At Back to Jerusalem, this is a question that we are always asking ourselves and continually search for new ways and methods to answer. We have been secretly delivering Bibles into North Korea for almost twenty years and, for the first time ever, we share the 5 things it takes to get a Bible into the hands of a North Korean.
For starters, before this question is answered, it is important to know that North Koreans desperately want the Good News of Jesus Christ. One hundred years ago, North Korea had so many Christians that they were known as the “Jerusalem of the East.” In our book, Crimson Crucible, we uncover the secret history of North Korea that no one in North Korea is allowed to share. We share the secrets of how North Korea had more Bible schools and universities than any other place in Asia, how missionaries handing out tracts were a common sight on every major corner, how Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell, went to school in its capital, Pyongyang, and how North Korea’s founder and the President’s grandfather was a member of the underground house church and his great grandfather a Christian preacher!
Over the years, we have learned the FIVE ingredients necessary to smuggling Bibles into North Korea.
In China, an entire generation of followers believe that God has called them to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into unreached nations like North Korea and they aggressively cling to the Scripture that shares the final command of Jesus, “All authority on Heaven and Earth has been given to me. God therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptiszing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 18-20
There has to be a hunger for God’s Word that surpasses all understanding and is ready to sacrifice everything in service to it.
North Korea has a hunger like no other nation on earth! Although the Communist Party of North Korea, desiring to enforce atheism, picked up weapons to kill as many Christians as they could through execution and re-education camps, they were unable to completely destroy or stop the hunger for the Truth. Today, we are connected with secret believers inside North Korea who have survived and are willing to give their life to obtain the Truth of God’s Word.
North Korea is a dark and hopeless land where the people are dying to learn more about the God of Love, Hope, and Joy and we look for every method, both legal and illegal, to get it to them.
THIRD: THE BODY
Smuggling Bibles into North Korea is not a lone effort. God uses every part of His Body to complete the Great Commission. It takes a specialized team of believers and, over the years, God has brought the most unlikely individuals from around the world to accomplish the task.
In order to secretly smuggle Bibles into North Korea, we have worked with people ranging from former and current military intelligence officers, believers who work in agencies like the CIA, FBI, and KGB, former Mexican drug smugglers, and even Amish famers. Several years ago, we also launched a small community known as the BTJ Hackers.
Our own experience of printing and distributing more than 15 million Bibles, books, and children’s materials inside China has also helped tremendously.
When God brings His Body of believers together from different cultures, disciplines, and nationalities to dream, strategize and plan, there is nothing that they cannot do.
This is where the ‘rubber meets the road.’ What is faith without works and what is a plan if it is never carried out? Back to Jerusalem missionaries believe that inspirational ideas from God are precious gifts and must not die in the desert of good intentions.
Over the years, we have seen God provide supernatural inspiration and watched those amazing ideas transform into reality. We have witnessed:
- Underground Bible printers producing Bibles that looked like government propaganda books
- Food shipments with Scriptures hidden inside
- Blankets with Scriptures hidden in them
- Music Players used as Audio Bibles
- Data cards with Biblical teachings loaded on them
- Cross-border vehicles with secret compartments filled with Bibles
- Bibles shaped, formed and decorated to look like another common import product
- Micro-Bibles, the size of small pill, fitting into the smallest areas
Some of the crazy stories and methods that we used to execute the Bible smuggling effort are found in our book CRIMSON CRUCIBLE.
Every single step of smuggling Bibles into North Korea has to be diligently and obsessively covered in prayer. In military terms, prayer is like the ground troops communicating with headquarters to call for fire in order to prep an area prior to invasion.
For invasion units, communication with headquarters, or ‘command central’, is absolutely critical. It is the difference between success and failure. Prior to and during an invasion, units on the ground need to have the ability to communicate movements, activity, and above all call for ‘fire support’ from air, land, and sea.
As a former scout sniper in the Marine Corps, I knew that my most deadly weapon was not my sniper rifle – it was my radio.
Christians need to have communication with ‘command central’ when invading the enemy’s territory. When Back to Jerusalem missionaries pray, it is like communicating with the commanding officer at headquarters for updates, intel, and direction.
When believers from around the world pray for North Korea, it is like calling for fire and bombing the enemies territory, softening up the target area before an invasion.
When BTJ supporters like you pray over the missionaries and the precious Bibles they are carrying into the country, it is like providing heavenly support with an A-10 airplane, cannons from a nearby naval vessel, artillery, or even mortar rounds from front lines.
Please continue prayer for North Korea and those who have a hunger for God’s Word. Your prayers for these projects are absolutely essential for their success.