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Never Alone

by Esther Livingston

View from Livingston's home in Po Nam Dong, Kang Nung, Korea
View from author's home in Po Nam Dong (outskirts of Kang Nung),
looking towards Tae Gwal Yung and mountains on a snowy winter day.

From the Forward to Never Alone, Esther Livingston writes:

Never Alone is written primarily for our three children, who during their most formative years, lived and grew up in Korea; that they may remember, appreciate and understand the struggles, heartaches and blessings that formed their lives. May they realize always that they are NEVER ALONE, wherever they are, in whatever they do.

Pul Guk Sa, a famous  temple.Never Alone is a narrative about Korea and the author and her family's experiences as missionaries during their ten year stay from 1956 to 1966. The book is taken from the letters written home, prayer letters to supporters, and the author's memories, as well as the stories of those around her that she gathered during her years there. Esther writes: "Often I wouldn't tell my parents the difficulties, dangers and disappointments we experienced -- I didn't want to worry them. Therefore I have added in italics, some of what was going on behind the scenes -- the heartaches, disappointments, things not told to her family at home; and yes, victories and fun times, too."

The bride at a village wedding. Ironing -- pounding out the wrinkles True experiences are brought to life in story-like, easy to read form, along with biographies of local friends and co-workers, the true stories of their lives in Old Korea, a country that even many Koreans have never seen, except maybe in a museum.

No bridges mean2 you  ford  all rivers and often get stuck. At the age of 26, having been married only 6 years and with three small children, Esther and her husband David set sail on a small freighter with no rails for a stormy 2 1/2 week trip, rolling and rocking across the Pacific. Memories of the early days when they landed, were of rooms dimly lit with kerosene lamps; widows and orphans, war-wounded amputees, and ragged beggars; bombed buildings and craters in the streets; bridges long since bombed out resulting in most rivers having to be forded -- all constant reminders of the recent Korean War and the Japanese occupation just prior to that, which resulted in years of poverty and oppression of the Korean people.

During these ten years probably the greatest lesson of all was to learn that they were "Never Alone".

Behold, I am with thee and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest. . .
Genesis 28:15

Cover of Never Alone by Esther Livingston

Readers Write:

  • "I just finished reading your book -- couldn't put it down! Got up at night to read it -- each chapter was a new experience -- sometimes sad but with joy and comfort. You have special ways to keep the readers interest with your descriptions and challenges. Keep up the good work." W.L.
  • "It is a wonderful book and made me feel that I'm missing old and peaceful Kang Nung. Thank you and I'm grateful for being a part of your story -- with love, "Kay." (Kay is a lovely Korean lady talked about in the book several times.)
  • "I've been thanking God for you as you continue to minister in His name through your personal associations. Your book, Never Alone was such a balm to my soul during a very challenging chapter of my life. Thank you for your willingness to share with us." C.M.
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed your book Never Alone. I had forgotten how difficult life was in Korea right after the war. Quite an experience!"

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