Of course, baptizing North Koreans is illegal and risky. It would take some planning. Because they couldn’t baptize Bon-Hwa in the town where she was living for fear of her being caught and repatriated back to North Korea, the three people involved—Bon Hwa, the pastor and her group leader—traveled separately to an Open Doors safe house in a remote area.
“It took many hours to reach the place,” our Open Doors staffer says.
He describes baptizing Bon-Hwa as a “holy moment.” Dressed in a black suit with a white collar, he opened the small ceremony with a prayer and then baptized the young woman “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Together in the tiny living room, the three believers stood and recited the Apostle’s Creed: “I believe in God the Father, maker of Heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ our Lord…”
There were no photos, no baptism certificate (too risky), no crowd, no hearty echoes of affirmation. But here in this tiny place in the middle of nowhere, three Christians stood on holy ground.
“I had to contain myself and focus on the steps of the ceremony,” says our Open Doors worker. “Or else, I would have cried loudly myself. It was such a beautiful moment and such a privilege to baptize a North Korean believer in these circumstances.”
Since her baptism, Bon-Hwa can now recite all of Psalm 119, Romans 8 and other chapters of the Bible. She is acutely aware she could be arrested any day, yet she rests in Jesus.
Because this woman who risked her life to leave her country and confess Jesus belongs to Him now.
*representative names and photos used for security reasons
North Korea is on the brink of famine. It’s estimated that 10 million people—40 percent of the country’s population—are in urgent need of food. Through secret partners, Open helps more than 60,000 believers with food, medicine and clothing. But we need your help to continue these types of projects.
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