Pray for Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim’s health as he was ‘released on sick bail’ with a heart condition he has been suffering for over a year.
Photo from 2016 during the Exclusive Interview with CNN
(CNN) – A Canadian pastor imprisoned in North Korea has been freed after two and a half years in detention. Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, North Korea’s longest-held western prisoner in decades, was “released on sick bail” Wednesday by the country’s top court for “humanitarian” reasons, state-run news agency KCNA said. Lim's son, James Lim, received word over the weekend that a plane carrying senior Canadian officials, a medical doctor, and a letter to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un was dispatched to Pyongyang "at the last minute," according to family spokeswoman Lisa Pak. The plane landed in the North Korean capital Monday.
Rev. Lim was serving a life sentence of hard labor after being convicted of crimes against the state in December 2015. The 62-year-old's health has deteriorated while in North Korean custody and the pastor has experienced "dramatic" weight loss, Pak said.
His family has not been allowed to see him during his imprisonment, but have been able to send him letters and blood pressure medication via the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which often serves as an intermediary for prisoners from nations with no formal diplomatic ties to North Korea. "We are relieved to hear that Reverend Lim is on his way home to finally reunite with his family and meet his granddaughter for the first time," Pak said in statement to CNN. "There is a long way to go in terms of Reverend Lim's healing. Therefore, in the meantime we ask the media for privacy as he reconnects with his loved ones and receives medical attention." The family expressed gratitude to the Canadian, North Korean and Swedish governments. "We want to thank the global community for the continued prayers and support and we also ask that the world does not forget the people of North Korea," the statement read. (CNN)
Concerns about those detained in North Korea, including Pastor Lim, have been growing since the death of Otto Warmbier, who died in returning to his comatose state last June. Continuous prayer is needed for Rev. Lim’s health for recovery and healing from 31 months of labor camp in North Korea. Please pray also for others who are still held captive because of sharing the Gospel of Jesus.
Gracious loving God, we claim your promises in your Word from Malachi 4:2, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” We pray that Rev. Lim will be healed in Jesus’ Name especially from his heart condition that he had been suffering for the last one year. As he heads back to his family and congregation members at the Great Light Church in Toronto, may he recover ASAP to preach your Word as he used to. We also pray other Christians who are held in North Korea by sharing your Word. As you said in Luke 21:17-19, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” Give them grace as to be released without blemishes or bruises. Let the evil deeds of North Korean authorities detaining the innocent and torturing the believers stop immediately. O Lord our God shine your face upon the persevering missionaries and the North Korean believers during their times of suffering. We give thanks, praise, and glory to the Almighty God, who will saturate the North with the Gospel and allow the Christians in the North and South to worship freely. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!