2015 Jakarta – John Park

Generational Empowerment

Shalom! Aba Kapar (How are you)?

I was in Jakarta for just a week, but this was the most packed week I’ve ever lived. God moved powerfully to say the least, both in our team and through our team. I can’t emphasize enough that this trip was a truly humbling experience. I am so grateful for your prayers and support, and feel so humbled to be able to experience everything I did. God moved powerfully through our ministry partnership!

Through our time in Jakarta, the team was able to witness the long-term fruit of our native pastors. Sister Donna was our contact person, and she is on staff at IKAT Bible College along with many other sold-out men and women of God. Our main ministry was to empower the IKAT students to prepare them to become future leaders and church planters across Indonesia and the nations. In addition to IKAT, we also ministered at public schools, mental disability communities, and a handful of local churches. But at the end of the trip I realized that the leaders of these ministries and churches were actually IKAT alumni! As we were pouring out and ministering at IKAT, God was showing us both the short-term and long-tern fruit of what happens through this school. Thus it was such a blessing as we had the opportunity to share testimonies, teach seminars, preach, fellowship, and pray for one another.

On a personal level, a great trip highlight for me was meeting Pastor (Papa) and Mama Tarigan. They are an elderly missionary couple from Medan, another island of Indonesia. They are pastors we know through Native Partners for World Mission, and they joined our team to be our “translators.” At first, I was a little concerned as to whether Papa Tarigan would be able to translate well. But as the trip continued, I got to know him so much better. Little did I know what this man of God carries! Pastor Tarigan has 40+ years of missions experience under his belt. He has survived 7 heart attacks! Literally! It was so humbling to also know that he has close friends who have gone to prison for preaching the Gospel and those who have even been martyred for their faith. Papa Tarigan testified of how many of his co-laborers for the Kingdom had been shot and killed by fanatic Muslims for preaching the Gospel. A week before meeting with us, a friend of his was shot and killed for partaking in a Christian radio program.

This Papa Tarigan flew all the way to Jakarta from Medan to translate for us. Wait what? Pause. Think about that. This blew my mind. This elderly man of God simply came to translate for young people such as us. Here is a friend of God who has so much to testify and share about, but he came to translate. I felt humbled every time I preached. I honestly thought he should be the one preaching, and I wished I had the ability to translate for him. When I expressed this to him, Papa Tarigan rocked me with this response: “No Pastor John, it’s your turn. It is time for the young generation to rise up.” It humbled me to know that he not only translated, but also PREACHED what he was translating with his whole heart. He believed every word that rolled off his tongue. He would even be moved to tears several times while translating. This revealed his teachable and sensitive heart despite his 40+ years of ministry experience. Papa Tarigan didn’t have a lick of an “I already know that” attitude. He would translate as if he was hearing all of these teachings for the first time. It is my dream to have these character attributes when I am older. Ministering with Papa Tarigan empowered¬ me so much. The anointing was so strong and thick because of the Father’s delight in what he was seeing: an older generation son who was humbly and genuinely championing and empowering the younger generation son. Now that is Kingdom.

I believe that God was saving Papa Tarigan’s life again and again and again because there were so few people like him. People like Papa Tarigan give hope to the young generation and injects us with faith and confidence. There was this one time where we preaching together on the topic of eternal hope and joy in suffering. As I was preparing, I felt that God wanted me to ask Pastor Tarigan to tag-team. Thus as I preached, we tag teamed and Pastor Tarigan testified of his own experiences. It was one of the greatest honors of my life. I will never tell people that Pastor Tarigan was my translator. I will always tell people that we preached together.

As Papa Tarigan continued to honor a young man like me, I felt such courage, confidence, and empowerment. It created a longing in my heart to honor him! I felt the heavy weight of the responsibility of my generation, but it did not crush me because I felt so empowered with love. Pastor Tarigan was not pulling me up, but pushing me up. This generational empowerment was so effective because it was mutual. We desired to “outdo one another in showing honor” as stated in Romans 12:10. We were basically playing “honor pong.” This occurred not only with Pastor Tarigan, but with the local leaders and our team as well. There was so much mutual edification, mutual empowerment, and mutual building up. The people of Indonesia truly honored us with their hospitality, treating us like royalty, and gifting us with so much. I felt that our “feet were clean” as they continued to serve us just as Jesus exemplified humility as he washed His disciples’ feet. We provoked each other to a healthy competition of honor. I learned that empowerment comes through genuine honor, and that honoring is not blessing from being above, but blessing from going low just like our Savior.

When I got back from Jakarta, I read Romans 12:9-13 and I couldn’t help but wonder if everyone we met had meditated on these words before our team arrived in Jakarta:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Mutual Empowerment: From Generation to Generation.This is a key Kingdom value God let me experience this trip. It is time for young people to arise. We are “surrounded by SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES”, along with many spiritual Mamas and Papas who await us taking our place. Therefore, “let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.(Hebrews 12:3). Thank you and God bless you.

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