The Words of the Kovic Family
Well, it would be an understatement for me to say that the next few months following the Blessing in Korea would be an eye-opening adventure. I can't wait to share this with you. This is going to be so much fun.
Now, I don't know how many of you out there who are reading this are either Unification Church members or not. I'm betting that a good number of you are either members of the Unification Church or ex-members. Excuse me, my brothers and sisters (For in my heart you certainly are) while I address the rest of my audience.
Perhaps some of you out there are married. What did you do after you got married? Sure, you had a reception and then you and your spouse went on your honeymoon and had a great time. Boy, you know, in a way I envy you guys but then again when I get through with telling you about what happened to me I just might be able to get that envy going in my direction instead. Here's why.
The Unification Church leaders present at our Blessing in Korea wasted no time. All of the newly married husbands and wives were organized into teams -- irrespective of whether or not each husband and wife ended up being with each other because in most cases they would not -- and a mobilization was begun.
Mobilization, strange term. Almost as strange as my usage of Blitzkrieg or the blitz when referring to when a Moonie explodes out onto a busy late-night business strip in a cities downtown area to fundraise in it's popular restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Well, there's some similarity. Let me explain.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah, right? Okay, I'm not asking you to believe in this if you don't want to, just to confirm what I spoke to you before about. Reverend Moon's the Messiah. He was born in Korea. Now, what does that make the nation of Korea?
Now forget about any negative connotations this word might have especially if you're thinking about Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. That's not who Sun Myung Moon is. I'll admit, he's not in any way shape or form infallible or perfect but I know one thing for sure; he's no Hitler. But still when you have a messiah who's born in a particular nation, that nation must become elevated to a higher position. So, Korea is The Fatherland.
Are you with me, still?
Now without going into a detailed explanation about all of this which I may at some later time in a separate article, let us, for arguments sake, accept this particular premise.
Korea is the fatherland by virtue that the messiah was born within its borders. Now since the early 50's because of the Korean War, Korea was divided into North and South Korea. This has been a rallying point within the Unification Church for many years, ever since it began in 1954. Korea, although it is the fatherland, is of no use by God in His providence if it is divided into two political countries.
So, one of the main reasons for bringing all of these young people together who have just gotten married in this Blessing is to mobilize them or send all of these teams of recently wed individuals to cities all over South Korea. We were all given this mission to go to our respective cities and work there for an indeterminate amount of time for the cause of offering ourselves for the future unification of North and South Korea.
How's that for a really cool honeymoon? Would you, at this point in this article knowing who Sun Myung Moon is and what he's here to accomplish in building the Kingdom Of Heaven on Earth, trade your Hawaiian or Acapulco honeymoon for a chance to work in a Unification Church mobilization?
Of course I know what your answer is. No, right? I wouldn't expect you to answer in any other way. Doing something like this is really crazy but that's what you come to expect when you're a member of a church like this. You suspend all rational thought. The messiah is on the Earth and he gives you your marching orders and with your whole heart you obey. Consider the thinking behind this. The messiah comes to Earth in the 20th century to bring God's Salvation to the world.
You've found this out. You've been in this organization for many years, even heard him speak in person near his home in Irvington, New York in the early dawn at Sunday Service. There's nothing that is more important to you at this point in your life than following the messiah and implementing God's Will through him. You work, eat, sleep, and dream this. It's a deeply entrenched part of your life. Your not brainwashed but you're part of something extraordinary that has changed your life forever.
So, after being wed to your husband or wife and realizing how special this person is to you now and the exciting life that lies ahead of you, you are asked to take part in a mobilization to unite this country torn by war, strife and misunderstanding so that God can have a place to call His own. Naturally, as you feel your commitment to this cause deep within your gut, you don't give a second thought to it. You jump into action.
Please understand that this is the thinking behind what I did and what thousands of my fellow members participated in as we waived the traditional post wedding romantic getaway and rolled up our sleeves so that we could get to work.
Now, what you're going to read next is an excerpt from my personal journal that I kept while I was in Korea. This is unedited and unvarnished, just as I wrote it almost twenty years ago.
I begin this diary on the first day of the Lunar New Year in the town of Yong-Do, a village on the periphery of Pusan, South Korea. I am here at the Yong-Do Unification Church center with three other brothers from Africa, Canada and Austria staying with the Lee Family, the blessed family representing this area. We and 430 members who were blessed on January 12, 1989 in Yong-In plus the couples (Japanese / Korean) from the 6000 couple blessing are being mobilized to unify North and South Korea as one. It is no coincidence that I am working in Pusan.
When my flight arrived here for the blessing due to lack of fuel to make it to Seoul, the pilot took the plane and landed at Kimhae Airport in Pusan. At the time I looked around and knew of a great importance here. As 1,275 couples, we were blessed in alignment with Kook-jin nim's (one of Reverend Moon's sons. The "nim" ending on his name denotes a heartfelt respect because he is one of Reverend Moon's children.) blessing and the blessing of 72 second generation couples.
This was significant. Being blessed at this time after True Father's proclamation of the foundation day of the kingdom of the unified world, November 30, 1988. All of us now would be considered Korean citizens. We were then mobilized into 43 groups of ten (430 altogether) and sent out all throughout Korea covering the whole South Korean Peninsula. Since arriving in Pusan and living in the Beon Cheon Building, every morning at 5 AM we climbed the mountain to the rock of tears (a hillside where Reverend Moon prayed as a young man.) and up to the top where a holy ground was established. I believe we were given this opportunity paralleling 38 years ago at this time of year when our Father arrived here in Pusan from North Korea. This was really a gift. Also, True Father visited us in the Beon Cheon Building in room 510 and spoke to us about our mission in this mobilization.
The next day we attended the festival held in Pusan annually commemorating Father's return to Pusan from Hungnam Prison. This was also very significant. Then we began the mobilization of distributing the Segye Ilbo newspaper waking up at 3:30 and going to our assigned areas. I'm now working under Reverend Lee, a minister in this area and a Seminary graduate. Sometimes I really feel this is my home but I struggle with not knowing the Korean language. But in my heart it is my language so this is the force driving me onward. This diary shall be a record of the events that take place at this time.
Today was the second day of the Chinese New Year. All or most businesses are closed and there are many festivities. I was downtown in Yong-Do trying to find a mailbox to mail a letter to Hong-Yu when I saw across the street a group of people in traditional festival dress beating drums and gongs and dancing in one circle in the street. I walked across the street and went to have a look. As I watched the people dancing I became so drawn by the spirit of the dance. It made me so happy to be there. After the dancing ended everyone was going inside this house. One old man took me by the hand and asked me to come up with the dancers and have dinner. So, I went upstairs with them and we danced as we climbed the staircase until we reached the top floor where a delicious meal awaited everyone. I felt so warmly embraced by everyone. I don't know why they invited me. I was a stranger but I had felt the heart of these people and maybe they picked it up.
Man, I'm never going to forget that experience I had with that party of Chinese New Year revelers as long as I lived. I was just walking around the streets of Yong-Do when that happened and then someone from the party waved me in from across the street. So I went. It was great.
I was a white guy. Of course they saw that I was a western guy, an American, but it didn't seem to matter. They welcomed me into their hearts and into their celebration. I felt I was with my dear friends.
Well, that's but a taste of what I went through in Korea. But I'm far from through in telling my story about my adventures in Korea and in Japan. Oh, the Japan adventure was really something else. That's where I got a lot of my ideas about the plot of "Tamara's Journey" and where it would take place. And you'll be reading about that very soon. So stay tuned.