Originally published in Religion Today
On July 4, four North Korean defectors now living in South Korea joined a Voice of the Martyrs worker to release 10 balloons into North Korea carrying 45 000 gospel flyers plus their personal written testimonies.
It was the fifth such balloon launch by the VOM partner this year — a tangible way for North Koreans now living in South Korea to reach out to their home country. The North Korean Christians hope the balloons and materials will reach their hometowns in North Korea to spread the gospel of Jesus there.
According to a recent CBN report modern GPS technology is helping a Colorado-based ministry verify that its “gospel balloons” are actually reaching North Korea.
The communist nation is known for religious persecution and has harsh restrictions on the distribution of unapproved literature.
In response, Seoul USA came up with the idea of attaching Bibles and Christian messages to balloons.
Now, the hydrogen balloons are equipped with GPS devices to ensure they reach their destination.
Rev. Eric Foley, Seoul USA co-founder and CEO, said the gospel is getting through, despite government opposition. He said: “The North Korean government, for example, will tell people in North Korea not to touch anything that comes from a balloon, like a flyer or a package,” he explained. “Because they say it is coated with poison, that it’s a way that the Americans and the South Koreans try to poison North Koreans.”
Foley added that the GPS devices provide precise verification, which makes it much easier to confirm the ministry’s work in specific areas of the Hermit Kingdom.