In April of the last year, one of our trained evangelists in North Korea was martyred in North Korea's JS Prison. This prison camp has been known to be notoriously harsh on Christians. It is known that camp inmates die there every day; many attempt to escape but most are caught and returned. Many of those who are caught are thrown to hungry hounds. Many are beaten or lose flesh to dogs; many recaptured prisoners die. Prison officers want camp inmates to see what happens when they try to escape.
Younghee came to our training facility in China and trained with us for five months in 2008.When she returned she planted an underground church. In three years, the number of secret believers increased to twelve. As her church grew her risk of exposure grew also. Finally, she was exposed and sent to a political prison camp for an indefinite term. We had lost contact. None of her family knew what happened to Younghee. Some children thought her mother is in China.
Through one of our workers, we were able to locate Younghee's prison camp. With her two children, our worker went to try to see Younghee in July 21, 2019. Upon their arrival at the prison, officers there told the children that Younghee had died in April 2019 and her body had been cremated. Upon hearing the news of their mother's death, her children began to weep brokenheartedly.
One higher ranking prison officer walked into the room and saw the older daughter of
Younghee and said, “you must be a daughter of Younghee. You just look like your mother.” He began to tell of his experience with Younghee. He continued, “I have never seen such a strong and honest woman as your mother. When I told your mother, ‘I don’t understand why a person like you who is smart and lacks nothing believes in a God that we cannot see. If only you had denied your God, you would not have all this suffering. Don’t you regret being a Christian?’ Then your mother answered me back, ‘I have never regretted my faith and I do not regret it even now’. Eventually I assigned light work to her because she had become physically so weak. But she was strong in her faith. She was always helping other prisoners and she showed to all of us the essential dignity of being a God-believing person. The whole prison knew that she is a Christian as she shared her food and other basic necessities with other prisoners. She had the face of someone who lives in a different world. She was always comforting those who were lonely and in distress.”