Compassion needn’t traumatize


While I was born after the Korean war, it is still sobering to know I was a product of its aftermath.  More sobering still, are reminders of just how bad it was for the people of The Forgotten War.

click on the photo to read the stories (in Korean) about Swanson's work

While doing image research on Korean websites today, (I love google translate) I stumbled across this amazing footage of Korean orphans during and after the war.

The Christian missionary focus of the video is unmistakable, and I couldn’t figure out if this was a memorial to the Reverend Everett Swanson mentioned or if it was someone in Korea seriously living in the past, or WHAT it could be about.

Part of me continued with trepidation, thinking it might be yet-another-attempt at canonizing and perpetuating International Adoption.

You can care for children without making them exiles

But to my pleasant surprise, these are the posts of Compassion South Korea, a branch of Compassion International (and where the organization first began), and their focus is now, and has always been, sponsorship.  Interestingly, the sponsorship today is not for Koreans, but from Koreans for children of other countries.  And, I was correct that the footage and images are there as memorial to the founder and as a reminder of how tragedy was once in Korea’s backyard and how Koreans can return the favor.  And you know what?  I bet all the 22,000 children he helped are currently productive members of Korean society, with roots here despite their losses.

Seeing these images I am so deeply moved by what happened to the country of my birth, the land where I’m currently residing.  And I truly do see how humanitarians could have been blinded by their desires to help fast and think later.  But clearly, as the late Rev. Swindon demonstrated – we can help children without forcing them to lose their country, culture, language, and each other.

God, I’m always relieved whenever I see Christians NOT wreaking havoc and doing something beneficial.  I wish Harry Holt had taken his cues from Rev. Swindon…

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4 thoughts on “Compassion needn’t traumatize

  1. “God, I’m always relieved whenever I see Christians NOT wreaking havoc and doing something beneficial.” true, but the real truth is that those christians are not doing all these good things for nothing. their main reason is raising future christians by spreading the gospel. altruism is not the christian way.

  2. That thought totally entered my head as I hit the “publish” button…
    But it’s still a better tactic than what Harry Holt did. And today, the main reason is not compassion but theft.

    So people can have a baby like this:

    (from the same person who posted the Compassion videos above)

    Imagine being forced to give that up…

  3. While I am sure there is true compassion and acts of altruism in the World, I don’t trust any of these sorts of relief organizations.

    Though I wouldn’t say my ending up an adoptive parent was the result of betrayed trust, it was the result of my own ignorance.

  4. Yeah, I don’t blame anyone, not even my parents I don’t blame. The ignorance factor is why we write…

    But as I come to be more forgiving, on the other hand, I do feel more and more like today’s adoption really is theft. These babies are priceless and so are the lives of their troubled families, and there shouldn’t be a market specializing in their acquisition. It’s not about charity, though that’s a convenient excuse.

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