I took this photo on Monday afternoon. $6.40 for a bag of Tostitos. No joke!
At the moment, I am listening to a message my boss Michael Oh gave before 1600 pastors at the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference yesterday. I am very proud of him! Check out this amazing message called “Missions as Fasting”: http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1624_missions_as_fasting
It’s funny to know Michael is taking this video of the pastors saying “Hello Japan! Hello Christ Bible Seminary!” for all of us here. I am sure it’ll be fun to see!
Michael talked in his message about how hard it is for him to be separated from his parents, how hard it is that his five little children don’t get to see their grandfather and grandmother very often. You might ask why they are separated. The simple reason is that they are missionaries. Part of the deal of being a missonary is being separated from one’s family. It’s definitely the hardest part for me, and I am just a short-term missionary. I absolutely hate not being there for my mom on a daily basis, to take her for errands, to cook for her, etc.
I don’t usually talk too much about the missional aspect of my work here on this blog. Usually, I use this blog as a fun way to give my friends of all types of religions and beliefs a window to the life and culture here. But my real job is not an English teacher or an office worker. My title here is a Christian missionary. In truth, there are many moments when I think missionaries are simply nuts. (I don’t think I am nuts.) Sometimes I stand back and think of all the things that the people I am surrounded by have sacrificed. They have all given up comfort, ease, and a “normal” American life for a highly abnormal one here. They have all willingly given up their entire lives and have come to this country because they love God and love Japanese people and want the people of Japan to have a relationship with God.
Ah, the topic of missionary work is on my mind day and night…. I wrestle with thoughts of whether I am supposed to come to Japan or some other country for the rest to my life as a missionary pretty much every single day. It’s something part of me wants but at other times I just want to have a “normal” life with a regular job, being near my family, some sort of stability, and being able to speak English all the times. I feel like when I am here I want to be home, and when I am home in the U.S. I want to be here or some other country.
Anyway, I think often of what it takes to be a good missionary.I have concluded that the best missionaries love people well and have had a deep, undeniably powerful and personal experience of the love of God and are burning to share it with others. I have a long way to go, that’s for sure. I often wonder where I will be 10 years from now. Even though I wrestle with this all the time, the truth is I hope it’s not the U.S. Maybe it’ll be Japan or some other country. I am trusting God and that’s all I can cling to for the time being.
Anyway, besides all those thoughts I want to share that I have moved into my new apartment. I love this apartment and it’ll be hard to leave this fall! It’s a lovely place with beautiful hardwood floors, everything it white and clean, and it’sa very sunny place. I am very thankful!