Underground Technology School

Underground Technology School

Underground Technology School

Underground Technology School

UT 학교

Many people pray that North Korea will be opened so that North Korean ministry can begin. But did you know that North Korean ministry has already begun? Every year, more than 1,000 North Koreans defect into South Korea. Some of these defectors bring with them a burning desire to know God. Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s Underground Technology (UT) school was created to help these defectors. UT staff work together with South Korean churches to disciple NK defectors in rudiments of the Christian faith. God is truly moving among our UT students, and we would like to share two of their stories with you.

One thing that draws North Korean defectors to Underground Technology is the strong community. Here you can see students from both our schools praying over a student's well-being

Mrs. P’s Untold Story

UT student Mrs. P’s husband had been a member of the State Security Department (SSP). However, in the late 2000’s, Mrs. P was caught selling products smuggled from South Korea, a crime that could mean the execution of her whole family. 

In order to delay the case, her husband fled to China, while other family members in government positions bribed those who oversaw the case in order to reduce the sentence. But God used all of these events to bring the gospel to her husband. While her husband was in China, looking for someone to rely on, he ended up at a church and put his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus. 

Mrs. P looks at the "Unknown Martyrs" plaque at the VOM Korea office and remembers her husband who died under the NK regime.

By the time her husband came back, the bribes had all been paid and the case had been closed. When he came back, he shared the gospel with his family, and started praying before meals.

“I thought he was crazy,” said Mrs. P. “If he only shared with me and my children, it would not have become a big problem. But he also shared with his friends about God and prayer. I think he shared with at least twenty other people.”

Mrs. P’s husband was putting the whole family in danger by sharing the gospel, especially in light of their recent run-in with the law. But Mrs. P believes that he surely knew the cost, since he was a member of the SSP. She also believes that many of his friends would have accepted what he shared with him due to his position. But, eventually, someone testified about his activities.

“I did not know how dangerous Christianity was until the moment it mattered to me personally,” said Mrs. P.

According to Mrs. P, there is a no-mercy law in NK that dictates that anyone who puts God over Kim Il-Sung and propagates such a message will immediately be sent to a concentration camp overnight, with no trial or opportunity for bribery. Mrs. P heard from some who had been to concentration camps that there is a unique concentration camp which only houses Christians. When they execute Christians, they put some artificial rocks inside of the Christians’ mouths. These special rocks expand when exposed to the blood and saliva in their mouth. In this way, the Christians cannot scream or make a sound as they are beaten to death.

Mrs. P’s husband was arrested at a prayer meeting and sent to a concentration camp for political prisoners. She never saw him again. She’s thoroughly convinced he died.

Mrs. P’s family hosts the VOMK team in their house.

Her uncle, who was also a government officer, arranged for her to be sent to a labor camp on charges related to her selling of South Korean products. That way, even though her husband was to be executed for his Christian activities, at least she could serve this lighter sentence, be released, and care for her family. Two years later, her uncle was fired for having saved her in this way. Some of the other family members suffered illnesses and even died due to stress related to this situation.

After serving her sentence, Mrs. P and her family escaped to China. On the road to defect to South Korea, Mrs. P was caught and imprisoned in a Chinese prison. There, she was able to witness Han Chinese Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. These Christians prayed for Mrs. P and the defectors and even sent them money through the prison guards after they had been released. Mrs. P began to wonder why they kept their faith even though they were persecuted for it. She also wondered about the God who was constantly intervening in her life.

After being released and defecting to South Korea, Mrs. P came to UT after being invited by another defector friend.

“I love UT because the teachers teach me the Bible,” said Mrs. P. “I see and hear things that I could not see in church. Also, I have never seen anyone like the UU/UT students before. The students truly become transformed so much so that they do not look like the people in NK. Also, the school administration is merciful, and the people have kind manners.”

Mrs. P has decided that she wants to follow in her husband’s footsteps and professes that she has a heart to follow Jesus like her husband. She hopes to attend a theological school and be equipped to do God’s work after she retires.

