Check out this post over at The Gospel Coalition, Signs of Spiritual Awakening in Japan, written by CBI founder Michael Oh and director Brett Rayl. May the Spirit so move!
Last week was our 9th wedding anniversary, so we celebrated by going out lunch. Since Caroline has been pregnant for the better part of the last two years, we haven’t had a lot of opportunity to enjoy sushi together, so we went to a nice little Japanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh and had some good (by American standards!) sushi.
As our anniversary came and went, I was reminded yet again of God’s faithfulness to us in the gospel. Every year that Caroline perseveres in marriage with me — and all the sinful baggage that comes along with me — is a testimony to Jesus’ commitment to His church. Jesus’ commitment to His people is most fully demonstrated, of course, in His willingness to die for us, that through His death we might have life.
This is incredibly good news for people like us who are adept at rebelling against God. This is also incredibly good news for the nation that has mastered the art of making great sushi–Japan. Our prayer is that the good news of Jesus will spread throughout Japan, freeing people from the penalty and power of their sin and enabling them to live in the liberating light of Jesus’ commitment to His church.
Those who have known us for any length of time have probably heard that we have had plans to go to Japan. What is hard to believe is that these plans have been going on for seven years!
A Little Background
In the summer of 2007, Caroline and I were in seminary, praying and trying to discern where God might be calling us to serve as missionaries. After considering our interests and sense of gifting as well as the needs on the mission field (see Why Japan?), we ended up skyping with Michael Oh, founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan. Coming out of that conversation, Caroline and I both sensed the Lord calling us to pursue service in Japan.
We visited CBS the next summer (2008), but because seminary professors ideally need a terminal degree in their field, we spent the next five years finishing educational preparation for this type of ministry. Four moves, three children, two church positions, two visiting professorships, and one year of transition with missionary application and approval later, here we are!
Recalling this brief history reminds me of God’s great faithfulness to us. A lot has happened in seven years, but we’re at a point now where many times along the way I felt like we would never reach: ready to raise a support team and go.
Our prayer is that God would enable us to continue to trust Him and His faithfulness as we move forward in this next exciting step.