2012 Indonesia – Steven Coats

Lightning-Like Love

“I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” Isaiah 63:7

Shalom! When I reflect on the past week that was spent in Medan, Indonesia, I am simply in awe of the good works that were done through our team. Through the many spicy meals I couldn’t handle too well, all the amazing fruits we ate, all the traveling that we did, and all the ministry times we had, God’s love was so evident. In fact, I am sure my entire team can agree that this trip was marked by God’s “Lightning-Like Love.”

You know when you get that feeling? That feeling when it is your first time doing something? I had that feeling during this trip. It was my first missions trip ever. Not just with New Philly, but in my entire life. I had received prophetic words from people telling me that this trip would change my life forever. You can only imagine the excitement I felt as we were on the plane going to Medan. However, what made it easier for me was the dynamics of our team. We were all so intimate and supportive of each other that it was as if we had all gone on missions together a hundred times before.

Our team was contending for many things, but something I was personally contending for was healing. I felt God placing the burden on my heart to pray for so many people who needed to be healed. Now we all know that God can supernaturally heal people in the blink of an eye, but this was something that I had yet to witness firsthand. When I found out I was going to Indonesia, I couldn’t help but think about Pastor Sunhee Robinson, from Living Hope Christian Center in California, showing us a video of her missions trip to Indonesia at our church-wide retreat. People were getting slain in the Holy Spirit, which is when the presence of God is so thick and heavy that it overwhelms you to the point of falling to the ground. Not only were the people getting slain, but I will always remember the part of her video where this family brought in their grandmother for prayer, with a casket waiting outside because she was on her deathbed. After receiving powerful prayer, the grandmother was soon up on stage dancing, jumping, and shouting for joy! Needless to say I was claiming that the testimonies from Pastor Sunhee’s trip would not be our ceiling, but our floor.

Our team finally landed in Medan on Friday, July 20th and started our ministry the next day. However, the trip for me really didn’t “start” per se until that Sunday. We were booked full of ministry times all day, including a revival service at night. I was most excited for the revival service. On the way to the village, God’s presence in our van was so powerful and tangible. We could all clearly feel His presence with us. We were worshipping, praying, and just meditating on the Bible when all of a sudden the car came to an immediate halt. I looked outside and there was what looked like a pillar of cloud in the corner of the sky. I immediately thought about the pillar of cloud through which God would manifest in the Old Testament whenever Aaron or Moses approached the temple. A split second later, furious lightning started erupting out of the clouds over and over again. No thunder. No rain. Just lightning. We knew that God was specifically speaking to us. From that moment, I saw God’s love for His people, specifically in Indonesia, to be as furious and fiery as this lightning.

God never failed to show up no matter where we went. When we asked for God’s presence to fall into a sanctuary or a room, He was there. His love was not there only for the grown people of Indonesia, but He showed us that His love was just as steadfast for the children as well. We ministered at Elida Orphanage two times during our trip. The first group we ministered to was made up of orphans who had either lost their parents during the big tsunami of 2004, or had come from families who could not afford to take care of them. The second group was made up of the students who go to the Christian school within Elida Orphanage. We did so much dancing with the children as we taught them VBS (vacation Bible school) songs. They really enjoyed it and were very attentive. Both sessions, when we went into a time of praying for the children, I could feel God’s love for each and every one of them. Pastor Myunghwa, our team preacher, said she heard God say, “Every one of them is precious to me.” As I was praying for the children, some of them started crying. They could not understand a single word I was praying over them, but they were crying. I was struck with the revelation that these children, though young, still tangibly know who Jesus is. They know God’s love for them is furious. I was so amazed by God’s love for them, but at the same time, I should have known better! Why wouldn’t they know God? Why wouldn’t God’s love for these children be just as great as it is for you or I? Supplemented with the lightning show I saw the night before the orphanage ministry, God was revealing a new way to think about the magnitude of His love for us.

The remainder of our stay in Medan was ministering to leaders of churches, but mainly the leaders and members of Sola Gracia. Sola Gracia is a ministry that includes prayer houses, a prayer garden, a prayer mountain, a retreat center, and even a radio station (107.9 FM). Our first time ministering at Sola Gracia was amazing. Pastor Myunghwa preached on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is when Holy Spirit comes to heal and empower in an undeniable way. The leaders and members of Sola Gracia were so hungry and so passionate for something more. We could all sense it in the air. However, something I learned before coming to Indonesia is that we do not have to strive to earn anything from God. If we ask, we will receive. Pastor Myunghwa preached an amazing example of our relationship with God: Just as a baby cannot do anything for his parents, we cannot do anything for God. Do we expect our baby to build up merits to earn anything from us? Absolutely not. However, we still love that baby with all of our heart. That baby is what we all are individually to God. God’s love for us comes for free because Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for us. After hearing this example, it was clear that the congregational members really shifted the paradigm in which they thought of God’s love. They were ready to receive a fresh impartation of His love without trying. And let me tell you, God gave them that fresh love encounter powerfully! More than 40 of the 75 that came that day were slain in the spirit and experienced something so fresh and new. This just set the tempo for the rest of our ministry times with Sola Gracia. We ministered at their prayer garden and also ministered at a healing crusade at one of their prayer houses. After the first ministry time where the leaders received the fresh fiery love of God, they themselves were set on fire for Him. They were worshipping in a new way and praying with a new authority in their voices for their country to break out into revival. Through the last two ministry times with Sola Gracia combined, we saw over 40 partial physical healings and over 15 full physical healings including a blind man being able to see and a woman who was lame for 2 years being able to walk out of the sanctuary! Hallelujah!

God’s purpose for us coming to Indonesia is simple: to witness and to convey His love for the people of Indonesia. His “Lightning-Like Love” was never absent from any situation nor any ministry time. Needless to say, what I was contending for manifested in front of my eyes. Healings took place left and right including two miracles of the blind seeing and the lame walking. It is clear to see that God’s love for Indonesia is so vast and it is for everybody- not just the Christians. My ultimate revelation of this missions trip to Indonesia is two-fold: one, that God’s love is truly a “Lightning-Like Love” and two, that God’s love is for everybody. As Christians, we are called to love on every single person around us. This is not an easy responsibility. But to be a Christian means to be “Christ-like.” My new revelation of “Christ-like,” is that we need to have that “Lightning-Like Love” for everybody around us- not just the ones who are easy to love. That is what God spoke out to our team about through this trip: to simply love on everybody!

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

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