[Solidarity Letter ① ] to Mr. Young-oh Kim: Please stay strong

After reading a letter sent to the Pope by Mr. Young-oh Kim (Yoomin’s Father) and a survived student, an American college student Colleen sent us solidarity letters. In the e-mail, she said “I may not have the power to remove pain and suffering, but I can lift up people who are hurting in my own way. My intention for writing these letters is to lift the spirits of others.” Both letters were translated into Korean and were delivered to them. Thank you again for your solidarity!


Solidarity Letter ②  to Survived Student : Please know that you are never alone.

Appeal to Pope Francis and the World: Mr. Young-oh Kim, Father of Yoo-min Kim


Dear Mr. Kim Young-Oh,

I have been reading and following your hunger strike from far away. You have shared so much about yourself from your diary on facebook. I read that you have enemies who have spoken against you. There are people who try to stand in your way and disenfranchise you from ever knowing what happened to your daughter, Miss Yoomin. Reading these negative words while you are in recovery did not sit well with me — thus, I had to write to you. I hope this letter in some way will lift your spirits.

I applaud you for ignoring what the enemies say. They do not know you nor the struggles you have undergone in life. They have nothing better to do than to see you fall and never get up again. You have more supporters than haters, and so I implore you to keep fighting. Please don’t let them win.

I admire you for standing up and doing what is right. As a hard-working father, you deserve to know what happened to your daughter. I am so sorry for your loss and that she had to leave you and this earth in a most tragic way; there is no denying the pain, grief, and suffering that comes with losing a child. You deserve none of the things that are rising against you. When I struggle and the thought of giving up crosses my mind, I will think of you and continue to fight until the end.

If I may share a little about myself…. I am a college student who lives four hours away from home. I am only able to see my parents a few times a year. My father, like you, also works very hard; loves and provides for his children; and always wants the best for us. He is very near and dear to me and I love giving him hugs every time I come home. Yet, because of how hard he works to care of us, I worry about him and his health sometimes. I could never picture life without my father. Reading your story only makes me want to hold him tighter. I never take my parents for granted, but I am inspired to cherish them and respect them even more thanks to you.

The times when you would talk about Miss Yoomin, and how much joy she brought into your life, I often wonder what she was like. The way you talked about her could never fully convey just how much she meant to you. From what you have shared with the world, I can tell that she loves you very much and wishes for you to be with her. But please never forget that she loves you above all things, even to the day that you meet her again in heaven.

Although no one ever said that life would be easy, I find it ridiculous that no one will tell you the truth, and that’s not okay. Pope Francis is praying for you, and so are many, many Catholics — including me — and Christians around the world.

And so,

We are going to pray for Miss Yoomin, her friends, and teachers.
We are going to pray that the truth will be revealed.
We are going to pray for your country that they will have a positive change of heart.
We are going to pray for your hunger strike to end soon and that President Park Geun-hye will meet with you.
But also, we are going to pray for you, that you may find comfort and peace in God.

May He give you the strength to endure, persevere and fight.
May He touch the hearts of everyone so we all strive for justice and peace.
May He also strike down the wicked.

The Lord never promised to take away our pains; but He always gives us the strength to carry us through and stand tall against our foes.

Please stay strong. Trust in God and He will raise you above your enemies. We will pray for you from afar.

Your American friend, Colleen