Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 47
Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 2: The Birth of True Parents
Chapter 4: True Mother’s Childhood and Youth
Section 1: An Atmosphere of Faith, Paragraph 12
Section 2: Education and Encounter with Father, Paragraph 9
12 Heaven led and protected us even in Seoul when we were searching for my uncle. We suffered tremendously to cross the 38th parallel and come to the South, but we had no idea how to find my uncle once we arrived in Seoul. My grandmother and mother asked around for him without really knowing how to locate him. It was not an easy task. But miraculously, we met a friend of his. It was indeed due to heaven’s help and guidance. At that time my uncle was living in an army tent near Seoul, and he was very happy to see us when we visited him. He said he was glad we came, because he had been worrying about his family back home. My uncle quickly found a house where the three of us could live. Later I discovered that our house was very close to our church headquarters in Cheongpa-dong.
13 I was eight years old (by Korean reckoning) when the Korean War broke out. We were living in Seoul so we had to flee from there, and my uncle helped us tremendously. As a medical officer in the army, he knew in advance that the Han River Bridge was going to be blown up. He had a pass to cross the bridge, and he drove my grandmother and me across it in a military vehicle so we could flee further south. Daemonim did not come with us; she thought only about meeting the Lord, for whom she continued offering her sincere devotion. As soon as we crossed the bridge, my uncle told us to get out of the vehicle and take cover. We did as he said. At that moment the bridge was blown up, and many soldiers who were also crossing the bridge fell into the river and lost their lives.
Although we were safe because of my uncle’s help, even now whenever I cross the Han River Bridge I feel great pain from the memory of that incident. Indeed, most Koreans in my age group suffered hardships from the war; however, I was always protected by God’s grace. I remember the time once when I caught a cold while we were fleeing south and my mother put a piece of taffy in my mouth to keep me from coughing. I also remember when she placed a mixture of rice and cactus on my wounds to heal them.
14 After the Han River Bridge blew up at 3:00 in the morning on June 28, 1950, my family continued fleeing south to escape the advancing North Korean troops. We stayed in a refugee camp for military families in Jeolla Province. We returned to Seoul after it was retaken on September 28 and lodged in a vacant house where a Japanese family had lived. Then China entered the war and Seoul fell again, this time into the hands of the Chinese army. Hence, on January 4, 1951, as the South Korean army retreated from Seoul, we again had to leave our home and flee. We were able to board a special train for military families that left Seoul ahead of the civilian populace; we went down to Daegu.
The Korean army moved its headquarters to Daegu as well, and we lived near my maternal uncle’s home. I always realized how God was with us, even in the midst of our chaotic journey as refugees. As God had protected us when we left the North to journey to the South, He was also with us when we fled from the battles of the Korean War.
Section 2. Education and Encounter with FatherHeaven’s guidance
After coming to the South, True Mother attended Hyochang Elementary School in Seoul. After she left Seoul she continued her schooling, even though she moved several times—to Daegu, to Seoguipo on Jeju Island, and to Chun-cheon in Gangwon Province. Her report card from Bongeui Elementary School in Chuncheon records that she was “very pure, kind and polite, shows a noble attitude, the most feminine among the students in the class.” When she graduated from that school, she was given an award as an honor student.
True Mother then attended Seong-jeong Girls Middle School from April 1956 to March 1959. This school was purchased by True Parents in April 1987, at which time it changed its name to Seonjeong Middle School. In March 1959, True Mother entered Saint Joseph’s Nursing School in Seoul, which today is the Catholic University Nursing School.
1 After coming to the South, we rented a room in Hyochang-dong in Seoul, and I entered Hyochang Elementary School. I continued in school when we moved to Daegu and then to Jeju Island. My mother moved us to Jeju Island in 1954 with the intention of raising me in a pure environment. There I attended Shinhyo Elementary School in Seoguipo, which is Hyodon Elementary School today. I transferred into the 5th grade. Then we received a letter from my maternal uncle. He had been transferred to Chuncheon and was posted as chief of the supply depot there. He asked us to move to Chuncheon, and we did.
We rented a room in Yaksa-dong near my uncle’s house in Hyoja-dong, and I transferred to Bongeui Elementary School in Chuncheon. I soon became a 6th grader, and I graduated the following year, on March 2, 1956, in the schools 11th class.
