But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” — Romans 10:14-15
It is believed that up to 80% of the world’s population lives in countries with little or no religious freedom. In addition, 80% of those being persecuted are Christians. But rather than being discouraged, Jeff King, President of International Christian Concern, in his soon to be published devotional book, tells the story of a man named Peter who lives on the river between North Korea and China. His heart, passion and daily activity is reaching the Church of North Korea with the Good News. Here is Part One of his story:
“Peter asked a friend to go with him to the Tumen River bank to look into North Korea. He felt lonely and discouraged. He was one of very few missionaries left working with North Koreans who make the dangerous crossing into China. The majority of his coworkers had either shifted their ministry focus to safer things or left the area entirely after a recent Chinese secret police crack down.
Over the years, Peter had met many secret messengers sent by Christians inside North Korea to get news, food, Bibles, and other supplies at the riverbank. These were all potential suicide missions, but these missionaries felt a heavy burden for the growing underground Church of North Korea.
As Peter and his friend sat on the bank, they started singing. There was no order or formality to their singing. His friend had brought a guitar and strummed gently as they sang worship songs, hymns, and even children’s praise music. Suddenly, he felt the night mist soaking his shirt. He was wet and hungry, but stayed by the river as his heart was fed by God. The welcome darkness kept them safe from the police, so they both kept singing.
Tears of gratitude fell as he thanked God for His patience during his constant times of doubt. He continually thought about returning to the U.S., but there hadn’t been any release from his service. God was patiently working in his life and using him to serve North Korean Christians.
Peter finally left the riverbank late in the night, invigorated, but came back the next day. A few villagers, some total strangers, had heard about his worship and joined him. They sat together on the riverbank, singing praise songs to God. A few said they liked the tunes; others said that they just wanted to hear the soft music. Others worshiped with him.
The next day, more villagers came. No one was preaching, teaching, or leading the gathering. No one told them when to go back or even to come back at all. They just sat there every day, watching the river flow, and singing to God, many with tears flowing down their cheeks. Seeing that God was doing something incredible, Peter kept coming to the riverbank. Within a few days, there was a large daily gathering, and the missionary wasn’t lonely anymore. He remembered how previously only a handful had come when he asked them to go to church or Bible study.
As he thought that through, it occurred to him that he should start a church, but then realized the Lord already had . . .”*
*Jeff King, The Last Words of The Martyrs