I started off my morning by walking out to the balcony connected to the sisters’ room at the Yeosu Spa. I was welcomed by a wonderful view of the city of Yeosu and the shore. Personally, my perception of Korea has changed since traveling on this pilgrimage. There is a clear difference between the city and the rural countryside; also, the culture was different from what I thought it would be.
Members of my pilgrimage team, the “red team”, has been getting more comfortable with one another and participating more and more. On the bus, we sing together, pray, read a short Hoon Dok Hwe, and acknowledge True Parents before eating breakfast. Everyone plays a part in making the journey meaningful. We always switch up the Hoon Dok Hwe reader of the day, and after the reading we pair share and reflect on the passage we received. My Hoon Dok Hwe sharing partner, Miambi, made an interesting point about our Heavenly Parent. She told me that God speaks to us in puzzles and that we each have our own way of receiving His message. She elaborated that True Father knew he couldn’t reach humankind just through one outlet or avenue; he needed to expand into different industries, such as business and entertainment. Individuals who enter places where our movement made a big impact, even without knowing, are indirectly relating to True Parents. In short, we don’t realize how Heavenly Parent and True Parents are trying to reach out and communicate, but they always are.
With this in mind, I spent time reflecting on the bus. One way I did this was by listening to music. I repeatedly listened to “Oceans,” a song by Hillsong, since it related to the ocean providence and True Father’s passion for fishing. The song’s message is about having the strength to have an open faith with God and seeking to find something deeper in life. After having all these experiences, I needed this time to reflect and understand where I wanted my mind to be.
After three hours riding on the bus we arrived to Busan. We entered a facility that preserved the rock True Father used as a foundation to build his mud hut, a humble dwelling where he began his ministry in war-torn Korea. In addition, there were other antiques from his earlier days, such as objects used for the opening ceremony of Pomnekol Memorial, a stone used to build his hut, and ink and brush for calligraphy writing.
Rev. Kim Yuk Shik enthusiastically shared True Father’s early life and more details on how True Father struggled. His anecdotes were very informative. We covered True Father’s release from Heungnam Prison all the way to arriving in Busan. This Busan pilgrimage site and the story went way beyond my expectations.
We visited the Rock of Tears where True Father often prayed, and a few other holy sites within hiking distance. At the Rock of Tears, we had a very powerful and emotional experience. After hearing how lonely True Father was and how much he endured in his life, we all huddled together around the Rock of Tears. Those who could not directly touch the rock touched the individual who was touching the rock directly in front of them. It was raining outside, and as we entered into a unison prayer, we all prayed loudly and felt the rain pouring harder and harder. It was surreal.
In my prayer, I was asking God and True Father to lay down their struggles; and the rain rushing down felt like their tears. It felt like they were comforted by the Top Gun participants. I can say it was a spiritual phenomenon.
We walked on along the trail, and right when we reached the top of the hill, the rain stopped. We were told if we were ever having difficulties to always remember the mud hut True Father built and the struggles he endured, including going without food for days, receiving harsh persecution and wandering like a beggar without a home. He started out with nothing and literally hit rock bottom. This really encouraged me to overcome any obstacles that may come my way in the future.
At the end of the day, we were tasked to write a letter of determination to True Parents. I wanted to use this opportunity to share my letter and the hearts of many of the Top Gun participants with all of you. I am taking this moment to be vulnerable and share what’s on my heart:
Dear True Parents,
Words cannot express the transformation I have gone through in this pilgrimage with my faith. It is truly an honor to be called Heavenly Parent’s child. My purpose and determination for this life on earth has become clear as water. True Parents, thank you for loving someone as unworthy as I. I appreciate that, as I grew up, you continued to smile even though you were going through immense pain and suffering. You have made the impossible possible and the hopeless hopeful. I ask, what can I do for you? How can I make it easier for you?
All I can say is I will work together with you and my brothers and sisters to build you a home, and bring your global family back. Please do not worry about me, but take care of those who really need you.
You have shown that, just like the ocean, life can throw many waves. However, no wave is too big to overcome. All I ask is, teach me so I can learn to be a true daughter. A daughter who cannot only just inspire but also love completely like you do. My determination is to not be ashamed of who I am and where I came from. I want to share my faith and talents that Heavenly Parent bestowed upon me so the world and cosmos may remain in everlasting peace.
If our movement has grown like this over 50 years … I cannot wait to see how it will be in the next 50 years. I want my children and future generations to inherit and cherish your love the way I have received it today. My promise is to try my best and unify with True Mother. I promise to try and share the great news. I will work with my husband and fellow Unificationists to make your dream of peace and true families a reality. I step forward knowing whatever hardship I may face is a blessing that will unfold in the future.
Please know this is absolute. I have nowhere else to look but forward. Please give me this chance to set things on course. To change judgement into love; and to change separation into unity. I believe we can work together despite our differences. I believe we can live a life where we can feel overflowing with joy everyday. Heavenly Father and Mother, please don’t worry. I promise to be there for True Mother and do my best to not let her down.
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