I wanted to share with you a story from July 23, 2008 posted on www.futurekorea.co.kr translated from Korean in how God worked using the radio as an instrument to bring North Koreans to Christ.
One hundred and two people living in Nampho City, Pyong An Southern Province had become Christians by listening to Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC, AM1188Khz, 1566Khz). And on April, 2005 after enduring in their faith as Christians for two years, they were arrested. They were either secretly executed or sent to Yo-duk prime security prison labor camp.
This was the largest underground church arrest that was made where all the 102 believers were caught after one year of undercover investigation conducted by a political officer sent by the central government. It all started when Nampho City security officer overheard a college student who attended the naturally developed underground church talk about the bible.
All the 102 Christians were detained in Nampho security detention center and the guards were surprised to see their fearless faith. According to the guards on duty, at noon when the siren usually goes off to tell time, all the Christians stood up and recited the “Lord’s Prayer”. The guards at first beat them bloody with rifle butts but they could not stop them from praying.
Out of 102 people 40 people were secretly executed not for the real reason for believing in Jesus but for illegally watching South Korean videos. The rest of 62 people were sent to the Yodok 15 station political prison camp and no one knows of their whereabouts.
This fact was told first by defector who was a former North Korean security guard who had actually looked at the confidential file and also confirmed it with a Nampho security officer.
Then this incident demonstrates that the Christian Gospel can be shared by pure radio broadcast without a messenger. And it also points as an evidence that the Gospel message has a dynamite power to reach even the North Korean people who have been completely cut off from people around the world.
This incident originated from one man in his 50’s living in Nampho city during the year 2003. He is known only by his last name Kim and as he heard by chance the sermon from FEBC. The more he heard he became very curious for he had never heard the claims of Christ. And as he heard, gradually he faith in Christ increased.
So he started to listen to the radio broadcast and recorded the sermons he heard on paper for four months. It quickly amounted to 700 pages. He also managed to get his hands on a bible and compared notes for 5 months to understand most of the bible. He experienced unspeakable joy and deep spiritual understanding. In other words, he was able to experience the grace of Lord Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, he had the assurance of his salvation and shared the message with his wife and two sons in their 20’s. He also shared the bible stories that he knew with his close relatives, friends and family. In other words, he shared the gospel. However, even to the final moment, he did not mention that he shared the bible nor gospel of Jesus Christ.
But when asked, “Is there any truth like the truth that lights our path?” they all reply surprisingly that encountering this kind truth is for the first time. They sympathized with the truth not realizing that it was the Christian Gospel that they encountered. They had received the Christian Gospel without any reservation for they had thought it was another philosophy. Those who sympathized with the Gospel and were inspired began to share the gospel to others and within few months the number of Christians grew to fifty.
By this man the man confessed that what he was sharing was the bible and those who were immersed in God’s grace did not leave the faith in spite of the danger of public execution that propagating the bible will bring about. They were already experiencing a sharing faith community of early church in the book of Acts by helping and trusting each other.
And he boldly installed a listening facility to listen to FEBC’s radio broadcast together. This created a wave of ripple effect and underground Christians grew to more than 100 people. They did not have any evangelist or pastor but just one man with faith who led them to a genuine Christian faith community. This can be seen as an ideal church model that can restore the North Korean underground church where tradition has been broken.
Isaac & Peter