August 10, 1954
It was Tuesday afternoon of July
12, that I first visited the orphanage after returning from a years
leave of absence in the States. How I wish each of you could have been
present. The boys and girls came running from everywhere shouting "A-mon-ie!
A-mon-ie! Oo-re a-mon-ie!" (Mother, mother, our mother.) And some
of them asked about Mrs. Rue, who is now on furlough, for they call
both of us mother.
As the children surrounded me, I
felt like the "old woman who lived in the shoe." Imagine being greeted
by 300 lively youngsters, each trying to get close for some love. Constantly,
there was a pushing and shoving of each other. Little hands and arms
seemed to cover my entire body. It was a grand welcome and my heart
was so full that I could hardly keep back the tears.
The wife of a prominent Korean businessman
was with me and as she watched what was going on, I could see tears
trickling down her cheeks. Afterwards, she said, "The children really
love you. Our company supports an orphanage, but I've never seen anything
like this. All your boys and girls look so healthy and strong. They
are so clean and neat. You have the best orphanage in Korea!" Perhaps
the last statement wasn't true, but we want it to be.
The teachers proudly took me on a
tour of inspection. First we visited the new school, completed during
my absence. None of the children were in class for they had all come
out to see me,--but the desks, benches, pencils, crayons, tablets and
well-worn blackboards gave evidence of study. The walls in the room
of the younger children were decorated with pictures, which they had
cut out, drawn or colored. The library contained only a few books,
but the students were proud of what they had and the extra school supplies
sent by friends.
On our way to see the chickens, we
passed through a part of the vegetable garden. I've never seen any
finer garden than we have at the orphanage and the teachers and students
have done most of the work. At present, the corn and tomatoes are at
their best and these foods provide a good source of vitamins. We have
around 200 grown chickens and 400 baby chicks. These are being well
cared for, and the youngsters are getting good experience in learning
how to raise chickens properly.
As we passed by a shed, made of scrap
lumber, I was told that it was the carpenter shop. It could hardly
be called a building, but soon we hope to erect an industrial building
where the older boys and girls can be taught carpentry and other trades.
We have already received a lathe and a few other tools for use in the
new building, but we need all kinds of hand tools and hobby supplies
and equipment. We are anxious that each child learn a trade so they
will know how to support themselves when old enough to establish homes
of their own and at the same time help meet community needs.
Next, we visited the laundry. Some
of the teachers and older girls were squatted on the floor, beating
the clothes on stones in order to get them clean. They have no modern
equipment with which to work, so have to do it the hard way, but they
are doing a good job for all the children were clean and the clothes
Then, we visited the new dormitory
completed during the past year. The younger children live in this home
and in one of the rooms a teacher could be seen conducting a class for
the preschool age group. Below, we could see another dormitory and
beyond it a kitchen and dining room, which are in the process of construction.
As we passed by another dormitory,
a lady could be seen doing the mending on a machine sent from the States.
The older girls are being taught how to sew and they could use more
embroidery thread for their fancy work. Later, we hope to sell some
of the things they make.
We are ever grateful for the clothing
which keeps coming in. Winter will soon be here and more long underwear,
long stockings, socks and shoes will be needed. There is a constant
shortage of under panties for the boys and girls and rubberized panties
for the baby and toddler group. We still have around fifty five babies
in the hospital. Some of you have asked about blankets and the size
needed. We will need more blankets when winter comes. The best size
is that which fits a single bed. We are also in need of similac and
whole milk for the babies. There is always a need for notebooks and
some who have artistic ability could improve their skill if they had
the use of water colors and poster paints. We are wanting to have the
youngsters make some cards for Christmas and black India ink and good
art paper is needed.
It was a real thrill to see how God
has blessed in the orphanage work during the past year. The boys and
girls all look healthy. They have the love of God in their hearts and
I wish you could see the smiles on their faces. They are thankful for
the school building and all the other things made possible by our friends.
You may continue to send things in
my name or the Rues to the Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital Orphanage,
Box 43, Seoul, Korea or to the Commanding Officer, 326th
Comm. Recon., B.N., APO 301, Postmaster, San Francisco or to someone
you know in the service.
Again, we wish to express our heartfelt
gratitude for all that you have and are doing. May God richly bless
each one of you.
With kindest Christian greetings,
Irene Robson and Dr. and Mrs. Rue