In early 1980s, Ms. Kim was born in a poor family in Onseung, Hamkyungbookdo. Despite serious malnutrition, she was able to complete her schooling; and after her schooling, there was only one choice - do something to help the family keep from starving. The country was on the brink of the Great Famine. For the common person, there were very few options. Ms. Kim desperately tried to work as a selling merchant for industrial goods.
To be a merchant of any kind, you must have “seed money” - even a small amount - and hers was stolen. It seemed like all doors were hopelessly closed to her. Every day in North Korea was another day of day without food.
It was either starve or leave for China. Somehow, in spite of a weakened body and great sadness, Ms. Kim bravely crossed over the Tuman River in fall of 2009. Waiting for her were human traffickers.
Now the years of being imprisoned in a house began. The man who had bought her would not let her see the outside world. Her life was not her own. Day melted into night, month after month, and year after year.
One day, she managed to find a way to contact a neighbor in her hometown. We don’t know the details of how this happened, but we do know that at that time, Ms. Kim heard the news: her older brother was suffering with liver cancer.
Ms. Kim says that it was this news that gave her the strength to finally escape. Again, we don’t know the details, but Ms. Kim was able to find NAUH.
Now, 10 years after being captured by human traffickers, Ms. Kim is on her way to South Korea. “If I arrive in South Korea, I wish to get the legitimate citizenship first, then use all the settlement money for her brother’s illness,” she says. (Every defector from North Korea gets a certain amount of settlement money from the South Korean government.)
There are thousands and thousands of “Kims” still living in China, scared, and shivering, fearing the horror of forceful repatriation back to North Korea. We wept thinking about their situation.
We honor Ms. Kim for her beautiful family loyalty and selflessness. We honor her for her courage and endurance, not only during her years in China, but also in her growing up years - always helping her family, always making choices for the family’s good. There are not adequate words to describe her perseverance in the face of discouragement. We are so thankful that donations from readers like you are giving her (and others) a chance to breathe the air of freedom.
Please join us in saving one life at a time.
We at NAUH desire to rescue every person who appeals to us for help, but there are times we must turn people down because of lack of funding.
It costs about $2000 USD to save one refugee life.
(Our priority is orphans, women, and men in that order)
Because of your love, we are saving one life at a time;
NAUH has partnered with you so far to give freedom to 433 lives.