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Heaven's Family Magazine
September 2016 Issue

Bringing a Ju to Jesus

Once-Estranged Business Partners Now Work to Transform a Nation

Ben Croft, North Korean Christians Ministry

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For security purposes, this photo only represents Bo and Annie.

Tension filled the awkward reunion. Despite the customary pleasantries that began the meeting, Bo couldn’t help remembering how Ju, his former business partner, had cheated him out of a lot of money. Bo also recalled how bitter and angry he felt by the betrayal. But now he was about to hand Ju another golden opportunity to betray him, and this time the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Bo had been a successful businessman, trading goods across the border between China and North Korea. Ju had been his North Korean partner. Checking through his books one day, however, Bo discovered Ju was fleecing him and, in a rage, severed their business relationship.

A few years passed. And then, by God’s grace, Bo and his wife Annie heard the gospel and became ardent followers of Christ. Soon they enrolled in a secret Chinese Bible school, which anchored them in their faith. During those days of intense study of God’s Word they felt the Lord call them to train North Korean believers to become undercover house church leaders. Bo knew his business connections in North Korea would give them access to people many others couldn’t reach—but the work would be very dangerous, even fatal if discovered. Bo and Annie counted this potential peril as the cost of following Jesus, and accepted His call upon their lives.

The key to success, they felt, was enlisting the help of Ju. They needed to persuade him to join their discipleship training plans, and ask him to lay down his life, if necessary, to protect the secret house church contacts with whom he would be working. But they hadn’t spoken to Ju in years, and didn’t know if he still harbored ill feelings towards Bo for the way he broke off their business partnership. And they had a much bigger problem: Ju was not even a Christian…and he’d likely turn Bo and Annie over to authorities if they told him their plans!

Trusting that God would handle all these obstacles, Bo contacted Ju to arrange a meeting. Shocked that his former associate would reach out in peace to him after so many years, Ju accepted his invitation.

With hesitation conquered only by their faith, Bo and Annie carefully unfolded their personal story of redemption as Ju listened intently. They capped their testimony by extending an emotional olive branch of forgiveness to Ju. Blown away by the couple’s unprecedented kindness, Ju repented of his own sin and committed his life to the One who had so deeply transformed his old friends.

This amazing story doesn’t end there. Ju then began taking faith risks of his own by telling his family and extended relatives about Jesus, and in just three years he’s led over 20 families to Christ and started an underground church!

After Ju proved himself to be a faithful disciple, Bo and Annie restarted their partnership with him—but this time to secretly transport North Korean believers and famine relief supplies across the border. The believers are members of Ju’s underground church who are smuggled into China for intensive three-week training and discipleship sessions. Many hungry students write key truths they’ve learned onto small pieces of paper, which they then hide in deep recesses of their clothes to share with other spiritually malnourished believers when they return to North Korea.

Bo and Annie’s border-crossing kingdom work has come at the price of arrests, interrogations and harsh beatings over the years. Even so, this heroic couple and their network of believers have stayed true to their faith. This network includes those brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who have sacrificially participated in the work of Bo and Annie through their contributions to the North Korean Christians Ministry.

Thanks to what the Lord has done through this heavenly network, a small-but-mighty group of believers is shining the light of Jesus into a place of great darkness.

The Bigger Picture...

Heaven’s Family uses trusted partners like Bo and Annie to bypass the corrupt North Korean government (which has outlawed Christianity) to reach underground believers who face malnutrition, both physically and spiritually. These covert operations are risky and our onsite partners need your prayers for protection. On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ inside North Korea, thank you for your gifts to the North Korean Christians Ministry.
 

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This Month's Articles

Parting Shot: Fastest Coconut Shredders in the Southeast

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While visiting orphanages in Myanmar, we witnessed a special show highlighting the talents of two of the boys. Using only their hands and teeth, each husked a coconut—in less than 60 seconds—as the other children cheered them on! When they were done, all that was left was the nut and shreds of the husk littered about the floor.
— David