NGI News Letter - vol.6

To NGI partners,
I sincerely hope that you are well despite the torrid summer heat.
We have some great updates, which NGI is happy to share. Nehemiah Global Community Center (NGCC) is finally opening after enduring periods of hopes and prayers. The new center will be located in Yangchun-gu district, where the largest number of North Korean refugees reside. The center will be easily accessible via subway within five minutes of walking distance from Sinjeong station (Line 5) or Sinjeongnegeori Station (Line 2). Interior construction is still ongoing, aiming for an opening date in mid-August.
NGI has been relying on a temporary community center near the Yangjae station area and an office in the Gu-ro Digital area. However, with our temporary space rentals came to an end, we decided to merge the two places in one. Both locations were not accommodating our refugees, nor were they well-suited to serve our mission, not to mention the financial aspects. With our new center, we hope to expedite our mission.
When NGI first began its mission, I had a strong message from God that my mission is “to remember those that have been neglected, stand with them, and restore their life. God spoke to me to look after 25 million North Koreans, 100,000 refugees abroad, 32,000 refugees in South Korea, and to be their protector. Therefore, from the very beginning of our mission, we prayed and prepared to establish the community center to fulfill that mission. In May, as I shared this vision of building the community center, many supporters joined to fulfill this dream. NGCC will be the place where ‘we dream together. This will be a place where we realize the dreams of the refugees, the South and North Korean community, the global community, but most importantly, God’s dream. NGCC will begin hosting English, computer, and music classes along with personal/ group counseling. The programs we developed and the host will enable North Korean refugees to learn more about God and to experience how God speaks to them with blessings. We sincerely hope the center is their home where anyone and everyone is welcomed.
NGI is currently recruiting Nehemiah 3000 Builder, who can accompany us as we move forward with our missions. We invite you to be part of our community, where we care for the neglected refugees and North Koreans. Please join us with prayers, any contribution that you can make, and volunteering. We pray and hope to completely rescue the refugees and heal their wounds so that they can return to God and experience the blessings he has in store for them. We want you to be part of the day when everyone in the nation and the world hears the gospel of Jesus. 
Your contribution will bring miracles.
Please join us as Nehemiah 3000 Builder.
Thank you.
Yours truly,
Kenneth Bae

Nehemiah One Million Prayer Petition & Nehemiah Prayer Gathering
“By At the end of June 2018, 1,776 people (28 countries, 365 cities) from all over the world petitioned to pray for the 25 million people in North Korea.
By the end of June 2018, 1,766 people (28 countries, 365 cities) from worldwide petitioned to pray for the 25 million people in North Korea. Thank you for participating and praying for the North Korean people. If you have friends or family who have not yet signed the petition, please encourage them to join the movement. Many prayers are required for the liberation of North Koreans, many of whom are starving and do not have freedom of religion.
In June, we prayed for the following at the Nehemiah Prayer meeting (every Tuesday night, from 7:30 PM).
- We asked for the deliverance of North Koreans from their fear and pain.
- We prayed for human rights and freedom of religion to be granted through the Inter-Korean summit and North Korea-United States summit.
We prayed for cleansing of our sins because it is not finances or more churches needed to prepare for Korean reunification. 
If one person prays for just 1 minute a day, 1,776 minutes of prayers are recorded daily. This is possible because 1,776 people have promised and signed the petition at When prayers are accumulated, at God’s right time, North Korea will come together. There will be freedom and joy in the land where currently there is no freedom and much sadness. When that time comes, we will declare to the North: “We prayed for your freedom.”
■ About Nehemiah Prayer Night (Every Tuesday, 7:30 PM)


“Students filled with passion and vision for the North Korean people completed the twelve (12) week Nehemiah North Korean Mission Academy on June 16.”
The last two weeks of class in June were onsite classes, during which students went as representatives of missions organizations and held worship with North Korean refugees.  A business-as-mission model was used to support North Korean refugees who often struggle with economic difficulties in South Korea and abroad.
As the students engaged in onsite ministry, they learned specifically about refugees’ essential needs and how outreach ministry must be developed.
The first twelve (12) week session of the Nehemiah North Korean Mission Academy opened on March 24th  and was completed on June 16th. On the last day of class, students were presented with certificates and treated to a moving performance by a fellow student and flutist Yoona Kim and soprano Sunduk Park.
Graduates of the Academy shared:
“It was a time of God restoring my heart.”
 “I was able to learn more specifically about North Korean missions.”
. “Now I naturally know what to pray because I know in more detail about the people of North Korea and their situation.”
 “I have an interest in this area and desire to learn specifically how to help refugees.”
Join us in prayer that the Academy graduates will boldly go forth, filled with a God-given passion and vision for the North Korean people and North Korean refugees in South Korea and abroad.


Supporting North Koreans Directly – Sea Route Project to send rice and the Bible.
