2014 Los Angeles/Las Vegas – Eunice Ko

Keep the Fire Ablaze

So let this love be like a fire / Let our life be like a flame / Fill our souls with your desire / Let our passion bring you fame…We are your burning ones! -“Burning Ones” by Jesus Culture

What is fire? Fire brings light. It provides warmth. Fire isn’t lukewarm, but rather so incredibly hot that it burns things up. Fire spreads. Fast. When I first came to New Philadelphia Church, one word I kept on hearing in testimonies and sermons was the word “fire.” I had never been taught about the theology of the fire of God. Thus for the next 4.5 years, my ears were more sensitive to this teaching. My eyes and hands were ready to highlight the word “fire” all over the Old and New Testaments. In 2010, I received confirmation that I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In 2011, God released the fire of the Holy Spirit as I laid hands on and prayed for the Kuki people of Northeast India. In 2012, I saw an increase of the fire of the Holy Spirit working in Indonesia, this time without the laying on of hands. It was now 2014. This time I was called not only to release this fire but also to equip others to keep this fire ablaze in the first world country of the United States.

God warmed me up as one of our team members pulled me aside at the very beginning of our trip and asked me to define “fire.” As I did my best to rummage my brain and respond coherently, God whispered, “Get used to this. Get ready.” Though I was fully aware that our team would be ministering with Pastors Christian and Erin at Burning Tree Ministry’s “Burning Ones Retreat,” it didn’t click in my mind that I would be taking an active role in igniting the fire and leading people through it.

The college students at the Burning Ones Retreat were prepared to receive the teaching and experience the fiery presence of God. But first they had to confront any unforgiveness in their hearts. To initiate this process I had the privilege of sharing my testimony. I spoke about facing rejection and betrayal, receiving a revelation of what forgiveness truly is, and ultimately choosing to forgive and bless those who have hurt me. Pastor Erin then followed up with a sermon on God’s call to forgive. About 60 of the 96 people in the room stood up weeping, desiring to forgive their parents, their friends, their spiritual authorities, and others who had taken advantage of their trust and love. For the night session, the students had so much faith for God to move that they cleared the sanctuary of all the chairs. During praise time they jumped and screamed out their declarations of love, joy, and devotion to God — some even doing splits and kicks in the air! Talk about extravagant worship! They couldn’t contain it. Then for the message they sat attentively, soaking in everything as Pastor Christian preached about the fire of the Holy Spirit. Then ALL stood up for the altar call to receive this fire. Our team of eight couldn’t even contain the fire that was about to be released – so much so that one of our most reserved, introverted brothers, James, started jumping up and down at the altar before being sent out to release this fire in the students’ hearts! Holy Spirit moved powerfully as the weight of His glory fell and encountered the students in ways that they had never experienced before. He purified them like gold and refined them like silver in a fire.

And the purifying fire of the Holy Spirit was not just limited to LA. In “Sin City,” we discovered that it’s not just the people who make a crazy trip to Las Vegas that live according to the motto: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. The people who permanently reside in this city (as in many other American cities) are used to keeping many dark things hidden. Thus it was quite a testament that our team was asked to hold Healing and Deliverance sessions for some of the youth group and English ministry leaders of Full Gospel Las Vegas Church (FGLV). An H&D session is a time to confess, repent, and renounce sins and respond to the call to live a life of freedom as God’s beloved. It is a time when whatever was in the darkness is brought into the light. Throughout our entire trip, each member of our team was presented with an opportunity to share their personal testimony of how God had delivered them from bondages of insecurity, sexual immorality, and generational curses. Students in Los Angeles had flocked to us to receive prayer and to confess their sins, and God used us likewise in Las Vegas. He wanted us to intentionally and effectively break off these secret bondages, instead releasing people into their glorious freedom in Christ.

The desire for Christ’s glorious freedom truly marked our ministry times. On Sunday, our team was given the opportunity to teach “30 min” Bible Study classes for the FGLV youth group. Our team leader Diana taught on the “Ministries of the Holy Spirit” and prayed for 7 high school students who stood up to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the other room, I taught on “Freedom from Bondage”, where I revealed the bondages (e.g. occult, generational curses, deceptions, unforgiveness, etc.) that can hinder us from drawing closer to God and living according to His calling and purposes. After we concluded the class sessions, one student revealed that he wanted to immediately break off all the bondages in his life and repent before the Lord. So, two of our team members led him through a Healing and Deliverance (H&D) session on the spot!

Through all the H&D sessions and the relational connections that we made, God called our team to dig in deeper. He burned away the bondages, impurities, and fears with His holy fire. As we honored His heart, He took us to higher levels and imparted greater boldness & authority. And this spread like wildfire. While Diana and I were the only experienced leaders on the team, God particularly used the fresh, fire-filled, first-timers on our team to move and speak in the Spirit. He surprised us with the level of maturity in which we could move in one spirit and rightfully portray kingdom values. Some even thought our team was THE core leadership of New Philly (when in actuality, for most members it was their first time ministering and representing the church in a ministry capacity)!

On our last night, our team got to enjoy the grand and extraordinary Bellagio water show. Though I couldn’t contain my laughter when two of the choreographies were based on the patriotic songs “God Bless America” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” (after playing songs like Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” and an opera), it’s quite fitting that we concluded our trip with this finale. It called us to sing out and declare: GOD BLESS AMERICA. Release your fire, Lord!

Thank you for covering us with your fiery prayers! We desire to see greater fruit coming forth from the kingdom relationships that were built and the fire that was released with LA’s Burning Tree Ministry and Full Gospel Las Vegas Church. Let us all be set ablaze for His glory!

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