to Rev. Kwak. Shortly after that, I saw three young men come into the room. Then again Father said something to Mother and Mother spoke to Rev. Kwak, and Rev. Kwak asked Jin Hun Park to leave the room.
At this point no one really knew what was happening. Then Jin Hun came back after about ten minutes wearing a white robe with gold trim. At that moment, the whole room began to fill with a sense of joy in what was happening. Everyone burst into applause at the realization that Jin Hun Park was to be Un Jin Nim's husband! When I looked around the room I could see that many of our members had tears in their eyes. It was a very happy moment.
Mrs. Betsy Jones, center right, visiting the Western blessed children at the Little Angels School in Seoul.
I saw that Mrs. Park was overwhelmed with joy. Pictures were taken, and many people rushed up to the couple and especially to Mrs. Park, to congratulate her. Most of the time I kept pinching myself, wondering why I had the privilege of being there at this precious moment.
I felt an atmosphere of great joy surrounding Un Jin Nim. I also learned at that point that many of the children of the elder members were to be matched during this time. Among many of the parents that were there, I sensed an element of great anticipation and excitement.
After that, Father was to give his Parents' Day speech at the headquarters church, so we all went over there. I couldn't understand most of what he was saying, but someone told me that he was explaining how in Korea now, people are coming up to him and Mother and calling them True Parents, calling them Father and Mother, even at the hotels where they stay. There is such a different atmosphere surrounding them now, everywhere they go.
As I watched him speaking, on the foundation of my experience at the Rock of Tears, I kept saying to myself, "I believe, I believe!" It was such a deep renewal for me. I felt completely grateful. This was really a God-given trip! I didn't have any concept that all these things would be happening to me. I had somehow felt pushed to make a plan to go to Korea at this time. Mrs. Choi had encouraged me to stay on without exactly telling me why. Little by little Mrs. Choi had let me know that something special was going to occur. This kind of thing happened throughout the whole trip.
On April 11, I attended Un Jin Nim's wedding. The newly-matched brothers were in their dark suits and the sisters wore pink chimachoguris. They looked beautiful. I came in the back door thinking that I would just watch from the back, but someone escorted me all the way up to the fourth row. So I was very close to the scene of events. I sat next to some of the jubilant parents whose children were going to be blessed the next day.
Watching the wedding was a very beautiful experience. At one point after the ceremony was finished, when Father proclaimed Un Jin Nim and Jin Hun Nim a God-centered couple, I felt that both of them had spent their whole lives preparing for this moment. Some people had said that Jin Hun Nim was a very quiet, studious person. I could see that from the day he was matched, he just started to blossom and mature in stature and dignity.
During their wedding ceremony, Rev. Won Pil Kim gave a very personal address to the new couple. Instead of facing the audience, he faced them, as they themselves faced True Parents. He spoke to Un Jin Nim and Jin Hun Nim very personally and parentally, often using their names as he spoke. The loving heart with which he spoke was quite moving to me.
Some of the couples had been matched the day before Un Jin Nim's wedding, and more were matched during that day. Father brought together some couples whose parents were both from the original 36 Couples, but mostly the couples were from different Blessing families.
It was so exciting to see the new young couples everywhere. On the evening of Un Jin Nim's and Jin Hun Nim's wedding, some of them came up to me and expressed how elated and relieved they were.
When I was watching the wedding of the 36 Couples the next day, I remembered one of Father's expressions, which is: Loyalty brings success. I felt that these children had been truly loyal to God and True Parents, and to their own parents, following them faithfully their whole lives. This was almost like their moment of liberation, because now they knew whom they could give their hearts to and share their love with. I felt tremendously glad for them.
I had even helped some of these blessed children in some way when they were younger. I had either taught them in Sunday school or I knew them from different places. I knew Mrs. Mal Sook Lee's son, Jin Bok, and Rev. Kwak's second daughter, Sung Sook, and when Father put this couple together I thought, "This is a 100% perfect couple!" And Rev. Chan Kyun Kim's daughter was blessed with Mrs. Gil Ja Sa Eu's son. They looked as dignified as they lead the line of couples when they came in. Dr. Bo Hi Pak's second daughter was blessed to Rev. Young Whi Kim's oldest son. These are some of the couples I knew. I could see their parents sitting in the front row looking so glowing and proud.
I realized that the ways of the world must have made these children feel that there was something not normal about them while they were growing up, because their parents were members of the Unification Church. But now I felt that they were not merely normal, but the very completion of God's ideal -- God's pride and joy. They were True Parents' pride and joy, too. Having helped some of the children myself, personally watching them grow up, I knew that they had been through many lonely times, often without their parents, often having to separate from the ways of the world, in terms of dating and other things. Now they could be proud of the fact that they had been true to their beliefs. And because they had never deviated from that position, because of their beautiful, unchanging quality, their true value could now be expressed. How valuable each of those couples are to God!
I especially felt this for Un Jin Nim and Jin Hun Nim. They had both been very loyal to True Parents, quietly living principled lives. They were both college students and doing the best they could, and then in one instant God could bless them. All the couples had been through tough times, but the moment of their Blessing was so powerful. God was pouring upon them His heartfelt congratulations.
What I noticed about Mother was that she seemed extremely happy, especially during the time of Un Jin Nim's engagement. I sensed from Father as well as from Mother that they were deeply satisfied with all the couples. As I watched True Parents, I could just imagine what it will be like for my own children to come to such a point as this and to feel total oneness with True Parents' decision about their matching.
Some of the Western blessed children who study at the Little Angels School came to the wedding. Many of them had a profound experience just seeing True Parents. I think it also struck them that one day they would be there on stage like this. Their future Blessing wasn't just a concept anymore. It became very much a reality …