La Posada welcomed its first clients from North Korea in 2007. Two women arrived at the shelter, fleeing what we believe to be violent oppression. (We are not certain of the details of their cases, because of the language barrier and their extreme emotional distress. We honor their request not to use their photographs.) The two women served as manifest reminders of how much we Americans have to be grateful for. Their appreciation for the shelter and support they received was expressed in words and deeds, the smiles on their faces and the tears in their eyes. They stayed at La Posada for several months, until they received their work permits and Social Security cards. Then they moved on with gratitude to a life full of challenges, but also one of safety and freedom.
Providence played a part in the stories of our two Korean clients. Shortly after they arrived, Sister of Divine Providence Veronica Gum Ja Kim, CDP, a member of the religious community that sponsors La Posada, visited the shelter, swooping in like a veritable Fairy Godmother. A native of South Korea, Sister Veronica accompanied the women to the local social services agency and the immigration office to help them with paperwork and assist them with the next steps in their resettlement process. She also stayed with one of the women when she required surgery. Sister Veronica’s translation skills were invaluable, but her compassionate presence helped make the flight to freedom more manageable for two vulnerable women.
Photo: Sister Veronica Gum Ja Kim, CDP teaches a class on currency and personal finance.