I felt as if I were in a spy movie. As I stood at a designated spot in a Chinese city near the border of North Korea, an unmarked vehicle pulled up. I slipped into the back seat, and the driver whisked me away through a maze of streets. When we reached our destination, I was ushered through a dark alley to the back door of a restaurant. Once inside, I was led to a hidden back room. There, Mrs. Joon was waiting for me. She was visibly apprehensive about our dinner meeting, but she knew that she would have to trust someone if her mission was to succeed.
Mrs. Joon had recently made the dangerous crossing into China, risking her life in hopes of taking food back to North Korea for her starving family and friends. Her mission was born of both faith and desperation. She knew that she was in God’s hands and her family’s prayers—even her son, a border guard stationed on the other side of the river that separated the two countries, was praying. But Mrs. Joon also knew the high cost of failure. If caught, she faced harsh imprisonment or execution.
To Mrs. Joon, trust was a rare and costly commodity, so I understood her caution. I was the first white person she had ever met, and all of her life the North Korean government did its best to brainwash her into believing that I was the enemy. Because of her government’s hostility and suspicion toward outsiders, smuggling emergency food and Bibles into North Korea is one of the most dangerous jobs on earth. The realization of how much danger she was in struck me again as I listened to her story.
As we enjoyed a meal that could probably feed her family for a week, I also realized that God had brought us together for a special purpose. God had placed me there to be a conduit of blessing for Mrs. Joon and her faceless loved ones—all followers of Christ enduring severe hardship under a cruel dictatorship. That night, through your partnership, I was able to give her warm clothes, Bibles, and a three-month supply of food for her family and friends. I could only hope and pray that she made it safely back across the border with the supplies I had given her.
It’s always an incredible blessing when God puts us in the right place at the right time, as I was that night. It’s also incredible that believers all around the world can help our suffering brothers and sisters in North Korea. Thank you for joining with us through gifts to the North Korean Christians Fund. One day in heaven, believers like Mrs. Joon will say “thank you” for sacrificing on their behalf.