Monday, April 16, 2007

Andrew P. (former Chicago UBF)

Testimony of Andrew P.

(The following was reported by Andrew P., a former Chicago UBF missionary, and published in the year 2000 on the web site.)

Some years already have passed after I came to Chicago as a student lay missionary. But now, I am asking God for my future guidance, leaving UBF inevitably with a painful heart and deep agony where I devoted my youth and time. In fact, I tried to postpone writing this kind of report. Considering my immature inner being in my staying in UBF, I thought it was the most urgent thing for me to have the personal relationship with God newly and to grow spiritually, instead of doing something right now. However I am writing like this due to my conscience of faith that I should let them know the facts before too late, while I am reading the articles of the web site I pray I may not be emotional and write only the facts truthfully in the sight of God. Frankly speaking, I did not have any personal conflict with M. Samuel Lee. When I first came to Chicago UBF, I regarded him so highly and even had a fear to some degree. Yet, from the time I can not exactly remember particularly, I started to listen to the Christian radio and cassette tapes, especially after I finished my school study and went to work in a company in order to solve my visa problem. Then I developed the insight to see Chicago UBF objectively. There are lots of things about which I can speak out. But right now, I want to share with you just two big events which made me leave Chicago UBF. If the opportunities are given, I will share with you more details.

First, the suicide of a young man. I believe that you also know this case to some extent. But I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears how Chicago UBF (M. Samuel Lee) dealt with this case. I am telling you once again, I will witness what I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears. The judgment is all up to you. When Samuel Choi came to Chicago, I met him several times because of computer related business. That's because I served the computer-related things in those days in Chicago UBF. At that time, he seemed to be a still young, naive and good student. M. Samuel Lee put him in the fellowship of M. Joshua Hong which had the most fruitful student work in those days. M. Joshua Hong is a very faithful servant of God who had the enthusiasm toward God. Actually, the story I heard later is like this: M. Joseph King was the sheep of S. Yoonsook Choi, and he helped Samuel Choi in Korea. Since M. Joseph King knew Samuel Choi well, he wanted to live with him and help him. But under the atmosphere of Chicago UBF, it was impossible to bring out this kind of matter. Once M. Samuel Lee gives the direction, there is no other way except obeying him, even though his direction is unreasonable. Even now I can remember vividly that later on M. Joseph King lamented over how he could not help Samuel Choi and eventually he committed a suicide.

As I recall, Samuel Choi attended a language course first. Then he enrolled in the University of Illinois (at Chicago). But, as I also have the similar experience, it was not easy for the Korean student who did not have the good English skill to catch up the academic course of university in USA. It seems that Samuel Choi was frustrated by himself, struggling desperately. M. Joshua Hong tried to help him to overcome by faith, but Samuel Choi already could not handle it. He dropped all his courses. I don't know whether it was the direction of M. Samuel Lee or his own personal direction, but he transferred to Loyola University. But he could not carry out his studies well even there. He wanted to go back to Korea. I remember M. Joshua Hong telling me that it was the first time he had seen such a weak person. It is what I heard from M. Joseph King that he already had tried to commit suicide once in Korea, and his mother had asked him to return to Korea without committing a suicide in his difficulties. Eventually, M. Joshua Hong also judged it better to send him back to Korea. He visited M. Samuel Lee and suggested about that matter. In my knowledge, another missionary also visited M. Samuel Lee and gave the same proposal. But M. Samuel Lee had his passport taken away, ignoring their advice. And he gave training to Samuel Choi. He put him in charge of sweeping the countless fallen leaves around the center everyday. I also saw Samuel Choi's lonely appearance, sweeping the fallen leaves in the late afternoon, when I came from work. In those days, M. Joshua Hong was in Korea because of the marriage of his sister with his American sheep. Later, I heard from one missionary like this: she saw Samuel Choi just two days before his suicide. At that time, he had no focus in his eyes, mumbling, "Somebody stole my document (passport)!"

His Suicide and Afterwards

It was a Saturday afternoon. I went to the Chicago center to study the 1:1 Bible study with my sheep. His name is Joseph Cruz, and he was living a common life with Samuel Choi in those days. When he came, I could read something serious from his face. I asked, "How are you"? He answered that he was not so fine. Then he told me that Samuel Choi committed suicide through throwing himself down from a high building. At first, I could not believe his words. But he repeatedly told me that that Saturday afternoon, a policeman came and informed him of Samuel Choi's suicide. And that policeman said that he had already tried to commit suicide earlier in that week, but they just sent him back since he did not tell them his address. So, I informed this news to S. Mark Yang who was staying in Chicago at that time. But S. Mark told me not to tell anybody (even to his parents), and let me wait until M. Samuel Lee gave the direction. I felt we needed the emergency prayer meeting in Chicago UBF. Yet, at that day, Chicago UBF was very quiet. I expected there would be some announcement on the next day, the Lord's day. However, almost all missionaries were very busy to bring their sheep to the Sunday worship service. What was worse, M. Samuel Lee did not mention anything about that event even during the announcement of Sunday worship service. It was just after the Sunday worship service. By accident, I overheard the telephone dialogue of Dr. Joseph Chung (his son married the older sister of Samuel Choi), when I was passing through. He was asking the quick (the next day) cremation of the remains through the telephone. He said it was not necessary to have the funeral service. M. Paul Chung took hold of me when I was passing by, and let me bring young missionaries to Samuel Choi's apartment and throw away all his belongings. I was struck dumb to see all these things were progressed so quickly. I had a question that the life of one young man and everything that belonged to him could be disappeared like this in futility, and at the same time I came to be filled with anger. But I did not have the choice except obeying that direction. In that week, there was a regular Tuesday testimony sharing meeting for the assistant fellowship leaders. Almost over twenty people were gathered. But almost everybody did not mention anything about Samuel Choi. Only one or two people with me, mentioned about that. S. Ron Ward, who was the leader of that meeting, did not mention it thoroughly either. Even he did not give any prayer topic for his parents and him. Chicago UBF was never shaken at all. I never saw somebody shed his tears because of that matter. I could not but doubt whether or not this was a Christian fellowship. I couldn't help asking why we needed to keep on bringing sheep, while we could not serve even a single soul with God's love. I can not remember exactly whether or not it was that week or the next week, but eventually M. Samuel Lee mentioned about Samuel Choi in the announcement time of Friday meeting. But he expressed no compassion toward him or sympathy toward his parents. M. Samuel Lee blamed his rich parents for raising him up to be so weak. That was all. And the suicide case of Samuel Choi came to be forgotten in Chicago UBF.

