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.
2019 UU Graduates
VOMK UU 학교 사역소식 - II
One of our UU students, Mr. Nam, has had some experiences with Christianity in North Korea. He shared about this with us.
Mr. Nam said that his grandfather often spent time sitting still and talking to himself. He used to think that his grandmother and grandfather were very strange, since they always respected each other and never fought, unlike other couples.
Mr. Nam attending UU class
Mr. Nam heard a story about his grandfather: As the U.N. forces pushed into North Korea, his grandfather saw two Korean Communists who had been taken captive. He went to the U.N. soldiers and said, “I am a pastor, these men are innocent. Let them go.” The soldiers listened to his request. Later, when the Communist forces pushed back, Mr. Nam’s grandfather was taken captive by the Communists. The same men whom he had saved earlier noticed him, realized that he was the man who had shown them mercy, and let him go.
Another time, Mr. Nam’s grandmother told him that, one day, Jesus will come back and will separate the good people from the evil people, so he should do good things.
Yet another time, Mr. Nam heard that many Bibles had been discovered in a cave. They had been stashed there by Christians who were fleeing persecution.
VOMK UU 학교 사역소식 - II
A meeting with Mr. Lee
There are some parts of North Korean ministry that can only be done by older North Korean ladies, like our UU student, Mama Jeon.
Being quite the intellectual woman, it has taken Mama Jeon quite a while to come to faith, even during her time as a UT student. But, especially as God has heard the prayers of many on behalf of some of our most terminal students, seeing them recover, Mama Jeon’s faith has become quite firm. Mama Jeon was a doctor; she knows such things are only possible by the grace of God.
In her firm faith, Mama Jeon went on a visitation with a VOMK staff member and a South Korean missionary to the house of a North Korean man, Mr. Lee. This man was a man whom she had met and discipled on a mission trip. This man is not often open to meeting other North Koreans, but he is open to a visit from Mama Jeon.
On the visit, Mama Jeon spoke in a harsh, but loving tone, like North Korean mothers do to their sons. She barraged him with the word of God and with testimonies of how she has seen God’s grace and faithfulness around her. Of course, she also took time to attend to his arrogance and poor attitude, as mothers do. And he listened.
Later, the SK missionary commented to the VOMK staff member, “If you or I would have talked with him about his weaknesses in that frank manner, we would have become his enemies.”
Prayer Requests for this project
VOMK UU 학교 사역소식 - II
- Pray for sick UU students – A few of our North Korean Underground University (missionary training school) students are extremely sick. One of our students just had a liver transplant and another is suffering from ovarian cancer. Please pray for their healing, the comfort of their families, and for God to accomplish his will through these sicknesses.
- Pray for UU mission trips – Please pray for God to lead VOMK staff and North Korean Underground University students on where to go and who to meet for our UU mission trips this year. Due to the Coronavirus travel restrictions, we are considering options that we normally would not have thought of and are being led by God to meet and disciple new people.
UU student praying for each other while on a retreat
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.