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Missionary’s partner team develops amid pandemic chaos
March 2021

Andrew’s story proves that God can use anything—even a puppy during a pandemic—to fulfill his plan.   

Andrew’s journey to Japan started when he was a young child with an uncommon love for Asian culture. 

“Little did I know that my dad was praying that the Lord would use my particular interest in Japan for his glory,” Andrew says. 

Short-term experience 

Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Andrew found himself spending three months in Sendai teaching English and Bible and forming relationships in the community. This D House experience (which you can read more about here) confirmed what Andrew’s family already suspected: Japan was Andrew’s place in God’s plan to reach the nations.  

The name of Jesus remains largely unknown in Japan, where only 1% of the population is Christian. Andrew knew that he needed to prepare for ministry there, so he started studying Japanese language and history and forming relationships with Japanese folks in the States.  

God at work during COVID

In 2018, Andrew joined SEND, but support-raising was slow going—until the pandemic hit! In a year of chaos and confusion, God raised up an incredible community of churches and friends to partner with Andrew, and brought him from 30 percent to 100 percent support.  

“I’m actually thankful for the slow journey because of the people I’ve been able to meet,” Andrew says. “If I’d gone sooner, I wouldn’t have had a lot of the friendships that I have now. I’m praising God for this!”  

Andrew with friends at church

Andrew, second from left, thanks the Lord for the relationships he’s developed during his journey to Japan.
 

Surprise after surprise 

Many people feel hesitant to explore missions because they think they don’t know enough people to raise up a support team. Andrew understands; he felt like he was in this boat when he first joined SEND. But God did it—often in unexpected ways.  

“Almost all of my support has been surprising,” Andrew says. “My mom’s a dog groomer. She was taking care of a pastor’s dogs, and through her, I met the pastor. I shared my story and ended up being able to build a support team at that church.”  

Another church had never partnered with a missionary on a monthly basis, but they agreed to do a can and bottle drive to contribute to Andrew’s ministry. During the process, Andrew built relationships with people in the church. Eventually, they gathered so many cans and bottles that Andrew had to ask them to stop!  

“The pastor challenged the church: ‘If we can gather all these cans, we can give to him monthly,’” Andrew says. “I’m so honored to be the first missionary that they’re supporting every month!”    

A heart of prayer

Along the way, Andrew has been coached and mentored, and has developed a heart of prayer that connects him to others.  

“I look forward to Andrew’s visits, because he always takes a moment to ask me about my life, and then he prays for me,” says Denise Allen in SEND’s Michigan office.  

It’s that spirit of connection that God will use to bring meaningful gospel relationships into Andrew’s life in Japan!

What’s your story?

Andrew’s story shows that God pulls knits together the various aspects of our lives—our spiritual gifts, our interests, our relationships—to direct our paths. How might he be directing you? A SEND mission coach would love to help you explore your place in God’s plan to reach the nations. Click below to start the conversation.

Contact a coach button• Find out how you can become a SEND missionary.

• Explore where and how you can serve with SEND

• Subscribe to On Mission, our free monthly newsletter full of inspiration, ideas, and encouragement for people interested in becoming cross-cultural missionaries. This article originally was published in On Mission. 

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