2011 Australia – Joohyun Shin

A New Thing

I have tried to write a summary of this trip many times, but all I could do was come up with more things to think about. Indeed, the Australia missions trip was not an easy trip to define. I had to go back and revisit the memories and lessons several times to fully process what I had experienced. So here is my testimony, about a trip that made me see the new things God is doing in the land of Australia, and also in me.

Our ministry trip was from June 21 to June 30. Our team members were mostly from New Philadelphia Church, though some close ministry friends came to join us from the States. Because not everyone was in Korea before our departure for Australia, our first team meeting with everyone present was in Sydney. Despite the fact that some of us barely knew each other, there was supernatural team unity. We couldn’t help but just love one another- both during and outside times of ministry. Whether we were playing games or praying for different people, God was continually strengthening the relationships within the team.

The main purpose for our trip was to minister at a conference hosted by Full Life Ministry (the English ministry of Sydney Full Gospel Church). We did not have much information about this congregation, so I did not quite know what to expect. It was hard to even target my prayers leading up to the trip because I could not grasp what would happen. However, God knows all and He had planned everything we were to do beforehand.

From the day I arrived in Australia, there was a verse that stood out to me continuously. It was Isaiah 43:18-19.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

On the first day of the conference, I spotted a verse on the wall that was the theme verse for the year for the church. It was Isaiah 43:19. I knew that God was going to do a new thing in this congregation and it would be beyond anyone’s expectation. It made me become very excited for the congregation. Full Life Ministry is a congregation with a great hunger for the Lord with many members who have been waiting for an outpouring of God in their lives. And indeed the Isaiah verse came to pass as we saw healings take place and fire of God fall down upon the people of this church. Each day, we would start the conference by praying for the sick. We asked people who had any kind of pain to stand up, and asked those around them to lay hands and pray. Every day, we would have testimony after testimony of people getting healed from knee, wrist, back pain and many other ailments. After each day, the passion and fervor praise and worship would dramatically increase. I remember standing in the back of the sanctuary on the last day of the conference, amazed at the absolutely extravagant worship being lifted up. People were shouting, jumping, laughing, and singing to the Lord. Praise was no longer just a time of playing or singing music. It was becoming an expression of love to the Lord.

In addition to the praise, I could see people all around me being firmly established in their identity in Christ. I was able to really connect with a sister at Full Life Ministry, who later on told me that she felt so encouraged and refreshed through the conference. She said she could see something different and significant taking place within the congregation. This was indeed so, as I could see that people were starting to understand and know who they really are – children of God who have full access to the Father and all that He has! People were beginning to see that God not only desired to give all good things to them, but that it was our lawful right to receive an inheritance as children of God, for we indeed are heirs (Romans 8:17). This was building up confidence in people to live as Jesus did- filled with authority, anointing, and influence.

In the midst of the great things taking place among the people we were ministering to, I knew that God wanted to release something in me as well. In the beginning of the trip, I struggling with my own identity and confidence. I had been appointed as the team intercessor, and was expectant of the role since I normally enjoy interceding. However, oddly enough, it was very difficult for me to pray and fully concentrate during the conference. I began to doubt whether I was praying effectively or even doing ministry effectively. It made me look at others and then compare myself to them. I felt so powerless and weak. Yet I knew I had all power and authority from God to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). There was an intense inner battle happening in my mind and in my heart. However, when I came back to Korea and talked to others who had been walking out their roles as intercessors for a long time, I found out something I will keep dear to me, especially when I am in the mission field. I learned that the most that is required of me during a trip is to do what I am told to do. I was told to be an intercessor. Interceding means to stand in the gap and to release God’s heart upon something or someone. So that is what I did. It did not matter how “effective” or “correct” I was in prayer. What mattered was that I was being obedient to what God was putting on my heart.

This was a crucial lesson for me because I have been praying to become a happy intercessor for quite a while. However, the more I tried, the more I felt like I was the direct opposite. As a matter of fact, I had never been so frustrated as an intercessor as I had been during this trip! Yet through my time in Australia, I found that the key to being a happy intercessor lies in trusting in God and knowing who I am. When I know that regardless of whether I perform “poorly” or “excellently” that God is in ultimate control, I have peace. When I am confident that I am His child, I stop trying to prove myself and care less about whether I am effective or powerful. Instead, I become free in being myself and simply follow the footsteps of the Father. And it is exactly when that joy and power can be released. I now know that the message of Isaiah 43 was not just limited to the people we were ministering to, but the word was for myself as well. God is doing a new thing in me. I am letting go of my old, insecure self and am putting on a new self that is confident as a child of God.

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