Amidst the emotion and tears of the return of Laura Ling and Euna Lee . . . there seems to be another story. Not the one about American celebrity host Lisa Ling going on television to leverage the American public - something the North Koreans are sure to love. Not the story about how two employees of Al Gore's Current TV Cable television outlet somehow ended up in the custody of the North Korean border patrol. Not the story about former President Bill Clinton's ability to get the job down of securing the release of Ling and Lee. Not the story of Clinton's wealthy friend, Steve Bing ~ the guy who owned the "white jet" the girls stepped off of ~ financing the "rescue" mission. Not the story about how an American private jet carrying a former US president, a team of US Federal Secret Service agents, and members of Clinton's staff could even land in North Korea without being shot down . . . those stories would be worth researching.
No, the other story that got to me was the reminder of those who intentionally bring the gospel subversively into lands that are hostile to Jesus. The ones who don't just report across the river of danger, but cross over then journey deep into the land of danger. As followers of Christ, the reality of our faith is suffering . . . not comfort, not convenience, and certainly not copping out. I am reminded to pray for those who suffering, being tortured, even killed daily for the gospel . . . even American missionaries die for Jesus . . . that's expected.
A hint of this suffering can be found at "The Voice of the Martyrs" ~ a global perspective of the persecution of God's children. Open Doors ~ a ministry which serves the persecuted church worldwide ~ also has a word ("No Pardons for Thousands of North Korean Prisoners") for the church of Jesus Christ amidst the release of Ling and Lee, it can be found here.
Jesus once said this, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5.10 NIV). This is the story I am reminded. God's peace and grace to you Laura Ling and Euna Lee . . . God's mercy to all of us.