Hospitable Love for Defectors

November 27 2017

Since 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 South Korea.

Although 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.

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.

Many 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.

For 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.

Resources are needed to prepare for the coming unification and the evangelization of North Koreans.

To give, click here.

By Rev. Yoonhoe Koo, Sarangnaru director

Tags: north korean defectors, ministry in south korea, compassion, share gospel, persecution, famine, cross borders,

​Thrown to the Wolves

July 9 2014

In just one week, Indiana was faced with the death of three police officers. All three died in the line of duty.

One officer, a sheriff deputy, died in a car crash while responding to a crime scene.

The second and third officers were shot—one in Gary, and one on the eastside of Indianapolis.

The latter officer was a 22-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. For more than two decades, he turned down promotions and chose to work in the most dangerous streets in the city. When asked why he chose these particular areas, he responded, “That’s where I’m needed.”

His patrol car, placed on display outside of his station after his death, was soon covered in flowers and letters of gratitude. His funeral will be held in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana’s NBA arena, and will be open to the public. While the way he died will be mourned, his life and service will also be celebrated.

It is certainly a dark time for the state of Indiana, but these three officers will always be remembered for their courage and faithful service.

Bill Owensby of the Fraternal Order of Police described the work of a police officer in this way: “Our job—our calling—is to go out there and run toward danger when everybody else runs away from it.”

As Christians, when we decide to live our lives for Jesus, we were choosing the same life of rejection and persecution that Jesus himself faced.

In John, we read that Jesus didn’t try to keep the trials and sufferings that we will face a secret. He said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

Later in 2 Timothy, Paul writes that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Just like the IMPD officer who chose to be in the middle of the most dangerous areas of Indianapolis, we have missionaries who have placed themselves in the darkest parts of the world. Many days, their lives could be on the line, yet they know that that is where they are needed. Not all of us have experience in the most hostile areas of the world, but each and every one of us will face trials for the life we have chosen. Let us rejoice in the promise in Revelation that when we are "faithful unto death," Jesus will give us the "crown of life."

Let us also put ourselves out there for the sake of the Gospel! When we use our lives to multiply the kingdom, God is pleased. How great it will be when we reach heaven and we hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master"! Not many of us will have funerals in an NBA arena, but that kind of earthly glory will not even compare to the glory that we will see when we reach heaven. Hallelujah!

By Christina Franks, Summer Communications Intern, One Mission Society

Tags: indiana, police deaths, shootings, persecution