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.


After Mrs. Ha left North Korea, one of our partners met her in China and preached the gospel to her. She accepted the Lord and began to attend church.


At times, the police would come and raid the church where Mrs. Ha attended. One time she prayed saying, “God, I don’t want to be dragged away by the police. Please save me!” One person who had been caught by the police told her to run away, and she was able to escape. She considered this a miracle.

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VOMK’s visitation team met Mrs. Ha at a café.

When she was in China, Mrs. Ha would walk for over an hour in the darkness of dawn, with snow up to her knees, to pray at dawn, and she was fiercely devoted to God, doing everything she did unto the Lord. People around her called her a “living martyr” because she took care of many Christian brothers and sisters and did difficult jobs of service for them such as washing quilts, laundry, and kitchen work. She was zealous in prayer, worship, and the Word.


However, when Mrs. Ha came to South Korea, she ended up unknowingly joining a cult church. After she had donated all the money she had to the church, the pastor told her to take out loans on faith and donate the money from the loans to the church.


Deep in debt, Mrs. Ha finally realized something was wrong and decided to leave the church. The emotional and financial damage she suffered in the process left a deep scar on her heart. Some people tried to invite her to a healthy church, but the closed door of her heart was hard to open. Although many years passed, Mrs. Ha said, “I never stopped believing in God and I kept reading my Bible at home.”


Mrs. Ha was very hesitant to meet with VOMK’s team at first. But, at the insistence of our partner, the door of her heart opened just a crack, and she decided to meet us.


When we gave her a VOMK newsletter, she was reminded of her time in China and how people used to call her a “living martyr”. She took this as a sign from God and, despite being busy with work, made time to continue to meet with us and to visit our office. Earlier this year, we planned a Lunar New Year event for NKs in the area who might otherwise spend the holiday alone, we gave Mrs. Ha the opportunity to be in charge of the games for the event. She agreed and worked hard to prepare.


On the day of event, Pastor Foley and Dr. Foley preached a sermon to the North Korean defector attendees about whether it is okay for a Christian to go to a fortune teller or not (a topic that is very relevant to North Korean defectors). Mrs. Ha and some of the other defectors shared about how they used to believe in fortune telling and seek advice from shamans whenever they found themselves in a hitch, but they learned through the Ten Commandments that worshiping any god other than God is idolatry. In fact, our partner shared that, during a hard time in her life, she visited a fortune teller, and the fortune teller told her to go to church!

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The Lunar New Year event for lonely NKs at the VOMK office

One of the NK women who attended the event works as a female escort. She said that she was originally going to go to a bar on the day of the event but, when she got the invitation to come, she decided to come instead of going to the bar. She was reminded during the event that she is a daughter of God.


Perhaps one of the highlights of the event was when UU graduate Mrs. Lee encouraged all of the other younger NK defectors saying that God has sent them to South Korea for a clear reason, and that is to pray, to spread the gospel, believe in God and to rely on Him.


Through the event, Mrs. Ha was able to re-experience the faith that she had once held when she was in China. Although it would be great for Mrs. Ha to become a UU student, she is still raising a middle-school-age daughter and her work schedule would conflict with many of the activities required for being a UU student. We are continuing to consider and talk with her about ways she may still be able to participate through the NK Newcomers project.

Prayer Requests for this project:

  • Pray for outreach to new NKs through the John Ross Bible Musical program: VOMK performs its proprietary “John Ross Bible Musical” as a way of reaching out to new NKs in South Korea as well as teaching South Koreans about the importance of North Korea in the history of the Bible in South Korea. Pray that we can reach out to new NKs through this program.
  • Pray for NK defectors participating in Bible translation through the NK Newcomers project: There are some NK defectors who want to participate in Bible translation, but are unable to meet the qualifications for being a full-time UU/UT student. Please pray for them and for us as we try to help them find a way to participate.


  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.

  6. Joe Sanders

    Says May 11, 2022 at am 5:22

    I’m praying for GSK and other ‘special forces’

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