2013 West Papua – Joe Pang

Weak Love is Not Fake Love

In this day and age weaknesses are often ignored or overlooked. Thus I grew up with the mentality that I must only focus on my strengths. My weaknesses are not valuable, and I must address them only when absolutely necessary. But praise God this mentality completely shifted during my trip to West Papua. This was my first missions trip with New Philly, and it is one that I will remember for the rest of my life. God didn’t waste a moment on this trip. He planned out every encounter, and provided ample opportunities for His children to be transformed in His presence.

The most powerful moment for me in West Papua was my own personal breakthrough. This is because God then used this to also release breakthrough onto the West Papuan people. On our second day, the team headed up into the Minyambou mountains to minister at Bethel Church. After traveling for 2 hours in off-road trucks, we were exhausted but excited. After a very powerful service, our team headed back to the guest house. We had some “soaking time” to listen to praise music and still ourselves before the Lord. But to be honest, I felt like I wasn’t getting anything from the soaking time. Even after a powerful service, I was distracted by the lie that I hadn’t been performing up to my own standards. Near the end of the soaking time, God prompted me to ask for prayer from my team. I shook it off and thought I’d wait until the next day. But immediately Pastor Marcus (our team preacher) asked if anyone needed prayer. I knew then that God was speaking to me.

I asked my team to pray for me. I shared that although I knew we didn’t have to strive for results on this trip, a part of me still felt like I needed to perform. I felt the need to meet, and to even exceed expectations. My love for the Lord felt so weak in my eyes. I felt a burden to hide my weak love, and instead make it seem like my love was the strongest it had ever been. My team gathered around and prayed for me. God released His grace and immediately I received breakthrough. My striving mentality was broken off. The mentality to push for success and results was broken off. My desire to please man was eliminated. A weight that I had been carrying around for so long was released as I wept and cried out in the presence of God. He was reminding me that weak love is not fake love.

After this, God did not waste any time. I got to share my personal testimony at a youth revival meeting the very next day. After I shared, Pastor Marcus got up and preached about Apostle Peter. He emphasized that weak love is not fake love. He said that God transformed Peter’s weak love to a love that allowed him to be a rock of the church and bring thousands into the Kingdom. God’s love and fire then manifested at the altar as people came up to receive prayer. Many of the youth had never responded to an altar call before. But God responded to their bold step of faith. The breakthrough that He has released in me the previous night was now being released on a larger scale all across the room. It was amazing. After this point, the team continued to see our personal breakthroughs serve as prophetic signs of God’s breakthrough for West Papua.

In addition to the revival services, our team also ministered at the Orientation Retreat for Erikson Tritt Bible College. This was a precious time. As the students learned more about the Holy Spirit through our seminar teaching, God freely poured out His Holy Spirit to empower them. Students manifested and fell to the ground as the Holy Spirit came upon them. Once again I was amazed at how God was working. Although there may have been a language or culture barrier, in the Spirit there is no barrier. Over the course of three days there was a clear progression of the students’ level of freedom and vulnerability. God was establishing these students in boldness, leading them through healing and deliverance, and filling them with His Holy Spirit. God was empowering these students, so they could go and empower others as well. What God did in me was a prophetic sign for those we ended up ministering to. And what God did in these Bible College students is a prophetic sign for what He will be doing through them all across West Papua.

Throughout this trip, God showed me that my love for Christ, which seemed so weak in my eyes, is actually a real love. It is a love that grows stronger day by day. It is a love that is used to release His goodness. As I am established in this truth, I am able to fully soak in His love, and do everything out of an overflow of His love. I am able to allow God to do all the work and receive all the glory. I now realize that through this trip God was setting me free from a servant mentality and establishing me as a son. God was showing me that while servants strive, it is Sons who inherit the kingdom. Thus I want to thank you all so much for sowing into this West Papua missions trip. God had used your prayers and financial support to bear fruit in my own life, in the lives of the youth and Bible college students, and soon in the lives of many more all across West Papua.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20.

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