2015 Angeles City – James Lee

Fans, Family, and Friends

What stands out the most to me about this trip is how it was marked with joy and unity. I am starting to realize how I once viewed missions and people in general, and God has been shifting paradigms in my life to help me see in a new light.

I’ve always been a fan of missions and fan of powerful leaders and preachers. In the dictionary, a fan is defined as a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing. Before going on this trip, God had been highlighting relationships to me. He had been teaching me about how to be in a relationship with Him, but also how I need to relate to others around me. The past few months God has opened my eyes to the importance of relationships and how essential they are in your life and the need to grow deeper with people and to see how invaluable friendship is.

This is a bit ironic because as my relationships were becoming established, and as they became stronger and healthier, I suddenly felt like I was scooped up onto a mission’s team where I had little or no relationship with anybody. On top of that I was very clearly the odd one out.

My team demographics – I am a guy and I go to Np Sillim, and I was born in 1977. My team – 5 NP Hongdae girls all born in the early to mid 90’s (when I graduated highschool), a team leader that I had barely any interaction who was also from NP Hongdae, an Itaewon sister I didn’t even know existed prior to the trip, and finally 5 members from a different country NP Sydney, 3 of whom I had never seen or met before.

As the time grew closer to leave I asked God what He wanted to show me on this trip. My heart kept returning to “relationships.” I questioned God by asking “How am I supposed to fit in on this trip? How do you want me to serve and minister?” I felt God quietly whisper again, “Relationships.” As the trip started and continued I decided that I would not let what I saw in the natural deter me. I began to open my heart and love my teammates and all the people we met along the way.

I saw God build supernatural relationships between our team even when we all met for the first time in the Philippines on the mission field. I cannot explain the feeling except to say that it felt like our hearts were united that we “knew” each other even though we had never met in person. Throughout the trip there was an overflow of joy that was released by the relationships that were being made everywhere we went.

One person I really connected with was Pastor Bob from Angeles City. As soon as we met I felt like he was like the father I always wanted. He was so filled with joy and had a genuine heart of service. He cared about our team so much. I could see on his face how much he wanted to bless each of us. He used every opportunity he got to love and serve us. On top of that I saw how he was a loving husband and a powerful leader in his church. It is safe to say that I fell in love this man right from the first time we met.

I also got a revelation of “true friendship” from my team. I saw many of my team members needing or wanting me to be a source of comfort and protection. Instead of looking for what they could do for me in return or see what they could offer me, I felt God’s heart for them. As I started to love on my members I felt a love like a “Fathers love” for each of them. Not only were they members on a missions team I felt like they were family. When members would testify I felt their pain and cried with them and when they proclaimed Gods freedom in their lives I celebrated and rejoiced with them. One particular person I felt this most with was our team leader Eunice. I saw her lead with such a relational leadership. I could see the love she had for each member but what amazed me was how it came out in such a genuine and sincere way. As she joked around with me and other members I felt God’s love again and felt like He was saying –“this is what true fellowship is.”

I believe through the trip God wanted to show me on a deeper level what real family and friends look like and what Godly relationships were intended to be like. It doesn’t matter who or where people are from. It really doesn’t even matter if you have never met them before. God’s love is bigger and covers all our human frailty, hurt, and insecurity. God wants His people to be family.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1).

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