2016 West Papua – Alex Quach

Love is a Choice

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7

I wasn’t intending on going on missions this year and did not apply when the applications were due, but then God started to convict my heart after the teams were formed and missions training had commenced. I prayed to God and asked myself how I would feel being the person sending missionaries versus being sent. After a series of prayers, God was telling me, “Alex, there is more. I want to bring you to new levels.” So being the obedient child I am, I emailed Lisa, our missions director, about my renewed heart for missions and she accepted my application. And here I am, back from West Papua, Indonesia to share the amazing works that God is doing in that nation.

During my first missions training, one of the activities we had to do was to spend some time waiting on the Lord and asking Him for words to pray and declare over our mission field. The word that I got was “bush fire” and it was a prophetic word for the region of West Papua. Yes, bush fires are a natural disaster in Australia, but there are occasions where bush fires are purposely lit. Certain plant seeds need bushfires to crack their coats to let water in so life can sprout. Others germinate once they’ve been stimulated by smoke from bush fires. Some plants simply enjoy the country being opened up after fire and stretch out into the new space. Just like the purposely lit bush fires, I believe God was sending us as His holy fire to West Papua to not only crack open their outer coats and let the Holy Spirit in, but also to bring revival and restore hope in their hearts. After receiving this prophecy from God I went home and painted this picture.

I held onto this prophetic word and expected to see God move in signs and wonders in West Papua. I was ready to see sight restored to the blind, the mute speak, and the lame walk. But on this trip, God was teaching me to see in the Spirit. We may not have seen God move in multitudes of signs and wonders in the natural, but in the supernatural God was breaking off deep discouragement and hopelessness from His people. He was planting seeds of life within those who received Him. Our team’s purpose was to shepherd God’s lost sheep back onto His path, to empower and uplift the church leaders and pastors of the local churches, and to also equip them with teachings that will sprout life.

As I reflect on this trip, I realize how relevant this bushfire vision was to the theme of my experience. This is because fire not only purifies, but it also refines and burns away the things we thought mattered, but only interfered with our intimacy with God. Just as fire refines and tests fine metals through a prufication process, this trip was not the easiest for me. There were many times where I had to be tested and go against my natural preferences in order to roll with the punches and uphold God’s heart. As cliché as it sounds, to choose love, just like in 1 Corinthians 13, was an active decision that I had to make throughout the whole trip. Also the values that I upheld for myself such as being consistent, punctual, and disciplined were overthrown as I faced moments where I could not wake up, or had to submit to orders without consistency. Throughout the trip, God was constantly reminding me to have a kingdom mindset and that all is for His glory.

I went to West Papua expecting to see God move and asked Him to use me to bring His glory to His people. I found out that it is truly through faith that God works in the most astonishing ways. This is because it’s not our power that works miracles, but it is God who does it as we step out in faith. God can use us despite any inadequacies that we feel. God doesn’t look at our qualifications. He looks at our hearts and hands to be His vessel. So no matter where we are, our mission field is wherever we are placed.

I would like to end my testimony by asking you to keep West Papua in your prayers by praying for:

  1. Wisdom over Pastor Tandi and his family,
  2. For the training camp attendees to faithfully steward the teachings,
  3. And for Love Papua Training Center (LPC) as they continue to equip and train up God’s people.