What is Christmas to a North Korean?

“Have you ever heard of Christmas?” This question may seem alien to us, but to a North Korean migrant worker it is perfectly reasonable. And it just might be the beginning of a life-transforming faith. Some North Koreans get their first opportunity to experience the outside world by joining a migrant work program in Russia, China, or the Middle East. But life at a migrant work site is hardly an improvement: workers are strictly controlled to prevent outside contact, they toil extremely long hours, and are poorly fed. Global Advance’s Alpha Relief Initiative is empowering local believers to reach out to North Koreans in work camps with Emergency Relief Packs and the message of the Gospel. One brave believer heard of a facility where some young North Korean women are working, and began looking for ways to reach them. The only possible way in was to go undercover and get a job there. Once inside, the discoveries were shocking.

Women aged twenty to twenty-five are forced to work twelve-hour days, and if they miss production quotas they risk losing their food rations or even being beaten. They often faint from fatigue and starvation. The women are forbidden to leave the facility and are restricted from contact with other workers. They live in constant fear, and talk very little even among themselves. Pray for this believer to find a way to gain trust, an open door, and the opportunity to share the love of Christ.

Other work sites are less restrictive, and sometimes even the guards are curious or hungry enough to accept the care of our brave brothers and sisters on the front lines. The team has provided emergency medical care for injured and malnourished workers, and has gained unprecedented access to closed areas through their compassion. Many North Koreans are getting a glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas for the first time!

With your support, frontline leaders will be reaching North Koreans with hope this Christmas as they bring food, warm clothing, medicine, and other necessities to them. And, when the guards aren’t looking, a Bible can even be tucked in the bundle. These are life-saving Christmas gifts which open the door to the greatest gift of all: the Gospel.