Hea Woo’s life has been full of trauma. In 1997, in the midst of a great famine in North Korea, her daughter in her mid-twenties starved to death in her own home. Hea Woo’s husband escaped to China. He found God …but was caught by the secret police and six months later died in a North Korean prison camp.
“I was shocked to hear that my husband had become a Christian,” Hea Woo told one of our partners in the field, “but instinctively I knew he had found the truth.”
It wasn’t too long after this that Hea Woo herself escaped to China and became a Christian through a series of events similar to those that had influenced her husband’s journey to faith. She would soon follow his journey to a North Korean prison, as she also was caught by the secret police, repatriated to North Korea and placed in a prison camp. She shares about the horrors of life in these prisons: death so rampant that bodies would lay on the ground for three or four days without being cleaned up; mental and physical abuse that would make you sick in the pit of your stomach. Every day was torture for Christians.
A secret church in prison
In one of the darkest places on earth, Hea Woo chose to do something so radical, and so dangerous, but so Christ-like. In this prison, God gave her a heart to tell her fellow prisoners about Jesus. And so, right there in the middle of a North Korean labor camp, a secret fellowship church began.
One of our partners in the field recently met with Hea Woo and caught this special moment on video.