Rajin, North Korea: From the Times Newspaper of London in the January 30, 2005 edition, Michael Sheradin reports on the current strife between the United States, China, and North Korea.
The four-page article reminds the Christian not only of the end times, but also of Christ Jesus’ instruction unto his disciples, when he sent them out two-by-two to preach the gospel and perform miracles. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus directed his earthly-minded disciples unto heaven by informing them about what would be the results of their preaching. He told them, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” One product of their, and all, preaching, then, is that nations fight against each other, so as to focus their power on destroying the other, rather than the church.
In the article entitled “Chairman Kim’s dissolving kingdom”, Sherdin begins with the following:
Far across the frozen river two figures hurried from the North Korean shore, slip-sliding on the ice as they made a break for the Chinese riverbank to escape a regime that, by many accounts, is now entering its death throes.
It was a desperate risk to run in the stark glare of the winter sunshine. We had just seen a patrol of Chinese soldiers in fur-lined uniforms tramping along the snowy bank, their automatic rifles slung ready for action.
Police cars swept up and down the road every 10 or 15 minutes, on the look-out for refugees. A small group of Chinese travelers in our minibus, some of whom turned out to have good reasons to be discreet, pretended not to notice.
Telling us that the people’s ‘Dear Leader’, Kim Jong-il is losing control of his border, country, and corrupt secret police, Sheridan gets to the spiritual meat of his article on the second page. Unintentionally proving that all nations, tribes, and tongues shall hear the gospel before the Savior returns, Sheridan writes,
Word has spread like wildfire of the Christian underground that helps fugitives to reach South Korea. People who lived in silent fear now dare to speak about escape…
The regime has almost given up trying to stop them going, although it can savagely punish those caught and sent back. “Everybody knows there is a way out,” said a woman, who for obvious reasons cannot be identified, but who spoke in front of several witnesses.
“They know there is a Christian network to put them in contact with the underground, to break into embassies in Beijing or to get into Vietnam. They know, but you have to pay a lot of money to middlemen who have the Christian contacts.”
Yet North Koreans confirmed that they knew that escapers to China should look for buildings displaying a Christian cross and should ask among Korean speakers for people who knew the word of Jesus.
Seemingly squeezed without an earthly friend between the Chi-coms in the North and the South Korean/Americans in the South, the citizens of North Korea seek help, and receive it, from Christians and their churches. Although poverty, starvation, and Communist indoctrination are the rule of the day, not even this hot spot of warfare and death can quench the light of the gospel. It is strange to our human reasoning why the Christians would risk torture, dismemberment, and death to help just one member cross the border, but Scripture informs us otherwise in Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Out of love for Jesus, we love our neighbor as ourself.
Sadly, there is still tragedy, torture, and death in Kim’s realm, but hope springs eternal. Sheradin continues,
The regime is fighting to save itself from subversion. Its agents kidnapped Kim Dong-shik, a South Korean missionary, from the turbulent Chinese border town of Yanji in 2000. Last week the South Koreans demanded a new investigation: the clergyman has never been seen again.
The secret police cannot staunch the word of the gospel. Two of our party [on the minibus] turned out to be Christian businessmen who had come from China carrying wads of cash. Korean-language Bibles have been smuggled in by the hundreds…
Paranoia and brainwashing remain the regime’s most effective tools. Yet even as it tries to fight off God it has made its peace with Mammon… Only a casino is open.
Reread that phrase, “The secret police cannot staunch the word of the gospel.” There is hope in those words. There is happiness in that phrase, and there is thanksgiving to the King. What Jesus promised to his disciples about the sparrow and man, oh so long ago, He still fulfills. Using Christian businessmen hiding large amounts of cash or Bibles camouflaged in carts, Christ brings the peace that passes all understanding. Pray for the North Koreans.
The rising and falling of Kim’s nation, we leave to the newspaper reporter, radio commentator, and news camera. A Christian concerns himself with the spiritual nature of things and events. The history books will remember the result of Kim’s choices, but here on this page, we take note of the spiritual implications. Jesus is coming and we must be urgent in our use the day, ere night fall and…
The entire 1/30/2005 Times of London article is available at the following web address: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1462207_1,00.html.