While the situation might sound hopeless, your prayers and support are helping our North Korean brothers and sisters survive. Through our safe houses and networks in China that serve North Korean refugees, Open Doors is providing vital food aid for 60,000 North Koreans every year, as well as medicine and clothes.
A North Korean believer shares: “We were overwhelmed when we received this food. No matter what circumstances we encounter, we will break through all difficulties with united hearts, and your loving support and prayers. It is God’s grace and blessing.”
While the border closures have made it more difficult for our networks to provide food for North Koreans who make it to China, by God’s grace the work has continued. We have even increased the amount we’re providing, says Brother Simon*, coordinator for Open Doors’ ministry among North Korean believers.
“Our distribution projects that provide food and medicines for North Korean Christians have been very significant in supporting their survival during this desperate situation in North Korea,” he explains. “And we have increased the amount we are providing. Even during such difficult times, God continues to show us His faithfulness.”
Brother John* is an Open Doors worker who has helped with food distribution for North Koreans at our safe houses in China. He shares what he often hears from North Korean believers: “They all say that not even their relatives would help them like we do. Many of them travel to China to visit their relatives to ask for help. But in many cases, those relatives are not able to help; some are not willing.
“So when we give them something, they just start to well up. They weep, and they try to say thank you, but we know that some things are not possible to say through words, and we see that on their faces. Lots of tears shed.”
Many North Korean believers will share the little food that they have with others and will do the same with the food they receive from Open Doors—called “holy rice.”. Brother John remembers meeting one North Korean woman whose grandmother would share their food with her neighbors.
“When she was young, she used to get very upset with her grandmother for giving out food when there was not enough left for the family,” Brother John says. “Her grandmother would smile and say, ‘That’s what life is.’” At the time, this woman had no idea her grandmother was a Christian. After she fled the country and became a Christian herself, she realized that the songs her grandmother would sing were Christian songs.
‘Thank you with all my heart’
Another message we received from a North Korean believer who was helped at a house in China reflects both courageous faith and simple gratitude: “With everlasting love, God takes care of us. As a representative of the North Korean underground church, I want to thank the international believers. I thank you with all my heart.”
Thank you for helping keep our North Korean brothers and sisters alive. It may seem like a small thing to you—saying a short prayer, giving a gift—but for our North Korean church family, it can mean the difference between life and death.
*representative names and images used for security reasons.