March 2011

Tuesday March 15, 2011

Prayer for Japan

Days after the earthquake, the tragedy continues to unfold in Japan. And as impossible as it may seem, some things seem to just be getting worse. I don’t have the words to express such sorrow and horror without sounding trite and cold. All I can do is offer prayer:

Father, we pray you hear the cries of your people. They are broken and lost. Now more than ever Japan needs your mercy. Grant Japan peace and strength. Your people there have needed you for a long time. But now, in the midst of disaster and tragedy, may they see just how much they need you. There are no words we can give to comfort those who have lost homes and loved ones. But your love is the ultimate comfort, and we pray you shower it on Japan. May we all have faith that you are using this for a greater purpose. May we have faith in that good purpose.

My team leader is partnering with one of the Japanese Christian organizations that are involved in disaster relief work.  If you’d like to donate, let me know and I can forward you the name of that organization or maybe others like it.

Thanks also to everyone who asked how this might affect my going to Japan.  That outpour of support (and I haven’t even left yet!) was ridiculously encouraging.  Thankfully, Hiroshima is far enough to the south that it wasn’t affected by the quake or tsunamis, and so my plans to go are the same.  However, I have no doubt the work we do in Hiroshima will be changed, and I hope God really uses me as a part of that.

Two Months’ Update

Two Months' Update

God is so good. Not least of all for providing so much loving support and encouragement through friends, family, and even a few people I barely know. I could wax eloquent on my gratitude for pages, but I’ll spare you and get to the more relevant news and leave it at the fact that you all are awesome!

Last two months in a nutshell:

Home in Seattle – The first week of February I moved to Seattle from Philly. I’ll be here until I leave for Japan.

S-TESl classes – I just finished a 4-week intensive program for a certificate in teaching ESL. This was great as I have no teaching experience at all and this will probably be an important part of my ministry in Japan. Also, the four-week program slid right in between moving from Philly and going to Orlando, both of which were set in stone before I even knew about the program. Divine timing? I think so too. 🙂

Pre-field connection- This was a one-week training with Pioneers in Orlando FL. Mostly we talked about working in teams and methods of church-planting. The seminars are great and always really helpful, but, I admit, the best part is talking to and meeting everyone and hearing their stories. I had a lot of great fellowship and time to reflect in peace and quiet on God.

The next couple of months I’ll be in Seattle taking some Bible classes at Columbia international University and studying Nihongo (Japanese). My grandma had all sorts of fun reading through my Japanese book, reviewing her own Japanese (which is still really good after 60+ years) and planning my study schedule. Haha. I’m looking forward to it. Feel free to come visit!

Target Departure Date!

Target Departure Date!

So by now you’re probably wondering when I’m actually going to get to Japan. For those of you who read my blog you know I’m getting pretty close!  I have about $2300 (69%) of my goal of monthly pledges and $19000 (90%) of my outgoing expenses raised. Crazy, no? I’m so close and it’s all because of you!

Thus, after talking to my teammates, I’m setting my departure date for May 25.  Ahh!  That’s right, an actual date!  That’s just 10 weeks from now.  Woah, let me catch my breath for a sec.

So what do I need for the final stretch?  I still need about $1000/month in support, which translates into 20 people who will pledge $50/month (or 40 at $25/month or 10 at $100/month).  Please consider whether you can partner with me this way. And of course, any other support, be it prayers or one-time gifts or emails, are all treasured greatly.

Just to look at that figure is rather daunting, but seeing how far God has already carried me, I’m confident He will provide.  So please pray with me as I get ready during the next 10 weeks.

Putting God first

Some new things I’m learning. Prayer prayer prayer! I admit that in the midst of everything it is so easy to cut out my time with God. Doesn’t matter that I’m going on missions and I’m supposed to be all holy now.  When things start to get busy, prayer is the quickest and easiest thing to cut.

Yet God is so good in reminding me of his faithfulness.  I’m losing count of the times I’ve gone to God crying for help and stressing about the money I need to raise, only to wake up the next morning and find that someone has given yet another generous gift or partnered with me monthly. God is constantly reminding me that He is in control.

I know once I get to Japan, it is only going to get that much easier to cut out my time with God.  Which is ironic considering that’s really the most important part.  So I pray God really holds me close to His heart.  And I pray you would all do the same.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Prayer Requests

Scheduled Departure Date: May 25!!

  • God is NUMBER 1!  Priority, time, focus, and in everything He is#1 – please pray I would always live like this.
  • Support – Please pray that God would provide the last $1000 in monthly support
  • Quake victims – the number of deaths is now hitting the tens of thousands.  May God use this to open people’s hearts to the gospel.
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