In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. Catastrophic floods have ravaged her countryside. But it is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being.
Is Chung-Cha’s father right to be such a vocal believer? Or is he a fool to bring danger on the head of his only daughter?
Chung-Cha is only a girl of twelve and is too young to answer such questions. Yet she is not too young to face a life of imprisonment and forced labor. Her crime? Being the daughter of a political dissident.
“The Beloved Daughter” follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps of the contemporary free world. Will Chung-Cha survive the horrors of Camp 22?
And if she does survive, will her faith remain intact?
“The Beloved Daughter” won second place in the 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest.
Father promised that God would care for us just like he cared for the sparrows. But as each month of the famine grew worse, seeds of doubt found fertile soil in my empty belly.
In our Hasambong village, even the sparrows were starving to death.
With the People’s Safety Agency here to inspect us, wouldn’t God understand if Father was less vocal about his faith, given the circumstances and grave dangers to our family?
My father sighed deeply, and I held my breath to hear what he would say in his defense. “I am not a fool,” Father began. “I know what risks come from following Jesus Christ,” he continued. His voice wasn’t angry anymore, but gentle, like the snow that occasionally covers the Hasambong mountainside in a blanket of unblemished white. “Chung-Cha is a gift from God … as are you.” Father reached out his calloused, work-worn hand to wipe a tear off Mother’s gaunt cheek. She turned away with a disdainful snort.
Father continued, “Nevertheless, if I began to love these gifts more than the One who entrusted them to me, then I would not be able to look my Savior in the face when I stand before him and give an account of my life.
“It is God who gives me breath,” Father went on. The confidence of his quiet confession seemed to fill our cabin with uncharacteristic warmth. “And as long as my old worn-out heart keeps beating, as long as these tired lungs continue to draw air, I will not remain silent. I will proclaim the Good News until my Savior returns to rule the earth, or until he calls me home.”
I felt my heart swelling at Father’s words of triumph and faith. I watched Mother’s face to see if she felt the same wave of power, the same surge of hope that transcended the suffering and fear – even the constant hunger – of our provincial lives in rural North Korea.
Mother brushed past Father and unpinned her hair. She walked to the bed, yanked down the torn blanket, and hissed, “Your stubborn faith will be the death of us all.”
About the Author:
Alana Terry is a homeschooling mother of three. “The Beloved Daughter” is her debut Christian novel and won second place in the Women of Faith writing contest. Alana is also the author of “A Boy Named Silas,” the story of her son’s complicated medical history and “What, No Sushi?” a children’s chapter book about the Japanese-American internment.
Visit her website at www.alanaterry.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aboynamedsilas.
Purchase your copy of The Beloved Daughter here.