The 1-week stay in Jakarta for Empowered 21 Asia Congress did not turn out as expected. So was it unexpectedly better? Or disappointingly not as I had hoped for?
I have to say, one can never really put God in a box. I had hoped for rest and vacation in addition to the conference but the additional days I had allotted for ‘recreation’ proved too short to feel like a vacation. (We had two extra days before and two extra days after the congress dates.) There was even one day which practically came to waste due to glitches in transpo. Thus, instead of having a well-rested feeling before the conference started, I was still feeling tired on the first day. Hurray!
But I knew that God was in control the whole time. So I just accepted the whole thing as lessons from Daddy. Charge it to experience, as they’d often say! 😉
Spiritually, it was definitely the place to experience Holy Spirit anointing. I remember the first track I attended – in the Next Generation Track handled by Ptr. Jer – I was like in tears even during the preaching (about the Nazirite Consecration), for reasons I partly understood and partly did not. My guess is that the Holy Spirit was doing deep things and was doing a mighty stirring amongst the generations present.
I don’t think it would be useful right now to describe how God had released fire, revelation and glory. Some things are not meant to be discussed or analyzed, but are meant to be caught and experienced. I’d leave the privilege of experiencing it to those who are hungry enough to seek God’s presence.
But what really came so freshly and so powerfully to me was the session where a speaker who was not even listed on the program, was asked by Pastor Jerome to speak on the stage. It was Pastor Sidney from Omkoi, Thailand. He was not one of the “speakers” but he came with around 50-100 Karen kids all the way from Omkoi province. He shared a testimony. Their village’s testimony. He didn’t prepare a sermon with profound Scripture interpretation, nor did he call forth fire to come down upon the congregation. But what the others had preached about, his testimony brought to life. I have tears trickling down as I write this.
Some of you have heard the story of 3-year-old kids and older, coming together to pray for their village at 3am every morning. Some of you have heard this story of kids getting saved and turning away from laziness in school work into studious students. Some of you have heard that they prophesy not during a presbytery but anytime (strike anytime if you will) at any place. They speak God’s rebuke together with a word of knowledge about a person’s hidden sin and brings conviction to hypocrites in a church congregation. Some of you must have heard that on one of their meetings, God’s light came through an opaque roof and sinners were moved to confess grave sins.
Nothing compares to talking about and praying for revival except actually seeing it happen. These kids are in the midst of it, and have been used to bring it. And when you listen to their stories (Ptr. Sidney and the 4-yr-old’s interview on video), it all sounded so simple. No sparkles on their lines. No emphatic rises on their speech. But the mellowness and candidness of their tone have power. It is a testimony of those who love God more than their lives. They have a vision of bringing Jesus to the whole of Thailand through a kids’ prayer movement and holiness movement that will pour forth from the revival happening in their village.
I learned so much last-last week. Each track and session has its own gift to impart. Others would probably have a different story than mine. Others would probably tell of the 500 Chinese delegates that came, or the 100 or more Vietnamese, Thais, Koreans, Singaporeans, etc. etc.
Others would probably talk about getting healed or receiving an anointing for healing. Others would talk about the fire and the glory.
But at the heart of the “whole thing,” I believe, are two things. First, is ‘the love for God’s presence.’ Second, the heart to see that presence transposed to the nations and to every tongue and tribe.
We were there to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. But before the week had ended, most of us just wanted (perhaps), to be prayed for by those kids. Because they remind us of Joel and his prophecy of a red moon rising upon a generation that seeks God more than anything. And so they are filled by God so much so, and more than by any other thing. Fill us Lord. And fill the nations. Amen.