It wasn’t the first time Hope had faced starvation. She remembered the famines of the 1990s, when as many as 3.5 million North Koreans died from starvation or hunger-related illnesses. It was then that she first met a mysterious woman, known only as Mrs. M, who secretly came from China bringing desperately-needed food to families in Hope’s village. Hope’s heart was fertile ground when Mrs. M also shared the good news of a Great Provider who heard her cry. It was then that she received Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Hope lives in a rural area of North Korea where poverty and starvation are even more endemic than in the cities. Because of the remote location, Mrs. M could not visit Hope’s family very often. When a secret meeting could be arranged, however, Mrs. M always brought food, medicine, and encouragement for Hope and the other new believers in her village. As a result, Hope’s family survived through years of food shortages—and grew in their newfound faith.
Last winter—eleven years after first meeting Mrs. M—Hope once again found herself crying out in desperate prayer during yet another acute food shortage. Her health was declining rapidly because of stress and malnutrition.
It had been three years since Mrs. M’s last visit, so Hope tried to reach Mrs. M the only way she knew—through North Korea’s underground network of Christians. She prayed that her message would reach her benefactor. When it did, Mrs. M immediately began to gather food, cooking oil, winter coats and shoes to take with her on another dangerous journey deep inside North Korea—a trip she knew could cost her her life.
Hope made sure she was at the precise place at the exact time that she had described in her message to Mrs. M. She was not even certain if Mrs. M had received her message, or, if she had received it and attempted to bring relief, if she had been captured by North Korean guards and sent to a labor camp—or worse.
When Mrs. M arrived at the predetermined rendezvous, Hope was overwhelmed with joy. She burst into tears and threw her arms around her longtime friend. The Great Provider rescued her and her family once again. In fact, there was food enough for Hope to share with three other starving families in her village.