A matted-haired rat scurried across the floor briefly casting its shadow from the light shining through the barred window. Crawling across the leg of a battered Korean woman named Ming.
Ming gasped as she felt the rat climb over her leg. She quickly recoiled the best way she could. It was difficult since she was
handcuffed to the wall of a jail cell. Across from her, Chen, was barely conscious. He was bleeding and hanging limply from his handcuffs. The jail cell reeked with the smell of sewage. Water was dripping into the cell from a leaking
“Chen?” Ming called out. “Are you still awake?”
Chen didn’t answer. He had been severely beaten by their North Korean captors when they were interrogated by the military police. He was bleeding and unresponsive. He needed some medical attention.
It’s my fault, Ming thought to herself. Chen insisted joining his older sister to talk
to a house church in a remote area in southern North Korea. Someone – maybe from the group – called the military police. Ming and Chen were quickly ambushed by the flashing lights of military jeeps. They were rudely shoved to
the group. Chen tried to protect his sister but was smacked in the face by two policemen. They were handcuffed and taken to the local police precinct where they were interrogated for several hours. The police took it easy on Ming but they beat poor Chen senseless. They accused him of being a spy and threatening to kill him.
“Who are you working for?” Demanded the angry interrogator.
“I am working for the Lord Jesus Christ.” Chen would respond each time. Each time the policemen would take turns swatting him on the head. Ming would cry out each time. Each time the policemen would laugh.
Now they are in the jail cell. Charged with spying for South Korea and the United States. False charges. There was no freedom here. No call to an attorney. No appeal. North Korea was intolerant of “spreading the gospel” and regarded missionaries the same as spies.
Ming cried as she dangled from her handcuffs, struggling to wipe the tears from her eyes. She didn’t want to complain because she knew the consequences of getting caught. She worried more about her brother. Is this where he would die?
Right before her eyes and helpless to do anything for him? It was almost more than Ming could bear.
Ming did the only thing she knew to do – pray. In her broken Korean voice, she whispered: “Oh wonderful Lord, I am thankful that I am suffering for your sake. I count myself honored to be called one of your chosen. I do not regard myself but ask that you help Chen. I don’t care what happens to me but please spare
Chen’s life. He’s so young and so new to serving you. You know I tried to discourage him to come with me but he insisted. Now I feel so helpless. I know that you can do all things so I am trusting you in this dark hour.”
Ming stopped her prayer as she recalled a song she had learned as a young girl. The lyrics came to her like a flood:
You are my most wonderful Savior
I trust You in this darkest hour
Upon You I cast my cares
I know that I can leave them there.
Ming sung it over and over. It strengthened her Spirit and she could feel hope springing in her heart. Then it happened! In a flash, an explosion ripped the door off the jail cell. Two shadowy figures entered the cell armed with automatic weapons. Ming couldn’t see their faces. She didn’t have time to think or be
scared. Ming and Chen were loosened from their handcuffs and each carried quickly out of the cell. As they were carried out of the building, a strange vehicle was parked with a ramp opened. As they made their way to the vehicle, gun fire had erupted and alarms were ringing in the air.
Ming and Chen were carried safely into the strange vehicle, the ramp shut as they entered. Ming could hear the bullets bouncing off of the closed ramp. The vehicle quickly departed and disappeared into the dense jungle surrounding the compound where they had been held. Ming was stunned and not sure what was happening.
“If these are not North Korean police, then who are they? Where are they taking us?”