The True God at Work

Tags: Canada, Japan, Story
A Conversation and a New Challenge

It was a conversation with a friend that got Jon thinking about going to Japan. Jon, a college student from Canada, was chatting with his friend Ron who mentioned that he was planning to lead a short term mission trip to Japan – and he encouraged Jon to go! Jon, having grown up as a “missionary kid” had already lived much of his life overseas. But now Ron, a SEND missionary, was encouraging him to go to a new country, to a people he had never worked with! After praying and seeking advice, Jon concluded that going to Japan could help him learn more about himself, about God’s work in the world, and maybe even about how he should serve God in the future.

Jon tries some new food in Japan.

Learning and Serving

After finishing the application process, Jon was headed to Japan with SEND Canada

Then the team traveled to the Tohoku region – a region that was hit hard by the tsunami. Jon’s team helped to boost the fishing industry there by practically helping fishermen. For the final part of the trip, the team assisted in the children’s ministry of an urban church. Each of these found their purpose in the building of relationships with Japanese people so that long-term missionaries can continue to invest to grow spiritual fruit. A highlight of the trip for Jon was witnessing the baptism of a Japanese man. This man, who was afraid of water after experiencing the tsunami, was willing to surrender to Christ and be baptized because of what Jesus had done for him!

The fishing business in Tohoku.

A Taste of Life in Japan

As Jon learned and served, he experienced a little bit of what life is like in Japan. “One of my favorite events from the trip was an opportunity to go out on the Pacific with a fisherman early in the morning” Jon remembers. “We were able to see him bring in his catch. It was a remarkable experience of seeing Japanese life up close and personal, and being able to see into his world.” Jon noticed and appreciated the importance of honour and respect in Japanese culture. Yet he was saddened by the idol and ancestor worship he observed." A difficult thing to take in was when we walked into the Buddhist temple and saw people fervently praying to an idol” he recalls. “It was clear that their intentions were genuine...but it was heartbreaking to see the lostness and hopelessness of it - because we know the true God who wants to know them personally."

Crowds in Tokyo

The True God at Work

Throughout the entire trip, Jon kept being reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:18:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." Jon believes that as he gives himself fully to God’s work, his efforts are significant in the hands of God. As Jon reflected during the trip about the possibility of serving in a place like Japan, he felt God challenging him to fully surrender his life to God. “I think I’ve become very much settled here in North America, and I see how difficult it would be for me to live in another culture….It was really special to wrestle through the tension of potentially serving overseas in a place that I wouldn’t be comfortable in. Knowing that God would sustain me through that and use what I have to give to build his kingdom steadied my heart.

Learn about SEND's ministry in Japan.

Discover ministry opportunities.

Watch video series "Japan: Unshakable Hope."

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