For the fortunate, hugs and kisses are a normal part of life. Many of us grew up with them showed on us by loved ones. It is how we show love and caring to our kids. They are even a part of our greetings. But for many of the North Korean orphans in our Second Wave orphanages, expressions of affection are a rare luxury. This summer, the North Korean orphans supported by Crossing Borders participated in an English camp, which was run by volunteers serving alongside us. One boy went home to his father after camp. His father told us that his son cried for three days afterwards. When asked why, we learned that one of the woman volunteers hugged his son so much and it reminded him of his mother, who is currently serving time in a North Korean gulag.
Another girl once told us during the camp that sometimes she lays in bed at night hugging herself, crying, thinking about her mother.
If there was a way for us to send e-hugs to the children in our care, we would. But for now, we encourage our caretakers, missionaries and visitors to hug and kiss these children as much as they can.
But of course, there is a greater solution still that we all pray for, remembering the innumerable North Korean orphans living day to day in China without the love of their parents. We pray fervently that God would envelop the children of North Korea with His Fatherly love, and that He would send more harvest workers to provide for them in His affection.