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Posts Tagged ‘north korea kim jong il persecution persecuted christians jesus christ pray prayer IDOP international day of prayer 180 movie robert park alicia’

I have been told that Christians in themselves were never meant to change or save the world. At first I was a bit offended at this, but after some reflection realized this to be true.

Christians know that true peace will never come on this earth until its Creator, Jesus Christ physically comes back to reign and rule on it in accordance with Biblical prophecy. His return is our living hope.When there is an injustice so vile that it sweeps across entire nations, Christians should be the FIRST ones to stand up and say,

This. Is. Wrong.

Why? Because Christians, who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, always work to do the will of the Father! In an abundance of scripture passages we can be confident that God’s heart is *for* the poor, the needy, the oppressed, the widow and the orphan.

Psalms 82

1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty;
He judges among the gods.
2 How long will you judge unjustly,
And show partiality to the wicked?  Selah
3 Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand;
They walk about in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, “You are gods,
And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men,
And fall like one of the princes.”
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations.

So what does this have to do with saving the world? Well, in my studies on North Korea, I’m finding myself very discouraged and in a place of low hope. I don’t like to be in that place because oftentimes I take my eyes off of God and His majestic power. Unfortunately, when a whole nation is held hostage, what can a single person do? How do we defend the helpless, or right injustices when we seem so small? Even though we know peace will not come until Jesus does, what can we do now?

In the midst of asking these questions during prayer this morning, it was then that I was reminded of Moses. With God’s power, the children of Israel were released from Pharoah’s grip, and if there was ever a time when all seemed hopeless, it was then, when Israel had been slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. Things weren’t as hopeless as it seemed after all when God stepped in and said, “Enough. It is time to let my people go.”

After that realization, all I could do was simply pray that God would raise up another Moses. Only this time, a Moses for the North Korean people. As I read and soak up the information on NK, it seems as if the whole world is turning a blind eye to the unspeakable horrors that go on behind the borders there. Its so bad that whole generations (up to 3) of families are being slaughtered for the pettiest of crimes. Where is the world? When I ask this, I’m reminded of the young lady, Alicia in the “180 Movie” who commented about the extermination of the Jews during the Holocaust. She asked a very poignant question:

Where was the world?

Indeed. Where is the world now? Where are those who will stand up for the North Korean people that are literally starving to death, or committing suicide to avoid painful torture and executions. If you are not familiar with the conditions in the Hermit Kingdom, I can’t recommend highly enough National Geographic’s documentary, “Inside North Korea”. It is hosted by Lisa Ling, who does an excellent job and it can be viewed on YouTube HERE for free (it’s only 46 minutes long and well worth it).

Back in July of last year, I was priviledged to participate in a teleconference call praying for the people of North Korea. Its kind of what stoked a fire in my heart for this country. It was at this time that I first heard about a single missionary man crossing over the border into NK illegally and was quickly caught and imprisoned. It was sort of “hush hush” at the time due to legal issues, so I didn’t have a lot of information. Either way, I was intrigued.

It is just now that I am finding interview’s of this man and his name is Robert Park. The best interview I’ve found was on CBN, posted below:

Robert Park is a man on a mission. He says he’s called to continue to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Nearly a year has passed since the Korean American missionary crossed the frozen Tumen River and walked from China into North Korea. Attentive border guards immediately arrested Park and took him to a North Korean prison where he suffered sexual abuse and torture.

Many of Park’s friends are North Korean defectors–they told him how Christians and others are sent to concentration camps, tortured and left to die. Park knew what he was up against before crossing the border, yet he was willing to pay the price.

Whether or not you agree with his conduct (crossing borders without permission is illegal), one cannot help but admire his passion, advocacy, and commitment to Christ. Tired of Christians “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk,” Park decided to do something to draw attention to the plight of Christians in North Korea. As a result, he suffered excruciating pain and suffering at the hands of the brutal totalitarian regime. He doesn’t like to talk about it or give much detail of the torture he experienced, but he reportedly told one reporter that he would “never be able to have a marriage or any kind of relationship.”

How are Christians faring in North Korea today and what does he think about those who are evangelized in China or South Korea and then sent back to the North? He responds to those questions in clip[s] one of our CBN News interview.

In clip two, Park explains what he did when he first crossed the border into North Korea.

In clip three, he discusses how he was treated by his North Korea interrogators and what he said to them.

In our fourth and final interview clip, Park explains what Christians can do to make a difference for our North Korean brothers and sisters in Christ.

Please take the time to view all four clips and then pray. Few Christians suffer worse than those in North Korea.”

The video clips can be found HERE please watch them when you can so that you can pray more effectively for the church in NK.

My heart goes out to Mr. Park. Nobody seems to want to listen to him. He has suffered terrible permanent injuries for doing what he did. I have no doubt of his love for the North Korean people and I praise God for that. I also praise God for his bravery and attempt to help. But apart from this, we look over to Lisa Ling who does an indepth documentary with the world reknown National Geographic and still, nothing seems to change. So, what can I do? Just sit back and criticize? No, I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to do nothing. And most of all,

I don’t want to be a weak-hearted Christian.

I want to help and I want you to help too. If you don’t feel that its necessary or appropriate for you, here are some bullet point facts as reported through VOM:

  • It is nearly impossible to overstate the desperation of NK’s people during the famine years of 1995-2000 (up to 21% of the population perished).
  • Refugees leaving the country testified that each morning during the famine, they would wake up to check on all their neighbors to see who was still alive.
  • Cannabalism is/was rapant and if caught, punishable by immediate execution (shot on the spot- this includes children).
  • Cholera outbreaks/deaths are epidemic.
  • Entire families have been known to eat poison in order to die quickly to avoid starving to death.
  • Two-thirds of the children suffer from stunted growth. An entire generation of children will never develop to their full physical or mental capabilities due to malnutrition.
  • The entire population was (I don’t know about now) dependant upon a precarious government rationing system for food (get it? Not allowed to grow or acquire any other food source. Sentence for this crime? Work camp, or death camp).
  • The government has advocated the making of “substitute food” which includes, tree bark, leaves or even sawdust.
  • Thousands risk death and torture to flee across the border into China. However, China has not been accomodating to these refugees and are offered rewards by the NK government for their return. When they are dragged back into NK, it is often iron wire run through their noses or under their collar bones.
  • For those who successfully defect, often their left-behind families are put in prison camps or executed up to the 3rd generation (“The regime believes that to eradicate the opposition they must deal with three generations”).

Truly, this is just a taste of the horror that goes on. I haven’t even mentioned what happens if you speak unfavorably of their “Dear Leader”, Kim Jong Il. For instance, every citizen must wear a pin bearing his image, and you cannot photograph or video tape any image of him unfavorably, or have it cut off at certain points (for instance a photo of half his face). He is taught to the people from the cradle to the grave that he is, “divine, immortal, and worthy of all prayer, worship, honor, power, and glory.” I truly believe that NONE of us can fully fathom what its like to live so oppressed. Lord Jesus, let us never lose our humanity.

In closing, I want to share how to become better educated regarding North Korea, or how to pray more effectively, I highly recommend VOM’s book, “North Korea” found HERE. Its only $7 and contains lots of useful information including statistics and how you can help. You can also contact the NK government directly HERE.

But above all, please ask God how He would want you to help, including asking for His heart for the persecuted. Ask Him to show you which restricted/hostile nation He would want you to pray for if NK isn’t the one (there are over 50 others!).

For those believers still on the inside of the closed borders, their message to us is TELL THE WORLD. Thank you for allowing me to share my burden. I’m working on telling the world the best way I can.

Yours forever in Christ,

Joy

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