Home Name: Pung Duck Won
Project Number: 1665
THE HOME HISTORY
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
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
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