by Bomi Kim
A short-term mission trip to Iloilo has had a deep impact on my life, and I am happy to share my story with others.
This was never going to be an easy trip for me. Right up to the point of boarding the plane, I had very low expectations – my faith was dim, you could say. I believed that God would do amazing things, but through my awesome teammates and the people there, not me. On the face of it, I thought I had every reason to feel this way. I was in a challenging season, where the breakthroughs I had been praying for had not yet happened. I felt like a “hot mess”, someone who was just learning to walk out of the healing that I was receiving.
I was pleased to be a spectator and felt happy to take a back seat.
However, as I was soon to discover, God was not going to let me get away with it. He showed me that I am very much part of the story that He has been writing. The Bible talks about how God restores and renews the strength of His people. Well, I got to experience that in Iloilo as He constantly showed up to challenge how I see myself. He shared His desire to partner with me, through the brokenness and pain of the season.
There are two specific occasions that stand out. On the first day, we were on the way to the leprosarium when I found myself having a panic attack in the back of the jeepney. Being around the sick, the poor and the outcast has never been comfortable for me, especially given the tough times that I had been through in my life. Consider it an allergic reaction to pain. All I wanted to do at that moment was to avoid the pain forever and live in my own la la land.
In my desperation, I asked my prayer support group to stand with me – hoping that God’s love would somehow take my fear away and I would be able to just be myself.