Undervalued and Overlooked

‘How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”’ Romans 10:14-15

I was sitting on a huge double-decker plane some 2..2? 3? days ago, my daughter in her car seat next to the window, my husband and I holding hands.  We had shed tears… heavy tears… in saying goodbye to our loved ones, in packing our belongings and our hearts to move to a place far, far away.  Even as the plane backed away from our gate, we were still sniffling and wiping our eyes.

As the jet began racing down the airstrip and taking off into the air, our fingers were still intertwined, trepidation in our hearts.  How would it be?  Would we be successful at what we were setting out to do?  Would we adjust well or struggle?  Would we make good friends? Would we have a great connection with our team members? Would our support base hold up? How would our families do during our absence?  Lots of questions as up, up and away we went.

In the few moments as we ascended into the clouds in silence, I became alert to my surroundings. I was looking up at the plane Christmas decorations hanging above the windows.  Overhead, we listened to a wonderful piano Christmas music.  Not just any music… a hymn.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it, but it was one of those you’ll be guaranteed to sing during the Christmas service at church. 

All of a sudden, it hit me that this was what it was all about.  Going to a foreign land, becoming Japanese to Japanese people with the purpose of sharing the wonderful news that Jesus Christ did the same thing for us.  He became human to bring us the Good News– to BE the Good News.  He died in our place, gave His life for us that we might have a relationship with our heavenly Father.  And we, in a very very small sense, were heading to a foreign land to give our lives so that others may hear.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to talk with many people who said, “Oh you’re so brave”, “Oh, you’re doing such a great work,”… We don’t feel particularly brave, certainly not the caliber of brave that missionaries centuries ago possessed.  But, to these people, I have attempted to communicate that:

We are unable to go without you.

There is absolutely no way that we would sitting in Asia today without senders.  Perhaps that is the most undervalued and overlooked part of the verse quoted above.  Yes, we need go-ers.  But the go-ers need the senders.  The senders are like the fuel for the car.  The car is great in an of itself, but the car goes nowhere without gasoline.  Gasoline is very useful in and of itself, but without being put to purpose in the car, it doesn’t produce anything.  Together– together we accomplish so much.

In anything accomplished here that gives glory to God, you share in that.  May the Lord be praised in Japan, through all of us.

So, as I am sitting all jet-lagged out some 5000+ miles away, please know that you, as a supporter, are an absolute necessity, a completely vital part of Mission Japan– of bringing the Gospel to Japan.  We don’t forget that.  If it was not through the Lord bringing us together, we would not be able to accomplish this purpose of sharing Jesus with the Japanese who really need to hear it.

So thank you.  We miss everyone already, but we are excited to see what the Lord will do.  Please continue to pray for us as we get settled and learn, learn, learn!

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