Supporting North Koreans Directly – Sea Route Project to send rice and the Bible.
"Still in North Korea, 750 thousand people are suffering from the food shortage. Will you participate in the Sea Route Project to directly send them rice and a Bible?."
750 thousand  North Korean people continue to suffer from food shortages. Will you send rice and  Bibles to North Korean residents? Will you participate in the ‘Sea Route Project’? Small groups, churches, organizations, even neighbors can join together and deliver hope to North Koreans.
Q. What kinds of contents can we put in the containers?
- Most commonly, we deliver rice, Bibles, 1 dollar bills, and handwritten letters. But, your group participants may want to send additional items.
Q. Why do we send North Koreans rice, Bibles, 1 dollar bills, and handwritten letters?
- Rice is the physical provision, and the amount of rice in a container is about 9 meals or enough food for 3 days.
- The Bible is the spiritual provision, and we send them in the hopes that North Korean residents will meet Jesus.
- One dollar (USD) is the amount that can buy 1.5 kg of rice in North Korea. This both helps resolve food shortages and shows that they have international support. - Handwritten letters deliver hope and express our love through the words of our hearts.
Q. Should the group provide the containers?
- No, thank you. The containers that are used are specifically designed for NGI and this Sea Route Project.
Q. How much do a bottle and its contents cost?
- It costs 10,000KRW (USD 100) to fill and send a bottle. (The NGI bottle, rice, a Bible, 1 US dollar, a handwritten letter, and the transportation costs.)
Q. Can my group fill and send the bottles?
- NGI staff is happy to help you in person to put the contents in the bottles. If your group is simply interested in providing the financial resources for the bottles, NGI utilizes a team of volunteers to fill the containers and finish the process. Once the bottles are filled, you are welcome to participate in the process of loading and unloading vehicles and delivering them to the Sea Route.
If you have any questions, or you want to participate in the Sea Route Project, please contact the NGI Ministry Office (+82-2-363-8488/[email protected])

Nehemiah English Reunification Camp
2018 Nehemiah English Reunification Camp will be held in Jeju Island on July 29th.
750 thousand  North Korean people continue to suffer from food shortages. Will you send rice and  Bibles to North Korean residents? Will you participate in the ‘Sea Route Project’? Small groups, churches, organizations, even neighbors can join together and deliver hope to North Koreans.
Hosted under the theme ‘Return to God, Return to One Korea,’ everyone from South and North Korea, as well as abroad, will join to celebrate and pray for unification. This will be an amazing opportunity to experience the establishment of God’s kingdom.
We hope the camp will bring the two Koreas together and restore God’s kingdom. We also pray that thousands of suffering people in North Korea can begin walking the road to healing through God’s words. Please pray that the two nations and their youth unite as one and experience healing.
If you wish to serve as a volunteer or wish to involve your children in the camp, it’s not too late! Please contact the NERC office (+82-70-7726-8802). 

Interview with a North Korean Refugee
Ji-Hyeon, Lee (for safety purposes, we have changed her name here), is a 35-year-old woman from Bocheon-gun, HyeSan-si, Yanggang-do.
“I had to live, hiding my identity for 12 years; it was tough.”
We met a North Korean refugee who has now lived in South Korea for 8 months. After she escaped from North Korea, she had to hide her identity to live more safely in China. She said that was the most difficult part of her life in China. She hoped the day would come when her separated family would again be able to gather in one place.
● Life in North Korea before her escape
Q. How was your life in North Korea?
During the March of Suffering (North Korean Famine 1994-1998), my family was stable financially because my father earned a lot of money from logging in Russia. My mother suffered from an illness for a year and had passed away. After her death, we faced extreme financial difficulties. We would eat a small breakfast and lunch, but it was impossible to have dinner each day.
Q. It is hard for South Koreans to imagine what it is like to worry about daily food. Would you explain more about what that was like?
You might think that because we had two meals a day, we were in quite a good environment. But the meals we had in the north were not the same as a South Korean proper meal. We couldn't afford to buy rice. We bought 1 kilogram of steel-cold noodles and would have them as meals for two days. I soaked the noodles in water for a while. When they became soggy and larger, then I made porridge with them. They made our stomachs feel more full that way. We had only two meals of this soup every day.
When I stayed with my dad, we got some seaweed from the ocean and sold it at a marketplace to help us pay for more food.
Q. I have heard many people starved to death during the March of Suffering. Did Do you know anyone who died of hunger?
I never saw anyone die from starvation, but I did see many people who had collapsed in the marketplace. They couldn’t walk because they were so weak from malnutrition. There were many children among them, and their bodies became so weak. There were many kids on the street who was in poor health and begged for money because their moms had left the family or their dads had died of malnutrition.
