2015 General Santos – Sarah Kim

Childlike Faith

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband- the LORD Almighty is his name-the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:4-5

One thing that really stood out to me on this trip missions trip was the pure love and faith of the people of General Santos. Their worship to the Lord was so beautiful, so pure, and zealous. Earlier in the week, our team had climbed a mountain and went to Atgas Faith Gospel Church. During the prayer time, we went around to pray for the children gathered there. They ranged from ages 4-11. Their hands were stretched out in prayer, to receive more of the Lord. One particular boy stood out to me. He must have been around 5 or 6 years old. His hands were lifted up as one of the brothers on the team, Randall, was praying for him. The little boy had tears running down his face and he started shaking, manifesting under the glory of the God. God loves His children so, so much. How beautiful it was to see His children, in pure, childlike faith, open their hands to receive, and to be overwhelmed by His presence. It made me wonder how they could understand who God really is. Who is God to them? How does God make them feel? What makes them cry out for Him at such a young age? But I realized that age really does not matter. God is real and He is a loving Father. He desires to encounter and empower His people in many ways, regardless of age. In fact, God especially loves His children.

Another of my favorite memories from this trip was when I saw more of God’s heart for His children at Riverside village. On our way to the village, the clouds started forming, and as soon as we arrived, it started to rain. When we got out of our van, we were greeted by a handful of cute children seeking shelter under the main stage. Our team, being the prayer warriors we were, started to pray against the rain because it would hinder us from being able to minister outside. We prayed for the clouds to part and for the sun to come forth. But nothing happened. It actually started to rain harder. Then, one of the Emmaus Campus Ministry sisters on the team, Eunbi, suggested that the children pray. So we asked Pastor Clar (our native ministry contact) to lead the children in prayer. Pastor Clar had the children repeat lines of prayers for the rain to stop. Their prayers were so precious. Their cute angelic voices echoed up into the heavens. And God heard. About 3 seconds after their “Amen,” the rain slowly came to a stop, the clouds parted, and the sun quickly came out. I have seen healings and small wonders in life, but this was by far the coolest miracle I saw before my eyes. My heart tightened and felt tender as I witnessed the pure faith of these children. Jesus’ words echoed in my heart: “Ask and you shall receive.” God truly loves His children, and He responds to childlike faith. Every person gathered in that space witnessed the beautiful wonder of God. This miracle paved the way for fresh joy to be released to the villagers as we started our service and VBS session. The rain that stopped with the children’s prayers communicated to the people how deeply God loved them and how He wanted that morning to be set apart for them. It opened up their hearts to the testimony of Pastor Marcus, and the sermon of our team member InAi that God is a good Father.

Throughout the trip, as our team visited many villages and encountered many children, I couldn’t help but feel challenged in my own faith. I live in a society where people are so consumed and wrapped up in daily distractions of the internet and media. I live in a city where everywhere I turn, anything and everything is accessible and only a short commute away. It can sometimes be a daily fight to find the time to just be in silence and be still before God in worship, prayer, and the Word. There are times when I’m having my quiet times with God, and in the back of my mind I have so many wandering thoughts of to-dos and distractions. I feel humbled when I think about the people I’ve encountered in General Santos. No matter what season they were going through in their lives, when it was time to go before the Lord, I saw them give their all in pure, childlike faith. It made me wonder, “Is that why it’s so much easier to see the fire of God falling on these people and seeing them manifest under His glory? Is it because of their pure faith and love that we can witness so many more speedy healings there?” I was deeply encouraged and challenged to renew my own relationship with God- to have a pure, childlike faith before Him. Thank you General Santos for reminding me to surrender all that I have and just be in the presence of the Lord: no distractions, just pure love and faith in Him who loves me.

Matthew 19:14 says,

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

What does it mean to have childlike faith? To have childlike faith means to receive the Father’s heart wholeheartedly and allow Him to expand our capacity to learn His teachings, be moldable, and grow in love. A childlike faith means there is no striving, no coveting, no shame. Rather, it means being content and at peace with the One who provides, knowing we are being well taken care of. And lastly, a childlike faith means no matter the trials and difficult seasons we grow through, we can always hold onto His hand and never look down, but rather look up to the one we feel secure in, trusting that he is our Provider and our Rock. I’m excited to grow this season with an open heart to receive and to love. While we should always be maturing and growing in our spiritual knowledge, I encourage you to slow down in your busyness and get back to that place of childlike faith where you are fully open, ready and expectant of the good gifts our Father has for you. Thank you.

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