Far East


Frontline Dispatch | Operation Friendship
Bethany Centers|  Open Doors Article

‘Operation Friendship’
Famine has wracked North Korea for several years.
At least 100,000 North Koreans have fled into China in search of food in the past four years.  An estimated 2 million people – of a population of 24 million – have died of hunger or disease in North Korea.

Norm and Cher Nelson have been invited into North Korea by the government several times over the years. The Lord has provided the opportunity for them, with another of CR’s partner ministries, to deliver 2 ocean containers, of over 3 million dollars worth of medical supplies, as well as Bibles and the beginning of a complete theological library. They have been able to take relief to the flood-ravaged areas of North Korea.

There are only 2 church buildings left standing in North Korea, and services are only allowed to be held when westerners are present in the city. Norm and Cher were the first Western visitors to be asked to sing in a Sunday Morning Service. The real Church of God is underground, but is alive and well!

Compassion Radio listeners have also responded at Christmas time with thousands of Christmas cards which were delivered by Norm and Cher to the government officials of North Korea as well as to the believers.

The food that has been supplied by Compassion Radio listeners has been distributed to the Christians for their families, but also for them to be able to share in the name of Jesus

“At a bend in the Tumen River, a stooped North Korean man, with the face of an 80-year-old and the body of a sickly boy, stumbled down an icy road on the Chinese side of the border. In broad daylight he risked capture, deportation by China’s border police and beatings. ‘I don’t care anymore,’ said Kim Guang Il, 20, a cement factory worker who had walked 60 snowy miles over seven days form the North Korean port of Chongjin, wearing a flax sack for a scarf, rags for socks and gloves and shoes without laces. stayed hiding in the snow, I was going to die.
‘If I stayed in North, Korea, I was going to die. I am too cold. And I am starving.’… ‘You don’t know what is happening in my country,’   he added, a cough tearing through his withered body, wracked by hunger and swollen with frostbite. ‘We are dying slowly.’ His parents, he said, were dead from disease. A brother had disappeared in the all-consuming search for food. A friend had succumbed to hunger and cold as they struggled to reach China”

(Washington Post, Feb. 22, 1999)

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