Before you read, please note that we have been at work for several hours and it is currently 11:02 PM of my finishing everything up. My writing may not be to what I would like it to be and I am very limited in what I want to say, but understand all the words that are written here are from my heart.
Today started like the other mornings. We woke up, had small group, ate breakfast, then went out to ministry. For ministry today, we went to a school that was smaller than yesterday but still had many students. I remember how yesterday was just extremely encouraging and how all the prayers were really affecting the outcome of the ministry. Because of this, I was so much more encouraged to pray continuously. I spent most of my time in prayer and the times that I was not praying, I was encouraging others or doing my part of the performance. As we did our first performance, I could see how the little kids were really curious and excited about Christ. After the first performance, I gave thanks God for just how He moved all these kids. I was ready to go, but that was not the end. There was yet another group of people we had to perform to. I didn't want to pray because I felt worn out and didn’t know what to prayer for. However, the first group that went out to perform had informed all of our members that the audience were not little kids but were high school students our age. I prayed so much more than I did for the first group and asked God to move all these students’ hearts. I knew that the one thing that they needed was Christ. As the time to do the skit that I was in was coming close, I was really nervous. I knew it would be one of the most powerful performances that we could give to them. I just really prayed for him to move in their hearts and that he could use our team to soften their hard hearts. Praise be to God as he has answered all of our prayers. Most students had shown many emotions to the entire message, and they had come to shower us with love as well. I remember this one girl coming up to me, giving me a big hug, and then proceeding to give me the Korean heart motion with her two fingers. I was just so moved with all the love she (and many of the other Peruvian students) was showing me and I know that God used our team to tell the Gospel to the kids. I really think I grew in faith in this experience as well, because I could just see my prayers being answered in a matter of minutes. I know that it might be difficult to rely on God, but I know that he is good and is always listening.
Although our time in ministry is important and the main purpose for our mission trip, the time that is spent on knowing God and building each other up is extremely valued. I do feel that I am saved by God, but many times I find it difficult to talk to him and to read his word. In all of our free time, we were told to journal and to read the bible and to talk to God. For me, this was an extremely difficult and tiresome task. I would find myself just doodling or just writing nonsense in my journal. I would try and talk to my fellow members instead of trying to talk to God. I found reading the bible bothersome and I couldn't bring myself to just “eat his word.” In addition, there were many instances where our team didn’t feel like a team. There would be members that would be left out or forgotten, myself included. I tried to build a relationship with many of the other members and know each one of them personally. Yet, I found myself not being able to talk to them because they seemed to be busy with their friends. I felt that my presence was not wanted.
Every night, our team comes together to pray to God and to praise his name. Tonight, our team came together and truly repent to God. After a couple songs, I felt that I was singing into thin air. Yet, I remember just this one song that we sang and all the words would apply to my life so greatly. The song “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” by Townend, it just talks about the true story of the gospel. I felt God just moving in me so much more deeply and helping me understand my sins. After all of our worship, we all came together in a circle and as a group. P. Phil just all asked to pray for three main people groups. The first were for those who felt lonely, the second for those who were struggling spiritually, and the third for those who were physically ill. I could feel the love pouring out onto everyone and everyone was coming together closer than ever. The care and affection that everyone was giving each other was so genuine and all came form the heart of others. God knew my pains that I have been going through and he had helped my overcome each and every single one of those struggles. I really want to thank God for his care for all his little sheep and his love for us. I am eternally grateful and words cannot describe this feeling of peace.
We started our breakfast with devotional and shared what we thought with our small group. I always love hearing what others learned from reading a passage in the Bible. After we ate, we got ready to ride the bus.
While we went to the school to perform, our team struggled to show love to each other. We knew Satan was going to try to break us apart, but with God, we were not going to let that happen. After some time of repentance, people apologized to each other, and I just knew that we were going to be a close knit family as the week progressed.
During the performances, I prayed many times and asked for the Holy Spirit to fill the room that was full of Peruvian students. I also thanked God for moving the hearts of our members. It was amazing to see that prayer made our team more powerful, and I was encouraged to see others praying for everyone as well.
