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30 August 2019

Short-term workers with long-term impact

When I first met Will and Lucie, our new short-term workers, I was struck by Will’s crazy hair and Lucie’s funky clothes.* It was going to be fun having them with us for the next six months.

Lucie got involved in children’s English outreaches and Will, a guitar and ukulele teacher in his home country, served our small church plant by running ukulele lessons. I had the privilege of being a part of one of those ukulele groups. I’ve tried to learn to play the guitar at various times in my life and always given up pretty quickly. How would I fare with the ukulele? But at the same time as learning, would I be able to help a teacher with broken English and very limited Japanese communicate with Japanese-speaking students?

Thanks to Will’s experience we managed to get over the language barrier and the four of us in the class were soon playing and singing Old MacDonald in Japanese. It was great fun. There were challenges, like how to talk about time signature, and transposing to a different key in Japanese. We also made mistakes along the way, like not realising that one lady was left-handed until the second class.

But Will and Lucie were very friendly. They were always keen to chat and to show love to each of the participants. At the end of each class we showed a video of a Japanese Christian sharing their story of coming to faith. The series of classes came to an end all too soon and we had to say goodbye to them, but not before inviting everyone from all the different classes to a picnic and outdoor service where we played the ukulele together.

But that was not the end of the story. One of the participants, Mrs M, was keen to carry on meeting and playing the ukulele together. She also took part in an Introduction-to-Christianity Bible study group. A year later we are still meeting about twice a month to play the ukulele together, chat (sometimes there is more chatting than playing!), and think about a Bible story together. I started by telling her stories from the Bible to give her an overview and now we are reading through Luke’s gospel together. Her comments at the end of each session range from, “Can this really be true?” to “Jesus is so steady” and “Maybe one day I’ll believe this.” She has also attended various services and even read a book from the church library. She asks me about my journey to faith and one evening, after she shared some of the struggles she is going through, I prayed with her.

Thanks to the humble servant heartedness of two short-term workers the gospel is reaching into Mrs M’s heart. Will and Lucie’s ministry is still bearing fruit.

By Sian, an OMF missionary

  • Names changed for security reasons

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Pray that more short-termers will come and help us reach out to those who have never heard about Jesus.
  • Pray for the hearts of those touched by short-term workers, that they will continue to seek and will find the truth about God.
  • Pray for long-term missionaries who host short-term workers, for wisdom in their interactions and that they will be greatly encouraged by these volunteers.

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