8-14-2014

To live in North Korea or not to live?

It is truly difficult for a typical Westerner, or Easterner for that matter, to get inside the head of a North Korean citizen. What do you think day after day, while poverty stares you in the face? What goes through your mind while you watch your only TV channel or read your only newspaper? Have these many years of brainwashing made you satisfied with whatever you see and hear?

Are you delighted to read that you have made friends with Russia and certain Middle Eastern nations who hate Israel and the West? Does it bring you great joy to see your Fearless Leader visiting children’s homes and farms, like your grandfather used to do? Do you think he really cares about all of his subjects, like a father cares about his children?

Do they really cry from the heart when one of their leaders dies? Do you enjoy visiting the constant public executions? Are you really sorry to see dust fall on one of the Kims’ paintings that they are forced to hang in their tiny apartments?

Do you know that the loud explosions off the coast on a morning like today were Mr. Kim’s official greeting to the Pope in Rome? Do they even know that His Highness is visiting South Korea, and NK’s version of His Highness is outraged by it and he’s firing rockets to register protests?

And would they excuse him if they knew?

We now know that there is a growing number of North Koreans who want to leave. They will die trying if possible. Are there American citizens in this situation? I have heard of none. People who are disgusted with our government or way of life are free to leave. But the North Koreans can be captured by the Chinese and sent back to prison or extermination.

Now, there are other North Koreans. I’ve heard of them, I think they exist. But they are a strange lot, to my American thought processes. They want to stay. I must divide them into several categories, to have at least some peace about it:

1. Completely brain-dead people who have succumbed to the endless lies coming out of Pyongyang. They really believe that North Korea is paradise. Leaving would be torture for them.

2. People tied sentimentally. They were born here, they grew up here, the mountains and the rivers and the fields are part of who they are. How can they leave their homeland? If things are bad here, they could be worse elsewhere.

3. The third class, I also met her in Romania.

Romania is the only other country that I have been so deeply involved with. In my much younger days, it was my foolish idea to think that everyone in the world who had any difficulty should be free to come to America, and if offered an opportunity, they would take it.

But the summers I spent there in the 1980s discovered this other class of people, all Christians. When I enthusiastically told them about the ways they could come to the good USA of A, they refused. Of course, Ceausescu’s Romania was tough. Of course they could die. Of course they could go to jail. Sure, some had escaped, and God bless them! But leave me? Are you kidding? If I leave, and the church leaves, who will bring Christ to Romania?

This same breed of heroes is alive and well in North Korea. Infectious, this cross of Christ thing. It gets inside you, and all you think is how can I get the Gospel out? How can I tell my friends? What will happen to my nation if they do not know Christ?

Yes, I have actually heard of, even met, North Korean citizens whose goal in life is not to stay in a relatively comfortable South Korea, which they have managed to escape to, but to return and bring the Gospel to their homeland, whatever it may be. whatever the cost.

Yes, we want to dismiss them with a “Bravo” and a “Blessed are you”, and “Jesus surely loves you”, until we realize that their decision is the one that should consistently fit the biblical framework, aka Jesus. Without a cross, he is not worthy of Jesus. That’s what he said.

This should help your prayer life regarding North Korea (and yourself). Like you, I want to pray, God, RAISE THEM OUT (God, RAISE ME!). Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to yell at God, but that’s how I feel. So hurt, so sorry, that they (I) must stay in this prison, and some in the prisons within the prison.

After all, we say, the Israelites had to get out, and then Egypt could be judged! Get every last North Korean out of that dreadful land that is so ripe for judgment, and then let judgment fall!

It sounds more like James and John than Jesus. “Shall we send fire from heaven, Lord, like Elijah?”

But, but what about Noah and Lot, we pray. They had to be taken out, then the wrath of God could fall! True, but isn’t that scene more like the coming of Christ/rapture, when the Lord will gather His own from all corners of heaven and earth just before sending down the punishments accumulated over the centuries?

No, it’s probably best to think of Wurmbrand from Romania. 14 years in those awful prisons. But his life continues to multiply the life and blessings of Jesus throughout the world.

The mandate for us is to “Remember the prisoners”, not release them. I hate writing that, saying that, thinking that. But deep down I know it’s true. Whatever they or we are going through because of Jesus, yes it will eventually pass, yes there will eventually be deliverance and deliverance and escape, but while it is happening it is doing immeasurable good for them, for us, and for those around us. “Let patience have its perfect work”, and one day the world will see that even the worst tactics of the enemies have been prepared to bring glory to God.

So to live in North Korea or not to live? Pray for his release? Because of his resistance? Or so that God’s plan is carried out perfectly in them and in us?