2017 India – Gina Kim

Overflowing Love

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22

As I heard the news that I would be going to Chennai, India for winter missions, my heart started to rejoice with expectation. This country was originally not on the list of countries, but because there were so many applicants for Wave 1 teams departing right after Christmas, this opportunity to minister in Chennai came up. It became a divine appointment, and ended up being such a glorious trip marked with unity, joy, and overflowing love.

Personally, this trip changed the way I think about missions and therefore the way I do missions. As I was praying and preparing for the trip as the team leader, God gave me four specific core values for our team and for our trip: Love God, Love People, Be Led by the Holy Spirit, and Be Yourself. Releasing signs and wonders in the name of Jesus is great, but we do such things based on our relationship with Jesus- all motivated by love. If we do great things but without love, we are nothing and we gain nothing. It all starts from the love of God through His Son Jesus: our relationship with Jesus matters, and therefore we follow Him and are led by the Spirit. So I couldn’t think about this missions trip in any other way than to keep focusing on LOVE: the vertical love between us and God, and the horizontal love between His people, which comes together to form the symbol of the cross. As a result, the unity of our team and with the local ministers was so strong even though we were meeting for the first time. There was such openness, joy, and freedom amongst us. This revelation of love continued to fill our hearts and affected every part of the missions trip.

One of the highlights of the trip was building relationships with the local Native Pastors for World Mission (NPWM) ministers, Pastor Mathew and his wife Sister Jeeva. Our desire was to honor what they had already built, and partner with what God was calling them to do. Our team was very intentional with the time we spent with them- down to our meal times and travel times. Through this intentionality we were able to hear stories of how God called them into full-time ministry, the persecution and trials, and finally the fruit of their ministry. I was reminded of Hebrews 12, that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. As God’s extended family, we have people who have gone before us and who have passed the baton into our hands. Now it is our turn to actively participate in what is left of the Kingdom mission while also edifying each other and being united as one in Christ. Thus I felt very privileged to be part of what God is doing in Chennai.

Another strong revelation for me was walking in the Spirit. God purposefully hand-selected people with the gifts of prayer, prophecy, and praise for our team. We knew who we were and thus released these 3Ps wherever we went. We started off each day with worship and the Word. Our trip was all about resting in God’s presence, yet powerfully revealing His love and releasing His power in the name of Jesus. A lot of salvations broke out in the villages of the lowest caste, as the power of the Gospel was proclaimed and love and dignity was spoken over God’s people. Overflowing joy was experienced when people were set free under the power of the Holy Spirit. Springs of living water burst forth as God’s sons and daughters offered up beautiful prayers unto Him. Dozens of young people dedicated themselves to full- time ministry, and many of the youth sought the Lord for their dreams and visions. Truly there’s no limit to what God can do in and through us even in a short period. I felt so humbled to be part of God’s plans. Thus my prayer changed from “God, please be with us on our missions journey” to “God, please include us in Your story.”

We were so honored to partner with Pastor Mathew and Sister Jeeva, and thus we wanted to give more and bless more during our stay. Holy Spirit prompted me, as the team leader, to go beyond what was originally scheduled. So after discussing with Pastor Mathew, we decided to get up at daybreak on one of our days in the field. With the most beautiful gift and the greatest weapon, prayer, we went for a prayer walk at 4:30am through the city. We proclaimed God’s goodness as the day dawned, praying for the transformation of the city through the Gospel of Jesus. God revealed His heart for the city and His people as we were seeking Him. We also visited the beach where Hwang Samonim, a founder of NPWM, prayed and had the vision to birth a local partnership through Pastor Mathew’s ministry. Our team interceded for the city and prayed for next generation of leaders to be raised up. Our seeds of prayer were sown into the soil of Chennai, joining years of prayers sown in by other saints and missionaries. During a 4-hour prayer meeting held by Pastor Mathew’s church, NLCA (New Life Christian Assembly), we saw church members being moved to tears in the place of prayer, giving sincere thanks to God one by one. Although we couldn’t understand these prayers being spoken in Tamil, in our spirits we could sense that this was extravagant worship before the Lord, and that God was so pleased with His children.

On our last day of ministering to the youth and the kids at NLCA, we all formed a big circle and each person, across all ages, declared the name of Jesus one by one: “JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS…” We envisioned Jesus at the center of our circle, and this was a representation of what we desired for our lives. Nothing else matters more than Jesus. And this is my lasting impact of the missions trip. From our own journey of salvation to the salvations of others, whether in our everyday lives or whether in the mission field, whether we are Indian or Korean or American. All things were created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). He walks with us on our journey. His love is unchanging and so strong. He is the center of our life and we live out of the overflowing love of Christ. He is everything!