Ae-Cha’s miraculous story of escape from North Korea

February 8, 2017 by Open Doors

Her feet barely touched the dirt road as she fled for her life. But Ae-Cha suddenly stopped dead in her tracks . . .

Her eyes widened, staring at the rushing, icy river separating her life of slavery in North Korea and the Chinese border – which meant freedom.

“Can I do this?” she whispered.

But her fear soon melted into courageous faith. And after remembering God’s faithfulness and His presence – sustaining her during her last seven years in a labor camp because of her faith – Ae-Cha’s resolve transformed into steel as she said, “After making it this far, Father, I’m certain that you’re with me and aiding my escape.”

Ae-Cha slowly sank into the river. The icy burn immediately paralyzing her every limb – and sending her into shock. After mere minutes, she drifted out of consciousness, succumbing to the deadly cold . . .

Desperation led Ae-Cha to this point. Her captors had tortured her husband to death. They had starved her daughter until her final breath. Ae-Cha knew that it was only thanks to the Lord that she herself hadn’t been counted among the dead as well.

Wiping out all traces of Christianity

Like other Christians in North Korea, Ae-Cha was willing to risk everything to escape. Even if it meant losing her life. For years, North Korea has held the #1 spot on our World Watch List — because of the Kim dynasty’s goal of not merely suppressing the gospel, but wiping out any trace of it altogether. In this area of the world, Christians pray with their eyes wide open. They share the Scriptures through whispers in the middle of the night. And many dare not even tell their own spouses or children about their faith in Christ fearing their families may suffer for their choices.

 Miraculously saved by God

Suddenly, Ae-Cha awoke with a jolt. Alive! “But how…?” She had somehow drifted to the shore on the other side of the river. Without a moment more of hesitation, she broke out in praise to her Father, her hands lifted and her heart overjoyed. She later continued her journey from China to South Korea, where she lives today and shares her story of God’s power, love and faithfulness.

Thanks to you

Right now, Open Doors has partners on the ground in North Korea who are ministering to persecuted believers like Ae-Cha, distributing food, medicine, clothes and Bibles. They’re broadcasting Christian radio programs and providing seminary, discipleship and evangelism training to the secret church. They’re ministering to trafficked women. And your support is making it all possible.


Thank you for supporting this work, and for lifting up these persecuted North Korean believers in your prayers.

Join others in praying.