PLEASE PRAY WITH US FOR THE FOLLOWING REQUESTS

UNDERGROUND TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL

  • P and her Family in South Korea. The enemy often uses the demands of South Korean society and the trauma of the loss of their father to keep Mrs. P’s family from carrying on the legacy of faith they have received from their father. He was an underground Christian inside of North Korea. He likely died in an NK concentration camp. Mrs. P asks for prayer for her and her children to faithfully walk in the path which her husband walked.

 

  • Pray with Mr. Ko for the Salvation of Kim Jong Un – The NK students of our two training schools (UT/UU) have a great burden for their family, friends, and kinfolk who are still in NK – although they rarely pray for Kim Jong Un. UT student Mr. Ko believes it is important to pray for him. Please pray with NK defector Mr. Ko for the salvation of Kim Jong Un and for the family and friends of our UT students still in NK.

About Underground Technology School

Q1. What is Underground Technology (UT)?

Nearly 80 percent of those who leave North Korea are women. The majority of those have had some kind of traumatic encounter related to human trafficking or abuse. When they come to South Korea, few churches know how to relate, let alone help. Often in an effort to do good, churches and social programs regard these women simply as victims and recipients of services.  Voice of the Martyrs Korea takes a different approach. We see these women as amazing, creative, and powerful. How else could they have successfully escaped the most brutal and repressive regime on earth and then survived and triumphed over sex traffickers, abusers, and underground police, all while traveling three thousand miles across countries whose languages they do not speak, even while they had no money and were caring for children or parents or other refugees? Our goal is to help them grow in relationship to the God they met along the way—the God who has an even more exciting adventure for them in the future.

Underground Technology (UT) is our six month school where those adventures are born. It is a personal discipleship program where female and male North Korean Christian defectors are trained in five key areas to equip them for the next stage of their journey: 1) Academic success; 2) Life skills; 3) Character formation; 4) Relationship development; and 5) Spiritual foundation. Through field trips, internships, classroom education, volunteering and one-on-one coaching and counseling, they not only receive care for the hurts they have sustained; more than that, at UT they learn to care for others—especially those in their immediate sphere of influence, like their family members in South Korea and North Korea.

Q2. What do you teach at UT?

We use a variety of resources, but the Prasso materials are foundational to UT.  Prasso is the Greek word meaning “to practice” and it is designed to help ordinary Christians learn to practice the Bible in the everyday events of their lives.

In addition, instructors from all over the world who are among the most well-regarded in their fields of practice teach both in person and via videoconference. UT students learn what the “ordinary” Christian life is all about, and they get to see how that is practiced around the world.

All of our teaching materials are specifically adapted for North Koreans.  For example, North Korean people are used to criticizing one another and thinking negatively about each other’s talents.  This is how they were educated and required to behave in North Korea.  In UT, students learn how to change their sinful thoughts and habits into godly ones.  Students learn how to encourage one another and to regard each other with charitable judgment. They learn to pray for people other than themselves. This simple activity is an important corrective to North Korea’s “self-criticism” meetings.

Q3. Testimony From a Current UT Student

Ms. Han’s friend was shocked. She could hardly recognize Ms. Han. It wasn’t that Ms. Han had gotten her hair cut or lost weight. It wasn’t even that she hadn’t seen Ms. Han in a while. After all, the two met together every Sunday. The difference was that Ms. Han wore a genuine, confident smile on her face.

Like many North Koreans, Ms. Han had, understandably, wrestled with fear on a regular basis. She had also, understandably, tried to keep this fear to herself. Who cared enough about her to ease the burden of her fears? Who could possibly understand the struggles she faced? It wasn’t until Ms. Han attended UT that she was given an answer to her questions: not only does God care enough, but God understands her most harrowing experiences. After all, God was there with her.

Every week, VOMK staff members and volunteers travel to the UT student’s homes. This not only gives the students a chance to practice mirroring God by hosting the very people the student was raised to fear and hate (North Koreans are taught that the South Koreans and Americans hate them), but it also gives the students a chance to open up about the challenges they face.

“I feel blessed when you come to visit me,” one UT student told the staff that visited her. “I love to share what I have with everyone. One day, I hope I can share my house with the whole UT class!”

