2016 West Papua – Kate Park

The Prayer of an Unrelenting Saint

What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him who loved us. – Romans 8:35-37

Shortly after the beginning of 2016, a missions team of 12 was sent from Seoul and Sydney to West Papua, Indonesia. We landed in the city of Manokwari, which is a few hours away from Jakarta by plane. Over the course of 9 days, we were able to minister to the youth, pray for the locals, and hold seminars for local church pastors and leaders. It was a powerful time of witnessing God pour out His Spirit and use our team to serve His people. There were many moments that come to my mind when I think about this trip, but if I had to choose one lesson I learned from this trip, it would be the power of relentless prayer.

I personally experienced this through a girl named Chidra. I met her during one of our first evening sessions at Makarismos Church, the church of the NPWM (Native Partners for World Missions) local missionary, Pastor Tandi. I saw Chidra sitting in the back of the sanctuary and I felt a tug on my heart. It’s hard to put into words the affection I had towards her. There was nothing she did or said that grabbed my attention. Then again, there is nothing we did to be loved and chosen by the Lord. She came to the altar in response to the message that was preached that evening. I prayed for her, but the language barrier made it very difficult to pray for her effectively. However, I had faith that God ministers beyond language barriers. I knew I would meet her again during our stay at West Papua and that I would pray for her again.

The second time I met Chidra was the very next evening, during a revival service at Mutiara Church. I prayed for her with all my heart that night, yet she appeared to be unmoved. God’s love for this girl was burning in my heart. I knew I would see her in two days at the youth revival service. I was determined to pray for her again until God encountered her powerfully.

Finally, on the night of the youth revival, Pastor Paul, our team preacher, released a powerful word. So many students, convicted by the message, responded by coming to the altar and receiving prayer. Chidra was one of them. I prayed for her and my heart felt like it was going to burst. I knew she didn’t understand what I was praying for her, but that didn’t stop me. I pressed on in faith and the next moment, I was shouting in her ear how much God loves her. I know it’s not all about volume, but I could not contain it. It was then that Chidra burst into tears and fell to the ground. Words cannot express the relief and joy I felt seeing her encounter God in such an undeniable way. I was so glad I did not give up on praying for her. I could see a shift in her facial expressions and in her interactions with her friends. And this is just one of many moments on the trip when I really had to press in on prayer.

I was given the role of “team doctor.” I had the responsibility of taking care of the physical and spiritual health of my team. The first aid kit provided by the church came in very handy and was much needed. However, medicine does not always resolve every sickness. On top of that, I have little to almost no medical knowledge. I knew that I had to pray in faith that God would heal any sickness or injuries our team might experience.

Throughout the trip, our team members went through bad coughs, digestive issues, headaches, nausea, swollen ankles, small cuts, and fatigue. The most unexpected of all injuries was a jellyfish sting. Honestly, I was very close to panicking when this happened. All the sickness that was happening to our team members was quite overwhelming to say the least. As I handed out medicine, I remembered to pray for the team members. Sometimes I would pray for the person individually. Other times, I asked the entire team to pray for a member. There were times when sickness lifted quickly, but most of the time it would continue. Nonetheless, I would not stop praying, because all I had was prayer. I had to pray for some members a number of times regarding the same illness. I contended and I pressed in. I did not relent. Thank God that everybody returned in one piece!

As Christians, we often hear about the wonders and power of prayer. We read about it in the Bible and we hear about it through testimonies from the mission field. People constantly talk of the importance of prayer. But truthfully, it’s easy to lose sight of this when we are living our every day lives. We are quick to rely on our own strengths and abilities rather than on prayer. And more often than not, we give up on praying for certain things that are on the heart of God simply because we don’t see immediate results.

But we must remember that prayers are powerful, especially the ones that come from an unrelenting saint. Now looking back on our trip, I see that each moment of this trip was marked by prayer. From the beginning of the day, to our journeys to various churches, before each testimony and sermon released, to the very end of the day- there was not a moment that we didn’t pray. There were days where the Holy Spirit did not show up in ways we expected Him to. But this didn’t stop us from pressing in in prayer. The sum result of these prayers was one amazing, powerful missions trip.

Our local contact Pastor Tandi is also a man of relentless prayer. All the prayers that have been sown into his ministry has now come to fruition through the new building of Love Papua Center and Green Hills Community Center, an English learning center for the youth. The local pastors pray without ceasing. They gather at 4:30am to pray for the people of West Papua and the nation of Indonesia. I have no doubt they will see the fruit of their prayers as they continue to shift things in the spirit.

God is doing something powerful in West Papua, and it would be wonderful if you could also join in relentless prayer for the nation and Makarismos Church. First, cover Pastor Tandi and his family in prayer as they serve and disciple the locals. Pray blessing over their marriage, family, and ministry to be stronger than it already is now. Second, pray for the youth. Even before the trip, God revealed His heart for the West Papuan youth to our team, and it was only confirmed through this trip. As thrilled as we are to see the youth encountering God in such a way, pray that there be long-lasting fruit through discipleship. We believe that God is raising up a mighty army of warriors that will not only change the nation of Indonesia, but also be sent out to the nations to preach the Gospel and proclaim God’s goodness. Lastly, pray that Indonesia will become a nation that views God in His rightful place as king. There are still many idols in the hearts of the people of Indonesia, and many of the locals still live in fear of other gods. Pray for strength and courage to rise up in the hearts of the people, to tear down these idols and worship God alone. May God alone receive all praise and glory in the nation of Indonesia!

My prayer life has forever changed as I learned what it means to depend on and contend in prayer. I would like to end with a passage from Mark 11:22-24.

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Be relentless in prayer.