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  • Writer's pictureBruce Black

A Remarkable Change of Allegiance

Young Cho has dedicated his life to share the love and truth of Jesus with North Koreans who have defected from their country. As previously noted, these individuals flee through China, to ultimately arrive in South Korea for the hope of freedom and safety. Young has recently returned to Seattle from a two-month trip to South Korea where he held daily meetings to disciple people who do not yet know Jesus, and to training existing disciples to share Jesus with North Koreans.

During his visit, Young met a new Christian who Young calls “S.A.” to maintain his anonymity for safety.

Young shares this:

One of many highlights was a week-long conference in Jeju, the very island that we had begun working toward building a mission base for missions’ mobilization for East Asia and NK. More than 70 Bible students of North Korean defectors attended along with about 40 helping volunteers. The days were filled with praises and words of teachings empowering them to pray and prepare themselves as Gospel workers for the oppressed in North Korea when God opens the door and for fellow defectors settling in S. Korea. There were many powerful testimonies shared, such as the testimony of “S.A.”, who was a former soldier who oversaw guarding the 'vacation home' of Kim Jung Il, the deceased father of North Korea’s current dictator.

“S.A.” now lives life with a burnt face and body, his scarred head covered with a wig. To this assembled group of Jesus’ disciples “S.A.” told the story of how in his previous life he risked his life as a dutiful, devout believer of Kim Il Sung ideology (idolatry in essence). At one point in his service to the dictator when there was a fire that broke out in the mansion. Long story short, he came to realize the lies and manipulations the dictators portrayed to the public and the hypocrisy of the leaders who led wildly luxurious lives in the vacation home. Enduring the aftermath of fire, he later risked his life once again to find hope and freedom by fleeing his homeland and his family to travel to South Korea.

As “S.A.” continued to share the journey of the escape finally reaching S. Korea, he acknowledged that it was when he began to serve other North Korean defectors that he truly began to experience Christ’s love and truth. “S.A.” then shared with the group that he has now submitted his life to the Lordship of Jesus and Jesus’ calling to serve the oppressed in North Korea.

“S.A.” came to the conference with his fiancé, one of the newest defectors whom he led to Christ. The two were married on July 24th.”

As Young shared this story I couldn’t help but think of the story in Matthew 8 of Jesus’ encounter with the Roman military officer. Jesus commended this Roman soldier’s willingness to turn to Jesus’ eternal power and to put his trust in Jesus’ truth. It is amazing how centuries later that soldier’s faith continues to inspire and lead others to Jesus. I hope and pray that God will do the same with “S.A.’s” story of faith as he turned from being a soldier for an earthly dictator, to a soldier of God, dedicating his life to sharing the grace and love of the King of Kings.

Here’s how you can help Young’s efforts to make disciples of North Korean defectors:


During his recent trip, Young discovered that the government of South Korea has limited social meetings to no more than four people per gathering. This ruling has a hugely negative impact on Christians ability to meet. This ruling seems to be targeting Christians because businesses, mass transit, and all other areas of South Korean life continue to function as if Covid-19 is not a threat. Please pray that God will help Christians to persevere and to thrive in their faith as they deal with injustice.


Most North Korean defectors flee their country with nothing but hope. Most do not know what their future holds, much less anything about Jesus. Christians that help the refugees escape North Korean oppression want to help the defectors with their physical needs, as well as spiritual needs. Your financial help makes it possible for selfless Christians to provide much needed care for these brave people. Please prayerfully consider giving to this amazing work.

God’s grace and guidance to each of you.



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