All of the North Korean orphans in our care in Second Wave have lost their mothers who have either escaped their forced marriages or been captured by the Chinese police and sent back to North Korea. Many of the children have fathers who are estranged or in moderate contact. If the children have fathers, why does Crossing Borders refer to them as North Korean orphans?
First, it is important to note that the official definition of "orphan" by the United Nations is “a child who has lost one or both parents.”
A second factor are the typical relationships between our children and their fathers. We take care of two North Korean orphans, brother and sister, “Soo and Jin.” They are half North Korean, half Chinese. They live in one of our orphanages, which is near their father’s home. Their father has been suffering from tuberculosis for years.
Each morning they both go to their father’s home, make him food, clean the house and then go to school. They go to their father's at night to do the same before returning to their orphanage. Each weekend, they spend time with at their father to help maintain their his home and his health.
The typical Chinese or Korean-Chinese man who goes to the open market in China to purchase a bride lives in poverty, is sick, or has a mental or physical disability. A majority of them are unable to provide an education or future for the children born following their marriages and need outside help.
This is why we consider each of these children as North Korean orphans. Not only have the children in our care lost their mothers, their fathers are unable to care or provide for them.
Crossing Borders currently helps more than 40 children in Second Wave. However, we cannot ignore the fact that over the past ten years there have been 100,000 North Korean refugees who have fled to China, most of whom are women. An estimated 80% of North Korean women who flee to China are trafficked and sold as forced brides. The number of children who need help must easily be in the thousands if not tens of thousands throughout China.
It is not hard to find a child who needs help in Northeast China. Whenever we expand this program, it takes little effort.
Please pray with us as we address the needs of North Korean orphans. The sheer number of children in need is staggering. Please pray that these children will be loved. Pray that they would have a future. Pray that they would find hope in Jesus. And pray that we find more.