Last winter our team leaders gave us a piece of ‘homework’ at our team meeting as part of our training: to meet a friend from the community and do something with them. That meant we either had to invite them over to our home or meet them somewhere else.
One may think that this was an easy task since we are missionaries and we are supposed to be gifted in this area. But I am an introvert. I was also brought up in a family who seldom had guests or relatives in our home. Therefore, this was not an easy task for me. I didn’t even know how to extend an invitation naturally! I shared my struggles with my team leaders and they gave me wonderful advice: “Things will never happen naturally. You just need to pray and do it.”
I had been thinking about inviting our neighbor, Mrs. S, an elderly lady who is living right next to the church for the Furusato Cafe. I often meet Mrs. S on the way to church, especially when she is gardening in summer and spring. But in winter, elderly people usually stay in to protect themselves from the cold or from falling in the icy conditions. So it had been a while since I’d seen Mrs. S. I also had a need for some help with buying Japanese cooking ingredients. So, I prayed, “Lord, please give me wisdom and a chance to invite Mrs. S to go to the supermarket with me.”
God is so good and he knows me very well. What he had prepared for me was far beyond my imagination. When I knocked on Mrs. S’s door, she greeted me with a smile. I told her about my difficulty in buying certain Japanese ingredients and asked if she could go with me to the supermarket. To be honest, I did feel silly using such an excuse. Yet, to my surprise, Mrs. S accepted my invitation straight away. What’s more, she also accepted my invitation to the Furusato café! And that wasn’t all—she even invited me into her house for tea! I ended up chatting with her and her husband that day for nearly an hour! Wasn’t that amazing?
That was not the end of the story. Mrs S also came to church before the next Sunday service to invite my husband Ricky and I to go to the supermarket with them after our service because there was a sale. Again, we had a good chat with her and her husband.
God’s plan is great!
By Winny, an OMF worker in Japan.
Fursato Cafe is one of the outreach activities of Mikasa Church, where we invite neighbors to church to make simple snacks, like Christmas cup cakes or Sakura Mochi, and sing Christian songs together.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Give thanks for how God provides ways for missionaries to connect with people in the local community.
- Pray for missionaries like Winny as they look for opportunities to get to know people and share the gospel. Pray they would be bold to share about Christ at the right time.
- Pray for God to show them how their ministries are bearing fruit.