Korea: With poor children, with my own disability…

Last summer, I had an apostolic experience at Saenal Study Center For Neighborhood Children in Bucheon.  It was my second opportunity since I entered the Society. There are about 25 children and most of them come from poor families. Most of their parents are factory workers. Some children have only one parent, so they need to be taken care of by some adults during the day.

Before I met them, I had questions like 'What can I do for them?', 'What will they need from me?' And I worried about what contribution I could make for them. But three weeks later, I realized that all that I could do was be with them. I could not do anything for them but Jesus worked through me. Every morning, when the study center opened, children arrived immediately. Then, the children and I played a board game called “Halli Galli”. This game needed quick reflexes. It was hard for me because my hand movement was much slower than the children’s. So I usually lost the game. The more often I lost the game, the more often the children suggested to me that we play the game. Whenever I lost a game, they seemed to gain confidence in their own ability. I was not ashamed of my disability. Many of the children seemed to delight in my disability and I felt so happy for them.

During this time, I read a book called Near the Dead Sea for my spiritual reading. That book showed me about Jesus who is always with us. He always stayed with the poor, suffering people. He empathized with their pain deeply. At that time, I heard the voice in my heart "Go and do likewise. (Luke 11, 35)" I thought I had to do something special for the children. But I realized that it was a time for me to stay with these poor children like Jesus did, and to share joy with them through my weakness.

Bang Jung Hye RSCJ
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