Bill W - Anchorage, AK
My name is William Choi W.  I am 49 years old and from Anchorage, Alaska.  I was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted when I was only six months old.  My adopting mother was a Southern Baptist born in Brainbridge, Macon County, Georgia.  My father was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  He was stationed in Japan, but had a temporary duty assignment in Korea at another Air Force Force.  I used to wonder how my father got into a country that was "off limits" to U.S. citizens.  When my father passed away November 20, 1984 an honor guard showed up at my mother's house and there I found out he was the very first black U.S. Intelligence officer in the Air Force.  I mention this, as it appears to be one of the reasons he drank so much.  And here my mother was much a fire and brimstone Christian.  Well, I guess opposites really do attract.  Previous to my adoption in my earliest months of life, my biological mother decided I wasn't worth feeding... (I was later told I had twelve brothers and sisters).  To deal with her dilemma, I was literally tossed away into a garbage can; but as I understand it, at least she had wrapped me in a newspaper!  A caring woman, whose name I'll never know, was aware of what my mother was about to do, so she followed her... over to the garbage can. After I was tossed in and abandoned, this unknown lady took me right out of the garbage and then over to the U.S. Embassy and placed me on the steps (knowing that any one else in the community would have only left me to die).  I've been told that 68 percent of all American-Asian babies born there were intentionally "disposed" of in similar ways during and after the Korean War.  An American woman who worked at the Embassy found me on the U.S. Embassy steps.  I have to believe that God touched this dear lady's heart for she was the one who brought me onto U.S. soil.  Her name was Mrs. Williams, which is where I got my first name.  I was in such bad shape when she found me that I had to be emergency medic-vacated from Seoul, Korea to Japan, because at six months I weighed only 5 pounds.  They really did not expect me to live.  Being severely malnourished and having several life-threatening diseases, I know now that it was only by the hand of God I survived this ordeal and was in the hospital for a month before my adoptive "real parents" could bring me home.  I had to be fed with two spoons at a time, eventually exhausting my parents to the point they had to hire a "mama-san" just to feed me.  Even at an early age God had plans for me that neither men nor hardship could change.  As I grew up, I think I was a typical Air Force brat type of kid.  We moved all over the country and nearly every two years we were moving somewhere else again and again.  In 1971, my father retired from the Air Force.  We were living in Presque Isle, Maine, and chose to move back to the area of Anchorage, Alaska.  I remember my father always drinking... he was a functioning alcoholic and wasn't abusive or obnoxious to anyone.  At the young age of 16 I rebelled and left home because my father wouldn't allow me to wear an earring while living under his roof. It is an interesting note that being here at Freedom House is the first place I have ever voluntarily not worn an earring.  (Even when I was incarcerated over some years, I actually filed a lawsuit demanding that they allow me to wear a post in my ear).
Shortly after leaving home, I made my way to Los Angeles for a couple of years.  I was Asst. Mgr. for a major musical group.  I was placed in charge of hiring security for the concerts they booked and was responsible for travel arrangements and so forth for the band and their equipment. Ironically, I was hired in this capacity because I was a "clean" guy.  When we met during a concert in Alaska, I didn't drink a bit, smoke cigarettes or do drugs.  I was "squeaky clean" and yet all their band members were doing drugs and loaded all the time, just about everywhere we went... everybody was fixated on their drug use except for me and that is why they wanted me to handle these types of responsibilities and affairs.  Now I look back and marvel, to have been in such a sinful environment and yet stayed totally clean.
I decided to return to Alaska to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, at the Valdez ship terminal.  My title was Terminal Technician Marine Operator and my job was loading oil tankers with the oil.  Workers there let me know quickly that I was the youngest person hired on the entire pipeline project (at eighteen years old).  I trained for eight months straight, twelve hours a day. The day came when I went on my first R&R R (a vacation break).  I was driving from Valdez to Anchorage and coming through an intersection when my own car was struck by another vehicle.  When I got out to survey the damage, the guy in the other car just took off.  I jumped in my car and followed it until he stopped at my apartment complex. The guy jumped out and took off into the darkness.  That made me think he'd fled.  What I didn't know was that he went into his house and got a rifle.  As I was knocking on doors looking for someone to call the police, this driver ran up behind me with his loaded rife.  I had just a split second of time to push the barrel out of my face.  Unfortunately my left wrist was over the barrel of the gun when it went off.  He actually blew my entire hand off of my body.  Events happened so fast then as suddenly for the first time in my life, I was fully under the influence of a "mind-altering" drug... morphine.  I was rushed to the hospital. After 15 operations on my left hand to surgically reattach it, I was completed addicted to pain killers and didn't even realize it.  In fact a year to the day after I was shot I started smoking marijuana, and drinking alcohol.  This became a daily life style and then some 10 years later I started tooting coke (cocaine) and smoking it.  This was the beginning of the horrible downhill spiral in my life.  Using dope has cost me a lot... my marriage, a family and my self respect just to start with.  There is no way that I could even relate it all in this sort of a letter.
I've only been in one treatment center of any kind prior to coming to Freedom House.  It was a secular program and it wasn't of my own volition.  I knew I needed real help and a pastor I knew named Pauline called all over the nation trying to locate a place that would accept me.  She knew about Pastor Jim and his history and put us in contact to discuss coming to Freedom House.  It took over a year to finally get things all together so I could fly from Alaska to enter Freedom House in Portland.  Two main reasons I came here were to renew my faith in Jesus Christ...and to quit drinking and using drugs. I arrived here on August 17th of last year.  I can say without a doubt that His grace has begun a good work, a real work in my life.  I'm certain that beyond accepting Christ into my life, coming here was the most important decision I've ever made.
It is my intention to complete this one year discipleship program and listen to what God directs me to do with the rest of my life.  Hopefully a special missionary position abroad will present itself so I may be able to give back something to others who are as broken as I was.  It would be an honor to share that which has been given to me, perhaps to help abandoned children such as I have been, maybe in an orphanage in a foreign country.
I wish I could thank all who have made this possible... the staff and you dear people that support Freedom House, both spiritually and financially; even right down to those people who have encouraged me along the way.  All I can do is write these words from my heart, these simple words of gratitude...Thank you for caring and I pray for the Lord to bless you greatly.
I have come through so much to discover real Freedom in Jesus Christ.  Today I have freedom of choice and I choose to follow my Lord Jesus for the rest of my life. Amen!
A child of God, William W
Bill successfully completed his one-year commitment to the
Freedom House Ministries Program on August 17, 2007
becoming Graduate #4.
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