2013 Jakarta – Chris Kim

God is Good!

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. –Ephesians 4:29-32

Allah itu baik! God is good! As I have been reflecting on what happened this past week, I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for friends, unity, family, generosity, hospitality, grace, affirmation, air conditioning, food, identity, financial provision, opportunities to serve… But since I don’t have time to talk about everything, I’ll just focus on unity for now.

It’s great how we (the children of God) can just go to a foreign country and instantly connect with other children of God who at first are almost complete strangers. It’s amazing! The people we met in Indonesia are some of the kindest, most loving, and hospitable people I have ever met. Years from now, if I remember anything about this trip, I am sure it will be the abundant and natural love that we received from the ministers (and future ministers) we met in Jakarta. Our team and the native pastors, professors, and believers in Jakarta walked in so much joy and laughter! The students especially were really fun and creative. The chants they came up with during game time were WAY better than anything I’ve heard at our retreats. Even without a translator, we communicated just fine through smiling, gesturing, and laughing as we came up with our chants. As our teammate Sam Choi would say, “We have the same laugh language.” I realize now that we are all part of the global body of Christ. We all play for the same team. We’re fighting this war together! How cool is that?

Over and over I keep thinking about how awesome it is when God’s children work together. From the way friends and family came together to support me financially, to the 24/7 prayer and fasting chain that kept all of us covered in prayer, to the constant words of affirmation that were exchanged amongst our team members and with the local ministers… I definitely felt the love and unity all around. One awesome side note is that one of Indonesia’s motto is “Unity in diversity” and another is “Many, yet one.” Indonesia is home to hundreds of different ethnicities and languages, spread over more than 17,000 islands. A highlight of the trip was a when all the Bible college students performed songs and dances from their native regions for a special night. (We also performed some Korean stuff too: Arirang and Oppa Gangnam Style).

In addition to the love and unity, another area that God was highlighting to me was confidence in my identity. Although I have been maturing a lot spiritually these past few years, deep down I still had some fear and doubt… that I am not as good as someone else, or somehow lacking compared to others. Maybe this isn’t something I constantly struggled with, or even consciously thought about… but it was there, at least in seed form. Which is ridiculous right? But through this trip I really put these fears aside once and for all, and it was refreshing.

For example, I was chosen to be the team videographer. While normally I would be tempted to think “Hmm… isn’t there someone else who can do this better?”… surprisingly this time I just knew that I could do this job and do it well. I embraced my role and had a lot of fun doing it.
Or when I was told I was going to be preaching at the next morning’s chapel… I definitely doubted myself at first. Me, preach? It’s something I had never imagined myself doing. But God really encouraged me through my teammates (especially Pastor Emily and Pastor Mark), who told me that I already had it in me. I was like “Yeah! I do, huh?” and I started preparing with confidence. It was pretty fun, actually. Which is crazy! If you know me, you might think I’m a pretty easygoing guy, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a project, paper, or presentation of some sort and been utterly paralyzed by stress. I’ve failed SO many classes because of my inability to deliver in the clutch. Being able to prepare for something like this without any stress, striving, or perfectionism was definitely God’s grace. Praise the Lord!

On this trip, over and over, I saw God reveal His faithfulness to our team and to His sons and daughters in Jakarta. God kept encouraging us and confirming everything we were doing. When Matt Ko gave a powerful sermon on finding your calling, the banner behind him said Matthew 11:29, which is 1) a verse God was speaking to his heart, 2) his name, and ALSO 3) his birthday. Amazing confirmation. The altar was flooded and many students were touched by God.

During a revival service where Pastor Emily preached about being enlisted in the army of God, she kept saying “Rise up!” at the end. Afterwards when one of the IKAT Bible College professors named Pastor Ruben took the mic, he told us that the banner behind us (written in Indonesian) was actually a misprint. He had ordered it to say “Revival Service”, but it randomly came back saying “Rise up Revival!” He was confused until he heard Pastor Emily’s message. That was the message he knew God wanted to speak to the students. Amazing confirmation again.

When Rona preached on the power in the blood of Christ, she didn’t plan on talking about her mom but ended up sharing a lot about her mom’s brain aneurysm and brain surgery, and how God miraculously healed her. Later, when the head pastor took the mic, he said that Rona’s message was exactly the one they needed to hear. 3 days prior, a woman in their church had fallen and hit her head and had been in a coma due to brain damage. Rona’s testimony about her mom’s supernatural healing filled the believers of this church with faith that God would heal this woman, as well. It was so powerful to see that God was leading our team and marking everything we did.

God is good! Leading up to the trip I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I just know that I have a heart for missions, and that we are all called to obey the Great Commission. Deep down before every missions trip or retreat I go on, I hope that God will awaken my heart with a greater holy passion to carry out his will on this Earth. And this is exactly what God did for me. Indonesia is an amazing country, and God has big plans for the region of Jakarta especially in the coming years! I am excited to hear about these testimonies through our new friends, and I am excited for the new testimony that God is also writing in me. I can’t wait to hopefully visit Jakarta again someday. May the Lord bless everything His people are doing in Jakarta and all over Indonesia. May the Lord bless everyone for partnering with us with your prayers and finances to reveal His glory. Thank you so much. Allah itu baik. God is good!

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