A North Korean Defector Realizes Years Later Her Father Was An Underground Christian. His Breakfast Spoon Was The Giveaway.

WLO_prayingFrequently North Korean defectors in South Korea will look back on peculiar behaviors of parents and grandparents in North Korea and realize with great astonishment that their family members were actually underground Christians.

JBM, one of our Underground Technology students, recently shared just such a story with us. Think on this as you eat your breakfast this morning and your children or grandchildren silently observe your behavior:

My father studied medicine at [X] University in Japan. After he graduated, he opened a hospital in [NK city] and worked as a health minister in NK. My mother was a housewife. Because of my father’s background, I lived well when I was young and had enough food to eat. My mother was also from an educated family. Because my father was a doctor, he was respected by many people. During that time, the Korean War occurred and we ended up being separated from my father and we did not have any news about him. I was left with with my mother and sisters and my brothers were left with my grandmother. We had to be scattered and live separately. From that moment on, we had no contact with my father and even now we do not know what happened to him.

Whenever I remember my father, one thing always comes to my mind. My father always closed his eyes and said something while holding a spoon before he would have a meal. I was just five years old at that time, so I did not know what he was doing. However, now I know that he was praying to God before having a meal, and the song he used to sing was a praise song to God. After I came to SK, I realized that the song is from a hymn. The lyrics were “make me whiter than snow,” and I found it in a hymn book. I was so surprised to hear the song the first time in SK that I shouted, “Oh, this is the song my father used to sing before!” Also, one of my relatives was an elder in the church who was killed in the war. I thought that his name was Elder, but later I came to know his duty in church was as an elder.

With my first daughter’s help, I came to SK through Mongolia. I did not know about God, but I just blindly folded my hands and prayed for my safety. It was the winter season and I suffered from frostbite. There was one NK man in my group of defectors who was a Christian. He was always praying to God and told us to believe in God. His words encouraged me a lot. After I came to SK, I came to know more about God and had the desire to be close to him and know his Word more. I realized that it was all the blessing of God throughout my life in NK and it touched my heart and encouraged me.

Perhaps it gives you a little insight into what (or, perhaps more accurately, who) the father was praying for as he held his spoon and called on his God as his world and family life were slipping out of his human grasp. And perhaps you will note that God answered, decades later, in another country, long after the pray-er was silenced.

Because God never forgets what we pray. And he answers more frequently than we can imagine, just beyond the reach of our awareness, patience, and control.

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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9 Responses to A North Korean Defector Realizes Years Later Her Father Was An Underground Christian. His Breakfast Spoon Was The Giveaway.

  1. elene chase says:

    This testimony was of great encouragement. I pray daily for my children and grandchildren, knowing the world is becoming darker and more wicked and what they face in America will become more and more difficult. I pray those who are already saved to stand firm and for those who are not to come to know the Lord in their lifetime. I hope to see all in heaven some day — and this testimony gives comfort that even if I do not see answers now, God remembers and will set apart my grandchildren for special attention.

  2. Wow!! What a great reminder to continue to hold fast to the Lord! As I pray for myself and my family, I am reminded of the sinful ways that we struggle with and of our weaknesses and failings before the Lord. But I often remember a quote from a man talking about child-training: “More is caught than taught.” So in spite of my weaknesses before the Lord, I will continue to reverence Him to and remember that my life does have an impact on those around me. The Lord hears our prayers as we cry out to Him! :>}

  3. This touches my heart so deeply. There have been times in my life when I have been aware that somebody, in the generations of my family before me, prayed for us. I have understood that I am often walking in the grace of God because someone believed God for my life even before I was born…This knowledge has always been comforting to me, especially as I see where God has brought me from…and I, in turn, pray for the generations of my family following me. For the North Korean Defectors who have endured so much,this discovery must be an extremely wonderful encouragement. I can understand how it would strengthen their faith greatly! I can empathize with the joy that such discovery brings to their hearts and it fills me with such gladness for them. Thank You so much for sharing this story.

    • Pastor Foley says:

      Amen, Beverlie! I had the same reaction. My mother-in-law prays for me hours a day. I know that so much of the goodness I experience is as a result of God responding to her ceaseless petitions on my behalf.

  4. Do you have a Spanish page with some of these stories available? I would love to forward the links to my friends in Mexico who do not read English.Thanks.

    • Pastor Foley says:

      Unfortunately we don’t have a Spanish page, Beverlie. Our next development will be a Korean page, Lord permitting. But perhaps God will raise up a Spanish page for us as well!

  5. Pingback: How A North Korean Defector Realizes Years Later Her Father Was An Underground Christian | United Christian News

  6. Thank you for your amazing story.

    Feel free to drop by mg blog at operationdefect.wordpress.com for more stories. the recent posts have been more updates due to the uproar of Kim Jong Un’s disappearance, but majority of the posts are dedicated to the stories of defectors. Thank you for yours!

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