2016 Los Angeles – Helen Kim

The Fruit of Abiding in Christ

Abide in me to produce fruit, good fruit, and long lasting fruit. – John 15:16

It was great starting the new year ministering with God and Team LA. I honestly did not expect half the things that happened on this trip. I had personally wanted to go on missions to a developing country. I didn’t know what missions would look like in an already developed country. I thought to myself, “Yeah, the pastors will be preaching and teaching seminars but they won’t need me.” Although I went with these thoughts, throughout the trip God began to shift my perspective about my role and my identity as a minister. Little did I know how powerfully our team would minister to the hearts of the college students, the young adults, and the married couples. And little did I know that I would play such a necessary role in the bigger picture.

We all know that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Our team can testify that satan tried his best to attack our team’s security, identity, and steal our unity and authority. Before the trip, I struggled with a lack of trust. “I’m not ready, I’m not prepared, I’m not equipped, I’m not feeling it. What’s my role? What am I going to do? Am I even needed?” These were clearly lies! But these lies were distracting me and stopping me from being in a place of trust and obedience. Training and homework seemed like a burden and I felt very rushed in preparing for missions. However, in the midst of all this, God made it clear to me that He wanted me to go, and that He was the one sending me out. He opened up my schedule to allow me to go, and provided every financial need through my supporters. In fact, I was overflowing with both financial and prayer support.

On the first night of the conference, during praise and worship, I realized that the inadequacy and apathy I had felt leading up to the conference were actually prophetic promptings from the Holy Spirit. He was revealing to me the spiritual condition of some of the HolyWave congregation members. During small groups, I was able to connect with college students who shared about how they were struggling with their identity (a lot of fear of man), authority (striving for perfection), and belonging at church. Some people at the conference admitted that they were spiritually dead or barely breathing. Others were lukewarm. God showed me that just because there wasn’t a physical need in this American church, it didn’t mean that there wasn’t a spiritual need. In fact, the Gospel was all they really needed and the Gospel was all I could offer.

As I prayed for a couple of girls specifically, I realized that the struggles and hurts they were sharing were very real and overwhelming. They were definitely beyond my own experiences (stress from parents in their last stages of a terminal illness, shame from a close family member in the sex industry) and I knew that I needed to lean on God’s voice and wisdom. It is only through the Holy Spirit that I was able to offer them specific and timely words of comfort. The strength and hope that they were so desperately needed had to come from one source, and that was their Heavenly Father. I prayed and took “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and prayed that His heart would be made known to them. I was ready. I was equipped and I was trained up to be a mighty warrior to “go out in the anointing of the Holy Spirit to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim freedom for the captives” (Isaiah 61:1).

I was so happy to see the fruit of our prayers, but really desired for it to be everlasting fruit. Having attended church retreats in the past myself, I found that even I had moments at the conference when I would think, “I hope this lasts, I hope they don’t drift away, I hope this is real.” Thus I wasn’t surprised to find that many of the youth were thinking along the same lines. God highlighted my need to TRUST Him. I needed to grasp the reality in my heart that satan’s lies were only temporary and that God’s words and works are true and everlasting. It was only by believing in this truth MYSELF that I was able to focus on watering the seeds that God had planted during the conference. Although the plant doesn’t sprout and grow immediately, the truth is that God is sure to finish the good work that He has begun in each and every one of His children.

John 15:7 says, “If you remain in me and my WORDS remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much FRUIT, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” When I first read this, the word “fruit” was highlighted to me because I wanted this year to be fruitful in every way. As we ministered, I began to realise that this verse was as much about obedience as it was about being productive. God was teaching me that if I am obedient in listening to His voice, I would be able to bear much fruit without striving to produce it myself. And indeed I found myself in situations where I had to choose to follow His leading, whether it was just being available to listen to someone, or to approach and pray for people even when I did not feel like it. But the Lord was always faithful to break through.

The theme of the conference was Dunamis (meaning dynamite, power and marvelous works) and the youth of LA had a revelation of who God is and a revelation of who they are in Christ. There was a permanent transformation that took place inside of them, and it physically manifested during praise. I felt such joy and freedom as the Holy Spirit ushered HolyWave into new levels of worship. The striving, performing, and fear of man that we felt on the first night was gradually lifted, and by the end of the conference it was GONE. The dunamis power of God literally hit them. The Spirit of God came and encountered His children with His glory. His presence was so thick in the room. People were glowing and radiating. For the first time, as a community, it seemed like they were able to understand and feel on a deeper level that God is not only good, but also FUN. It was such a joy to see this congregation so alive and dancing and celebrating with God, together.

I am excited for what God will do in and through HolyWave. I believe they will play a key factor in a fresh revival throughout Los Angeles. I am so glad that I was able to have fellowship with these brothers and sisters there while also witnessing God moving through them. Our team wasn’t just sent to give, but also to receive. This trip was such a mutually edifying, encouraging time. God used us to empower HolyWave with passion, fire and zeal. HolyWave in turn blessed us with their prayers, testimonies, hospitality, and acts of service. They were empowered by seeing the team pray, and the wisdom the pastors shared. And we left so encouraged to see how powerfully the Lord was moving through them and in them. I was able to learn that missions isn’t just a mindset that one shifts into just once a month or once a year when overseas. Rather it happens everywhere, and everyday. Thus I return from Los Angeles with a fresh determination to live every day having that Kingdom mindset. Thank you so much for supporting me, sending me and partnering with me to sow and reap good, long lasting fruit!