“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:8-9 NIV
In November, we chose to delay our scheduled trip into the DPRK due to a new policy hastily imposed by the North Korean government. As a result of recent Ebola outbreaks around the world, any visitors coming into the DPRK are to adhere to a 21-day quarantine before continuing to travel throughout the country. We were lacking the resources to commit to the quarantine, but the decision to delay the trip was difficult. Our hearts were heavy and sad as we thought of the patients and staff at our supported TB and hepatitis facilities that were expecting our arrival, knowing that we would not be able to check on them as they prepare for the cold winter season.
But God is faithful and trustworthy, and we are grateful for the many prayers and encouraging words from our supporters both for the people of North Korea and for the work of CFK.
We have used this time to grow together as a team, pray together, and refocus on projects that needed attention at the CFK Black Mountain, NC office.
This time has given us the opportunity to make new updates to our online presence. Our website, www.cfk.org is now mobile phone and tablet friendly, and can be comfortably viewed and navigated from any device! We have improved our social media participation by increasing our post frequency to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As a result we’ve made many new connections and have received several new donations! We hope to continue to add updates and articles, both on this blog and through social media in hopes of further spreading the word about what God is doing through CFK for the people of North Korea. We welcome any comments and suggestions about how we might continue to improve online and provide you with details and stories of our work. We invite you to share about CFK with your friends, family, and your current social media connections.
Additionally, CFK now has a new mobile app available allowing donations to be made directly from your mobile phone! It is quick, safe, and simple. Our new app can be downloaded at: https://christianfriendsofkorea.thegivingapp.com or by texting “North Korea” to 31996 (from USA phone numbers only).
We’ve also updated our current projects on our donate website: http://donate.cfk.org, renewed our profile information on the Guidestar, ECFA, and VolunteerMatch websites, and installed a much-needed new phone system in our office.
VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Throughout November and the beginning of December, we were blessed with the opportunity to host two visiting groups for tours and to learn more about our work. We are always open to guest stopping by the office, and we encourage anyone who is in our area to come and visit to learn more. It is always encouraging to meet our supporters, and to pray for one another and for the people of North Korea.
We have also been able to host several new volunteers, who have helped with envelope stuffing, warehouse clean-up, lawn maintenance, donated items inventory and preparation for shipping (medical supplies, clothing and knitted items, and winter coats), English to Korean translations, doctor and nurse’s kit assembly, visitor information packet assembly, water filter bucket cleaning, office cleaning, gift wrapping, and more! It has been an honor to get to know those who are interested in helping with our work. One group came to do a service project in celebration of their friend’s birthday! Each volunteer / group has had unique qualities and skills that have been so helpful at just the right moment to complete each task. Click here to learn more about how you may become involved in CFK’s work: http://cfk.org/needs/volunteer
There have been numerous unexpected and extremely generous donations received in the past months. This time away from trip preparations has given us the opportunity to call and speak with many of you and to get to know you better, and we have been grateful for that opportunity.
As a staff here at CFK we have really grown together over the past few months. We all handle the various aspects of our lives differently, but we have learned to pray together, work together, and embrace each person’s individual strengths. We are able to see God’s blessings through his delays and we are grateful for the overwhelming impact that our friends, families, donors and prayer partners continue to make on the lives of our friends in North Korea.
As we approach the Christmas season, it is often easy to get distracted and forget what Christmas is about. Many small delays occur all the time with traffic jams in shopping center parking lots, long lines at cash registers, delayed flights and unexpected travel issues, that “perfect gift” is sold out, children fall to pieces in the middle of the store, or any other infinite number of issues that may arise. Instead of getting frustrated, we invite you to pause, remember Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, and thank God for the lessons he teaches us during delays.
We invite you to share with us a time when God has been faithful in walking you through a time of set-back or delay. We would love to hear your stories of your trust in the Lord.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit?” Romans 15:13
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.