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In their most trying time — unsure about their future and certain only of the horrors of their present predicament — the three American detainees held hostage by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's regime turned to Scripture.
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Just moments after stepping off the airplane that carried them in the wee hours of the morning from the distant hermit kingdom to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, one of the saved detainees handed Vice President Mike Pence a note.
On that small slip of paper was scrawled the first three verses of Psalm 126:
When the Lord brought back the captive to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget... when 3 Americans stepped onto the tarmac at @JBA_NAFW & gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back. “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion...” To these men of faith & courage - God bless you & welcome home! pic.twitter.com/vQhdllUADy
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 10, 2018
It is not immediately clear which of the three detainees — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song, and Tony Kim — handed Pence the note, but according to ABC News and CNN, both Kim Hak Song and Kim Dong Chul are ordained ministers.
Kim Dong Chul, it should be noted, is the longest-known U.S. hostage in North Korea. The South Korean-born U.S. businessman spent at least 900 days in the dictator's custody.
Hoping to drum up awareness about the three U.S. captives, Tony Kim's son, Sol Kim, recently launched a social media campaign called Free USA 3, through which he advocated for the release of his father and the other two detainees.
In a statement posted to the campaign's Facebook page, the Kim family thanked President Donald Trump and God for the safe return of the three men.
“We appreciate all of the support and prayers of friends and even strangers during this challenging year. You are dear to our hearts,” the statement read. “We ask that you continue to pray for the people of North Korea and for the release of all who are still being held.”