I don't know what else to say. I guess we only have a vague idea at how blessed we are to be able to worship how and when we want, and not have to hide anything. And yet I wonder how much we could learn from people like this family about what it is like to truly trust in Jesus for our very life. Imagine the relationship people like them must have with Him!
Ten-year-old Hyun Joo was different. Very few North Korean children know about Jesus and God. But Hyun Joo believed in God and trusted Him.
Hyun Joo’s parents were Christians. Many North Korean Christians do not
talk about God with their children. If the children mention God outside the
home, government officials might punish the whole family. The government wants
the citizens to honor the country’s leaders, not God.
But Hyun Joo’s parents wanted her to know Jesus. They prayed that God would use her to change North Korea.
A Risky Trip
North Korea’s leaders do not allow just anybody to leave the country for visits. They do not want them to find out how much better life is in other places.
Hyun Joo’s family secretly left North Korea to attend a hidden Bible class in another country. It was a risky trip. But the police did not catch them.
After two weeks of Bible training, the family quietly returned home. As they left, Hyun Joo said to the Bible teacher, “Pray that I will not lose my joy until heaven.”
Hyun Joo continued to believe in God, and she worked hard at school. She was happy when she came home from school one day.
She told her mother, Hee Sook, that she had prayed “inside her heart” at
school. Hee Sook was pleased with Hyun Joo’s faith. She asked Hyun Joo’s aunt,
Mrs. Kim, to join her in praying for Hyun Joo.
The next day Mrs. Kim returned to Hyun Joo’s house for a visit. The house was empty, and the family had vanished.
A friend later told Mrs. Kim what had happened.
Hyun Joo’s teacher had asked her, “How did you get such a good grade on your
“By God’s grace,” Hyun Joo answered.
The teacher was angry. She dragged Hyun Joo out of the classroom. Then her family disappeared. The government no doubt took them away. No one has heard from them since.
Hyun Joo’s parents prayed that God would use her to
change North Korea. How can their prayers be answered if she is nowhere to be
Hyun Joo and her family might reappear somewhere later. But if
they do not, you can still be part of an answer to their prayer. Now that you
have learned Hyun Joo’s story, it can help you remember to pray for change in
The Bible says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful
and effective” (James 5:16). Pray that the leaders of North Korea will love good
and hate evil. Pray that God’s Word will continue to spread and that enemies
will be powerless to stop it. Ask God to comfort and take care of North Korean
I know I'll be thinking about this story today, and I wanted to share it with you.