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Five kernels of corn, that’s it all took. She was only 6 years of age attending school in a North Korean (NK’an) prison camp when the unthinkable happened. Her teacher rifled through the pockets of all 40 students under his care. At the end he held those five kernels of corn he had found in the girl’s pocket. She stood frozen in time, not knowing what would happen. She was hungry and had looked forward to eating the corn she had found.
Her teacher turned to her, raising his voice in a fit of rage shouting “You stole this corn? You want your hands cut off?” She cowered at the intensity of emotion in his words.
With that he told her to stand in front of the class and kneel. He picked up his wooden pointer and struck this precious child on her head, again and again, until she slumped to the concrete floor in front of her class, unconscious. Silence filled the air. Her little head had swollen and blood ran from her nose.
Her classmates picked her up and carried her home. That night, despite her family’s best attempts, she died. She died hungry.
Horrific stories like this give a rare glimpse inside the dark heart of North Korea (NK). A NK that Christ died for. Over the past decades NK has experienced nationwide and localized famines due to a combination of bad weather, like the recent floods of September, and government mismanagement. As a result, food shortages are chronic, and life for most of NK’s almost 25 million people is grim.
This Christmas we have two amazing opportunities of touching NK with God’s love. Together we can help change lives by providing upwards of 10,000 young children with a daily meal, AND also provide Bibles for the underground church as Christians continue to be hunted down, imprisoned and murdered for their faith.
What stirs my heart is a report from the United Nations indicating that millions of NK’an children are not getting the food, medicine or healthcare they desperately need to develop physically or mentally, leaving many stunted and malnourished.
Nearly one third of children under five show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas where food is scarce, and suffer chronic diarrhea due to a lack of clean water and sanitation. Hospitals are spotless but bare; few have running water or power, and drugs and medicine are in short supply, the UN stated in a detailed update on the humanitarian situation.
Grace Jo, a NK’an defector, recently stated that “NK is very cruel, very sad, and very dark. It is a world completely without hope.” She should know, as she had lost more than half of her family before she escaped.
Yes, I want to HELP Feed North Korean children!
Grace grew up in the mountainous northern province of Hamgyeong. She shares, “We were always hungry and cold. My mother, father, and siblings were always out searching for food. As a young child I went 10 days without any food.” To survive, her parents made trips to China for food, risking their lives from NK border guards whose orders are to shoot those escaping.
This Christmas we can respond to a humanitarian and spiritual crisis that refuses to go away!
One of our NK partners began a feeding program that now provides 9,000 children six times a week with soy milk and bread, and another 1,500 children with soy milk only. We are now providing one meal 6 days a week for 68 institutions such as day care centers, kindergartens and elementary schools, in the northern isolated regions of NK where no other ministry is feeding children.
A short while ago we learned that the children we are feeding are 8 cm (more than 3 inches) taller than those children who are not in our feeding program. The soy milk and bread we provide is rich in essential nutrients necessary for young children to develop.
Yet, there are so many more children who are suffering from malnutrition that need a healthy meal. Will you join me in feeding a hungry child? For $10.75 a month or $129 a year you can feed a NK’an child 6 days a week for an entire month, or for an entire year. What an incredible blessing to change a young life!
This Christmas you can also provide Bibles for NK’an Christians. These electronic devices, similar in size to an ipod, contain the entire Bible and additional teaching material. NK’an believers are spiritually starving for God’s Word. Each Bible costs $27, which includes the cost of the device, producing the material, transportation, and distribution inside NK to believers.
Those delivering the Bibles across the border and into NK risk their lives. If caught they could be killed or imprisoned. NK considers religious belief as a major threat to their ‘supreme leader’ Kim Jong-un. Will you help provide God’s Word? Consider providing an equal number of Bibles you own for NK.
Yes, I want to PROVIDE Bibles for North Korea!