Today we got up bright and early for our pilgrimage throughout Korea. Since there are so many of us, we split into two groups and charted separate courses.
Group 1 started with Cheongae or “Blue Sea” Garden in Yeosu. The site on which Blue Sea Garden is built was selected by True Parents to be the central location for the Ocean Providence in Korea in January 2003, after an extensive search for an appropriate site around the length of the Korean peninsula. During their stay there, the GTGY participants visited the local church and True Father’s Hoon Dok Hwe (scripture reading) room. Afterward, the group went to the Ocean Resort, where they enjoyed the sauna and swimming at the beach.
Group 2 went to Paju Wonjeon, then to Cheonbok Gung, and then Cheongpa Dong. Our guide knew so much of the history, and shared about when True Parents spent their days here.
Paju Wonjeon is a Unificationist burial ground located in the city of Paju, Gyeonggi Province. The approximately 500,000 pyeong (roughly 408 acres) of land at Paju Wonjeon was donated by Shin Shil Lee, a Presbyterian who joined the Unification movement in the 1960s.
For staff member, Shinyoung Chang, it was her first time going to Paju Wonjeon. “I had no idea it was so large,” she said, “and that there are already 10 members of True Parents’ family resting there. Having hundreds of us there at once made the experience more profound than it could have been otherwise. There are many paths and levels, very beautifully landscaped. The entire experience really felt like a true pilgrimage of faithful people paying their respects.
“Being an older second generation Unificationist, I cannot but cry when it comes to Hyo Jin Moon. This is was my first time greeting him at his resting place; Young Jin Moon as well. I said a little prayer at both graves, asking them to please watch over their younger brothers and sisters at this time and show them each how to connect to True Mother’s heart. What touched me most was individuals who took the initiative to go stop and pray alone.”
At the Cheonbok Gung, the Unification Peace Temple in Yongsan, Seoul, participants again had an opportunity to pray on their own. True Parents officiated the dedication ceremony for the Cheonbok Gung in February 2010. The Cheonbok Gung currently serves as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Korea Headquarters, replacing the original church building in Cheongpa Dong, Seoul in that capacity.
The “Cheongpa Dong Headquarters Church,” as the site was formerly known, saw many historic moments in the Unification movement, from some of the first educational workshops about the Divine Principle to the engagement and Holy Wedding ceremonies of True Parents, as well as the birth of several of their children.
The day grew hotter, and the holy sites we visited instilled a sense of seriousness and reflection. As we continue this pilgrimage, we sincerely hope to gain a deeper understanding of True Parents’ life and the history of the Unification movement, in order to better connect with True Parents and be able to share about their life with others.