Mother of Peace: Episode 11
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 2: I Came Into This World As The Only Begotten Daughter, pg 42-46
The witnessing journey was not a pleasure trip; it was a course filled with hardships. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs, and the residents of the villages were just as destitute. Nonetheless, these believers walked as many as 40 kilometers every day and night, and lit the fire of the Holy Spirit in every village they visited. My mother made the journey through Shineuiju, and on to Ganggye, arriving there on the 100th day of their pilgrimage. At that point the witnessing team sought to cross the border with China into Manchuria, but this proved to be impossible and they returned home.
By the time they returned to Anju, Rev. Lee Yong-do had established a congregation called the New Jesus Church. My mother decided to join that church and invest in her revitalized life of faith. Rev. Lee Yong-do, formerly of the Methodist Church, was not a healthy man. He sometimes would vomit blood and collapse during revival meetings. He created the founding council of the New Jesus Church in Pyongyang, but before he could do more, he passed away at the young age of 33, in Wonsan. After his funeral, the New Jesus Church began again under the leadership of Rev. Lee Ho-bin.
For three years, beginning in 1933, my grandmother and mother practiced their life of faith at the New Jesus Church in Anju. With the belief that she needed to be pure to receive the returning Lord, my mother repented tearfully every day. Then one day, she received a revelation from Heaven: “Rejoice! If your baby is a boy, he will become the king of the universe, and if a girl, she will become the queen of the universe.” She was sitting under a moonlit sky, early in the spring of 1934, just 21 years of age. Although it was a revelation from Heaven, her actual circumstances were not such that she could easily embrace such words. Nonetheless, she calmed her heart and accepted it serenely. “Whether You give me a son or a daughter,” she replied to God, “I will consider the child to be as great as the universe, and will raise the child with care as Heaven’s prince or princess. I will completely dedicate my life for Your will.” A few days later, Rev. Lee Ho-bin matched my mother to another member of his church, Han Seung-un, a young man of 26. On March 5, Rev. Lee officiated their marriage. After the marriage, Han Seung-un continued to work as a teacher, and my mother kept house while working hard for the church.
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My mother kept God’s revelation about the child she was to bear in the forefront of her mind. She came to realize that even though the baby would be born into the world through her body, he or she was God’s child more than it was hers. She believed that, just as a child was given unto Mother Mary, a child would be born unto her to govern the universe as God’s begotten Son or Daughter. My mother read the Gospels from that viewpoint, and determined that, unlike Mary, she would support her child’s heavenly mission with body and soul.
My grandmother and my mother believed that something great would take place in their church before long, but three years passed, and nothing changed. At that time, my grandmother journeyed to Cholsan in North Pyong-an Province and participated in a gathering held by a women’s spiritual sisterhood led by Mrs. Kim Seong-do. There she received much grace. She also learned that Kim Seong-do was ministering even though her husband beat her every time she went to church. Mrs. Kim’s followers, who were holding meetings in their homes, received the name the Holy Lord Church. Around 1936, my mother joined my grandmother on her journey to Cholsan for the first time. As she met Kim Seong-do, she knew that God was opening the next chapter in her life of faith.
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At this point I will introduce my maternal uncle, Hong Soon-jeong. He was not a part of my life in North Korea, but he later played a major role in determining my family’s fortunes. He was my mother’s younger brother, and was very studious and attended Pyongyang Teachers’ Academy. Every year, he would travel a long distance to visit our family during the holidays. He took the Gyeongui Line train to Charyeongwan Station, from which he had to walk for half a day. My mother was always overjoyed to meet her brother, who had come such a long way to see her. However, she was unable to enjoy much time chatting with him because of her witnessing work.
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Thanks to the active witnessing of its followers, the Holy Lord Church expanded from Cholsan to Chongju, Pyongyang, Haeju, Wonsan and even Seoul, opening more than 20 churches. In 1943, the Japanese police imprisoned Kim Seong-do and ten or so of her followers. They were released three months later, but Kim Seong-do passed away in 1944 at the age of 61.
My mother and grandmother, who had been attending her church in Cholsan for eight years, believing that they were about to restore the Garden of Eden, were at a loss. Together with all of the church members, they asked God, “Whom should we follow now?” This question weighed on everyone’s hearts. Responding to the prayers of this flock seeking a shepherd, the Holy Spirit chose one among them, Mrs. Heo Ho-bin.
Mrs. Heo had devotedly attended Kim Seong-do and was well respected by the entire Holy Lord Church. God guided her to found a new church, which came to be known as the Inside-the-Womb Church, and gather followers. God taught her how to purify herself and also how to raise children after the Lord comes. Just as God had prepared for Jesus before he was born in the land of Israel, Heo Ho-bin made thorough preparations for the Lord of the Second Advent, who she firmly believed would be born in the land of Korea.
In pursuit of this mission, one year later Heo Ho-bin summoned my mother. “We need to make sets of clothes for the Lord of the Second Advent, so that he will not be embarrassed when he appears in front of us. You should finish making a set of clothes before the end of each day.”
Every day, mother sewed for dear life, for she was making the Lord’s clothes. While doing so, she thought to herself, “I will have no regrets in my life if I can meet the Lord at his Second Advent before I die, even if only in a dream.” As she sewed one day, she quietly dozed off. In her dream, she saw a robust man in the room, sitting to the east of her with a small table in front of him, a headband around his head. He had been studying, but he turned to look at her. “I am studying this hard just to find you.” Those words moved her to tears of gratitude and appreciation.
She awoke from the dream and realized that this man was the returning Lord. In this way, long before she could meet him in the flesh, my mother had had profound, spiritual communication with Father Moon, who came as the Lord at the Second Advent. That dream gave her confidence to persevere through the long and precipitous path of faith that separated the dream from the reality.
During that interim, my grandmother and mother were focused with yearning and impatience for the Lord, the only begotten Son. They, along with the entire Christian world, were unaware of the providential plan for the advent of the only begotten Daughter. Father Moon himself was the only one who understood this. As this illustrates, God unfolds the providence step by step, not disclosing the providence of restoration except to those who need to understand and who have set the conditions to do so.