2011 Australia – Joanna Oh

Father’s Heart

“And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” – Malachi 4:6

This verse has been on my mind all throughout 2011, in a year of intimacy. It has spoken to me again and again about what God has been doing this year. And again, the Lord birthed Malachi 4:6 in my heart when I first heard about this mission trip to Australia. I grew up in New Zealand and I was very familiar with my neighboring country. I had visited Australia many times before, but never really grew a heart for it. Yet as I was praying for the Australia missions trip one day at leadership training, I felt so stirred in my heart for this nation. I was so surprised thinking that God would want me to go to Australia for missions. But I knew that the Lord was doing something new there and I wanted to be a part of it.

Later when I found out that I was on the team, I was really excited, but at the same time unsure what to expect. I think my excitement was more coming from it being my first overseas trip with New Philly. I heard so many amazing testimonies from other mission trips where God moved so powerfully with healing and breakthroughs, I was excited to see that kind of action in Australia as well. But at the same time, knowing that the church in Australia struggles with apathy and a low spiritual atmosphere, it was hard to imagine how God would show up.

Before I left for Australia and even after I got there, I struggled with a certain uncertainty and a feeling of lack. I felt so unprepared and the enemy was attacking my mind and emotions. But these obstacles, even the volcanic ash that delayed some of our team members’ flights to Sydney, could not stop God. We all arrived in time. I was certain that God was going to do something very powerful during this trip.

During the first 4 days, our team ministered to the English ministry in Sydney Full Gospel church called FLM for their winter conference. From the first night of ministry, I realized that God has already been moving in the hearts of the Aussies at FLM. They were hungry and ready for more of God. One group that stood out to me was the young high school kids that were there. On the outside, they looked so uninterested and closed in their hearts. But once they encountered the presence of God the father, they were apathetic no more. I saw their hearts open up, exposing the hurt and pain that they experienced through people in their lives- some even through their earthly fathers. As a result of these hurts, they were filled with the orphan spirit and reflected their own pain towards God. But during the ministry time, they were being healed and delivered by the presence of the Holy Spirit who came with the heavenly Father’s heart. I could see the hunger in these kids- the desire they had for an intimate relationship with a loving father. I also felt the desire that God had for His children to know Him as a Father. Many others during the conference experienced father’s love manifest through the work of the Holy Spirit. People were falling, crying, shaking, screaming everywhere under the power of God. It all began from the Father’s heart, a heart that longs for His children to be free and to receive His unconditional love. It was truly beautiful. What I saw in Australia was not limited to the physical healing, deliverance, salvation, and freedom from the bondages of the past. It was a full expression of Father’s heart; the pure power of love released from the His heart towards His children. By the end of the conference, FLM was never the same again. The church family was launched into a whole new level of freedom, peace, and joy.

As a ‘son’ of the house, it was a time of walking in my inheritance as a true child of God. In the past, I have seen many signs and wonders being released through various ministries. But before attending New Philly, I had never been in a ministry where I was encouraged to release these supernatural moves of God. In my mind, I felt like I still did not qualify to be used by God in that way. I saw myself as weak and still-got-a-long-way-to-go child. But I realized that I was looking through the eyes of my flesh not my spirit. After all, it’s not about me but He who is in me. God spoke to me clearly that all I needed to do was to walk out my relationship with Him and be obedient.

Only true ‘sons’ know the father’s heart. I learned to walk as a true son and it was glorious! Yes, it was also intense but I felt so much joy just being His child and walking out my identity. In the past I would get tired and burnt out during and after mission trips but this time I was filled with even more joy and excitement as the trip progressed. I felt very natural as I ministered and I learned to tune into my Father’s heart more and more. What went down in Australia was an expression of the His heart and I’m excited to see more of it.

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