Seven years behind the starting line
“This was exactly what you saved me from—a life of hopelessness, purposelessness and suicide. Would you send anyone, even me? I beg you, please, bring your gospel to those ears. They need you!”
I prayed that prayer seven years ago, after a Japanese pastor at a local church, tears rolling down his cheeks, shared about the spiritual needs of his home country. It happened at a fundraising event for relief work after the devastating tsunami in March, 2011. It was God calling me to long-term work in Japan, even though I had no prior missions experience.
I had no idea there would be so much waiting.
After that event, I prayed and watched for God to move. As I waited, God led me to consider Tyndale University College and Seminary for further studies. In my research, I discovered that Tyndale sent an annual short-term missions team to Japan. This link between Tyndale and Japan affirmed me to quit my full-time job in 2013 and enrol as a student, majoring in biblical studies.
Two years later I joined that Tyndale short-term team and flew out to support church-planting efforts in Aomori, Japan. God used all the experiences on this trip—the warm fellowship of Christians in Japan, the tangible spiritual darkness and the homesickness—to affirm my calling.
I returned to Canada energized and excited—to wait some more. In time, I came to realize that perhaps I was not the one waiting for God— God was waiting for me. And He was very patient indeed. Challenges and trials of everyday life showed me I had much growing to do before I could be a well-prepared servant. Dying to self and self-determination over and over has taught me discipline and how to draw near to Jesus. Truly, the man crying in his seat in 2011 was not the same man who was accepted as an appointee by OMF Canada this past October!