Categories
International

Korean Adoptees Find Each Other

Adoptees from the small Ilmagwon Orphanage in Gunsan, South Korea, are connecting after almost forty years!

My two adopted daughters, Gina and Treasure, and I returned to Korea for the first time in 2012. I was in Korea from 1972 to 1974, living several months in the orphanage. We met the same woman, Mrs. Park, who ran the orphanage while we lived there. The one who cared for hundreds of babies and children is now 91 years old but she remembered us. This godly caretaker had prayed for her babies and their adopted families.

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I sat in the orphanage office and looked at a photo album with baby pictures. Each abandoned baby had been assigned a page and a number. I saw baby pictures of my girls on numbers 134 and 141. As I flipped through the pages, I saw babies/toddlers I remembered and I cried. I had spent many hours sitting on the floor holding those babies and hugging those toddlers. What had become of all those bundles I wanted to take home with me and couldn’t?

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I wrote several blogs about the Korean trip and posted old pictures of the orphanage. My daughter, Treasure, even blogged about it.

Most Korean adoptees are from Seoul, so only a few were adopted in the 1970’s from Ilmagwon Orphanage in Gunsan. Men and women from the U.S. Kunsan Air Base “Wolfpack” still visit consistently and help the children. I’m so proud of them. It is not a babies home any more but I think about 70 children live in the orphanage now.

It was amazing, a dream of a lifetime to return to Korea, but the most amazing thing has happened since we returned. Angela from California, another adoptee, who lived in the orphanage at the same time as my daughters, contacted us. She had found us through my blog. She was number 140. She was in the orphanage at the same time as my daughters! She was one of those babies I held! My heart about flipped with joy when I met her for a few minutes in the airport when coming back.

Then another girl wrote, Nikki from Alabama, saying she was also from the same orphanage at the same time. Then Michelle, then Mindy, then another and another.

Eleven of the Korean Adoptees from the 1970’s have found us! They live across the U.S.—from Oklahoma, California, Alabama, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, and Arkansas! If we had visited Korea ten years ago, this internet connection might never have occurred. Only God can do something like this!

Forty years after I left Korea with two precious little ones, we plan to have an Ilmagwon Sisters reunion – some time in 2014. Mrs. Park will be thrilled to find out these children of hers are connecting and I’ll be glad to give them all a big hug!

You are loved,
Kathryn

Categories
International

Christmas Gift: International Student Becomes Believer

On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, several International students visited me. One girl said, “I have a gift for you.”

I said,”What is it?”

She held up two fingers, ‘I was saved at the Chinese Church. I have new birth two days ago.”  Several times she repeated her claim of being a two-day-old newborn. We hugged. I was so happy for her. That is the best gift I could have been given – to know one of my loved ones stepped into a real spiritual life on a new journey.

Here are some more stories about some of my loved International students.

FEBRINA: The Gift of Christmas

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WENDY:  Going Back Home

NAHO: Japanese Came to Visit Oklahoma

WENXI: Became Chrisitian at our Last Bible Study

QING  ZHAU: My Gospel Witness

CAROL:  Student From England

TIWEI ZHU: Edmond Church Like Another Home

Hope you enjoy reading how God works in student’s lives.

Categories
International

Andy: A Strong Witness For Christ

Andy Yuan Zhou, a fun, great Chinese guy, comes regularly to our Wednesday night Bible studies. He has brought many friends. Read his testimony and be blessed.  See more.

Categories
International

Mrs. Park: A Saint Who Loves Children

I think her birthday is May 19, 1922. That makes her Korean age 92 this year.  Korean age accounts for the time a baby is in the mother’s womb. She came from a well to do family, I seem to recall, but they lost their money/fortune.

Park Kung-Hee worked for the Salvation Army (SA) and was a vice-chair of women’s side at the time.  She gave speeches and visited Los Angeles as a Korean ambassador for a sports event, also visiting San Franciso about that time. She met her husband, whose family were farmers, at the SA because he also worked there.

In 1965, she and her husband were asked by SA to start an orphanage in Kunsan, Korea, which they did.  When the Salvation Army wanted to move them to another position/work, they felt God’s calling them to continue to work for the orphanage, so they retired in order to stay there.  It was a difficult time in Korea, with many babies being abandoned.

The two babies I adopted.
After Mrs. Park retired from SA, she used some of her financial assets and all of her retirement funds to buy more land for the orphanage as well as more goats.  The facility was too small for the number of babies at the time.

I visited the Ilmagwon Orphanage ( or Il Maek Won)  for the first time in 1972 where about 100 babies, children under 5 years old, lived. I met Mrs. Park and her family who lived above the orphanage. I arrogantly thought she was old back then, but I was barely twenty, so that can be excused. Her sweet spirit was evident even then, when I took home two of her babies as my own. She has kept records of each child who has lived with them.

Mrs. Park is a godly, Christian woman, and I am sure no one can count the number of people she has touched through 92 years.

After almost 40 years, I went back to the Korean orphanage and visited her in June of 2012. Her gentle spirit welcomed my grown daughters and I. Treasure, one of my Korean daughters, said, “Mom, I think I would have known about God even if I had stayed in Korea.” I agree, because Mrs. Park would have made sure of that, just like she did the other orphans.

When I told Mrs. Park that my husband had left me soon after adopting the two babies, she said, “It must have been hard for you to raise daughters by yourself.” Such graciousness from a woman who literally raised hundreds of children herself!

Meeting Mrs. Park was the highlight of my trip to Korea. God reminds me that He has placed saints in strategic places all around the world to glorify Him and to do His work.

You can see details of our trip on my daughter’s website:

http://adventureontreasureisland.blogspot.com/search/label/korea%20trip%20of%20a%20lifetime

Categories
International

Reese: Korean College Student Renewed

Reese, a beautiful South Korean girl, was discouraged when she arrived in Oklahoma to attend college. Her faith was almost gone and she had stopped praying. Read how God revived her