Sparrows

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Last summer, I saw a documentary that detailed the lifestyle of individuals living under the oppression of North Korea’s communist regime. Amidst the information regarding smuggled USB drives, phony department stores, and communist propaganda, one segment of the film really stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it for almost an entire year.

Watching the film on my computer, I saw the innocent faces of North Korea’s forgotten children. They are alone, dirty, hungry, scared. These are the street children of North Korea.

Many of them have been abandoned. They have no conception of what love really means. And what’s most heartbreaking is that they have no idea that there is Someone who loves them more than they can imagine and who sacrificed Himself to draw them unto Him.

This has really been weighing on my heart the last week or so. North Korea is the most isolated country in the world, and the fact that these children – who are at the bottom of the pecking order of who’s important in NK – are starving physically, emotionally, and spiritually…it’s heartbreaking. And it leads me to ask myself the question:

“What can I do?”

I can’t just hop a flight to Pyongyang and set up an orphanage next to the Juche Tower. So what can I, a gal in the country most hated by North Koreans, do to help these precious children?

I can pray. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

But do you ever get the feeling that sometimes “just praying” isn’t enough?

I was reading Blaine Harden’s book, Escape from Camp 13, this week. The book chronicles the life of Shin, a North Korean man born in a NK gulag. He escaped the camp when he was in his early 20s and defected to South Korea. He now travels in the US and South Korea, giving speeches to raise awareness for what goes on behind the walls of communist North Korea.

In the book, Harden talks about the street children Shin met while running through North Korea towards China. These children, like the ones in the documentary I saw, were starving and struggling to survive. They banded together to find or steal whatever food they could get. Shin says these children are known as “Wandering Sparrows.”

And that’s when it hit me.

God’s eyes are on the Sparrows.

I may not be able to spoon rice and fish onto plates before these kids. I may not be able to hold them in my arms and whisper that everything is going to be OK. I may not be able to wipe away tears or tell them I love them. But I know the One who can.

I know the One who holds each of these “Wandering Sparrows” in the palms of His hands. I know the one who “loves the little children of the world.” I know the One who said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matt. 19:14).

My arms can’t extend across the Pacific. My income can only support so many charities. But my prayers are limitless in their reach. God hears me.

And He hears the Sparrows’ cries.

 

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