Underground University isn’t just a school that teaches North Korean defectors how to do North Korean ministry—it’s a school through which North Koreans actually do North Korean ministry. Rather than waiting for Reunification, UU students take steps toward reunification by ministering to their own people—North Koreans who have defected, been sex trafficked, or who have been sent out to work in order to make money for the NK regime in countries around the world.
A VERY CORONAVIRUS NORTH KOREAN CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Mrs. Seo shares her testimony with a socially-distanced audience at this year’s UU graduation.
This year’s UU graduation was a miracle.
At the end of every year, we hold a graduation event for students who have completed UU. It is a grand event where students invite their family and church members, volunteers come to cater, provide music, and the students are given an opportunity to take the stage, share what they have learned, and preach the gospel to their family members and friends.
But, this year, all three of our UU graduate hopefuls met with terrible illnesses. Sadly, among the three students, only Mrs. Seo was able to recover well enough to continue attending classes and graduate by the end of the year.
To make matters worse, due to the coronavirus, we were unable to hold a large celebration. In keeping with social distancing regulations, the graduate was only permitted to invite three guests, and we were unable to eat together at the event.
So, as it went, we held a small, socially-distanced Christmas miracle of a graduation with only one graduate.
Instead of three wise men or three shepherds, we had three North Korean women come to witness the miracle. One a church deacon. One a Buddhist. As for the other, Mrs. Seo described her as
The three came and were able to hear Mrs. Seo give her testimony in her cap and gown, and to hear the gospel preached by VOMK founders Rev. Drs. Eric and Dr. Hyun-Sook Foley. The three women all listened carefully.
In place of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the three North Korean women left bearing gifts of North Korean Bibles, MP3’s that play North Korean-style hymns, and calendars with prayer requests for persecuted Christians.
It was a very coronavirus North Korean christmas miracle.
Prayer Requests for this project
- Continue to pray for sick Underground University (UU) students and interns – UU is a missionary training school for North Koreans to reach their own people with the gospel. Many of our UU students are older and have many health problems due to their time in North Korea. Two of our sick UU students are recovering well. But the condition of one UU intern is getting worse. Please pray for God to intervene.
- Pray for the expansion of our domestic ministries – Throughout 2020, the Lord has been opening up new opportunities throughout South Korea for North Korean ministry. Our UU students have traveled all over Korea meeting other North Koreans in need of hearing the gospel. In 2021, we plan on starting a new UU/UT program outside of Seoul. Please pray for this new program and for the new North Koreans who will attend!
About Underground University
1. We train and deploy students for ministry to North Korea today.
We do “works of mercy field trips” each month where we practice sharing our bread, opening our homes, healing and comforting, visiting and remembering, and other disciplines with North Korean defectors and South Korean outcasts. Students are required to minister to NKs internationally before they graduate. That puts them in a very small category of experienced NK ministers!
2. There is an emphasis on hearing and doing the word.
This is not only a field ministry training program. There are homework assignments and quizzes for every class session. Students memorize large amounts of scripture weekly, in keeping with the tradition of the North Korean underground church. Each of our tracks, like Persecution Theology (using In The Shadow Of The Cross), is serious study. We hold ourselves and our students to a seminary standard in theology while offering and requiring more practical theological participation than many South Korean seminaries.
3. Rooted in mentoring.
1 Timothy 3:1-5 shows that the key to effective missionary service is learning to be an effective minister in one’s own family. That can only be learned life-on-life, and that has made UU a one day classroom experience supplemented by a six day supervised life experience—one that continues well beyond their graduation.
Alumni mentor existing students by acting as examples, coaches, and understanding elder brothers and sisters. This is proving to be a crucial missing piece in both enabling more thorough instruction and also creating greater connection with our alumni.