The Destruction of M. Jackie Lee's Family

I don't know whether you know it or not, but M. Jackie Lee served M. Samuel Lee as a secretary until recently, some years ago, from the pioneering stages of Chicago UBF. Her husband, M. Jacob Lee, died of hypertension some years ago. Some years ago, M. Samuel Lee let her quit the job of the secretary, and publicly blamed her that she did not learn Jesus at all even though she had the privilege to be near him. I know M. Jackie had a very difficult time because suddenly she lost her job and her husband also died. Later on, I had an opportunity to talk with her. At that time, M. Jackie confessed that it was very difficult for her to endure because of the thirst for God's Word. She said she could not be satisfied any more through God's Word in UBF. So M. Jackie started to have the Bible study with a wife of the pastor of a church. Then she decided to leave UBF to which she gave all her life. In those days, M. Jackie was staying in Korea. And M. Samuel Lee became aware of the signs of her leaving UBF. M. Jackie has five daughters and a son. Three daughters are already married in UBF. I could see this case from the first, since her daughters were in the same fellowship with me. Suddenly, M. Samuel Lee let the family of her eldest daughter and son-in-law who were living in the house of M. Jackie Lee to move into the house near the UIC Bible House. And he let the fourth daughter of M. Jackie Lee, who was not married yet, move into the same house, too. But the youngest daughter and the youngest son went to Korea with their mother. M. Samuel Lee hurriedly sent the fourth daughter of M. Jackie Lee (about 19 years old at that time) to Korea and let her immediately submit the paper of the marriage with a Korean shepherd (I heard that he was about 6-7 years older than her).

When M. Jackie came back to Chicago, she had a lot of conflicts with her daughters and sons-in-law. Later I heard from the youngest daughter (a high school student) that M. Samuel Lee visited M. Jackie. At that time, he said to her that she was not qualified to go to her father's tomb. She was dumbfounded and asked him back why she could not visit. Then M. Samuel Lee said that she defiled the name of her father. And he said that since she left UBF, she became proud and turned against the servant of God. And he cursed her. Because of this, that youngest daughter was immeasurably hurt. One day, M. Jackie received a call from the four married daughters. They started to talk to their mom one by one. They said to her not to call them and not to visit them. According to the youngest daughter, it seemed that somebody (according to her, M. Samuel Lee) let them copy his words from the back. The sons-in-law also called M. Jackie Lee and declared not to meet her. And one of them even called his mother-in-law Satan. M. Jackie went to Korea again. Even though she did not want that marriage, she tried to meet her fourth son-in-law and his parents, since she was in Korea. But M. Samuel Lee (according to M. Jackie Lee) already called them and gave the direction not to meet her, saying that she was involved in the organization of Sun-Myung Moon. The fourth son-in-law did not try to meet her and treated her like an enemy. But his parents persuaded him not to treat his mother-in-law worse than the worldly people, so that they could meet each other. But it was still hostile.

Eventually, there were wedding ceremonies of ten couples on the Friday of the week of the birthday of M. Samuel Lee. Among them, there was the wedding ceremony of the fourth daughter of M. Jackie Lee. But that daughter called to M. Jackie Lee and told her not to come. But M. Jackie attended the wedding ceremony after a long prayer. Maybe, you can guess how much hostile they are, once you left UBF. It was an enormous decision for M. Jackie to attend the wedding ceremony of her daughter. The wedding ceremonies of those ten couples were the marriages between the daughters of the missionaries who were just over twenty and Korean young missionaries. I already left UBF at that time. But I heard that they finished a wedding ceremony in fifteen minutes. I heard that M. Samuel Lee called M. Jackie Lee and demanded that she offer at least $20,000, since he blessed her daughter's marriage.

No More Victims of the Kingdom of Samuel Lee!

Actually, I have more things to speak out, but I wrote about two shocking events which I experienced as based on the facts. I realized something was wrong, observing the death of one young man in futility and the separation of one family into two with my own eyes. I could not understand how they became enemies between daughters and their own mother. I could not understand how a son-in-law could call his mother-in-law Satan. I lamented over Chicago UBF where nobody could speak out the truth. But I was one of them. That's because nobody could stay in Chicago UBF, speaking out the truth. So, eventually, my family left Chicago UBF like this. And I am writing like this, in order to speak out the truth even a little bit.

My desire is like this: Please let people know the true picture of Chicago UBF. And please try to make efforts that the young missionaries should not be victimized by the kingdom of Samuel Lee, coming to Chicago UBF without knowing anything about the situation here like me. Leaving Chicago UBF unavoidably, many are still in the deep agony and great pain. Please pray for them.