From the Foleys
Famine in North Korea? The Canary in the Coal Mine Says No
When Dr. Foley and I founded Voice of the Martyrs Korea, we were blessed to know nearly nothing about North Korea.
The reason I regard that as a blessing is that what was "known" about North Korea at that time came from the news media, international aid agencies, South Korean missionaries, visiting academics, political think thanks, and the North Korean government. Dr. Foley and I were largely ignorant of this information and instead made what I believe was the God-ordained choice of turning to ordinary North Korean people to learn about their country, to learn how they believed God was working in it, and to learn how we could support them in that vision.
The picture we received was so fundamentally different than what was then "well known" about North Korea that at first people--especially the experts--thought we were crazy. Even crazier, they thought, was our commitment for VOM Korea to be a place where North Koreans are the teachers, strategists, and actors--the subjects, not the objects--of North Korea ministry. From the beginning, every North Korean project we have done has owed its genesis to North Korean Christians.
I wish I could say that things have changed in eighteen years and that today people see North Koreans as the teachers, strategists, and actors. But this month has brought renewed reports from many quarters about North Korea teetering on the brink of a famine so large that purportedly North Koreans are terrified that it is 1993 all over again. Numerous NGOs have unveiled plans to "save North Korea" from famine. As a result, I have received numerous inquiries from people asking me what to make of it all...
To read the rest of Pastor Foley's update on our blog,