The sharp, cold wind blew through the prison cell, but Hea Woo could hardly feel it … she could hardly feel anything.
“I was within hours of death; sick, malnourished and frozen from the deplorable conditions of the prison cell,” shared Hea Woo. “I didn’t think I would be alive to be used by God. I didn’t think I would ever see the outside of the prison cell.”
But then something happened that would change Hea Woo’s life and the lives of many fellow prisoners.
“I felt God stir a fire in my heart to share the gospel with others in prison.”
Hea Woo knew that this was impossible for many reasons, not least being that the prison guards were capable of murdering anyone who shared about Christianity. And she also didn’t know which prisoners would report her if she did share the gospel message.
For three long days, Hea Woo tried to ignore the calling God had placed on her heart. But after three days she could ignore it no longer, as God had given her very specific instructions:
“Share your cornmeal with another prisoner.”
It did not seem like much, but when Hea Woo gave her cornmeal to a fellow prisoner, she literally gave them life.
“I realized that was my calling – to bring life to those who were dying. By giving my own food, I was able to give them life and make a sacrifice of my own. This opened up many possibilities to share about Christ.”
One by one, more and more prisoners were interested in hearing about Christ, as they were amazed by Hea Woo’s sacrifice. She had to be wise about the best ways to minister to others and the safest place to fellowship, so she prayed for guidance.
“God placed it on my heart: The outhouse of the prison was the only place we could worship.
And so they worshipped God in the most lowly and unlikely place. In that outhouse, they were free to fellowship and worship, even though they were in prison in North Korea.
After several years, Hea Woo was able to leave North Korea, but the mark she left is still felt in the country. God used her to bring several people to Christ, heal many and start several house churches.
- Give thanks for Hea Woo, er obedience to God’s promptings in prison and for the many lives changed through her witness there.
- Pray for the more than 50,000 to 70,000 Christians who remain in North Korean prison camps. Pray that they too will have opportunities to share God’s grace and love with their fellow prisoners, and be encouraged and comforted as they see God working, even in the darkest of places.
- Pray for a move of the holy Spirit across north Korea, for many to hear the Gospel and find life, hope and love through Jesus Christ.
Acts 16 vs 25: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”