Many well-meaning Westerners have traveled to North Korea for purposes related to teaching, sightseeing or even evangelism. We are always very purposeful in telling people, in no uncertain terms, to not visit North Korea.
Our reasoning relates, not to the danger, but to the uniformed strategy that many Westerners employ. For example, if you are going for tourism than you are doing nothing more than supporting an evil regime with your money and seeing a part of North Korea that the government wants you to see. If like some dedicated Christians, you are entering into NK for evangelism, than you are ignoring the faithful witness of the NK underground church who is already doing the work of Christ in NK. These underground Christians are men and women who not only know the risks, but they also know the culture, the language and the best ways to reach their brothers and sisters in NK.
One example of this is our NK sister who recently visited her hometown for the first time in seven years. Please read her own update on her visit . . .
I was so happy to meet with my relatives and friends there and share the love of God with them. Some people were monitoring my behavior and they kept watching me. I had to be careful to share the gospel directly with my relatives and friends. However, I kept trying to share the love of God with my neighbors.
There is no sufficient electricity supply to NK people, so many NK people are using solar energy. In a nearby town, there are no trees, firewood or plants, so NK people need to work for four-five hours to get firewood and sell it.
Two years ago, one of my relatives saw balloons from SK. He saw a Bible and rice as well. It had fallen down on the mountain, so he picked up the Bible and rice.
My mother is an underground Christian, although she could not share the Gospel with her neighbors directly, but whenever she had a chance to share food and help others, then she would pray for them and prepare food as well. Early every morning, before making a fire in the furnace, she reads the Bible and then she hides it secretly near the furnace. Before she goes to sleep, she hides the Bible inside the furnace. By the grace of God, neighbors in her hometown rely on my mother and she always prays for them in her heart.
God is not only working through things like balloon launches, but also through NK Christians . . . like the woman who reads her Bible and hides it by the furnace, and like her daughter who is willing to evangelize despite the fact that she was being carefully monitored.
Stories like these remind us of a God who is making himself known in some of the most difficult places around the world. We can certainly be called to be a part of this work, but God is not asking us to do this apart from what he has already established.
In the case of North Korea, God has established a vibrant underground church with Christians who are faithfully and strategically sharing the Gospel with their friends and family members.