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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.


Refusing to Bow

Statue of a North Korean leader

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were zealous for the Lord. The king in their land set up a giant statue of himself and commanded everyone to bow to the image. (See Daniel 3.)

But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that God had said: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them…” (Exodus 20:4-5a).

The three friends were more zealous for the Lord than for their own safety. They refused to bow to the statue, even though the king threatened to throw them in a fiery furnace. In obedience to God and trusting in His wisdom, they went to the furnace. (Read what they said in Daniel 3:17-18.) God miraculously saved them from harm.

Sometimes God is glorified when martyrs die for their faith in Him. At other times He is glorified when He delivers people from the hands of their persecutors. Our lives are in His hands.

In the 1930s when Japan was ruling over Korea, the rulers ordered citizens to bow to Shinto idols. (Shinto is a Japanese religion that does not agree with the Bible.) The rulers said even students in Christian schools must bow. The leaders of the school, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow, and many Christian schools closed.

Today in North Korea, the people are expected to bow to statues of their leaders and to honor them as gods. Zealous North Korean Christians are in prison, trusting God with their future, because they honor God above all.

To Talk About
• Were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego delivered from the flames because they had more faith than people who die for Christ? Or was their deliverance simply the way God wanted to use their testimony?
• Read Proverbs 3:5. Can you trust God when you don’t know what will happen as a result? Can you trust Him when you don’t always understand how He is working in others’ lives when they are having hard times?

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available from VOMBooks.com)


Can Your Faith Be a Secret?

Do you bow your head and close your eyes when you pray? Do you know why Christians customarily do so? Many Christians believe bowing their heads and closing their eyes shows respect and humility, and helps those who pray become less distracted.

But in North Korea today, believers can go to prison if they are caught praying to God. So sometimes they pray with their eyes open to keep others from knowing what they are doing. They may look at the person they are with as if they are having a conversation with them. And instead of referencing God, they may use a phrase like “Dear Leader.” (“Dear Leader” is a title used for former leader Kim Il Sung. In this case, Christians are using the title to talk secretly about God.)

Instead of bowing their heads and closing their eyes, they might look at the person sitting next to them and say, “I am so concerned about Sister Kim, who is sick. But I am thankful that our Dear Leader will show special care for her as she needs love and attention.”

What do you think?
• Is it okay for North Koreans to pray without bowing their heads and closing their eyes?
• Is it okay if they are very careful to share their faith with only a few people who might be open to hearing the gospel?
• Is it ever okay to keep your faith secret when Jesus said, “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven”? (See Matthew 10:32-33, ESV.)

(Source: The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available from VOMBooks.com)