2015 West Papua – Jisu Choi

The Work is Not Yet Done

Shalom! I hope you are super excited to hear about my missions trip because my heart still leaps as I recall every moment that we spent on the beautiful island of West Papua! But first allow me to take a moment to thank you, my financial and prayer supporters! I wish I could express this in better words but if it weren’t for your prayers and financial giving, we wouldn’t have been able to go in the first place. The world needs missionaries to be sent out, but before that we need sending missionaries. I could say this over and over again but I hope you understand my point: your role on this trip was undeniably essential! Thank you! This was my second time going to West Papua and many people prayed for me beforehand, saying that it would look radically different to my first trip. Indeed it was! There were a few familiar faces but every part of the trip was completely unlike the first. Thus I was tempted to compare the two trips several times at the beginning but God told me clearly that I could not do that—He was doing something different with a new set of team members, and I had to partner with the work He was doing this time around. I will share a brief summary of our whole trip first and then continue with my personal revelations at the end.

As I mentioned earlier, this trip was different not only ministry-wise but in terms of the schedule. This was probably the most physically demanding trip I’ve been on because of how packed our day-to-day schedule was! After a 20-hour plane commute, we landed in Manokwari, the capital, had about 2 hours to wash up and rest after breakfast, and went straight into our first ministry schedule at Love Papua Prayer & Training Center. This center recruits about 30-40 ministers and leaders from all over the island to train with seminars and prayer meetings every week. For this particular week, however, there were about 50 people present. Our team ministered about 90% of the time preaching, giving seminars, sharing testimonies, and praying for the trainees. They even had early morning prayer meetings at 5am every day! Personally, I fall into the category of people who need over 8 hours of sleep every day but for that whole week I have never felt so much grace over my physical strength! More than that, I couldn’t imagine us not ministering to a group that was so hungry and desperate to learn more of God’s Word and what we had to offer. Each attendant took meticulous notes, passed them around for others to copy, and came early to each session. As I looked at each person God reminded me that yes, our team is great, but these leaders were the ones who will go out and bring revival and transformation to West Papua. What an honor and privilege it was for us to minister to such a powerful and influential group!

For the rest of the trip we ministered at a local high school, Erikson-Tritt Bible College, Makarismos Church led by Pastor Tandi’s (our local contact), and a prayer meeting up in the mountain village of Warmare. Each session was powerful and God definitely highlighted specific people for us to pray for. I wish I could talk about each of these ministry times, but I will save that and share a bit about our time in Warmare. The story goes back to 2010 when our first New Philly team was sent to West Papua. They had initially hoped to minister in the mountain villages but because of a murder caused by a notorious witch doctor, the roads were blocked and the schedule cancelled. This witch doctor was the most powerful and feared amongst all the other witch doctors but, praise the Lord, Pastor Tandi was able to lead him through the sinner’s prayer and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior a few years ago! Absolutely incredible, isn’t it? Our 2013 team heard about this but never got to meet him in person. This time around he was present at the training center! Pastor Tandi renamed him as Paulus, and you can guess why. So, Paulus now leads the prayer meeting in Warmare, where pastors and leaders from other churches gather to intercede together. The hunger and fire of these believers was amazing, but what blew me away was the unity they carried. As revival is being birthed within Indonesia, I have full confidence that a large portion of it will come from West Papua. The Church in this region walks in humility, fire, purity, and has a powerful prayer life. I ask that you lift them up in your prayers when you remember—God is training up mighty warriors!

During our time at LPC, two team members and I were asked to pick someone out of the congregation and prophesy over them at one of the afternoon sessions. I asked a lady to come up and I prayed all the revelations God had deposited in me earlier on in the trip. Later with the help of Jungmi I learned that what I had prayed for this lady was what God had spoken to her a few years ago. She had lost confidence and faith through a series of events, and still continued to doubt. That night, however, I appeared in her dream and apparently said that this was the Word of God. It gets crazier. That weekend, the whole team appeared in another dream of hers and although she couldn’t understand what we were saying she knew that we were speaking the truth. God then spoke to her and said that He had prepared and sent this team specifically for this time and for these people. After hearing that I almost broke down in tears (I’m getting teary as I write this too). I’m sure a lot of our missions teams signed up for these trips and pushed through training without realizing how life-changing their presence would be in the field. Even in my team there were many who signed up for missions as a leap of faith, thinking that maybe they were not yet ready. Maybe they felt that missions would be a great learning experience for them. Whatever the reason, I am so thankful that each team member obeyed God’s call and allowed Him to lead them. I am so grateful especially for this season because West Papua has a special place in my heart—I relate to this people group the most out of all my trips, and I always feel like I am a distant relative to the local pastor. For real! With this team and the support of all our friends and family, we were able to witness God do amazing things. I understand that it isn’t about us, but I believe that God had great purpose in putting this team together. Each member played a key role, and the dynamics were perfect.

Personally at the end of the trip I did not want to come back to Korea. It wasn’t because everything was so awesome and epic. On the contrary, I felt the weight of missions but in the form of long-term training and teaching. There is such a great need of Spirit-filled leaders who are set free, to empower and strengthen leaders in other nations. Hence leaving only after a week seemed way too short. Thus as always, I cannot wait for next missions season but this time my excitement is a little different. Maybe excitement is not the right word. I love being sent on these teams for a myriad of reasons but this time around it’s not just because of the fun stuff. There is so much work to do—discipleship, setting people free from bondage and demonic oppression, emotional and physical healing, training leaders, and so on. I know my testimony is long but I pray that the one thing you take away from reading this is that the world needs you! Believers are all called to fight the good fight but we need each other to be encouraged and strengthened. We all need each other, whether you are sending or being sent as missionaries. Your intercession and support are powerful, effective, and can change the course of someone’s life. Let’s get pumped up for preaching the Good News, and partnering with God in expanding His Kingdom. The harvest is plentiful and it calls for workers like you!

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