Every time we have Our Lord’s parable about a house built on rock I tell the same old Korea story. The Korean War began in June of 1950 when the Reds crossed south over the 38th Parallel that divided South Korea from North Korea.
After three years of warring, the border between the two nations, marked by a Demilitarized Zone was just about back where it began. The Reds owned land ten miles south of the 38th Parallel on the west side of the country over by Seoul, while our Marines had won back one county north of the 38th Parallel along the Sea of Japan.
in May of 1954, when I was twenty-six, I was sent to that county we had won back from the North, and there I made friends with two twenty-five-year old North Korean old Catholic boys whose names were Peter and Paul. They had slipped south through the fighting, and they had married two local gurls.
They wanted to build a house with two eight-by-eight rooms that they could share with their wives. So. we sunk nine big boulders into holes we dug for the house’s corner posts, and I helped them put together the little house’s framework. I was helping Paul thatch the roof while Peter was taking his wife back to her hill village to have their baby.
In the beginning of June, Paul and I had just finished thatching the roof, when we were hit by a typhoon that took out the bridges over all the rivers up and down the coast. The other half of the hill our church and rectory were built on slid away, taking the police station below us right out into the sea.
The village of Peter's wife was washed away, and his Teresa had her baby as she clung to a pine tree high up the hill side.