Let me share a story.
“My mother was reading the bible that came with a donation of food twenty years ago. She began to believe God as she read. Many bibles came with rice, flour, and other foodstuffs during the 1990s. Korean and American missionaries brought bibles to Korean-Chinese churches and distributed these bibles to North Koreans who came originally seeking basic food stuffs. Many North Koreans would spend a night learning the basics of the Faith and return home with bibles in their backpacks. A friend of my mother’s reported my mother's reading of the Bible to the Bureau of Social Security. She was detained and tortured at a political prison. I have not seen my mother since. Yet, there are many underground believers still reading the Bible knowing that there will be severe consequences if it is discovered.”
“I am taking a risk…”
“When I was in Chosun (the ancient name for Korea still used in the North), I really wanted to read the Bible so much. From my visit in China last time I became God’s child. After my return to Chosun, I have been praying quietly but fervently after I put my children to bed. During prayer, I become so frustrated not having a bible to read. I so very much wanted to recite the Word of God. Yet, I did not have a bible and I have not been able to memorize much. So, I desire to take a bible back home with me this time” As one of our field workers heard the desire of her heart, he slipped a hand-sized bible to her. At that moment, her eyes shone the way a diamond shines when hit by light as she held the little bible. A tear dropped down her cheek, “I wish I can take this tiny bible”.
Hearing and seeing this, another North Korean woman who came to study shared her story: “I came here to study the Word of God. The more I studied, I wanted to know more about God. Though I have learned so much in the last few weeks, I do not know enough. It makes me angry not fully understanding the Word. So I am taking a risk by taking this small bible with me when I return to North Korea”. She knew what would happen if she were caught with a bible in her possession. Yet, she knew that without it she will feel the same yearning for the Word as she heard from the other lady. She was frustrated not having a bible.
It is moments like these when a missionary feels, “Yes, God. Thank you for using me to bring these bibles here”
So, the two women embraced each other and began to pray for their safe return. Then, the prayer changed into a crying, not because they are sad or afraid, but because they are so happy to have their own bibles to take back with them to North Korea. How would you respond to this situation? Knowing the possible dire consequences, yet, many still seek to obtain their own copy of the Bible. As each receives a bible, we notice hands are shaking both because it is so precious, and because of knowing the consequence of possessing a bible.
We are deeply thankful to those who have given their hearts and support to make possible the bibles for the women to take back home. And I would like to ask you to pray continually and fervently to protect His people who are reading His Word underground.
Yours in His love,
Isaac and Peter