2017 Myanmar – Shin Young Park

Loving His People
(audio mp3)

It is my personal desire and commitment to go on missions at least once a year. Even though I have 4~5 business trips to Africa every year, a missions trip is different. It renews my heart and attitude, it motivates me and gives me a purpose as to why I work and why I live. But before I go on, I should share a little about my full time job. I work at a public organization under the Korea government. We oversee ODA (or official development assistance) projects among developing countries. Through funds provided by the Korean government, right now I oversee the training for new hospitals that Korea built in Tanzania and Mozambique. Growing up, doing development projects was my dream job. I wanted to visit many mission fields with professional expertise in one hand, and the Gospel message in the other. However, the reality ended up being very different. With so many political agendas from different sides, the work often left me dry, with a futile mindset. Thus, through this mission trip, I really wanted to learn how to genuinely love God’s people again. I wanted to get rid of my apathy. I wanted to love His people and His mission field, not my project’s beneficiaries. And God was so faithful to answer my prayers.

First, I learned to love well because I was able to witness God’s unlimited love for His people. I had started my job initially to love the least and the weakest. But as I worked, I realized that I started to treat people as if I were just donating my services and my love. Before I knew it, I started to become arrogant in my thinking. I started to think of myself as superior. But in Myanmar God broke this mindset. He showed me how He cares for and loves His people, and how I should be doing this on His behalf as well. Each time I laid hands and prayed for someone, God revealed the depth and details of His love for them. God went out of his way, sending me this far, so my heart could be rooted in Him again. It was such a privilege for me to understand that He chose me to share these truths to His sons and daughters. I am not superior. Rather, I am a vessel. I receive God’s words so I can become His mouthpiece.

God also inspired me to love well by reminding me that Jesus is my source. At one service in Myitkyina, 34 church leaders gathered and our team preacher, Pastor Marcus, preached on checking one’s heart against the religious spirit. Even before Pastor Marcus finished his message, all the pastors and leaders came up to the altar and knelt down before us to receive prayer. We were just a young missions team. These were mighty pastors doing amazing Kingdom work. But they were kneeling in front of us. The humility of these ministers before us and before God was so precious. I couldn’t stop crying. I repented and confessed, asking God to reposition my heart. My own might was not enough to love these ministers or the people from my work field. It was only possible through the Lord’s help and knowing who He is. Jesus demonstrated His love through His ministries, washing disciples’ feet, and ultimately fulfilling the pure sacrifice on the cross. Jesus is my source. I only need to continuously acknowledge this and abide in Him, so He can use me and share His love through me. After all, all the good project works and ministry I do, if I have not love, is only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. But with the love of Christ as my source, I can do anything.

The final key for me in learning to love well on this trip was the word “boldness.” This has been a key word for me for almost two years. Attending New Philly, there have been language barriers and culture barriers that I’ve had to overcome. Now I’m a secure person. But knowing who I am, and really walking out who I am with authority, is a little different. One evening in Myanmar during one of our team meetings, Pastor Marcus prayed the words “confident boldness” over me. He prayed, “Even though you might feel language barriers, every team member has language barriers here in Myanmar. You will overcome the barriers and you are going to love well on people. Just through your expression and your eyes, people will know and feel His love through you.” This prayer was so on point, and was exactly what I needed to hear. I was so encouraged. After that point, at every altar call, I did my best to go beyond my comfort zone- to reach out to people and pray for people. The most amazing part of this was that I didn’t need to say lot. Through just simple words like “Holy Spirit,” “Fire,” and “Healing,” I saw people manifest God’s presence with tears and even falling under His glory. I was so amazed and excited to see how Holy Spirit worked through me when I made it a point to leave my comfort zone. I’m thankful to realize that my presence can make the difference- that when it is time to speak, I need to speak and pray boldly to testify of God’s love.

This Myanmar trip wasn’t just about me ministering to others, but also about God personally blessing me with lot of answers that I can now carry on to my work fields. The verse that I’ve been holding on for my full-time work is Isaiah 59:11-12. “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” The people that I meet in Tanzania and Mozambique will be the ones who rebuild these nations and bring His kingdom. I am reminded again that my work is all about people- God’s people. God has made me a witness to His ultimate love. I can no longer disregard His sons and daughters but must intentionally, boldly connect with them whenever I have the opportunity. My work is an act of worship to Him. Whether we are full-time pastors or lay leaders, we are all called to be ministers. It is an honor to be called to a lifelong partnership with the Lord, and my prayer is that each of us will really glorify the Lord in all we do! Thank you once again for all your prayers and support! God bless you!