Cham Bumo Gyeong: Episode 60
Cham Bumo Gyeong
Book 3. The Beginning of True Father's Public Course and the Founding of HSA-UWC
Chapter 2: True Father’s Journey to South Korea and His Course in Busan
Section 2. A New Beginning in Busan, The Beomil-dong mud-wall hut
Section 2. A New Beginning in Busan, Paragraph 19
The Beomil-dong mud-wall hut
In August 1951, True Father built a small, mud-wall hut on the side of Mt. Sujeong on the outskirts of the village of Beomnaetgol. Its current address is 1513, Beomil 4-dong, Dong-gu, Busan. All he had were earth and rocks to pile up on one another, so the structure collapsed twice before he completed it on the third attempt. It consisted of just one room, less than six square meters in area. It did not have a separate kitchen, just a hand-built stove outside against one wall, on which he could place a pot. Near the stove there was a door, about one meter high and situated right in the middle of the wall, so that one could pass through it only by stepping high over the threshold and bending down almost double.
The roof, constructed of cardboard ration boxes joined together, was too low for anyone to stand upright. On sunny days you could see the sky through the roof, and on stormy day’s rain poured through the roof into the house. When it rained, a small spring gushed forth from one corner of the room and the sound of water running beneath the house could be heard. The water that came in through the chimney, built on the side facing the mountain, flowed through flues under the floor and out through a fire hole. On the floor there were several layers of straw mats, over which there were three to four layers of straw bags, and a long, wide sleeping pad was spread out on top.
In the latter half of 1951, Kim Won-pil worked at a job and True Father assisted him while mainly concentrating on making internal preparations. Kim Won-pil left for work early in the morning and returned late at night. He worked as a sign-painter on the military base, and as a side job he drew portraits for American soldiers from photographs of their wives. Each portrait earned him $4. He drew around ten portraits a day, and sometimes even 20 to 30 portraits on a good day. At that time, True Father wrote Wolli Wonbon, Original Text of the Divine Principle. At night he looked out over downtown Busan and in his mind he envisioned the future of the providence. Every day in the early dawn he climbed up the hill and offered tearful prayers.
9 During my refugee days when I first came to Choryang, Busan, I was only 32 years old. I was quite young and even more handsome than I am now. I used to work on Busanjin Pier 4. I remember the women who sold red bean porridge and rice cakes at the harbor. I also remember the days when I wrote the Original Text of the Divine Principle in a small room at the laborers’ barracks in Choryang. It was such a small room, you could not lie down straight, except when you lay diagonally. And even when I lay down diagonally, my feet touched the wall.
10 During my time as a refugee in Busan, many people gathered around me. If I told them some interesting stories, they would bring food to share with me. However, I could not just live like that so I built a small hut. It was not much better than a doghouse. The walls and roof were made of mud and stones, and it was a very humble place to live in. I did not even own a piece of land on which to build a house, so I built the hut on a slope. After finishing it, I realized there was a small spring in the middle of the floor. The roof was made of old cardboard boxes, and the one room was really small. I wore the same ragged clothes for four months. I was in such wretched circumstances; nevertheless people who were spiritually guided came looking for me.
11 As I began my course in Busan, I built a small hut in Beomil-dong that was like a swallows nest. I needed a shovel to build that hut. I tried to borrow one, but no one would lend one to me. Refugees try to sell anything to make money, so people refused to lend me a shovel. I had to build a house, but I had no shovel and no money. What could I do? I had to make do with a fire shovel. I also needed a pick-ax, but since I did not have one, I prepared the foundation of the house with only a fire shovel. I tried to borrow a mold to make bricks but I could not get one. So I went to the US military camp, brought back some empty ration boxes, flattened them, put mud on top, and built a house. It took so much mud. In that way, I built a house like a swallow’s nest.
12 Some of the people who were my followers in North Korea had moved to the South. They could not forget me, so when they heard that I was in Busan, they came looking for me. We held Sunday services in that small hut. The hut may have been small, but it became well-known.
I had no land, so I built the hut by leveling a space on the side of a hill. No one bothered me about digging on a hillside to build a house. When it rained, a spring of water gushed up in the room. How wonderful that was! It was like the best, 21st century modern home. What could I do? I dug about a foot deep into the ground and laid stones to make a drainage trough for the water. I made a way for the water to drain out and put the ondol heater over it. So the spring water flowed under the ondol. It was such a memorable house.
