Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pioneer, Henry B. Gordon

"What is your daughter going to study?" asked Noel. "Oh well, She wants to study architectural science" I answered. During the reception for the graduating class at Knox college last Friday, I had a very good conversation with Rev. Noel Gordon whose wife Dr. Dorcas Gordon is the principal of Knox college.  Noel continued "Oh my great grandfather was an architect and he went to Korea in 1900!" "What? in 1900!  why?"  I barely knew anything about Noel. So I asked who his great grandfather was and what he was doing in Korea more than a century ago.

I learned in that evening a lot about Noel's great grandfather, Henry B. Gordon. One of Mr. Gordon's friends was Dr. Oliver Avison who had been a professor at the University of Toronto medical school before he moved to Korea as a medical missionary in 1893. He served as a medical doctor for the royal family and was in charge of the first western hospital in Korea, Chejungwon. When he came back to Toronto in 1899 for a sabbatical year he asked his friend Henry Gordon to help him with building a modern style hospital in Korea. Mr. Gordon freely donated his gift and skills and gave the architectural drawing to Dr. Avison.

With the architectural drawing, Dr. Avison went to the US and spoke about his mission in a mission conference in 1900. An american businessman, Louis Severance was touched by the message and donated $10,000 for the new building project. Mr. Gordon followed Dr. Avison to Korea and worked until they completed the first modern hospital in Korea in 1904. They named the hospital Severance Hospital after Louis Severance who continued to donate funds. Dr. Avision worked as the chair for Severance hospital and Yon-Sei University until he retired and came back to Canada in 1956. Yon-Sei University is one of the best schools in Korea and Severance hospital is the most famous hospital today.

Oliver Avison, Louis Severance, and Henry Gordon are the true pioneers and missionaries who loved God and God's people. It is a very interesting connection. Henry Gordon's great grand daughter by marriage, Dr. Dorcas Gordon is teaching at Knox college. My wife, Lydia, is her student. All three of Lydia's sisters studied at Yon-Sei University. Their families use Severance hospital today after more than a hundred years since Henry Gordon, a sincere Christian man, dedicated his work to God's mission in Korea.  God's story continues...

노엘 목사님과 도카스 학장님은 2005년  세브란스 병원 개원식에 초청을 받았단다. 두 부부와 함께한 금요일 저녁 식사는 정말 즐거웠다.하나님안에서 만남이란 정말 놀랍다. 한 세기를 넘어서 엮어진 하나님의 스토리...

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