December 7 2017
of us have never had to flee starvation and oppression in our homeland. Currently,
South Korea hosts about 30,000 defectors who have escaped North Korea in the
last 20 years or so since the famine of the 1990s. Most of them had never heard
of Christ while in North Korea, but during the process of passing through China
and other countries, many have now heard the Gospel. Some have become
Christians and even have been trained as pastors to reach out to their own
people, as well as to those around the world.
in English for a United Korea (AIE4UK) started with a vision to help pastors
and young people who came from North Korea to be able to communicate with the church
around the world. It also helps prepare people domestically and internationally
for unification, raises up workers who can fill the basic need for English
education, and helps Christians from North Korea share their testimonies and
the Gospel in English to bring spiritual awakening and revival to the Western,
From July 17 - 19, 2017, we held our fourth year of camp at Seoul Theological
University with the theme “A New Thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19). Susan Truitt, OMS
missionary and English professor at Seoul Theological University, directed the
camp, and a team of eight native English speakers sent out from OMS served as
year, 10 North Korean defectors participated in AIE4UK, so they were matched one
on one with the native English speakers from the United States. About half of
them were pastors serving in ministry in South Korea, and the other half were
young people preparing for their future. One activity they did together was
going to the Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery to learn about some of the
early missionaries who came to Korea over 100 years ago and be challenged by
their lives of obedience and service. In the evenings we heard the testimonies
of some of those who had come from North Korea. It was a tearful time to hear
of how God has been faithful through all of the terrible suffering they had
We believe that God has sent North Korean defectors to South Korea not only for
the unification of the Korean people but also so that through their living
testimonies of how God has guided and preserved their lives in the midst of
danger, they can be used as instruments to awaken Western, English-speaking
churches. We believe that if Christian North Korean defectors can share their
testimonies and the power of the Gospel in English without having to depend on
interpretation, God will use them in valuable ways.
For over 20 years, One Mission Society (OMS) in Korea has held Adventures in
English camps every summer with volunteer native English speakers. These
volunteers, devoted to God’s kingdom, raise their own money to participate.
Through AIE4UK, jointly sponsored by OMS Korea, the Prayer Network for North
Korea and the Nations (PN4N), and Sarangnaru, we hope that North Korean
defectors may be raised up in a wonderful way to serve as missionaries in cooperation
with OMS. The next AIE4UK is being planned for August 8-10, 2018.
Susan Truitt, OMS Korea field director
November 27 2017
the mid-1990s, more than 1 million North Koreans have died of starvation from
famine and economic collapse in North Korea. Because of this, many desperately
attempt to cross the border into South Korea every year. In fact, each year, more
than 1,000 people enter South Korea. As of March 2017, 8,848 men and 21,642
women (more than 70%) defectors live in South Korea. Many of these women were
trafficked in China, where they had children that they brought with them to
the number of North Korean defectors is only about .1 percent of the North
Korean population, each life is valued. We believe that interacting with those
from the north gives South Koreans a foretaste of what an integrated society after
unification will be like. We also see that when those who defect adjust
successfully to South Korean culture, they become indirect missionaries to
family and friends in the north.
Korean defectors now enjoy better economic stability and are enthusiastic about
education opportunities for their children to live a better life. But unfortunately,
the drop-out rate for North Korean defectors is 1.4 percent in elementary
school, 8.8 percent in middle school, and 14.4 percent in high school, over 10
times that of South Korean students! For most children and teens from North
Korea, the hardest part of the school is adjusting to using English.
North Korean defectors experience discrimination and inhospitality, so they are
tempted into crimes such as sex trafficking, and some even return to North
Korea. The reason the over 30,000 North Korean defectors are not adjusting well
to South Korean society and have degenerated into failures, lawbreakers, and
vulnerability is that they have not been embraced with love and acceptance.
this reason, Sarangnaru, a ministry partner of One
Mission Society, run a group
home and after-school classes, which show compassion and can be effective tools
to maintain continuing relationships with North Korean defectors for missions. The
ultimate goal of this ministry is to share Christ and build disciples for Christ.
are needed to prepare for the coming unification and the evangelization of
To give, click here.
By Rev. Yoonhoe Koo, Sarangnaru
November 7 2017
few years ago, mission researchers produced a map contrasting well-lit areas of
the world with dark ones. Based on the best data available at the time,
dots of light were imposed on an otherwise dark map of the world. Each
pinpoint of light represented a certain number of evangelical followers of
Jesus. The result was a compelling portrayal of the areas of the world
where there is relatively rich access to the Gospel in comparison to the areas
where access is critically low.
Korea has a heavier concentration of light than any other nation. In
contrast, North Korea is strikingly dark. Knowing the Lord of the harvest
does not desire for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9), what can we do to help more people
in, and from, North Korea have access to the light of Christ?
with many other partners, One Mission Society is deeply concerned for the
people of North Korea. Christ loves them and died so that they could have
life. Yet, so few of them have ever had the opportunity to hear and understand
the truth of Christ. By God’s grace and with his help, OMS is seeking ways
to make the Gospel available to North Koreans. May the walls keeping it
from them come down. And when they do, may God’s people be ready to
blanket this dark nation with light!
~Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society
Editor’s note: This is the first in a
six-part series on our outreach to North Koreans. Stay tuned for stories of
about changed lives and how God is piercing the darkness. If you’d like to
donate to this ministry effort, give here.