In the Light of “Dae”
A near-death experience opens the door for ministry in North Korea
Dae regained consciousness to find himself lying on the dirty ground. He could feel warm droplets of blood running down from the cuts and bruises that marred his face. Attempting to rise, he winced at the sharp pain that shot through his body. Every breath felt as if someone was driving a spear into his ribs—which, unbeknownst to him, were indeed broken. Although Dae had felt the fear of being beaten by a pair of strangers, he was not surprised.
The young North Korean man had heard stories of the world that existed beyond the closed borders of his heavily fortified country. He was raised to fear the “harsh, brutal” outside world. But with a starving family to take care of and no work available in his hometown, Dae had laid his fears aside to participate in a government labor program with an allied nation.
For the first time in his life, Dae was permitted to “see outside the walls” and suddenly found himself in a foreign city. Feeling both excitement and anxiety, Dae stayed close to the other workers. Every once in a while though, he would catch a glimpse of men and women going about their business nearby. Although their lives appeared more normal than Dae had been led to believe, he remained cautious.
As he waited for his work assignment, Dae tried to ignore the discomfort of his growling stomach and the need to empty his bladder. Unable to ignore the discomfort any longer, he found the courage to speak up to one of the government escorts that was supervising the labor program and asked if he could use a restroom. Thankfully he received approval and made his way to a public restroom nearby. Dae was surprised to see a woman sitting at the entrance and curiously watched as patrons paid the woman coins to be allowed admittance. His heart immediately sank—he couldn’t afford to use the bathroom!
Looking around, Dae hurriedly made his way to the back of the building, concealing himself as best as he could in the bushes that lined the wall. He quickly relieved himself, hoping no one had seen his desperate act. Suddenly Dae found himself face-to-face with two local men. Although he could not understand the angry words that spilled from their mouths, he could see by their clenched fists and glossy stares that he had committed a great offense. He closed his eyes, praying to an unknown God for mercy—that somehow he would see his family again.
Dae was beaten within inches of his life that day. The story made local news and a ministry team supported by Heaven’s Family heard about Dae’s horrific experience. Over the past several years, this covert team has provided meals for hundreds of North Korean workers who travel through their hometown. After learning of Dae’s horrific experience, the team immediately knew something had to be done to prevent this from ever happening again. Now the team offers vouchers for use at the public restroom, which has opened the door for many more opportunities for witnessing!
Founded with a common desire to share the love of Jesus Christ, this ministry team works diligently to ensure that they are the first to greet governments workers who arrive in their town from North Korea. But the team is not alone and now, believers are forming teams in other areas! Made possible by those who support the North Korean Christians Ministry, light is invading the darkness—a light that will one day liberate North Korea.