I run a company that builds greenhouses for growing tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers. In 2016, I visited North Korea for the first time with my wife and a missionary friend to look for opportunities to start a greenhouse business cooperation. Two years earlier God had asked me, "who will go?" and this trip was the answer to that question. The rules given by the travel agency that organized this trip were clear and simple: you cannot bring Bibles, Christian books or any symbols related to Christianity. While at the airport in Beijing, as I was standing in the queue to check-in for a flight to Pyongyang, I noticed a piece of luggage with a sticker of Korea and a cross. I would not have paid much attention to it except that the travel agency had so emphasized the ban of Christian symbols that the sticker leaped out at me. I pointed it out to my friend and he replied that there was no way this luggage would fly to North Korea.
Over the next few days, we visited the most important tourist sites of Pyongyang and Kaesong. In our group, there were about 20 people including two brothers from Norway with whom I shared my desire to build a greenhouse in DPRK. This trip was very interesting yet also sad because I saw that any cooperation at that time with DPRK would be impossible. However, it is God who opens doors. A week after my return, I received an email from one of the Norwegian brothers. He wrote that he had learned from his parents that there were already Christians building greenhouses in North Korea. I was surprised and asked myself how it was possible so I went online to the website of this organization in order to learn more. I learned that they actually help Koreans in many areas, and part of their work includes the construction of foil tunnels (like greenhouses) for hospitals and rest homes. After reading each webpage, I returned to the home page where I saw the exact same logo as the sticker on the suitcase at the airport in Beijing - Korea and a cross. Wow! I wrote an email to the office of Christian Friends of Korea (CFK) and a year later I went with them to Korea for a second time, but on a much different trip. I could take a Bible with me and Christian books. Immediately, I received a T-shirt with the CFK logo (Korea and the cross), which I wore with pride on the streets of Pyongyang. What seemed to be impossible a year ago had become possible in a short time. Since then, I have been with the CFK team three times and now I have friends with the same heart – a Korean heart. :)
I know there will be other unusual stories since Heidi ended her first email to me "... and we will see where our Lord will lead us.” What God does exceeds our wildest dreams and expectations. I am grateful to Him for the opportunity to travel with the CFK team to North Korea, for the opportunity to help the Koreans by helping patients in the midst of very challenging living conditions, the ability to stay with Koreans and share my work experience and life with them.
The CFK logo has a special meaning for me and I believe that is also true for the Koreans who see the logo. Some may be indifferent to the logo, not noticing it, but for others, it is a reminder of endless love and hope.
Contributed by: Zbyszek Węgrzyn