Christians in South Korea who are intent on bringing to gospel to residents in neighboring and reclusive North Korea have been working for more than two decades on an innovative plan to do just that.
Known as Operation Dandelion, the effort, which has been unfolding since 1991, involves specially crafted balloons that are filled with all 16 chapters of the Book of Mark. These balloons are then driven to the border, where Christians fill them with helium and send them in the air in hopes that they reach their North Korean neighbors.
The wind and weather, of course, are key to ensuring that the scripture-filled balloons make it over the border.
CBN News described Operation Dandelion as an “unusual aerial offensive” aimed at encouraging North Koreans who might secretly be Christians. Those behind the effort said that they utter prayers before sending the balloons in the air and that they hope to encourage anyone trapped inside North Korea that they are not forgotten.
The outlet interviewed the Christians involved in the effort, but concealed some of their names and faces.
“We started this project back in 1991, and just as a dandelion needs the wind to spread its seeds, we need the wind to spread the message,” one man named Peter said. “It’s almost impossible to get Bibles into North Korea, so using balloons is one of the most effective ways to share the gospel.”
Peter also explained that the effort could get those behind it “into trouble,” as they go just four miles from the border and are close to the demilitarized zone. Still, they forge on in an effort to try and bring the gospel to a people group that lives under the constant threat of government persecution.
One woman named Oh Mo Duk, 78, said that she was born in North Korea and that her involvement in the effort since 1991 is an attempt to bring the gospel back to her people. She told CBN News how the balloons eventually descend and are delivered inside North Korea.
“The helium will leak out of the balloon and eventually fall to the ground,” she said. “And when someone picks it up, they’ll be able to read all 16 chapters of the book of Mark.”
As Faithwire previously reported, Open Doors USA, a nonprofit that monitors Christian persecution, has consistently rated North Korea the worst place in the world for Bible-believing Christians to live.