The Words of the Woo Family
On July 8, 1989, Mrs. Sue Kyung Yoo Woo died from cancer. She was born on November 17, 1940, and was a 72 Blessed Couple. She is the wife of Rev. Jong Jik Woo and the mother of four children. As the first of her Blessing group to have her Sunghwa and Won Jon ceremonies in America, a very special national-level ceremony was held. In addition to receiving a calligraphy from Father testifying to her life of faith, Hyo Jin Nim led the mansei cheer at her Won Jon Ceremony in Tarrytown, New York.
Mrs. Sue Kyung Yoo Woo was born October 14, 1940, in the. Ham Ju Province in North Korea. Her father was an independence leader who fought against the Japanese government, and was imprisoned for his activities for a long time. After Korea was liberated from Japan in 1945, he was released from prison. But he had acquired a sickness and soon passed away at only 30 years of age. There were many patriots on her mother's side as well.
Because she was only four years old when her father passed away, Mrs. Woo had received no father's love during her entire life. In her family there were no sons, only daughters, of which she was the youngest. Her mother and sisters were always seeking spiritual things, not just the external aspects of life. When they came to South Korea they had no place to stay, so she and one sister went to an orphanage and attended school there for two years. Since they were very smart, they were able to attend Ehwa Junior High School and Senior High School where they became outstanding students. She had always led a religious life, attending Christian church meetings regularly. At Ehwa she was elected to be in charge of the religious department, which meant she guided the activities at chapel each week. As you can imagine, she was very trusted by the school. She joined the Unification Church while a student there, at the age of 15. At the time she joined the Unification Church, the school was actively persecuting students who were involved in the Unification Church. Several students who had joined had to hide when praying at the school because of so much persecution. She joined at the time Father was in the South Gate Prison.
Hyo Jin Nim leads the mansei cheer at Mrs. Woo's Won Jon ceremony.
Father remembers her as the young girl who always sat in the pews praying in front of Father. When she was about 18 years old, the church held a Divine Principle test nationwide and she received the first prize. Father gave a special award to her. In the summer of 1957, she went to a small town in Chun Nam Providence for a nationwide witnessing condition. Many people joined at that time. In 1960, everyone went out again on a witnessing campaign. She went to Kyung Ki Providence this time, where she was a church leader for a while. She had attended Yonsei University, but she dropped out of college so she could go pioneering.
We were blessed in the 72 Couples Blessing in 1962. In 1963, I went into the army, so she took over my position as church leader. In 1964, she became the church leader of another province where there was no center. Everyone was so poor that she had to go fundraising. In Korea, fundraising is so difficult: people had no money so they gave her heavy bags of rice that she had to carry back home. But she eventually purchased a church center there and offered it to Father.
My wife then attended a blessed wives three year witnessing campaign. I took care of the children. I was a church leader, so one young sister helped me to take care of our three children. Then in 1976, we came to the United States with our whole family. My wife took care of our children for about six years. In 1982, she was asked to help Christina Bahn, where she has worked ever since. Both of us were in front line missions, so our children had to endure many hardships. My wife traveled a lot to expand Christina Bahn's business foundation into a successful company. It is not easy to win the respect of the Korean community in New York. Through a very good advertising campaign, and especially Mother's spiritual support, the business went forward. Many people from the community came to love and respect Mrs. Woo. Through that, Father's name and the church's name were elevated. While other companies might sell coats of very cheap quality, our idea was to create a good quality product for which the customer was always grateful and never complained.
During the last few years, many famous people visited the store as a result of special advertising. She received many accolades from newspapers, magazines, the Lions Club, and others during these seven years. That is why a lot of the Korean community attended her Sunghwa ceremony and many people felt so sorry about her death.
She first became sick around 1988. We found out from the hospital that she had malignant tumors. Our doctor had said there was no problem, but after surgery they found cancer and began a nine months treatment. The doctor said the treatment was a success and we would never have to worry again. We were so happy. She then continued her business activities with her doctor's permission. She worked very hard. However, my feeling was that she worked too hard too early, so I asked her to please slow down.
