Family flees Korea to build American 'forever home'

The immigrants are using their hands to make their forever home.

Eyes followed the trusses up to the sky as a roof was set in place on the Jeon – Kim home.

The American dream is now under construction.

“We all have a story. We all have stories,” said Habitat For Humanity volunteer, Mimi Harvill. “Theirs is really amazing.”

North Korean escapees, Jeon and his wife, Kim, are putting their own blood, sweat and tears. This new home represents so much.

“Hope,” said their son, Jin. “That you can achieve what you dream and what you believe in if you work for it.”

The family is in Tampa now after fleeing North Korea as political asylum refugees a decade ago. Jeon was a former general in North Korea who dealt with China and Russia trade on behalf of North Korea. After receiving a Bible as a gift from a missionary on one of his excursions officials found out and his life was in danger.

He went through a daring escape to flee the country literally scaling over mountains and swimming through rivers to get away. His son, Jin, wants to join the local ROTC to give back to the nation.

Together, the family is just happy to be here.

“They are going to know their house from the inside out,” said Harvill with a smile. “This building is going to become a home and not just a house and I love that.”

The couple, who don’t speak any English, managed to communicate well enough with volunteers to get the frame of their roof in place Tuesday morning.

The foundation that they are laying for their family will be worth more than bricks and wood ever could.

“This is hard work,” said Harvill. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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