Released Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim on Sunday spoke in Korean to the congregation of the Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga about how he survived his ordeal in a North Korean prison. Lim was released after 2 ½ years spent in North Korean custody earlier this week.
In his remarks, he thanked the members of his church and the government for securing his release.
Here is a translation of Lim’s prepared statement, provided by the church Sunday:
I am so grateful that God has allowed me to be here with everyone here today. I want to earnestly thank Prime Minister Trudeau for helping in my return home. I also extend a very special thanks to Special Advisor Daniel Jean and the delegation for securing my release In addition, thank you to Minister Freeland, former Minister Dion, Senator Yonah Martin and all the incredible staff in Ottawa. I also want to thank the Swedish Government for being Canada’s protecting power in North Korea, and for playing a critical role in my release.
I was sentenced to death by North Korea but the sentence was commuted to life of hard labour. That too, was God’s grace, and gave me tremendous peace.
From that moment, there were days of overwhelming loneliness. From the first day of my detainment until the day I was released, I ate 2,757 meals in isolation by myself. It was difficult to see when and how the entire ordeal would end. But this isolation also gave me the opportunity to spend an extended time of solitude with God.