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Guam's Christians Respond to North Korea's Threats in a Powerful Way

Guam's Christians Respond to North Korea's Threats in a Powerful Way Read Transcript


Kim Jong-un's threat to attack American military targets

in Guam has Washington up in arms.

So how are the people of Guam reacting to that threat?

Howard Merrell is interim president

of Pacific Islands University, a Christian school in Guam.

He joins us now for more.

Mr. Merell, how are the leaders of Guam reacting to this threat

by North Korea's president?

Well, our governor, Governor Calvo,

just recently spoke, and I think expresses what I see

is the common attitude here.

People are pretty calm.

This is a place that's seen war and various turn over before.

And a pretty calm group of people, actually.

And in fact, obviously folks there are--

they know there are about 2,500 miles

from the communist nation.

They knew there were always sort of in the cross-hairs

of a potential attack by North Korea.

And so your sense is that people are

going about their daily life there on the territory?

Yes, without any doubt.

We were out this afternoon, and the only problem

was the traffic on Marine Drive was difficult to get through.

And people have seen threats here.

As you say, we are close to Asia.

And also this is an island that is really

quite heavily involved in American Armed Forces, the Air

Force, the Navy.

Guam has a large National Guard contingent.

And so being prepared for this kind of thing

is not something that's new to the people of Guam.

Sure.

What about Christian missionaries

and other ex-pats in Guam?

Is there any talk of evacuation, evacuating these folks

at this point?

I have not heard any.

I am a member of a small mission in the United States,

as are some of the people that I've worked with.

We've been in touch with our leadership.

And they've encouraged us to take sensible precautions.

And we've tried to reassure people back in the United

States that we are well.

I would say that it's quite likely

that you are in greater danger driving home on the interstate

than I am here in Guam.

In fact, my wife and I are on a short vacation right now.

We didn't leave the island.

We just got away from our usual place.

So no, business is going on as usual.

And as a person that lives here, I

would encourage people that are planning

to come here to enjoy the scenery or the ocean.

To come, I think is fine.

On that note, how is the church reacting to all this?

Are there any calls for prayer?

Are churches getting involved in this situation?

Well, yes.

Actually I met with a couple of pastors

on Thursday morning, a prayer meeting

that I tried to go to whenever I'm able.

And we actually spent time in prayer

for the situation in Korea, and the threats that are going on.

There are several congregations here in Guam

that are predominantly Korean.

In fact, several of them conduct their services in Korean.

And so it has a far greater impact on them,

because of most of them have family and friends,

loved ones in the Korean peninsula.

And so they realize that their loved ones

are in far greater danger than anyone else because

of the heavy militarization there.

And actually, in trying to communicate with people back

in the States, myself and some others,

we've sought not only to reassure people

that as far as we know we are well,

we're well protected by the US military,

but also to refocus things.

I think rather than we focusing on a danger that probably

is not going to come to pass, I think

a far greater focus for prayer should

be the people of North Korea who live

under an oppressive regime.

The gospel lives hindered in going forth.

As you know, missionaries have been jailed there.

And so as we're instructed in First Timothy Chapter 2,

or Chapter 2, we should pray for those that are in leadership

that people might be able to live in peace and calm,

so that the gospel would have the opportunity

to go forth unhindered.

And so I think rather than making the focus we

people that are under threat so called,

we should focus our prayer are those people

that we know that are suffering, because of the oppressive

regime in North Korea.

Absolutely.

Well said Mr. Merrel.

Thank you so much for joining us from Guam.

Again, our guest is Howard Merrell of Pacific Island

University in Guam.

So thank you so much for joining us.

I appreciate it.

Thank you very much.

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