Sung-Min tried — and failed — to escape North Korea four separate times. Each time, he was caught and sent back home. He spent many years doing hard labor in North Korea’s prison camps. But Sung-Min never gave up hope that someday he would be free.
I met Sung-Min last year during my visit to the North Korean border. I don’t know his real name; he gave me a pseudonym to keep his identity safe. But I remember his face, and the stories he told me stick with me even now.
He said he believed freedom was worth any cost. Sung-Min’s father had always dreamed of taking his family to China or South Korea. He hated raising his children in a country where they could be thrown in labor camps for breaking even the smallest rule. He longed for a life free from the fear of oppression. But he died before he and his family could escape.
Sung-Min wanted to fulfill his father’s dream, so he tried to flee the country in secret. He didn’t know that soon he would discover the only true source of freedom — Jesus.
During his second escape attempt, Sung-Min met a group of Christians who introduced him to the Gospel. Although he was eventually captured again, he brought his newfound faith with him to his prison cell and labor camp in North Korea.
Life in the labor camps is worse than you and I could ever imagine. Believers are beaten and abused for hours on end. Still, Sung-Min and many just like him are able to withstand the torture and remain steadfast in their faith.
One day after his release from prison, Sung-Min discovered a Bible lying on a train seat. The Bible had been smuggled into the country by some of our partners. Sung-Min was so excited he had found it! He knew several security guards were watching him. So instead of taking the whole Bible, Sung-Min ripped out a single page from the book of Matthew.
He read that page over and over, committing it to memory. When he was thrown into jail after another escape attempt, the verses brought him comfort and hope. And it didn’t just affect him.
Sung-Min passed the page of Matthew on to his sister, and now she is a Christian, too.
Later, he discovered that both his mother and grandmother were also secret believers. His grandmother was even a deaconess in the underground church … but she had never seen a Bible. She had heard about people owning one, but she had never held the Scriptures in her own hands. That’s how rare Bibles are in North Korea!
If just a single page can make such an incredible difference for Sung-Min’s family, imagine the impact you’ll make when you place the entire Bible in a persecuted believer’s hands.
On his fifth attempt to escape, Sung-Min finally made it. Today he prays that more copies of the Word of God will reach his nation. He believes the Bible can transform North Korea.
You can help be the answer to his prayers by sending a Bible into North Korea today!
North Korean Christians often share Bibles among family and trusted friends. They make handwritten copies of the Gospels to share with underground church members. So the one Bible you send today — for just $10 — has the power to help bring as many as 10 people closer to Jesus!
In Isaiah, God says that His Word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” That’s what you’re a part of when you help send a Bible to a North Korean believer.
Please pray. And please send as many Bibles as you can. For just $10, you can give the Bible — and true freedom — to a persecuted believer who has never held God’s Word before.