At this site a home for lepers was started in 1909.
The photo shows the Aeyangwon Seongsan Church where Pastor Son Yang-Won served in love for people afflicted with leprosy. Dr. R. M. Wilson also served as a medical missionary of the Southern Presbyterian Church beginning work with people with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) in this area in 1909.
Drs. Stan and Mia Topple lived here.
Our group of 19 comfortably stayed at the Topple House for one night. Right down the hill from this house is the Wilson Leprosy Center where the Topples served as medical missionaries for 22 years, treating over 100,000 people. How I wish I could have taken photos of the lovely statues of the Topples and Dr. Wilson in front of the Leprosy Center. (Dead camera battery)
This is sacred ground for a medical missionary.
The Caucasian-looking person in the blue jacket is me. I am thankful that Dr. Michael Park of Hannam University has shared many of his photos with me. He also organized our entire trip.
This memorial is dedicated to a Korean Presbyterian pastor who demonstrated a very powerful dedication and love throughout his life.
Close to an historic leprosarium and church is a memorial and grave site of a hero of the Christian faith. The man’s name is the Rev. Son Yang-Won. Korean Christians suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese during the occupation of their land by that country. Japan increased pressure on all Koreans to worship at Shinto shrines after 1937. Some Christians refused believing that this would be the same as worshiping idols. Pastor Son was adamant in his refusal to bow to the east and spent four years in prison under horrible torture. He was released from prison in 1945.
His two eldest sons, Son Dong-In and Son Dong-Shin, were killed during a Communist riot in 1948. The young man involved in the deaths of these two sons was one of their classmates at high school. Pastor Son rescued the person responsible for the deaths of his sons when he was going to be executed later on. This young man was adopted into Pastor Son’s family. Pastor Son himself was murdered by Communists in 1951. He is buried with his eldest sons near the memorial to his life of faith. He is known as “The Atomic Bomb of Love” in Korea.
I have just been on a most interesting two-day bus trip with a Korean group interested in the history of southern Presbyterian mission work in Korea. I was the only “foreigner”, and my Korean companions were so very kind and inclusive to me. However, as most of the explanations were in Korean, I am sure I missed out on so much. I am so impressed with what I did learn that I would like to share it.
I would like to mention an early missionary doctor, Dr. Mattie Ingold. She is credited with starting a hospital in Jeonju in 1897 which is still operating and is called the Jesus Hospital.
Dr. Mattie Ingold Tate on a mission trip with Korean women around 1910.
While in Jeonju we visited a small grave site where missionaries and their children were buried. It was a beautiful site on a small mountain in the city, close to the Jesus Hospital.
"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you." Psalm 84:4
I wish I could share more photos, but the battery in my camera went dead, and all picture-taking stopped.
There is so much more I would like to express and plan to do so at a later date.
Yours in Korea,