A lot of believers have nothing to do with December five and twenty. I understand. I've actually been in that crowd a good portion of my life. I can take it or leave it even to this day. But, I enter into the thinking of the season by asking my readers and listeners, "What can we get for North Korea?" We all have folks and family members who are hard to shop for. But what do you get for someone whom you have never met, who lives on the other side of the planet, whose culture is totally different, and who may never have heard of the Christ Whose birthday you proclaim to be celebrating? The One Who was born into our world from Heaven has answers to this question. Of course these gifts I suggest are year-'round for believers, but again, I speak as a Christmas-celebrator today.
Let's look around. What does my brother need? He looks so hungry. His growth is even stunted from his hunger. Food would be nice. Who will assure me that the food will get where I send it? Here I am unable to assist you, as Christian organizations are not too keen about being on a website list, and therefore serving as a target for evil men. So do a Google search, make some phone calls, it won't be long before you'll find a group that is getting food to the hungry of North Korea. Yes, a great gift.
North Korea starves for God's Word too. Those same groups that feed the body often feed the soul and spirit of man. Why not help send the Word in?
How about planning a trip to Northeast China, where multiplied thousands of Koreans live outside their homeland, looking for someone to help them? God will guide you to those here who are planning trips in. Or plan your own. One of my own dreams - I hope it is not a fantasy - is to pack up a blanket or two, and visit the Northeast in the dead of winter. I find a hurting North Korean and whip out my blanket and present it to him as though he were Jesus Christ. Now there's a happy Christmas! Is there anything State-side to compare with the joy of giving one's life away for someone in need? Isn't that what Jesus did for us all?
So not much money? No time to travel? Great ideas but not for you? How about "remembering" the prisoner? Some day I hope to do a study on that word. It's the same thing as remembering Jesus in the Communion. Not just looking back at past events, but somehow communicating with present realities, too. Try some identifying. Offer it up to the Lord and perhaps in His mercy He will see your heart and touch a North Korean for you, as you pray. Here are some identification presents:
- Next time you do your exercise, skip the treadmill. How many treadmills in North Korea? No sighing and crying for those poor people. Get out in the cold yourself. You'll not match their 20 below temps, but you'll get a little piece of it, and God will warm your heart. Yeah, bundle up, walk 2-3 miles in the coldest messiest weather you can stand, and all the while be lifting up your friends in NK.
- Fasting is always a way to relate to poverty. Deliberate hunger offered up for the real hunger there. It makes you weak. And weak in Christ makes you strong. And strong Christians pray more. And when they pray they pray for North Koreans, among others. That's right soldier, push that plate away. How far can you go? Until you think you'll not make it? Jesus went farther. And many Koreans through the years have paid the last full measure of devotion. They responded to Jesus' challenge, "Greater love has no man than this than to lay down his life for his friends."
- Got too much stuff? Give it away. Find where a container of goods is being sent into Korea and get rid of those excesses. Be ready to travel. Be ready for those marching orders. Travel light. None of that stuff is really yours anyway! Time for judgment to begin at the house of God. If we judge ourselves, He won't have to. That stuff you're hangin' onto could be such a blessing to someone. C'mon, let go!
So much to do. So much need. Lord give us wisdom to know the first step to take and courage to take it! Merry Christmas, North Korea! Better yet, Chuk Song Tan, "Blessed Holy Birth!"
http://chosunhouse.com is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. Just about every day I'm writing a blog featuring some news, a book, or a story of North Korea. There's a live news feed on the site, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together!
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond on my site.