South Korea: Killing Ten Birds with One Stone

Generosity of heart, zeal for the mission and brotherly love are the words that come to mind after this beautiful trip to South Korea. The three largest cities, Seoul, Incheon and Busan, with a total population of 16.6 million, have today received the torch of 2033.

Vision in Korean

One of the aims of this mission was to publicize JC2033 through the Korean-language translation and publication (ready just a few days before landing) of my first book, “Then the World Will Know,” already translated into 18 languages. Within eight days, the books printed in Seoul were sold out. The promotional video has also been subtitled in Korean and has been available on our YouTube channel since this trip. 

See the video

At the end of November 2023, I arrived at Seoul airport accompanied by my traveling companions, Gérald Bailat and his video camera. Gérald accompanied me specifically to document this mission to the Far East.

See a video summary

Charting Your Course 

We often say that "God's ways are inscrutable", and every time God creates bridges between the different missions of JC2033, this truth grips me.

Indeed, it was Dr. Rev. David Cho, a Korean-born missionary for forty years in South Asia, who invited us and organized these eight days in Korea.

As it happens, Barbara Allan, Director of JC2033 International, and I had met him in Kathmandu in September 2022. At that time, we were scouting for our February 2024 World Gathering in Kathmandu. In the end, the Gathering didn't take place, but that 2022 visit helped open the doors in Korea. "God's ways are inscrutable"...

Dr. Rev. David Cho, Gérald Bailat and Olivier Fleury

Mongolia and the Himalayas

Organized and well-connected, Rev. David Cho introduced us to a number of high-ranking South Korean church dignitaries in Incheon and Seoul.

At each of the interviews, the centerpiece was the presentation of the JC2033 vision at the Trans Himalaya Network international conference.

Imagine, a mission established to proclaim the Gospel in all the countries surrounding the Himalayas: Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Pakistan and beyond! This is the goal of Rev. David Cho and his fellow missionaries, who have been encouraged by JC2033's call to be united in celebrating and witnessing to the Risen Christ.

Dr. Rev. David Cho and Olivier Fleury

Arriving in Style! 

As we stepped off the high-speed train between Seoul and Busan on the Sea of Japan, we were surprised to see posters all over the city promoting an event in 2030! As it happens, Korea was hoping to secure the exclusive right to host the World Expo that year. Although Saudi Arabia is the one who will have the Exhibition in Ryad in 2030, I immediately thought, "That's okay. Koreans will be able to celebrate 2000 years of the Resurrection in 2033 in all their cities, without exception!"

Later, I presented the 2033 opportunity to all the leaders of Youth With A Mission Korea and Mongolia. Four leaders representing Mongolia were blown away to see that their vision for reaching their country by 2030 came in perfect preparation for 2000 years of Resurrection in 2033. Following a meal and deep sharing with these four leaders, the translation of the JC2033 vision book into Mongolian and a trip to Ulan Bator are planned for May 2024.

Video by Taivnaa Enkhtaivan Sukhbaatar

A Great Awakening in North Korea

As you may know, every last Friday of the month, the JC2033 team leads a global prayer time on Zoom. On this last Friday of November, our special guests were none other than Oma Grâce, wife of Dr. David Cho, and Peter Zun Han, an entrepreneur and man of prayer.

Oma and Peter shared with us the challenges of passing on a living faith to Korea's younger generation. South Korean Christians are hoping for a revival among this segment of the population distracted by materialism.

In this hope, our guests looked back at the Great Awakening in Pyongyang, formerly known as the Jerusalem of the Far East, because of the great revival that took place in the early 20th century alongside the Pentecostal revival on Azusa street in Los Angeles and in Wales. 

Unity through Reconciliation

South Korean Christians hope and pray for the reunification of their country, which was torn apart in the 1950s by the communist ideology that its supporters wanted to spread throughout the peninsula.

The theme of unity is therefore a burning one for Koreans:

  • Unity between North and South
  • Unity among denominations
  • Unity among generations

In the words of our hosts, JC2033's DNA brings great hope to the Korean peninsula and to the hearts of this divided people.

On our last visit of the trip, we met the influential and much-appreciated pastor Kim WonTae. Skeptical at first, the pastor's facial expression suddenly lit up: "Wow, that's great! I'm going to tell over a thousand contacts about it again today. Count on me to inform leaders and prepare for 2033. This prospect of celebrating 2000 years of resurrection worldwide is so beautiful."

Kim WonTae in the center

Culinary Interlude

Between gelatinous seaweed, candied vegetables, steamed fish, gargantuan pork barbecue and jellyfish tentacles with Asian mustard (yes, you read that right!), Korean cuisine has something to surprise the palate! So much so that our generous hosts ended up asking us, "Do you like Korean food?" To which I replied, "Yes, almost always."

The Korean welcome was second to none. Gerald and I were received with honor and warmth. To experience such generosity is a lesson in life.

Ten Birds with One Stone!

Open doors in Korea with a meeting in Kathmandu in 2022, genuine enthusiasm for JC2033 from influential Korean leaders, and the icing on the cake: a surprise meeting with 250 zealous missionaries working in ten countries around the Himalayas and beyond!

Ten birds with one stone! JC2033 is spreading like wildfire. Projects of unity, witness and celebration are already underway in these lands with very small but vibrant Christian communities.

Then the world will know, the adventure continues!

To be continued...

Would you like to come with me to Mongolia in May or Korea in September 2024?

Would you like to contribute financially to reach politicians, missionaries and national church leaders in these countries?

Olivier Fleury