“Have faith in God” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot over the past year and a half as I transitioned from sunny Southern California as a NASA rocket scientist to snowy Aomori, Japan as a Serve Asia Coordinator (for short term workers). I’ve wondered many times whether or not I should even be here; I probably won’t be building rockets anytime soon, and I’m not even sure if this is where the Lord wants me long-term. But in his faithfulness God has continued to give me glimpses into his love for Japan, his people, and even for me.
I grew up in a Japanese-American church and had always had an interest in Japan, but the Lord directed me to the engineering field and I’ve been designing satellites. Through the years I stayed focused on missions through things like Perspectives,* prayer meetings, and volunteering with OMF US.
In 2019, God told me to prepare to “go.” When COVID shut things down, God used that time to work in me as I waited on him. I went through counseling and saw his goodness not only for the people of Japan, but for me as well. I just needed to learn to trust him more each day. It was a hard journey, but through it I learned that God is not casting me away by sending me to Japan, but is instead drawing me closer to himself.
Now I’m in Japan, I’m awestruck by seeing God at work in so many ways, and realize that I would have never seen or experienced these things had I remained back home enjoying the safety net that I had built around me. I’ve come to Japan in submission to God, and have been humbled in having to relearn so many things: Japanese language, setting up an apartment, and even driving on the other side of the road.
In preparation for my Japanese driving test, God challenged me to let him “take the wheel.” He’s shown me that I can trust him and his goodness, but I first need to get the car out of “park” and onto the road. He is trustworthy, but I needed to let go of my own fears to see just how good he is. Although I expect many challenges ahead, so far the ride has been worth it, and I look forward to what God has in store for the future.
*Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a course introducing people to God’s mission to the world.
By Tommy, an OMF missionary