2015 West Papua – Hellen Tansie

God’s Empowerment

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dreams. – Acts 2:17

This missions trip to West Papua was a time of empowerment. It was a confirmation of God’s everlasting promises, grace, and presence both in the good times and the bad. Heaven and earth will fade away but His word will still remain. I will share with you my personal testimony of this awesome mission encounter with our God.

Right from when the missions applications were announced, I was moved to go. I was born into a Christian home and I knew God’s heart is for expanding His kingdom here on earth. But at the same time, I did not have a personal heart for missions. And so sometimes throughout the long training process, especially with my Indonesia visa issues, I started to think that maybe this was not the right time for me to go. I prayed for God to either make things work my way, or not give me the opportunity to go at all. Eventually everything worked out, but not perfectly according to plan. This made me uncomfortable, until God spoke to me in my dream a few days before our departure. He showed me what a privilege it is for me to go serve His people in the mission field, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem. Thus with much hesitation, I got myself ready to just go serve as the Father was asking, not realizing that He had set me up for personal breakthrough as well.

On the airplane, God started revealing to me how I was holding back from His greater plans for me because of fear. I broke down because I realised that God knew me more than I knew myself. I then knew that this missions trip wasn’t just for me to go and serve, but for God to also take me away from my daily distractions to get my attention, reassuring me of His presence.

Our team arrived in West Papua after several flights and were met with a glorious tribal welcome by the native pastors and congregation members. We had 12 sessions with this community and throughout the ministry times, they chewed on God’s word with so much hunger. I realised then that there were so many things I took for granted, all of which actually meant so much to the local pastors. Their hunger for more of the Lord convicted me and renewed my thirst and hunger for more of His everlasting presence. These pastors held the Gospel in high esteem and knew that it has the power to satisfy them in every need.

But even before our arrival, the Lord knew the greater purpose for each member of the team. Before our team roster had been sent to him, Pastor Tandi (our host pastor) had been encouraging the local pastors not to doubt themselves, saying that they could all be missionaries regardless of their background. He especially cited examples of missionaries being sent out from countries in Africa. So on the first day when I introduced myself as Hellen from Ghana, West Africa, where was such a surprised and joyous response from the crowd. God used my mere presence on the team was a confirmation and hope to them! This also confirmed to me personally what God had spoken to me about equipping me to be sent out to do His work even across the borders of my own nation.

As our team continued with the week of ministry, we also had youth revival services at a high school in Manokwari and with the youth ministry of Pastor Tandi’s church. It was glorious to see the young hearts hunger for more of God’s presence. During the youth revival at Pastor Tandi’s church, Pastor David (our team preacher) spoke about the presence and love of God. He was very vulnerable to share his powerful life testimony, which made it easier for the youth to relate with the message personally. During the altar call, almost all the youth went up to experience the sweet presence and love of the Holy Spirit, and oh how beautiful it was. I saw God’s presence fill the room and embrace His children with love, power, and comfort. Many were in tears and could not stand on their feet. God comforted the broken hearted, healed the sick, and poured out His joy over them in a very peaceful but powerful way whilst tearing down walls in their hearts and minds. God also delivered a beautiful girl from demonic possession and began to restore everything that was lost.

The entire week of ministry was so blessed, but one special moment was the last day of the sessions, when we all had Holy Communion together. God reminded me of how Christ had His last supper with the disciples after teaching them everything they needed to know, and how He empowered them to go out and spread His Gospel. It was during Communion that God broke off all remaining personal fear and doubt in my heart and reconfirmed His presence to me. He is always ready for me to come drink from His living water and be filled. I felt His presence so powerfully again for the first time in a long time and saw myself dining with Him and Him with me in love and Holiness. I felt so encouraged, strengthened, and empowered just like the native pastors, to go out in God’s power and anointing.

I can go on and on and tell so many stories because God did so much for the native people, each team member, and in me as well. I had such deep fellowship with my 9 powerful, loving, and anointed teammates, and I will forever remain grateful for being blessed with this opportunity to minister with them in West Papua. Thank you New Philadelphia for your prayers and support, and thank you for sending out our team under covering. God’s Kingdom continues to advance, and He is faithful to empower His children as they go out to do His work. Continue the good work the Lord has called you to, and He will surely reward you faithfully. Thank you and God bless you!

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