2015 Borneo – Shin Young Park

Rebuilding His Kingdom

From January 26th to December 2nd, I went on a mission trip to Borneo, Malaysia. I have a big heart for missions so I felt honored and privileged to go. It was a lot of sowing work: relationally connecting with people, praying for families, and asking God to release physical healing. But God was also faithful to let us taste the fruits of relationship, physical healing, and most of all, His heart.

It is because I wanted to catch God’s heart that I signed up for missions in the first place. Before I go on, I should share that my full time job is to oversee ODA projects among developing countries. ODA stands for official development assistance. It is a term widely used as an indicator of international aid flow. Through funds provided by the Korean government, our organization focuses on healthcare services and I do mobile clinic projects with 4 African countries. Growing up, this was my dream job. I always wanted to visit many mission fields with professional expertise in one hand, and the Gospel message in the other. However, the reality was so different. My business trips ended up being full of intense work and emotionally draining fights. This is why I was really looking forward to this missions trip. I wanted God to show me what it’s like to live, think, and love like a missionary. I wanted to get some answers so these ODA business trips would become trips to glorify God and bless His people. And God was so faithful to answer.

God showed me that the first key to glorifying Him in the mission field is relationship. Our team was amazed and blessed by Pastor John, our local missionary through NPWM (Native Partners for World Missions). He has been visiting and living with longhouse tribes for almost 30 years. A longhouse is 10 to 15 homes connected by a porch. So in one longhouse, there are at least 50 people living together as a community. Pastor John’s ministry is all about relationship. He visits the longhouses, has tea and snacks with the families, plays instruments and dances with them, listens to their stories, and prays for them. He has such a big, fatherly heart. He has so much patience and genuine love, but also a lot of spiritual authority. Through the seeds he has sown, many people have opened up and met Jesus Christ. Among the longhouse tribes there is a lot of spiritual warfare because of generations of occultic practices. But through Pastor John’s ministry and authority, people have been healed, delivered, and now live in Christ’s full freedom.

One word of advice given by Todd, our team preacher, helped me to see how I could apply the importance of relationships to my work. Todd shared that even though Pastor John’s ministry might not be a fire-filled, dynamic ministry like New Philly, our mission in Borneo is an extension of Pastor John’s ministry. So we all took more careful notice of how Pastor John ministers. He is fully present with each person. He doesn’t strive at all. He has full faith in the power of God to heal, deliver, and set free. He is so relational. This challenged and encouraged me a lot. I had started my ODA work wanting to serve the least and the weakest. But as time went on, the work became all about finishing the project successfully. It was no longer about the people. But through Pastor John, the longhouse families, and my team members, I learned so much about deeply connecting with God’s people and loving on them. It is through relationship that there is lasting fruit. God was showing me what it means to not just be a worker, but to truly be His minister.

The second key that God gave me for glorifying Him in the mission field is the power of the Holy Spirit. The Korean churches I grew up attending were very closed and cautious of the Holy Spirit. So I wanted to personally experience miracles and supernatural works to testify to my Korean friends that Holy Spirit is real, and that we can do greater things in Him.

God honored this desire, but in a way I didn’t expect. Before the first evening service, God asked me, “Are you ready?” I said, “Yes, are you?” He replied, “I’ve been ready for a long time.” I was excited to see the Holy Spirit move powerfully. Like we read in Ezekiel, I wanted the water of God’s presence to pour out up to people’s ankles, their knees, waist, chest, necks, to the top of their head. But at the first service the Holy Spirit didn’t show up in the powerful way that I desired. I was little frustrated, but the Lord said, “Shinyoung, there needs to be time for this to sink in. Don’t worry. I have started the good work.” At the next evening’s service, God’s presence was powerful but I knew there was still more. I had faith that all the prayers I sowed in before this missions trip would be fulfilled. So each time there were rainstorms outside in the jungles of Borneo, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would fall like rain in our services.

And God is faithful. As the team continued to minister faithfully, we saw more and more testimonies of physical healing. As people were confirming their healing after I laid hands and prayed for them, my faith started to rise up. On our second to last day of ministry, we even saw a partially paralyzed grandma start to move her limbs! God is so good. Finally the time came for our last service, a Sunday service. I knew this was D-day. I knew Holy Spirit was going to touch people’s hearts the most powerfully on this day. And after the message, even before the altar call, my heart was getting filled with God’s heart for the Borneo people. As congregation members were lining up at the altar to receive the Holy Spirit, I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. His presence was so thick in that sanctuary. God’s love for His children is so deep. Holy Spirit was encountering everyone. Each time I laid hands and prayed for somebody, we would both start crying and weeping together. It was beautiful to witness how the Lord was moving and revealing His loving heart. And it was in this moment that God showed me that what could be accomplished through His Holy Spirit. Whenever there is God’s presence, creation meets their Creator, and there is able to be lasting fruit in the mission field.

Now that I am back in Korea, the verse that I am still holding on to for both the Borneo mission field and my own full-time work is Isaiah 59:11-12. “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

God will continue his good work with the people of Borneo, and they will be the Spirit-filled ones to take the Gospel and His presence all throughout the island and the nation. They will not only rebuild the ruins and broken walls, but will rebuild His kingdom here on Earth. Please pray that the longhouse families of Borneo become even more empowered and united. Pray that they be filled with hope and joy, and that they boldly rise up and testify of our good Father.

As the Lord continues to move in Borneo, I will be taking the lessons that I learned to my next work assignment in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. I’m truly excited. I know this trip will be different from the previous ones. As I walk out in relationship with the Holy Spirit, and in relationship with His people, I know God will give me the grace to do my work as His minister. My work is an act of worship to Him. Whether we are full-time pastors or lay leaders, we are all called to be ministers. I am honored that I have been called to a lifelong partnership with the Lord! Thank you once again for all your prayers and support! God bless you!

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