I was up late last night reading a new book I had just picked up at Christian Pub. Like most of Philip Yancey's books, I can't put his new book 'Prayer: Does it make a difference' down. Last night though at 4:30 in the morning a particular story he was writing about touched me deeply. It was a story about the Yokotas family; a Japanese family who's daughter disappeared after badminton practice in 1977. Philip writes, "Sixteen years later, long after the Yokotas had resigned themselves to Megumi's death, a North Korean defector made a stunning claim: a Japanese woman named Megumi, who played Badminton, was living in North Korea at a training institute for intelligence agents. Scores of Japanese, he said, had been kidnapped and forced to teach Korean spies the Japanese language and culture. He provided heart-rendering detail's of Megumi's abduction: agents had seized her, wrapped her in a straw mat, and rowed her to a waiting spy ship, where she had spent a night scratching against the hold with bloody fingers, crying "Mother!"
The story went on that the Koreans returned five of the abducties but sadly claimed that Megumi had hung herself and died while in their custody.
I connected instantly to this story as a few days ago I remembered reading an article in Christian Today's news website. The article expressed many peoples concern that the United States push against Korea's Nuclear program would delay and even cease their willingness to discuss these abductions and release their victim's (for the full article click here).
Megumi's mother has spent time talking with George Bush but my heart is divided. At what point is North America's security of greater value then the pursuit of healing the open injustices that have already taken place in North Korea? Why has it taken so long for North America to respond to such injustices in that nation and why does it seem like the response only came when it involved North American interests?
I realize that these questions have no easy answers however, my heart sinks when I think of the affects American politics could have on individuals like Megumi. My hope is that Canada and the United States would not place their own political values and objectives over the value of seeking spiritual and national healing and justice for the PEOPLE of and in North Korea.
"Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matt. 10:31
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:35-39