Prayer is powerful. It can be dangerous; but it is also a privilege. And prayer is where my journey to Japan started, long before I came to Japan to serve with OMF.
On my first visit to Japan, I was surrounded by the beauty of springtime. Flowers bloomed and new green leaves emerged as signs of life after the cold, snowy winter. I enjoyed breathtaking scenery in Japan, natural hot springs baths, and local food. I met some lovely people and enjoyed local hospitality. I picked up a few small souvenirs to take back for friends and family, but came home from Japan with something more than I expected: a burden. A burden for the Japanese people and the spiritual needs of this nation.
So, I started to pray for Japan. As I prayed, my heart for this people grew. I wanted more Japanese people to hear the good news of Jesus, but that required people to be sent to tell them. So, I prayed just that (Romans 10:14-15). After all, praying scripture is powerful and I had confidence that God would answer.
As I continued to pray and learn more about the spiritual needs of Japan, I started to connect with missionaries working in Japan. I signed up for their prayer newsletters, reading about their joys and struggles, embarrassing language gaffes, spiritual breakthroughs. I began to pray alongside them from home through their regular updates. It helped to grow my understanding of Japan and its people, and it has been a privilege to see God at work – including in some unexpected ways.
One thing I didn’t expect was that God might want to use me as part of the answer to my own prayer for Japan. Now, years after that first visit to Japan, I am serving with OMF. I would not be on this journey if God had not changed my heart and prompted me to ask, “Lord, do you want to send me?” And I could not continue this journey without the continued prayer support of many other people.
How will God change your heart as you pray for his mission in the world?
By Erin, an OMF Missionary