Abba Father has awakened my heart to the awe and wonder of salvation, and His love towards His children. Salvation—the moment when one sees beyond his own understanding, feels strongly the love and presence of God, and acknowledges that God is his Lord and Savior. What a pure, innocent, and simply beautiful thing.
In comparison to Nias, Mentawai is considered generations behind spiritually. Many people have not heard of God, and many are bound by darkness as they practice witchcraft. Manifestations of power encounters are absent, and worship is not as free. However, due to these conditions, God has reawakened in me a deeper understanding of the beauty of salvation. My heart, my whole being is in greater awe and wonder when someone receives Christ for the very first time.
During one of the services, I remember this one elderly male raising his hand for a salvation call. Due to the small space and large number of people present at the time, Pastor Mickey simply asked these people to recite the prayer of salvation. After the service, the man came up to us for a prayer of healing. As we prayed for him, His countenance changed. He proclaimed God to be His Lord and Savior moments ago and now God healed him completely from body pain. I can still see his facial expression even now, the look of pure awe, wonder, and disbelief that our God is so loving and powerful. Joyful innocence. I am reminded of how beautiful and meaningful salvation is. I am in awe.
I am in wonder of God’s unceasing and relentless love towards His children. During our first night in Mentawai, we held a night service specifically for the youth living in the dormitories. For the service, our team simply desired for these children to truly feel the immense love of God towards them. Pastor Mickey preached about this topic and during altar call, he asked these children to ask for God to overwhelm them with His love. As we prayed for the children, each of them started to break down—repenting, asking, feeling, and communicating with the Lord. I particularly remember this one beautiful girl. After praying for her, I asked if she felt God’s presence and love over her, she replied with a no. I knew that this girl needed to feel God’s love in that moment because she had yet to experience it. So I prayed again, and fought for her to experience God’s love. She also fought for that love. Next thing I knew, I held her and she started crying as she broke down. As I embraced her, she felt God’s immense love; His love that was and is so real. His great love that hovers over each one of us. I then asked her, “Do you feel it? Do you feel His love towards you?” As she cried with tears rolling down her face, “YES. YES, I do.” That night, God’s presence was so sweet over the whole church. I could not stop thanking Him. I was in awe. I was in wonder of His sweet, sweet, yet mighty love over each one of His beautiful children.
As written in 1 John 4:15: “…and so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” Because God is love and He loves, His salvation is pure and beautiful – it is the greatest gift. Because God is love and He loves, that beautiful girl, amongst many others in Mentawai felt His love and presence strongly. Because God is love and He loves, He invites us to be in awe and wonder of all His works. I am so honored to have gotten to run with God as He moved mightily in Indonesia this summer. Thank you, Lord!