By Mark Ellis –
A certain female Christian from North Korea received ministry training in China and returned to her home country two years ago.
“For many months, our workers in the training center were wondering what happened to her since they had not heard from her for a long time,” says Peter Lee, with Cornerstone Ministries International. “Because of the restricted nature of North Korea, they could not write any letter to her.”
They gave up any hopes of hearing from her. Of course, persecution is swift and severe in North Korea. Anyone caught in possession of a Bible will go to prison for 15 years without any trial. Had she had been caught and imprisoned? they wondered.
They were surprised when a thick envelope arrived from North Korea with a lengthy letter from the woman. When it was read aloud, it made the staff at Cornerstone laugh and cry. The following contains excerpts from her letter:
“Since returning to my hometown, many things have happened,” the woman began. “I could not share all the details, but I want to let you know what God has done in my family.
“Do you remember what I told you about my husband? He drank liquor all the time. Often he became so violent that he hit me with his fist. So I prayed fervently while I was in China day and night. I committed my early morning prayer time to intercede for him to be changed and become an ordinary human being.”
After she returned to North Korea, they got into a big fight. “He came home and complained about everything,” she recounted. “He was drunk and barely able to walk. I tried to stay calm, but I lost my patience when he started ridiculing my faith and trip to China for training.
“We both were yelling and screaming at each other with anger and resentment.”
When he threatened her with violence, she ran out of the house, vowing never to return. Burning with anger, she began to walk, without any destination in mind.
She walked several miles, stopped, and looked up at the sky, but felt very far from the Lord. “Strangely, I had no intention to seek God,” she noted.
Then something unusual happened. A cloud “like feathers” appeared and it began to move and form itself into the shape of a cross.
Am I dreaming right now? she wondered. “Then I felt electricity going through my body. It seemed that I was struck by 3,000 volts.”
Remarkably, she remained standing, staring up toward heaven. Then the still small voice of the Lord impressed on her heart: Don’t be like that. Didn’t I teach you that I am love? And you need to love too.
Another thought went through her mind. Jesus took all your pain, sufferings, and insults on your behalf. Didn’t the Bible say God would not give any tribulation beyond what you can bear?
You should be more patient and love your husband with God’s love rather than complaining or fighting with him.
As tears began to roll down her cheeks, she repented of her attitude before God. She said to herself, Yes, I will forgive my husband.
She returned home, but her husband was not there, and did not return for days. “I went on fasting and praying for him,” she noted. “After five days of fasting my lips split and my face began to swell.”
After two weeks, her husband returned. “I did not hug nor greet him with a smile, but I prepared a meal for him as a North Korean wife normally would do.”
As he sat down to eat, he stared at her without saying a word. “He had never given such a look in many years of marriage.”
Before he brought a spoonful of rice to his mouth, he looked at her and said weakly, “I almost died.”
“Two weeks ago when I began to drink liquor I could not breathe for a while. I choked. I didn’t know why. It had never happened before. Since then, I could not even take a sip of liquor.”
She almost shouted ‘hallelujah,’ but restrained herself. Then she realized God changed her husband – took away his appetite for alcohol – on the day she finished her fast!
After he stopped drinking, he was a new man and peace came into their home. He started a small business and the family came back together.
Based on the training she received in China, the woman decided she should baptize her family members, including her husband, son and his wife, and grandchildren. She had them put on their best clothes for the occasion.
“I had each member of my family share a testimony to God.” She doesn’t think her grandchildren completely understood what was going on.
“They might think they were begin washed. Yet, I was able to say, ‘In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit I baptize you.’ If others had seen us, they would have wondered what we were doing.
“By the grace of God, I was the first believer. Then my husband and children came to the Lord. And I had the honor to baptize them in the underground church in North Korea. It was a newly formed underground church and we celebrated with baptism. It was a victory for our Lord Jesus.
“Although baptism itself does not save a soul, but a soul who is saved would be baptized to confess that Jesus is his or her Lord. I wish there would be more baptisms in the future. Please keep me and this underground church in your prayers so that there will be more baptisms occurring as I continually build His church in North Korea.”
To learn more about the work of Cornerstone Ministries International, go here