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Grandma Park

The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

The following story comes from Stef magazine. The grandchild of a woman who escaped from North Korea tells the story.

My Grandmother
I want to tell you something about my grandmother, “Grandma Park.” She used to live in North Korea, and she is a Christian. Her husband, who was my grandfather, died and left her with four children.

A great famine broke out, and many people were hungry. My grandmother fled with her children to South Korea to find food. To escape, they had to swim across an ice-cold river.

[If North Korean soldiers had seen them, the soldiers would have shot them or sent them to a prison camp. The family did not know who they could trust on their journey. They didn’t know when they would eat or where they would sleep.]

Instead of worrying, Grandma Park sang praises to God and prayer, then she got strength and courage.

North Korean hymnal

Promise
My grandmother told me that she promised to serve God if they arrived safely in South Korea. She does that now. She is also studying at a Bible school. She always says, “Serving God is my greatest joy, and I cannot wait until I meet Him in heaven.”

I think I’ve got a special grandmother.

Stef says:
Do you know that you can do what Grandma Park did? If you are worried about something, you can praise God and say, “Father, You are a mighty God. Thank You that You love me so much. And I love you.”

Grandma Park knew that God was with her. He always sent the right people to help her on her long journey.

Are you worried? Then praise God. He will help you find peace in your heart.

(Source: SDOK. Translated and edited. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)


Foster Child’s Faith Becomes Real, Part 2

The previous post told the story of Mary, a homeless child who found help from a kind Christian family. Read the post, then read more about Mary below.

When you read Mary’s story in the previous post, did you wonder where she lived? It may surprise you to learn that Mary came from North Korea.

She secretly escaped from North Korea because there was never enough food to eat. Many children did not go to school because they were too hungry to learn. She sneaked past North Korean guards to enter China, where her foster family lived. Christians in China can be arrested for helping North Koreans, so her foster family had to be careful.

After Mary left her foster family, she began to draw closer to God. She wanted to encourage secret Christians still living in North Korea. Mary got a job with The Voice of the Martyrs-Korea in South Korea. She helped broadcast Christian radio messages into North Korea. Mary said, “I am blessed by God with the life I now have, and I want to serve Him forever with a thankful heart.”

(Source: VOM-Australia. Edited for length and clarity.)

Read another story and watch a video about Christianity in North Korea here.
Read what can happen to people in North Korea who listen to Christian radio broadcasts here.


Braid a Bible Rope

In the 1800s, three Koreans went to China to find work. While they were in China, a Christian shared the gospel with them. They decided to follow Jesus! The men wondered how they could take the good news to the people in their home country, where it was against the law to preach the gospel.

They planned to try to smuggle a Bible into Korea. The first man hid a Bible in his pack of belongings and started out on the long journey home. When he got to Korea, officials found his Bible and executed him. The same thing happened to the second man when he tried to cross the border into Korea with a hidden Bible.

The third Christian knew he had to try something different. He carefully tore out the pages of his Bible. Then he folded each page into a narrow strip. Next he wove the strips into a long rope and tied his pack with the rope. He easily got past the guards at the border with his Bible rope. After he untied the rope and put the Bible back together, he shared the gospel wherever he went.

(Source: On This Day by Robert J. Morgan (Nashville:Thomas Nelson, 1997)

To Try
Cut an 8½- by 11-inch piece of paper in half lengthwise. Write Genesis 1:1 in Korean (see above), or print a copy to tape on one of the halves. Fold or roll the page lengthwise into a tight narrow strip, and tape it shut. Ask someone who is good at braiding to help you braid the page into a homemade “rope,” using yarn or thick string for the other two strands of the rope.

Hide the Bible verse rope in a suitcase full of clothes and other items. Ask someone who does not know about your Bible rope to see if they can find a Bible verse in the suitcase.

(Sources: Bold Believers in North Korea and The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book)


Ching’s Dad

The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

The following story comes from Stef magazine.

Close to the Border
Hi, I’m Ching. I have a brother, a father, and a mother. My father is half Chinese and half Korean. He studied to become a pastor. When he was finished with his studies, he was asked to be a pastor at a church in China near the North Korean border.

