North Korea experienced its most serious drought for a century in 2015. People have been forced to eat grass or catch rats or snakes just to survive. But North Korean believers choose to share the little they have to look after each other.
One told us: “Our Christian leaders have been trying their best to take care of our believers including the old, the sick and the orphans, who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. It may be such a burden for them to take care of other neighbours in need in this difficult economic situation. We need to work twice as hard as others and really sacrifice by dividing our living resources. However, no one complains about sharing their food.”
The search for food drives many North Koreans to make the dangerous journey across the border into China. Leaving North Korea is illegal, so they must get past barbed wire, electric fences, armed border guards, and even the Tumen River which marks part of the border. In winter they risk freezing to death in its icy waters, while in summer the currents could wash them away.
But once they arrive in China, Open Doors co-workers have the chance to meet with these refugees, to care for them and share the gospel with them. One of our co-workers is a man in his 60s who grew up roaming the mountains close to the North Korean border and knows them well. He uses his special knowledge of the area to find North Korean refugees who are hiding there.
He recently told us: “Six months ago I met a North Korean man. I was able to share the gospel with him and he came to faith.” The man returned to North Korea, but has come back to China to meet with our co-worker again. “He now leads an underground church of 16 believers. I was able to give food for all of them.”
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.