Story North Korea | 19-3-2023

‘Help Me to Stand Firm’: A Letter From A North Korean Christian


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Despite the risks and that many COVD-19 restrictions remain, Open Doors still supports Christians who escaped from North Korea through our covert network of safehouses. These believers receive food, medical aid, pastoral care and Bible study. Many hear about Jesus for the first time and carry back their faith to North Korea (No. 1 on the 2023 World Watch List) if and when they return.  
One North Korean Christian who was able to escape from North Korea wrote a letter to share his testimony with the outside world. What a gift to hear from a North Korean believer directly. His words remind us that God is working even in the hardest places. Praise God for this brother’s faith! Here’s the letter he sent: 

This testimony is dedicated to my dear heavenly Father.  
I have been here twice in my life. Here, I listened to the gospel and received Jesus Christ as my Saviour. In gratitude for my salvation, I have decided to write down this testimony.  
Before I escaped, I was a member of North Korea’s Worker’s Party. This is important if you want to achieve anything in life. To protect my position in the Party, I used to act loyal by treating badly the people around me. Everyone who had a lower status, my neighbors, etc. Not only did I ignore them, but I did not even feel any love, consolation or pity toward them.


"Being God’s child with grace, it is my obligation to devote my life to save souls in North Korea."

Now I realize that I was the one who tore my Heavenly Father’s heart by leading the people of the North Korea to idolatry. But the Lord has forgiven all my sins by the blood of our precious Jesus Christ and made me His child. I am very grateful for His love [and] that He led me to the way of the Truth. Being God’s child with grace, it is my obligation to devote my life to save souls in North Korea.  
I remember when I was young, my father used to close the curtains in his bedroom, kneel and talk to Somebody. Whenever I tried to see him, he forbade me to come in [Editor’s note: Some North Korean Christians are forced to hide their faith from their children because exposure would mean punishment for themselves and the kids]. And I remember him singing “Singing I Go” and “Jesus Loves Me.”  
This memory confirms to me that, in fact, I come from a long line of believers. My faith is inherited, and I ought to devote myself to save my children and other people in North Korea.


"The Holy Spirit is with me and gives me strength with grace."

I have done many bad things in my life. However, after receiving Jesus Christ, I repent of my sins every morning and now I have found a new way of living. The Holy Spirit is with me and gives me strength with grace. This makes me joyful and gives me peace.  
Whenever I realize how God has sanctified me, I am eager to run to my family and people in North Korea who are suffering. Though I am impatient to return as soon as possible, my teacher says that as a faithful servant, I have to be trained with the Word of God and be prepared with the power of the Holy Spirit before going [back] into North Korea.  
Thinking about all the living souls in North Korea, I feel most compassionate toward orphans, the sick and the kotjebis (homeless children). The urge to help them is getting bigger from day to day.  
These days, I feel like I am in heaven since my heart feels full of light. It is full of grace through the teaching of the pastors here. Therefore, now I want to make three vows in the name of Jesus to the Heavenly Father for when I return to North Korea: 
  1. I will pray every day to God and keep the Lord’s Day. At first it can be done alone, but I will pass this on to my family and my descendants. One day, I hope that all my family can gather to worship the Lord and give glory to Him with offerings, praises, and prayers.  
  2. Using the number 33 for the number of years of Jesus’ life in the world, I will take in 33 orphans to raise to follow the covenant of loving each other, so that when the time of unification [with South Korea] comes, they can be raised as children of God as the gospel will be able to spread in North Korea.  
  3. I will love and comfort my neighbors as myself. I will help all who are in need.  

"I pray that whenever hardships come, you help me stand firm."

Heavenly Father, I pray that you help me to keep these three vows as I follow the way of our Jesus [as He] went, holding the precious cross.

I pray that you help my family to be fruitful as a church of love, just like the revival that happened in 1907 in North Korea.  

I pray that whenever hardships come, you help me stand firm like a child of God, for the souls of North Korea, for the rest of my life.  
Please pray for the Word of God to be spread when I go back to North Korea.  
Dear Father, please be glorified with my thanksgiving!  
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
All the glory to God! 
* This letter has been edited for clarity
**The top image is representative

please pray
  • Thank the Lord for His amazing transformative work in the life of this North Korean brother. Also thank Him for the people who run the safehouses and those who teach. They have dedicated their lives to spreading the gospel among North Koreans.
  • Pray for the protection of this North Korean man and his family. Pray that the Lord will equip him to go home.
  • Pray that he can uphold his vows, and that God will help him fulfill them.
Please give
  • Every HK$240 could give Bibles to five believers fleeing extreme persecution
  • Every HK$430 could provide refugees fleeing extreme persecution with a food package and essential medicine
  • Every HK$550 could provide spiritual and financial support to three believers fleeing extreme persecution