Conversion/Action

God was most present during our performance. Without God, our concert would not have been able to go smoothly. I had the courage to calm myself and finish my performance. Like I did, many others (I believe) may have benefitted from the prayer before the performance. Throughout the whole experience, we had prayed before the start of an activity and at the end of the activity. Thus, we prayed a lot, given that there was nothing blatantly mentioned about religious faith. Everyone gathered and prayed under the supervisor’s words. The prayers were cleansing, but also assuring before the performance. Now I feel that I can arrange my life to depend on God and pray when I feel distressed or troubled by an upcoming hardship.

 

 

 

I feel that I have not paid attention to how grateful I should be in my circumstances. Thus, my first plan is to become thankful of my life. I also felt that there are much more people who need help. So I shall be serving more because now I feel like someone needs me. Because my viewpoints have changed, I will live differently, and my values have changed also. Now I am looking for something that I should be thankful for, but beforehand I was thinking of what’s lacking. I believe that I should be simplifying my life to become more of the person I want to be after this experience. I feel that I should not be as much focused on material values as spiritiual values. Therefore, I hope to bring this experience to my reality and try to correct the wrong that I have been living with.

Scripture/Tradition

I really feel that I have been a “man for others” to the kids at the facility. I have provided them what I can do with my talents- music and friendship. I think that trying to overdo things for these kids, because I am a mere high school student, can actually bring negative consequences, so I feel that the scope of my actions was good. I very much felt that I was a “man for others” when I could see the smile in the kids’ faces; the smile was very innocent and cleansing. I also felt that the whole experience was collaborative. Everyone-me, other performers, the children-prepared the fundraiser concert. I am not sure about the exact amount of money we had collected, but at the concert I felt sure that enough people had come to fulfill our goals; the seats were almost full. I feel that my background as a Prep student enable me to look at this experience in this way. If I had not been a Prep student, I would have seen this experience with less significance than my impressions now.

Reason/Law

http://kostat.go.kr/portal/korea/kor_nw/2/3/3/index.board?bmode=read&aSeq=252676

This statistic shows that the number of families which have both parents working outside home had been rising significantly.

http://kostat.go.kr/portal/korea/kor_nw/3/index.board?bmode=read&aSeq=176356

This statistic shows that even in the 1990s the children of families which have both parents working outside home had been a social issue.

http://kostat.go.kr/portal/korea/kor_ko/5/2/index.board?bmode=read&aSeq=63540

This statistic shows that those children who have both parents working outside home and especially those who have somewhat economic problems tend to have less access to education.


From all these statistics I first felt that the issue of the kids I worked with were not light. The issue had been around for several years, even in the 1990s, but it was surprising that I had not noticed such issues. I felt, that there needs to be more emphasis on such families and children. Because the kids that I worked with may not get same education as others, according to the third statistic, I felt that the debate pertaining to fair education in Korea was also pertaining to the kids that I worked with. As the third statistics suggests, the cost of basic necessities for a family has been an increasing curve. As a result, more parents are pushed to work without getting the chance to be more close and care their children.

 

 

 

 

I believe that my efforts has not become a big help, but certainly some part of a bigger one. Many news in Korea report that the government is shifting revenue for the creation of more of such organizations, so that more children can receive help. The Support Working Parents Act of 2013, which seems to be repealed, proposes a repeal for the Internal Revenue code of 1986 to ultimately repeal the phasedown of the credit percentage of dependent tax care credit. The American Taxpayer Relief Act actually worsens these families’ situations; their tax rises. So, I believe that the United States government is not responding well to the siutuation that might also be in the US. I would see an ideal solution as increasing funds for these facilities so that the facilities would be able to provide as much as what kids with economically unstressed family can receive in terms of welfare and education.




