A Doomed Mission
Tortured and imprisoned for owning an iPad?
The cold of the prison cell quickly penetrated Joseph’s thin clothes, chilling him to the bone. His body ached from the beating he had just received. His internal organs felt deeply bruised and his knee was broken—probably beyond repair. He wondered if this was the end of his life.
Joseph had been arrested for possession of a digital media player. Digital devices such as tablets or smart phones are illegal to own for the average citizen, so why would Joseph own one? A better question might be, Why was Joseph beaten to within an inch of his life for owning one? Answer: Because North Korean border officials found a digital copy of the Bible and other Christian resources on his device.
Joseph had acquired the media player during a covert visit to a Heaven’s Family-supported safe house in neighboring China. A joint project between the Bibles for Believers Fund and the North Korean Christians Fund provides emergency aid, discipleship, and digital Bibles to North Korea believers who seek temporary refuge at the safe house before risking the return back across the closed borders of their country to help bring food and other vital supplies to their families and other believers.
Joseph knew he risked his life by taking the media player back inside North Korea, but he also knew that many in his underground church network desperately needed the hope it contained. On the floor of the prison cell, he had questioned his actions. But with each thought of doubt, the Holy Spirit brought reassurance that his sacrifice was not in vain.
Great News is that, through God’s incredible provision, partners within North Korea were able to secure Joseph’s release from a prison sentence that likely, over time, would have ended in his death. Although badly shaken, he is now recovering and wants us to know that he remains firm in his faith.
And More Great News is that the Digital Bible Project has infiltrated the closed North Korean borders with God’s word though the hands of others besides Joseph. Even now, many underground churches are secretly using these incredible tools to grow in their faith—despite threats of severe persecution. Thank you for supporting the Bibles for Believers Fund. You are sending light where it is needed most!
Director, Bibles for Believers Fund