Note from Dave Wiley: This is a post without Faye Moon’s permission, though all the text is publicly available gratis online. We have not been able to contact Faye P. Moon, YDS ’61, even though her chapter in a 2006 volume says she has moved back to the U.S. from Korea. Because her chapter is an important personal statement about the role that she, her husband, and a number of Korean and Korea-focused Christians played in the transition of Korea to a more democratic government, we post herein a quotation from it as a reflection from her life. At the end of the text is the url to the full text of her chapter on the website of the Korean Democratic Foundation.
We hope to locate her and hope some readers can help us locate her and to gain her permission for this posting. DW
Faye P.Moon, “Heartaches no Longer, and Some that Linger,” Ch. 4 in Jim Strenzel, ed., More than Witnesses: How a small group of missionaries Aided Korea’s Democratic Revolution (Seoul: Korea Democratic Foundation Books, 2006)
“Heartaches no Longer, and Some that Linger”
As a middle-class white girl growing up in Guilford, Connecticut,in the 1940s and ‘50s, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.
I didn’t know about Koreans or Korea until I married one and went there. I didn’t know about dictatorship or repression until my family and friends went to jail for fighting against them. I didn’t know about U.S. foreign or military policies until I saw their impact abroad. I didn’t know about poverty, drugs, or prostitution until I began helping vulnerable persons caught in those snares. I didn’t know about culture gaps and identity crises, or loneliness and depression, until I experienced them. I didn’t know how much I needed others’ friendship and understanding until I became a member of the Monday Night Group in Seoul. And I didn’t really
know about theology or democracy until I saw them both rise from the Korean grassroots — and saw my husband become not only a well-known theologian but also a member of south Korea’s National Assembly….
…Though I am now retired and living in the U.S. again, I sometimes find myself contemplating the role of the U.S. in the world and the effect it has on other countries. Having learned firsthand about the plight of Korean women in their relationships with American soldiers, I realized that these relationships are taking place all over the world, wherever American troops are stationed. Women are always available to the soldiers, especially in countries where there is much poverty. The women may be hoping for a better life — to marry an American man and go to live in that rich, bountiful country called the United States. Sometimes these relationships result in the soldiers divorcing their wives who are waiting back home in America. More often, they result in devastation for the local woman who had hoped to find love and security in her relationship with the American, only to find that he was just satisfying his sexual needs.
I remember advising a young American soldier in Korea to stop dating the Korean woman he had met in a bar unless he planned on marrying her. He told me he had made it clear to her that he had no intention of marriage. I warned him that she would likely continue to hold out hope and that his actions would count more than his words. The day before he was to leave for America, his girlfriend committed suicide.
American soldiers are not given proper orientation to other cultures and peoples; they do not understand other nations. Aside from the horrors of war and killing, we in America often do not realize the damage we cause to other countries. Thankfully, My Sister’s Place provides a ray of hope for some women in Korea, but when I think of the women all around the world hurting from broken relationships, estranged from their own families, returning to the bars, suffering from mental illness or worse, it still makes my heart ache.
My heart no longer aches, however, for democracy in south
Korea. Free and open elections began to happen in the 1990s, as first Kim Young Sam and then Kim Dae Jung were elected president. Stephen took a seat in the National Assembly (south Korea’s congress), serving one term as an at-large assemblyman appointed by the Party of Peace and Democracy. A new day had dawned. The long, dark nights of struggle were over.
But our responsibilities as foreigners are not over. In the future we still have to work for the reunification of Korea. The final goal of all Koreans is to bring about one peaceful motherland, tragically divided in large part by actions of the United States. (pp. 194-195)
Read the entire Chapter 4, pages 159-196, in the volume, More than Witnesses: How a small group of missionaries Aided Korea’s Democratic Revolution at: http://www.kdemocracy.or.kr/mboard/mboard/filedown.asp?down_num=51&board_id=board05&group_name=community&file=1