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Christian Children's Fund file


Home Name:  Pung Duck Won

Project Number:   1665

Country:    Korea


This Home was originally established on March 1, 1913, by Mrs. Lee Han Yul who had been working in the royal court of Yi Dynasty until 1910 when Korea became by the Japanese.  Soon after the fall of the Yi Dynasty, she came down to her home town, Kongju, and then she decided to found a Home for orphans donating all of her personal property in a Buddhist temple area.  So this Home is regarded as one of the Homes that have long history in Korea.

As the sole “Home for the Parentless Children” of Kongju county, under the guidance of Mrs. Lee for years, this Home had been grown up, but this Home came into the Buddhist Foundation of Kap Sa Temple largely because of the financial problem.  Then, another volunteer named Park Jae Ryun took over the Home and became the 2nd superintendent of the Home in 1940.  The Home was also moved to downtown of Kongju from Kap Sa Temple area.

When Korea was freed from the Japanese occupation in 1945, this Home came to face financial difficulties once more again.  So the mayor of Kongju became the 3rd superintendent.  That was Mrs. Yu Eul Hee, the present superintendent.  At that time, she was the superintendent of a Nursing Home near Kongju and was Bible Women of Kongju Holiness Church, which was in fact established by herself.

The representatives of the town concluded that she must be the best person to take over the Home.  She has no children of her own after her husband died when she was merely 23 years old.  She became Bible Woman first to spread God’s gospel to those who did not know His words.

She was at first hesitating strongly to accept this proposal because she thought her main service to God must be service for God’s church.  But pastors of the church advised her to spread her hands for the care of the poor children while serving God.  She prayed to God over and over again to have answer from Him.  Then, she finally decided to devote herself to the welfare of the children.  It was in March of 1950.  She was happy on one hand that she could teach God’s words to the children Buddhism oriented.

A new opening ceremony of the Home was held with many town leaders attending.  In a way, this Home has been reborn on that day.  With a long but hard history of 30 years, this Home started with entirely new aspect with 40 boys and girls.  A Home of Buddhist Foundation had been changed into a Home of God’s love.

Just as the Home got started as a nest for the children in the Christian spirit, the Korean War broke out.  Owing to the outbreak of this conflict, the tragedy of divided land and a split people has been doubled.  When the powerful communist army broke the 38th parallel in the early Sunday morning of June 25, 1950, the invasion tide soon swept back and forth.  On June 28th, 1950, the capital city of Seoul fell to the enemy’s hands and the cruel red soldiers marched south and south.

When the Russian-made heavy tanks rushed along the street of Kongju, Mrs. Yu was forced to evacuate the children safety farther south.  As the younger children and Mrs. Yu herself were pushed southward through the mountaineous roads, unable to carry much food on their way, they were soon on the verge of starvation.  Day after day, they met hardships and brutality was added to brutality by the red soldiers.  Finally they could continue no farther and decided to return to Kongju.

Trudging what seemed like endless miles over the rough road which they had stepped on once before, they were on one hand astonished at the fact that most of the houses in Kongju had been destroyed by the bombardment, but were surprised with pleasure on the other hand that Home had been saved from destruction.

On September 28, however, the Korean troops, now allied with the U.N. forces, re-entered Seoul.  After the brilliant Inchon Landing, the back of the enemy’s power was broken and the allied forces pursued the enemy across the 38th parallel deep into the north.  But a mass of the Chinese communist soldiers poured over the border from Manchuria, pressing the U.N. forces back.  Once more again refugee took the weary roads; once more the ones who suffered the most were the children.

This time millions of north Korean people decided to choose freedom in the south.  The roads southwards were black with refugees.  As the war seesawed back and forth, the number of the war orphans had been increasing day by day.  Mrs. Yu saw the sight of the children with pipestem legs and swollen stomachs.  All of the staffs including the superintendent herself were trying every effort to take care of the children she had to care for.  Many parents discovered their lost children were safe in this Home.  But this Home was too small to accommodate the increasing numbers of the children.  But the armistice, after the long-drawn-out talks, was finally signed on July 27, 1953.

Mrs. Yu thought that the more important part of her work for the children began from that period.  In addition to al the bloodshed, the war caused monstrous damage to the economy and to the living condition of Korea, and the financial needs of the Home continued.

Just at that time, CCF was introduced to Mrs. Yu, who began to make contact in order to be affiliated with this organization.  Then, this Home became affiliated with CCF in 1953.  Mrs. Yu recalls thousand of emotions that entry to CCF was introduced in prayer, and made in prayer.

CCF-105a-16-NOV-01 (105).jpg.doc “Pung Duck Won Orphanage”



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