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North Korean Refugee Workers See the Power of Prayer

The Chinese Police barged into the room where our missionaries were meeting with two North Korean refugees several years ago. There was a Bible open in front of them and it wouldn’t take much for the police to figure out what was going on. One of the officers had a large video camera and began to record everything. Our missionaries make regular visits to the refugees and orphans in our network and are active in helping North Korean refugees with their specific needs. Our missionaries “Frank and Sunny” were taken aback. Sunny was sitting with two refugee women. When the police came in Frank was off in a corner of the room, watching television. Immediately Sunny whispered in English, “don’t turn around.”

He stayed still while the TV blared on.

China punishes male missionaries more harshly than it does women and it punishes missionary couples the most, according to our sources on the ground. Though Christianity is not outlawed, China has a history of being unwelcoming to foreign missionaries. To this day, it is illegal for foreigners to proselytize in China.

Frank and Sunny were terrified and for good reason.

As the police was questioning our missionary and two refugees. They looked around the room and did not see Frank watching television in plain sight. He did not have anything to hide behind and, according to everyone there, it was a miracle that the police didn’t see him. All of a sudden, Frank got up from his chair and said to Sunny, “We have to go,” They put on their shoes and left for home without a word from the police.

That month Crossing Borders was the prayer focus of one of our closest partner churches. Frank and Sunny didn’t know it but this church was busy praying for them. They said the incident reminded them of Acts 12.

“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” – Acts 12:5

Peter was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. As the church prayed, Peter was met by an angel, escorted out of prison and showed up at the prayer meeting the church was holding for him. This must have felt surreal to Peter’s supporters. When a woman announced that Peter was at the prayer meeting, nobody believed her.

Prayer is powerful. In Acts and throughout the Bible, it led to miracles.

This is why we are so focused on getting people to pray with us. Our program #Pray40NK is open to anyone who is willing to take time to ask God for protection and change. Download your prayer guide here.

A Prayer Campaign for North Korean Refugees and Orphans

Sex trafficking. Abuse. Hopelessness. Abandonment. The struggles of North Korean refugees and orphans are well documented on this blog. When we share this information with people who hear it for the first time, the reaction is almost always shock and horror. This year, we want to equip people to do something about these modern-day atrocities. You will be seeing more ways you can actively participate in the health and well-being of North Korean refugees in China on our website and communications this year.

The first thing we want to do is equip you to pray for North Korean refugees in our new program, #Pray40NK, which will coincide with Lent.

The reason why we are calling people to pray is because we believe it is the most practical way that people can get involved. We believe in an all-powerful God who can change any situation according to His will. Prayer is the most effective and powerful first step to substantive change.

In our prayer guide, you will find a daily prayer item coupled with a Bible verse to meditate on. It is our hope that this will bring powerful change in the lives of many and also to bless you in your life.

Many of us on staff have been a part of this ministry for over a decade. We can all say that we have received exponentially more than we have given. We hope you will experience the same measure of blessing as you pray.

You can download the guide here. You can also follow us on Instagram (@crossingbordersnk) for daily reminders. Thank you!

PTSD and North Korean Refugees

For North Koreans in China, finding help from anyone can be difficult. This is especially true for finding medical care. But for those who struggle with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD), finding help can be impossible. China struggles to deliver quality medical care to its citizens. The World Health Organization has ranked China’s medical care system 144 out of a possible 190 countries.

We found this to be true when we recently brought a doctor from the US to assess the medical needs of the refugees in our network. Refugees who had access to some medical care were often misdiagnosed or over prescribed medicines that didn’t treat the cause of their symptoms.

We also found that the refugees in our network were relatively healthy. They do not suffer from issues that many people in the developed world suffer from, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Many of the symptoms that the refugees suffer from can in fact be related to PTSD.

Along with the internal symptoms of this condition (irritability, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, angry outbursts, etc.), many of our refugees display psychosomatic symptoms of PTSD. These are symptoms from a mental disorder that manifest themselves physically.

The symptoms that our doctor saw last year were all in line with textbook PTSD. Even in our new area where the refugees feel safe from immediate harm, they still display strong symptoms of PTSD.

It is important for us to handle this condition in a way that is consistent with our faith and is culturally sensitive.

The good news is that treatment for PTSD was already occurring. We have and are forming new faith communities. These communities are a place for our refugees to gather together for worship and fellowship.

This is happening in our communities now. This year we started three churches in the new area we are working in. Already, these churches are thriving and they are helping our people deal with the trauma they experienced in North Korea and China.

We will continue to improve our services but the bulk of their needs are being met. Please pray for us as we continue to support these churches and further expand our reach.