By Linda Jones
09/07/2017 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – The country of North Korea is ruled by the brutal Kim regime. People in North Korea not only experience the poverty and starvation of this communist empire, but also a loss of hope and a constant fear of what might happen to them. Christians are usually afraid of sharing their faith with their own family members because they can be turned in to the authorities for worshiping anyone other than the Kim family. Kids are indoctrinated at school about the system and their leaders; thus, they grow up believing the lies that they have been taught by the government.
Despite all the chaos, threats, and suffering that people experience in North Korea, some have managed to escape and are now trying to help those who stayed behind. Park Chung Oh and his family are an example of this since they were forced to flee the country after his father, a high level spy, found out that his family was going to be “purged.” They stayed in China for two years, then immigrated to Thailand, and finally settled in South Korea.
Mr. Park and his wife now lead several projects from South Korea to help defectors and victims from North Korea. One of those projects is the rice bottle project, which International Christian Concern (ICC) has been a part of due to the generous support of donors. The idea of this project was developed after Mr. Park had a childhood memory of when he visited the South Korean shore and saw the trash spread on the beach that was brought by a current. He later learned from sailors that goods can be sent to North Korea within three hours by using the same current.
They decided to try to send food to North Korea by filling empty bottles full of rice and sending them down the current twice a month. These same bottles are later picked up by fishermen or found along the shore line. One of the main goals of this project is to offer hope to the people in North Korea in the form of food, so these bottles are now a form of provision to the hungry.
“I believe that all these things cannot be accomplished by one’s strength and thoughts, and that it can, and only can, be done because of the love and grace of the Lord,” said Park Chung Oh
There is still a lot to be done to help defectors and Christians who live in North Korea. Therefore, remember to pray for our brothers and sisters who need to practice their faith in silence and are not able to even share the Gospel with their own family members. Please keep those who want their freedom, but continue to face oppression, torture, and wrongfully accusations by the government, in your prayers. Ask God for provision and guidance, so that people like Park Chung Oh, and others willing to help the oppressed people from North Korea, can continue to serve and expand God’s kingdom.