The Difference a Two-Letter Word Can Make

 

From A Missionary

“to”

Japan to A Missionary

“in”

Japan.

It is amazing to me the great difference a little two letter word can make! I want to talk a little about the two types of missionary for a moment. On the one hand we have the missionary who is “preparing” to go to the field.  On the other we see the missionary who is serving, or who as in my case has just arrived. First of all regardless of the differences between these two they both must, first and foremost, stay as close to the Lord as possible by maintaining a strong relationship with Him, regardless of location.  Here is a brief look into just a few of the unique differences that exist. One difference is that the burden God places on the missionary’s heart enlarges (greatly).  I am speaking by present experience.  The eye does indeed affect the heart.  Idolatry, monuments to ancestors, shrines and temples are as common here as churches are in America.  Witnessing the tremendous and tearful need in Japan is life-changing!  With every shrine or temple I pass my heart breaks knowing that there are many who believe these places are sacred and that they are just fine in their religion and way of false worship.  They have no clue of the torment that awaits them if they die in their sinful beliefs without accepting Jesus alone as their savior.

This leads me to the next unique difference. The missionary’s prayer emphasis shifts.

It shifts from raising support to raising souls out of bondage.

I am not saying that this was not my prayer during deputation I am simply saying that immersion into a culture of almost complete darkness has created an urgency and more intense burden to help the Japanese see the truth. There are so many here who desperately need the Gospel!  Seeing and meeting Japanese people in person make them much more than just statistics on a screen!  They are people who God created, loves, and desires to be saved.  They need to hear the truth of the Gospel. Finally the last unique difference I will mention here that I have noticed in my heart thus far in the increased burden to raise up leaders and laborers (both here and abroad) to help in the great commission in every way possible! With the Japanese especially this requires much patience, diligence and consistent effort to prove you care for and love them, and the most important thing of all, the power and touch of God almighty.  Without Him all is vanity.

The focus of my heart, spirit, and soul is changing!!! As the reality of the great need to reach the Japanese for Christ with the Gospel as well as the task of learning the Japanese language and culture stands tall before me, I can’t help but be reminded with a full heart that looking to the Lord of the harvest is an absolute must. With earnest expectation I am asking God for more now than I ever have before!  I know with complete assurance, regardless of what any doubter would say, that amazing things are in store for the country of Japan to the glory of God Almighty, no matter how long it takes!!!  Stay tuned for more…:)

silent-prayer

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