Day 17: Praying For The World

It’s 8:30pm. We’ve just returned to Cheong Pyeong after a 5-1/2 hour bus ride over vast stretches of highway and up long, winding mountain roads. We had a great, late dinner, and we’re just now about to head into one of our final lectures. You might imagine that we’re disheveled, exhausted, grumpy, and disheartened that we have more work to do after a long day of travelling—but you’d be wrong (mostly—I think we are a tad disheveled).

Amazingly, not only is Rev. Yong Cheong Song’s presentation about recent reformations in the Japanese FFWPU organization and leadership fascinating, but it’s inspiring to be here, listening to him speak. We are alert, energized, and fulfilled, having just come home from an uplifting day exploring our heritage as Unificationists in both Yeosu and Pusan.

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Right after we had lunch with True Mother yesterday, we departed from Cheong Pyeong en route to Yeosu. Yeosu is a small city at the southernmost tip of South Korea, where True Parents have spent a lot of time and invested a lot of their energy and resources to strengthen the fishing and other domestic oceanic industries.

After a very spicy, traditional Korean dinner there, the local pastor spoke to us about the significant events in True Parents’ lives that had taken place in Yeosu, such as True Father’s fishing expeditions, record-breaking speeches, and revolutionary pronouncements.

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We woke up early the next morning to head down to the beach and offer prayers to start our day. It was still quite dark and a bit cold, but the stars shone beautifully overhead as the ocean lapped at our feet. By the time the light began to shine in the east, we were heading out on our way to Pusan, the first site of True Father’s public ministry in the south after the conclusion of the Korean War.

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The local pastor there took us on a small tour of three important sites: the Beomnaegol Museum, where True Father and one of his earliest disciples, Won Pil Kim, had built a hut out of cardboard and mud, nestled against a huge outcropping; the Rock of Tears, where True Parents have offered many desperate prayers for the sake of God and a peaceful world over the years; and to the summit of the Beomnaegol mountain, where True Father would come to meditate and pray after a hard day’s work, and to look out over all of the bay of Pusan. Our last stop was at the first church in Pusan, where we had lunch and from where we began to make our way back to Cheong Pyeong.

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We prayed at each site along the way, but our prayers at the Rock of Tears were particularly moving. It almost felt as if True Father was there with us, still crying and praying for the salvation of the world. Our Global Top Gun coordinator, Tasnah Moyer, shared, “Sitting there praying, what struck me most was that I found it difficult to pray just for myself. Automatically, I think the spirit of the place demands that you pray for something bigger, because the very foundation of what that place was created for was praying for something much bigger than just True Father and his life.”

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These experiences of True Parents’ presence and heart throughout the pilgrimage were reinforced by reading from the Cham Bumo Gyeong during each leg of our journey. In the second week of the workshop, the International Headquarters staff presented each of us with the gift of a small book containing several chapters of the recently translated Cham Bumo Gyeong. We were so grateful for this gift that we determined to read the whole of the book before the end of the workshop and happily took large strides toward achieving that goal by reading together during our many hours of travel yesterday and today.

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After a day like that, it was only natural that we came back to Cheong Pyeong refreshed and revived. It was such an incredible experience of bonding and growth that there was a deeper and more colorful timbre to our laughter when we got back, a stronger sense of solidarity and community—though we were also sad to say early goodbyes to some of our fellow Top Gunners who are participating in the Foundation Day Marriage Blessing on Saturday.

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Of course, we wish them all well and look forward to seeing them again once they’ve received the Blessing. We’ve all certainly been blessed in many ways to be here together for as long as we have, and we’re excited to make the most of the very last days of the workshop together.