Sunday, August 21, 2011

Father Lee : His Love Didn't End with his Death

Lee Tae Seok is one of the most respected priests in Korea and Sudan. After his death in 2010, a documentary film about his life was shown on TV and in movie theaters, which helped many people to know about his love and sacrifice for the poor, ill and suffering people in Sudan. It is no surprise that lots of people were deeply impressed by his life and try to succeed in his efforts to help the poor and ill in that region.

He was born in poverty and raised by his mother who made a living by sewing. He got through his difficulties and went to medical school. Right after becoming a doctor, he was ordained as a priest and left for Tonj in South Sudan, where the people suffered from poverty, diseases, and war. At first he began to treat the ill day and night without any fee. One of his patients said, "Father Lee is Jesus alive to us because he cured our diseases when we  were dying." Then he built a clinic and a school, and started teaching children as well to give them hope for the future. Even after his sudden death, the people in Tonj have missed him and appreciate his love and sacrifice for them.

Two characteristics made it possible for him to be one of the most respected priests in Korea and Sudan. First, he was warm-hearted and had a great affection for people. He looked after the patients with 'Hansen's disease', who were always avoided and rejected by others, with all his heart and efforts. Second, he was persistent and optimistic. His assistant said he never gave up treating dying people and tried to give them hope for life without knowing he was harming himself with fatigue from lack of sleep. Because of these two important characteristics, Father Lee has been respected and honored after his death.

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