Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Reaching out to North Korea

A few days ago, a set of addendums to its penal code leaked out of North Korea that permit execution for some ordinary crimes in addition to those stipulated by the full penal code itself.  According to exiles who have fled North Korea, among these crimes deserving of death is the theft of a half sack of rice. 

While these addendums were apparently passed in 2007, they were not enforced until recently as the government was not convinced that they were needed. Hardships caused by recent famine and the halt to international humanitarian aid after Pyongyang's nuclear tests has resulted in a significant rise in crime.  One defector told of seeing a young woman publicly executed for stealing electrical wiring. 

Such severe penalties for minor offenses speaks to the desperation of North Koreans.  The besieged Christian population is certainly not exempt from such deprivations and may even be more susceptible.

This is why The Voice of the Martyrs is reaching out with a special Christmas project this year to our brothers and sisters in North Korea. 

nkkitFor only $50, you can sponsor a special Christmas Blessing package containing such vital necessities as rice, clothing, vitamins, Bibles, Christian books, a backpack, various toiletries like soap, clippers and toothpaste, and many more necessities that are expensive or virtually impossible to get in North Korea.

We are committed to delivering at least 750 of these packs directly to believers in North Korea! As funds become available, we will also distribute some to North Korean defectors hiding in China. To insure that they are properly delivered to the intended recipients, all packs are being delivered in person by VOMC contacts. Be assured that every security precaution is being taken to protect both our workers and (even more importantly) those who receive these packs.

Will this solve their problems for the long term?  Of course not.  This is only one aspect of our work in North Korea but one that we think is vital at this time in history. 

Won’t you join us?

As we noted in our blog post last Friday, our partners are already assembling and shipping some of the packs. Again, I want to thank those of you who have already given towards this project. Your expression of love is going to send a powerful message to our brothers and sisters in this isolated society.

Donations for this project will be received until the needs of this projects are met or until the end of December.  You can make cheques for this project payable to The Voice of the Martyrs Inc. and mail them (with a note indicating what the gift is for) to:

The Voice of the Martyrs
P.O. Box 117, Port Credit,
Mississauga, Ontario
L5G 4L5

Or you can donate securely online through CanadaHelpsIf you have any questions about this project, you can contact us by clicking here.

We would covet your prayers on behalf of our workers and those who will be receiving these packs.  Pray that God will enable them to be safely delivered and that they will provide a blessing to our brothers and sisters there.  Please post a prayer on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall, as evidence that you stand together with the church in North Korea during these days of deprivation.

We also have some new resources on North Korea that will help you to have a better understanding of this isolated state and its people.

  • Restricted Nations: North Korea by The Voice of the Martyrs with P. Todd Nettleton.  An concise introduction to the history and testimonies of the church in North Korea
  • Escaping North Korea by Mike Kim. A rare and unique inside look into the hidden world of ordinary North Koreans.enk

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