In the middle of the night the Chinese Police barged into a room where our missionaries were meeting with two North Korean refugees. There was a Bible open in front of them and it was clear what was going on. This was the first time anything like this had ever happened to Crossing Borders workers. Our missionary couple was taken aback. The wife was sitting with the North Korean refugee women. When the police came in the husband was off in a corner of the room, watching television. Immediately the wife whispered in English, “Don’t turn around.”
He stayed still while the TV blared on.
For a reason unknown to us, Chinese authorities punish male missionaries more harshly than female missionaries. The government punishes couples with even more cruelty.
When I think of this story I am reminded of Acts 12, when Peter was imprisoned and the church began to pray.
“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” – Acts 12:5
As the church prayed, Peter was met by an angel, was escorted out of prison and showed up at the prayer meeting. So unbelievable was this that when a woman announced that Peter - the subject of their prayers - had arrived at their doorstep, nobody in attendance believed her.
As the police questioned our female missionary and the two refugees, they looked around the room. They did not see her husband watching television, who sat in plain sight. They told the women to go home and left without a huff.
That month Crossing Borders was the prayer focus of one of our closest partner churches. We didn’t know it but this church was busy praying for us.
We believe, as an organization, that prayer is an integral component to our work. Prayers fuel the effectiveness of our ministry toward North Korean refugees and protect us as we do this dangerous work.
We ask that you, the Church, would continue to pray for us knowing that it is our sovereign God who moves the hearts of refugees and eyes of policemen.