These have been some crazy days…initially I was hoping to blog every day before the trip, but that got blown out of the water because God’s plans have been so much bigger than ours! The team I’m with is now officially 8 people, and in only 6 days God has raised up $30,000 toward relief efforts in Japan! Not only that, but so many people in our church gave sacrificially to put together “life packs” of supplies for people. I have had dozens for people ask me what I still need, if they can still give…Only God could shower down that much blessing in so little time!

Life packs

The completed “Life Packs” (logo design by Mike & Jen)

While most of the responses I have received have been very encouraging, I have heard some voices telling me to NOT go . Some say that it is too dangerous, the risks are too high, and that our little team will only get in the way.  This first objection I can understand; there certainly are risks, and we would be fools to go into this blindly or with a cavalier attitude. But there are times in life when risks must be taken for the gospel, and I believe that this is one of those times. Not since World War II has Japan been so devastated, so humbled, and so scared about the future, and we who know Jesus have an obligation to take the hope of the gospel to them to comfort them in their brokenness. We hope that our willingness to come while others are fleeing would be a witness to them of the Jesus who came down to earth for us, despite facing certain death and a lifetime of sorrows.

But others have told me I shouldn’t go because what Japan needs now is our money, not our presence. It hurts to hear these words, because it’s like they’re saying, “We’ll send money and supplies, but we won’t give our hearts.” I hear in these words echoes of post-World War II attitudes when America sent food and aid, but no missionaries or Christian ministry workers. We were willing to throw the Japanese some of our table scraps, but ourselves? No, we held back and didn’t go, and missed an important window of opportunity to reach the Japanese people. Jesus is calling us to go and look our brothers and sisters in the face, weep with them in their suffering, do what we can to meet their physical needs, and invite them to the hope held forth in the gospel. We need senders–people that are supporting for us and praying for us from back home–but this kind of love can only be shared in person. Again, Christ Himself could have mystically procured salvation for us from heaven without lifting a finger, but instead he came down to this dirty, deadly place we call home. He entered into our brokenness and brought redemption into the darkest, most hurting corners of our hearts, and by God’s grace we hope to do the same.

Evacuees

Please do continue to pray for our team’s safety, but pray more for the fruit of faith, repentance, and worship among the Japanese people that so many faithful ministers over the years have labored so long for. Pray that both our actions AND our heart of love for the Japanese people would touch many, and that JESUS would get the credit and not us.

Below is a song that sums up our mission to go, our desire to see Japan won over for the gospel, and our determination that JESUS CHRIST get all the praise and glory, for ever and ever and ever!!!

 

Let Your Kingdom Come (Sovereign Grace Music)

Your glorious cause, O God, engages our hearts
May Jesus Christ be known wherever we are
We ask not for ourselves, but for Your renown
The cross has saved us so we pray
Your kingdom come

Let Your kingdom come
Let Your will be done
So that everyone might know Your Name
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done
Let Your kingdom come

Give us Your strength, O God, and courage to speak
Perform Your wondrous deedsthrough those who are weak
Lord use us as You want, whatever the test
By grace we’ll preach Your gospel
Till our dying breath

Let Your kingdom come
Let Your will be done
So that everyone might know Your Name
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done
Let Your kingdom come

 

Amen!