I’ve previously written about the North Korean hymnal we developed in cooperation with North Korean underground and defector Christians along with several of our Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries around the world (especially SDOK in the Netherlands).
Now, however, you can do more than read my writing about the hymnal. You can hear it for yourself.
We’ll be releasing the rest of the tracks shortly, in print and recorded form. For now, this sample hymn is the hauntingly beautiful Streams in the Desert. It’s a hymn that has had special meaning for many North Korean believers. Imagine what it would mean and feel like to sing this at present inside North Korea. Here are the lyrics in English:
A Spring Flowing In The Desert
1: A spring will flow in the desert, flowers will bloom in the desert;
The desert will turn into a flower garden when the kingdom of God comes;
The kingdom of God where lions play with children, the world of true love and happiness , will come soon.
2: The desert will be wooded, pretty birds will sing;
The desert will become paradise when the kingdom of God comes;
The kingdom of God where children can put their hands into snake dens but snakes do not bite;
The world of true love and happiness, will come soon.
If the recording sounds very North Korean to you, that’s exactly the point. Our goal is to preserve and extend the heritage of North Korean believers by reminding them and all of us that North Korean Christianity is not a subset of the South Korean church. In fact, it’s the fountainhead of Korean Christianity: The gospel moved from north to south in Korean history, spurred on in no small part by Christians fleeing the persecution of the north to establish what today are some of the largest churches in the world.
To us, however, North Korean Christianity remains God’s clear mountain spring, preserved by Him high in the remote places as the waters for coming revival. A Western brother wrote to me last week, “Pray to God that the doors open wide for the gospel to pour into [North Korea]!” I replied that my prayer is actually that the gospel that has remained in North Korea would be amplified so that it not only fills that country but pours out of North Korea into South Korea and into parched hearts in the rest of the world.