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Korea Territory Medical Ministry gives life to sick children

Korea Territory Medical Ministry gives life to sick children

Korea Territory Medical Ministry gives life to sick children

Selected children from the Philippines, with their carers, were taken to Korea for live-saving heart operations performed by Doctor Kim, Byung-yul (centre).

By Major Kim, Byung-yoon

Since 1995, a unique ministry in the Korea Territory has saved the lives of more than 830 children from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and ethnic Korean children living in Yanbian, China, who were suffering from heart disease.

Desperate patients have also come from as far as Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan. This year, a total of 26 children have already been helped. [Mongolia and Cambodia are part of the Korea Territory.]

In 1995, the Korea Territory commenced this medical ministry, which was extended to Yanbian in 1999.

A team of doctors at the Danwon Hospital in Ansan (a satellite city of the capital, Seoul) headed by Dr Kim, Byung-yul, voluntarily donate their time and services for this ministry.

The Salvation Army Korea Territory covers all patient and carer expenses, including airfares and accommodation.

This money comes from a number of sources, including donations to The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Appeal given by the general public during December at toll booths throughout the nation, and from the Korea Expressway Corporation.

Children helped by this ministry, and their families, gathered to celebrate and give thanks at the ministry's 20th annniversary celebration.

Doctor Kim, Byung-yul has been involved in this ministry since its beginning when he worked at the National Medical Centre in Seoul and was involved in assisting children with heart disease.

It was his first contact with The Salvation Army and, since that time, he has continued to support this ministry wholeheartedly. In fact, during the 20th anniversary celebrations of this ministry in 2015, his work, his service and commitment was widely and warmly acknowledged by The Salvation Army.

Territorial Leaders and Executive Officers provide gifts to children who have undergone heart surgeries as part of the Medical Ministry.

Due to the number of children with heart conditions, there is a selection process for patients. Prior to a personal medical consultation, communications take place between local medical authorities in relevant countries and, where applicable, local Salvation Army officers.

The Korea Territory’s Social Secretary then accompanies an assigned doctor to those countries and is involved with the consultation process there.

With the criteria provided, those based locally do the initial groundwork to establish the children most urgently requiring heart operations. These contacts are then followed up by the visiting team from the Korea Territory and thus children are selected.

When the children and accompanying parents arrive in Seoul, the patients are admitted to the hospital for two or three days for the operations to be performed and necessary observation undertaken.

Following their discharge, they recuperate in hotel accommodation until medical clearance is given to enable them to return home.
This unique ministry not only gives hope to needy families but, through God’s love, gives life.

Major Kim, Byung-yoon is Literary and Publishing Secretary; and Director, Overseas Service Bureau, for the Korea Territory.



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