My father prayed about it, and then he knew, “Yes, that is my place.”

Hungry
My father was only there for a short time when a famine broke out in North Korea. It was really terrible. The people were very hungry. Many tried to cross the border into China. They were desperately looking for food, medicine, and clothing.

Building with a Cross
Our church has a big cross on it. North Koreans had learned that they could find help at a special building with a cross. When they came to our church, they saw love in the eyes of my father.

Many people came to faith in Christ at the church. My father trained them to go back to North Korea to tell their people about Jesus. They knew it would be dangerous work. But my father said, “It’s better to die with God than to live in a free land without Him.”

Warning
Chinese and South Korean officers warned my father, “Your life is in danger [from enemies in North Korea who don’t like Christians].” I heard my parents talk about it. They thought about quitting their work with North Koreans. But God let them know they had to continue. They sent my brother and me to a safer school.

The Word Continues
One day my father got a phone call. My mother didn’t know who was on the line, but it seemed to be someone my father knew. She heard him say, “I’m coming!”

By dinnertime, my father had not come home. Church members went on a search for him. They found his car on the border. He was in it. North Koreans had paid someone to attack him, and he died.

We are sad that my dear father is no longer here. In the beginning, my mother was really angry. I believe that she is not angry anymore. She prays a lot that the North Korean leader will come to know God.

We live in the same place, and we go to the same church. But things have changed. My mother does not dare to help the North Koreans anymore.

But do you know what I like? A lot of people who my father helped now believe in God, and they do the same work he did. So the work for God continues.

Pray
Please join Ching’s mother in praying that North Korea’s leader will come to know God, and pray for Ching’s family.

(Source: SDOK. Translated and edited. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)


Unwelcome Visitors

Robert Thomas was a missionary to China, but he also wanted to go to Korea and share the gospel with Koreans who had never heard of Jesus. When Thomas heard about an American who was sailing to Korea to buy and sell goods, he offered to serve as a translator.

Thomas had learned some Korean while on another short visit to Korea. The captain agreed to take Thomas aboard, and the ship sailed into the Yellow Sea, then up a Korean river toward Pyongyang. Thomas took a case of Bibles with him on the journey.

Korea was called “the hermit kingdom” because Koreans did not like visitors or traders from other countries. (A hermit is someone who lives alone and does not spend time with other people.) The captain hoped to change their minds. But the Koreans did not welcome the men on the ship. Thomas translated while the captain talked with Korean messengers.

After a time, their peaceful discussion turned to anger. Then the ship got stuck on a sandbar and could not leave. The Koreans threw rocks and burning sticks onto the ship, and the ship’s crew fired guns toward the Koreans.

Precious to the Lord
Thomas threw Bibles to the shore and tried to talk to the Koreans about making peace. He asked God to help him. Then the Koreans filled a small boat with tree branches and set them on fire. They pushed the boat toward Thomas’s ship, and the ship caught on fire. The ship’s crew jumped into the river as the ship began to sink. Thomas made it to shore with a Bible. When he saw that he was going to be killed, he held out the Bible to a Korean man and said, “Jesus, Jesus.”

Robert Thomas was 26 years old when he died. Some might say that his life was wasted. But God’s ways are not our ways. The Bible says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).

Years later, an American missionary visited a guesthouse in Korea and noticed unusual paper on the walls. Many guests came to the house to read the writing on the wallpaper. The owner of the house, Mr. Park, had covered the walls with pages of the Bible that Robert Thomas had offered to his killers. Mr. Park had also read the walls and given his life to Christ. Mr. Park’s nephew attended a Bible college, and he later helped complete a Korean translation of the Bible that was easier to understand than the Bible that the Koreans had been reading up to that time.

(Source: Restricted Nations:North Korea, available from VOMBooks.com.)

Watch a video clip about Robert Thomas here.

Learn more about Thomas and 15 other Christian heroes in The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book and DVD set, available at VOMBooks.com. The book includes 144 pages of stories, devotionals, challenging coloring pages, extreme dot-to-dots, crafts, and activities related to the 16 heroes on the accompanying Torchlighters DVDs.