Dr. Hyun Sook Foley tells the real-life “hero’s journeys” of ten North Korean Christians. She shares how they learned to give up their “victims’ stories” and become victors in Christ, by coming to understand how Christ tells the story of their lives.
As North Koreans grow up, they have to memorize more than one hundred stories about Kim Il Sung’s life. Kim Il Sung is the hero of nearly every North Korean’s story. But when North Koreans escape their country, they learn that Kim Il Sung was no hero. They struggle to make sense of life. They quickly accept the stories that others tell them: That they are victims, or even traitors.
This book is the product of coaching traumatized North Koreans to narrate their life stories using a different frame than the ones they learned in North Korea or South Korea. That different frame is Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” as analyzed in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell believed this twelve-stage backstory would be seen behind the stories of heroes in literally every culture in the world.
With surprisingly little outside coaching, life change became possible for these North Koreans because they changed the way they told, thought about, and lived their stories. In very much the same way, each reader of this book can re-learn the way they tell their own stories.
About the Author
The Rev. Dr. Hyun Sook Foley is the co-founder and President of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, which seeks to keep the martyr’s spirit alive in the Korean Church. She is an active minister in the field of global Christian persecution and also a scholar, striving to research and solve problems for practitioners and policy groups. The Rev. Dr. Foley is a global voice on both North Korean Christianity and women and persecution and has spoken at both national and global convocations in Sri Lanka, Finland, Poland, Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, and the UK. She networks with women ministry leaders in North America, Europe, and Asia, especially in the areas of ministry leadership, discipleship, and North Korean Christianity. She also serves as a charter board member of the Christian Council for Financial Transparency, Korea. She received a doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University and was ordained by KAICAM. She is the translator of numerous Christian books and resources, including Prasso self-counseling materials, the Peacemaker Ministries book The Peacemaker, and These are the Generations, which details the story of third generation underground Christians in North Korea.
CHAPTER 1 DR. FOLEY : THE SAFE JOURNEY • 31
CHAPTER 2 MS. HONG : THE HERO’S JOURNEY INTO TRUTH • 61
CHAPTER 3 PROFESSOR CHO : THE MIND-SET OF THE HERO • 81
CHAPTER 4 MS. AHN : THE LAME HERO • 103
CHAPTER 5 MR. KIM : THE RELUCTANT JOURNEY • 115
CHAPTER 6 MS. JANG : THE JOURNEY IS MORE THAN JUST
HARD WORK • 149
CHAPTER 7 MS. YOON : JOURNEYING WITH POTATOES
ON HER BACK • 167
CHAPTER 8 MR. LEE : THE HERO’S CRAWL • 187
CHAPTER 9 MS. SEO : FIGHTING FOR EVERY STEP • 203
CHAPTER 10 MR. PARK : JOURNEYING IN HIS MOTHER’S
FOOTSTEPS • 219
CHAPTER 11 MS. HEO : JOURNEYING TOWARD MARTYRDOM • 241
CONCLUSION : YOUR JOURNEY • 257
AFTERWORD : TRAVELING TOGETHER ON YOUR HERO’S
JOURNEY • 269
BIBLIOGRAPHY • 279
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | WHAT IS THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRS?
UU/UT INTRODUCTION • 283