That’s right. I saw the cross of Christ in a congressman–Congressman Christopher Smith of New Jersey to be exact. Congressman Smith was chairman of the Congressional Hearing on Human Rights for North Koreans on Tuesday afternoon. I was at the hearing, my new book in hand, my prayers warriors around me, and the prayers of many of you following me into the Rayburn Building where the hearing was held, across from the United States Capitol.
Congressman Smith (center of picture) repeatedly thanked the North Korean women for coming to testify of YEARS of suffering and torture they endured in North Korean prison camps.
This hearing was longer than any I’ve been in—2 ½ hours long. It was recorded by C-SPAN 2 and showed 3 times that night.
Mrs. Young Soon Kim (at right) testified, “My youngest son (age 23) was publicly executed by firing squad for trying to escape North Korea after his release and attempting to go to South Korea.” Mrs. Kim broke down as she testified. (I certainly wiped back tears). “My three sons, one daughter, father and mother, died from starvation; there were no coffins so their bodies were rolled in a straw mat and buried. One of my sons, who was 9 years old at the time, drowned to death in Ryongyung River, which is near the prison camp.”
These kinds of stories make me unashamedly tell people that they can help a child when they buy my latest book. http://www.amazon.com/Out-North-Korea-Korean-Pictures/dp/1600662749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316736610&sr=8-1
All congressmen asked direct poignant questions and allowed the defectors to answer deep questions such as how do you see the situation in NK being resolved? What can we do to help you?
It was an incredible hearing. It seemed everyone was ready to roll up their sleeves and DO something about this!
So, you’re probably wondering about the cross in a congressman?
Well, you can imagine that the highlight for me was after the hearing when Congressman Smith invited me to his office for coffee with him and those who testified at the hearing. WOW!
This may seem like a small thing, but you know I watched this man honor the defectors, honor my friend Suzanne Scholte who chairs the North Korea Freedom Coalition, I watched him honor everyone else as he led the hearing. Then we sat down in his office.
At his request, his staff brought oatmeal cookies and coffee and Congressman Smith picks up the thermos and begins pouring for everyone gathered.
Now, maybe I was in a congressman’s office with the beautiful white dome of the Capitol Building shining through the window, but I thought about Jesus. I saw Jesus in a man who knew how to lead others by serving them. I saw a man who cared enough to set up a hearing to give North Korean defectors a voice in a world that seems to have forgotten them. Now he poured coffee for everyone. It honestly reminded me of the upper room when Jesus served his disciples despite all that was on his mind that evening.
This is the cross. This is the cross in a congressman who has a plaque on his desk that says “PRAY” and I’m told that he fights for the unborn children in our nation more than any other congressman on the hill.
So when someone tells you our government is falling apart you tell them for me that all is not lost. There is hope. The cross is still in congress. In fact, the cross is in a congressman, Congressman Chris Smith.