A Bond That Spans Thousands of Miles

Liberty in North Korea is one of Hoboken Grace’s longtime partners, and a missions team has worked with them in South Korea each year since 2013. This week, the LiNK staff sent an email worth sharing, thanking those who visited in May and everyone from Hoboken Grace who has supported their work to settle refugees fleeing economic and political oppression.

“Just as the North Korean people were encouraged and empowered by our friends from Hoboken Grace, they find strength in our supporters from all over the world,” the staff said. “Thank you for the ways that you support North Korean people! Your partnership has an incredible impact and we are so grateful that you are part of the movement towards liberty in North Korea.”

LiNK also sent an 11-page newsletter chronicling Hoboken Grace’s most recent trip, a week spent connecting with new friends, exploring a new culture and working with the organization’s staff. 

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On their first day, the team presented a career mentorship workshop at LiNK’s Young Leaders Program. Nine North Korean-born students who are preparing for college are participating in this year’s program, a series of full-day workshops covering such topics as personal growth, professional skills development and career exploration. The four members of the Hoboken Grace team shared about their careers and the paths they took to get there, telling stories about studying Shakespeare before going into ministry, shooting videos for the NFL and providing financial support at an office.

The YLP fellows said the stories were interesting and inspiring.

“What left an impression on me was how each of the Hoboken Grace members bravely changed their career paths as they learned what they were good at, and how they consistently stayed true to who they were throughout the process,” said one fellow.

The team also led some of the LiNK staff members and interns in an empowerment workshop about healthy confrontation, schedule planning and work efficiency through games and team-building activities.

“Their teaching was very beneficial for us as a staff team to bond and learn more about how we can support one another,” the LiNK staff said. “It was also a fun time full of laughter!”

The newsletter also goes into detail about some of the food the team ate throughout their trip (pigs feet, boiled pork belly and noodles, tofu rice) and the people they met along the way. That included a baby who apparently was afraid of Anthony because he looked different from anyone she had ever met. (“But through his fun facial expressions and playfulness, she soon grew to trust him and the two became friends.”)

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The LiNK staff said the connection between North Korean refugees and those who support them only grew stronger during the trip. They were able to share meals, culture, laughter and so much more. 

“Throughout your time with us, I was reminded that what is happening in North Korea is not just a Korean story, but a global story that calls out for people from all over the world to notice, stand up and speak out for freedom alongside the North Korean people,” said Sarah, a LiNK intern. “What a powerful thing when North Koreans and their supporters get to meet each other and witness this partnership in person! I felt very encouraged by this and by you, and I hope to see even more people around the world connect with North Korea in meaningful and impactful ways.”

The Hoboken Grace team said they left feeling just as impacted and inspired by the stories they heard and the people they met.

So from LiNK and Hoboken Grace, thank you for helping us support North Korean refugees. We can’t wait to visit LiNK again next year.

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