Worst pizza I ever had
Today, I had the worst pizza in my life. You would say because you are eating pizza in Korea not in Italy or USA. However, that is not the reason why it was the worst pizza.
I was sitting with one of North Korean woman who fled her home town and came to South Korea. She used to work for Social Security Bureau (SSB) of North Korea in Pyongyang. She heard and saw how underground believers were treated when they got caught by a SSB agent.
There was a lady in Pyongyang. She was known as a ‘greedy woman’ because she does not share with other hungry and poor people, not even with her relatives. She was richer than most other people. She did not even share a bowl of rice with her cousins. One day, she traveled to China and met a missionary in her relative’s home. Missionary’s story is so foreign and so new that she did not want to listen or pay any attention on the first day. Yet, her curiosity arose after meeting South Korean missionary on the following day. He speaks with different accent and the story of Jesus was too farfetched for her when he told the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves ad 2 small fishes. She kept saying how could that be? She kept on asking why in the world does anyone died for others on the cross. Yet, she wanted to know more about Jesus who died for her. She thought either that man was mentally retarded or real God. It bothered her all night and all day. It continued for few days. She could not eat any food thinking what this man, Jesus has done. She kept asking, did he also died for me? Why did he die for me? What would have happened to my sin? Could I really go to heaven? It took many days in struggle. Make the long story short. Before she left China, she said, “Yes” to Jesus.
As she returned from China, she brought gifts. In those days, the popular gift is something to eat. She gave out gifts to her neighbors and relatives. Even after all the gifts has been given out, she sold her belongings and gave out more. Beggars and hungry children were fed. People gathered at her house and received food. This is very different from few months ago. Word spread: if you need anything go to see old ‘greedy lady’ (people continued to call that name because they are used to calling her by that name). People began to talk to about her. And rumor about her reached Social Security Bureau. The bureau agent was sent to investigate her. The agent caught this ‘greedy lady’ who was sharing how thankful she was since she knew she belong to God, not materials of this world. She even told people about Jesus who fed 5,000 and walked on water. She told others that He died, but resurrected. With this resurrection Jesus demonstrated that He is the Son of God who was sent to save people. He took all of our sins. As people came to receive some food or gift from this ‘greedy lady’, people received the true Gift, Jesus Christ.
Security Bureau agent took her in and interrogated her. She kept smiling and maintained a peaceful face. It bothered a bureau agent. Agent made her to get on her knees, not for an hour but for three days and repeated for many more days. At that knee bended position, not only she was cramping, but blood circulation stopped and caused severe pain. Worst of all, many flea, lice and other bugs on the wooden floor found new food. After few days, these creatures placed their eggs on her decaying flesh. By then, she could no longer walk but needed to be carried by other prisoners. As they carried her, her flesh decayed causing stinky smell that everyone turns their face away from her. Yet, she did not forget to thank other prisoners with smile on her face. Illness deepened and she died without any treatment. North Korean does not provide medical treatment to Christians in prison.
At this moment pizza came out and was spread out on our table. There was smell of gorgonzola cheese (blue cheese) on the pizza. After a bite, she said it smells like that old lady’s decaying flesh. It was her first experience of pizza. Before I turned my face away, tear flowed on my face and it dropped on the pizza. This former Social Security Bureau woman joined me with tears. After some time passed, this former agent’s final word to me in tears were, “Old lady was just martyred. She did not denied God, but gave thanks”
Yes, it is time to thank God for His mercy and His grace in this Christmas season. But would you also remember those who are in prison this Christmas Season?
Isaac & Peter