TVOM Radio Broadcasts
Miss Park shares her story of listening to Christian radio broadcasts with Dr. Foley.
There is Truth in this Radio Broadcast
These were the words of one fisherman after listening to a Christian radio broadcast in NK. He had never heard of Christ before. He didn’t know theology. The only way he could classify this newfound information was to say, “there is truth.”
Between the hours of 12am – 2am, he would turn on the short-wave radio and listen with his daughter, Miss Park. If they were caught, they would surely be sent to prison, so they would only listen using cheap Chinese earphones. One earbud would go in his ear and the other earbud would go in his daughter’s ear.
Miss Park records a sermon written by an early Korean Christian.
Although the message of Christianity was completely forbidden, it captivated this NK fisherman. Miss Park on the other hand wasn’t interested in the Christian broadcasts at all. She was half-heartedly devoted to Juche ideology, but really only for her own success and development. In other words, she wouldn’t risk her life for it. But when her father said “there is truth” after listening to the gospel radio broadcast, it hinted to a deeper, more foundational truth than she had known before.
Because her father had listened to the radio so much, he already understood that the average South Korean was living better than his family was in North Korea. So, when Miss Park’s best friend said that she could help her get to South Korea, her father agreed to let her go through an arrangement with a broker at a nearby train station. He thought that if Miss Park could go first, he and his wife might be able to follow later. Miss Park readily agreed since she saw no future for herself in North Korea. At that time there were no jobs, no working factories and basic living necessities were lacking.
One day, soon after that, with very little warning, she was given a message to meet a woman wearing red at 6am the next day at the local train station. Although her parents were very supportive, they got anxious at the last minute and sent her brother to the train station to convince her to come back.
But Miss Park would not change her mind and committed herself to look for the woman in red. She was able to spot the woman from a great distance away and began to follow her through the rear gate of the station entrance.
At the moment the train was about to leave, she and the woman in red hopped onto the train. If she had hesitated for even one minute she would have missed the train. Other than telling her what to say if they were caught, the woman in red didn’t speak a word to Miss Park. They spent the whole day like this . . . walking, transferring trains, but not speaking to each other. In North Korea, it is not possible for an average person to travel like this, but the woman in red had already prepared a travel permit for Miss Park that allowed her to get through all the checkpoints.
The broker had arranged things so well that when they got to the border they were able to hide in houses provided by the broker and then crossed safely even though the guards were still watching. Although it wasn’t easy, she was able to then pass through China, Cambodia and then to Bangkok before coming to South Korea.
Miss Park remembers her father who listened to Christian broadcasts in NK.
The Same Gospel
While at the NK Newcomers Facility in South Korea, Miss Park heard the same gospel message that she had heard in North Korea on the short-wave radio. And again after leaving the NK Newcomers facility and getting an apartment provided by the South Korean government, she heard the gospel again. This time some South Korean Christians had pitched a tent in her nieghborhood and handed out cold drinks and shared the gospel with her. Miss Park was so touched by the Holy Spirit, that she prayed with those people and started attending church right away. She has continued to attend this church for the past ten years and even met her boyfriend (and now husband) at the church.
Now Miss Park understands what her father meant when he said, “there is truth.” Although she wasn’t interested in the gospel while she was in North Korea, the “gospel seed” was planted in her heart when she and her father listened to the radio with those cheap Chinese headphones.
Because of her experience, Miss Park felt compelled to share the gospel through VOM Korea’s TVOM radio program. She said that while some ministries are saving “ministry money” for when reunification happens, VOMK is preaching the gospel right now through TVOM radio. She said that many people listen to short-wave radio in North Korea despite the fact that it is extremely dangerous.
Off and on (over the past few years), Miss Park has recorded the North Korean Bible and hosted/announced during our regular radio broadcasts. Her hope is that these gospel broadcasts can be continually sent to North Korea with a clear signal and that North Koreans would listen and hear the same truth that her and her father heard.