This particular student had been struggling with fear all her life. She assured us that she felt blessed to have made it to South Korea. Life in South Korea came equipped with its own toil and trouble, but life in North Korea was almost unbearable. There was no money and so her son had to steal and lie in order to survive. Every day, this student would fear for her son’s life. Even a knock at the door would tug at her nerves: anything could be a sign that her son had been found out and killed.

However, this student did not leave her fears behind when she left Nouth Korea. Her son still lives in North Korea and she spends every day fearing for his life. This student admitted to us that she feared she would never see her son again. By sharing this fear, this student handed it over to God.

Not only were our staff members able to pray for her, but her fellow students were able to pray for her as well. And when these students heard about her sorrow, they opened up about their own. Several students also had sons and daughters that still lived in North Korea. Several were afraid they would never be able to see their children again, either.

Yet after we prayed, the students did not gather together and cry. They smiled together and comforted one another. When fear is hidden, it becomes despair. However, when fear is shared, it becomes hope.

Q4. What kind of field trips do you do with the UT students?

We recently took UT students to the Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery.  This cemetery is a place where foreign missionaries’ compassion and love for Korea is kept alive.  This is particularly important for our North Korean students, because it was in the northern part of pre-war Korea that missionaries first found the greatest acceptance.  North Korea was a missionary launching pad for the gospel as it went across Korea and Northeast China.

When the UT students lived in North Korea, they heard these same missionaries were American imperialists who were very cruel and evil.  A field trip like this not only challenges their long-held assumptions, but also encourages them not to get too comfortable in South Korea, but instead be ready to serve God in everything they do

Q5. What kinds of volunteer activities do UT students do?

The UT students are regularly involved with everything from launching balloons to packing up North Korean Bibles for distribution.  Serving others is an extremely important part of the UT training, because from the moment defectors enter South Korea they are only taught to receive.  This “receiving” mentality stunts their Christian growth. A regular program of volunteering and serving is needed to help the students grow to fullness in Christ.

These ministry opportunities are normally denied to many NK defector men and women, but they are essential to helping them to understand about the God who takes the stone the builders have rejected and makes it the cornerstone—in this case, the cornerstone of new, God-centered leadership in the North Korean defector community and in North Korea itself.

Q6. How can I send a message of encouragement to UT students?

Teachers in North Korea teach schoolchildren to hate Westerners (and especially Americans), and they are taught that those in America and the West hate them and seek to do them harm. Thus, when UT students receive a card from you, they express wonderment at this barrier-breaking element of the Body of Christ. You can of course write in English, as our staff and volunteers happily provide a basic translation of the contents. We encourage you to mail cards to the Voice of the Martyrs, and we will hand-deliver them to UT students in Korea.

INSTRUCTIONS

Please include a picture of yourself – the UT students love to see who is praying for them!  Please include a Scripture verse for them.  These are easy for our volunteers to translate.

Please include a sentence or two of your own encouraging words.  If the contents of your card are too long, the translation will take too long for our volunteers.

VOM KOREA Office

Address: 15, Jeongneung-ro 17-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea
주소 : 대한민국 서울특별시 성북구 정릉로 17길 15
Phone: 02-2065-0703
Office hours:  Tue ~ Sat 09:00 – 17:00
Email: [email protected]

Q7. Can I set up a pen pal relationship with a UT student?

Sorry, but thanks for understanding. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us and to the students. That’s because students have family members still inside North Korea, and those family members are punished by the North Korean government for the students’ “sin” of defecting. That’s why we release no details about the students and why students are very protective of their privacy. A message of encouragement to all the students is the best pen pal note you can send!

VOM KOREA Office

Address: 15, Jeongneung-ro 17-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea
주소 : 대한민국 서울특별시 성북구 정릉로 17길 15
Phone: 02-2065-0703
Office hours:  Tue ~ Sat 09:00 – 17:00
Email: [email protected]

Q8. What happens after a student graduates from UT?

Graduates of the UT program are eligible to enroll in the Underground University program. UT students are an excellent source of candidates for Underground University.

1 Comment

  1. 탈북민, 북한 지하교회 방식대로 선교사를 훈련하는 학교 졸업!!! – Voice of the Martyrs Korea

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