To live in North Korea, or not to live


To live in North Korea or not to live?

It’s really hard for a typical Westerner, or Easterner for that matter, to get into the head of a North Korean citizen. What do they think day after day, while poverty stares them in the face? What goes through your mind while you watch your only television channel or read your only newspaper? Have these many years of brainwashing made you satisfied with whatever you see and hear?

Are you delighted to read that you have befriended Russia and certain Middle Eastern nations that hate Israel and the West? Does it bring you much joy to see your Fearless Leader visiting children’s homes and farms, like your grandfather used to? Do you think that he really cares for all his subjects, as a father cares for his children?

Do they really cry with their hearts when one of their leaders dies? Do you enjoy visiting the constant public executions? Does it really sadden you to see dust fall on one of the paintings of the Kims that they are forced to hang in their tiny apartments?

Do you know that the loud explosions off the coast on a morning like today were Mr. Kim’s official greeting to the Pope in Rome? Do they even know that His Highness is visiting South Korea, and that NK’s version of His Highness is outraged by it and he is firing rockets to register protests?

And would they excuse him if they knew?

We now know that there are a growing number of North Koreans who want to leave. They will die trying if possible. Are there American citizens in this situation? I have heard of none. People who are disgusted with our government or way of life are free to go. But the North Koreans can be captured by the Chinese and sent back to prison or extermination.

Now, there are other North Koreans. I’ve heard of them, I think they exist. But they are a strange batch, to my American thought processes. They want to stay. I must divide them into several categories, to have at least some peace about it:

1. Completely brain dead people who have succumbed to the endless lies coming out of Pyongyang. They really believe that North Korea is paradise. Leaving would be torture for them.

2. People tied up sentimentally. They were born here, they grew up here, the mountains and the rivers and the fields are part of who they are. How can they leave their homeland? If things are bad here, they could be worse somewhere else.

3. The third class, I also met her in Romania.

Romania is the only other country with which I have been so deeply involved. In my much younger days, it was my foolish idea to think that everyone in the world who was having a hard time should be free to come to the United States, and if he was offered an opportunity, he would take it.

But the summers I spent there, in the 1980s, they discovered this other class of people, all Christians. When I excitedly told them the ways they could come to the good old USA of A, they refused. Of course, Ceausescu’s Romania was tough. Of course they could die. Of course they could go to prison. Sure, some had escaped, and God bless them! But leave me? Are you kidding? If I leave, and the church leaves, who will bring Romania to Christ?

This same breed of heroes is alive and well in North Korea. Infectious, this thing from the cross of Christ. It gets inside you, and all you think is how can I get the Gospel out? How can I tell my friends? What will happen to my nation if they do not know Christ?

Yes, I have actually heard of, or even met, North Korean citizens whose goal in life is not to stay in a relatively comfortable South Korea, to which they have managed to escape, but to return and bring the Gospel to their homeland, be it whatever the cost.

Yes, we want to dismiss them with “Bravo” and “Bless you,” and “Jesus surely loves you,” until we realize that their decision is the one that must consistently fit into the biblical framework, aka Jesus. Without a cross, he is not worthy of Jesus. That’s what he said.

This should help your prayer life regarding North Korea (and yourself). Like you, I want to pray, God, GET THEM OUT (God, get ME out!). Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to yell at God, but that’s how I feel. So hurt, so sorry, that they (I) must stay in this prison, and some in the prisons within the prison.

After all, we say, the Israelites had to get out, and then Egypt could be judged! Get every last North Korean out of that dreadful land that is so ripe for judgment, and then let judgment fall!

It sounds more like James and John than Jesus. “Shall we send fire from heaven, Lord, like Elijah?”

But, but, what about Noah and Lot?, we pray. They had to be taken out, so the wrath of God could fall! True, but isn’t that scene more like the coming of Christ/rapture, when the Lord will gather His own from all corners of heaven and earth just before sending down the punishments accumulated over the centuries?

No, it’s probably better to think of Wurmbrand from Romania. 14 years in those awful prisons. But his life continues to multiply the life and blessings of Jesus throughout the world.

The mandate for us is to “Remember the prisoners”, not release them. I hate writing that, saying that, thinking that. But deep down I know it’s true. Whatever they or we are going through because of Jesus, yes, it will eventually pass, yes, eventually there will be deliverance and release and escape, but while it is happening, it is doing immeasurable good for them, for us, and for those around us. “Let patience have its perfect work”, and one day the world will see that even the worst tactics of enemies have been prepared to give glory to God.

So, to live in North Korea or not to live? Pray for his deliverance? Because of his resistance? Or so that God’s plan is carried out perfectly in them and in us?

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