Escape from North Korea in search of freedom
Q. When did you escape from North Korea? And was it because of hunger, poverty, or was there another reason for you to decide to escape?
A. I escaped from North Korea and went to China when I was 22. Personally, I felt life itself in North Korea was more frustrating and difficult than just poverty or hunger. I kept thinking, "How long should I live like this?" and I continued to think that I wanted to leave the country. I had the idea that North Korea was an unfair society, but I could not protest because I would have been imprisoned. So, leaving the country was the only protest I could make. I wanted to leave and go to a land of freedom. China is not a free place, but it is better than North Korea.
Q. You said you escaped from North Korea for freedom. How did you come to think of freedom while in North Korea, where there is no freedom?
A. I lived in Bocheon, so it was rather easy to connect with China. I also heard what people around me would talk about. I didn't experience freedom, but I knew the world outside North Korea had more freedom.
Q. Could you tell me about the process of escape from North Korea? The whole process of escape must be hard, but what was the hardest part?
A. I wanted to go to China, but I didn't know how to do it. I had an aunt who smuggled items out of China, so I told her I wanted to go to China, and I asked her to help me. It was mid-September when I escaped. Security was tight during the day, so we had to cross the river at dawn when security became looser. On the day of my escape, I had to climb up a mountain in advance and hide myself all night on the mountain. It was so cold, and I was anxious. I threw up and had diarrhea. It was so hard.
At 1 am, I crossed the river. The water was so deep that it came up to the edge of my belly, so I held my aunt's hand tightly. I was told there were border guards in China. I was so nervous because I knew I would be sent back if I got caught. My aunt and I managed to get to a place safely where my aunt's smuggling operation was stationed. I stayed there one night, and the next day a person came to pick me up. I had been sold to a Chineseman.
Q. Were you able to choose a male partner to marry?
A. I escaped because I wanted to, but I couldn't choose a man to marry. My aunt asked someone from the contraband trade, and he found the groom.
Q. As a woman, Ji-Hyeon, you made a huge decision. You married a stranger, didn't you?
A. I was in a completely different position than where I am right now. In South Korea, I know my worth and can live up to my values, doing things the way I want to. But, there was no such thing then. At that time, I thought if I could just go to China, it would be more than enough.
Q. How did you feel when you first met your husband?
A. My husband was a good man. But, unfortunately, he was deaf and dumb. My husband worked and lived on a chicken farm. He had a small room, and that was the place I spent the first night with my husband.
Q. How did you communicate with him?
A. We communicated in sign language. I learned sign language from him. He has not been able to talk since he was five (5) due to a childhood illness Because he quickly catches what people are saying; when I speak a little in sign language, he understands. We don’t have problems with communication between us.
Q. How long did you stay in China, and what were the most difficult things there?
A. I lived in China for 12 years. (At this time, tears came to Ji-Hyeon's eyes) In my memory, I don’t think I ever had a hard time. The hardest thing, I would say, was not having documents.
Whenever an officer or a police car passed, I would think that maybe I would be caught and be sent back to North Korea; I was so afraid and scared. I would always hurry to hide and be careful about where I was and everything I was doing. I had to say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” even if I was just ignored at work.
It was so frustrating and unfair that I often cried when I was alone... So, I decided, “I need to have documented.” I started to work harder to buy a Chinese Household Register. But it was not like I thought it would be.
One time while using the internet, I found out that North Koreans can go to South Korea. I made up my mind that this is what I would do, so I went to the Korean Consulate in Simyang. Before leaving, I told my son, “Right now, mom does not have any documents. And if mom gets the right documents, mom will be able to be at your side forever.”By the end of the conversation, he understood why I wanted to go to South Korea. While I was on my way to Simyang, my son called me and said: “Mom, just look and come back.” And I said, “Ok, I will just look and go back.”
As I arrived at the consulate, I found out that I could not get in because many Chinese guards were standing in front of the Korean Consulate. I was so afraid of being caught that I was trembling and could not even get close. The next day I went back home to my husband and son.
● After escaping again and being really free, then in South Korea…
Q. You said that you were not able to escape through the Korean Consulate in China, so could you explain a little about how you escaped to South Korea?
A. Right after I went to the Korean Consulate in Simyang, I gave up on going to South Korea. I thought, “I should just work hard, make a lot of money, and buy a Chinese Household Register.” However, I met South Korean over the internet. That unknown person helped me. That person connected me to the pastor who sponsored my rescue, and thanks to him, I came to South Korea.
Q. What was the hardest part of moving to Korea?
A. As I left China, I was afraid and thought, “What will I do if I am caught on the way and cannot see my son forever?”. Right before leaving, I told my son, “If I get the right documents, you will be able to stay with me forever.” Then I left, and as I rode the bus I started to cry. When I started to worry, I would ask myself, “I don’t know how it will be after I leave.”, and then I would change my mind again and remind myself, “I want to have my documents.”
