The Death of Kim Jong Il: the Future of North Korean Missionary Work

Is the death of Kim Jong Il be cause for hope among missionaries? Those of us who have been dealing with the obstructive efforts of the North Korean regime for the last 10 years have not exactly been taking to the streets in celebration as hoards of Kim Jong Il's followers mourn his death in North Korea.

The death of Kim Jong Il is indeed the end of an ultra-tyrannical reign, one which had no redeeming qualities to it. His evil knew no bounds. This is a man who loved to throw expensive pizza parties. A man Hennessy called its best customer. He had palatial estates built for himself and saw to it that none of his many desires were left in want. He invited the WWF to come personally entertain him.

All while the North Korean people starved.

It would be easy for us to celebrate Kim Jong Il’s death but it’s not that simple. Though we are idealists, we are even bigger skeptics. Will this darkened nation really open the doors for the light of North Korean missionary work? Kim Jong Il did not act alone. His circle of strategists and loyalists saw to it that even after the most profound of government failures he remained seated on his throne. Peering into the country now, many have cause to be anxious.

An all too familiar, authoritarian reign is coming into fruition with Kim Jong Il's successor, Kim Jong Eun.

But as Christians, as there is reason to hope. This hope comes not at one man’s death but in another man’s resurrection. This hope transcends the dismal conditions of North Korea and even its most flawed government.

Psalm 2 says it clearly:

The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

Crossing Borders will continue its work with hope and assurance, as long as our help is needed among the refugees and their children in China. Regardless of the rise and fall of governments and leaders, we know that the future of North Korean missionary work rests in the hand of the One who laughs at the efforts of our adversaries.