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[Zoom In] 'The Lord's Love Mission': A Gathering of North Korean Defectors Who Have Picked Out Their Sites in Heaven

Manmin News   No. 128
October 05, 2008

Happiness not guaranteed

After crossing the death line that divides North and South Koreas, it was no easy task for former defectors to adjust to the South Korean society.
Among the elite defectors are graduates of North Korean colleges who had worked as government officials and have found places of stable work reasonable pay in the South Korean government and research institutions, but other defectors with lower education and less professional experiences are often confined to being cheap laborers.
In addition, each time they crossed borders from North Korea, China, or third countries to South Korea, many of them incurred large sums of debts to brokers. Unable to completely abandon the family members left behind in the North, they send them the money through these brokers with up to 30% fees but oftentimes they find that the funds they send are not delivered.
On top of that, memories of family members in the North, those who have died in accidents, murdered, or taken to prisoners while trying to cross borders, or those who are still in third countries, and unable to complete their journey to South Korea, still rankle with them.
As these North Korean defectors suffer from agonizing tragedy coupled with relative poverty, loneliness, invisible discrimination, and cultural differences, we must strive to embrace and look after them as members of Christ. As they have risked everything they had and come from North Korea for freedom, we must treat them with warmth, understanding, and patience by which we can wait for them to nurture their faith and come to church for services on their own.

Experiencing God's power

When "The Lord's Love Mission" (Guidance Pastor: Rev. Sang-Joon Park) was first founded in 2004, the membership totaled 5 people. By the beginning of 2008, it had grown to a gathering of 70 people and as of September, the membership has grown to 180 people. This is because many North Korean defectors have come to Manmin after hearing the news of healing and blessings.
Many of them had not even known of a "testimony." Nowadays, it is commonplace to find them testifying to having received God's healing of arthritis, gastroenteric disorders, conjunctivitis, sequele from pancreatic cancer operations, and grave depression, and having their backs straightened through the Senior Pastor's or the handkerchief prayer (Acts 19:11-12).

~ Sunday afternoon meeting of "The Lord's Love Mission"

During the Summer Retreat in August, Sung-Joo Hwang (alias; 35; Onsong County, North Hamgyong Province; 35), who had been previously healed of the stroke and stood up from the wheelchair by the prayer of Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee, testified to having thrown away the cane he had been using by the handkerchief prayer.
From tremendous suffering they endured on a daily basis in North Korea and their horrific journey to the South, they had been stricken by many diseases but they have since been healed of them in the South. The light of hope for heaven illuminate in the faces of the former defectors who have met God without doubt after having been led to Manmin and experienced many of His signs and wonders.
After being assigned to various districts, the defectors see and fathom the love they receive from the workers who visit them at home in utmost care. Of the past they lament, "Why did I not hear this message sooner?"
Holding fast to purity that remains untainted by the advancement of the civilization, these former defectors make every effort, as do children, to live by the Word they hear. Just like any other Manmin members, they place their hope in New Jerusalem in the heavenly kingdom and cast off the weight of life that had been pressing them.
From the "Self-examination Time", they had been used to criticizing themselves and others but by the love of the Lord, they are making every effort to place themselves in others' shoes and learning to throw away the habit of guarding against others, and become one in the heart.

[Mini Interview] We are an affectionate and grateful people.

~ Deaconess Myung-Ok Huh (alias; "The Lord's Love Mission," President; North Hamgyong Province)

Q: How did you end up coming to Manmin?
A: For a while in November 2003, I couldn't move about comfortably because of the arthritis in my knees. I thought I was going to die in a foreign land and was overcome with fear and loneliness. Then one day, I came across one of the Senior Pastor's books and a copy of Manmin News and with the help of my friends, I took my first steps to Manmin a little later. While listening to a message during the Revival Meeting the following year, I received the fire of the Holy Spirit and was healed of the arthritis. 'Ah!' I said to myself, 'I am going to be all right now!' Soon afterwards, I even heard the news of my lost children and was so thankful. During my life in Christ, I have also been healed of gastroenteric disorders and gasping disappeared, and become certain of the existence of heaven and hell.

Q: I heard you've led many souls back to Christ?
A: I shouted, "God is alive!" every chance I got and have led some 60 people back to Him. I am so much healthier than when I first arrived in South Korea and more importantly, I am always glad and delighted because, as I listen to the message of life, I am becoming a good person receiving commendations of many people and my heart is filled with a hope for New Jerusalem. It is my hope for members of "The Lord's Love Mission" not only never to lose hope or their footing in this society but also for each of them to enter the heavenly kingdom where there are no tears, grief, and suffering.

Q: What is expected of Manmin members?
A: In North Korea, there are so many people who starve to death because they are unable to have even a bowl of corn porridge. Many risk their lives to escape from North Korea for ideological reasons but most of them do so to avoid starvation. As they are treated like animals on their way from the North to the South via China, many defectors in the South are easily hurt by even a trivial remark uttered with no particular intent; this is truer of elite defectors who feel as though others are pitying them or treating them like the homeless. They are all one people but because of different life experiences, delicate care is required. They are in a dire need of love, interest, and encouragement. We are an affectionate, responsible, and grateful people; once we come to believe in God, we march onwards without looking back and without a change of heart.




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