Letters from North Korea
It may sound old fashioned but I love letters. I love writing love letters. I think it’s really sincere especially when it is handwritten. In this modern day, the snail mails have turned into e-mails. Face to face communication turned into video chats. Chatting takes place in social media. I feel that communication became less impersonal.
Recently, I got a chance to see some letters from North Korea. We all know that it’s hard to have a connection between North and South Korea. They can’t cross borders. North Koreans doesn’t have access to social media. That’s how their government works. Seeing authentic letters from North Korea really fascinated me.
I currently work in a church in Seoul. I’m aware that our senior pastor often do radio broadcasting to pray for people but I don’t know exactly what he does. When my mom and sister arrived in Seoul, he offered us to go with him in the radio station. We came there an hour early so we can have a tour around the FEBC radio station.
Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) is an international radio network that airs Christian programs in 159 languages. It’s interesting that one of those languages is Filipino. Philipines has FEBC in Manila, Isabela, Legaspi, Quezon, Palawan, Bacolod, Cebu, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Koronadal. They also have branches in other parts of Asia, Africa, and Middle East.
They have 13 branches in South Korea. FEBC Seoul was established to broadcast the gospel to North Korea, China, Russia, and Mongolia. These are the countries where missionaries are not allowed. They are broadcasting into a forbidden world.
During the live broadcast, I can see how many text messages, phone calls, and e-mails they are receiving. It’s non stop! The lady who operates the computer compiles the messages and pastes it in one monitor that is visible to our senior pastor.
People from North Korea can’t send text messages, phone calls, and e-mails. Their only way to contact the radio is thru their letters. My heart was really moved when I learned that there are 40,000 Christians in North Korea who are listening to their broadcast underground. These people might get executed once the government finds out that they are practicing a religion yet they continue to be faithful.
Because of these faithful listeners, the radio stations in Seoul extended the gospel preaching broadcast in North Korea from two hours (4am-6am) per day to five hours (1am-6am) per day. Those are the best time to listen to an underground radio program. The signal is very clear on those time.
FEBC not only produces and transmits Christian radio broadcasting programs, but also help those who don’t have access to media by supplying them radio receivers through a variety of routes such as missionaries and the utilization of balloons.
North Korean defectors can testify that people really look forward in listening to the gospel preaching. After escaping from North Korea, some defectors share their testimonies and visit the radio station.
In order to survive, FEBC gets donations from different churches. When you donate, they will engrave your name on the stone. Your kindness will forever be remembered.
I feel blessed to see that there are people who take an extra mile to listen, and to share the gospel. We live in freedom. We can pray, read the bible, go to church whenever we want. I think it’s our Christian duty to help those people who can’t.