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My journey to long-term missions

“How did you get involved in mission to Japan?” If you asked five missionaries this question, you would get five completely different answers.

One might say, “I’ve felt called to missions since I was a child.” Another, “God called me through the story of Gideon—am I not sending you?” Yet another, “I got really into manga (Japanese cartoons).” Still another, “God called me to serve in Japan through the 2011 disaster.” Another might quote 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (NIV). There are many possible answers.

I fall into the first category. My parents were missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I grew up with world mission on my agenda. However, after studying French and serving as a short-term missionary in West Africa with Wycliffe Bible Translators, my missionary journey took an unexpected twist.

On meeting my now husband at theological college, God placed Japan on my horizon. The two of us wrestled with the dilemma: what’s more important, who God wants you to marry, or where he wants you to serve? I already knew French; didn’t it make more sense for him to learn French, than for both of us to learn Japanese? Why would God want me to lay down my African background and experience, and language ability?

God graciously allowed me to return to Congo as a short-term missionary—and then clearly called me to leave it behind. The following year, after clear leading, I headed to Japan as a short-term missionary with OMF, and God gave me this verse: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV). I felt God tell me that if he called me to Japan, he would give me his heart for the Japanese people.

God works in every heart in his unique and perfect way. God calls each of us to love and serve him in a way that is appropriate and special for each of us; a way which honours him and serves his kingdom purposes.

So, how are you going to get involved in missions in Japan?

By Janet, an OMF missionary

Will you pray for Japan?

  • Pray that God would bring more missionaries to work here.
  • Pray about your involvement: how can you be more involved in mission.
  • Pray that God would be honoured by all who serve him in OMF Japan.

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