2014 Los Angeles/Las Vegas – Jimi Bang

A New Pair of Lenses

A week before the LA/LV team left Seoul, God gave us a powerful vision. Judy shared with our entire team that she had received a vision from God while at Kingdom First Prayer Tabernacle- the prayer house of our church. In the vision each of us was standing together in a circle side by side. We were each holding a pair of contact lenses in our hands. But no matter how many times we tried to put on these lenses, they wouldn’t fit. God was telling the team that he was going to give us a new set of lenses. He would be giving us a new way to see, and we would minister through His perspective. Upon hearing the vision, I grew more excited to minister and couldn’t wait for what God had in store.

When our team finally arrived in LA, Pastor Tom (the college pastor of Burning Tree Ministry or BTM) was the first person to welcome us. I was very blessed by how he greeted each of us by name. It showed how long he had been waiting for us to meet him and his ministry. During the car ride, Pastor Tom shared with Pastor Christian his heart for the BTM youth to rise up. Pastor Tom also shared about the challenges he was currently facing. Their conversation made me think about the challenges and the breakthrough that PC and PE faced when New Philly was at an infant stage. My heart grew a greater respect for both PC and PT’s visions for God’s ministry.

True to the vision we had received, God was giving each team member new lenses every day. He was changing the way that even the team members saw each other. We began to see each other as a family ministering rather than a ministering team. One team member admitted that for the first time he felt an overwhelming warm fuzziness in his heart after we gave him an affirmation bomb. For me personally, God was giving me new lenses to see Pastor Christian differently. I had always viewed him as a father of the house who delivered powerful words from the pulpit. But my perception of PC deepened through our team’s engaging conversations with him over various meals together. PC shared some of his most embarrassing, yet hilarious, childhood memories. He also shared how God is continuously molding him into an empowering spiritual leader. I saw PC not just as the Pulpit Father but as a father who genuinely cares for and loves his spiritual children.

As our team was getting to see each other in new ways, God was also opening our eyes to how He was going to move in LA. After the team all went to sleep the first night, some time past 1 AM, we suddenly woke up to a voice shouting over and over, “Father the Fatherless!” At first we thought it was one of our team members praying but it was coming from Judy, who was shouting while in her sleep. Then on the other side of room, Noëlla suddenly started to pray out loud in French while still asleep. We had never witnessed anything like this before. This was the first sign from God was doing a new thing, and that specifically He was going to use our team in new ways to father the fatherless at the retreat.

The next day we finally arrived at the Burning Tree Ministry college retreat. Before we dividing up into our small groups, our team leader Diana let us know that the team members might be leading healing and deliverance sessions on our own. Honestly, I convinced myself that I’d get away with not leading one. But God didn’t let me off the hook that easily. After the first evening’s sermon, I had a conversation with one of the BTM girls. I felt like something was heavy on her shoulders while she shared about her past week’s struggle. While I was trying to multitask by listening and eating Hot Cheetos, God nudged me several times by gently saying, “Put the Hot Cheetos down.” At first I hesitated and worried that I wouldn’t get another opportunity to eat this snack, which is hard to find in Korea. But this time God firmly said, “Jimi, put the chips down. Now.” I threw the half-eaten chip away and started openly sharing my H&D testimony. I could see that the sister was receiving everything I was sharing with her. So I asked if she would like to have me lead her through a mini H&D session. This would be a time of bringing to light anything that had been hidden in darkness- by confessing, repenting, and renouncing of any sins, but also inviting Jesus into any traumatic past memories. God was definitely moving in this sister because she agreed without hesitation. And after her mini H&D session, I saw the spirit in God’s new creation. She was smiling with joy and the heaviness on her shoulders had disappeared. This was one of many testimonies that were celebrated on the first night of the retreat. Our team was excited for what more God had in store for the BTM college youth.

And indeed God was faithful. The last night of the retreat was my personal highlight ministering in LA. PC called both the NP team and BTM core leaders to come up to minister at the altar. I remember my heart pounding very hard as I lined up with the team. Then PC called everyone in the congregation to stand up in the posture to get ready. Spiritual reality hit me when I scanned the crowd standing ready to receive. This is when God spoke to me from Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” I tried to grasp how God could use us- the small ministry team- to bring in the great harvest around the room. Then God said, “This not a regional thing. I’m moving on a nation-wide scale.” Suddenly I realized that God has a bigger vision for the United States. I knew right away that God was using our ministry team to bring in the harvest of BTM youth. And the BTM youth would be equipped to bring in the next harvest, creating a chain reaction spreading fresh fire across the United States.

When PC commanded our ministry team to start laying hands, I felt a burning sensation starting to increase in my right hand. As our team lay hands on people with anointing oil, one by one the congregation members started to shake and fall under the power of the Holy Spirit. I felt like I was carrying a ball of fire as I prayed and lay hands on people. When I got to the end of the room, I was in awe of the sea of bodies laying on the floor manifesting under God’s presence. And God didn’t stop there. During the last worship song, everyone was just singing their hearts out to the Lord. As I looked over to the front of the room, there were people jumping, praising, and laughing for joy. And that is when for the first time I tangibly felt God’s love for this congregation. I started to cry uncontrollably. God whispered into my ear as I cried, “These are my precious and beloved children, whom I love unconditionally.” I realized through this encounter the importance of not only of looking at things from God’s perspective, but also connecting with His heart in order to love and minister to His people.

After ministering in Los Angeles, our team went to Full Gospel Las Vegas Church. We had the privilege of attending their multi-generational Friday night service with the youth, college adults, and several older members of the church. After PC preached a powerful word on speaking our true identity, an altar call was opened up for leadership, fire, and breaking off fear. Many of the youth stood up, hungry to receive prayer. I could tell that the Holy Spirit was leading us powerfully. One boy fell under the weight of God’s glory and many others cried as the spirit of fear was being broken off of them. I was touched by how hungry each person was as we spoke life over them. Without the Holy Spirit leading us, the words that came forth from our tongue would not have touched them as powerfully.

The team also had the opportunity to join and worship at FGLV’s 11pm-6am prayer meeting with middle-aged women. We broke up into groups and asked each other for prayer requests. I thought our team was going to minister to these ladies but instead it was the reverse. Worshipping extravagantly and praying together with the older generation late into the night really ministered and encouraged us. Diana, PE, and I were in a group with five middle-aged women. When we asked about their prayer requests, the ladies all said one thing: to see the younger and future generation to be set on fire for God. These fire-filled women of God showed and challenged me on what it means to be selfless. They give up 7 hours of sleep to minister to God’s heart; this is their precious gift to Him. These women also showed me how important it is to keep the fire burning. The youth in FGLV are where they are now because of these selfless women faithfully interceding for the younger generation.

Within ten days of ministering in two different states, our team experienced a bigger picture of what it means to powerfully move in the spirit like Jesus has done with his 12 apostles. We celebrate each heart that was set free from unforgiveness, from the heavy bondage of sin, and the orphaned spirit. Our team saw how powerfully God has restored the dry bones into life. We confidently testify that God has brought freedom for the captives and placed a fresh new fire into the hearts of the people in LA and LV. We want to thank each person that partnered with us through prayer and sowing financially in the team. We have been able to see with new lenses the powerful revival that God is stirring up in the United States.

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do your not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert” -Isaiah 43:18-19

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