A North Korean Orphan Spreads Her Wings

Sung Me (center) working on crafts at our annual retreat for North Korean orphans.

Sung Me (center) working on crafts at our annual retreat for North Korean orphans.

Change takes time. It hardly happens over night. This is especially true for North Korean orphans and refugees who have often been through so much before we meet them. It is the most rewarding thing for us to watch it happen over the course of years. That is exactly what took place last year for “Sung Me.”

Sung Me is a North Korean orphan whose North Korean mother was sold to her Chinese father in China’s expansive sex trade. Her mother left her and was captured by several Chinese men, locked up, abused, and murdered. She came into the care of her aunt who neglected her.

We brought Sung Me into our Orphan Care network in 2011. She was 12 and did well under the care of a pastor and his wife. She received the love, nurture and healing she needed in this home.

In 2012, we held a sex-ed class in this home. We realized that the Chinese educational system does not provide this and parents don’t usually educate children about sex. Since she and most of the other housemates were in their teens, we thought this was an appropriate subject.

During this time Sung Me kept her head down and didn’t say anything. After the seminar we pulled her aside and asked if anything was wrong. She told us that she was sexually abused while she was living with her aunt. We prayed with her and continued to encourage her to deal with her emotions surrounding this event.

Sung Me received the love she needed in this home but last year, we realized she needed something more: direction. This is why we moved her to an orphanage in a different city this fall to help her gain skills that will help her be self-sufficient. She currently attends a school where she is learning to become a kindergarten teacher.

Sung Me has been thriving in her new environment. She is in her first year at her vocational school that is designed to train Kindergarten teachers. She was recently selected by her school to read the announcements over the PA system. She has also been elected to her student council. She is a leader in her new home as well and has caught the attention of the head of the orphanage.

This is exactly what we work so hard to do, to watch the people in our network thrive. This year we have seen a lot of that. From Sung Me to Susanna, who was cured of glaucoma, which caused blindness, we have seen some amazing turns in people’s lives.