Q. When did you arrive in South Korea? And, from your arrival until now, what is the best and the worst thing that you’ve been through?
A. I arrived last year in October (2017). Until now, I can’t think of any hard time. The best thing was getting to know God. When I graduated from Hanawon (the settlement support center in South Korea for North Korean refugees), I thought I should work harder because now I have documents and “It is not China anymore, it is South Korea.”
Some time ago, I went to China to see my son. Before I left Korea, I bought some rose flower tea to give as gifts to those who helped me. One day, I put a bag of rose flower tea in the warm water to drink and watched the rose petals open. When I saw that, I thought, “It is just like me.” Now in South Korea, I feel that I am breaking open. It was such an amazing revelation that when it happened, I wrote it down in my phone profile.
“I will also break open, just like you.”
Q. How did you get to know about NGI?
A. When I left Hanawon, I looked for the home of the pastor who had rescued me. That day a woman from NGI’s staff came along. I felt safe and comfortable, as she was very nice to me. Since then, we have become close like sisters. Because the NGI office is close to my home, I often feel that we have become just like a family. I grew up as an only daughter, but at NGI, I have a nice older sister, a younger sister, and even a brother. At NGI, I go to the weekly Prayer Meeting and have attended the NK Missions Academy. Strangely, I feel good all day after meeting with staff from NGI and participating in their programs.
● Journey to meet God
Q. Ji-Hyeon, how did you met God?
A. When I was in China, I had the following call with the pastor who helped me come to South Korea.
“Hello? I’m a pastor. Do you know what a pastor is?”
“Pastor? No, I don’t know what a pastor is...”
“Ah, I see. It is a person who has faith in someone called God.”
He explained things simply like that, and after I prayed to God, I came home. Even though I did not know God, I prayed that I would get safely to South Korea. It amazed me. God certainly helped. I was sure that I would get safely to South Korea.
When I arrived in Thailand, I moved in with a rescued team by a missions agency. For three months, I stayed with that team in Thailand and studied the Bible, after which I came to South Korea.
Originally when I arrived in Thailand, a missionary drove me over to the police station where the team had to go. I was too scared to go alone to the police station, so I decided to join the team, and the missionary was really pleased. At that moment, I did not understand why that pastor was so happy, but later I learned we were being cared for at a Bible study center. I learned a week later that I could go to Korea even if I did not study, and after the second week, I told the missionary that I would go to Korea soon. The missionary told me, "I don't want to stop you, but I would like you to study more.". I could not refuse the missionary's recommendation, and I filled up on God’s word for three months. During the course of study, I naturally came to believe in God and learned a lot. Now that I think about it, it seems that God looked at me beautifully and moved me with the team to know God accurately through Bible study.
Q. Did you attend Church in Hanawon?
A. Of course I went. At the North Korean Protection Center, I had a church and was able to worship. I was pleased that I was allowed to worship. People there didn’t know the Bible well, and I helped people around me. I was so glad I had the opportunity to study the Bible in Thailand. Looking back at myself, I was really proud that I knew the Bible better than others.
Q. Ji-Hyeon, what kind of person is God to you?
A. I think God is kind and generous to me. Even though I am a daughter who does not speak well, and I have a lot of selfishness, God gives me generosity and love.
● Things for the future and wishes for reunification
Q. Soon, your son is coming from China. What is the first thing that you want to do with him?
A. I want to go on a trip with my son. When I was in China, I didn’t have documents, so I could not buy train tickets or travel anywhere. Therefore, the thing I wanted to do the most after I got my documents was to buy a train ticket and go on a trip with my son, wherever we wanted to go. I really like the sea. The place where I lived in China was so distant from the sea. I would often talk with my son about my hometown, telling him about the sea. I would say, “The place where I live, I could walk a little bit and get to the sea. When the reunification happens, we will play on the beach near my hometown.”
My son has never seen the sea, so as soon as he arrives, I want to go right away to a beach.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. I want to have success doing business. I wish to help people in need.
Q. If you have any prayer requests, please let us know.
A. My hopeful prayer is that reunification comes fast. I wish that separated families from South and North Korea get together in one place and can eat and talk with each other. I hope this tragedy of separation, which is so painful in my heart, disappears.
Q. When reunification comes, what is the first thing that you want to do?
A. I want to visit my mother’s burial place. Some time ago I watched a movie, and while I watched it, I missed my mother so much. There was a scene where a mother and her small child had a good time together. Soon afterward, the mother dies in a room, and her child comes and lays down, touching the passed away mother. I am just like that child. 
My mom died after suffering from chronic meningitis for a year. It hurts my heart when I think about that because it is a disease that can be cured in South Korea. And I think of how many other sons and daughters like me are needlessly losing their parents in North Korea like that. So, I hope the day of reunification comes quickly.