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.
[Names may have been changed for security purposes]
Students translate the Bible together with Mrs. Y
UPDATES FROM JEJU ISLAND MISSION TRIPS
Recently, during a visitation to a North Korean defector’s house on a Jeju Island mission trip led by UU students, a UT student who had also come was able to minister alongside the UU students. The North Korean defector whose house they were visiting, Mrs. Y, told the students that she is searching for the religion she wants to believe in and said that she believes in destiny and that Buddhism is more attractive. The UT student told Mrs. Y, “Before I believed in Jesus, I was also a fanatic of Buddhism. I read God’s Word for the first time while translating the John Ross Bible when I came to UT School. The word of God came into my heart, and I recited Bible verses. The word was engraved in me without me realizing it. The gospel came into my heart, saved me, and I received eternal life.” Mrs. Y decided to translate Acts 4 together with the students. They declared to her that Jesus is the only savior, and she said, “Amen.”
The students translated Acts 4 again in a meeting with North Korean defectors Mrs. K and Mrs. H on the same mission trip.
After translating, Mrs. K said, “I think I am finding Jesus in the Bible and he enlightens me in his words. The Ross Bible translation was new to me because I couldn’t learn about it in seminary. Through the Ross Bible translation, I could see the Bible more deeply. I want to translate with my church member Mrs. J and learn the word so that I can see it more deeply.”
Mrs. H said, “Jesus is the chief cornerstone. I realized how guilty I am. The Creator who created this world saved me with the cornerstone that the builders rejected.”
Students translate the Bible together with Mr. K
During the translation meeting, UU intern Mrs. S shared, “I was impressed to see the disciples who were uneducated and full of the Holy Spirit proclaiming their words in front of many people. The disciples were people who had no education and could not speak well, but they received the Holy Spirit and courageously delivered Jesus Christ. Because of the Holy Spirit, many people believed in Jesus through the power of the word of God. I thought again about the fulness of the Holy Spirit.”
On another mission trip to Jeju Island, our students met a North Korean defector, Mr. K. Mr. K said, “My son was taken to a concentration camp when he was in his late teens due to his involvement in underground church activities.” Mr. K had already come to South Korea around that time, so, before his son was caught, he tried to bring his son to South Korea as well through a broker. While he was trying to bring his son through the broker, his son was captured by state security police early in the morning. It has been sixteen years since the incident. He said, “I don’t know if my son is currently alive or dead.” Mr. K has been campaigning for human rights for the sake of his son. He said, “When I meet my son after reunification, I want him to know that I was doing something for him.”
However, Mr. K finds it difficult to believe in Christ as a result of his son’s imprisonment. He lamented, “Jesus died on the cross and saved everyone, but why is my son still locked in prison?” Our students were heartbroken and prayed for him and his son.
The students translated chapter Acts 13 together with Mr. K. Afterward, Mrs. S shared, “I will live in the way of the first Christians who delivered the gospel. Just like Paul, whenever I meet people, regardless of the threats, I want to preach the gospel with faith and boldness.”
Students translate the Bible on a Mobile Chosun trip.
Prayer Requests for this project
- Pray for new UU students– New UU students are experiencing attacks on their health as God calls them to proclaim the word. Please pray for them to be faithful despite spiritual opposition.
- Pray for Mr. K’s son – K’s son has been in a concentration camp in North Korea for sixteen years for engaging in underground church activity. Please pray for him to keep the faith and witness to Christ in the camp.
- Pray for UU Student Mrs. J – J is having severe kidney problems that are preventing her from participating fully as a UU student. But she does not want to give up. Pray for God to continue to encourage her and lead her through His word.
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.