"Of course God is at work! Of course prayers help. I am such a weak person. I hardly had any Bible knowledge, but God used me to explain the Gospel to others. …Please, tell your friends that they need to continue to pray. God is answering their prayers." -North Korean Believer
NK camp(North Korea)—"Is God at work in North Korea? Because we don't see it." Some Open Doors supporters feel disappointed. Even after years and years of prayer for North Korea, ranked No. 1 on the Open Doors World Watch List for 12 years in a row, it seems that the situation in the country grows worse by the day. The prison camps, the famine and the fierce persecution of Christians still exist. It was reported Monday that North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, according to United Nations investigators. Has God turned away from North Korea?
North Korean refugees Hana* and Jae-Hwa* respond (*names changed):
Hana came to faith in North Korea after someone secretly gave her a Bible and spent time with her explaining each book. Almost naturally she started to evangelize other people, even though her husband warned her of the dangers. God used Hana to convert many people; until not too long ago she was exposed and had to leave her country and family behind. She now lives in South Korea, but doesn't want her full testimony to be published. "There are too many people who are still Believers and I don't want them to get into trouble because I talk openly."
NK believerWhen asked whether God is at work in North Korea, Hana sits back and stays silent for a long moment. "People really question if God is at work in North Korea? How can they ask such a question?"
Then she sighs. "Maybe I understand. How can you comprehend His work in my country if you have not experienced Him in North Korea?"
Then Hana leans forward again, all of a sudden her eyes come alive and her arms gesture widely. "Of course God is at work! Of course prayers help. I am such a weak person. I hardly had any Bible knowledge, but God used me to explain the Gospel to others. Sometimes, God sent me on the road. I clothed my six-month-old baby, fastened him on the back and I walked for miles and miles and miles. Until I saw some stranger and I knew this was the person I needed to talk to. Because of him or her God had sent me out on the road. I said what I needed to say and went home. Do you think that would be possible without God? Please, tell your friends that they need to continue to pray. God is answering their prayers."
prayerHana carries us back in time. "You know, after Kim Il-Sung died in 1994, so many things changed in our country. Until that time, most people truly believed he was a god. After his death, we realized the leaders were humans like us. Then the famine came and oppression became worse. People became desperate. Since the death of Kim Il-Sung there is an enormous spiritual thirst among North Koreans. Many go to sorcerers or people are possessed by evil spirits. Even in hospitals, when the doctors cannot cure a patient, they tell them to find one of these sorcerers. These shamans demand to be paid with money, rice or other goods. Many succumb to their false religion. The good news is that others find God instead. You know why? Because our God heals sick people without asking something in return.
"I want to point out one more thing," adds Hana. "North Koreans do not come to faith because we convince them by our words. Of course we need to verbally explain the Gospel, but more importantly is that we put the Gospel on display. God's spirit really transformed me. I smiled all day, even though I lived in terrible circumstances. I shared my food, even though I had so little. People saw God's Spirit at work in me."
Jae-Hwa underlines the words of Hana. "Your prayer partners should not be discouraged by watching the news about North Korea. God is at work everywhere. I came to faith in a safe house in China after I escaped North Korea. You would be amazed to see how the Spirit is at work in these safe houses. So many people come to faith. That's only possible thanks to you. We wouldn't even exist without your prayers."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon