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 ① ] to Mr. Young-oh Kim: Please stay strong
A Letter from a Survived Student from the Sewol Ferry Tragedy to Pope Francis
Dear Miss Minji,
I read your letter, and I wanted to write you to send a message of love and hope.
My first thought is that you are a brave woman for expressing how you feel, and I admire you for this. I have a younger brother who is also a second year student. I love him very much and we are close. Because I cannot imagine losing him, I could never begin to fathom the grief and loss that you are experiencing.
It was particularly saddening to me how you and your friends stayed quiet throughout the ordeal. I wanted to comfort you all when I saw that.
When I read the report of how you and your classmates returned to school on July 25th, I cried with you. I heard your pleas to be treated like a regular school student, and I respect that. But when I read the awful things people have said to you [your peers], that broke my heart. That’s not right nor was it fair; it shouldn’t have happened. I believe people need to take responsibility for their actions, which definitely includes the captain and the crew, and anyone else who contributed to the disaster.
Just as you asked Pope Francis to pray for you, my community and I are going to do the following:
We are going to pray for your country.
We are going to pray for your government that their hearts will change.
We are going to pray that the truth will be revealed.
We are going to pray for Mr. Kim Young-oh.
We are going to pray for your friends and teachers; whether alive, surviving, or departed.
We are going to pray for everyone at your school.
We are going to pray for the families of the missing and the departed.
Most importantly: We are going to pray for you that you will find healing, comfort, and peace.
You have suffered in silence long enough and deserve to know everything. That is the least your country can do for you. There was a saying I remember a long time ago the went “Man can fail you, but God never will.”_
Please know that you are never alone. Be strong and keep smiling. We are all with you from afar.
Your American friend, Colleen