“A Thousand Miles to Freedom”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…” – John 6:35

I just finished reading the story of a North Korean girl’s surviving a hard nine year journey to freedom through her book “A Thousand Miles to Freedom“. It’s more than a story to me personally. Growing up, I have always been curious about life in North Korea. Witnessing the many changes in China, it was hard for me to believe that so many people are still living in a big lie in another country. In my mind, I felt like North Koreans are living the past of China, just for a longer time. This book has opened my eyes to the cruel reality and depth of sin. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)” It is scary to think about what human beings can do to other human beings when there is no absolute standard of morals.

I am amazed by the writer’s spirit to fight for freedom, for life and now for human rights. I am grateful for God’s protection over her body, soul and mind after all those tribulations. I am thankful for those seeds of truth planted in her search for freedom. I admire her courage, honesty, and diligence in pursuing a better life. Above all, I pray that this precious young life will continue to seek the Truth, which will lead her and many to the true Freedom. At the end of her book, during her interview for applying for scholarship to study in the U.S., she explained she left her homeland due to hunger, and now “had a different kind of hunger: the hunger to see the rest of the world… to learn how to live with others” (p.218). Nothing is wrong with that ambition. I can totally relate to that desire and dream, since once that was sort of my goal in life. However, then what? What if we have seen the world, tried the foods, had the exotic fun experiences? Then what? Cultures have so many layers, as I am seeking to live in harmony with others, what should I let go and where should I stand firm? Without a core value system, what is my base? I think that is the journey we are taking to find a balance in “3rd Culture Living“.

Many people in North Korea today are willing to risk their lives to escape from their living hell; meanwhile, many people today everywhere, including the land of freedom, America, are trying to end their lives after finding no hope. Still others are willing to give up their life of comfort to enter countries like North Korea to share the Word of hope and love.

What’s the point for protecting human rights if humans are evolved from animals anyway? If our ancestors are monkeys, why are we here with emotions and thoughts, wondering about the purpose of life? Who put those desires to live and to live with purpose into our hearts? I wrestled through those questions before I surrendered my life to the loving Lord. I still don’t have an answer why some people, like the North Koreans had to suffer or even die from hunger or poverty. I don’t deserve anything I possess either. I trust that our Heavenly Father has a bigger and better plan and I rejoice in the fact that He is willing to use a broken vessel like me to play a small part for His glory. I shall NEVER thirst or hunger in the Creator!

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