Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Overcoming the Disabality of Deafness

In the latest Pastoral Newsletter Kim Ki Chang (Peter) was mentioned as a good example of one who was a mentor to many disabled people. At the age of seven, the result of Typhoid Fever he became deaf. He attended school but his deafness prevented him for learning, so he spent the time drawing in his notebook. The mother seeing the notebook introduced him to a famous artist for instruction. The mother a very devout Christian was a teacher in a girls' school. She instilled in her son the courage he would need to surmount his disability.

One day coming home from school, in a dejected mood, the mother took his hand and wrote on it: "even though you can't hear don't lose your passion for life." Not long after his mother died from a heart attack. It was a big blow to Peter and he lived through a very difficult teenage period. He often reflected on what his mother wrote on his hand. In his reminisces of his younger years this is the way he expressed it. "I was made fun of by the village children and the object of their stone throwing. I made a decision to become a Judo 3-dan , started working out and began to practice not to cry."

He became a famous artist,the painting in Korean style at the beginning of this blog is a good example of his religious art. He received many awards, taught many disciples, helped many in society who were disabled like himself. He died in 2001 and at the Mass in Myong Dong Cathedral Cardinal Kim in the sermon mentioned the many difficulties he had to surmount and the help he gave to others in similar straits .

We have the recent history of the first deaf Korean who became a Catholic priest,the first in Asia, despite insurmountable odds against him-
check this article. There are many in our society who have shown great strength of character, overcoming serious disabilities. The example of the first Korean deaf priest shows very vividly the trials that one has to face doing something for the first time. Those who follow will have an easier time thanks to the trailblazers.

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