Hi Reader Friends! Welcome to this Mother’s Day story, “A Mother’s Faith,” by D.I. Telbat! There are links to other short stories at the bottom of this page as well. Enjoy!
A Mother’s Faith
by D.I. Telbat
The young mother, Pak Jung Suk, could not attempt to escape North Korea without her infant daughter, Miran.
Suk stomped her booted feet in the snow that still covered the ground in late spring. The wilderness mountains rose sharply at her back and stretched to the north for hundreds of miles. Like the other Christians, she intended to lose herself in the forested ravines and deep canyons where the regime would not bother to hunt for her. But only if she could do so with Miran.
She doubted that it was even possible to flee the harsh regime. Her demanding job as a missile launch technician had seemed a normal enough life, until she had heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, a Savior of sins and Giver of hope.
Though hundreds of other technicians could fill her seat in the mission control center southeast of Pyongyang, Suk’s faith had become a matter of national security. The regime was determined not to lose a single communist recruit—especially one who had been trained since childhood for that very position.
Stealing her daughter and executing her husband had been two methods that the government had used to keep her submissive. The Christian Book that had been given to her two years earlier had told Suk that God did desire her to submit to the governing authorities, unless those orders to obey conflicted with God’s higher law.
The wind whipped around Suk and she tucked her hair into her hood. Should she have trusted the Christian contacts with the safety of her daughter?
Turning, she noticed the blowing snow was beginning to cover the footprints leading up the mountain. The footprints of the other tortured Christians would soon become untraceable, and Suk would be on her own.
The sound of a truck engine reached her ears, and Suk clutched the pack straps over her shoulders. The vehicle came into sight through the trees. The regime’s red star on the side of the truck was all the warning Suk needed. With a sinking heart, she knew they had found her; she had been betrayed.
Her heartbroken sob over the loss of her daughter was lost in the wind as she gasped for breath and ran for her life. The tree line was near, but her feet slipped on concealed rocks in the snow. Finally hidden in the trees, she paused to look back. Tears on her cheeks began to freeze from the bitter wind.
A man stepped from the driver’s seat with a bundle in his arms. He was an official from Pyongyang in a regime uniform, his coattails flapping in the wind. The small cry of a baby—a cry Suk knew well—drifted with the wind. Though she had been separated from her daughter for three months, Suk still recognized her own child’s cry! The cruelty of them—baiting her for capture using her own child!
A second figure moved from the truck—a woman clothed in winter clothes, a pack on her back, and a bundle of her own in her arms. What was this?
Suk’s head swam. Checking her balance, she leaned against a tree trunk. What was happening? Where were the soldiers that had been chasing her down with the dogs and bullets biting at her heels?
For a mother’s love for her daughter, Suk stepped from the trees before she could stop herself. If only to hold Miran once more, to pray for her, to commend her to God Almighty…
The regime officer pointed at her, and Suk expected a unit of soldiers to jump from the truck, but no other soldiers appeared. Instead, the other woman approached her in haste.
“You must take me with you!” the woman urged. She appeared to be in her twenties. “Please, we won’t slow you down.”
Pausing, Suk desperately yearned to hold Miran in her arms, but Suk was too bewildered to ignore the young woman’s plea. In her arms, she held a bundle of blankets with a soundly sleeping infant.
“Of course.” Suk stood up straighter. It wasn’t a trap. The Christians she had trusted had been faithful! “Wait for me here.”
She continued toward the officer, who offered the crying child to her. Suk was almost too afraid to reach out to take her. Was this really happening?
“I am sorry I am late,” the man said, who seemed no older than thirty years. “My sister insisted on running away with you. She fears they will take her baby soon as well. I hope she is not a burden.”
“You are both…Christians?”
“For many years.” The man eased the child into Suk’s arms. “Our parents taught us the Truth, and how to live in secret.”
“Come with us!” Suk invited. “You will eventually be discovered.”
“I cannot. Not yet.” He climbed back into his truck. “There are many others that need help.”
“But it will mean your death. Please come! We need you as well!”
“No, I know your file, Pak Jung Suk. You are a skilled soldier.” He handed her a small shoulder pack. “These are for your baby. Catch up to the others and find a place to hide until the regime is brought down. Many who are close to the dictator, oppose him.”
“If you go back, you could die!”
“If I die, it is for Jesus.” He closed the door and drove away.
Reunited finally amidst so much evil, Suk looked down at her now quiet and wide-eyed child.
“I am a fast walker,” the other mother claimed as Suk reached her. “Tell me what to do.”
“Stay close to me and remain quiet through the night. We must pass two labor camps before it is safe to rest.”
Suk, having risked all for her child, now led the other mother up the mountain. At the top of the first ridge, Suk stopped and looked back to see that the woman was indeed a fast hiker. Once again, Suk’s hope was renewed that they would be able to catch up with the other Christians. She whispered a prayer of thanks to the Lord. By God’s grace, the mothers would survive.
Read more about believers in North Korea at Open Doors.