Saturday, May 13, 2006

Missionary's calling not 'peaches and cream'

On [May 9th] in 1972 Tim Peters walked out of a university tutorial on Shakespeare and made a decision that changed his life.

To the confusion of his professor who thought the tutorial went well, he never went back to study at Michigan State University. But he wasn't an ordinary dropout - it was a "profound religious experience" that led him to dedicate his life to missionary work.

That calling brought him to Seoul where he is now the coordinator of an underground railroad that helps North Korean refugees escape. In China, the refugees live in constant fear of being repatriated to North Korea where they face internment in prison camps or even execution for trying to escape. A "strike hard campaign" by the Chinese authorities means that Peters' work has become more difficult, and those helping North Koreans risk being thrown into Chinese jails.

"Never underestimate the power of prayer," he told The Korea Herald.

And in the South, there are those that are hostile to his work, "I don't want to dwell on that," he said, explaining that if you are prominent and take a stand on a sensitive issue "you've got to expect it's not going to be peaches and cream."

[Excerpt of an article by Jane Cooper, The Korea Herald]

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