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Heaven's Family Magazine
July 2011 Issue

Hope’s Hope

The North Korean Christians Fund at Work

Elisabeth Walker, North Korean Christians Ministry

korean-sign

HF staff recently took this photo of North Korea from across the border in China. The huge Korean characters on the distant hillside read, “Kim Jong Il [North Korea’s dictator], Hope of the 21st Century.”

Death seemed near. The famine, exacerbated by North Korea’s communist economic policies, continued unabated—and malnutrition was taking its toll. Although her name was Hope, her hopes were fading. She had been crying out to God for help. Where were the answers to her prayers?

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.

korean-children

Many children in North Korea are living at the brink
of starvation

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.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:

Due to justifiable trust issues, most humanitarian agencies and Western governments are hesitant to help North Korea feed its starving people. Food shortages are currently at a critical stage, and Heaven’s Family, in partnership with Alpha Relief, is doing all we can to smuggle literally tons of food into North Korea for distribution through underground church networks. In April, Elisabeth Walter met with Heaven’s Family’s partners in Asia who are making this life-saving ministry possible. On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ inside North Korea, thanks so very much for your gifts to the North Korean Christians Fund.

Help North Korean Christians

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parting-shot

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