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.
Mr. H is Captivated by the Word and Released From Prison
As the John Ross Bible translation becomes our primary method of discipleship across all of our North Korean ministry projects, we have also been implementing it in our discipleship of North Korean defectors who are imprisoned in South Korea for various crimes.
Mr. H was one such prisoner. We were printing and sending chapters of the Bible to the prison for him to translate. He said,
When I first saw it, I was puzzled. Even though I was trying to look into it, it was not easy for me to understand. I almost gave up. But, on the next day when I tried to read it again, I realized that the words were not foreign to me. They were similar to what I used to hear in my hometown. So, I took time to read and compare it to the Bible that I have here. I enjoyed translating them. I have a habit of jotting things down when I memorize something. When I translated this and wrote it on a separate paper, the words came to life and were written on my heart, not in my head.
Recently, Mr. H has been freed from prison. In order to maintain a relationship with him, we invited him to sit in on a translation meeting with some of our UU and UT students.
During the discussion, one UU student shared about the story of the spirit-possessed slave girl in Acts 16:16-18. The students agreed that, according to the scripture, the girl really was spirit-possessed and what she said was accurate. But the students could not decide why Paul would get upset and cast out the demon if what the girl said was accurate. Mr. H shared his thoughts, saying, “A lot of us are not very full of the Holy Spirit. But Paul was full of the Holy Spirit, so he cast out the evil spirit because God said in the ten commandments not to worship any other god.”
During the meeting, the UU and UT students all prayed for Mr. H, that God would continue to lead him in his life, now that he is released from prison. Mr. H has a desire to pursue a seminary education. We are continuing to maintain a relationship with Mr. H.
Why do we do the Ross Bible translation with North Koreans, and even North Korean prisoners? One North Korean who has been doing the translation for several months answered this question.
There are people who asked us, ‘Why do you do this (translation)?’ We replied, ‘Why would we do this? Because it’s the word of God! Is there anything else?’…If we just read (a regular Bible), we look at it with our eyes, it goes into this door (in our head), and all of it falls out this other door (in our head), and there’s nothing left. But this Bible (is different) …”
Prayer Requests for this project:
- Pray for Mr. H, a North Korean defector who has been released from South Korean prison: North Korean and South Korean society are very different, and some North Koreans can end up in prison in South Korea for behavior that is passable in North Korea. Please pray for Mr. H, a North Korean defector whom VOMK has been discipling and who has recently been released from prison. Pray that God would continue to guide him about how to serve God with his life now that he has been released.
- Pray for North Korean defector churches in South Korea: Now, in South Korea, some North Korean defectors are organizing themselves into North-Korean style house groups and meeting for church. However, some South Korean churches and ministers are quite institutionalized and do not recognize such groups as being functional churches. Please pray for God to open the eyes of South Korean churches and ministers and treat North Korean defector churches equally as members of one body.