Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Tokyo Adventure Continues

Tomorrow (thursday, July 23) will be the 3 week mark for my journey here in Japan. God has continued to bless my socks off!!! We have 42 new believers so far this summer!!! Praise God!!!! Beginning to today we are hosting 138 high school volunteers on their summer mission trip. Please pray with us for the Lord of the Harvest this week. God is at work and just wants to bust the doors wide open here. Please pray for humble and accepting hearts; hearts that are seeking Our God.

In case you didn't know, Tokyo is home to 33-34 million people. Let that sink in just a minute. Double the population of New York city, put it in Atlanta, GA, and you have Tokyo!!! I wanted to share this tid-bit of information with you so you have a better understanding of just what an incredible God story I am about to share with you. But let's go back to April of 2008 first.

Last April I came here with a volunteer team from Willowbrook for a 10 day mission trip. On one of our days there was a MAJOR train delay because a transformer had exploded. This really put a wrinkle in our plans for the day. On our way back to our hotel that evening we were sitting on a train hoping we were on the right one. The conductor kept making announcements (in Japanese only of course) and the Japanese would get up and move to another train platform. We stayed in our seats because we weren't sure exactly what we should do. About this time one of my teammates (Gary) ended up sitting by a Japanese man (Mr. A, who is in the picture with John) and Mr. A asked if he could help us. Of course we said, YES! It ends up that both Gary and Mr. A are engineers so they had lots to talk about as we waited for the trains to move. At the end of our week long trip Mr. A came to our friendship party and he and Gary agreed to stay in touch with email. Over the past year they have emailed several times.

On Thursday, July 9 of this year I had only been here one week and was working with a volunteer team doing 5 minute English. We were at one of the smaller train stations and I had been there for about an hour with the team. I stepped in to give one of the volunteers a break and noticed a man standing to my right talking on his cell phone. As I looked at his face I thought to myself, "he looks familiar." Now keep in mind, to my rookie eyes, all the Japanese really do look the same right now. But he still looked very familiar to me. The more I looked at him I realized it was Mr. A!!! After he finished his phone call I approached him to ask if he was the man who helped our team last April. He remembered the day, our team, and helping us. I told him that Gary would be returning to Tokyo in August, and asked if Gary could contact him about them getting together while he is here. Mr. A said that this time would not be good for him. I was very sad, but excited too because what are the "chances" of just running into Mr. A on the streets of Tokyo! As he walked away I began praying that his heart would be in unrest asking "Why does this group of Americans keep coming into my life?"

A couple of days later I received an email from Gary. He shared that Mr. A contacted him and shared that we had talked to each other at the train station!!! Please join me in praying for Mr. A. Pray that he and Gary will be able to spend time together in August, and that this would be the time when Mr. A gives his life to Jesus and becomes His follower! God is amazing, and He orchestrates incredible details!!!! In a city of 33-34 million people, He orchestrated and "run into each other" moment!!! That kind of thing doesnt' just happen without God's mighty hand being at work!!!!!

"And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

Friday, July 10, 2009

Well it has been TOO long since I last posted on this blog. I am now in Tokyo (been here a little more than a week), so the adventure has begun.

C.C.Lemon is my new favorite drink. And yes, that is a Subway in the background!!! God really is good!!! The picture of the group is a group of Campus Crusade students from Vietnam and Hong Kong on a mission trip here to Tokyo. This picture was taken the second time we "ran into" each other.

I was spending time with DADDY this morning in Philippians chapter 3 and read the following note in my Bible. First, I was struck with the first 5 words of Philippians 3:10 - "I want to know Christ..." Oh my!!! I realized that out of all the "wants" in my life, HE must be the only one that matters. To say at the beginning, middle, and end of every moment of every day, simply "I want to know Christ." Wow!! What a desire I must have.

"Paul gave up everything - family, friendships, and freedom - in order to know Christ and his resurrection power. We too have access to this knowledge and this power, but we may have to make sacrifices to enjoy it fully. What are you willing to give up in order to know Christ? A crowded schedule in order to set aside a few minutes each day for prayer and Bible study? Your friend's approval? Some of your plans or pleasures? Whatever it is, knowing Christ is more than worth the sacrifice." Life Application Bible Philippians 3:9,10

Many of you said how proud you are of me for making the sacrifice to come here to tell people about Jesus' love for them. That is very kind of you, but I am just obeying my Master's call. There have been many sacrifices made by myself, my family, and my friends in getting me here. I pray that each and every sacrifice we have made together result in knowing Christ more. I am not the only one who has sacrificed to come to Tokyo. My family had to let go of their daughter, sister, and aunt. My friends had to say "good-bye" and now have to schedule phone calls and emails. We are all walking down a new road on this adventure, and I pray that you do not walk it alone. I am not!!! I am walking with my Lord Jesus. "He walks with me, and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there. None other, has ever known!" Please walk with Him. I want you to know this joy too. I want you to know Him more through your sacrifice.

This new adventure has absolutely nothing to do with me. It is all about Him!!!!! If you want to be proud, then please be proud of being a child of God. I am just His bond-servant. I have no rights of my own. He bought me at the price of His Son's blood. It is all for His glory and honor. And, HE IS WORTH EVERY SACRIFICE MADE!!!!