Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Finding Ways to be of Help to the Needy

The  Chosun Daily newspaper profiled the religious life of a Franciscan brother. After graduating from high school and working in a small advertising company he  decided to leave it all and become a Franciscan. "What have I  accomplished now that I'm in my early thirties?" he asked himself. What have I contributed to society during those years?" These were the questions that led him to the Franciscans.

By becoming a religious brother he believed it would contribute to making the world a better place to live in.  At the age of 40, he enrolled in a nursing school. It was after becoming a Franciscan that he began to see the real plight of the poor and those who were sick. It provided the motivation for going to nursing school.

In 2008 he lived in the Philippines, on assignment, helping out in a poor area of the country. . It was during this time that he saw much that changed the way he saw life.  On one occasion, he went with a medical team from Korea to an out-of-the-way mountain village. Because of the unpaved  roads it took them a whole morning to arrive at their destination. A  young man with a growth the size of a fist on his ankle came to see them. For the young man it was just the  start of  serious problems. Why did you not come before?  he was asked. Money was his simple answer. 

In the nursing school of a class of 300, there were only 20 males, and he was the oldest. Studies did not come easy and he remembers the phrase from the past the "black are the words the white is the paper".

During the studies he kept up all the duties he had as a brother in his community. During his first year he never went to bed before two in the morning. He would get up at five to do his duties and go on to school at nine. During the second and third years he went to hospitals for practical training and would not return to the monastery before 10 at night  Last month he received accreditation as a nurse.

This year he entered a program to receive a bachelor's degree in nursing. In the fall he will be going to a monastery to take care of the older members of the Franciscan community and hopes also to be of help to the sick in the surrounding  community.  Some day his dream is to go to the North.

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