Monday, December 22, 2008

Finschhaffen: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Merry Christmas to all of the people scattered across this earth! I just got back from our second crusade to Finschhaffen, and it was an unbelievable experience. It was easily the most amazing and powerful crusade of the year, and one that I will never forget. Finschhaffen is the place where the first lutheran missionary's landed in papua new guinea only around 200 years ago, and in that short amount of time the entire country of Papua new guinea has been transformed, and has gone from tribal communities fighting each other with spears, wearing only grass skirts for clothing, and now is one of the most powerful christian countries in the entire world.


Merry Christmas to all of the people scattered across this earth! I just got back from our second crusade to Finschhaffen, and it was an unbelievable experience. It was easily the most amazing and powerful crusade of the year, and one that I will never forget. Finschhaffen is the place where the first missionary's landed in papua new guinea only around 200 years ago, and in that short amount of time the entire country of Papua new guinea has been transformed, and has gone from tribal communities fighting each other with spears, wearing only grass skirts for clothing, and now is one of the most powerful christian countries in the entire world.

This crusade was a very difficult challenge, as there was tremendous opposition for the team of men that went there to build the crusade sight. They had to go into the woods, cut down trees, and float the trees down the river. Then they hauled them to the site where the crusade was going to be held, and constructed the stage for the crusade. The biggest opposition that we faced was from the Lutheran Church and pastors, and they made sure they did everything they could to stop the crusade from happening. They actually beat 5 of the boys constructing the crusade, and chased them with bottles and crowbars. They also threw stones at the billboard and tried to stop the other churches from attending the crusade.

The crusade was actually cancelled until the member of parliament interceded and he brought the police to ensure the safety of the people, and then after much prayer we decided to proceed and trust that God would keep us safe.


So coming from Lae, where we were experiencing a water, power, Internet, and phone blackout, that's right, I said WATER BLACKOUT, I turned on the tap, and nothing came out. We hopped in a boat, and began our journey to Finschhaffen which can only be reached by boat, to begin our epic boat ride to this very remote community of 50,000 people.

This is the first crusade that we have ever done in this area, and the ministry's strategy is now to take the message of the gospel to the remote areas of new guinea, where people would not normally go. The first night of the crusade there was only a small crowd of brave souls who came to see what the crusade was all about despite the opposition, but it was such a powerful message, and the power of God was so present that word spread like fire, and people began to come from all over the remote community. Some people walked for an entire week, yes an ENTIRE WEEK, just to walk to the crusade sight, to hear the word of God preached. Some fathers put their children on their shoulders and walked for miles to attend the crusade.

It was the only crusade that has come to this area in 200 years, so the power of God was poured out and over the few days, and close to 4000-5000 people were attending the crusade every proceeding night. The gospel message was presented during one of the nights, and unbelievably over 1500 people came to the front for the very first time to give their lives to Christ. That's right, 1500 people out of the 5000 attending came forward and gave their lives to Jesus. It was absolutely unbelievable, and I have never in my entire life seen anything like it. It reminded me of the passion of the Christ, where against such incredible opposition, there was such an amazing impact.


During the day they had pastors preaching and discipling the people, and every night we continued to preach the gospel, and one of the most unusual circumstances was when the mayor, who was one of the people trying to stop the crusade had a complete change of heart after hearing the message of the gospel and seeing people respond. He started to wonder why he had tried to stop the crusade in the first place. The most powerful testimony was when two of the most notorious criminals in the area, gave their hearts to Christ and wanted to surrender their guns to the police officer that was there. How powerful the word of God can be, if only more people could hear it.

There were countless testimonies of healing, and I saw one old man leave his wheelchair behind and climb up on stage, and others left their crutches, and there was a powerful healing move of God. Overall it was the most amazing and powerful crusade I have ever witnessed, and there was an unbelievable response from the people of Finschhaffen.


It was also the most beautiful place I have ever been, despite being the hottest place possibly on earth. But to keep cool, we drove down every day to the waterfall in the area, or went swimming in the ocean. It was the most beautiful waterfall swimming hole I have ever seen, and I would spend my whole life swimming there if possible. The water is so clean, after swimming for 5 hours my hands were not wrinkly but perfect! I thought it was a miracle! There was one point where I climbed up to the higher waterfall after hiking through the jungle because I heard stories of a phantom cave that was at the top of the waterfall. You can actually squeeze through the cave at the top and tunnel your way through and then jump out from behind the waterfall. Well little did I know that Susan Kingal the pastors wife heard that I was on such a daring mission, and she would have none of it. And just as I was about to squeeze myself into the amazing cave, she showed up with a huge stick, and basically warned me that if I even dared to go in there she was giving me a beating.

So needless to say I ran for my life, and continued swimming in the most perfect waterfall that may exist on earth. So overall MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. We filmed the entire crusade, and will be broadcasting it in the next few months all over the country. We finished our first 3 productions here at the church, so my work is really starting to take off! It will be exciting to see the very first papua new guineans creating their own television all by themselves!

Anyways, thank you all for supporting me, and keeping me alive out here in the jungles, have a blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS!

And keep me in your prayers!

Jeremy Heemskerk

2 comments:

Darryl said...

love the updates Jer. Merry Christmas

Kristin Marie said...

I am so excited to read about how powerfully the Lord is working in PNG and how he is using you to advance his Kingdom! I love and miss you ;-) Wish I could have seen Mrs. Kingal show up with her stick and laughed as you ran for your life ;-PP Merry Christmas Sweetheart.