Basic small kitchen in our house with refrigerator run on kerosene since we could not rely on steady electricity.
But the children grew with healthy bodies and sturdy constitutions! And minds and hearts were instructed and grounded in Christian truth and virtue through family prayers,home schooling (1954-1956) and Christian day school with other missionary children (1956-1959), in all of which Grace was steady and strong teacher.
They learned Korean, very rapidly outstripping their parents, and joined in regular church services whether in English or Korean. God's grace was ever great and evident!
Reverend Theodore Hard with sons Rodney and Sterling in 1954 upon first arriving in Korea.
The crumbling wall pictured above was the back side of some of the buildings in the prostitute district. This was 50 yards from our door and we had to walk past the ready-to-fall-anytime wall every day to go anywhere. We also had to avoid having wash water or human waste dumped on us from the windows above.Type your paragraph here.
It was in this kind of neighborhood that our children grew up, playing with Korean children in and out of our yard, in nearby streets and alleys, or on the upper slopes of our Heavenly Horse Mountain, in very non-heavenly environment, physical or spiritual!
Telegraph dated December 16th, 1953 wishing us a safer journey to Korea.
The pictured "red light district" was one street over from our street.
Grace Hard with baby Gwendolyn who was born on a very rainy night three weeks after we arrived in Korea.in 1954.
Soldiers often visited. Grace Hard and Theodore Hard, with pith helmet, take GIs sightseeing to a Buddhist Steps To Heaven site.
We did have the luxury, and necessity, of a live-in maid that helped with cooking and cleaning. This allowed Grace more time to teach and do missionary work. Notice the bucket of well water and blue plastic ladle. All water for drinking and cooking had to be boiled vigorously for up to a half hour in order to kill the micro-organisms. All the human waste from the shanty houses above us and open sewers leached into the ground water that went into our well.
Dr. Rodney T. Hard
ARRIVAL IN KOREA
From my father’s autobiographical book, HOPEFULLY FAITHFUL AND USEFUL, (Page 15-16). Writing about immediate challenges and dire circumstances having just arrived in Korea by ship in 1954 as an Orthodox Presbyterian missionary with his family.
By: Reverend Theodore Hard
The Bruce Hunts, with daughter Connie, were our warm greeters in Pusan, and for many weeks our hosts in their home. Bruce looked hard for a house of some kind for us. Happily one was finally found two blocks from the Hunts' house in Nam Pumin-dong.
But it was occupied by seven squatter families who vacated slowly and reluctantly, of course. We hated to unhouse anyone under the terrible conditions of living in city or country, and when we did move into the flimsy one story Japanese bungalow we encountered continuing occupants—rats and cockroaches and bedbugs in great numbers. Black grease still dripped from the kitchen ceiling. Household help or not, Grace met her first setting up of housekeeping overseas with remarkable aplomb.
There were many US army bases in the area, and many lonely young men came to Saturday night meetings held in the homes of the few missionaries in town, especially the Chisholms and Malsbarys of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions and our Bruce Hunts. Soon many were visiting us any day or evening of the week for a bit of "home away from home". Soon I was preaching in various bases by invitation of chaplains or base commanders, at the same time worshiping at various Korean churches together with the Hunts.
To help visualize our situation I must speak of the neighborhood. Ours was not some kind of traditional missionary compound. Missions operating for decades before the war had, in most cases, a handsome elevated location with a cluster of well built houses and perhaps school and little hospital or clinic, with many national Christian employees. Often there were also orchards, gardens, fields.
By contrast, our domicile was a run down, poorly constructed bungalow, surrounded by crowded houses on narrow streetsand alleys, with open ditches. A stone's throw distant, we found, to some dismay, a web of streets and alleys where small hotel-like buildings housed as many as one thousand prostitutes, lobby-like entrances displaying their languorous enticements each evening.
COntent of this site copyrighted 2016 by Dr. Rodney Hard. all rights reserved.