Coming through Singapore Changi Airport, security requires travelers to scan their thumbprints. As the SEAPC medical team recently hurried to catch a plane, one by one they went through the automated system.
Except for me. After three tries, my thumbs still didn’t scan. They sent me onward to the next level of security; no thumbprints. At the final stop—where the truly suspicious are herded—I don’t know what happened. After the third try of my now-sweaty thumbs, and multiple computer clicks, the officer permitted me to run for the gate. This happened in and out of Singapore as we traveled to our final mission destination and home again.
Although these incidents were unnerving, there were other fingerprints all over the trip—the fingerprints of God. There’s a song by this name written by Steven Curtis Chapman:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God.
Our destination for this outreach was sensitive, and as such must remain confidential to protect those who serve on a regular basis. The principles and goals were the same as always: provide basic medical care to the least and the lost and show them Jesus through prayer. For the first time, we were part of a larger group out of Singapore, a team of dedicated believers who made us feel welcome. The fingerprints of God were all over them, from their prophetic teaching, to their prayers of healing, to their compassion. The medical team served in ministry with them, learning and growing as the Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way.
The medical outreach happened in a large development outside of a major Asian city. Local people who had been living on the riverbanks in abject poverty were relocated to government-built housing. Here they have apartments, pre-schools, plots to grow vegetables, playgrounds, and a local Christian organization that quietly provides help. Although it is a vast improvement to previous conditions, the people are still desperately poor. And they do not know Jesus. Because of this, it is a condensed area where unrest easily foments.
Usually we follow a protocol of triage, examination/diagnosis, treatment/medicine, and then prayer. This clinic began with prayer, leaving medicine to fill in. And so our jobs were made easier, because God touches everyone who reaches out to Him.
The number of healings is not quantifiable. A blind woman received sight. Yes, she went from a dark world to one of light. A child with conjunctivitis had the infection, itch, and redness disappear from both eyes. Pain was relieved. Joints were renewed.
A man whom the ministry team had met on a prior visit came to see them. He had been in a wheelchair and was unable to walk when they prayed for him one year ago. At that time he stood up on his own. This year, fully restored, he walked into the clinic to show us that he is healthy, strong, and now able to work and support his family. The fingerprints of God were imprinted on his legs and in his huge smile.
Our three person medical team treated 150 sick men, women, and children in two half-day clinics. From hypertension, to diabetes, to skin rashes, they received care. A man with probable tuberculosis and lung cancer needed more than we could provide; we lifted him to the Lord and referred him for testing. No one who had been healed through prayer required medical treatment. When God’s healing occurs, man’s intervention is not needed.
The other component of this trip stretched the medical team, as the Singapore contingent, led by Jeff Yuen, shared their prophetic ministry with local churches. What at first seemed unlikely, unbelievable, and just plain strange became a huge blessing as God poured out His Spirit.
I have never been involved in receiving a Word of Knowledge and confess that skepticism is my default mode. But after sitting in a teaching by Pastor Yuen, it made perfect sense as he unpacked Scripture and pointed to Jesus.
He taught, “Scripture says he will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Acts 2:17: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophecy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.’ What we need is simply flesh. Prophecy is the voice of God. He says they will prophesy.”
He explained that we are the access point. “The gift activates you. You learn to activate the gift. You become the gift to activate others.”
Then came the time to pray for God to send His vision to those of us gathered together. A local woman came to partner with me.
I bowed my head and prayed. “Lord, this isn’t my thing. Help me to see what you want me to see.”
The only thing that popped into my mind was Christmas. The song, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, hit my mental playlist.
“Lord, please, send me some kind of real vision.” I tried my hardest to force something meaningful until the time ended for prayer. Nothing. Clearly not my gift. I turned to my partner. “I’m sorry. This is all new to me. The only thing I thought about was Christmas.”
Her face went slack. “Christmas is when all my problems began.”
From that opening, we were able to pray together to lift her problems to the Lord. Had I just received a Word of Knowledge? Clearly, something happened. Something suspiciously like God communicating with me on her behalf.
At the next teaching, I saw the word “OCEAN,” accompanied by a sun-drenched, glassy sea that turned dark and angry with roiling waves, lightning, and thunder. The team then stood in front of a church full of worshippers to tell what God had revealed to them. Anyone for whom this had meaning was invited to come for prayer. The only interpretation I could think of was that perhaps someone had experienced a change from a good life to one of strife. Lame. Vague. Embarrassing.
Mortified by my total lack of prophetic ability, I waited for it to be over. A line formed in front of me. One after another, people shared their personal journeys of lives lived well that had become storms of epic proportions: A formerly active woman now in a wheelchair due to an autoimmune disease. A man recently unemployed who could no longer feed his family. A young woman facing a government tax interview and financial ruin the next morning. A young man who became involved in drug addiction and criminal activity.
Am I a prophet? Hardly. But I am now open to God working through me both medically and prayerfully. And I sometimes think that what He really wants is for His people to show up and get out of His way. Because He is the one who is important.
Imagine a window smeared with fingerprints. That is an illustration of this mission trip. The fingerprints are all God’s. They covered the team from Singapore. They covered the local outreach that visits the government housing on a regular basis. They covered us. And we transferred God’s fingerprints to those we met and served. It became a mosaic of beauty, grace, and mercy that melded modern medicine, spiritual healing, and prophecy to reach those whom God provided to receive His care.
Through God, we are all “a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds.”
All praise, honor, and glory to the One who holds us in His powerful hands.