Media/Society




Many documentaries in Korea tend to portray the darker parts of the Korean society. They mostly portray the poverty-stricken or the ostracized. One of the most famous of such documentaries, named “Human Theatre,” tends to reach out on those who are in a deadlock in economic terms but not as much recognized by society as those who suffer. In other words, this documentary focuses on those who others tend not to spotlight. And I believe that this document well portrays the kids I have worked with. They are not as poor as those who live through everyday barely getting food. However, these families have to work without caring their children to suffice themselves. As a result, the children have to unintentionally be left alone. One of their biggest wishes, according to the supervisor, was that they would once in life be able to travel abroad. Pertaining to wider Korean media, these kids are not much as spotlighted, thus I believe that they should be; their lack of familial companionship and leisure is too much ignored.


Service Experience

 

 

 

 

The organization exists to support the kids whose parents have to work all day and night due to their economic conditions. The organization holds about 30 kids in a room no bigger than twice of Dr.Ochs’ class. The biggest problem with the facility was that it seemed somewhat old. Before the fundraiser concert last year that I participated in, the facility lacked air conditioners. The activity consisted of me and other members of the performing group to go around and help kids get through the day. I taught a kid English; he had no idea what to do, so he needed my help with the very basic English such as the names of the specific parts of the body. Then, because most of these kids also could take part in the concert by playing chime bells, the rehearsals of the actual performance took place in the facility. After the rehearsal the members got together and prepared food for the kids. A lot of effort went in to produce enough food for the kids. At the end of the activity, we spent time with the kids who seemed somewhat stressed out after their rehearsal.

 

 

Smell- The place smelled like an old apartment, where the smell of old concrete dominated the place. I felt that the place was something that kids should not be living in.

Touch- Walking on the facility made me feel that the floors were somewhat creaking- it felt like a decrepit floor.

See- As I said, the place looked very old. However, the place was filled with bookshelves and books, mostly those which were childrens’ books. I saw the happy and innocent faces of the kids and a parents’ smile by the supervisor.

Listen- This was the biggest part of my memory with this origanization. The sound of music was the largest part of this experience. Also inside that experience, my experience with listening to the kids playing the chime bells was the biggest one. Although the financial situation of the organization only provided them with one set of chime bells, the kids learned to share and played beautiful music. The musics of other performers were also fantastic. I think I also benefitted from my experience because of the music that I have heard in this experience.

Taste- The food that we provided to the kids was traditional Korean food. We served them marinated beefs, Korean vegetables, and Korean style miso soups. I also tasted the food, which tasted great after thehallenging rehearsals we had in the facility.



 

 

During the activities with the kids, I was assigned to a guy who needed help with his English. He asked for basic help: he could not get anything right on his English quiz. His trouble was with the names of the body parts. I kindly told them to him, trying hard to make him understand. A week later I heard that he had improved greatly, thanks to my help. I felt really proud about myself for being able to help others.

Besides that kid, I really wanted to thank my brother, who decided to come and help even though he was not scheduled to. He participated in all the activities except the performance, because he was not an official member of the performing group. He has been another “man for others.”




Preparation

From my experiences at Prep and my experiences during Kairos, I felt that my biggest strength is on my tendency to view everything with optimism; before Kairos, I used to be a negative person. However, by looking at how the leaders and the teachers at Kairos viewed each person’s situation and his reflections optimistically, I felt that there wasn’t any need to bring negativity into daily situations. The biggest concern my Kairos brothers had in me was that my relationship with students were largely confined to residents. When I heard that, I started to realize that I had somewhat not tried to get along with many of the non-residents. From then I have been very active in trying to talk with people. I feel, that there may be some people who are very negative and like me before my Kairos experience. I feel that encountering such person would actually help me to understand myself more. So I hope that many people will be optimistic and friendly. I just hope that by the end of my service, I will have been given, to some of the people that I have been with, the conversion experience that I had gone through in Kairos.

The people who I will be serving are kids whose parents have to work day and night to suffice themselves; so these kids are held in a facility called School Planting Trees. The main purpose of this service campaign was raising money through launching a music concert; I was able to fully use my skills as the String Ensemble and Quartet member. Apart from the musical performances, the campaign had a program in which the performers would help feed the kids and help with the facility. Some of the members, including myself, was to teach some kids English. Amidst all these programs, the utmost feeling I had in these kids were that they were pure and unspoiled in spirit, even though their economic conditions could have rendered their spirits to dark. In response, I personally felt that I should not ever be living discouraged.