Many people have written and asked what my family thinks about my book – especially my father.
So, for my first article of the year, instead of posting something I wrote, I want to share what my father wrote.
Some of you might be wondering who is this “David”, Manna’s father. And how does he really feels about Manna’s life as shared in her book?
Does he feel guilty? Remorseful? Enraged? Overcome? Excited? Amazed at his daughter’s abilities, strength, courage, character…life?
Well, it is very complicated.
Three years ago, Manna told me that she was going to write her autobiography. I was excited because it has always been my dream to venture into writing the biography of my great, great grand-father myself – to share the powerful story of our family background and lineage. But after 10 years of serious attempts, I finally gave up on my writing project. So, I gladly gave Manna my blessings, hoping that she might have the time to accomplish my dream by including some of our family history in with her story.
In February of last year, Manna informed me that her autobiographical novel was in its final editing process and wanted to spend some time with me at the comfort of my home in Vancouver before I read it. Manna spent a lot of time praying with me and for me, especially on the subject of “forgiveness,” as in the Lord’s prayer: ” …forgive our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us…” And she made me promise that I will follow our Lord’s teaching on forgiveness. She also made me promise that I will not get too upset after learning about her childhood and the pain of having to go through two marriage failures and other severe adversities in her life.
She explained that out of love and protection for me, she had never disclosed her sufferings to me, especially those in her childhood after her mother and I divorced. Furthermore, she made me promise that I will not do anything impulsive and vengeful after reading the contents of the manuscript.
Since I had gone through many challenges and trials of my own, including WW II, painful betrayals, and two disastrous marriage divorces myself, I was confident that nothing on earth could surprise me anymore, and I could handle any adverse situation.
Hell then broke loose when I began
reading her manuscript.
I could barely finish reading the first Chapter and definitely could not read parts of chapter 2! I cried and wept deeply for my daughter. I had no idea that she was so aware as a child, and that her memory was so astonishingly powerful – and accurate, nor was I remotely aware of her great sufferings. We cried together. We prayed together, and then we cried some more. For several days we cried and prayed until there were no more tears.
Manna had been so concerned for me that she even had a group of prayer warriors from around the world (including her best friend who is a pastor in Ghana) pray for me as I tried to read her book.
Just as I started to feel some peace, satan whispered, “Get even with those culprits who abused your innocent and helpless children!”
But I immediately heard God’s voice saying, “Forgive them.”
Satan would then say, “Take the culprits to the Court and seek Justice!”
And then I heard God’s voice say, “I am the Judge. Vengeance and Punishment are Mine.”
Satan was relentless. “You coward! Take the Law into your own hands. Yes, you can do it.”
And then, I heard God’s voice say, “If you do it, you will be a weak, just like them.”
I didn’t know what to do, so I cried out to Him. “But I must do something! I cannot let Manna’s pain go unvindicated, and I cannot let her publish this book! What will people say about our family? People will look at us through jaded glasses and jeer at us behind our backs!”
So, I devised a plan to discourage Manna.
“Manna,” I asked. “Do you have the financial resources to engage the services of a reputable publisher and marketing specialists to print and promote this book?”
“No, I do not. That’s one of the many reasons I’m self-publishing the book. Dad, please don’t worry. God will provide.” She answered calmly and assuredly.
“Um… how much money would you take to sell the copyright outright?” (I was thinking of selling my home and move into a senior care facility, buy the copyright from Manna and shelf it forever. That might solve the dilemma, I thought.)
“Dad, profit is not my purpose to publish this book. It is for the benefit for those who are broken, lost, and hopeless. My story will encourage them, to free them from their miseries, to give them hope, and to walk tall again. God will provide. Just have Faith.” She insisted.
Even with the comfort of her words, I simply could not bring myself to finishing the manuscript. Manna kept encouraging me to keep reading it – that there were great lessons of healing there, even if it was only to re-read the Endorsements, the Preface and skip to the Afterword. And if I couldn’t do that, then to at least go online to Amazon and read all the Readers’ Reviews.
More time passed. Then, late one evening, I did as she asked: I read the reviews and, just as she thought, I was tremendously inspired by the messages, and ordered the book for myself. I wanted to see it as a fully finished product, not just as a word document.
When “Made For More by Manna Ko” arrived in the mail, with trembling hands, I gathered the courage to open the package and to read the book, starting from the very beginning. Before I knew it, I had finished reading her autobiography in its entirety! Her story, though excruciatingly painful to read was so well written that I could not put her book down. I was completely lost in the stories of my daughter (whom I did not have much time with after the divorce) that I wanted to learn more and more about her – so much so, that I forgot to eat some of my meals and missed several social appointments.
The book, from beginning to end, moved me so much that I cried and cried again – this time with tears of gratitude and joy.
I am deeply grateful to Manna’s mentors and supporters. Thank you, one and all.
I am also surprised and overwhelmed at the many hidden talents of my daughter – to name a few, her writing abilities, her astonishing memory, and particularly her courage, faith and trust in God. I am no longer ashamed to be a part of Manna’s true story, except that I am ashamed to confess how spiritually weak I am, and how small I am compared to her.
Manna, I named you “Manna” because you are truly a gift from Heaven, destined and equipped by the longest and toughest of trials so that you could help sustain others and show them God’s love and provision.
Manna, I love you and I am so proud of you.
Well, dear friends, what did you think?
I wasn’t expecting that letter from my father, and when I read it, I was overcome with many emotions – mostly sadness for his grief, and concern for his health. Then, after sitting with it for a little while, I started to feel relief, peace, and gratitude.
It was all finally “out there”…the good, the bad and the ugly. And now, we have an even greater relationship. The meaning and depth of our relationship, although it was always good, now went to even greater depths. There is an authenticity that was not there before because I was holding back from him. But the “realness” of our lives together now is incredible. We are even more present to our relationship, our friendship, and our time together. It’s precious.
Are there people in your life that you need to be more authentic with – more real and more open with? If so (and as long as it’s not dangerous for you to do so), I encourage you to pray about taking steps towards that opportunity.
In an upcoming blog and podcast, I’ll talk more about this, but for now, just let this message seed in your heart. In time, you will know if this is something to pursue.
Stay tuned for more riveting stories from other readers and what they’re creating now after reading Made For More. I promise you, it will be powerful 🙂
Have a blessed day!
In joyful loving service,