There are many challenges for families living in a country which is not their passport country. There are also significant joys. One I’ve experienced is seeing my young daughter understand why the difficulties are necessary and get excited about sharing in the ministry that the Lord has called us to do here in Japan.
I already knew God was calling us to Japan when I became pregnant with her. So throughout my pregnancy I prayed earnestly that the Lord would make this baby well suited to missionary life, and that in some way he or she would be used by God to further his kingdom and bring him glory.
We arrived in Japan when she was nearly three years old. A few months later, after reading the Bible with her at bedtime, she prayed: “Dear God help me to trust, love, and obey you. Amen.”
Over the last eight years I’ve seen the Lord answering these—both this three-year-old’s simple prayer, and my “pregnancy prayers”—in various ways. All glory to him!
These are some of the things my daughter has said about her non-Christian friends in the last year:
“Can I invite my friends from school to come and play once a week, and can I read them a Bible story each time?”
“I made this woolly hat for Am-chan (a friend with learning disabilities), do you think she’ll like it?”
“A-chan says she wants to join our light party.”
“Sh-chan is coming to the church Easter party.”
“T-chan wants to go to summer Bible camp again this summer, and N-chan and K-chan want to go this time too.”
“S-chan wants to borrow Treasures of the Snow.”
My daughter really wants her friends to know Jesus.
When asked recently to give an example of a time God had helped her she replied “I don’t like talking about my private things, but when people ask me why we’re in Japan I find I can answer confidently.”
Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter is far from perfect, and struggles to resist temptation and live God’s way as much as the rest of us. But it really is a joy to see her persevering in the struggle, despite the challenges of being a foreigner here. The Lord is faithful.
By Liz, an OMF missionary in Japan
Will you pray for Japan?
- Praise God for giving faith to missionary kids and helping them to get involved in telling others about Jesus.
- Thank God that He is a God who answers prayer.
- Pray for missionary parents to have wisdom as they help their children with the struggle of living for Jesus as a foreigner.