My family has been in Japan with OMF since December 2000. When we arrived, we had a one-year-old son. My husband, David, felt called to teach missionary kids, but I didn’t have a strong calling to any specific kind of ministry. Because no international schools needed maths/science teachers at that time, we spent our first four years learning language and culture, and helping with an OMF church plant.
We moved to Tokyo in 2005, just after our third son was born, so that my husband could take up a teaching job at a Christian school. I spent most of my days at home with our three young boys. I was soon questioning my calling as a missionary. I barely knew anyone locally besides the Japanese mums at my son’s kindergarten and found myself without the capacity to do much—not only was I busy with our children, but my Japanese was pretty terrible.
I asked God: why did you bring me to Japan and yet I can’t do anything like what I imagined a missionary could do?
That was a turning point.
Early 2007, David gave me a CD from a guest speaker at his school. One of the songs was called “Seize the Day”. It spoke to my heart: I should be seeking what God had for me to do that was in line with my gifting, limitations, and life stage. Without knowing what was going on in my heart, a colleague volunteered to take care of our kids so that I could go to a missionary women’s retreat where, it turned out, the theme was ‘writing your story’. Close friends had earlier encouraged me to write more, so this retreat theme was meaningful. Later that year I joined a small international writing group, entered a writing competition, and did an online writing course with an experienced Christian writer.
Three years later, I went to an OMF writing workshop in Hong Kong. There I realised that my heart’s desire was not to write a book, but to tell the stories of ordinary people who happen to be missionaries. Someone prayed at that time that God would bring people across my path whose stories I could tell.
Forward twelve years to now, and I spend most of my time working on missionaries’ stories as an editor. I’m the editor of a magazine for missionaries in Japan. I also work with an OMF team to produce content to raise awareness of the needs and opportunities in Japan, that includes managing our social media. In these roles I’ve helped get hundreds of stories out to thousands of people. I’m so thankful that God has led me to serve him in this unique way.
By Wendy, an OMF missionary