Crossing Borders has been a witness to the power of community. We believe that no one person can positively change the lives of North Korean refugees more than themselves. This has shown itself to be true over and over again in the lives of the refugees in our network.
This fall, a woman in one of our communities had a son whose shoes were badly worn. He is currently in seventh grade and is extremely active. His shoes bore the burden of this activity. His soles were almost worn right through.
When North Korean women are sold to Chinese men, they are usually sold to the poorest of the poor. They are sold to men with very low social and economic standing who otherwise could not find a wife for themselves.
All of the women in our network live in abject poverty with few resources within the family and even fewer that are entrusted to them by their families, which is why this mother could not afford shoes for her son.
North Korean refugees are all running from an even deeper state of poverty. By enduring one of the worst modern-day famines, many North Korean women have been conditioned to take what they can and give only when it has a direct benefit for themselves.
“Normally, these women only know how to steal or grab everything quickly before others,” one of our field workers stated in a recent report.
This is why it was such an amazing occurrence to see this community of about 10 women come together to experience the joy of giving by pooling their money together to purchase shoes for this boy.
Generosity is contagious. Refugees who have received the generosity of so many from the US and around the world and are beginning to return it back to their communities. This was evident when a group of community members worked to restore the sight of a blind refugee last year. Or when a North Korean refugee who escaped to China, mobilized a clothing drive for the refugee women still in China, as chronicled in our latest annual report.
Many of you reading this give so that these women can meet and have a life outside of fear. What you are giving them is much more. You are giving them the will to care for others.