Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Childrens Home, Pusan

Two and half years ago, in April 2008, my friend Dorothy and I stepped onto the KTX (Korea's bullet train) bound for Pusan, South Korea. It was the beginning of an odyssey that is still unfurling.

I want to tell you about an orphanage that regularly runs over capacity because the nuns have a hard time turning children away.

But in this story, you will see almost no children. You'll just have to imagine the truth: I can't post most of my pictures.

The children are here: in the room next door where they've just been called to lunch, being pushed in a swing behind my back, doing therapy with one of the sisters (nuns) down the hall.

If these photos could take you inside, you'd hear the children laughing, crying, running, rolling, creeping, climbing, splashing, singing. 

You will also have to imagine why the children are here. In Korea, too often it is impossible for parents to raise a child born with visible special needs. Charities like TCH fill the need: a place to send these infants until they are old enough to enter the government orphanage system.

TCH has what its founders believe is a God-given call to do more than give an orphan a home for a few years. They have ambitious love: to give disabled children a future.

Their mission is to take disabled babies and to intensively rehabilitate them to achieve the highest level of function the child's disabilities allow in the three to five years the children are in their care.

TCH is succeeding. If you think growing up in an orphanage sounds hard, what would it be like if you were immobile? If you couldn't swallow? If you had no way to communicate your needs? TCH is filling a critical niche for the disabled orphans in Korea who are led to its gates.

Most of the stories from this place are not mine to tell. But maybe in heaven someday, there will be a grand reunion of people, all of us with whole, perfect bodies for the first time in our lives, praising God for this special place on earth: an orphanage perched in the hills high above the the city of Pusan, South Korea, called The Children's Home.

Click the "English" button on the blue bar at the top of the web page.

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