Voice Of The Martyrs - Korea


North Korean Ministries

North Korean Defectors Trained as Missionaries

Posted by Rev. Tim Dillmuth on with   Comments

Underground University is a two-year training program where North Korean defectors are trained to be missionaries to their own people.

We would like to introduce you to Miss K, a UU alumnus. God called Moses when he was in his forties, but he called Miss K when she was in her late seventies! Miss K, however, no longer sees age as an obstacle.

“Before I met God,” she told VOM Korea staff, “I suffered so much that I wanted to die.”

When Miss K first enrolled in our Underground Technology program (the preparatory class for UU), she was not Christian. In fact, she was more interested in the small stipend that our class offered. But God had other plans for her.

Miss K doesn’t know when God called her. She doesn’t know why he did. She doesn’t even know how he did. All she knows is that she is called to share Christ with all she meets.

"Until my breath is truly alive, my only purpose is to breathe the gospel,” she said.

And that’s what she does—wherever she goes.

Miss K prays over a disabled Chinese man on a VOMK mission to China.

Most North Korean defectors hesitate before travelling back into China. Despite the fact that they are now South Korean citizens, North Korean defectors know that China is a dangerous place. Even a South Korean passport can’t save a North Korean defector from being kidnapped and returned to North Korea. Whenever the time comes for a mission trip to China, North Korean defectors often become nervous—for good reason. Who knows if they will be able to return to South Korea?

As a UU alumnus, she could ease into retirement and enjoy the years with her family that were lost to suffering in North Korea.

But Miss K chooses to do ministry in China.

Recently, she traveled to China to visit her family. She was experiencing extreme pain and was expected to divide her time between family and recovery. However, Miss K decided to dedicate a bulk of her time to ministry. She not only evangelized her family, but developed a strategy by which to evangelize North Koreans living inside of North Korea.

A few members of Miss K’s close family do business with North Korea, so she has watched the process carefully. Normally, her family trades with a Chinese businessman and that businessman, in turn, trades with a North Korean businessman. Based on this process, Miss K decided that she needed to bring a Chinese businessman to Christ. The Chinese businessman, she figured, would then evangelize the North Korean businessman. So, she begged God to send her a Chinese businessman.

God sent her a North Korean businessman.

Miss K immediately cancelled her doctor’s appointment and invited the man to church. After church, she brought him to a restaurant and told him everything she knew about the gospel. The man was stunned.

“What school did you go to?” He asked. “Where did you learn these things?”

He believed that Miss K was a scholar.

Instead of answering, Miss K took his hands and prayed over him. She interceded for him and begged God to bless him. The North Korean businessman stared at her.

“This is the first time I have ever been blessed,” He said. “I have never heard of this God before.”

When North Koreans first hear the gospel, they are often skeptical and reluctant to believe. Growing up in North Korea, they learn that anything that sounds too good to be true must be a lie. Therefore, evangelizing a North Korean can be incredibly difficult. This businessman, however, seemed deeply touched by Miss K’s care and continued to ask questions about her God.

“How often should I pray?” He asked. “Should I pray once a month? Once every two weeks?”

“You should pray all the time,” Miss K insisted. She then pushed a bit further.

“Do you drink?” She asked.

The man reeked of alcohol and his clothes were unkempt. He admitted to drinking more than he would like, so Miss K encouraged him to stop drinking.

“Promise me that you won’t drink,” she said.

Surprisingly enough, the man promised.

Of course, a promise means very little and the man’s curiosity could simply be a cover for intelligence gathering. However, Miss K has continued to pray for him. Whether she evangelized a businessman or a spy, Miss K is content to have shared God’s word. She prays that God will move in this man’s heart so that he will reach out to his brothers and sisters in North Korea.

“I’m not doing anything,” she insisted. “God is the one who does everything. Even if I wanted to do this work, I wouldn’t know how to do it.”

For Miss K, “doing the word” is simply a part of life. You don’t reach out to a North Korean businessman because of mission; you do it simply because God has put him in your life.

UU wasn’t created to train North Koreans how to work at Voice of the Martyrs Korea; it was created to help North Korean defectors learn how to support the North Korean underground church wherever it might be found. Miss K is doing just that. Wherever God sends her, she is faithfully spreading the knowledge she has learned with others. However, Miss K does not consider this North Korean ministry; she considers it to be a basic part of the Christian life.


Tags: north korean defector, north korean missionary, voice of the martyrs korea