Written on April 18 at 2:39pm
I came across this letter I had emailed to my close friends this past spring. I cannot articulate my thoughts any better now.

“remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
-hebrews 13:3

“anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
-james 4:17

“speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
-proverbs 31:8-9

i cannot even describe how much sorrow i feel right now after reading some of the accounts of prisoners in north korea. (http://www.davidrhawk.com/HiddenGulag.pdf ) it is horrific. the brutalities, the atrocities committed against people there are terrible, but the knowledge that there is nothing i can presently do to relieve it is almost worse. knowing that it will continue, that even now, people are being tortured and killed unjustly, breaks my heart. and then, when i remember that north korea is just ONE country like this, i am stunned. how many other innocent people, especially Christians, are being persecuted around the world in similar ways? it is numbing, i don’t even want to think about it, but know i must.

i hate the helpless feeling i have. i want to change it, i want to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING. but what can i do? i know God is the one in control, i know that He will change people, not me. i know that although He did not introduce suffering, pain, cruelty and injustice into our world, He is capable of using it to bring about His perfect plan of redemption. yet it also seems like we should be doing something, doesn’t it?

i cannot read about this and not feel compelled to act. yet how? act how? what is there that i can do, besides pray?

today after hearing a sermon on giving based on philippians 4:10- 20, i came home and began researching north korean labor camps again. i hadn’t been doing that since this december. i feel that giving of my life, my time, to defend these innocents is necessary. yet how to do that is the question.
it doesn’t sound happy, doesn’t seem promising, definitely seems impossible. but God has a plan.

it is so difficult to continue reading prisoners’ accounts of their mistreatment. i feel such a sense of urgency, but i know that God in His wisdom, has me where He wants me. although i still want to be doing something NOW, i question whether i really would be willing to act out if it meant risking all i have. i think i am easily influenced by hearing about injustice, and i wonder if my rash, emotion-based response would hold up when i would be tested? if i had to rely on my strength, i know i would fail. but God has promised to provide strength for whatever he asks us to do.

please pray for the 200,000+ prisoners in labor camps, when you think of it. i’m trying to set aside at least 10 minutes every day to do so. i feel that is the least i can do.
if you have any knowledge about ways to become involved in changing the atrocities done in these camps, please let me know.
also, please pray that i would know what God wants me to do

“now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. your gold and silver are corroded. their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. you have hoarded wealth in the last days…you have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. you have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. you have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.”
-james 5:1-6