Editor's note: If you are ready to write your letter to Christians who have experienced persecution in North Korea, click here. If you are unsure what to include, read on. Watch this video for more information.
By now, hopefully, you have heard or read about Engage’s Orange Letter Campaign. We are so excited for this rare opportunity to reach out to our North Korean family in Christ with letters of love, encouragement, and reminders of the grace of God. But in the midst of our excitement, we do not want to take this lightly.
Persecution is a real thing; and in North Korea, it is an everyday reality for Christians. In the Western world, we can go online safely and have access to an endless number of resources and Christian teaching. For North Korean believers, a page from the Bible can get them and their families thrown into prison or worse. It is a matter of survival.
While we are capitalizing on our opportunity to write letters, we want to keep this in the forefront of our minds. This is a time to encourage brothers and sisters who are otherwise completely cut off from the global Church. Let’s not waste our words with things that are unhelpful or unnecessary. Here are some things to avoid:
Politics. North Korea is a political loose cannon. It’s instability and seclusion from the rest of the world, as well as the arrogance and malice of North Korea’s dictator, has set the rest of the world, and the U.S. in particular, on edge. In this volatile situation, it is important to avoid writing about Kim Jung-un and the politics surrounding his dictatorship. This is not only a waste of precious words, but it is also unhelpful.
Advice. The goal of these letters is to encourage and build up North Korean Christians, not solve their problems. Their situation is dire, but because of their seclusion we cannot begin to understand their struggles, let alone know how to “fix them.” Avoid giving them advice. Instead, point them to the One who can save the body as well as the soul.
Empty words. It can be all too easy to write feel-good fluff, but keep in mind what North Korean Christians face every day. They experience fear that we have never known. Instead of sending them positive thoughts, remind them that they are not forgotten and that Christ is all-sufficient. Keep Jesus the center of your letter to them. He is what binds us together as the Church.
With that in mind, here are a few things you can include:
Prayer. Prayer must saturate every piece of this campaign. That includes the letters themselves. Pray for peace, pray for comfort, pray for wisdom, pray for strength. Ask God what He would have you pray for them and write it down.
Scripture. Much of the New Testament was written for Christians enduring harsh persecution. Since many of those reading our letters have never had the blessed opportunity to read through the Bible in its entirety, this can be one of the most beneficial things you can include. Especially consider the book of 1 Peter, as there is much said specifically to persecuted Christians.
Who God is. Jesus is the great treasure of the Christian life. It is easy for us in America to lose sight of that fact in the midst of buying all the things we want. Imagine how easy it would be to lose sight of that in the midst of trying to survive. Remind our brothers and sisters of God’s character, how He loves, how He never changes, how He has promised to always be with us. Remind them of who God reveals Himself to be in passages such as Romans 8. And if these things are true of God, then “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
With these things in your heart and mind, click here to write your letter.