Jesus promises us he will never leave us nor forsake us, even unto the end of the age. Yet, even here in America we sometimes feel abandoned by our Savior. On our worst day, we are better off than many of our persecuted brethren around the world.
We know North Korea as the worst persecuting nation of Christians. Here is what one of our secret underground contacts tells us about their prayer meetings. “If you could attend one of those rare prayer meetings, your hearts would break,” he says. “We cover the portraits of the leaders on the wall and then we kneel in a circle. We pray for strength and endurance. We pray that God will keep our country. ‘Father,’ we say, ‘The Israelites sinned, and you made them wander in the wilderness for forty years. But for us, Lord, after more than fifty years we are still being punished. However, we have sinned and You are just. We bowed before the idols of Kim Il-sung and before that to the idols of the Japanese. Forgive us. Please, Father, restore the churches of past times in North Korea.’”
Feeling that sense of guilt in the North Korean believers is painful. It makes you cry out with them the words of David, “How long, oh Lord? Will you forget me forever?” It’s a heartfelt cry, but is it the truth? Has God forgotten His children in North Korea? For that answer, we have to investigate the spiritual life of North Korean Christians.
The Open Doors contact adds, “If you do that, you’ll find North Korean Christians are very mature. They know how to approach unbelievers and how to train new Christians, including their children once they are old enough. Christians don’t mind being tested. In fact, they are determined to sacrifice themselves for the Kingdom of God. They see trials as purifying.”
North Korean Christians know that when they pray earnestly, God will answer. The contact continues, “Whenever we do a project with Open Doors, first we fast for seven, sometimes ten days. Only when God tells us separately that we can continue with the project do we give the green light and carry out the project. Sometimes we have a very vivid dream in which God tells us what to do and sometimes we all just feel the same about the project. Our believers are bolder and stronger than before, even though the persecution is also stronger.”
Let us in America remember daily to pray for our brethren in North Korea and around the world. Jesus will never forsake them, and neither should we!
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.