In a small meeting of Chinese Back to Jerusalem missionaries last night, I was able to listen to the challenges, victories, and hardships of working inside of North Korea for the last year.
They also shared about a new North Korean law that has been implemented because of the impact of Chinese Christians in North Korea.
“It has been a challenge,” said Mr. Wong (not his real name). “China has really cracked down hard on what we can take inside North Korea and what we cannot. Many businesses have shut down. Many business men and women from China have left. I used to stand in long lines at immigration when I arrived in North Korea – but now I spend less than ten minutes before I can collect my bags.”
Mr. Wong and the team of Chinese with him all had their own stories of how North Korea is suffering. For more than two hours they gave me an update on their work inside.
“The jobs have vanished. With imports and exports restricted, it is impossible to survive. The Chinese use a list of goods restricted by the US government to dictate what can be taken in and what cannot. The people have no reason to leave their homes. Many of them are staying home and hoping for this to all go away,” said Mrs. Chan (not her real name). “The people are hungry. We want to give them jobs and partner with them, but it is impossible. We cannot hire who we want to. We can only hire who the government tells us to. The government is trying to save their own families so they give all the jobs that we offer to their friends.”
The Chinese have really been a source of salvation for the North Koreans. It is a major concern for the North Korean Government. “The North Koreans are enchanted with China. They think that China is super rich and many of them would like to have a chance to live in China. They ask us many questions about our freedoms and economic wealth in China. They like to talk about food and easy access to information. We of course take that opportunity to talk about Jesus. That has been extremely effective and many North Koreans have accepted Jesus because of this interaction.”
“It has gotten so bad,” Mr. Wong jumps in, “that there is now a new law in North Korea. North Koreans can no longer spend time alone with Chinese. Any time there is a conversation between someone from China and North Korea, there must be two North Korean’s present. Chinese are no longer able to have a conversation by themselves with someone from North Korea. The risk is getting too high.”
The new law that has been passed down from Pyongyang is that any time a North Korean talks with a Chinese citizen, they must be accompanied by one other person. It is now illegal to talk with Chinese alone.
As the meeting for North Korea and America take place next month, there are two things that are clear: First – North Korea is hurting under the new sanctions. They have not had it this bad before. Secondly – the sanctions have the people looking to China for help and the Chinese are sharing Jesus with them.
Both of these things are bad news for the North Korean government.
In order to keep power, Kim Jong Un has to act fast or his entire nation might turn to the only One who can give hope.
TO BE CONTINUED…
In a follow up report, we will share how Mr. Wong led a family to Christ in North Korea last week.