About thirteen years ago, I walked into the office of the OPC for interviews as a missionary wife to Haiti. I was completely unaware of the recent events (2004) in the church regarding closing the OPC mission in Japan. I was nervous about being interviewed and distracted with trying to make sure my children were behaved. An older lady, who was a missionary to Japan came up to me. We made small talk and then she asked, "Why are you opening a new mission field when they are closing Japan?" As I said, I was completely ignorant of the circumstances and somewhat taken aback as my southern sensibilities were a little hurt.
Later, I was informed of the debate and distress surrounding the mission in Japan. I cannot find any reason to blame the dear sister for her blunt words to me. My heart goes out to her for the very reasons she was upset.
However, I cannot but laugh a bit to myself as I consider that today I packed my nineteen year old daughter off to Japan to go participate in the work my sister in the Lord was doing. The humor of the Lord as He directs our days cannot go unappreciated or unnoticed. He has done this work in the heart of my daughter. Since eighth grade she has loved Japan. She has read "The Etiquette Guide to Japan" histories of Japan and Samari Warriors along with trying to teach herself to speak/read/write the language. She has listened to the music and been intrigued with the all things Japanese. My little blonde child will be trying to teach four and five year olds english and about Jesus. I pray that her light shines brightly for Jesus over the next three months. I pray that they will love her for shining Jesus into their lives more than the shine on her beautiful long, golden hair.
I also wonder, if she will ever truly come back? Will this be the beginning of another missionary to Japan? I cannot answer to what the Lord is doing or will be doing in the future. I can commit her and the mission work in Japan to our Lord who smiles on us with tender mercies and loves with an everlasting love.
I pray that love would shine brightly in Japan.
And to my dear Laura:
"...Do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor... in the sight of God... Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord." Proverbs 3:1-8