Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 20, 2013

WHEN HOPE FADES, FAITH EMERGES

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

The hope of most female refugees from North Korea fades away shortly after arriving in China. Most do not want to flee to South Korea, because then they lose all contact with their family, and they are not in the position to support them anymore. And if they go to another place in China, it is only a matter of time before they are caught by either the police or human traffickers. And who knows what happens to them then?

So, is all hope lost? “No, there is hope,” says co-worker Kun-so. She picks up a Bible. “And that hope is written in this Book. For in it are profound promises. There is a heaven. Jesus loves you. All tears will be wiped away. No more death, no more pain. The Bible can even be the key to a better life now.

“But we have to bring the hard, difficult, biblical messages to the surface. The Bible says that you have to bless those who persecute you. It means you have to love the husband that abuses you. I have seen improvement when a North Korean woman was able to love instead of hate. And I direct the women to how God feels about them, how precious they are in His eyes, about what Jesus Christ did for them on Calvary. Thanks to His sacrifice there is hope. I can point the women to the day that will come eventually. The day that our Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the day that death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“After a while, we try to teach the women to forgive their Chinese husbands for their abuse. We tell them Jesus commands us to love our husbands. I know this is not easy to do. But we have seen that some women found the strength to do loving things for their husbands, and as a result slowly the husband started to change.”

Moon lost her child through a forced abortion, only days before her due date. Moon still lives with the Chinese family responsible for killing her child. But she also came into contact with a female co-worker. The worker took care of Moon as best as she could. She befriended her, prayed with her and explained about God and His love for her.

“I will be forever grateful,” shares Moon. “Thanks to you, I came into contact with God. As I learn more and more about Him through your Bible studies, I am grateful that this wonderful Being loves me. China and North Korea have not changed. I am still a person with no rights, and there is always the threat that the police will find me and send me back to North Korea.

“My situation is terrible, humanly speaking. But I feel like I am living in a whole new world, just because I know God. And I know my baby is with Him.”

When hope fades, faith emerges.

RESPONSE: Today I will place my hope in the Lord and trust Him to change the situations around me.

PRAYER: Pray for North Korean refugees—especially women—who suffer severely often losing hope. Pray that they will indeed find hope in the Lord.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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