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Chul: New Christian in Hiding

(From the Kids of Courage archives)

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”Matthew 6:9–13

It was a special occasion. Chul, a 12-year-old boy from North Korea, had just read the Lord’s Prayer out loud from a Bible. Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs worshipped with Chul and other North Korean refugees at a secret hideout in China.

Before he escaped from North Korea, Chul had never been to school. Many families in North Korea are too poor to buy shoes, paper, or pencils so their children can attend school. Also, food has been scarce in North Korea in recent years, and many children are too hungry to learn.

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Double Country Word Find

Print the puzzle below. Hidden in the puzzle are the names of seven countries where Christian activities are limited in some way. Each country’s name is hidden TWICE. Look for the following countries running vertically (up and down), horizontally (across), or diagonally (slanted): Iraq, China, Nigeria, North Korea, India, Vietnam, Algeria.

N O R T H K O R E A
V I E T N A M A Z Y
N I B C C I N D I A
I I E W H T G S H A
G C G T I I W I C L
E X D E N R N R H G
R E V F R A A A I E
I N D I A I M Q N R
A L G E R I A U A I
N O R T H K O R E A

Birthday Prayers

Tomorrow is Kim Jong Un’s birthday. Kim is the leader of North Korea. It is not certain whether he was born on January 8, 1983 or 1984.

Kim rules his country strictly and often with cruelty. Read below what it means to follow Christ in North Korea. Then pray for Kim on his birthday. Ask God to make a way for Kim to follow the truths in the Bible.

Note: The following overview is from VOM’s 2020 Global Prayer Guide. Find out how to get a copy at persecution.com/prayer.

What It Means to Follow Christ in North Korea
Christians are sent to concentration camps, where they are starved, overworked and tortured. North Koreans have a saying: Whenever two or three people are gathered together, one of them is a spy. This is true even in family settings, as children are taught to spy on their parents from a young age. Therefore, North Korean Christians must be extremely careful in what they say, what they do and how they pray; all must be done in secret.

When a Christian is discovered, the government punishes the entire family. Despite the threat of persecution and heavy social pressure, Christians in North Korea hold firmly to their faith. For example, one North Korean defector told VOM that her mother continued to shelter orphans even after they stole from her. Christian and secular analysts estimate that about 30,000 Christians are suffering in prison and labor camps.

Access to Bibles
It is very dangerous to own a Bible in North Korea. Owning even a few pages of a Bible can result in detention in a concentration camp, but there are still secret ways to obtain one. Most North Koreans have found that memorization is the safest way to keep God’s Word.

VOM Work
VOM provides Bibles via balloon launches, broadcasts Christian teaching over a special radio network and ministers to North Koreans wherever they are found.


Freedom

(Source: Mission News Network)

Eric Foley, the director of VOM Korea, shared the following thoughts for U.S. Christians to consider.

1. “It’s important for us to remember that Christ did not die for freedom of religion. Christ died for freedom in Christ. That’s something that no government can grant, and no government can take away.”

2. A Christian from North Korea, where Christians are severely persecuted, told Eric, “You [American and South Korean Christians] have so much money and so much freedom that you end up putting your faith in your money and your freedom. North Korean Christians have only Christ, and we’ve learned that He is sufficient.”

3. “When [freedom of religion] is present, we give thanks to the Lord, and we use it for the Lord’s purposes. But when the Lord decides to withdraw it, for whatever reason, we use even the lack of freedom for the Lord’s purpose. North Korea’s body of Christ is careful, but they’re not waiting for the current regime to blow over before resuming their lives of faith.”

Talk about Eric’s observations with your class or family. Do you agree with them? Can you find Bible verses or passages to support your opinion?

[Photo source: VOM Australia. Many children in North Korea are small and thin because they do not get enough to eat.]


Thanksgiving

North Korea

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember the Christians in the following story from a Thanksgiving in North Korea a few years ago.

Elizabeth, a North Korean Christian, joined with a few other believers for a worship service. She noticed one child in the group whose shoe was torn open. His foot was frozen. His family did not have enough money to buy new shoes.

The house had no heat. Sometimes the family skipped meals for many days in a row because they had no money for food. “The food problem is worse this year,” a North Korean Christian said. “And it was really bad last year.” Bad weather has destroyed food crops in North Korea. Also, government leaders do a poor job of getting food to those who need it. Many people are poor, hungry, and sick.

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