Moving Forward

Over these past 8 months Meg and I have constantly sought the Lord and his will for our future. We returned to America with the intention of restarting our ministry and heading back to Japan. While this is still very much the goal of our time here in the states. We began to realize that restarting our ministry would involve more than starting new programs and raising more support. It would also require our hearts and vision for Japan to be refreshed. As we struggled these past months, weighing the options and trying to decide the best course of action, the Lord began to lead us on a radical departure.

We came back to America to restart and refocus on our ministry in Japan. We planned to go back to Japan in a year, however after spending time praying, reading, and talking with others we began to take note of our sinful tendencies. We realized that we were selfish, relying on ourselves more than Christ. We had tried to take on every opportunity that was given to us, rather than trusting God to guide us. We have repented of those past mistakes now and have learned that it takes time to prepare for ministry. We need a lot of time to spend time with God, we really need to get a clear vision for the future of our ministry, and we need to intentionally plan through God’s leading not our own power and might.

We want to become Gospel-centered Missionaries who are on mission to reach the nation of Japan for the Gospel. No longer just being Christians in Japan wandering from ministry to ministry with no real objective. To accomplish this goal, Drew will begin an internship with Karis Community Church in Columbia, Missouri for 2 years. Karis is a part of the Acts29 church planting network. At Karis, Drew will receive biblical training and counseling and learn how a healthy church functions and what it will take to plant a healthy church. We believe this is of dire importance as the church is the vehicle by which the gospel is proclaimed to the nations.

It was hard decision to stay and not return to Japan this year. We used to think that as long as we at least lived in Japan, it would be better than nothing. But now we understand that we can accomplish so much more if we pause to study, learn and grow spiritually more. We will be able to build deeper relationships with our supporters and together learn, train and prepare for ministry in Japan together before we return to Japan and restart our ministry in Japan.

We want to say thank you very to those of you who have been supporting us over the years. Although we haven’t always made the best decisions throughout our ministry over the past 4 years, through God’s mercy and grace and your prayers we were able to learn a lot about what it will take to see a fruitful ministry take root in Japan. Because of these experiences we trust that we will be able to use our time in America fruitfully and not wastefully.

Japan is a hard place to be a missionary. We need to grow and prepare, and train now more than ever. In keeping with repentance, we do not want to repeat same sins and mistakes. However,  we can’t do this alone. We need a community of believers to help us along the way. So we humbly ask as we move forward, that you will continue to support us, advise us and stand with us spiritually in prayer and financially as the family of God.

Just Two Suitcases

2-suitcases「Things I need to remember all the time」

Since Drew and I left Japan and came back to America, I’ve been thinking about one thought over and over again. With the more comfort and belongings we have, the harder it becomes to fully rely on God.

 

Drew and I felt stuck in fall of 2011 and we didn’t know what God wanted us to do. We decided to get rid of everything we had (like Jesus’ disciple did. Luke 5:11), come back to America and start over. It was hard for me to do that at first. We knew we were going back to Japan eventually so if we got rid of our stuff, we would have to buy everything again.

However, we felt that if we kept all our stuff, we couldn’t concentrate on discerning God’s will. The constant reminder of all we had in Japan would influence our decision-making. We thought we would feel that we needed to go back to Japan soon because it cost a lot of money for storage in Japan. Or our thinking could have been swayed by the location of our belongs thinking things like maybe we   shouldn’t go this place cause it’s far away from where our stuff is, even God wanted us to, e.t.c.

 

Although  I felt sad, worried and a little miserable, after spending 6 months with just enough stuff to fill 2 big suit cases I feel much lighter and am able to rely on God more deeply.

I’m very thankful to God for this opportunity to learn and grow, and I thank those who have helped us to live with much love and compassion. We are so blessed!!

Now I worry that when we go back to Japan and settle down again that I will return to the convenience of stuff instead of relying on God. I really want to remember this awesome experience God gave us and I will try not to rely on things and instead trust in the God I serve.