God has given me the privilege of visiting many different countries in all my years of doing missions. It seems as if in every country, God teaches me a different lesson; but at the same time, they are lessons that have a lot of common threads. As I give this more thought, there are several commonalities or traits that unite all the experiences together. No matter what country or culture, these traits open up opportunities for relationships and ministry.
2) LANGUAGE. I find it interesting how people find it endearing when we are able to speak their language. Even though it is just several phrase (with horrible pronunciation), they are encouraged when they see us trying. It shows that we want to enter into their “world” and there is an instant connection. Recently, with the youth of Lampung we taught them the word, “holla!” (bringing a little bit of gangsta flavor). Then we made it into a response to “Pugi Tuhan” (praise the Lord). It was an instant hit!
3) LOVE. The language of love is universal. It comes in all different forms – love for the host country’s food, love for the people, love for the culture, and etc. It is incredible to see the things that God accomplishes when this language of love is spoken. It becomes a bridge for strong relationships. It becomes the avenue for new opportunities. It becomes the gateway to a person’s heart. This is one language we need to be fluent in.
4) LIFE-GIVING. Whenever we go into a country and meet various people, we want to be a life-giving missions team. To be “life-giving” is to simply be an agent of bringing the hope of the Gospel and the blessings of God to an area or to a person. As we come with this kind of attitude, it has always brought a kindred spirit with people. People want to always be around other people who are living with hope, faith and love.
Pastor Andrew and I finally found an internet cafe here in Lampung. I keep on forgetting how loud internet cafes are, especially when there are a lot of internet gaming going on. Even as I am writing this blog post, I am surrounded by all these young people (10-14 year olds) playing online shooting games. Oh how the world has become globalized!
As I am reflecting in our one week here in Indonesia, God is reminding me of several things:
1) The privilege of being part of the HMCC family. It has been amazing to say the least of the unity and bond that we felt when we all joined together in Karawaci. When HMCC-AA, HMCC-Chi, HMCC-JKT, and HMCC-SGP gathered together, it really felt like a family reunion. Even though some of our team members met one another for the first time, it was as if we were meeting family members. This connection due to the same DNA and vision, allowed us to bond very quickly and we got a sense that we were on the same mission.
2) God is doing great things all over the world. It was so encouraging to see the HMCC church in Indonesia. As we worshiped together this past Sunday, I saw how much the church grew and it uplifted my spirit. The same God that we worship in Ann Arbor is the same God that is working in the lives of people in Indonesia. It is a privilege to witness it firsthand.
3) God loves the local church. We are working with an evangelist here who is trying to start up a local church. Lampung, which is located in the island of Sumatra, has a strong Islamic influence; but God is opening up doors for the Gospel to spread. We are getting ready to hold a joint revival meeting with 17 churches in the area. It is our hope and pray that God will elevate the spiritual climate in the area through the local church. I am also praying that our evangelist friend will be able to start up a church with the converts that will trust in Jesus.
My internet time going to be up in 5 minutes, therefore I will stop here and try to update more at another time. Please continue to pray for us. We need God’s anointing and protection as we build relationships with people here in Lampung.
The great thing about being on this Asia Missions Team is hanging out with people from the different HMCC churches. As people were resting, I had some downtime with the worship leaders of HMCC-AA and HMCC-JKT. Worship is definitely a passion of mine therefore; it was great talking about various things related to worship.
I asked them to share some of their thoughts on worship during HMCC !gnite Conference and also what they are looking forward to in regards to worship here in Indonesia as we do missions.