Well, friends, if you observe my life via Facebook at all, you probably know that I just got back from three incredible weeks helping lead an outreach in Japan. It was an amazing trip, full of challenge, fun, and great reward. It is truly awesome to simply follow God’s voice and see where He brings us. I don’t think there’s anything more worthy of this life I have been given then simply choosing to live it in closeness to my Creator.
Making the decision to follow God’s nudge to go to Japan this summer was hard. At first, I didn’t see why He asked me to go. But as time progressed I began to see that going to Japan was exactly where He wanted me to be this summer, and while I was there, He reminded me of so many reasons why He wanted me there. Here are some of the big ones…
1) to grow in deeper dependency on Him.
2) to show me that He gives good gifts to His kids.
3) to help increase boldness and confidence in Him over the fear of man.
4) to teach me more about leadership.
5) to cultivate my ever-increasing passion for worship and prayer.
These things are just a tip off the iceberg of all that God did in and through me and my team while we were there. Another major theme throughout this trip for myself and others on the team was that of God’s faithfulness. We saw this through answered prayers, unexpected blessings, but best of all, we saw it in people-people who have dedicated their lives to see this nation revived, and people who are pursuing God and making him Lord step by step in their lives. All these things and more are evidence of God’s faithful pursuit of this nation which is so exciting!
Another important thing God showed me was in relation to how I viewed my heart for Japan. Prior to my first trip to Japan three years ago, I had never given this nation a second thought. I never had an interest in Japan and had no desire to visit. Even up until the middle of this most recent trip, I still felt like I didn’t have a “heart for Japan”, and I was puzzled at why God would have me come back here if I didn’t have a “heart” for this particular place. I asked God about it one morning and he reminded me of the dozens of precious people I have met in this nation. He reminded me that I don’t need to be obsessed ancient architecture, anime (animation), or Japanese cuisine to love and be a light to the people here. It’s important to be interested in their culture (which I am), but the most important thing is to show them love, care, and friendship. I may not naturally be drawn to the culture of Japan, but I do appreciate it, and more importantly, God has given me a love for the people I have made friends with there, because they are made in His image and are precious in His sight.
To conclude this random little blog update, here are some scrambled up thoughts that spewed out onto paper upon our departure from our final outreach location. I hope they convey a bit more of the depth of this outreach and what God did in it.