FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2017 - Page 15

When God tells you, “I’m the Father you’ve always been looking for,” do you mistreat it with lightweight acknowledgement because unsolved issues of the heart and mind truncate the stretch of its truth? Or does its remarkable revelation resound, and gives the narrative of who you are, the clear-eyed ardour it deserves? made our streets, homes and offices possible, the Kopitiam uncles with garish tattoos turned bluish- green with time-passed, brimming with stories of a life in the shadows. “People are broken. I want them to feel special because they are. They need to know that, but we can only reach out to them if we know who we are. That’s how Jesus loved His disciples. He didn’t just tell them about love or faith, He showed them how to love and care. We need to live it, and people will recognise the difference that is in us.” For Marika, a half-Korean half-Fijian 21-year old, these words secured him with a sense of belonging he’s never known, and he’s cleaved to it. It wasn’t too long ago that he was reeling from the angst of acute loneliness. He confronted it with his strive for acceptance, but like a parched remedy, he was quenching thirst with salt water. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother was too preoccupied with her new marriage to care for him. His father had returned to Korea, never to be seen again. From a young age, he was fostered to live with his mother’s aunt. Drugs, extortion and street fights didn’t dim this rising star as a National Rugby player. But a misinformed decision to attend a “vocational school” with lots of girls led him to a Discipleship Training School in YWAM Fiji. A deep stirring inexplicably drew him to a subject titled The Father Heart of God, and prompted him to turn down a 3-year rugby contract in France. As Marika traverses the line from rebel to royalty, he keeps his Father’s words close to his heart: WALK ON WATER AND FIX YOUR EYES ON ME. Currently serving on the mission field in Southeast Asia, these words have never made more sense to him. “My journey to be a missionary is like walking on water. It’s hard, and sometimes, almost impossible. This call isn’t mine, and it can be very challenging. But when I fix my eyes on God, to the One who called me, I want to do everything that He desires. The lives of those who have yet to know Him break my heart. I want Him to use me for His purposes. That’s my way of worshipping Him. He never promised that the journey will be easy, but that the arrival will be worthwhile. Simple obedience is all that matters.” Encountering the truth of his identity was like compressing the coal of his experience into a diamond, “I come from a royal family because our God is a King! He’s the King of Kings! And I’m His son. This understanding allows me to reach out to others regardless of who they are. They are my brothers and sisters.” But what shimmers more brightly than this childlike reverence is his honesty to form. Marika’s newfound identity in God provokes a quality of love that is almost enviable and his actions remind us that identity lies outside of ourselves. To know who we are, we need to know whom we belong to. We belong to God the Father, such oft-uttered words, that they are in danger of sounding mundane. We need to dig deep for the truth in our responses, and the strength of our words cannot divert from true reflections of ourselves in behaviour. The worse mistake we can make is to perceive anyone as lesser. The deeper we look, the clearer it becomes that a person’s dignity should not be defined by distinguishing characteristics like gender, age, frailty, sexuality and race. Once our hearts are open to those around us, we will “look beyond what we can see in the people we encounter; see their gold and remind them where it is.” (Shawn Bolz’s) Love looks like something (Heidi Baker’s). And you recognise it from his daily 2am walks in the streets of Geylang, as he becomes that brother that he says he is, to the human beings we’ve built fences around – the South Asian low-wage migrant workers who have Marika’s aunt, Lili (a staff of YWAM Singapore’s School of Frontier Missions), encouraged him to enrol into the course, and he is currently fulfilling his 9-month internship in Southeast Asia. 13