Afterward, with the help of my uncle, on April 10, 1956 I entered Seongjeong Girls Middle School, located in Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. I graduated as a member of the school’s third class, on March 25, 1959. During that time I lived with my uncle’s family at Donam-dong and Shindang-dong and commuted to school in Sajik-dong.
2 In middle school, I was the head of the Student Activities Council. I remember the time when I had to stand on stage and explain the council’s decisions to all the students of the school. I later heard that after my speech, my Korean teacher and other teachers remarked, “Wow! Hak Ja, you were great!” People around me always had the impression that I was a quiet and well-mannered student, someone whom it was difficult to be close to. I guess they were surprised that a person such as me could give a public speech, although it was only a simple presentation. This was my first experience speaking in front of many people.
3 Recently, one of my old friends visited me. She and I once lived in the same town and attended the same middle school. Her father loved me very much. Another of my friends was my senior by one year. She cared deeply for me and used to say, “You are dignified and pretty.” She later moved to Canada and often sent me letters. When she had opportunities to visit Korea, we would meet each other. One day I visited my old school and found that the teacher of my Korean class was still there. I can still recall his face. Also, I remember that my mathematics teacher cared for me very much.
4 When I started high school, it was not very long after the Korean War had ended. I remembered how all the streets had been filled with people injured because of the war. Children orphaned by the war, and even children with parents, suffered greatly from hunger and disease. People were unable to get any treatment when they fell sick. I felt so sorry for them. I wanted to heal their pain; that is why I decided to attend nursing school. I wanted to find a way to help them.
5 My teachers loved and protected me at every school I attended. I am not sure whether it was because I gave them the impression I was reliable and modest, but for some reason my teachers cared for me. Some teachers said, “You are not like most children these days. Go out and get involved.” It was not that I had a lot of worries on my mind. I just liked to sit and stay quiet. Even during adolescence, when I was growing into womanhood, I never worried about my life because my grandmother and mother, who were always attending heaven, taught me to live in faith.
Under my mother’s strict education, I spent my time immersed in reading books of various kinds. For a time I thought that I wanted to lead a country life with a couple of my close friends and plant fruit trees. My friends said, “Although you are very prim and proper, you will actually be the first of us to marry.” I have not thought much about my student days since the Holy Wedding, so I cannot remember much about that time. Besides, I really have not had time to think back. Recently some old friends visited me, and that brought back some of these old memories.
6 I was known as a student who liked reading and music in a comfortable and quiet atmosphere. Also, people had the impression that I was quite intellectual. I was not extremely emotional or excitable. Come to think of it, I might have given a first impression of being a little cold. In the dormitory I lived like a nun. My life was sheltered from the secular environment, like a flower blooming in a greenhouse. Only later did I realize that my life was that way to separate me from the fallen world. It was heaven’s preparation, so that one day I could meet the Lord at the Second Advent and become his Bride.
7 Until 1960, I lived mostly in seclusion, as if I were buried inside my clothes. God led me to lead a simple life that did not require me to compromise with the secular world. God set up circumstances that thoroughly protected me, as if He did not want me even to breathe the air of Satan’s world. In such surroundings, I eliminated my own thoughts and just led my life by letting God alone guide me. I used to write a diary. Amazingly enough, although I did not write with much thought, it was something like “Urie sowon-eun tongil,” meaning, “Our cherished hope is for North and South Korea to be reunited.” Later, when I heard Fathers words on the subject, I recalled what I had written in my diary and found it very meaningful.
8 Mother is so natural on stage. The first time she sang a song in front of an audience was in her second year of high school. She was famous for her singing. Regardless of the audience, she stood tall onstage like a champion.
9 To me, Mother is flawless. I see nothing but goodness in her. This did not happen just overnight. Whenever she meets people, if they are men, she compares each one with me and thinks, “This man has a quality just like True Father.” By thinking that way, she can be open-hearted toward them. It is so beautiful. Look at her eyes and hands. They show how observant and sensitive she is. When she hears me speak a sentence, she analyzes its structure—what the subject is, what the object is, what the clauses are, and so forth. What I am saying is that she is smart and analyzes things well. In her teens, her friends said she was an impressive and unforgettable girl, and I think it is because of her powers of observation. When she went places, she was prudent about the route she chose. She would travel only on the route that she felt comfortable with.