“Ye-jun” was always suspicious of others, and he tried to be a good North Korean citizen—not so much out of patriotism, but from fear, the primary motivational tool employed by the repressive communist regime. So when he dropped in for a visit to his relative’s home unannounced, stumbling upon a Chinese woman secretly hiding there, his first instinct was to call the police. He knew the presence of a foreigner put the entire family in jeopardy, and they could all be dragged away to a prison camp.
Ye-jun’s first instinct was quickly overpowered by his second instinct—his own survival. Moments after he had spotted the stranger, his eye caught the pile of food and other necessities that she had brought to help the malnourished believers in her host’s underground church network. To his amazement, the foreigner offered a portion to Ye-jun to take back to his family. It had been months since his wife and parents had been able to eat a full meal.
Noticing how Ye-jun’s countenance quickly softened when he learned of her generosity to him, the Chinese woman shared the gospel with him. Overcome with emotion, Ye-jun put his trust in Jesus Christ that night. Now he not only had physical food to share, but spiritual food as well. Upon returning home, Ye-jun told his entire family about the good news he’d heard, and they also gave their lives to Christ.
The Chinese woman’s name is “Seo-yeon,” and she recently informed us of this incident that occurred back in 1999 during one of her secret visits into North Korea to bring emergency aid and disciple a small but growing network of believers. Each time Seo-yeon covertly entered North Korea in the months and years that followed, she brought an additional portion for Ye-jun’s family. Their lives slowly began to improve, physically and spiritually, due to the “hidden manna” they received.
Eventually, Ye-jun and his family decided that they should share their “hidden manna” with their neighbors, even though it meant risking their lives. Seo-yeon agreed to provide an additional amount of food with each trip for Ye-jun to use in these evangelistic efforts, and Ye-jun carefully looked for opportunities to begin reaching out to his neighbors. To his delight, each family he chose was very open to the gift of food and the message of Christ’s love. As a result, almost 30 people became a part of the underground church and food distribution network.
Ye-jun is just one example of how Seo-yeon’s underground food distribution network has blessed many with physical—and eternal—life. Starting with just one family back in the early ’90s, the web of believers Seo-yeon serves has multiplied to over 180 people.
Through gifts to the North Korean Christians Fund, you are spreading the gospel and feeding our brothers and sisters in North Korea. Thanks so very much.