Kwang-Sun’s* chest puffed with pride whenever he looked at the photograph of North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong Il, hanging on the wall of his humble dwelling. It had been years since he served in the North Korean army, and although his job was only that of a musician in the army band, he couldn’t have been prouder to have played his part in service to his country. He had even performed in front of the “Dear Leader” himself.
After retirement, Kwang-Sun started a small business raising and selling rabbits. It didn’t bring in much income, but it helped his family survive. Food was scarce and life was hard.
One day Kwang-Sun’s daughter and son-in-law visited. They brought a couple of new friends, Mun-Hee and Hyun-Jae, along with a valuable treasure—extra food. As they enjoyed a rare substantial meal, Kwang-Sun’s daughter explained that her friends had wonderful news to share with the assembled group, which included her mother, two sisters, and one brother-in-law. Mun-Hee and Hyun-Jae proceeded to tell the gathering a story about God’s love through Jesus Christ.
As he sat there, Kwang-Sun felt guilty for listening, especially when his eyes occasionally met those of the Dear Leader on his wall, whom all North Koreans are taught to love supremely. His wife, however, opened her heart to the good news, and so did the others. They joyfully received Jesus that day. 70-year-old Kwang-Sun, however, couldn’t bring himself to change his allegiance.
During the ensuing months, Kwang-Sun’s family members grew in the Lord, and so did their joy. Kwang-Sun could see it on their faces. One of his daughters, whose husband had died years earlier, came out of her long depression. Another of his daughters, whose marriage had been tenuous, testified that her husband was a changed man and their marriage had been healed. God was getting Kwang-Sun’s attention.
Some time later Mun-Hee and Hyun-Jae paid another visit to Kwang-Sun’s home, again bringing gifts of food. This time, Mun-Hee told the family the story of Zaccheus, and when she read Jesus’ words telling him to “hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today,” Kwang-Sun’s proud heart was pierced. That very day, he tearfully repented of his pride and made Jesus Christ his Dear Leader.Kwang-Sun now shares in his family’s joy. He also knows he can trust God to meet all their needs. Mun-Hee and Hyun-Jae continue to include his family in their food distributions—which are made possible by Heaven’s Family’s North Korean Christians Fund. The family has even begun to care for their neighbor’s needs, something very unusual among North Koreans, as most are deeply bound by mistrust and fear. Jesus is making all the difference!