Saying “Yes” to God
COVID has enabled Kevin and Jessica to be better prepared to serve in Japan
By Kevin and Jessica Teh
When it comes to God’s mission, for most people it’s usually a journey along a spectrum of increasing involvement. For us, each stage of the process has required more surrender and obedience, yet we look back and see only blessing each time we have said “yes” to God. At times, it has felt costly, inconvenient and even painful. However, the deepening of our faith and the broadening of our understanding of who He is has filled our souls with boundless blessing, making every “yes” abundantly worth it.
For both of us, the Gospel and our journey of faith have always included God’s mission. The Great Commission mandates the sharing of the Good News to ALL nations, and this is not merely for a chosen few. God continuously convicted us to be open to His great plan. We increasingly recognized that while our salvation through Christ was a gift to be treasured, an appropriate response would also be to share this hope with those who had the least access to it. During our dating and newlywed years, God provided mission mentors, conferences and vision trips that expanded our perspectives, and helped us become more aware of the relevance of missionaries even in today’s changing world.
Soon after we were married, settling down in Toronto seemed to be our trajectory. While we had learned very much about the needs in the world, we were hesitant to give too much of ourselves for fear we might miss out on the pattern of life we had come to value. However, God quickly challenged us to trust Him and take tangible steps to pursue full-time, cross-cultural ministry to an unreached people group. He had revealed too much of His heart for His mission for us to simply silence the overpowering sense of conviction, and we felt that it was time to change the direction of our lives. He made it clear that if we trusted Him, He had something better for us.
It’s been almost six years since we took that first significant step in our missions journey. This first “yes” led to many opportunities over the next few years, including applying to OMF as a couple, moving to Singapore for a year of Bible school and travelling to Japan for a six-week vision trip. This trip opened our eyes to the needs of Japan and unified our hearts to share the hope of Christ with the Japanese. When we returned from Asia in 2017, we entered a season of partnership development, which has been truly a time of blessing and affirmation.
We were finally cleared to prepare for our departure to Japan when COVID hit. We never expected to be delayed for more than a year due to a global pandemic! Yet, even in this time of waiting, He has brought forth opportunities for us to be further equipped, sanctified and prepared.
Over the past six years, one step has led to another and God has provided the grace and strength needed for each part of the journey. It’s astonishing to think that so much has happened and we haven’t even left for the field yet! We rest in the promise that Jesus made to His people: He is with us always, to the very end of the age.