2015 Borneo – Michelle Flickinger

People of Significance

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9

This past January, I got the amazing opportunity to lead a missions trip to Borneo, Malaysia. Though I’ve been on missions trips with New Philly previously, this would be my first time leading so I was nervous, yet excited to get to sow into the trip in a different way. I also wanted to see how God would move through our team. While our church has sent two teams to Borneo before, I still was not sure what to expect from the trip other than spending time with families and participating in lots of dancing and teatime. While we did experience many of these things on the trip, I believe I have returned back to Korea with a greater sense of God’s love for Malaysia through witnessing deep commitments, deep relationships, and an abundance of miracles.

Even a couple weeks before our team departed for Malaysia, I felt that God was highlighting the passage from 1 Peter 2:9-10 to me about the trip and about the people we would meet. I felt very strongly that God wanted to reveal Himself to the people, showing that He is near to them, that He is a good Father, and that each person carries great significance. This passage, therefore, was what was written upon my heart and what I carried with me each time we got to meet people and minister in Borneo. I felt that throughout the trip, God wanted to remind His people in Malaysia that they carried great significance and worth—He wanted them to know just how much He treasured them. He wanted to affirm them in their identity as a people of God’s possession.

I got the opportunity to preach at a longhouse during our third day in Malaysia. In order to get to this longhouse, we needed to drive down a windy dirt road and then take a small boat through this swampy lake area. As we were driving, Pastor John, our local contact through Native Partners for World Mission, mentioned that when it rains heavily, this longhouse is very difficult to access because of flooding. Although getting to the longhouse was a bit more complicated than the other places we visited, it was not as if it was a long and arduous journey. Nevertheless, I still felt in my spirit that God wanted our team to go out of our way, to do things that may seem inconvenient or slightly more complicated, just so that He would be able to show His children in Borneo how significant they are. The message that I shared with that night was the one that God placed on my heart before embarking on our trip—that these families are precious and holy to God, that they carry great significance and worth. When I looked upon the faces of the people who attended our service, especially upon the youth, I saw great destiny and purpose for both their own personal lives, and the nation of Malaysia.

Significance was the theme and heart that God gave me with every longhouse visit, every church service, and with every person that our team got to pray for. With every healing that we saw, with every person who had their hope and faith restored, I felt God saying that He is raising up these people in Borneo to be a strong and mighty people who will stand for God’s righteousness, justice, and goodness in the nation. As I watched Pastor John minister to the people, I felt like I got a deeper revelation of who God is as a Father. Through this trip, God was showing me how important relationships are in the kingdom of God. I’ve heard the saying, “the kingdom expands through relationship,” numerous times. But that through this trip, I finally received a deep understanding of not only what this means, but also what it looks like. I felt so honored and blessed to get to minister alongside Pastor John and even to observe his interactions with the people of the longhouses. As Pastor John shared with us about his ministry, he mentioned how he would visit the longhouses and just spend time with them over tea, talking about their lives. He goes in without any agenda. He does not need to strategize or plan, but goes simply to do life with them—to show them that they are worthy of his time. It is through his heart to simply walk alongside them—whether they are believers or not—that their hearts begin to open up to him, and eventually open up to God. Through Pastor John’s ministry, I feel like the Lord shows the people of Borneo that they are worth getting to know, they are worth investing in, they are worth the time that it takes to reach them and spend time with them.

And this is what I felt God was teaching me on this trip as well. While we witnessed amazing miracles and even saw the fire of God being poured out, God was showing me that the time we simply spent with the families drinking tea, dancing, singing, and just being fully present was a great manifestation of His heart. God isn’t just a God of methods, programs, and doing things, but He is a God of relationship and intimacy. His heart for the people of Malaysia is so great and deep that He would send a team of 8 from Korea to simply spend time with them and share His heart. He wanted them to know how significant they are, and to be firm in this identity so that they could rise up in faith and step into the destiny that He has placed on their lives. God is truly writing a powerful story in each of their lives—the people of the longhouses who are overlooked by many people, and even their own national government. These people who seem to have very little materially, these people whom many others believe have no great future or significance—these are the very ones to whom God is revealing Himself at this hour. And He is doing a mighty work in their lives.

I can see and feel deep in my heart that God’s spirit is moving with power in Malaysia. Through my time serving the many Malaysian exchange students of Emmaus Campus Ministry, and through this trip to Borneo, God is restoring the hope and faith of the older generations. He is raising up the youth with power and great dreams. They will be the ones who will go out with boldness and authority to see healing and revival come forth across the whole nation.

Although I got to see and experience all the wonderful things God is doing at this hour, there are still some items I believe we can still pray and intercede for:

  • Pray for Pastor John’s ministry—that he would continue to be filled with joy and rest as he ministers to the people of the longhouses.
  • Pray that God would raise up more pastors in Borneo to go out to the longhouses. Currently there are only around 4 pastors who minister to the longhouses in this area, but there are over 48 longhouses. Pray that God would bring in more people to carry His heart.
  • Pray for the youth to rise up in their identity and be filled with greater faith—that they would believe that God has great destiny and purpose for them.
  • Pray against the demonic strongholds of the occult and the spirit of fear that is deeply rooted in the indigenous people of Malaysia. Declare that God’s people are rising up in great faith and fearlessness at this hour!

Thank you to every single person who financially and prayerfully sowed in and supported the team. Our trip was filled with so much joy, peace, and grace and I believe it is because of the covering that we have received. Thank you for believing in the team and choosing to partner with the great testimony that God is writing in Malaysia.

Leave a Reply