I’m never really sure what to expect when we have a guest speaker at church. I usually prefer Sean’s musings to whatever local charity or organization is looking for volunteers, donations, or simply hoping to spread awareness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m generally supportive, but rarely does any particular outreach speak to my heart. That’s pretty much what I expected when I walked in and saw t-shirts and stickers for sale reading “Liberty in North Korea.”
Sure, I know it’s bad over there, and it’s important to help… but… really, what can we do? It’s North freakin’ Korea.
I learned a lot in that 30 or so minute visit with the LINK nomad. A young guy, probably only about 20 years old at best. The thing that got me was not only are they doing great things and saving young people from imprisonment and death, but the absolute rebellious nature of what’s happening. In a way it’s very American.
The culture is changing in North Korea. Unlike their parents, this generation of North Koreans doesn’t rely on the government to survive. They’ve found that the only way to get the things they need is to go to the Jangmadang, the market, and the only way to make money to get what they need is to sell at the market. They’re turning their back on the government and taking their lives into their own hands.
With restricted media, there’s an underground for outside news, movies, music and information. A lot of this exchange also takes place at the Jangmadang. Today’s young North Koreans are much more aware of what’s happening in the rest of the world than their government would like them to be. Many flee North Korea into China, but it’s still dangerous. They could be caught, sold, or returned home where they’ll be imprisoned and killed. LINK works to locate these refugees and get them safely out of China. From there they have the opportunity to go to school, work, earn money to aid the rebellion back home, and share their stories with the rest of the world.
I encourage you to check out the website, learn more, and get involved if this is something that touches your heart. I’ve decided to start a fundraising page. It takes about $3000 to rescue one refugee, so that is my goal. I would like to give someone a chance at a new life. 100% of donations goes to rescue and resettlement support, and currently donations are being matched 100%, so if you donate $25, it’ll be a $50 donation to Refugee Rescues.
A lot of times I say “I’ll give when I have the money to give,” but I’ve learned that those times never come. There’s always a reason why “I don’t have enough right now.” Then I realized, if I give, I’ll have plenty. The gods always make sure I have enough, so I might as well give. Just something to think about.