Migrants, not defectors

“Migrants, not defectors”


Abraham is the father of faith. He left his country and went to a country he did not know. This is not a defector. He is a sojourner, a migrant.

I want to read from the book of Jeremiah.

“Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive—to the priests, the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.” (Jeremiah 29:1).

See, these words came through a prophet. Who were they addressed to? To those who moved to another country. And those were the elders, the priests, the prophets and the people.

And now there are priests here who were in North Korea. There are elders. And there are people. The Lord has a Word for you. But it doesn’t say “defectors”. It says “those, who were moved”.

I like this meaning better. Because it seems to me that a defector is one who flees, who is chased, and who flees from fear. But a migrant, a sojourner, is the one who makes decision. This has nothing to do with shame. This is not due to the weakness of an individual. There is no shame in moving to a different place. A migrant should not be embarrassed about his choice.

And there is a word of the Lord to the migrants today. God used prophet Jeremiah to prophesy to those who were moved from their land. Today God is raising up prophets who will speak to the displaced North Koreans.

And this is a different Word – to those who lived here and to those who arrived here. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captives whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon” He speaks to the captives.

See, this is a different status. These were moved from their land, but for some reason they became captives. And the Lord doesn’t want us to be captives today. We didn’t come here as captives. We didn’t come as captives of religion, we didn’t come as captives to the system. South Korea is a blessed country. It gave birth to a lot of Christians. It set an example of how to pray. But this is not yet heaven on earth. God doesn’t want the migrants to become captives.

He has a Word for them. And today I want to give the Word to the displaced people.

One day Jeremiah came to many exiles, just like you. These were elders, prophets, priests and people. He said: “… Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.  Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” ( Jeremiah 29:5-7).

That is, people, who have been moved, treat well the people where you’ve moved to, love the land, love the cities, love the people you see around, and do not be afraid of them, work, build the city, give birth to children, pray, and you will have peace. But this is temporary. Because this is a captivity that will end one day. He says of the prophets not to deceive or tell fortunes. And don’t even believe all your dreams. But “hear My Word”:

 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord. For thus says the Lord: after seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.” (Jeremiah 29:8-10).

This is a very powerful Word! God took the people who were in slavery and placed them in another land and spoke the Word to them: “Do not be afraid! You are not captives! You are migrants! And My love for you continues to shine! And I have a plan for your life because I bless you. Therefore, love the land. But one day I will open your country and I can take you back there again, after seventy years!”

When was Korea divided? In 1953? What year is it now? 2023 – Seventy years ago!

The curtain fell in Russia after seventy years. God uses the number seventy. Under Jeremiah He used the number seventy, Daniel the prophet prayed and read “seventy years” – but nothing was visible, nothing was happening, and he said: “Lord! Open up! You promised seventy years!” And God sent His Angel. Angel Gabriel came and brought him the Word. Daniel fasted and prayed, and the doors opened!

The curtain was in Russia for seventy years. And the curtain fell after seventy years. And now Korea is seventy years old. It’s closed. God promised Abraham four hundred years – that the people would be taken out after that period. And Moses rose up. Moses prayed and the gate opened – God brought the people out. But four hundred and thirty years have passed. There was a reserve of thirty years. I don’t wish you thirty years’ reserve, but a small one may still be there. Why? This is the human factor. Because you need to pray, you need to fast, and you need to break through. Break through, keep hitting again and again.

Seventy years have passed since Korea was divided. And today we are at a historical moment. We may not feel anything. We may not see anything on TV. We may see that circumstances say nothing. But God has a different watch, God has a different calendar. He says: “Seventy years.” And slavery falls.

God uses the number seventy. Seventy is a lot! This is human life. God uses this measure of human life. This is God’s cycle – human life. Seventy years of slavery.

God continues to say: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have a future for you. My future for you is good. I want to give you a future. I want to give you hope.

Today, as we were driving to the meeting, I spoke with agirl and I asked, “How do they treat North Koreans in South Korea?” And she said, “Not very good.” I know it, I feel it. But is it your fault that you are from North Korea? If I lived in South Korea and was from North Korea, I would ask: “Don’t call me a defector! I’m not a defector! I am a migrant! I am a sojourner! Not all of us flee out of fear. And some of us were brought out by God. And there is no need to be ashamed of this.

God has a Word to you: that when the doors open, He will call His people again. And He says: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29: 12 – 14).

The Lord is calling some of you. What will you do if the doors open and the system falls? And when the Lord opens North Korea again, you are the people who can go again and bring them the Word of the Gospel.

This Word that I have read to you is the Word from the Bible. This is the Word of the prophet Jeremiah. And he spoke to people who are like you. Namely to the migrants: that you must hear the Word of God here, that one day the communist system will fall and the country will open up. What will you do?

The Lord is seeking you today! Seeking you. I came today to tell you this. Don’t think it will be far ahead. It can happen in one moment, in one day, in one year or in one hour. Doesn’t matter. What’s in our heart?

You are a very important people. You are in the sight of the Lord. He is looking today for faithful hearts that not only strive for prosperity on this earth, but that rise above those goals and look ahead. The Lord says, “When I open the doors, some of you I will call to return.”

You’ve got to find a message – what you can say. When I witness to a North Korean person, I have a special message for them. I tell them: “I also wore a badge with Lenin. My father was an officer, captain, pilot, and he was a communist. I was also a pioneer, I tied a red tie, and I took an oath – just like the North Koreans. But one day the power fell. It collapsed. And what should I do?!” And they listen, they are interested.

And I ask: “What will you do when your power falls? Will you take off your badge and throw it away? Or what will you do? And I tell  how I accepted the One who is the True authority.

You have a message, you need to find it. You need to find a special message. Your testimony that no one else has. And you are not defectors who ran away. Such a person is very ashamed to come and say: “Sorry, I ran away from you.” But you must raise your dignity! You need to receive the Word from the Lord so that with this authority, with this honesty, you can speak the Word of God! You are not defectors. You are migrants!

The Lord led you, brought you out, but this is not the end, this is the beginning. And He will guide you. Your God is the Leader! He is leading you! And this is not the end! This is just the beginning! It’s up to you to decide whether this will be the end or the beginning.

I bless you and call God’s blessing  upon you and I will pray for you that you rise up as heroes, strong people who will move this world for Christ!