Editor’s note: Arick Davey and his family are part of our bigger Ridge Church family. Arick is a missionary with the organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM). He is wrapping up an assignment to bring the Gospel to people in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Arick tells us about the miracles and adventures God has him on.
Hello friends and family,
Wow . . . what an incredible two months!
Today, my team begins the journey back to Queenstown, New Zealand. Outreach is officially over and we are on our way back.
Internet has been pretty scarce here in Indonesia, so pardon me not sending an update earlier.
Our first leg of outreach was in Papua New Guinea. In four weeks there, we spent half our time ministering alongside the YWAM base in the city of Lae. The other time was spent ministering to villages deep in the jungle/coastlands several hours outside of Lae.
We saw incredible moves of God; many gave their lives to Jesus. Many were also healed in the name of Jesus including the blind, the deaf, the lame, the ill and the oppressed.
We had the beautiful privilege to baptize a bunch of new believers in the river nearby the village that hosted us. It was amazing. We faced some minor persecutions against our team, a few setbacks involving visa/passport issues, some sickness and physical injuries in the team. But, all in all, it was successful and enjoyable. Village life is ROUGH in some places, but the Lord is gracious and His love can’t be hindered by circumstance. (Romans 8)
The second leg of outreach consisted of our team heading to Indonesia for four weeks. What an adventure Indonesia was . . .
The language barrier was ever-present and challenging, but God literally guided every step of our trip and smoothed out the rough patches.
Needless to say it was a challenging adjustment to be immersed in a culture so very different than our own. The predominant religion in Bali is Hinduism, so everywhere you go are these spectacular and intricately detailed temples and statues and idols. Nobody speaks English and the traffic is overwhelmingly chaotic.
We felt, at first, like children lost at an amusement park. But there was a lingering sense of wonder laced throughout our entire journey. We met amazing people, we saw more miracle healings, and we learned a little bit about Indonesian culture and cuisine.
The old jokes about dog meat are always called to mind. And, yes, they eat dog in Indo, and a lot of it. We may or may not have. OK, we definitely did. Try some, that is.
Paul said he became like the Romans to gain them, and Jesus said whenever you go into a new place to preach the Gospel, eat whatever is placed in front of you, so when in another culture you don’t want to turn your nose up at a plate put in front of you. Chances are (especially in impoverished Indonesia) that the meal, whatever it may be, is the best that person/family has to offer and they’re paying you the highest honor and respect as a guest to feed you their best. So we ate.
Our mission in Indonesia finished with two weeks away from Bali on another island called Sumba.
In the villages we saw healings. An elderly blind woman saw for the first time in 24 years. A deaf mute girl – 18 years old – heard and spoke for the first time since birth. Several other healings of pain and sickness occurred in Jesus name.
Indonesia challenged me in ways I never could have been prepared for. It stretched my faith, confronted my perspectives, made me experience a new level of gratitude, and taught me invaluable truths about the character and nature of God and His heart for EVERYONE.
We stayed with an AMAZING ministry called House of Hope. Their vision is to train up young kids with gifts and talents to be leaders on the island. Sumba is an incredibly poor island. Sadly, human slavery, human trafficking, child exploitation (rape, forced marriages, child pregancy) and crime are all the norm.
But we know the love of Jesus shines brightest in the darkest places. We got to work alongside these young people and minister to these villages living in extreme poverty. It’s amazing to see how generous and hospitable these people are who – when compared to you and I – have nothing. The kids at House Of Hope get offered the chance of a lifetime to leave the village, have their schooling paid for (ONE U.S. DOLLAR A MONTH!), learn English, and exponentially increase their chances to get a job and get accepted into university.
Understand that these families cannot afford to send their children to school. They don’t even have water, let alone the $1 a month it takes to support your child’s schooling. I’ve never witnessed anything like this before. To me, it had always just been a TV commercial that had no basis in reality.
Until I lived it briefly. Firsthand.
And to see how generous and grateful these people are challenged me. We bonded with the kids in the HOH like family! They were taking the one chance they were getting to make something happen out of life, and they were absolutely succeeding. It was the heart of God in action: to take the most hopeless, bottom rung, castaways of society and build them in their created value and dreams and skills. Most of these youths will end up in governmental and other outlets of leadership in Sumba. They have this future because of the vision of House of Hope.
Thank you all so much for allowing me this opportunity to see the Kingdom advancing all over the world. It’s so challenging but so fulfilling! Love you all.