Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now and Then

I wanted to share some photos from my visit to the site of the Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital Orphanage, run (in the 1950s) by Seventh Day Adventist Missionaries George and Grace Rue. Jimmy spent a few months staying with the Rues in the summer and fall of 1953, while Paul was in the United States trying to arrange for him to get a visa to immigrate. Mrs. Rue was a friend, with whom Paul had worked on charitable efforts to help street kids and other war refugees. Back then, the orphanage was located on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by rice fields that Jimmy remembers playing in. Unfortunately, the dormitories where Jimmy would have slept were torn down a few years ago, but a number of the original buildings remain. Today, it's smack in the middle of eastern Seoul, a modern hospital surrounded by high-rises. The contrast is amazing! 

(1) An aerial view of the compound in 1960, before the city grew up around it. The original hospital is the large white building at the center, while the Rue's red-brick house is located at the hospital's southwest corner.
(2) The hospital compound in the 1960s. The large white building is the original hospital. These would have been the sort of rice fields that Jimmy remembers wading through.
(3) George and Grace Rue on the front steps of the hospital in 1951.
(4) The old hospital today, which is still in use as a maternity ward now named for Dr. Rue.
(5) Mr. and Mrs. Rue's house today. You can see the modern city in the background.

Note: All historic photographs are courtesy of Sahmyook Medical Center, whose staff has been tremendously gracious.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Misty. This is HyunJu from FB. Reading your blog I see that we speak the same language about adoption and Korea. Best of luck to you in re-tracing Jimmy's steps. It will benefit us all.