2015 West Papua – Alina Kim

Fruit That Lasts

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. – John 15:16

This week-long trip to West Papua, Indonesia with New Philadelphia Church was incredible and powerful, and I can’t possibly articulate all that’s happened and how good God was to our team and the people of West Papua. Through the many prayer meetings, training seminars, and youth/church services, God’s grace was real and tangible, and His love and goodness was overwhelming!

Prior to this trip, I had some hesitation and doubts about short-term missions trips. On my past short-term trips, I felt that I had received more than what I could ever pour out. I wondered how much impact I could possibly have in such a short period of time as a stranger to the land. This sense of guilt caused me to be skeptical about going on another short-term trip, but God gradually moved my heart to sign up this season with New Philly’s missions ministry. Prior to leaving for West Papua, John 15:16 was highlighted to me, and God reminded me that He forms fruit that’s not temporary, but fruit that lasts. This trip truly reminded me of this truth and revealed how God can powerfully transform lives in what can seem like a short period of time.

On our first day in Manokwari, a woman shared her testimony of how God encountered her two years ago through New Philly’s previous trip. Her husband had passed away and she had been suffering from heartache and depression. When New Philly’s team went to Manokwari two years ago, Pastor Marcus preached and later prayed over her. Though at that time there weren’t any visible manifestations, the team believed that God was doing a deep and powerful work in her heart. She testified that on that day, her heart was healed and comforted, and she has been walking in freedom ever since!

A couple days after this, our team had the opportunity to minister at Pastor Tandi’s Makarismos Church. During this time, our team met and prayed for a young mother, named Hana, who gave her life to Christ through New Philly’s trip two years ago. She’s been walking out her faith since then, despite encountering persecution from her Muslim husband who has threatened to leave her because of her conversion.

Through these stories, I was mind-blown and surprised that the short encounters that God released through Pastor Marcus and his team had were faithfully being carried out. It reminded me that through God’s love and grace, He continues what he started. He is the bearer of lasting fruit. It is not my work in itself that has the power, but it’s my obedience to His will and my partnership in what He’s doing in His kingdom that carries power and eternal significance. These testimonies towards the beginning of the trip encouraged me that the work that I did during the week-long trip will result in lasting fruit.

On our second day in Manokwari, my teammate Paul spoke on the power of names and asked a few of our team members to call out and pray for specific people in the crowd. God had highlighted a man named Niko and I had the amazing opportunity of praying for him and reminding him of God’s love and his identity. Niko later testified that God really encouraged him through the training sessions and drew Niko back to Himself when he felt distanced. Niko shared that when he returned home that night, he felt God’s love and his heart felt so free through the teachings and prayer. As the training sessions progressed, I could also visibly see a change in Niko’s demeanor as he was much more actively engaging in the seminars, smiling, and approaching our team. While I was incredibly blessed by how God used me to speak to this man, I had a couple moments when I would doubt whether the work that God did during this time would actually last in the long term. As I caught myself thinking these things, I was reminded of how God is a good and faithful God, and He will continue and finish the good work that He has started. The testimonies I heard from the two women who God encountered two years ago are living proof of that. Also in the moments when I lacked confidence and questioned whether I could be used by God, He reminded me that He specifically chose and appointed me for this trip for a divine purpose.

I trust and have hope that God will continue the good things that He did during our time in West Papua! Contrary to my hesitations, I am confident that this trip was not only a blessing and edifying to myself, but also to the people to whom we ministered. It completely broke my doubts and hesitations about short-term missions trips and instead reminded me of God’s power. His grace and love for both our team and West Papuans were evident through this trip, and He will certainly take us all from glory to glory. Praise God that we are called to go forth and bear fruit that lasts!

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