Fourth in a series of weekly posts by Mr. Bae, the co-author with Pastor Foley of These are the Generations, the story of third generation North Korean Christians. For Part I, click here. In today’s post, Mr. Bae details how his evangelistic efforts were greatly increased as a result of his time in prison, even as his family was driven from their home.
North Korea tried to force me and my family into becoming homeless vagabonds, but God used this to enable us to become traveling evangelists!
North Korea wanted to deny education to my children, but God gave my daughter the gift of healing. And whenever God used her to heal the sick, she would share God’s word with them. Everything that the enemy intended to break us, God used to establish his kingdom more fully.
The Apostle Paul said it this way, in 2 Corinthians 4:10: “Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
Yes, it’s true that we lost our home, our health, our reputation, and education, and our jobs. But with that we also lost our fear. Without distractions, our lives became completely focused on him.
But please understand: When you think of the greatest evangelists in your culture you likely think of those who share the gospel in front of thousands and ten thousands, or who lead hundreds to Christ. But in my culture, if a person leads three or four people to Christ outside of their own family, that means they have been used by God to do the impossible—to accomplish something only God can do.
One of the people I evangelized was the former head of a military unit. After he was discharged from the military, he struggled to make a living and this caused him to question what he had always believed. He received the truth of the Gospel because God had been preparing his heart.
Another person I evangelized was a business associate. He saw how my family and I lived, how we never fought and how we always seemed to have such joy. He opened his heart to learn the source of this peace, and it changed him into a peaceful man.
Another man I evangelized was someone who had a bad relationship with his wife. He came to know God and to make peace with his family. I shared the Ten Commandments with them, as well as the God whose grace makes it possible to live by them.
Keep in mind that all this happened because we were reduced to homeless vagabonds by the North Korean state. If we were still wealthy and influential and in good standing with the government, I doubt any of this would have happened.
Keep in mind that all this time we were still having to figure out how to survive in this idolatrous land. When Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il’s birthdays came around each year, we and our fellow citizens were still required to bow down and offer flowers to their statues or else be punished or killed. But my family and I started to not attend these events. We were nobodies, after all! God had saved us by making us worthless in the eyes of the state.
The North Korean state made me a nobody, but that is how God made me a somebody, raising me up to write a book and testify around the world about how God, not Kim Jong Un, is ultimately in charge today in the country of North Korea.
North Korea chased us from our home, but God is now opening homes to me around the world.
North Korea tried to make me write a confession of my sins, but God has now made it possible for me to write a book sharing the story of his faithfulness to my family into the fourth generation.
North Korea made me unable to sit in a chair, so now I stand to proclaim the gospel around the world!
(To be concluded next week…)