North Korean Newcomers

North Korean Newcomers

North Korean Newcomers

탈북 새신자 맞이

Many North Korean defectors in South Korea can easily feel like they are forgotten, like the world has thrown them away. However, through the NK newcomers project, God visits the lonely, provides parents to the orphans, and demonstrates his mercy to those who cry out to Him. Even though some of the NKs we meet have been in South Korea for a while, through the NK newcomers project God shows them that, although the world may have forsaken them, He has not forgotten them.


These days, we are particularly focusing our evangelism and discipleship efforts around the activity of Bible translation. We are “translating” the first copy of the Bible that was ever done in the Korean language into a modern NK dialect. The Bible was done in 1882 in an NK dialect, and our NK constituents are mostly elderly people, so they are really in their element! The original Bible translation was done by non-believers who came to believe in Christ through the process of translating the Bible, so we are taking a note from that strategy and using Bible translation for evangelism this year in the NK newcomers  project. We take the Bible to the countryside and ask NK defectors to help.

[18-150-20136 (2022) Hanawon] [GSK Singing [Sanitized]
GSK sings a hymn together with us.

In the beginning of the year, one of our UU students asked if we could take our camping car to go visit a friend of a friend of hers, GSK, who lives in the countryside. As soon as we agreed to visit her, we began to face fierce spiritual opposition against the trip. When we made the initial appointment, a conflict caused us to move the appointment to a later date. Then our camping car got totaled, so we decided to impose upon her and meet in her house on a certain day. But our NK co-worker who was scheduled to go with us on the trip became sick, so we had to push the date back even further.

A few days before our rescheduled meeting, we asked GSK to meet us by the bus stop, but she became fed up and said that her legs hurt and that she could not walk to the bus station. Then, she wouldn’t answer her phone or respond to text messages.

We affirmed together with the students that whenever we try to deliver God’s word, the enemy tries to prevent it. We turned to God in prayer to touch GSK’s heart, since there was nothing else that we could do. We decided that we were going to go on the trip no matter what, even if we didn’t have anybody to meet.

[18-150-20136 (2022) Hanawon] [GSK with Bible [Sanitized]
GSK receives her Bible as we prepare to leave.

On the day of departure, after we had left, our students told us that they were able to get in contact with GSK. God touched her heart, and she agreed to meet us after all!

We set up at the campsite and, as we drove to pick up GSK at her house, she called our students and asked if she could bring her five-year-old granddaughter with her, and we happily obliged. As we drove back to the campsite, GSK connected immediately especially with one of our students, finding out that they are about the same age, lived in the same hometown in NK, and had mutual friends. When the student asked her about her faith, GSK said that she went to church for a few years but doesn’t attend anymore. However, she told us that she still believes in God. She said, “How could our people not believe in God?”

Then GSK received a phone call from her daughter asking where she was and where her granddaughter was. GSK simply told her that she was out somewhere and would be back soon. And as soon as we pulled out the Bible translation materials, GSK received another call from her daughter. GSK told her daughter she would be done in twenty minutes and then hung up.

We started explaining the background of the Bible to GSK when she got another phone call from her daughter again, so we had to let her leave.

We gave GSK an NK Bible, and she thanked us and said that she would study it well from now on. She said that whenever she has read the Bible in the past, she hasn’t understood it. We told her that this Bible was written in the NK dialect, so she would be able to understand it well.

On the way over to her house, as we were driving, GSK’s daughter called again, so GSK told her, “I’m riding on the bus now.” We do not know why, but GSK was keen not to tell her family where she was and what she was doing. In the car, our NK co-worker explained to GSK in more detail about why we came and why we wanted to meet. GSK said that now that she has met us, she knows why we want to meet and expressed that she wants to meet again. After this, our UU student prayed for her in the car.

As soon as we dropped off GSK and her granddaughter and closed the car doors, our NK co-worker said, “It’s a total war. Satan keeps saying, ‘Who’s gonna win?’” The students were thankful that God gave us the victory and seemed proud. They said, “We are God’s special forces.” Our NK co-worker also conjectured that, because this person was receptive, Satan tried so hard to stop us from meeting her. We all agreed that we have to meet her again—and meet continuously.

One student said, “It would have been great if I could have evangelized her…” But we told the students, “We have no regrets. We went as far as God allowed us to go.” And our NK co-worker said, “That’s right. No regrets!”

[18-150-20136 (2022) Hanawon] [GSK's Granddaughter in Car [Sanitized]
GSK’s granddaughter sits in the back seat as we all drive back to GSK’s house.

Prayer Requests for this project:

  • Pray for North Korean defectors in South Korea with abusive husbands: Not only in China, but in South Korea, too, North Korean defector women may find themselves in an unhealthy living situation with an abusive husband. Please pray for God’s word to heal traumatized children, for Christ’s peace to reign in their household, and for God to be acknowledged by all as the head of the household.


  • Praise – Laborers for the Harvest: Last quarter we asked you to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers for the harvest. This quarter, we have acquired a new staff member to help with vehicle maintenance and driving, as we travel often to reach the lost sheep in the countryside. Please give thanks to the Lord together with us for answering our prayers.


  1. Pastor Kent

    Says March 04, 2020 at pm 6:51

    Yes, I will join you in praying this for him as well.

  2. Hana Kim

    Says November 18, 2020 at pm 3:11

    God bless you on this mission!

  3. Miriam Berríos

    Says December 20, 2020 at am 9:21

    Praying for KVOM ministry! ?✝️?

  4. jim_scoales

    Says March 02, 2021 at pm 7:16

    Amen God will keep His own gift of faith through Grace alive in every elect child of His.

  5. Wanita

    Says March 29, 2022 at am 12:32

    I would like to receive email updates on the ministry to North Korea. Also, I’m wondering, does VOM teach English to North Korean defectors?

    • Pastor Tim

      Says April 05, 2022 at pm 1:24

      I signed you up for our email prayer partner update Wanita! The update is on all of our work, but we always share some important/verifiable NK news links and prayer requests. You should receive the first one later tonight (Korea time). We don’t teach English to NK defectors. Most of our teach is actually done NK defector to NK defector! God Bless ~ Pastor Tim.

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