2016 West Papua – Macey Martinez

The Fruit of a Jellyfish Sting

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – Mark 4:39

Shalom! My name is Macey Martinez. I am a reserve leader at New Philadelphia Itaewon. This winter break, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a missions trip to West Papua, Indonesia where I was able to encourage the youth, and local pastors and leaders. If you know me personally or are aware of what type of person I am, it should not surprise you that I, Macey Lauren Martinez, was also stung by a jellyfish on the leg. Yes, yes, some of you as you read are compressing the giggles that are trying to burst from your lips. Others of you may have responded with an “Aww, poor child,” but do not pity me for my sting. Surprisingly, that day was one of the most impactful days for me personally.

Early that bright and warm Sunday morning, I woke up ready to face the day. The night before we had an amazing youth revival where the whole room became an altar, which later turned into a crazy dance floor where the youth praised and glorified the Lord. And indeed the Lord moved powerfully and we saw nearly all the youth step into their rightful calling as the Joshua Generation. I call them this because of how God is calling them to enter into their promised land. God set this heavy on my heart prior to the trip, but He was speaking this to hearts of many of the West Papuan church leaders as well. In my heart, I knew fully that God was going to use this generation to transform not only West Papua or Indonesia, but the world. That said, I woke up filled with sunshine and rainbows until my team leader, Pastor Jazzmin, told me that I was going to be sharing my testimony WITH ONLY 30 minutes to mentally and spiritually gather myself. I told myself to stay calm. I went on stage and I told the congregation that if their dreams didn’t scare them, they weren’t dreaming big enough.

I shared about how I had cried out for God to give me a nation for months, and on a missions trip to Panama, God finally gave me an answer. He pretty much rebuked me for dreaming too small. He revealed to me that He didn’t want to give me a single nation, but rather the world. I, of course, being young and still very new in my faith, had made every excuse not to believe this. I thought I would simply empower other people to change the world. I thought maybe I didn’t hear God correctly. But out of His love for me and desire for His children, He gave confirmation through a wadded up piece of paper that simply said “Are you ready to change the world?” In that moment so many years ago, I knew that God was asking me to dream big and it terrified me. And as I told these beautiful church members in Papua that God is calling them to dream big, He too was reminding me of the calling on my life. It was a powerful moment. I had been so worried about the storm that surrounded me that I forgot about the agenda (Mark 4:35-41).

Right after the powerful service where God demanded bigger dreams from the people of West Papua, we went to the beach. As I soaked in the delightful rays of the sun and attempted to stand on an inner tube, I was stung several times by a jellyfish. It surely left its mark on me. Forced to sit on the sidelines of the beach life, I questioned why in the world this would this happen. Of all people, why does the person in charge of teaching and leading children’s ministry dances get stung? The Lord spoke clearly after I silenced my thoughts. “This is your thorn in the flesh.” I knew exactly what God meant. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble. Well, God gave me a thorn in the flesh to get me to be still and listen. When I finally accepted the fact that God was trying to get my attention, I remembered that Mona, the daughter of our local contact pastor and the current youth leader with a big heart, wanted to talk to me about my testimony I gave. I called her over and asked her to tell me what God was putting on her heart. Mona’s words were powerful and still resonate with me today. She told me that God was telling her that she wasn’t dreaming big enough. She told me about her heart for the youth. My heart was overwhelmed with love for this woman as she told me how she knows that God is going to move powerfully in West Papua through the younger generation. Before even coming to West Papua, the Lord was highlighting Mona to me. I had prayed and contended for her before we ever met in person. I was so excited to see how God was using this amazing woman. Through talking to her, God reminded me of His heart for the nations and I gained a new friend and sister in Christ.

God transformed my life through this time in West Papua in a way that only He can. So much happened on this trip that I am still processing, and God is bringing fresh revelation every time I go into the secret place. But what I am so sure of now is that I will no longer dwell on the storm raging on around me, but on the shoreline. I have decided to set my mind on things above. I realized how important it is to stay still and just listen.

The transformation and revelation that God has done is nothing compared to what God is doing in the hearts of the people of West Papua. Although the trip is over, the mission isn’t complete. Our mission is to intercede for the people of West Papua. Prior to and during my trip, God highlighted the importance of the youth and the role they play in transforming the nation of Indonesia. He also highlighted the leaders and the pastors that have been laboring in bringing the Gospel to West Papua. Pray that God will raise up the youth and mark them as the Joshua Generation. Pray that they will not only have passion and zeal for the Lord, but that they will be wise and have a desire to learn and teach.

Thank you everyone who sowed into this trip through your prayers and offering. This amazing trip wouldn’t have been possible without you!