There is a flurry of news coming out of the Korean peninsula these days: Nuclear tests, missile launches, political jockeying and yes, even volleyball. It’s enough to make our heads spin.
But all the news can distract us from the lives that have been lost and the potential lives that can be lost. It can distract us from the suffering of the North Korean people. Sure, weapons are important but they’re important because they can take human lives.
For 14 years we have been working to improve a handful of these lives. We have felt the tears of these people on our shoulders. We have held the hands of children who have been left behind as their mothers are held captive in North Korean prison camps.
Kyung Tae’s mother was in our network but was arrested and sent back to North Korea in 2009. There were years and years of darkness for this boy. He didn’t smile and said very little for the ensuing three years after his mother’s arrest.
But in recent years he has been changing and light is returning to his life. He still misses his mother but he is now moving toward adulthood. Recently, he was selected for a work-study program at his school. He is studying to become a mechanical engineer. A company paid to have him work at a factory in South China. When he returned home to his father, Kyung Tae proudly handed him about $100. His father broke down in tears. Kyung Tae is turning 18 this year. We are still waiting for his mother to be released from prison.
We will continue pray for the politics and the men at the top who are in control. But we also pray for the muffled groans of the people.
As we read the news and wonder what will happen next, let us remember those who will be affected most by the decisions of the powerful and pray for a brighter future for all.