2017 Sri Lanka – Grace Kim

A Gift that Marks a New Season

During my time in Sri Lanka, our team had the challenging privilege of doing a ministry tour throughout the southern half of the country. It all began with a 12 hour cross-country bus ride, and it wasn’t until the third day that we got to visit a rehabilitation center in the mountains of Nawajeewana. The entrance was ordained with Bible verses painted on stone walls, and a swirling staircase made of perfectly selected boulders leading us down into the place where some 40 men- all with a history of drug addiction and imprisonment- lived together. These men were all from Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim families. But many had come to know Jesus through this center’s ministry. The founder, Raja, had been an infamous gangster, feared on the streets and inside the prison walls. But one day he received a lunch packed with Matthew 11:28 written on it, which said said, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” It was through this verse that Jesus began a work in his heart, and inside the prison, Raja gave his life to Christ. Once he was released, Raja came to the very place we were standing and started a Christian rehab center.

At this center a young man named Manju came to know the Lord, and upon Raja’s passing, Manju was positioned to powerfully continue the legacy of this ministry. Just this introduction alone, given to us upon our arrival, was amazing. But the day just kept getting better. The staff there prepared a delicious lunch for us, which was one of my favorite meals in Sri Lanka. Some of these men had been professional cooks before succumbing to addiction. After we ate, our team had a service together with all of the residents. They began the service with a time of worship and it was the most beautiful worship I had ever experienced. So much so, that I broke down in tears during my personal introduction while trying to convey this message. During the service, I was able to tangibly feel the love that these men had for Christ- the Christ who had so radically changed their lives. I could also feel the pleasure the Heavenly Father felt His precious sons being restored. It was beautiful! Our team then led a children’s worship song about the wonderful power that is found in Jesus’ blood. We taught the words and motions and it was by far my favorite children’s worship time. These men were able to experience what it’s like to be a child dancing before the Lord, and we all had so much fun! Even our Missions Director, who has been a part of so many children’s worship song leading times on the missions field, said it was her favorite out of all of her trips.

There was a powerful time of testifying and preaching about the power of Jesus’ blood to supernaturally break off addiction, but also the need to walk out this freedom in the day to day. Through this powerful word, 10 people accepted Christ into their hearts, and 17 people responded to the altar call to break off addiction and live in freedom. It was an amazing night. I was so amazed and so grateful that I was able to be a part of this ministry time. I was so proud of my team. There was nothing more I could ask for. The night was perfect! But God had something else up His sleeves specifically for me.

As the night was closing, the staff and residents asked to pray for us. The team stood in the front again, and I was in my original spot at the far right, next to the same elderly man I was worshipping with that night. He laid hands on me and began to pray. All of a sudden tears rushed down my face. I asked the Lord what was going on. At that moment, I heard God quietly but ever so clearly speak to my spirit, “It is through this man, that I am releasing the breakthroughs you’ve been praying for.”

For years, there have been prayers for breakthrough that my husband and I have been contending. They were by no means small prayers, but prayers for healing and salvation for our families, prayers for our future and for the unlocking of our destinies.
God was using what the world would call the least of men to bring about the greatest breakthroughs that our family has been waiting for. God had given me previews of this breakthrough and let me know that it was coming, even possibly on this trip, but I would never have expected it to come to pass like this. Although I still need to wait for the breakthrough to manifest in the physical, I am so thankful and in awe of how God decided to start this process. Truly, what God says in Matthew 11:11, He meant. “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

I thought I came to bless these men, really expecting nothing in return. But then again God is in the business of doing new things and making our relationship with Him fun and exciting. He gave me the greatest blessing through a grandpa at a drug rehab center in the middle of Sri Lanka. Who would have guessed? I just wish I could have gotten more time to spend with him and share what God did through him. But I know that God will share all this with him one day: “Look at what I used you to do on earth that one day I sent a team from South Korea to you.” How amazing will that be? Indeed as Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” There is really no way that we can outgive God.

As I approached this trip, I just wanted God to show me how much I had grown and matured with Him in the last 5 years. In those five years, I had two kids, which meant I wasn’t able to actively minister or go on any missions trips. However, I knew that the journey I was on with the Lord had really changed me- I just wanted to experience how much. As one of the older, more experienced members of the team, I found myself covering the everyone through intercession and whatever areas needed support. I was never on the frontlines, but I felt so much joy in all the different tasks I was asked to do. It was really encouraging to see how God was faithful to answer all of my secret prayers for the team in the field and how easily and naturally I flowed with Him. Everything that I had learned over the past several years were naturally flowing outward. This in itself was super refreshing, but the gift of breakthrough God gave me in Sri Lanka is truly an unforgettable one.

Through this trip, surely God has shown me how big He is. He uses people of different nations to release breakthrough in different parts of the world. I have also seen how intimate and loving He is, by answering the prayers and desires of my heart. I’ve also witnessed how an amazingly good story writer He is, because no one can write my story the way He does. Once again, I am blown away and so in love with who God is and the way He works in my life. I am so thankful that I was able to go to Sri Lanka, and I especially want to thank my husband (who almost died taking care of my two kids on his own), and also all my prayer and financial supporters. This was definitely a trip that has marked a new season in my life. Thank you and God bless you abundantly!