Finding Faith in North Korea
Kim Sang-Hwa is the daughter of a North Korean church leader. She now lives in South Korea, where the most fortified border in the world separates her from her parents and her North Korean brothers and sisters in Christ. This is her story:
For a long time, I wasn’t even aware my parents were believers. Like so many Christian families, our family was banished in the 1950s to a remote village … They continued to hide their faith from the outside world, but … in our house was a hidden closet. When I was twelve, I don’t know why, but I started to feel inside the cabinet with my hand and I felt a book. I pulled it out, opened the book and began to read.”
“in the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth … ”
“I dropped the book. I was so scared. My discovery could cost me my life. I was afraid to touch the Bible, but I couldn’t just leave it there … Should I tell my teacher? Should I visit the local security official? … I couldn’t think about anything else. I knew it was my duty to report this illegal book. But it was my family which was involved. And I also had all these questions: “Who is this God? … Or what”?
Finally, I had the guts to ask my father. He was very surprised and … asked me, “Do you see those old trees?” I nodded. “Who made those?” I said I didn’t know and he explained the story of creation to me, including how God had made Adam and Eve. Then he turned to me and asked me another question. “What is the most dangerous animal?”
I did not know why, but I answered, “The snake.”
“That’s right,” he replied, and he told me how sin came into the world. It was the first of many conversations we had about the Bible, God, Jesus and the gospel. I was not a real believer yet, but it did make a lot of sense to me. I felt sorry for all those people who didn’t know the truth. Even my older siblings were unaware.
My mother taught me to memorize Bible verses and … my grandfather showed me how to pray. “It is just talking to God. Nothing more, nothing less.” I also read the Bible for myself. But I realized it was dangerous. My father always emphasized not to share anything with anyone else. Then he would start to pray in whispers, “Father, help the North Korean people to seek your Kingdom first.”
- Pray for North Korea, on of the most dangerous and difficult places in the world to be Christian. Pray for a softening of laws and attitudes in the government.
- Pray that those sent to spy on Christians and the underground Church will, themselves, become followers of Christ as they hear the Truth of the Gospel.
- Pray for North Korean Christians, for their protection and to remain strong and sure in their faith and their, often silent, witness to families and communities.
Psalm 91 vs 1 and 2: “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’