In March of 1989 we went to the doctor for a checkup. Everything seemed fine. One month later we found a lump and surgery determined it was malignant. We switched from our original doctor to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. She made an appointment, but had to go in before that time because she had difficulty breathing. She was told to stay overnight at the hospital. She became much worse so she stayed there at the hospital until she died one month later.
During her time in the hospital, she was prepared for the spiritual world. On the night of May 12, she received a spiritual inspiration accompanied by a strong fire throughout her whole body. She heard a voice from heaven, saying, "This is indemnity for the purpose of true love and for your rebirth. I want to save your life; that is why you are receiving this true love indemnity." She heard this voice three times over a period of three days. She had experienced so many stressful times during her life, but now all stress was gone. She received a completely peaceful mind; she could love anyone, even an enemy. Before that there had been times when loving was difficult, but after that spiritual experience she could love sincerely. She led a holy life, reading Father's words and singing Holy Songs.
Mrs. Woo went to East Garden for the last time in May. At that time, Father said, "I need you for the providence. Everybody should join together and pray, and maybe a miracle can happen." It was like receiving two kinds of predestinations. Her life was prepared in two ways, in case she lived or died.
During her last month a lot of people visited the hospital. She searched her heart regarding her relationship to each one of them. If there had been any kind of difficulty, any misunderstanding or resentment, she talked to each person, and apologized. She asked them to share their heart as well, and they talked with each other until everything could be resolved. She made such arrangements during her time in the hospital, preparing to pass away. She even wanted to give money to the sister who had helped with her children during the three year witnessing time in Korea. She didn't want to have any debts spiritually. The purpose of life is to serve others and create loving relationships. She wasn't completely satisfied with her life, so she resolved those points.
Her hospital life was a very holy life that moved so many doctors and nurses. While most other patients were complaining, she was always peaceful and grateful. Our family stayed together with her for one month in her room. Finally the hospital personnel testified about us, saying this was the first time they had seen such a beautiful patient and wonderful family.
The Woo family
Before she passed away, she had a spiritual experience. She felt Heung Jin Nim's presence very strongly on July 6 around 10:00 p.m. She felt him holding her hand and praying for 30 minutes. Such an incredible gift of grace! During her last couple of days, she could no longer speak so she wrote her thoughts on paper. She wrote that this had been a victorious test and that she now knew all the answers. She felt a complete victory and she did the mansei cheer a lot during those last days. She would sing and then do a mansei cheer. Her last words to Father were, "Thank you so much True Parents! You gave me so much love. I will testify forever to your love, because I am your true daughter." She prayed that her children would be even more pious than their parents.
She passed away on July 8, at 10:00 a.m. The whole church community helped in preparing the Sunghwa ceremony. Over 400 people attended: leaders, friends, relatives, and also non church members. The funeral director also testified to how beautiful and well-arranged everything was. He had never seen a family attend the deceased so sincerely. Hyo Jin Nim came to the Won Jon to express his sympathy and to lead an abogi mansei. This was such a special dedication for us.
Her life was very short, but many people testified how they had envied her. She received a calligraphy from Father, saying she had lived for God's Will. Her life was so beautiful. She told me she loved me and would meet me in the spiritual world. I said, "Of course, we will see you!"
Father asked me about her final days. He told me this was God's blessing, so please don't carry a sad face in front of the children. Through the Seunghwa ceremony we could witness to a lot of people who had previously had a bad image of our church. But the ceremony was so beautiful and everyone worked so hard to make it special, their minds were changed. Some people told me, "From now on, I want to study the Divine Principle."
Our children are all in top level universities in America. The youngest son, only ten years old, is also an excellent student. Our children made a new determination to study and to work for True Parents more than ever before. We will try to be an even more happy and peaceful family.
During the ceremony I felt so repentful to her; if I had done more, she could perhaps have led a longer life. Life and health are the most precious things. I had known this intellectually before my wife's illness, now I felt it in my heart. I had a really deep experience through my wife's suffering to her last peaceful moments. From this experience I could more deeply understand the value of Divine Principle, True Parents and true love. I have more determination to live and die for God's Will.