Meet Pastor Kim: The Jungle Hero Rescuing North Korean Defectors

Meet Pastor Kim. Hey there, ever heard of Pastor Kim? He’s like a real-life superhero, but instead of capes and stuff, he’s out there in the wild jungles, helping North Korean defectors find freedom.

For Pastor Kim, it’s not a big deal – he’s been doing this rescue gig with his group, Caleb Mission, for over 24 years. They’ve helped more than 1,000 people escape from North Korea! Can you imagine?

The Wild Adventure in “Beyond Utopia”

So, there’s this cool documentary called “Beyond Utopia,” streaming on Amazon Prime and Apple TV. It shows Pastor Kim in action. There’s footage of families like the Rohs, begging Kim for help in a shack on China’s Changbai Mountain.

These guys risk everything, trekking through the jungle at night, chased by dodgy brokers looking for cash. And get this, even after escaping, they still have the North Korean propaganda vibe going on!

Behind the Scenes with Director Madeleine Gavin

The brains behind this film, Madeleine Gavin, had previously worked on a project in the Congo. She met Pastor Kim in South Korea in 2019 and felt a pull to tell the stories of North Korean folks. That’s when “Beyond Utopia” started coming together.

The Great Escape

Now, the Roh family was facing a tough situation, being banished to a rough spot in North Korea because of their defector relatives. They dashed to China and lucked out by crossing paths with Pastor Kim. Together with Gavin and a small film crew, they embarked on this nerve-wracking journey through Vietnam and Laos, aiming for the Thai border.

Faith Moves Mountains

Pastor Kim, being a Presbyterian pastor, sees these missions as a calling from above. His wife, a former North Korean army big shot, was his first mission. His faith pushes him to follow the Bible’s teachings about helping those in need, like widows and orphans. That’s why he’s so into these rescues.

Belief Without Borders

Kim’s not about forcing religion on anyone, but he does pray openly. He hopes his prayers offer comfort to the defectors. In one scene, he says a prayer before a meal at a safe house in Laos. It’s the first time the Roh family hears those words. Even though they’re new to Christianity, sharing that meal and prayer meant the world to Kim.

A Spiritual Journey

Meet Pastor Kim. Gavin, the director, isn’t religious herself, but while filming, she felt this strong connection. She described it like being in sync with a powerful force beyond our regular understanding. It was a pretty intense experience for her.

Wrapping It Up

Beyond Utopia” isn’t just about thrilling rescues. It’s about people like Pastor Kim and his crew who, driven by their faith and kindness, help others find hope and freedom. This documentary shines a light on incredible folks doing extraordinary things. It’s a reminder of the unsung heroes out there making the world a better place.