What has God surprised you with recently? Last time I wrote a blog post for this OMF Japan blog, I wrote about the unexpected ways in which God works. He hasn’t failed to surprise me in recent months. Here is some more evidence of God using everyday things here in Japan.
First, take kittens—simple and innocent—so unexpected that four would be anonymously left in a box in the church car park. Taped to the top of the box said “to everyone at the church”. But what can you do with four kittens in a church? In the two weeks that the kittens were at the church, they provided much entertainment and enjoyment for the various people coming and going each week.
The playgroup’s day trip to the beach, cancelled because of the rain, became a day for kids and mums to play with kittens. A couple of high school students struggling with school found joy in “borrowing” the kittens for a time. And a family who had wanted a cat for a while were able to take two into their home.
Each kitten found a good home to go to. We pray that they will be reminded of the love and joy that God gives, and that they experience this love by coming back to church each week.
Manga (Japanese comics) is extremely popular in Japan. Sota*, a boy who attends English classes at the church, loves reading manga. Often tries his best to read them during the lesson without one of us noticing.
NEXT Manga has produced a six-volume manga series based on the Bible, telling the story of the gospel from Genesis through Revelation. God has captured Sota’s attention as he’s read the Bible manga. His interest has led him to start studying the Bible with a missionary on a regular basis. Recently as they were studying a particular passage, Sota exclaimed, “I know that story!” and ran to find it in his manga Bible. And sure enough, it’s the same story that he had seen in picture form.
Sota is learning about God, as are many children here. And God is using creative ways to reach this young generation. Praise God that he’s drawing the little ones to him, and their families with them.
Aomori-produced apples make up over 50% of the apple market of Japan. Recently my parents visited and said, “We knew there were lots of apples, but didn’t realise how many!”
The church has a connection with a local apple farmer, who is very generous and loves to share some of his harvest with the church! In the past he would just drop a full box at the door and leave. But in recent weeks each time he comes, he calls out ” Good morning” and comes in to find us.
Maybe he isn’t someone who will sit down and study the Bible, but he is someone who is observant and aware of what goes on at this church. He finds friendship and community here, and it can be an escape of the loneliness that sometimes comes with farming. Please pray for him.
Don’t underestimate the ways in which God will reach out to people. Whoever you are, no matter what you do, no matter what you have—God can use you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
By Rachel, an OMF Serve Asia Worker
* Name changed for privacy.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that God would continue to reach out to people in Japan through the everyday.
- Pray that we all would have eyes to see God at work in the small ways, as well as the large.
- Pray that more people would apply to serve in Japan this year with OMF’s short-term program: Serve Asia.