On August 4, Furey former acting president Mary Summers was accompanied by new acting president Yolandi Rademeyer, translator Yumi Kang, and Furey representative Sean Ferguson on a visit to the newly-adopted Hamdeok family. The family became an official Furey family in February of this year because of their financial needs.
During the visit, the mother gave the Furey crew an update of the family’s life over the past 6 months. Although she said her health has improved since February (she had been suffering from some joint pain), the mother has been having tooth problems and would be undergoing dental work in the near future. Luckily, she was able to apply for and was granted financial aid for the dental work from a multi-cultural support group. Overall, the mother said, she has been feeling better – even going out on walks and getting more exercise. She feels that ever since her stroke of good fortune that Furey brought her, things have been getting better.
Unfortunately, when asked about the current state of debt, the mother informed the Furey representatives that her father, who resided in Japan, had recently passed away. For family reasons, the mother and oldest son were making plans to try to visit Japan this coming winter to finalize her father’s estate. While she is excited to get to see her family for the first time in many years, the financial burden of the trip along with the emotional distress of the situation darken the mood of her trip. Additionally, the recent typhoons have posed problems for the house due to the large, and damaged, window and door area that makes the majority of the front of the house. The mother has applied through a government program for a lottery that would allow them to move to a different, and hopefully better, home but is still waiting for the results.
When asked about the well-being of her children, as usual the mother had the highest of hopes for things to go well for them. The oldest child, her daughter, is still working part time with the dream of one day returning to university when finances allow. The older of the sons, a recent high school graduate, is hoping to be able to attend university in the upcoming school year, while the younger son, in middle school, continues to struggle with his studies. Despite the hardships, the mother continuously believes that all of her children will be able to attend university and do well in their studies.
When the Furey team told the mother that they were there for more than just a check-in visit, that in fact they had brought her money that the whole Furey community had helped raise over the past 6 months, the mother’s eyes filled with tears. Furey representative Ferguson had the honor of giving her the 2.8million won from the Furey Foundation. While he tried to hand it over to her, the mother just kept saying, “Is it real? Can I really have this? I can’t believe it.” Her gratitude showed through her lack of words and the tears she fought back. She expressed to the Furey team how grateful she felt, but also how undeserving she felt herself to be because even though her family struggles, she knows there are others in the world that are worse. Every night, the mother said, she tells her children that they must remember Furey and how blessed they were that such a wonderful group of people were helping them.
The emotions were present in both the mother and the Furey team. When asked about his experience, Ferguson said, “I could feel how sincerely grateful she was and how important this money we raise is for her family. Visiting her made me wish we could do more without watering down what we already do.”
The meeting ended with handshakes and hugs all around and a promise from the Furey team to visit again soon.
Former acting president Mary Summers and Furey translator Jihyon (Sofia) Kim visited the Nohyeong Furey family on Saturday August 9, 2014 to check in on how they’ve been doing and to deliver to them the funds that the Furey Foundation has raised over the past 7 months. The Furey team was pleased to learn that the Nohyeong family was approved for a move to the Hwabuk area to a better-equipped living arrangement through the government lottery system. The new apartment has a lower rent rate; however, the deposit for the new apartment was quite high and the family sought out aid from the Nohyeong church, whose members worked to raise money for the family to carry out their move. Although they are no longer under the care of the Nohyeong Catholic Church, they will be receiving help and support from the Hwabuk Catholic Church and will remain a Furey family.
Compared to January, the father looked much healthier and stronger. The father said in general that his health has been, despite still struggling with weight-gain which is needed to help strengthen his back, the source of his physical ailments. Doctors encourage him to eat healthy foods in large amounts to gain ‘healthy’ weight, but the family’s limited income makes it difficult for him to eat a large enough amount of meats, fruits, and vegetables to gain weight. He hopes to find ways to eat healthy and gain weight and possibly be able to get access to a Chinese medicinal supplement that aids in weight gain.
The son, in high school, has remained at his current school and is doing well. In January he was given a gift from Just Play board games for a free month of board-game play. He has not yet been able to use the gift, but hopes to in the near future. He said that everything is good for him, in his usual shy way.
The family received 2.8million won from Jeju Furey to which the father said he was “without words to express his thanks” to Jeju Furey and all of those involved who help raise money to support him and his family.
In August 2014, Jeju Furey’s acting president ,Yolandi Rademeyer ,was accompanied by Furey representative Wanjin Reed and the pastor from a church in Noyoung. They visited the Iho family at home where they met the grandmother. Her 40 year old disabled son is living with her ,as well as his son/her grandson who is in third grade middle school. Her grandson was not at home as he was still at school.
The grandmother has been doing well and she has been really good with her money, so much that on the previous visit she did not need the money that Jeju Furey had for her.
On this visit however she accepted the money(2,800,000won) with much gratitude and told them that she is still be saving her money and that she is working from time to time on the farms to bring in extra money. It would seem from the conversation that came up that the government supplies her and her family with \300 000 a month. She has also received a money donation from the local church for which she is really grateful.
On the last visit she had told Furey that she needed to re-wallpaper their house. On this visit she reported that they were able to re-wallpaper as well as put in a new boiler and there were currently no problems.
She is sick from time to time and she did report that her health is not too good.
She was accepting and welcoming to Furey’s representatives. She made an effort to mention how much the money means to her and her family and she will be in contact if she needs any help in any other way.
Furey will be going around to see her and her family in the winter…