2016 Los Angeles – Jisu Choi

Mutual Empowerment

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – 2 Cor 3:4-6

Before I get into my trip testimony, I would like to say thank you so much for your financial and prayer support! If it wasn’t for your generosity, I wouldn’t have been able to go to LA and be part of a wonderful move of God! Our ministry time would also not have been as powerful if it wasn’t for your intercession! Our trip was a time of mutual empowerment: not was our team able to strengthen and bless HolyWave, but I our team was immensely empowered and encouraged as well. It was such a privilege to witness how the Holy Spirit encountered the congregation in such personal ways.

The main focus of our trip was to minister at the Converge Conference of HolyWave, which is the English ministry of Sa-Rang Community Church in Anaheim, California. The theme was “Dunamis,” which comes from Acts 1:8 and means “the power or might of the Holy Spirit.” Of course, God did not fail to exceed our expectations- He showed up and encountered His people in such personal and radical ways.

Pastors Christian and Erin preached powerful messages on our identity, the fire of the Holy Spirit, breaking off shame, and how to walk in complete freedom. In the beginning of the conference, the congregation seemed a little disengaged. During small group time, many people shared how they weren’t sure why they were at the conference, and that they felt distant from God. But by the end of the conference, everyone’s countenance had changed and people were beaming with joy. One of the sisters in my small group shared about a vision she had while receiving prayer at an altar call. This sister had confessed her secret sins to a leader, and as they prayed for her, she saw a big jewel and started sobbing. She realized that the shiny, bright, and beautiful gem represented her and showed how precious she was to the Father. This sister seemed like a different person by the end of the conference. Another sister in my small group was part of the praise team and shared how she had been going through a dry season of not really knowing what she wanted to do. However, about six months ago she felt an increasing desire to write praise songs. Before she even shared this, I had prayed for this sister and I felt like God was calling her to sing new songs of praise in this season. The sister shared how my prayer was a confirmation for her to exercise her gifting.

In addition to these two testimonies, what I was most blessed by were the two leaders in my conference small group who also lead a small group at church on a weekly basis. These leaders shared how they both used to feel inadequate and doubtful about their influence over their small group members. Even when they had encouraging words to say over their disciples, fear or insecurities would often prevent them from voicing those words. During the conference, however, they received many prayers about boldness and courage. These leaders were then able to pray and minister to others with a greater level of boldness. As a ministry team, it is always our prayer that those in our hosting ministry would be encouraged in order to continue to bless and empower those under them. Our team was in Los Angeles for only a few days, but the HolyWave leaders are the ones who continue to sow into people’s lives long term. Thus it was our joy to see them rise up and take their place!

On a personal level, I felt empowered in so many ways. First of all, I was able to meet so many people with whom I felt a deep connection. I felt like I knew some of them for a long time even though we had just met. It was my prayer to understand God’s heart for Los Angeles through His people, and my heart definitely grew as I got to meet so many amazing sons and daughters.

Secondly, I was empowered to walk out my faith with a fresh boldness and zeal. Before I left for LA, I had shared in my email updates about how my previous semester in grad school was quite tough, as I had to overcome many fears regarding my studies. But God had revealed to me that there was a new level of boldness and confidence that He wanted me to step into. At the conference, I was able to share my testimony during one of the night sessions. As I was going through my script beforehand, I remember crying in my hotel room as I was reminded of how God had brought complete freedom into my life and how He had transformed me. I used to be so shy and insecure that I feared talking to new people. After my transformation, meeting new people was how I got energized. As I shared my story in front of everyone, I felt like I was re-proclaiming all the things that God had done in my life and my heart was overflowing with thanksgiving and peace. Many people approached me later, thanking me for sharing my testimony. Yet it was such an empowering moment for me as well. Coming back from California I feel so refreshed and excited to keep fighting the good fight here in Seoul. I am personally praying for a new zeal to read the Word and to expect a greater level of boldness to manifest in my ministry, school, and work.

Now that the team has safely returned to Korea, I would like to ask that you continue to pray with us for HolyWave. Please pray that all the transformations that took place during the conference will be permanent- that God’s sons and daughters will walk out the fruit of His ministry without any doubt. Also, please pray for Pastor Jeff Hyun, the lead pastor of HolyWave, and the staff. Pray that they will be filled with wisdom and inspiration to shepherd the congregation to even greater levels of glory.

Thank you and God bless!