by Esther Livingston
View from author's home in Po Nam Dong (outskirts of Kang Nung),
looking towards Tae Gwal Yung and mountains on a snowy winter day.
From the Forward to Never Alone, Esther Livingston writes:
Never Alone is a narrative about Korea and the author and her family's experiences as missionaries during their ten year stay from 1956 to 1966. The book is taken from the letters written home, prayer letters to supporters, and the author's memories, as well as the stories of those around her that she gathered during her years there. Esther writes: "Often I wouldn't tell my parents the difficulties, dangers and disappointments we experienced -- I didn't want to worry them. Therefore I have added in italics, some of what was going on behind the scenes -- the heartaches, disappointments, things not told to her family at home; and yes, victories and fun times, too."
True experiences are brought to life in story-like, easy to read form, along with biographies of local friends and co-workers, the true stories of their lives in Old Korea, a country that even many Koreans have never seen, except maybe in a museum.
At the age of 26, having been married only 6 years and with three small children, Esther and her husband David set sail on a small freighter with no rails for a stormy 2 1/2 week trip, rolling and rocking across the Pacific. Memories of the early days when they landed, were of rooms dimly lit with kerosene lamps; widows and orphans, war-wounded amputees, and ragged beggars; bombed buildings and craters in the streets; bridges long since bombed out resulting in most rivers having to be forded -- all constant reminders of the recent Korean War and the Japanese occupation just prior to that, which resulted in years of poverty and oppression of the Korean people.
During these ten years probably the greatest lesson of all was to learn that they were "Never Alone".
Behold, I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest. . .