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The changing of the guard at a North Korean border patrol station on the Chinese border

Dear Friends,

“Hana” and her husband, “Chin Ho,” had no choice. Conditions in North Korea gave them little option but to illegally cross the border into China to find food for their family and relatives and then return. If they succeeded in crossing the border, they would need to make contact with distant family members who could help them. The problem was, Hana and Chin Ho had not had any contact with those relatives for years, and only knew they lived somewhere in a certain border city in China. They also knew that if they were caught inside China or crossing the border in either direction, they’d be sent back to North Korea where they’d be sentenced to a prison camp to perish.

Hana and Chin Ho made it into China through a remote crossing point, but several days of searching for their relatives passed without success, and they began to lose hope. Through an underground network of North Koreans, however, they were told about someone who could help.

That person was “Mrs. Lee,” an elderly Chinese woman of North Korean descent (see her story, “Undercover Grandma,” in our December 2011 eMagazine), who operates a clandestine shelter for North Koreans who have fled into China. Mrs. Lee welcomed the couple with warm meals and words of encouragement.

Hana and Chin Ho were deeply moved by Mrs. Lee’s kindness, so when she shared the gospel, they invited Jesus into their lives without any hesitation. They stayed at Mrs. Lee’s for many days and listened as she taught them in their new faith.

As their time to return to North Korea arrived, Mrs. Lee gave Hana and Chin Ho clothes and food to take back to their family members. Very touched, Hana exclaimed, “We have found our true relatives!” Although they had come in search of their blood relatives, they instead became members of a much bigger Christian family, and met a Heavenly Father who cares for them.

Hana and Chin Ho have kept in touch with Mrs. Lee through the use of an illegal cell phone smuggled back inside North Korea. Hana told Mrs. Lee that after she returned home, she shared the love of Christ with her family and friends. Most of them believed, even though they knew it could mean death.

Recently, Mrs. Lee was able to travel inside North Korea where she secretly met for a few days with Hana and a few of her disciples. Mrs. Lee also brought food, clothes and medicine, provided by gifts to the North Korean Christians Fund, for them to take back to their families. It was an incredible time of encouragement both for Hana and her disciples…one made possible in part by you!

Thank you so much,

Elisabeth Walter
Director, North Korean Christians Fund


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