Phindo. This stands for Philippines/Indonesia, aka our outreach locations. We were blessed with the chance to be able to minister to people in these two countries for our outreach. The Philippines is a Catholic country, so we knew that we would be seeing more fruit in our ministry there, as opposed to Bali (which is Hindu) and Lombok (which is Muslim). But we really did not expect just how crazy the harvest would be in Manila. There was a revival happening in that country that we were able to sew in to. We saw hundreds of salvations, healings, and hearts being set even more on fire for the Lord. And overall, what we were entirely unprepared for was how our expectations would be crushed– not in a bad way, but in a necessary way.
Expectations should be completely erased when it comes to outreach. Before leaving, we learned that we should be prepared for everything but never expect anything, and I wish we would have taken this more seriously in some parts. None of us “expected” to sleep on the floor for 3 weeks. None of us “expected” to not have wifi, keeping us from contacting our parents on Christmas. None of us “expected” our visas to run out, without being able to renew them. None of us “expected” one of our teammates to leave a quarter way through outreach. BUT……… None of us “expected” to see all the new names that will enter the kingdom of heaven for eternity. None of us “expected” to see miraculous healings happen in front of our eyes. None of us “expected” to plant so many seeds in two Indonesian islands. And none of us really “expected” to be a part of something as wonderful as fulfilling the great commission, even 7 months ago! But, here we are. God can quite literally use anyone to bring glory to His kingdom. He takes our ashes and all of our hurts and trades them for His beauty.
One thing that seemed to be a theme for our team is that sometimes we may be losing the battle, but we will never lose the war because Jesus has already won that for us. Wherever we were, or whatever we went through, He never left and never leaves our side. Ever. When I was sent to the hospital 3 different times, for 3 different things, He was with me. When we were followed by someone who tried to get us kicked out of the country by filming our ministry, He was with us. When plans fell through, we realized that He had even better ones. He continued to show us that His plan is ALWAYS better than what we thought was good. We just have to continue to stay in tune with Him, and what HE says; not what the world says.
“I took you from the ends of the earth, from it’s furthest corners I have called you. I have said ‘You are my sons and daughters’. I have chosen you, and not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41: 9-10