An Orphan's Hope (WindowKids)
An Orphan’s Hope
Chang-Sun looked up from his newspaper mat that lay across the cold snow. “Mama, you came back for me!” cried Chang-Sun. His mom met him with a warm hug that seemed to last a lifetime. Chang-Sun felt safe and secure in the arms of his sweet, gentle mother. “I could never forget my precious son! Come, let’s go home,” his mother said. Chang-Sun reached for his mother’s hand but instead felt something cold and wet. Chang-Sun was startled and opened his eyes. “No, no, no,” he said to himself as tears rolled down his cheeks. “It was only a dream, and I am still an orphan.” Chang-Sun often dreamt of seeing his mother again. It had been years since he had seen her beautiful face. He tried not to think about the reasons why she left him. It made him too sad and angry. He wanted to believe that she loved him.
Chang-Sun felt the icy wind whip over his tired body. He had lay in the snow for almost two weeks. He was so ill that each day he thought he would die, but each day he awoke again. Though the people of North Korea were suffering and hungry, he was still amazed by the kindness and generosity of some of the people in his village. For the last ten years, he often received money or clothes from strangers that pitied him.
“Chang-Sun! I can’t find any food for us,” cried Ae-Cha as she ran toward him. They had become friends because their life challenges were similar. They were both orphans and homeless in a small, rural village in North Korea near Mount Baekdu. “Chang-Sun it is bitterly cold. You are sick and tired. I am losing hope that we will have our chance to cross the border to China and have a new life,” said Ae-Cha. Chang-Sun smiled weakly and said with hope, “Ae-Cha, someone gave me money today. It was a woman who looked so poor and had her own children. I know we can use the money to get food and start our journey to the China border. Since the Tumen River is frozen, this is a good time to try to get to China.”
Chang-Sun and Ae-Cha, like many other North Koreans, began their journey to the Tumen River. Many North Koreans chose this river, because the water is shallow and narrow. Chang-Sun and Ae-Cha had heard about the river being full of pollutants and the border patrol guards, but they wanted to try. Some Koreans wait months or even years for their perfect opportunity to cross the river. Chang-Sun and Ae-Cha hoped it would only be a short time for them.
As they began traveling toward the China border, they acquired a new friend, Hymie. Hymie was a beautiful hummingbird. “Annyeonghaseyo! Chang-Sun and Ae-Cha” said Hymie. Hymie was saying hello to them in Korean. “How do you know our language?” questioned Ae-Cha. “I know all the languages of the world. It makes traveling and meeting new friends a lot easier!” Hymie said with a laugh. “May I journey with you to the Tumen River?” asked Hymie. “Sure. We could use another friend,” replied Chang-Sun. The three of them traveled tirelessly toward the Tumen River. “What if there are border patrol guards when we get there? We will have to wait to cross the river!” Ae-Cha said with a discouraged expression. “Hymie! What if you fly toward the border where we will cross to see if there are any border patrol guards?” “Brilliant! Chang-Sun,” replied Hymie.
As planned, when the three of them came close to the border, Hymie flew toward the border, while Ae-Cha and Chang-Sun quietly hid behind a rock. Hymie returned moments later. “I have GREAT news, friends! There are no guards at this crossing. Let’s go!” So Ae-Cha and Chang-Sun ran as fast as they could while Hymie flew over them. When the three of them reached the Chinese border, they were so happy, but Hymie knew they needed to keep moving for their safety. “Ae-Cha , Chang-Sun, we must keep going,” Hymie said with urgency. Hymie led them to a quiet home where his Christian missionary friends, Paul and Elizabeth, lived. These friends greeted Ae-Cha and Chang-Sun with warmth and love. “Paul and Elizabeth will help you find refuge in the embassy of other countries,” Hymie said confidently. “Now, I must continue on in my journey. There are more children around the world who need my help and friendship.” Ae-Cha and Chang-Sun hugged Hymie. Both the children were crying. “An African proverb says that an orphan’s tears run on the inside, but today I see those tears on the outside as well. Always remember Psalm 68:5, ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.’ He will always be your father Ae-Cha and Chang-Sun, even though your earthly mother and father left you.” And with those last words, they were filled with new hope and joy, and watched Hymie fly off into the cold, snowy sky.
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