How Do North Korean Christians Envision Heaven?

praywithnorthkorea copyThe Bible begins and ends in a garden, yet I can’t recall many of us Westerners ever envisioning heaven that way. That’s why I was so fascinated to hear one of our North Korean defector students at Underground University describe heaven in exactly those terms when she prayed on our nightly radio broadcast into North Korea recently.

In fact, it’s fascinating just how biblical her prayer is. Right out of the book of Revelation she wonders aloud to God whether he is altogether too patient with the state of affairs in North Korea. “How long?” she asks. And so do we.

Here is her prayer. My prayer is that you will pray it together with her, and permit yourself to be shaped by it a little as well.

Dear Father God,

If I were living in North Korea, I would have gone to the mountain to pick herbs for a meal or I would wander from place to place, carrying a load on my back that would be as heavy as me. But you led me to arrive in this happy land, South Korea. I appreciate you.

However, my parents and brothers whom I never forget are still living in North Korea, where I do not want to return again for even a single moment. When I think about my family who is always worrying about having enough food and never relieved of anxiety, I feel piercing sadness.

God, my mother has been suffering with bad bronchitis and arthritis for a long time and I heard that my mother’s vision and hearing have become worse. Please, cure my mother so that she does not need to suffer anymore. My heart is broken and I cannot stop crying at the thought of my mother. For how long do my parents and brothers have to suffer while I live comfortably?

Yesterday, I cried again after I bumped into an old lady whom closely resembled my mother. She reminded me my mother… What is my mother doing now? Isn’t she crying for missing her daughter? Isn’t my mother who was very weak even 7 or 8 years ago when I left to China getting old? I feel guilt about living happily, because for my mother it is a miracle just to be alive.

Father God, when I saw my parents in my dream, I was worrying whether they had difficulties or were in pain. God, please, save my father, my mother, and my brothers. Let my family members all believe in you and be comforted by you when they are sick or lonely. And bless them to go to Your Kingdom.

Loving God, I know that you are very patient, so much so that you wait for an evil dictator to turn away from that evil. However, please do not be patient anymore for North Korea. Do not close your eyes nor turn your eyes away from them but let them realize you, creator God. And bless them to live life in a happy garden where there is no pain, only to praise and worship God, accepting Jesus Christ as their savior.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is the former International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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