From the diary of a GO-er: Tessa in Japan

(Pictured: Enjoying some gospel-centred hospitality in Tohoku, Japan)

On Saturday 21st October I arrived safely back in Auckland after spending nearly six months in northern Japan as a Serve Asia Worker. In some ways I expected things to feel different upon returning. After all, I had been immersed in a very different culture and community for half a year. However, as I’ve spent the past few weeks settling back in, things here have felt almost too familiar. In fact, in some ways it feels like nothing’s changed – the buses run late, my friends are still studying the same things or working the same job, and the views from my window (which I unexpectedly found I missed whilst away) are the same ones I’ve been looking at for nine years.

But if I dig a little deeper though, there are actually many other (perhaps more subtle) things that have changed. So I have a choice: I could let myself slip comfortably back into the familiar rhythms of life here, or, I could take the time to reflect on the highs and lows of my experiences in Japan, and prayerfully consider how God wants me to integrate these experiences back into my NZ context. For example, I may not be regularly rostered to cook for 10-20 people like I was in Japan, but there is a desperate need for Gospel-centred hospitality here in Auckland.

I’m so grateful to the people in my life who have committed to walking with me as I dig deeper into this season of readjustment; rejoicing with me for the time I got to spend in Japan, showing me grace in inevitable moments of frustration, and praying with me as I consider where God is leading me from here.

By Tessa Brown

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