“Sung Me" is a North Korean orphan whose North Korean mother was sold to her Chinese father in China’s expansive sex trade. Illegal trafficking in China was rampant after the Great Famine of the 1990s, as refugees fled out of North Korea. Her mother left her and was captured by several Chinese men, locked up, abused, and murdered. Sung Me does not remember anything about her mother. She was later left to her aunt who mistreated her and did not want to care for her anymore. That’s when Crossing Borders stepped in. We recently found out that she was sexually abused while she was staying with her aunt.
Recently, Crossing Borders hosted an English Camp and Vacation Bible School for North Korean orphans like Sung Me. What resulted from this meeting between six American teachers and 25 North Korean orphans was nothing short of amazing.
On one night of the camp, a staff member shared the story of the Good Samaritan and God’s mandate to forgive those who have wronged us. We asked those who have a hard time forgiving to stand up so we could pray for them. Sung Me stood up. She cried. She asked God for strength to forgive.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus lays out a new way for people to practice the Golden Rule. The story not only challenges us to love our neighbors but to love our enemies. The story teaches to heap on lavish love and reconciliation to those who we may consider mortal enemies.
We’re not sure who Sung Me is having a hard time forgiving: her mother who she doesn’t remember, her aunt who didn’t love her, or perhaps those who were cruel and abused her in the past. What we do know is that forgiveness is the first step to recovery.
Sung Me is living in one of our group homes for North Korean orphans. She does well in school and is active. She loves sports and helping out at home. When we visited recently, she was one of the first to get us fruit and drinks. We are not sure what the future will hold for her but we are committed to being there every step of the way.
Please pray for Sung Me and the many North Korean orphans like her who have suffered much in their lives. We believe that the only way to healing for her and others like her is the forgiveness offered in the Gospel - to receive it and to practice it.