13 On June 25, 1953, a ceasefire took effect. Shiploads of military goods from the United States filled the harbor in Busan. I used to count the ships every morning. Before the ceasefire there were normally around 50, but sometimes there were more than 100. By looking at them, I could tell how the war was going. If there were a large number of supply ships, I thought, “There is going to be a big battle.” And if there were fewer ships, I reckoned, “The war is going to continue at the same level.” At that time I had just a few followers. While I lived by myself in Beomil-dong, the people who became members were those who were urged by the spirit world to come looking for me. I recall this as though it happened just yesterday.
14 In the past, when I lived as a refugee in Busan, there were times when I shed many tears. There was no house in the world like mine. The house was built on a rock. There was a small table inside, and a canvas for painting. The canvas was for the purpose of painting portraits for American soldiers who were returning to their homes after fighting in the Korean War. These were the only two things inside. It was an impoverished existence. I wore an American military jacket, brown with four pockets. I also wore traditional Korean pants dyed blue, but I did not tie the hems around my ankles. I wore mismatched rubber shoes; one was large and the other was small. In that wretched state I would go and sit alone on a rock, where I would weep as I prayed. That place is the Rock of Tears.
15 When we were refugees, Won-pil painted portraits and sold them. I made the frames and drew the lines, and he sketched the portraits. After he finished his sketch by drawing the nose, I would set to work painting it. We used to paint all night long, starting at midnight. We could paint up to 30 portraits a night. To paint that many, we had to draw lines first. For 30 portraits, once Won-pil brought the paper, it was I who drew the vertical and horizontal lines. Then, following the lines, he made the sketches.
We received $4 per painting. What could the American soldiers, who were returning home, bring as gifts for their wives? Since they knew that the best gift they could bring their wives would be their portrait, we did this for them. Today we might sell those paintings for $30 or $40, or even $300. On average, Won-pil painted more than 20 portraits each night. He could not do that by himself, so I assisted him. We would work together all night long.
16 I think fondly of the time I lived in Beomnaetgol with Kim Won-pil. To me, those were the best of times. We usually think of our preschool and elementary school days as the best times. It is because our mom and dad came to wait for us and bring us home, spending much time with us. That is why we think those days are the best. Likewise, back then, we had such caring hearts for each other. Because we felt each other’s hearts so deeply, it was a good time. I also say it was a good time because, placing God’s Will at the center, our relationships of heart were better than at any other time. That is why I say it was so good back then.
17 Around the holy ground at Beomil-dong in Busan, there was nothing but a valley of rocks near a cemetery. In that place I built my hut, a temporary, humble structure. But when I slept there, I knew I was walking the best path to practice filial piety as the Son of God, greater filial piety than anyone who enjoys the splendor of living in any palace of this world. My greatest aspiration was to reach the deepest internal standard that no one else could reach. In those days, externally I looked like a nobody. I looked like someone of no value at all. I had a beard on my tanned face, and I was wearing a mixture of Korean and Western clothing.
18 You need to know my desperate, sorrowful heart as I held onto the rock at the Holy Ground at Beomnaetgol. Can you fathom what I prayed about as I looked out over Busan Harbor, which was packed with cargo ships carrying weapons during the Korean War? All my prayers at the time have been fulfilled. The Unification Church, which no one in the world welcomed, which everyone cast out, and which went through all kinds of tribulations, starting from the position of orphan both in name and in reality, now stands tall.
Indeed, there is nothing that I have not experienced. Nevertheless, all throughout my life, I have been doing everything possible to practice filial piety to God. Such is the man, Reverend Moon, whom you are following, believing in and attending.
19 World-renowned pastors are now visiting Korea, but why do they come to Korea? They come to visit the Holy Ground in Busan, where I used to sit in a pitiful state during my time as a refugee. At that time I sat and thought, “I have to cross the ocean to plant the connection of heart from my country to the lands across the sea. That is what my heart longs to do. I need to sow those seeds.”
We were still in the midst of the Korean War. In that situation, the world was like an iceberg, so cold and harsh. Families were separated. Love for parents, spouses or even children could hardly be found. I prayed, looking out over the sea beyond Busan. God answered me, “Look—in the future the world will be like this,” and He showed me a vision. I was on a great heavenly ship pulling into port and multitudes of people were on the pier, shouting with joy and welcoming me. In this way, God comforted me.