2015 West Papua – David Ahn

Real Grace

Over the five and a half days our team was actually in West Papua, we led a total of twenty ministry events. Of these twenty ministry events, I preached eleven of them. I don’t know how our team did it but can I just say the Grace of God is real?

God moved powerfully at every gathering. One particular breakthrough we saw was in the responsiveness of the West Papuans. The 2013 team said that during altar ministry times, many people were hungry but weren’t that expressive. However after hearing how our Wave 1 missions team to Cambodia experienced breakthrough in this area, I encouraged the team to pray and claim Cambodia’s testimony as our own. Witnessing West Papuan men and women being slain under the power of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, shedding tears, and encountering the love of God in an experiential way was not just an answer to our prayer, but also a sign that God’s glory in West Papua would only increase, as prophesied in Haggai 2:9.

A personal highlight for me on this the trip was our time at Love Papua Center’s leadership retreat. After a 20-hour commute, the last leg being a red-eye flight, we arrived in Manokwari at 8:00am on a Tuesday. Once we arrived, we ate, unpacked, washed up, and led three ministry sessions back-to-back for a retreat we would be ministering at for the next three days. The retreat gathered about 50-60 people from all across the island. Many of the attendees would walk a whole day out of the jungle, only to take a helicopter to arrive at the Center. Among the attendees were even chiefs of numerous tribes. We were honored that God had gathered such precious and passionate sons for us to minister to that week.

One of the people we met through the Love Papua Center was a 25-year old man named Niko. Niko was not planning on coming to the retreat, and came reluctantly after a friend brought him out. But after the first day, Niko was so hungry for more that for the next two days he would leave home at 3am to make it to the retreat for every session, and then stay the whole day till around midnight. Obviously, Niko was special. Niko was raised by his grandparents because his parents had disowned him after wanting a daughter instead of a son. But as we preached about the spirit of sonship, forgiveness, and spiritual warfare, Niko was fully engaged from beginning to end. He was like this was for the entirety of the retreat (as in ten 1 ½ hour-long sessions which included early morning prayer, two morning sessions, two afternoon sessions and a evening session every day for three days… can somebody say, “the grace of God is real?”). One night, Niko actually recorded a whole session on his phone! At the end of the retreat Niko shared how he knew that although he was abandoned by his natural father, he is ultimately a child of the heavenly Father. Niko was able to forgive his parents and renounce the false identities of shame and rejection, while breaking generational curses off of himself and his family. He shared how he always wanted to live a life of freedom but didn’t have the tools to do so until now. Although Niko was one of the youngest attendees, he represented so many of the breakthroughs experienced by many others from this retreat.

At the end of the three days, we closed up the Retreat by having Communion together as one body in Christ. Pastor Tandi, our local contact through Native Partners for World Mission, shared how on past retreats many attendees would not participate in Communion because of the shame and guilt they felt from past sins. But with great joy I am able to say that this time EVERYONE participated in Communion, including Niko. As we all partook in the elements together, I stepped back to observe and sensed how pleased God must have been to see His children experience intimacy with Him with such freedom. Over the course of the Retreat, shame and lies were broken off the people, and new identities in Christ were established. Hearts were opened, mindsets were renewed and lives were empowered. Sons and daughters of God were awakened to who they are, and reestablished in the affirmation of the Father. Mighty warriors of God were clothed with the armor of God, leaving the Retreat as “sent ones” in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, wielding spiritual weapons ready to destroy enemy strongholds.

Indeed God’s grace is inexhaustible for those who are willing to be used for His glory. Even personally, in the middle of this trip, after pouring out so much, I was tempted to feel as though I had run out: run out of energy to physically keep going and even run out of sermons to preach! I could imagine Pastor Tandi fighting off such thoughts as well while leading his ministry, and even the West Papuan Christian leaders while bringing the Gospel to unreached areas. But in the midst of this the Lord reminded me of I Corinthians 12:9, which reads:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Whether on a week-long missions trip, or sowing into a mission field in the largest Muslim nation in the world, God’s grace is inexhaustible. God’s grace gives you strength when you feel like you’re at the end of the road. God’s grace gives you the words when you feel like you’ve run out of sermons to preach. God’s grace empowers you to empower others. Our team got to experience this grace as we ministered with supernatural unity, strength, and anointing. Moreover, our team got to see this grace through the transformation and freedom the West Papuan people experienced. God’s grace is real and sufficient for you.

On behalf of the 2015 I would like to thank all of you for your generous prayers and financial support. In closing, I would also like to share some words from Pastor Tandi, which he included in an email just a few days ago:

People here were really blessed in the center, church, Erikson-Tritt Bible School and Prayer Tower. People expect you to send NP team regularly to Papua. I know the team was very exhausted. Next time if they can stay 8-10 days it will be better. Each member of NP was wonderful. They were well prepared and gifted. I myself was really encouraged and enriched by their teaching and testimony. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Thank you once again New Philly for all you sowed in to make this trip possible. Let us be expectant for even greater testimonies to continue coming out of West Papua!

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