Thursday night I attended a dinner held by the North Korean Freedom Coalition, to which Jubilee Campaign serves on the board.
During this meeting, one of the defectors explained to us what freedom meant to her in North Korea versus what it means to her now. The passion in her eyes glittered as she took pride in the fact that she was now truly free. She had endured such suffering and saw so much pain in North Korea she could only dream of what freedom could mean. It had been an intangible foreign idea that could not be fully grasped or felt but she somehow knew it was an important right she deserved.
She also described the balloon drops facilitated by South Koreans and North Korea defectors. At first, she said, she had not understood their importance and was upset because there were crackdowns and retaliations upon the North Korean people after each balloon drop. She explained they were punished for the balloon drops they didn’t request or control. Later, she realized the significance of those balloons was information about and hope from the outside world. For years the North Korean people did not get outside information and the party had control over all news. These balloons were and still are one of the few ways news was and is smuggled in. The Party’s crackdowns only show their lessening stranglehold over North Korean knowledge of the outside world. This crackdown is a scared reaction to the inevitable reality that they are losing control of information. As she concluded, she said, those balloons have become a symbol of hope for a free North Korea.
Listening to her story made me think of my absurd frustration over the traffic heavy drive to the dinner. I have so many first world problems that I complain about daily and take for granted the basic rights I enjoy daily that many people simply don’t have.
As I sat in the room listening to her story I thought of the grace the Lord has given me. I thanked Him for my first world struggles and for His love and grace. I know I was born here in this free nation so I could have a voice, a voice to be used for God’s kingdom. I was born with this free voice so I could speak for those without a voice and without freedom to openly worship Him.
Thank you Lord for the people of North Korea. Please put your healing hand over this nation. Thank you for the power of this voice you gave me. Thank you for the freedom I have to use it. Thank you for the passion you have put behind this voice. Thank you for your love and your promise.