Have you ever been dealing with something so frustrating that it’s hard to see the benefit? Or maybe you’re going through a trying time and just can’t seem to find the strength to keep a good attitude. Maybe your circumstances have you defeated. I know I’ve been there.
If so, this is for you.
In 2014, American Kenneth Bae captivated his country’s attention when he returned from two years in a harsh North Korean prison camp. His crime? Bringing a hard drive into the country that was loaded with prayers and photos detailing the Communist regime’s starving children.
You might think that he would have become bitter as a result. Far from it. During a media tour Monday promoting his new book, Bae’s response to the horrendous conditions and being imprisoned for his faith is simply incredible.
“One thing I want people to take away from reading the book is God’s faithfulness,” Bae told CNN. “After I was released, I was reminded that God has not forgotten the people of North Korea.”
“I am looking in the mirror in the bathroom every day, and say, ‘remember, you are a missionary. This is what you are here for,'” he elaborated to CBS. “I took it more as a blessing, rather than a curse or suffering… Well it is very hard for me to even say that right now, but no one likes suffering, no one will embrace suffering but when suffering comes to you, you have to face it.”
“I was just there to love the people, let people know that God cares about them, and the rest of the world care about them,” he added. “I hope that this book become a reminder to people to not forget the people of North Korea, have more compassion for the people who are living as a prisoner in their life.”
That’s all after sitting in prison for 735 days.
“I worked from 8 a.m. to 6 pm. at night, working on the field, carrying rock, shoveling coal,” he told CNN regarding his sentence. In addition the physical abuse, he was subjected to mental anguish. One North Korean official repeatedly told him, “No one remembers you. You have been forgotten by people, your government. You’re not going home anytime soon. You’ll be here for 15 years. You’ll be 60 before you go home.'”
Now he’s home, spreading a message of how he lived second even in the depths of despair.
Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?