Memphis Leadership Foundation
- March 8-9, 2012
- Memphis, TN
- Closed Event
Memphis Leadership Foundation
Click the links below to learn more about life in North Korea.
Pray that God would continue to use this partnership to train NK defectors as influential Christian leaders capable of leading their friends and neighbors to Christ and igniting a secret revolution in North Korea.
New Chinese Train Law May Make Defection from North Korea More Difficult
It may not seem that odd to us in the West for someone to check our identification when we go through mass-transit security. “Boarding pass and ID” is the standard drawl of the Homeland Security agents checking people into the airport.
Oddly enough, this is not always a standard practice in foreign countries. I was recently training discipleship partners along the North Korean-Chinese border and I just I happened to be travelling on the day that China changed their law to require identification matching your ticket when boarding a train.
Let’s just say it was one of those times when someone didn’t think through how this would affect the avalanche of people, many without identification, who would not be able to board because the boarding system is still just set up to show only tickets – not ID and tickets.
Now, the government’s stated reason for doing this had something to do with deterring fraud. The implementation, though, might indicate a different purpose.
Although it was heavily advertised and was all over the train stations I went through –
JANUARY 8 THE LAW CHANGES
YOU MUST HAVE IDENTIFICATION TO BOARD THE TRAIN!
– the only place where they were actually checking identification was to get on the train from Dandong to Shenyang; from the North Korean border into NE China.
Mine was checked not only to board the train, but three times on the way to Shenyang as well. I rode on 4 other trains during this trip, in and out of other Chinese cities which were not close to the North Korean border.
NONE of them checked my ID to get on the train or seemed to care that there was a new law.
As part of China’s increased attention to North Koreans crossing the border during the transition to Kim Il Un, it seems that this law may well be used to deter travel by North Koreans.
It may not have been intentionally designed this way, but this law will make things more difficult for North Korean men and women trying to escape their oppressive regime.
Shortly after his final entry into Jerusalem, Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast. You know the story: a king prepares a wedding banquet, but those he invites do not come. So, instead, he send his servants to invite those from the streets so his banquet will be full of guests.
For Jesus, the wedding feast isn’t intended to symbolize a church service. Instead, the church service is supposed to symbolize a wedding feast!
The Scriptures don’t show a single time when Jesus is inviting someone to go to the synagogue (the Jewish “church meeting” of his day) with him. But the Scriptures do show that the most common invitation Jesus offers to people is to share bread with him. God loves to fellowship with his creation around the dinner table!
Peter Leithart from New St. Andrews College says,
“Especially in Jesus’ teaching, the renewed and fulfilled creation that is the kingdom of God takes the specific form of a feast. Jesus used the image of the feast more than any other to describe the reality of his kingdom” (Peter J. Leithart, Blessed are the Hungry, Moscow, ID: Canonpress, 2000, p. 162).
Why is feasting so important to Jesus?
As Leithart explains, the book of Revelation shows that,
“In short, this is the way the world ends: with neither bang nor whimper but with the laughter of the wedding feast” (Leithart, p. 163).
Why a feast? Well, think what happens there:
Reconciliation. Belonging. Provision. Fellowship with God and humanity. What else does the human being need? What could give a better “taste” of the new heavens and the new earth than a feast like the ones that Jesus provided?
Now, how might this affect the way you think about meals, church, and the life to come? What will you do different having learned this?