|‘“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”’ (Matt 25:35-40)|
From August 29th to September 2nd the Lionrock typhoon, a 10-scale tropical storm, hit the Hamkyoungbukdo region with the worst storm damage seen in 60 years. There are reported 138 people dead, about 400 missing, and 140 thousand homes destroyed, etc. and you can clearly get a sense for the severity of the damage from the number of victims alone. It also does not stop there. Considering a cold front will soon come and with the effects on drinking water and health, the damage will create an even more worrisome situation.
It is true that public opinion is not favorable following North Korea’s recent nuclear tests. However, we believe, it is humanitarianism that blooms into a flower even in the hails of bullets. We confess our sins that in this time through conflict we have turned away from the suffering of our countrywomen and men, and we have turned away from Jesus’ teaching. In the face of this great disaster, we appeal that with so many people suffering we lay down our swords and spears. Now it is time we must lay down our conflict and antagonism, and we must answer the sighs full of suffering that bring the land and sky to tears.
By resolving to send flood aid to North Korea, the NCCK appeals to the Korean Church and the government as we respond to sincere requests of many concerned Christians as well as to the orders that have come down from Jesus.
First, we urge the Korean Church to consolidate all their humanitarian efforts by practicing love and offering prayers for the fellow country-people in the North suffering from flood damage.
Second, we urge the government to allow all civilian efforts to send aid to North Korea.
Third, we urge the government to implement without conditions humanitarian governmental aid for North Korean flood damage.
We pray that God’s healing will be with our country-people in the North suffering from flood damage, and NCCK along with all Korean churches and the global ecumenical community will struggle to mobilize aid to North Korean flood victims as much as we are able.
September 28, 2016
Rev. Kim Young Ju
Rev. Noh Jung Sun
Chair of Reconciliation and Reunification Committee
The National Council of Churches in Korea