Our first audience was made up of young students, maybe around the ages of 8-12. They were responsive to our performances and cheered when they got excited which made most of us encouraged. But then, the hip hop team announced that the next group of kids were an older audience and had stone faces. We all had a moment of fear but then calmed down quickly and prayed for them to open up their hearts. The amount of prayer that filled the back room was inspiring. As we came to the end of our performances, we were nervous to hear what had happened in that room as Pastor Philip gave a short message, but when we saw the expressions of the Peruvians, we smiled widely. We knew God had captivated their hearts and shown His grace to them. They were happy to greet us and many of them gave us hugs while thanking us for showing God’s love as the Father in Heaven. In that moment, I could feel God working through the students but also through me. At the beginning of this mission, I prayed that I would not be glorifying myself but be glorifying God when I performed, but after today, I knew God has moved me to worship Him with a true heart. Now, I want to pray that I would love others, even those I may struggle to talk to, and show the love that God has given me first.
Every night, we have praise and prayer for about an hour. It truly is one of the best times to be vulnerable before God, but we have a hard time being vulnerable to others. I thought it was just going to be another night of crying out to God and ending with a closing prayer, but this night was different. After praise, we all came into this prayer circle while holding hands with each other. We prayed for forgiveness from those who felt lonely on this team and the crying grew even more and more, because we were all hurting. God wants us to be a family that love and adore each other. The second prayer moved me the most; it was a prayer for those who were spiritually dry and couldn’t break the barriers on their own. When Pastor Philip told those who were dry to come to the center, I went without hesitation. I find myself having a hard time staying awake when reading the Bible and praying without distractions. I also have times when I feel empty, and in the other nights, I pray to God to open up my heart, but I have always felt that I’ve been crying out to open air. When others came to the center to pray for us, I cried for the first time in years. It’s definitely a different feeling when you have others who love you praying for you. Last but not least, we had a prayer for those who were physically sick. Many of us are fatigued and have a hard time going about with their business, because of colds and chills. No matter how many pills we might take, God is only the one with a healing hand and the One who provides comfort.
As we prepared to embark onto another school, we had the same breakfast and small group session as always. On our way to our destination, the team encountered another spiritual attack briefly five minutes before our arrival to the school. Some members started to turn against each other and made debates. I was sleeping during our ride but only to wake up to a surprise with Pastor Philip calming down our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It was at this moment that I realized this was an another spiritual attack from Satan since last Sunday’s car accident. I knew that Satan was making another move by turning our hearts against one another. Knowing this, I prayed for God’s help to restore our team and keep us unified. When we entered the school to prepare for our performances, we prayed for the Holy Spirit to abide with us throughout the entire performance. We prayed to help us rely more on God rather than our own strength because we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. When it was our turn to perform, I prayed inside my heart for God to help me stand firm without being awkward or nervous. Each of the ministry groups performed twice today and every one of our team members prayed non-stop until it was over. I was thankful that every groups were able to perform without any hesitation which I thought made the performance very powerful and I certainly believed that many kids in the room were moved the same way I was. I truly felt the Holy Spirit working through the kids’ hearts. I was able to see the clear contrast between performing with our own strength and performing with the strength of the Holy Spirit. I was very thankful of how things went today. God is faithful and merciful as always that even if we fall, God never let go of our hands.
However, this day’s worship night was a whole new different direction. This night was the night where we truly laid down ourselves before God including desires from our innermost hearts. After the songs, the team created a circle while holding hands. Pastor Philip called out those who were gravely lonely to come assemble in the middle of the circle. As the rest of the members come and place their hands on the broken, I felt God’s presence upon each and every person in the room as they cried out to God to bring healing upon the broken hearts. Pastor Philip next called out people who were spiritually struggling in their hearts, and it was a surprise to see so many in the team come out to the middle of the circle and bow down. As I also bowed down, I felt completely powerless. I was able to do absolutely nothing except cry out to God to pierce through the shell of my heart that is preventing me from freely worshipping him and loving him. I cried out from my heart until I couldn’t anymore. The last group Pastor Philip called out was those who felt sick or with physical injuries. Again, almost half of the team emerged to the middle of the circle and bowed down. With the amount of strength I had, I prayed out loud one last time today and desperately cried out for God to bring healing upon our brothers and sisters in Christ. It moved me when I saw how many people in our team were internally broken in total. Our prayer circle was on fire with the Holy Spirit. Little did we know that this is only a small glimpse of what the spiritual journey looks like. What took place tonight made our spiritual senses come alive and see the work that the Holy Spirit does through us daily in our lives.
1) Yet another day of powerfully being used by God to bring the most important message/gift one can ever receive.
2) To witness firsthand God answering our prayers and seeing hearts turned back to him.
3) God's active work in healing/uniting our team as one Body.
1) For continual growth in our faith, as a team, and children of God.
2) For physical healing
3) For a greater spiritual awakening