2015 Borneo – Lee Radde

Far More than We Ask or Think

…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-23

Undeniably, God’s Kingdom keeps advancing, and this January I was given the opportunity to catch a glimpse of this powerful momentum. After coming back from Borneo, Malaysia, I have been holding onto three words: love, relationships, and whole-heartedness. These words were themes our team encountered while preparing in prayer and mediation for Borneo, and also what we witnessed as we ministered to the native church communities there. This testimony is not a just a story that stays in Borneo, but one that is bearing fruit. I hope your own faith is blessed and grown in hearing these experiences I would like to share.

Our ministry consisted mostly of visiting communities of families that lived under these large structures called long houses. Some were easily accessed by paved road and others were only accessible by boat. We prayed for healing for each long house community that we visited. Sometimes, because of cultural expressions, it was hard to tell if the person had experienced healing. Some sincerely received healing with an expressionless face, while others began to tear up in their relief and amazement. With each time, we believed it to be a success regardless if we were “convinced.” But one time stuck out to me more than any other. There was a woman who was brought to us whose left side was paralyzed. She moved her left limbs around with her right hand. We prayed for her, and in the midst of praying, I had assurance unlike any other time. I knew God had healed her, but we just didn’t see it yet.

Her left side had such little strength, and the muscle from not been used for so long. After praying we asked her to try clenching her left hand shut. As she tried, her right hand clenched. It was clear what she was not used to moving these parts of her body. When she tried again, we saw what we expected to see. She closed her left hand! It was as simple as that. We continued to pray and saw her bend her left arm slightly and bend her left leg with dramatic movement. Her body was weak, so we continued to pray for new strength and muscle. We did not see her walk at that time, but for the rest of the time, we watched as she continued with wonder to try moving these limbs that had once been immobile. I trust that we are seeing just the beginning of what God will do with her.

After this time our team witnessed two more healings of paralysis and lack of movement, to which I can only say is because we had faith and expectation after witnessing the first miracle. Jesus said many times in different ways that what we ask for in faith, without doubt, will be given to us. It’s about faith and about faith never stagnating, but rather growing each day. Looking back at the Bible verse I shared before, this is why we witness God doing these miraculous works still today—to strengthen our spirit with power, to know the expanse of God’s love, and to be filled with His fullness.

Experiences like these stretch and grow people in different ways. For myself in the maturity of my faith, I am balancing out two opposite extremes: striving and apathy. I know that God commands me to intercede in prayer, to contend for His kingdom, and to ask of Him anything. But in all this, there is nothing I can do to earn his answer or action, and neither should my attitude be an apathetic “Well if it’s God’s will then what does my prayer matter?” I come away from Borneo with a strong faith to ask from the One who can do abundantly more than I ask.

As for the local community in Borneo, I see God’s glory and power to bring hearts fully to Him. In Borneo there is a history of spiritual practices that involve animal sacrifice, charms, omens, and head-hunting. The result is bondage to fear. Something simple such as seeing a bird fly from left to right across the sky could be enough to keep a person from going in to work that day. As families accept and profess Jesus, there is transformation into new free lives by the power of Jesus. A theme highlighted by our team preacher, Todd Baty, was 1 Kings 18:20-40. This is when God answered the sacrifice of Elijah by fire in the midst of the prophets of Baal. God is showing the people of Borneo that over any other spirit that they may have encountered, the power in the name of Jesus’ name overcomes all. There is nothing to fear. In this way, their roots of faith can grow deep without returning to the gods of their fathers.

Coming away from this trip, three themes were highlighted to me. God is building up from the foundation of love, relationship, and wholeheartedness. As we know the love of God, we can truly make every act towards one another an act that starts from selfless love. From this, true relationship and trust emerges. The Kingdom is built and advanced through relationships. But more than that, the body of Christ is a family. A hand separated from the body ceases to live as a body part. Faith in Jesus doesn’t exist in isolation, but brings people together in one Spirit. Finally as we grow together, we can encourage each other’s hearts to have undivided faith in God. He says we can ask from him anything, and when we ask with faith it will be given to us. But faith does not thrive in a divided heart. Let’s cultivate our faith to know the fullness of the God we serve!

Please pray with me for Borneo

  • Pray that any vestige of poverty mindset or lack would be broken.
  • Pray for whole-hearted devotion and faithfulness towards Jesus to take root, that believers would be rooted in the Lord even in times of trouble or persecution, and that they would never again turn to the gods of their ancestors. Malaysia is an Islamic country where evangelism is illegal and daily Muslims are converting families and pastors by offering gifts of money.
  • Pray for the empowering and strengthening of the local pastors (specifically for Pastor John, our local contact through Native Partners for World Mission). Pray that these pastors are continually filled with God’s love so that they can overflow into the lives of those they serve.
  • Pray for the future of missions to Borneo. Pray that as we learn the culture, we would be more powerfully used to empower the people of Borneo.

Pray with faith, because we know God is faithful to answer, He is able, and He has all power to overcome. Let’s build up our family in Borneo, Malaysia! Thank you for all prayer and support. Give glory to God and let’s keep growing as we serve the Lord!

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