Please Join with us in Prayer for the Following Requests:
아래 기도 제목으로 함께 기도해주세요.
- Pray for our TVOM radio announcer Miss Park. Like many North Korean defectors, Miss Park finds it difficult to follow the Lord in a “free” society like South Korea. The general busyness of life pulls her attention away from the Lord and she deals with temptations that are somehow different than what she experienced in North Korea.
- Pray for each and every daily radio broadcast. TVOM radio gospel content is currently sent to NK 5 times a day (4 short-wave and 1 medium-wave broadcast). There are many obstacles to North Koreans listening, including attempts to block the signals and the threat of arrest for those who listen. Despite this, there are approximately 2 million North Koreans who listen to these radio broadcasts.
자주 묻는 질문
What's new in NK radio ministry?
We’ve recently been updating the way in which we broadcast into NK. We learned that TV news broadcasting in NK has more of the sound of our old style broadcast but radio broadcasting in NK is using warmer personal voices these days. Our broadcast is pioneering the use of a combined NK/SK announcing corps, with NKs and SKs interacting about the Bible and the Christian faith in friendly voices. It’s very revolutionary and we think it will attract a wider range of listeners. We are also excited to be broadcasting between program segments the new NK hymns that were recorded as part of last year’s Hymnal Project. These songs were recorded in the traditional NK style and sung by former members of art performance teams in North Korea. We expect that their traditional voices will touch North Koreans’ hearts through the North Korean classical style hymns.
Listen to Amazing Grace in North Korean!
Listen to As The Deerin North Korean!
Listen to God Is So Good in North Korean!
What do we broadcast into North Korea?
Our radio broadcasts are produced by our North Korean Underground University students. In the broadcasts the students share Scripture—both in its pure form and in the North Korean-style dramas which hold such interest for our audience. They read from books on Christian persecution to help underground believers there understand why they face the challenges they do and how to bear up under them.
There are also discipleship training segments, songs (often rewritten versions of North Korean “hymns” originally designed to praise Kim Il Sung), and—for the first time this year—“live” segments where our announcers reflect on their own experiences and explain what are often the very new and foreign words and concepts of Scripture.
How many North Koreans listen to the broadcast?
There are an estimated 2 million North Koreans who tune into their illegal radios each evening.
Does the North Korean government try to block our broadcasts?
Our broadcast is the regular target of ultimately unsuccessful blocking attempts of the North Korean government. The blocking attempts are the best indicators we have of how threatening the NK regime considers our broadcast to be. One of the ways that we overcome the blocking is through our active team of engineers who do whatever it takes on a nightly basis to enable the broadcast to be heard.
It is likely that our broadcast is threatening to NK not only because it is Christian but also because it is voiced by North Koreans. Many broadcasts use South Korean voices. Not only does this make the broadcast harder for North Koreans to understand, but the regime likely considers South Korean voices of evangelism to be less threatening than North Korean voices of evangelism.
Do you have any testimonies of North Koreans listening to the radio?
JKS, a North Korean defector, shared her experience of listening to the radio while she was in North Korea, she came to South Korea in 2006. She said that she listened to the radio for 3 months with her friends just before she left the North. She said that it was quite easy to receive the gospel radio programs and other radio programs from South Korea because she lived in a border area. Here is the story of JKS’ experience of listening to the radio in North Korea:
One night, we closed the door and listened to the radio under the blanket. At the moment that I listened to the radio from South Korea, it was not only amazing but also tears pricked my eyes because of our nation’s state of division.From that point on, I kept listening to radio broadcasts from South Korea with my father. We realized that Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un and their followers are untruthful. I sometimes got furious with them.Later, after I arrived in South Korea, when I talked with my home folks, there were some people who also listened to South Korean radio broadcasts in North Korea. They said that they covered themselves with blankets and agreed that the best time for listening to the radio was from 10 pm to 2:30 am.